I don’t normally write reviews on trading card products. It’s no secret that I am a collector, but I don’t buy as many boxes as other collectors, therefore I don’t feel as qualified to rate and review them. But I have recently bought two hobby boxes of Upper Deck’s 2008 “A Piece of History” cards, and I have to give them credit. This is what collecting should be like.
First of all, they’re affordable. This is a big deal to me because I think the card companies are doing their best to price most kids out of the hobby. It’s refreshing to see one of them step up to the plate with a product in which you get several impressive inserts, short-prints, jersey & autograph cards for not a lot of money. So a tip of my hat to Upper Deck.
The base cards are really pretty with kind of a silver faux marble border. I could see where some collectors might think the design gets tired after a while since all of the base cards have basically the same design, but I think it looks great. I’m also guessing that every card has limited numbered parallel cards with gold, red, and blue variations. In addition to ball players they also included several “Historical Moments” cards which are also quite nice. The only problem you might run into would be that if you decided to get one graded they would likely be knocked down a few points due to cutting errors. This design looks like it would be a little too easy to mess up the centering, etc. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to be too hard to put together a whole set for you set-builders out there. The base set is only 100 cards with another 100 of Rookies & Historical Moments. I’m not much of a set builder myself, but I will probably put one together since I’m not too many cards away from it after only two boxes.
As far as inserts go, there are several! Which is another reason I rate this product so highly. Some of them include Timeless Moments, Franchise History, Yankee Stadium Legacy, Cut From The Same Cloth, Stadium Scenes, and Box Score Memories. I think there are parallel versions and versions that include relics for all or most of them too. Here is a sampling:
If all of that wasn’t enough, each box also contains one “A Piece Of Hollywood” relic card. The design is nice enough. I like the star cut-out for the small relic piece. But I don’t like that there is basically no information on it. The one from my second box was a “1992 Shirt from A Few Good Men”. That’s it. The back says it was worn by “Jack”. There’s no last name, which immediately makes me feel like they’re trying to pull something over on me. There is a small picture of the shirt it was supposedly cut from, but there’s no one wearing it. They could’ve at least included a screenshot of the actor wearing the item in the movie itself, but I guess that’s too much to ask. It’s still an interesting idea for a relic card, but poorly executed in my opinion.
As far as my “Big Pulls” go, probably the biggest one was an Alex Gordon blue jersey autograph card numbered to 25. My auto from the first box was a rookie I had never heard of which I imagine most of the auto cards are from this set.
I also pulled a Josh Beckett jersey card and a C.C. Sabathia jersey card numbered to 99, which would be a nice card if 1) he hadn’t been recently traded from Cleveland to a team that most likely won’t keep him after this season is over, and 2) he hadn’t shut my Cardinals out last week for probably the least heartbreaking loss of a four game sweep at the hands of the Brewers. But that has nothing to do with the cards!
I am disappointed however that the cut-out for the jersey piece on the Sabathia looks horrible. The edge is frayed and ugly like the die may have been getting dull by the time this one was cut. My first box included Ken Griffey Jr. and Johan Santana jersey cards, a Denzel Washington hollywood relic, as well as a dual jersey card featuring J.J. Hardy and Michael Young.
Over all though. I am very impressed with this product from Upper Deck. Well done guys!