Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 Upper Deck Hockey Blaster

Saw this at Target and couldn't resist. I don't have a lot of time, so I'll just go with the quick and easy writeup. These blasters come with 12 packs, 5 cards a pack, for a total of 60 cards. Of course there are Target Exclusive Super Skills cards that just waste a spot that would've been occupied by a base card, but anyway... I had purchased a bunch of hobby packs of this stuff before buying this blaster, and had already accumulated 4 short-printed Young Guns rookies, and about 80 cards out of the 200 card base set. So, how did I do?

Well, this did not turn out to be a good blaster for me no matter how you look at it. I pulled a total of 47 base cards, but believe it or not I already had 20 of them. I got 3 of the Target Exclusive Super Skills insert cards, but they are not even worth scanning and posting. I also got a Winter Classic insert from last year's Pittsburgh/Buffalo game and the Hockey Heroes Crosby insert pictured to the left. I'm not really sure why they call the insert set Hockey Heroes instead of Hockey Hero, as Crosby appears to be the only player depicted on these cards.

I actually beat the odds and pulled 3 of the short-printed Young Guns rookie cards (which I believe are seeded 1:6 packs). There's just one problem, 2 of the 3 were the same card, Mattias Ritola. I hate doubles within a pack, and duplicate short-printed doubles within a blaster is just as annoying. On top of that Ritola was one of the 4 Young Guns cards that I already had. The other Young Gun I got was Ilya Zubov of the Ottawa Senators, and guess what, I already had that one as well. What are the odds of that?

Everything I've described so far only adds up to 55 cards. What about the other 5? One entire pack of cards was damaged so badly that I actually decided to use them as bookmarks. Each card in the pack had a huge roller mark across the bottom that was so deep the bottom portion of the cards were actually missing. This was very aggravating given that I needed 4 out of these 5 for my set, including what would've been my first Milan Lucic card. Oh well...

The Verdict: If you want to collect the 2008 Upper Deck hockey set, stay away from retail and stick to hobby if you can find it. Most hobby shops sell these in packs of 8 for $3.50. At that price you can get 6 hobby packs, 48 cards total, for the price of a blaster, but you don't have to deal with the crappy Target inserts and you probably have better odds at pulling some of the more desired auto or game-used cards. For $20 I essentially got 3 short prints that I already had (which I might be able to flip on Ebay), 27 base cards that I needed and a bunch of doubles and crappy inserts.

To end on a positive note though, I still love Upper Deck's outstanding photography. Here are my 5 favorite horizontal cards from the blaster:

I appreciate it when a card shows something unique, rather than the same generic poses that are featured on so many other cards. This shot of the Red Wings bench with their veteran captain in the foreground is great.

How did the photographer manage to get this shot?

I seem to have a hard time pulling Crosby's cards, so this was one good thing that came out of the box.

Awesome overhead shot of Mike Smith.

I like this Henrik Sedin card only because it's weird to see his twin brother Daniel seated right next to him on the bench.


Sal said...

The Crosby set is called "Hockey Heroes" because it is a continuation of the "Hockey Heroes" insert sets from the 1990s. In the 1991-92 set, there was a 10-card insert set of Brett Hull. The next season, the "Hockey Heroes" inserts were continued with a Wayne Gretzky Set and later a Gordie Howe set. The Crosby chard you show here is similar in design to one of the Hull insert cards.

Chuck's Used Cards said...

I feel bad for the poor assortment, but quite frankly I wish we had this year's hockey cards at all.

All we had was one box from last years Fleer hockey. That being said, I got a box.

Good luck with your next box.

Fuji said...

You're right... the photography in this set is amazing. Have a happy holidays.

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