Thursday, January 21, 2021

2020-2021 Upper Deck Artifacts Review

Upper Deck Artifacts has long given collectors a beautiful set filled with hockey memorabilia to enjoy. Through the years, Upper Deck has changed the product in slight ways, but the design aesthetic has always been a staple of this brand. Collectors who purchase a hobby box of Artifacts are told that they will receive "hits in every box!" Let's see what this year's iteration has in store for us.

Product Thoughts
I sound like a broken record when it comes to the design of Artifacts because each and every year it's about the same. The cards are glossy and have a nice, premium appeal to them. The overall theme of Artifacts is of ancient finds, and the designers have done a magnificent job. They are so good with the Artifacts brand that I cannot tell which year is what just by looking at the base cards. Artifacts slots nicely in the mid-tier part of Upper Deck's card line-up. It's a nice set for any collector to enjoy as boxes typically cost around or under the $150 USD mark.


The double jersey hit is the classic Artifacts card. You get two swatches of game-used jersey. The appeal of these cards has declined significantly since they were first introduced. It's just not that exciting to pull jersey cards anymore. Though we're totally spoiled as collectors for thinking that game-used cards are just run-of-the-mill, it's a fact that cannot be ignored. These cards on the secondary market can be had for just a few bucks. 


Aurum cards are excellent looking cards, but Upper Deck has shot themselves in the foot by considering them hits. These thick cards have a scratch off in the back for collectors to uncover. With an entire set, these Aurum cards can be redeemed for a bounty. But don't sit on your ass as you try collecting them all as Upper Deck gives the fastest finishers better prizes. I've personally never cared about trying to collect these cards, and I haven't really heard of any other collectors really going nuts for these cards. If these were not considered hits I bet collectors would be much happier with this particular insert.


If you see a big thick card in the pack, you've most likely pulled a patch card. Artifacts has a ton of parallels of the base set - many with different combinations of game-used material. The lower the number, the better the material you'll find embedded within the card. The Jake Guentzel above has what appears to be pieces of the fight strap on it. It's a unique part of the jersey, but sadly these pieces are always just a boring white color.


To my great surprise I was able to pull a very rare 2/3 dual patch black parallel of Brad Marchand in the same box as the Guentzel. Upper Deck had to have made a mistake here as they are usually not the generous type when putting hits in products. I'm not complaining though, this is a really cool looking card!


If you know Artifacts, you'll know that there are always redemption cards inserted into the product. These scratch off cards will net you a rookie from the hockey season once Upper Deck makes the cards. The best ones are the autographed versions, so be on the lookout for those!

Positives:
  • Classy looking set with many different memorabilia types to chase.
  • Redemption cards for the current rookie class.
  • Boxes are moderately priced compared to other sets.
Negatives:
  • The packs seem to be very tightly sealed which could lead to some corner damage on cards.
  • Aurum cards are considered hits.
  • Standard jerseys just not the hit they used to be.

Overall Rating:

8/10

21 comments:

  1. Nice Marchand patch! You were one of lucky ones to get a box with double the hits. Many of the boxes have zero hits (only base parallels). NoRdIqUeDiEhArD on YouTube

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  2. You got really lucky with that box! A lot of people seem disappointed in this year's product and a lot of the cards seem damaged right out of the packs. Hopefully the quality starts to improve in the next few years or I may have to stop buying the product. I'm in.

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  3. Love the pulls you got in this douglas hutton

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  4. Nice review, price point is a little too high for me but agree the cards look great. That Marchand card is great looking.
    Axle Low on youtube

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  5. Great review! Looking to get back into collecting and this set looks like something I may be interested in again. Mike Malizia on Youtube.

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  6. Great box opening! Love the pulls you got. Really like the look of the cards this year.
    RS 2002 on youtube.

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  7. Some great pulls there wish im that lucky when i get mine

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  8. Nice cards and a great review! Love these cards but looks like Upper Deck QC is suspect this year.

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  9. Your box was pretty good. Better than the one I opened.

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  10. Cards look good but the lack of autos and high price points will always make this set below things like ice
    Yt is Noice

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  11. Absolute beaut of a review! Wasn’t sure if I was confident to get it, but once I read the review, I got a box and I was very satisfied with the content! YouTube name is Tucker Ramsey

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  12. Im in.You had better luck in your box than I did in mine. Solid review!

    YT: Mike Lint

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  13. I’m in. Great box and that patch was nasty


    Yt: James Li

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