Saturday, December 12, 2009

Box Break: 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Baseball Retail


This box was another part of my haul from BlowoutCards’ Black Friday Promotion.  They had these boxes at this price level to help people reach the free shipping price limit.  I wasn’t able to take advantage of that, but I still had to grab a box at ten bucks.  I know that at some point I’ll end up buying a hobby box of this stuff and this will make a nice start towards the set.  I wasn’t able to get a full set out of the 2007 box that I opened and know that the same will be true of 2008.

Masterpieces is a beautiful set.  I can imagine that it is a lot of work for Upper Deck to commission all of the paintings and then produce them in card form, but collectors loved this set.  It had some of the most popular parallels despite the fact there seemed to be about 20 of them.  It had some of the best looking, on-card autographs you can find.  There are amazing patch cards to be found.  So, why did it not sell well enough for Upper Deck to keep it going in 2009?  Two words: price point.  Many collectors passed on Masterpieces at its original cost due to the low number of cards that you get per peck and per box.  Like many Upper Deck products (think Heroes or Chronology), it has only found a huge following once the price has dropped.  Now people love busting it in mass quantities.

FielderMy box had the following contents: 2 damaged cards, 87 cards to start the set, 4 duplicates (at least two of them were BoSox), 1 damaged Yankee Stadium Legacy (Babe Ruth), 5 YSL (Joe D, Waite Hoyt, Earle Combs, Gehrig and Herb Pennock) along with a couple of hits.  Without further ado, here’s the hits.

My jersey card was a Prince Fielder striped swatch.  This guy is haunting me.  This is either the third or fourth Fielder jersey card that I’ve pulled.  This card joined all of the other Fielder jersey cards that I had and went towards a good cause of adding something else to my collection.  All will be revealed in a future post.  Let’s just say that my dislike of scrub autos and boring swatches allowed me to take advantage of an offer at my local card shop.


This hit was the card of the box and was probably worth the price of admission all by itself.  It’s a brown bordered Pujols numbered 031/100.  Unlike Fiedler, Pujols is a player whose cards I add to my collection when I pulled them.  I haven’t actively pursued any Pujols cards since his rookie year, but when I do get them I hold on to them so this card made me happy.

I don’t understand why Upper Deck limited the parallels in the retail product.  There don’t have to be a ton of numbered parallels, but why not have 4 or 6 of the unnumbered parallels in the box.  Quality control wasn’t all that great for this box.  Out of 101 cards, I had 3 damaged cards and 4 duplicates.  7% of the cards in the box isn’t all that great.  I’m more annoyed about the duplicates than I am about the damaged cards.  Masterpieces is one of the few Upper Deck products where you don’t have to worry about every card having  soft corners right out of the packs.

So, there you go.  At the sale price point I’m very happy, but at the suggested retail price of $3 a pack, I would have been extremely let down.  Again, that’s a reoccurring theme with Upper Deck products.  Once the product takes its one-year-since-release price drop, it’s a great buy.  Before then, you’re most likely going to be unhappy with the contents.


MarieBay said...

does that mean it's safe to say you won't be trading that Pujols?

Field of Cards said...

Wow. That was a good box, I think. For retail at least.

That Fielder is a great looking card. The guy hustles his (big) butt off and swings like it's the last day of his life. I was a fan of his dad's too (although Prince sure isn't).

I too got some of these Masterpieces retail boxes on Blowout's Black Friday.

I opened one so far and got the Babe Ruth Legacy like you did, a Victor Martinez all white jersey, and a Russell Martin 047/100. So you destroyed me with your box.

1-0 Offy.

Offy said...

Marie - I would trade the Pujols. The only cards that I absolutely won't trade are from my player collections. I'll especially trade anything if it helps me towards completing a set or adds to my player collections. I've got a couple of the early Pujols eTopps cards as well if you're interested and ever have any Papis that you need to purge from your collection, Piazzas or stuff from my want lists.

Ken - The only good thing about white swatches is that every team has them. I could have pretended that the Martinez jersey was actually a Sox one. The Martin isn't a bad pull either and if it isn't a card that you're going to keep there are a couple of people in the blogosphere who would be interested in trading for it.

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