Sunday, January 17, 2010

Box Break: 2009 Upper Deck X


I’m one of the biggest fans of discounted Upper Deck products.  I don’t buy many Upper Deck products when they first come out because you get far too little cards for your dollar.  The example that I’ll cite time and time again is Goodwin Champions.  I was so excited for it until I opened a few packs and then it was put on the back burner until prices dropped.

Upper Deck X is another example of this.  Even though this is a product designed for kids, it is still pretty pricy for what you get.  There’s only 6 cards per pack and 24 packs per box.  Once you are done with a box you are left with 24 inserts, 24 parallels and no shot at a complete set even with perfect collation.  The base set is extremely blah, but the Xponential inserts are very cool looking and are worth it at the right price.  BlowoutCards’ special of $19.99 a box was the right price for me.


Upper Deck X is all about the hits.  Sure, they aren’t hits that will break the bank, but they are a lot of fun.  Even the most common of the inserts are nice looking.  It’s tough to see in the scan, but there are embossed rays of light shining behind the player.  My box contained eight of the base level Xponential cards putting them 1:3 packs.  The players that I pulled were Magglio Ordoñez, Manny Ramirez, Mark Teixeira, Prince Fielder, Bobby Abreu, Brian McCann, Jonathan Papelbon and Magglio Ordoñez again.  I’ll trade any of them except for the Papelbon.


The X² cards have a horizontal orientation.  I think this is my least favorite of all of the designs.  There’s a giant three dimensional X behind the player and that’s about it.  My box contained six of the X² cards putting them at a 1:4 ratio.  The players that I pulled were Chipper Jones, Mark Teixeira (rainbow here I come), Manny Ramirez (Manny being everywhere), Randy Johnson, Big Papi and Chipper Jones again.  I can’t believe that I’ve Ortiz2Xalready pulled two doubles in the insert sets.  I keep giving Upper Deck chances to win me over and stuff like this keeps happening.  Luckily the prices on their products is as reliable as the sun coming up.  At the price that I paid for this box, I don’t mind as much, but it is still frustrating.  If you’d like to trade for anything other than the Ortiz, please drop me a line.


The X³ cards are back to a vertical orientation.  There isn’t a whole lot going on with these cards.  The top half has a picture of the player on a holofoil background.  The bottom half has an etched X design.  It’s a little busy, but I still like it more than the X² design.  There were five of these in my box so you’ll get one in every five packs (rounding up a little).  The players that I pulled were Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, Grady Sizemore, Chase Utley and Chipper Jones.  I’m not attached to any of these, but I’d like to keep at least one of the X³ cards in my collection.  So, the first four people who want to trade for one will be able to trade for who they want.  If someone trades me a Red Sox player in return then all five of these can go.


The X4 (no exponential 4 available) cards are the sharpest looking of the bunch.  The black segments of this card aren’t reflective while the lines behind the player are.  The cards have a really nice look to them.  I had three of these in my box putting the odds at 1:8 packs.  The players that were pulled were Alfonso Soriano, Jake Peavy and Ryan Howard.  Same deal here as with the X³ cards.  I’m not attached to any particular card, but would like to keep at least one until I pick up a Red Sox X4 card.


Last, but not least (at least from what I pulled), are the X5 cards.  These cards are very sharp looking as well.  The only thing that could have improved these cards, and all of the other cards for that matter, were team colors.  The green cards are nice and the foil board makes it look even nicer.  GriffeyX5There were two of them in my box or 1:12 packs.  The players that I pulled were Ryan Howard and Ken Griffey Jr.  I think that I’ll be holding onto the Griffey, but any Howard collectors out there can trade me for both of the cards that I pulled.

I didn’t pull any of the X6 cards so I’m guessing those are every 1:36 or 1:48.  There are only 5 players in that set so they could possibly be even rarer.  The purple X6 cards are what Spectrum could have looked like with a good design.  I may look into picking one up if they aren’t too expensive.  There are also autographs to be pulled.  In a product such as this one they’re probably case hits.

Remember when I said earlier in this break that the collation on this product is terrible?  I didn’t even come close to a complete set from this box.  I have 61 out of 100 cards in the set.  I also pulled 24 doubles.  Actually, let me clarify that.  I pulled 18 doubles and 6 triples.  Triples?  Are you kidding me?  That’s ridiculous for something like this.

I’m not going to list off all of the die cut cards or my duplicates, but for those of you looking to trade, let me know what players or teams you’re looking for and I’ll tell you what I’ve got and set them aside for you.

One of the best things about this box was that it only contained 2 of the ridiculous 20th Anniversary cards.  One was basketball (Shaq) and the other was of the Avalanche goalie.  It those were the insert rates across all of the products, I probably would hate these cards a lot less.


Now for the hits that are what most people chase, but for the most part bore the crap out of me.  These cards are even worse than typical relic cards because the design is so terrible.  They just took the same design as the regular card and slapped a swatch right in the middle of it regardless of the picture behind it.

This here is a plain white jersey swatch of “Scott Rolen Game-Used MLB memorabilia.”  I think I had two Scott Rolen jersey cards in the big stack of cards that I used to get my box of 206.  It looks like this one is going to start the next stack in the hopes that someone else one day has another promotion.


Next is a “trading card with Eric Chavez Game-Used MLB memorabilia.”  This swatch is a weird shade of gray/green.  Both of these cards are also available for trade.

Normally that’s all you would get in a box.

Do I happen to get more than that?

I must have since I’m keeping this going.


I was lucky enough to pull a case hit of DeAngelo Williams.  Maybe it’s just me, but this is disappointing as a case hit.  Couldn’t they have at least put a patch in there or serial numbered the thing.  There can’t be too many of these floating around if they’re case hits can there?  Why even bother making a card this boring a case hit?

I bought this card mostly for the Xponential cards and I’m very happy with those.  I may even buy a second box of this to pick up more of those and hopefully finish off the base set.  The condition of these cards were pretty bad with many cards having soft or feathered corners.  The collation was terrible and the big hits leave a lot to be desired.  This box completely justified my policy of waiting until the price drops on Upper Deck products.  I would give the set a C- on the strength of the Xponential inserts and I would give my box a D due to the condition of the cards and the duplicates.  Without the case hit, it would have been an F.

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Field of Cards said...

Well we seem to have similar buying habits.

I got a box of this recently as well. I only got one game used card though (Derek Lee).

Almost every top card in the pack was damaged. Others were damaged too.

Fortunately the "inserts" were fine.

Still, kinda a lame experience just like you had.

At $20 it would be worth another shot but now that I hear your cards were damaged too it seems common enough that I'll avoid more of this stuff.

Offy said...

Yes, it seems like we both value fun breaks over those which are lottery tickets with 6 cards per box. I think that puts us in the minority these days, but it's a nice minority to be in.

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