Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Box Break: 2011 Upper Deck Marvel Beginning

I couldn’t have planned the arrival of these boxes better. I came home from the hospital after my kidney stone surgery and about an hour later, the doorbell rang and the box from Dave & Adam’s Card World was delivered. I opened the boxes right away, but it’s taken a while to get the breaks posted due to the recovery process. I haven’t spent a heck of a lot of time at my computer. The majority of my Internet surfing was done on my wife’s iPad.


It’s been a while since Upper Deck release a Marvel set so they went all out with this release. The base cards have a simple design with a modern image of the character with an inset photo of the character as they appeared in their first comic. For someone such as the Invisible Woman you can see a big difference, but for someone such as the Red Hulk there really isn’t a point. The back of the card has some information about the character as well as information about their first comic appearance. The only information that is lacking is who the artist is for the newer image on the front of the card. That’s a pretty big omission in my book for a set such as this.

It’s great seeing some of the newer Marvel characters included in this set. You’ll find some of the Young Avengers and Runaways in the set. If these were the old Impel/Skybox sets then they’d definitely have rookie designations on them. You’ll also find some obscure and lesser known characters. While this makes for a thorough set, it also makes for a huge set. I don’t know if there’s ever been a 180 card set of comic book characters prior to this one. In some ways, I’m hoping it will be the last.

The main problem is that this is a large set with boxes that only contain 24 packs with 7 cards per pack (and two of those being inserts). When you’re trying to put together a 180 card set, 5*24 (120 cards minus one for the box hit) isn’t going to cut it. Honestly, I could have done without three different insert sets, but what are you going to do.


The one-per-pack insert is the Breakthrough Issue set. This 45 card set covers everything from first appearances of iconic characters such as Spider-Man and The Hulk to gimmicks such as hologram and chromium covers. This is a cool set, but I could have done without the gimmick milestones.


These cards are called Micromotion which really is a misnomer. Sure, the reflection from the etched foil moves as you tilt the card, but the name makes you think these would be a stereogram/Sportflix type of card or something of that sort. The card backs have a short blurb about the character.

Unfortunately, the top edge of every single card from this insert set was damaged in this box. I have already contacted Upper Deck and will be sending them in for replacement. This is one of the reasons why I’m always hesitant to buy Upper Deck products. When it’s not full of redemption cards, it’s full of cards with bad edges or soft corners. It’s a yearly occurrence.


This insert set is extremely cool. I’m not even a big X-Men fan, but I will be collecting this set.You can’t really tell from the scans, but the white sections in the X-Men logo are actually die cut holes. I scanned fronts and backs so that you could see that there are older images of the characters on the front (check out Cannonball) and never images on the back. Again, this is really cool for characters such as Cannonball and Angel, but it’s pointless for a character such as X-23.

I’m not completely sold on the three types of box hits that are available in this product. There’s no way that the holograms should have been a box hit. The old Impel/Skybox sets used to have 4 holograms per box so I don’t see what the big deal is. These cards from Upper Deck are regular artwork in front of a hologram background that’s the same for every single card. Boring. These should have been 1-2 per box and not counted as a box hit.

The other box hit is kind of questionable as well. While autographs of athletes are in high demand because of the difficulty in obtaining them, autographs of comic book artists and writers are a lot easier to obtain. Find a convention that they’ll be at, travel to it, wait in line (costume optional) and you’ve got an autograph. Now, I’d be absolutely thrilled to pull a Stan Lee autograph and some of the triple signed cards are amazing, but other than that, I’m not sure about these cards. The autographs are restricted to the creators on the issues in the Breakthrough insert set so that is a positive, but the majority of the autographed cards sell for $20 or less.

SketchThe main reason that people purchase boxes of non-sports cards are for the sketch cards that you can possibly pull. Pull a sketch card of someone such as Katie Cook and you’ve paid for your box and then some. You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it will be something that you like and sometimes it will be something you can’t believe got approved for the set.

I think that I did pretty well this time around with this sketch of Beast by Gilbert Monsanto. While I do like the card, I think that I will most likely have to throw it up on eBay so that I can grab another box of this so that I can try and finish off my sets. Non-sports singles can be impossible to find and I’m of the mindset that you should always get a full set out of a box. Even though that’s not the case here, I’ll make an exception and bust another box with the hopes that I pull either a Stan Lee autograph or Katie Cook sketch card.

In case anyone out there does have any extras that they are looking to trade away, here are my want lists:




Lonestarr said...

Another brilliant but flawed set, huh?

Offy said...

They came up with a lot of great ideas, but instead of spreading them out over a couple of sets, they just crammed them all into one and it's a little much. I think if the box had 36 packs, it would be a little easier to bear. IT'll be fun busting another box though.

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