Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Pack Gambler Retro Break: 2008-09 Upper Deck SPx Hockey Hobby Box

We went to our LCS (Local Card Store) 2 weeks ago and noticed a box at the top of the shelve. It was a small box and sort of out of sight of the big new ticket items into the store. Recently we've been intrigued by older boxes coming in but decided not to grab it this time in. This past week while coming in to pickup some new stock we noticed the box was still there. Without hesitation we asked for the box to be put into the order. The box was a 2008-09 Upper Deck SPx Hockey Hobby box, not really a Retro product per-say but since it's been out 4 years we'll group it into this category.
The owner of the shop had a sticky note attached with "Stamkos Rookie" on it. This was the hard to find $250 Stamkos Rookie card that a lot of collectors search out for. We weren't too interested in that so much as what the product delivered. Within each box you will pull 1 Numbered Rookie Jersey card, 1 Numbered Rookie Jersey Autographed card, 1 Winning Combos Relic card and 1 Winning Materials Relic Card. There are also SPxcitement numbered cards and SPX Rookies which are numbered as well. All this comes in a 18 packs with 4 cards per pack assortment. Not too bad for a 2009 product, this is why we decided to take the plunge and see what we could pull.

Like all Retro boxes we had low expectations on this box, we were more interested in writing a piece on it for our Retro breaks than anything else. However this turned out to be one of the craziest and most fulfilling Retro Box Breaks we have ever had:

Base Cards: 69 (0 Doubles)
SPxcitement: 2 - Ilya Kovalchuk /999, Ron Hextall /999
SPX Rookies: 1 - Jared Ross /499
Winning Combos Dual Relic: 1 - Marion Gaborik/Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Wild)
Winning Materials Dual Relic: 1 - Sidney Crosby
SPX Rookies Dual Relic: 1 - Dan LaCosta /1299
SPX Rookies Dual Relic Autograph: 1 - Steve Mason /999
Winning Trios Relic: 1 - Crosby/Ovechkin/Malkin /99
Redemption: Autographed FlashBack Fabrics Ray Bourque (Expired 12/19/2010)
Before we get into the cool relics and bonus hits lets talk a bit about the product. The SPx base cards have some of the best technology for 2009. The design matched with the holographic/laser lines on each card are fantastic. We were 30 cards away from completing the 100 card base set from this box so we might look around for those needed and complete this one. The SPX Rookies which are apart of the complete set of the product have the same technology designs but are numbered. Your going to find some decent guys in here and the BV on them is $6-15 which is really good.
The SPxcitement cards are nice and extra bonus is they are numbered. You can find some star players in this insert set which can have some good BV to them like Gretzky, Stamkos and Crosby. Not sure if you'll find 2 per box but still a nice touch to the product.
Here we go into the Relics/Autographs, first up is the Winning Combos. This is a nice Dual Relic card of two players form the same team or comparable players from the past or present. The swatch of jersey is not too small and the card design is nice. The Gaborik/Bouchard we pulled is decent and has two different colors of jersey so an added feature we liked. Next up is our Winning Materials Dual Relic of Sidney Crosby. Was super pumped we pulled this nice card. Anything Crosby in a Relic is a hot item. This one like the Combo Relic above has two different colors just as we like it.
SPX Rookie Relics and Relic Autographs are always cool to have for any player. Love they are numbered even though the LaCosta is numbered high at 1299 and the Mason Relic/Autograph was numbered /999. Both are decent hits and Goalies are always popular on the secondary market.
Onto our Bonus extra hits. We almost hit the floor when we pulled these two cards from the box. Not expecting much out of a box and then pulling these two was outstanding. The Winning Trios Relic of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin is amazing. The card is numbered to /99 and is one of the best Trios Relic to pull from the product. Four years later these three players are still the top in the league and will be a piece nice in anyone's collection.
Redemption's are never fun to pull unless you can beat the deadline. Our Ray Bourque Redemption however expired over 2 years ago. We have seen this card in online auctions and trades in the past and would have been a dual relic with his autograph. The odds on pulling one of these is 1:252 packs, and even though unnumbered would have been a great add to a PC. Upper Deck has stated they don't honor expired redemption cards, they did have a promo at the Fall Expo here in Canada last year in regards to expired unscratched cards where you could hand it in for a replacement card. We're going to write to Upper Deck and see if they would be able to provide a replacement on this card or if they have another promo in the fall at the Expo where we could bring it. Too bad it wasn't 2009 or late 2010 so we could send it in for this card.
So for a Retro break this did extremely well. Aside form the $28 in base card and $80 for the Bourque Redemption book value we came away with $172 in hits. That is truly amazing to find out of this product. Now we knew there were some great hits to find in this but you never expect to hit an $80 Triple relic card. Not all 2008-09 SPx boxes will have the same results but like all retro breaks you never know what you might find in those older boxes. Always worth the gamble to see inside.

If we do mange to have a replacement for the Bourque redemption we'll post an article all about it.

Most cards we pull in our breaks end up in our COMC account (ThePackGambler), eBay account (thepackgambler) or within our sites storefront ( If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

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