Review: 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports

This may be rough, but it’s honest and that’s the way I’m going to keep it.

This is a review of 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports provided to me by Upper Deck. The video of the break is at the bottom. But first a little back story on how I got the box. Upper Deck had a contest on their Facebook page located on the Upper Deck official Facebook page. Check out the link and Like them for a ton of contests and the chance to win free stuff. Anyway, the contest I entered was called the “most different box break”. At the time I had a box of 2009 Exquisite Football and happened to be going on a trip. So what do I do? I open the box of Exquisite in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the cruise ship. I use the word Exquisite alot, promote the Upper Deck Facebook and Upper Deck, it was alright. A month or so later I get an email from Chris Carlin, their Marketing and Social Media dude saying I won. Awesome, I had no idea what was I would be getting. I ended up receiving the 2010 SP Authentic Football box that I reviewed and Upper Deck World of Sports which I am reviewing now. I decided in both videos to do something a little “different” hence the little pre-break show. My acting is terrible and I have a playoff beard. The video is at the bottom, but on with the review!

Upper Deck lost it’s license on several professional sports over the last couple of years and decided to come out with a set of a mix of all sports creating this, World of Sports. Featured in this box are a ton of sports from baseball and basketball to BMX and Lacrosse and everything in between. All main sports are in college or Olympic uniforms so it really is a wide range of cards. The cool thing is your can pull an autograph from pretty much everyone in the base set from Tiger Woods, Stephen Strasburg, Michael Jordan, Sidney Crosby, Taylor Hall, the list keeps going. Every box contains 2 autographs, 1 game used, and 1 Clear Competitors numbered insert which is an acetate card. Here is what I pulled.



Game Used:

Clear Competitors:


This would of been a 4 star rating had there not been an Athletes of the World subset without any pictures on it. I assume it has something to do with not being able to secure image rights on the person. If not, there really isn’t an excuse for a card with just a sticker autograph on it. Other then that, the photography is solid and the designs are crisp. I’m a sucker for acetate cards and have been since I was little and the first time I opened a pack of acetate cards. The autographs are sticker autos (ew) and I think the cards would look better had they been hard signed. I like that there is only one game used per box as game used is kind of a dying breed of cards and the design is what you’d expect from Upper Deck.


When you open a pack and don’t recognize a name on the pack, that is a bad thing. I know sports, I’m a fan of the 4 major sports plus I know all the stars from soccer around the world. But when you open a pack and don’t know a name, that is kind of depressing. There are 400 regular cards in the set, so you can see how many athletes there are that you probably will not know. Since every person has an autograph, your odds of pulling something of someone you know are lower. Luckily, I’m a Portland Trailblazer fan and know who Armon Johnson is or else I would not know who anyone was (except Yao, of course). Honestly, I don’t know what to say about some of the names added. How many names were just thrown in to fill the set out? The sell sheet says to look for some of the best from extreme sports but where are the snowboarders and skateboarders? I didn’t pull any, just a Matt Hoffman BMX card. The X Games are huge around the world, but some of their athletes were not represented well.


Go huge or go cry yourself to sleep. You can pull a huge name or a bunch of names you have never heard of. That seems to be what this box consists of. Where is the medium level talent that people have heard of? With the current price of this box at $60, I really can’t justify that price if most boxes are like this. The card stock is ultra thin, the checklist is sub-par and could be better, and some autographs don’t even have the person’s picture, but I guess the Clear Competitors fall one per box so they don’t over do the inserts. That isn’t enough to bring the value up to a 2 and I was even lucky enough to pull an extra autograph. I don’t see the value here, maybe I’m missing the point?


Well the design is there and features the players more than anything else, which is a good thing. Autographs on stickers are common even though people are starting to dislike them more and more. The checklist is bad and could have had so much more potential to be a great and fun product. Pulling cards of people you never heard of really hurts this product, especially if your hits are all people you haven’t heard of as well. It hurts to open this and I didn’t even spend any money on it! Well I guess my Exquisite paid for it, but most people would be spending real American or Canadian dollars on this and I have a feeling that most won’t be too happy. I love what you are trying to do Upper Deck, I really do, but this could have been so much better.

As promised, here is me making an idiot of myself opening this box:

And finally, you’ll understand this if you watch the video.

Preview: Panini Contenders Hockey

It seems like this is turning into a hockey blog, huh? Sorry to all you fans out there of other sports but this is the time of the year for some awesome hockey products. Baseball and football products are just getting started while basketball is in a lull. The next product I want to discuss is Panini Contenders hockey. That’s right, I said it…Contenders hockey. Panini has crossed over the brand that brings great rookie cards from football over to hockey in what seems like a seamless way.

Contenders is going to bring you what you want rookie collectors, 4 autographs per box with at least 3 of them being hard signed Rookie Ticket autographs. Also included, like football, will be the 14 karat solid gold trading cards. Imagine a Taylor Hall solid gold rookie 1 of 1. Now imagine the joy of pulling it. Although the idea is gimmicky, I love good gimmicks.

New to the set is Leather Larceny which features a leathery card stock featuring some of the best goalies in the league. I’m not sure how this will feel or look, but I am always a fan of something different. Leather, acetate, solid gold, Panini has filled this set with different types of cards. Personally, I like something a little different. Providing the designs are nice, this product might be one of the best to try and put a set together for you set collectors out there and look good in your collection at the same time. Actually I’m really hoping the designs are excellent in this product as I haven’t been impressed with anything since Crown Royale.

The only problem I have is that this will be arriving sometime in May. So is Panini Zenith. We have been bombarded this season with a ton of hockey products and honestly, I think that is a bad thing. Overproduction is a problem with all these sets this year being brought out, especially at some of the prices we’ve been seeing.

But as far as this set goes, I can see it being one of the best sets of the season. It would definitely be one of, if not the best in it’s price range if it goes off successful. All I know is I will definitely want to be opening this when it comes out. Let’s just hope I can hold on to the money in my PayPal account that’s just burning a hole. Panini Peek: 2010-11 Contenders hockey is some official Panini information for you guys. Oh and Before Packout: 2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey Rookie Ticket Reveal too.

Here is an example of this year’s rookie ticket. Thankfully, I was able to find one of one of my favorite teams (Carolina and Edmonton) so I am happy to post it.

Purchasing from Online Retailers

If you don’t have a decent hobby shop near you or you have a shop that has outrageous prices, the best thing for you to do to get your card fix is to purchase cards online. That is something I have to do on a constant basis when I want to open some packs that aren’t retail. Sure I could go to Fred Meyer, Target, or Wal-Mart and find some retail, but we all know the best bang for your buck comes in the form of hobby boxes. In the future I’ll discuss the difference between hobby and retail but right now I want to go over the best places to get hobby boxes/packs.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what product you are interested in. What sport are you interested in? Are you into rookies or do you want to try and hit that legendary player’s autograph? Each product that comes out is usually a little different then the next so figuring out what you like/want and your price range is the best place to start.

After that, you need to find out the best retailers online for sports cards. That is the hardest part of the equation. You see, there are many trusted retailers out there in the worldwide marketplace, but there are also several dealers that you don’t want to trust. For me, I won’t be buying boxes from anyone off of eBay who doesn’t have a reputable dealer site. I feel that if I don’t buy from a reputable dealer, I may be getting ripped off. There have been instances of people resealing boxes and packs to try and get all the good cards for themselves. As a matter of fact, someone was arrested recently for doing such things. I don’t want to run the risk. You also don’t know if it came from a sealed case or not. The reasoning you want a box from a sealed case is that everyone has equal chance on getting good cards that only fall once per case of cards. Some eBay or non reputable dealers will open a product and pull the case hit, then sell the rest of the boxes knowing there isn’t a better card in there to recoup some money.

Reputable dealers are the most important thing when buying online to get your money’s worth. Now I’m not being paid or getting anything special for mentioning these companies, I just want you to know the reputable companies. Now if they want to send me something as a thank you, you can find my email on here somewhere. Just kidding. I have two favorite places to buy from that are on my list of preferred dealers. The first is or DA Card World. DA Card World has solid prices as well as you get free packs or boxes depending on how much money you spend. Occasionally they will also run promotions for free raffles if you buy a certain product. I like DACW because of those things. but also every box and pack is guaranteed to come from an unsearched box or case. If I get to upstate New York anytime soon I will contact them on getting a tour of their warehouse, but friends have had tours and can personally attest to that guarantee being accurate. My next favorite retailers is Blowout Cards. I like Blowout because most of their products are at the lowest prices on the web. What’s better then low, low prices? They are known throughout the hobby community as providing good customer service as well which I can personally attest to. For instance, I once bought a case of 2008 Heroes baseball from Blowout and found out that the week before it was on sale for $30 less. I emailed the company and was quickly given a $30 credit to use whenever I wanted. That’s good service.

Those are my top two favorites, but other hobby favorites that are very reputable are: CardsByTheBox, Cards Infinity, Atlanta Sports Cards, PGH Sports Wholesale, and DCS Sports Cards.

All these places are great places to start when looking for the best place to purchase your packs or boxes of cards. Check each of these out and look for some other places that you may be interested in.

In conclusion, stick with reputable online retailers if you are going to buy online. You never know what you are going to get if you just buy from a random person off of eBay or anywhere else online and when you are spending your hard earned money on a product, you want to get what you are paying for.

Preview: 2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate Hockey

This is one of my favorite products year after year from Upper Deck. This year looks like it will be just as amazing as other years. You may think I may be an Upper Deck fanboy or just like hating on other products after reading this preview but I will tell you one thing, this product just looks amazing. For the record, I haven’t been around long enough to show my praise for Panini Crown Royale hockey being one of the best products of the season. Just throwing that in there to show that I don’t have a Upper Deck bias.

Ultimate hockey brings you the same every year. Every box has 5 cards and sells for around $80-$100 depending on where you are looking. It will contain at least 1 rookie, 1 game used, and 1 autograph. The autograph or game used may also be a rookie extending your luck to pull some of the great rookies this year. Also included are Upper Deck staples like Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Orr.

As with all high end products, there is risk involved but with how great the rookies are this year and the types of veterans they put in this product, I think it will be more hit than miss. This product will contain the popular 1 of 1 autographed NHL shields, sick patches, and oversized game used cards. Everything will be hard signed as well. For once, I don’t see any manufactured patches in a high end product (take note Panini). If there is anything I don’t like about it is that it has been delayed, a common occurrence with Upper Deck lately. According to Dave and Adam’s Card World it is scheduled for May 25, 2011.

I mean who wouldn’t want to pull this…or something like it:

That is going to be the holy grail of Ultimate pulls this year. But you can’t go wrong with a Skinner, Eberle, Paajarvi, Stepan, Seguin, etc. The rookies this year are talented which makes this product one of the hottest of the year. If you need some high end to hold you until The Cup, this is it.

How I Would Run A Hobby Shop

Originally, I was going to write about another product preview but I decided to change my mind. When I started this blog I wanted it to be a place to find any information you wanted on products as well as tips and tricks for collectors. I decided to change it up because two product previews in two days would get kind of….boring and repetitive. I don’t want to bore anybody away from the blog so this should open some eyes and get people thinking. This is going to be a long one, so bare with me.

With Upper Deck and Panini really trying to make brick and mortar stores come back instead of steadily washing away, I want to write about how I would run a card shop. I believe that some of these shops are going down because of their owners and the way they run things. There is a brand new era of card shops and this will be about how to create a great shop or optimize your already existing shop so you can improve business. I by no means am an expert in the inner workings of business but I do know what I want to see as a consumer.

Let’s start with location. Location has always been considered very important, but with proper advertising you can afford to grab a cheaper area. If you want a prime spot, obviously you want a place with heavy traffic either by foot or by car. A big sign that will grab eyes is always important as well. I’ve seen shops with barely visible signs and they wonder why no one knows they are there. I also think with proper advertising you can go to a little less trafficked area. Why? Trading cards is a hobby. Most random people would not step into a hobby shop if they had no interest in any of the hobbies offered.

Proper advertising is key to getting people in your card shop. Just remember these three words and make them your mantra. Internet is king. Let’s say it together, “Internet is king”. This means you need to advertise the heck out of your shop online. Facebook, Twitter, CitySearch, hobby forums, everywhere you can think of you should be advertising your site. Yes, this takes work. But if you want to stay in business you will be doing it all. Start a website for your store. Not only will it be great advertising, you can sell items on your store site. The best part of this is you can expand your business and sell nationally. Increased sales means increased profits. Panini and Upper Deck even have benefits if you have a brick and mortar store and sell online. Why would you not do this? Start a site for your store and create an eBay store for your singles and watch your sales increase.

When using social media like Facebook, Twitter, or hobby forums the one thing I don’t understand is why shop owners don’t use YouTube to record and post box breaks or pack breaks in their stores. Chris from Cards Infinity has revolutionized this process. What he does is he takes orders off of his website and then he opens the product for you on camera and posts it on YouTube. He then sends you the contents. People who buy cards online usually don’t want to wait to see what they get, so this is the perfect impulse buy if you know you can see what is in your box immediately. I would also use YouTube to hold group breaks for anyone on the internet who wants to buy into a case. A great example of this is the people at CloutsnChara. Every couple days they hold a chat session and people buy into a group break of either a case of product or a mixed box break and open it live on camera. They move a TON of product this way. When SP Authentic hockey came out, they moved 5 cases of the product in 2 days. 5 cases. How many hobby stores can move 5 cases of any product in two days? All of this could even just be posted on your store’s Facebook and when you promote that, everyone will want to see what is next.

In store is obviously one of the more important parts as you could probably do all of the above just running a store out of your house. Those were ideas that will optimize your business by selling nationally. But in store promotions is where you can get people coming back. My best in store experience was at Wayne’s Sports Cards in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have never seen a store run so well in my career collecting cards and I’ve visited probably 50 shops. They have a huge store with products, supplies, and memorabilia but could easily get by with just products and supplies. I had a nice chat with the owners and learned quite a bit from them how they keep people coming back. Honesty, competitive prices, and treating your customers like they deserve to be treated. If it wasn’t for them, you wouldn’t have a business. The ways they do this is provide promotions, freebies, giveaways, raffles, everything you can think of just for buying something in the store. I bought a couple boxes and automatically was entered in two raffles for free swag and product. While chatting with them they even gave me free promotional cards that were only available 2 weeks earlier that they had laying around. That is how you get someone to keep coming back. I have only been to that store twice, but the only reason why is that I live 1700 miles away from there. I even still keep track of their Facebook because I respect that business so much. I know next time I am in the area I will have my choice of about 4 card shops. Wayne’s is now the only place I will go.

If I could add anything to that store (which they may even do, I’ve only been there a couple times) to promote the shop and get people in the doors is just standard promotional nights. They could hold a group break of a case of new product just released. They could hold a night of Pack Wars. All you need to add is to provide some snacks and drinks and watch products fly off the shelves. You could keep your best customers happy by starting a rewards program. Hell, if someone was sick and called in an order to deliver a box for an extra small fee I would do that too. Just keep people in the store and interested in the products and people will buy things. One of their loyal customers I met there I swear is there daily. There is a reason he keeps coming back to just that one store and that is because he is treated well by the store.

Keeping your local customers happy and expanding your business online to cater to the customer are the two most important things if you own a hobby shop. If you use all of these tips on making your current store better, I guarantee that you will see increased sales. A little promoting of your new promotions and pretty soon you’ll start getting a name for yourself and word of mouth alone will get you new customers. Do you know how Wayne’s got my business? I went to Sports Card Forum and asked the members there where the best store in Edmonton was to buy sports cards. I believe I had about 15-20 answers. Whatever that number was, 100% of them told me to go to Wayne’s. They told me about the 3 other options as well but they told me not to even bother going anywhere else. Isn’t that proof enough that your business is successful?

If I had the money to open up a shop, this is how I would run it and I guarantee you I would be making more money in the first year then any other shop not using these techniques. I just wish the shops around me in Portland, Oregon would do anything similar to this. Sadly, I haven’t found one. If you own a hobby shop in Portland and want to move it to the next level, contact me and we can work something out.