Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Product Review: 2012-2013 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey Hobby Box

I'm not sure if it's the playing of EA Sports NHL13 daily but the lockout hasn't stopped me from buying Hockey products. This week Upper Deck came in with a Star Studded one this week in 2012-2013 Artifacts. This has been a very decent product in the past but this year Upper Deck injected some super added relics and autographs that it will be hot from the get go.

The configuration is the same as last year with ten packs per box and 4 cards within each pack. Now for the goodies; each box will contain 1 Autograph, 1 Multi-Player Game Used card, 2 Single Player Game Used Cards, 1 Rookie Redemption, 2 Rookie Cards /999, 2 Goalie Insert cards /999 and 2 Team Canada Insert cards /999. Also on average every box with have a card featuring either a Patch, Strap, Stick or Tag!
In addition every other box will be packed with either a Autographed Rookie Redemption /99, Patch-Stick /10, Dual Patch /15, Patch-Tag /2, Dual Jersey Auto /12, Patch-Jersey Autograph /8, Dual Patch Autograph /3, Patch-tag Autograph /1, Black Foil Autograph /5, or a Tandem or Trio Patch, Strap or Tag from /35 down to /1.

Needless to say this product is loaded. With Panini providing very solid hockey products this year, it was really Upper Deck's time to shine and step-up. The price point on this product is very good as well, coming in at around the $100 range. Not one of the high end products within the sport but looking at the very affordable mid-range area with multiple hits. With the added Patch, Strap or Tag in each box this is sure to be a very popular product on the secondary market.

For myself I have been a fan of the Artifact product since it was introduced into baseball a few years back. It wasn't very flashy or had a reputation of a stellar product in years past, but it was a decent product. This years hockey seems to have morphed into a super-high attention flash into the market with the added value.
I was planning on purchasing this product and was happy it was on schedule and not delayed on hitting the market. I picked up a box and here is how I did:

Base: 28 (no doubles)
Base Parallels: 0
Rookie Redemption: Chicago Blackhawks
Rookie Cards /999: Jussi Rynnas & Tyler Cuma
Goalie Insert /999: Steve Mason
Team Canada Insert /999: Shea Weber
Multi-Player Game Used: 1 Tundra Tandems Zetterberg/Franzen
Single Player Game Used Card: Taylor Hall Dual Jersey /125
Dual Jersey Autograph: Brayden Schenn /12 (Team Canada)
Patch Jersey Emerald: Chris Pronger /75 (Team Canada)
I can't say it enough, this product is very strong for this year. The Base cards are very nice and have a nice foil on the bottom, but I did find some that were chipped or in some cases a little bent on the bottom corners. I only received a couple but still with only 2-3 per pack it's not a great feeling to find them there. The Dual Jerseys of Multi-Players are cool, nothing too special about the swatches but could only imagine if I pulled a patch or other special relic how they would look. The Chris Pronger Patch-Jersey and the Brayden Schenn Dual Jersey Autograph were both really nice pulls. Especially living in Canada that these were Team Canada relics and not other team relics. The very low numbered pulls I received were great, you really can't argue with hits at numbers of /75 or less. The Rookie Redemption cards will have to wait and see, you don't really know who these will end up to be so you either take your chance and redeem them or flip them. As for the Autograph, it is a sticker and wish for an on-card but I'll take it. The odds of pulling 2 Team Canada and Goalies SP's was off by 1 each but I suppose maybe the high-end hits took over for those? Either way I'm happy.

Overall I really like this product. I think it is very good value coming out of the boxes I had as well as others I've seen opened. This product certainly has taken a strong charge on the mid-range market and has put Upper Deck into the conversation as one of the stronger products of the year. I would recommend this product to any range of collector. The Lower-end collector will have a great time opening up this product, and that goes the same for the Mid-High end collectors. With the value of the Patch, Strap, Stick or Tag card in the box your bound to pull something very good from this product.

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 3.5/5 
Memorabilia: 5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Rookies: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

1 comment:

  1. Def agree with you..some great looking base cards. And the overall product is very clean and well designed.