Sunday, September 21, 2014

Product Review: 2014 Upper Deck Team Canada Juniors Hobby Box

Up here in Canada we celebrate Hockey every chance we get. Once of the more special moments of the Hockey season happens around Christmas with the World Juniors. It just seems fitting that Upper Deck would create a Team Canada Juniors product to celebrate the great game of hockey for Canadians.

Whether your a hockey fan or just a collector in Canada this is the product we have been waiting for. Its a Mid to High range product with only Team Canada Juniors and Women included and exclusive for Canada. Upper Deck created a 18 pack Hobby box with 5 cards per pack to celebrate the top prospects and women of Team Canada.

To say this product is loaded is an under statement. Each box will include 18 SP base cards, 3 Parallels, 4 Special Edition inserts, 1 Autographed Patch, 1 Multi-Swatch Relic, along with 4 Autographs, Relics or Printing Plates. Wow! That is simply amazing for a collector to get in a box these days.

This product has a few base set parallels as well like Gold Sepia, Exclusive Red and High Gloss. These will be tough to pull as they are only 3 per box on average, so building a "Rainbow" could be fun and challenging at the same time.

The Relics come in different types like Single, Dual, Triple, Quads, and Jumbo. Some of the Jumbo Patches I've seen just look ridiculous and will be fetching a lot in the secondary market. The smaller Patch cards seem to be more so of multi color swatches than true patch cards.

Boxes run currently around $100-$120 each, while you might be able to find packs priced at around $10. Not too bad for this product and the finds you could potential hit are really cool. With a loaded product like this you have to take a chance on a box.

Lets find out how we did with ours:

Base Cards: 63 (1 Double)
Base Card SP: 18 - Fucale, Drouin, Ekblad
Base Card Sepia: 5 - Audette, Mantha, Pelech, Gauthier, McDavid
Base Card Exclusive: 3 - Lacasse, Paterson, Bowey (all /199)
UD Special Edition: 6 - Bigras, Pouliot, Billia, Fucale, Reinhart, Johnston
Team Canada Juniors Relic: 1 - Alexandre Carrier
Team Canada Women Relic: 2 - Lauriane Rougeau, Natalie Spooner
Team Canada Dual Jersey: 1 - Drouin/Mantha
Clear Cut Playing for a Nation: 1 - Brayden Point /75
Team Canada Autograph Patch: 1 - Alexandre Carrier /199
Team Canada Gold Autograph: 1 - Connor McDavid

Lots to cover here so lets start with the Base cards. The design is pretty sleek and very clean looking. Love both the front and back of the cards. Adding in the 50 SP's makes you take a double take on the cards you pull. The SP's are found just after the filler card or relic per pack so they are easy to tell, plus they are #101-150. We did pull 1 double of Mikkelson but no complaining here, just weird to find a double in a product like this. If your looking to complete the base set you'll have to buy more than a couple of boxes as we were 37 cards short from the first box.
The parallels of the base are a nice touch. Like that the Exclusives are Red foil to match the colours of the team plus they are numbered to 199. The Gold Sepia are not too bad but hard to tell while sorting through your box at the end. 
The Special Edition cards are a famous Upper Deck insert that you've seen around. These could bend easily from busting open the packs so be careful. The Clear Cut came in the pack in a penny sleeve which looked weird at first but I guess to not have them stick to the other cards in the pack. Nice that they are numbered to only 75 and you can see some good return in the secondary market for the right player.  
Onto the Relics. We pulled 3 single swatches from our box of Carrier, Rougeau and Spooner. The card designs are nice and the relics were basic but overall still a nice piece to pull. Natalie Spooner is currently on The Amazing Race Canada and is a very popular athlete in Canada, this one is headed right to the PC.
We pulled a dual swatch relic of Drouin & Mantha. These are found only in every 48 packs so this was a bonus hit in that sense. Drouin is a top prospect that should be playing in the NHl this year so this was a good pull.
Two autographs came out of this box. One for Alexandre Carrier that is classified as a Auto Patch card but is really a two colour swatch. Numbered to 199 and is a nice card that matches the single swatch above of him. The other autograph couldn't have been any better as it is of the high touted Connor McDavid. This seems to be an SP autograph but we haven't been able to confirm just yet. This was a fantastic pull from this product. Both are sticker autographs but this might be the only time that I don't mind that in this type of product. Especially if McDavid is the 1st Overall in the June Draft. 
We've seen a number of boxes busted recently and overall we hit a couple of bonuses with the Clear Cut, Dual Swatch and the McDavid Autograph. Love the cards, love the chances at pulling some great hits, and love that it is strictly Canadian and Team Canada. As a hockey fan in Canada this is an amazing product to collect. Upper Deck really did a great job on this one and will be completing the Base Set along with the SP set. If your in Canada go out and buy a box now, don't wait as these will be going up in price and will be sold out in no time.

Most cards/hits pulled in our breaks end up on our site storefront, or our COMC account ThePackGambler. If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.75 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autograph/Patch: 4.5/5
Design: 5/5
Parallels: 4.5/5
Inserts: 4.5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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