Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Box Break: 2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball

GarnettI like the design used in the various 2009 Upper Deck sets and box breaks of basketball were looking pretty good so I ended up breaking my rule and purchased a box of Upper Deck before the price dropped.  I picked up this box at Kenmore Collectibles, my Local (to work) Card Shop.

First off, I’m not sure how Upper Deck put together the various checklists in this set.  I’m not going to go through the whole set, but a glaring omission to me is that of Glen Davis.  In his place, Upper Deck included Celtic Bill Walker.  Walker only played in 29 games, averaged 3 points and totaled 29 rebounds, 13 assists, 6 steals and 2 blocks.  Davis, on the other hand, stepped up when Kevin Garnett went down with an injury and finished the season averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds a game.  This move completely blows my mind.  Why would anyone want a Bill Walker card?  Davis does have an autographed card in the set though.  Why give him an autographed card, but no base card? He’s also got a couple of jersey cards.  This makes absolutely no sense to me.


Speaking of autographed cards, here’s my pull from the box.  Who?  Shannon Brown.  Who?  Well, let me check his stats and see how good he is…  Strange, there doesn’t seem to be a base card of Shannon Brown either.  Instead of dumping these sticker autographs into this product, Upper Deck should have dumped them into that same landfill where thousands of E.T. Atari 2600 cartridges are supposedly buried.  This is an utter and absolute waste of cardboard.  Suddenly, this purchase doesn’t look so good after all.


It doesn’t stop there though.  Upper Deck is dumping memorabilia as well.  Check out this Game Materials card that I pulled of Shawne Williams.  Who?  Another bum who is most likely going to miss this entire season.  Why did I open this stuff again?  I must be an idiot.


Here’s basketball’s equivalent to the Yankee Legacy and 20th Anniversary cards in baseball.  The only positive is that Jordan is pretty popular.  I think that I’ll most likely send these to (COMC) and see how they do on there.  I’ve had some luck with the Yankee Legacy cards.


These cards are alright.  Some are better than others.  The idea of doing movie posters is original so I’ve got hand it to Upper Deck for that.  I’d rather have pulled 8 of these than the Jordans.


The 3D Stars cards are great.  They don’t really look three dimensional to me, but the players do pop and the cards look nice.  I used to be a huge fan of Sportflics and seeing them sort of return here is nice.  I’d love to see Sportflics make a comeback since lenticular technology has gotten better these days an you could have animation that’s a little smoother.


These cards here are the best thing about this set.  I should have just foregone the box and purchased a set of these inserts.  I’ve already grabbed a couple off of COMC including a great Larry Legend.  I’m pretty sure that there’s also a card in this set of KG with the championship trophy.


This card isn’t bad, but isn’t not a serial numbered card so there’s got to be a buttload of them out there.  I’m not really a fan of either of these guys so this card will most likely make its way to eBay or COMC.


This card is definitely headed to eBay.  Kobe has to be the one athlete that I despise the most.  This card is serial numbered and the Artest swatch is a nice gold one.  Lakers fans should eat this one up.  They can pretend that’s a golden Lakers swatch rather than a piece of a Rockets jersey.

That does it for this box.  I have all of the base cards, a good amount of the rookies and hardly any of the Immortals.  I got what I was promised which is a big deal for me when it comes to Upper Deck boxes since I got shorted on the last two boxes of their product that I opened.  My “hits” leave a lot to be desired.  Topps did a great job this year of showing just how much value can be put into a flagship set and Upper Deck just falls short especially when you compare to a Topps jumbo box.  This isn’t terrible, but it’ll be a much better buy when boxes drop $10 - $20 after a year or so.

To sum things up, there’s a nice design to the set.  The player selection leaves something to be desired.  For all of the junk autos in this set, there should have been two or three per box.  There is more value than usual for typical boxes of Upper Deck flagship since you get 4 “hits”, but if it is all junk auto and patches does it really matter?  The Masterpieces are awesome and the 3D Stars are fun, but I don’t think that they can save this set.  Combine that with the fact that it’s going to be a pain in the ass chasing down the rookies and immortals and I’ll give this box a C-.

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