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)
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
Design: 4.5/5Rookies: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5