Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball

Upper Deck is coming back with another NCAA licensed basketball set featuring their two best exclusives in the sport with Michael Jordan and LeBron James. You can’t get better exclusives then those two and Upper Deck is the only place to find their autographs if you want them, besides eBay.

2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic will have 5 cards per pack and 24 packs per box. There are 6 boxes per inner case and 2 inner cases per full case. Each inner case will have either a Lebron or Jordan autograph and the other will have a Lebron, Jordan, Bird, Bill Russell, Magic, Dr. J, or some of the top rookies of the year.

Now I’m not one to complain about great autographs but the possibility of two Jordan autographs in a full case or Lebron autographs, wouldn’t that bring down the value of those cards? Having them in their college and high school jerseys already brings down the value a little bit, but now by adding more to the market it’s killing their autographs in those jerseys. Not surprisingly, their autographs in NBA jerseys are being sold for a little bit more now…but there are a ton of Lebron and Jordan autographs out there now over the last couple of years since the NCAA licensing. I know you’re trying to find a reason to sell more product since the loss of the NBA license, but I don’t think flooding the market with Jordan and Lebron autographs is really the way to do it.

Anyway, there are 50 cards per regular set with the always popular Rookie F/X cards and By The Letter autographs which has become a staple of basketball products by Upper Deck. You can also find College Pride autographed jersey cards, the Sign of the Times autographs with single, dual, and triple autographs as always, and again this year more North Carolina featured cards.

Okay, I understand North Carolina is possibly the greatest college basketball team of all time with some of the best players, including Jordan. But do we need more North Carolina sets? Not everyone is a Jordan or North Carolina lover. In fact, I hate North Carolina. And how many Jordan floor pieces from his time at North Carolina do we need? What about some of the best players from Duke? How about UCONN? There are plenty of other great teams that have had great players over the years, not everything has to be North Carolina. You even put out a set dedicated to North Carolina. Haven’t we seen enough Tar Heel blue?

I just want to see something different. This 2011-12 SP Authentic basketball looks pretty similar to last year, mixed with some North Carolina basketball. I know there is only so much you can do with just a college license, but maybe it’s time to try something different? I think it’s time to take a gamble.

I don’t know how to say that I’m disappointed without being kind of mean, but I’m disappointed. At least hockey is looking better and better every season.

You can find this product for $115 or so dollars on August 30, 2011 at Diamond Dealers and Authorized Internet Retailers.

Here’s something not Jordan, Lebron, or North Carolina.

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey

I am posting this 1 minute before the supposed end of the world. That way, when I’m raptored, eaten by a raptor, my work will live on. Especially the awesome beginning to video break.

Anyway, 2010-11 SP Authentic hockey brings you the clean, slick, design Upper Deck brings year after year to the SP Authentic series. This year’s rookie crop in hockey is the best since 2005-06 so the fun in this break could be endless. Each box has 24 packs per box with 6 cards per back. You are guaranteed at least 3 autographs, with at least 1 being a Future Watch autograph. Some autographs may be accompanied by a patch. You can pull rookies, veterans, or legends. As always, SP Authentic is a fun product to break and here’s the results.

Base:

Inserts:

Autographs:

Design:

Honestly, although the design is crisp and clean as I mentioned earlier, the more I look at it, the more it bores me. The white background and just a sliver on the side with the player’s name isn’t enough for me. I want to see something that I can’t do in PhotoShop. The Holo FX looks great. The colors correspond with the player’s team and it looks awesome when triggering the hologram. The SP Essentials is essentially black and white with some ice blue. Sure there is a little head on the open part of the card but you can barely see it, it looks like just a wide open space. Maybe that’s it with this set, too much wide open spaces. It’s good for the autographs but if there isn’t an autograph it’s boring. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve seen SP Authentic sets in the past do better and I was expecting something along those lines.

Checklist:

You can’t beat the checklist. Do you want the best rookies or just some rookies from your favorite team? Got it. Do you want you favorite players or just some regular players from your favorite team? Got those too. Do you want legends like Gretzky, Orr, and Howe? Got it. Patches and autographs of all of the above? Got all of that. What more could you possibly want from a checklist? Upper Deck has the best exclusives which makes their checklists amazing and filled with future, current, and past stars. You just can’t beat that.

Value:

The box goes for around $90 right now. For 3 or 4 autos that isn’t a bad price. Especially when you can pull a Gretzky, Crosby, Ovechkin, or any of the fabulous rookies this year. I would of given this 5 stars if it weren’t for some of the filler autos. Some of the autographs make me shake my head, but in the end someone will want them somewhere. Plus I gave the checklist a perfect score so I shouldn’t be complaining. SP Authentic is always the best place to find rookie autographs at a reasonable price in which the cards maintain their value. That’s the best part about this set. You get value almost every time you open a box.

Overall:

Imagine where this product would of been if the design was amazing? That’s the only thing really holding this back from getting an overall 5 stars. The design is lacking this time around. Yes it’s crisp and clean and really features the player but the plain white background isn’t enough for me. The checklist is amazing as Upper Deck has the best exclusives so you can’t go wrong at all with what you could possibly hit, and I’ve seen some amazing ones. Value is always top notch as it is the best product for rookie cards season in and season out. I’m disappointed I couldn’t give a perfect score, but I guess there is always next year.

And here is the box break video with an EPIC opening scene. I really enjoyed creating this one so I hope you like it:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=507Ox506NSI]

Site News: 2 Boxes Arriving

Just a quick note:

My post for today will be later then usual. I have 2 boxes coming in today that I will be breaking and reviewing.

2010-11 SP Authentic hockey
2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey

Stay tuned.

Edit: Plus, new YouTube button at the top! Look for box breaks and contests posted there! Make sure you subscribe to keep up to date! While you’re up there, make sure you Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! More exclamation points!

Site News: Incoming Boxes

For all you who enjoy box breaks of nice products, I have 3 boxes coming in. One from each of the 3 major league card companies.

- 1 Box 2010-11 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey

- 1 Box 2010-11 Panini Contenders Hockey

- 1 Box 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football

I wanted to do a “fight to the death” of Upper Deck and Panini hockey products. I think Contenders has a serious chance to take SP Authentic on as one of the hockey favorites of the year. So this will be a head to head product break and review.

I wanted to get Topps in on the madness so I also ordered a box of Triple Threads football. Probably the second best Topps football product of the year (after 5 Star) and just fit in my price range.

And finally, to add one more bit of madness to this, I ordered 2 of the boxes from Blowout and the other box from DA Card World. There will be blood! I will review both companies afterwards as well.

The Triple Threads should be here first, as Contenders isn’t released until Wednesday. At least, I think that’s how it works. I’m not sure if the product will be sent to arrive after release date or if they have to wait to send until street date.

So I hope you’re looking forward to the breaks and reviews. At least I have some time to think of more ways to make an idiot out of myself on camera.

Depending on when they come in and when I can get something totally awesome done for this site, I might be having some giveaways in celebration. Stay tuned.

Review: 2010 SP Authentic Football

It’s right before the NFL draft which means one of the last products of 2010 has been released (March 2, 2011) and it’s the one that collectors clamor for the most, 2010 SP Authentic Football. I recently broke a box of SP Authentic Football before I created this blog and thought it would be a great first break and review for those who love football.

As many know, Upper Deck has lost its license to produce NFL trading cards. To keep their hold in the football market they received licensing from the NCAA and have produced several nice sets featuring both rookies and veterans in their college football uniforms. While some cards don’t look as crisp due to the lack of photographic technology back when they played in college, the cards look just as good as the products featuring players in NFL uniforms. Here are some photos of SP Authentic cards from my break. At the bottom I will post a video of the break, however, to be honest, the box break part sucks. It had bad angles, lack of decent descriptors on my part because I had been awake 24 hours, and my camera ran out of batteries. But I think the pre-break festivities I recorded were solid.

Base:
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Rookie Authentics /999:
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Rookie Authentics Autographs /599:
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Rookie Patch Autograph /499:
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Design: 

I have always loved the design of SP Authentic throughout the years. Even though the design may seem repetitive or very similar to designs of past years, the design is still appealing every year. This year has a solid white background with circular designs on each side of the player who is centered in the middle. What I really like about circular designs on each side is that they use the team colors as the color of the design. On the left is the player’s name written vertically in gold foil, which looks real sharp and makes it stand out. Great design work.

Checklist:

When looking at the checklist for this product, you feel like you can pull just about any of the top rookies or players from your favorite teams. Since the loss of the license, it would definitely appeal more to the college collectors but also I think the player collectors get a real present. There isn’t many NCAA licensed cards out there and getting a player in a college uniform definitely changes up the collection a little bit, in a good way. As always, there are a ton of autographs to pull as well as autographed memorabilia cards. With plain game used seemingly turning into overproduced commons, it seems as if autographs and autographed memorabilia cards have taken the forefront as to what players want the most. The sickest patch, lowest number autograph, all of these are high on collector’s want lists. You can pull regular rookie autographs as well as retro rookie autographs which features superstars and hall of famers in their college uniforms. The checklist of names is long, but it’s also full of depth and value.

Value:

SP Authentic cards, specifically the rookie autographs, hold their value better than most other products out there on the market. The patch autographs are some of the most sought after autographs by rookie autograph collectors. With 3 autographs guaranteed per box (1 being an autographed memorabilia) and the $100-$120 price tag, you can pull some real gems. I really haven’t seen many terrible boxes of this product if you look at the names pulled, but it’s always possible. The only gripe I really have with this product is actually a huge one. Mike Williams. The Mike Williams drafted this past year who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played at Syracuse is NOT the same Mike Williams as the one who plays for the Seattle Seahawks and was drafted in 2005 out of USC, I believe. Whomever was responsible for quality assurance missed a huge mistake. Mike Williams (USC/Seattle) autographs have been spotted all across the product on Mike Williams (Syracuse/Tampa Bay) cards. Now maybe it bothers me more because I’m a Tampa Bay fan but this is unacceptable. I heard Mike Williams (TB) has been tough to get autographs from lately, but throwing on autographs of the other Mike Williams (SEA) isn’t the answer and he’s not the same person. I really hope Upper Deck replaces every last one of those cards, especially since it guarantees the authenticity of the autograph. It’s not Mike Williams’ (TB) autograph, therefore, it is not authentic. Other than that, I don’t see anything else that would hurt the value. Well I do, manufactured patches, but it seems as though those are here to stay in all products from all brands.

Overall:

Overall, SP Authentic brings you closer to the college game than has ever been seen. These are some of the hottest rookie cards on the market with the great patch auto hits you have the possibility of pulling. The visuals are stunning year after year and they change it up just enough to feel fresh but maintaining what makes it great. Simplicity. Despite a couple of screw ups, SP Authentic should be tops on your list of football boxes to pick up to complete your 2010 football purchases.

Here is my video, sorry for the epic fail:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MghgJC3UU8o&w=480&h=390]

What do you think of 2010 SP Authentic Football?