One of the best and most collectible sets of the year is now live! Upper Deck’s flagship football set continually delivers some of the best card photography, crisp design, and highly sought non-high-end inserts each year. 2009 Upper Deck is available in hobby boxes containing 16 packs of 20 cards each. The 325-card base set consists of 200 veterns, 100 star rookies, and 25 star rookie short prints.
Supplementing the base set are several insert sets. Autograph sets include Signature Shots, Same Day Signatures (featuring on-card autographs signed the same day as the Rookie Premiere), Premiere Rookie Auto Jersey (a high-end insert), Premiere Stichings Signatures (high-end insert), Premiere Penmanship (high-end insert), America’s Team (featuring autos from some of the greatest Dallas Cowboys of all time), and Iconic Cuts (cut signatures of historical sports and non-sports figures). Memoribilia card sets include UD Game Jersey, UD Rookie Jersey, Game Day Gear, and America’s Team. Also inserted into packs of 2009 Upper Deck is a 3D Stars set, reminiscent of yester-year’s SportFlix sets.
Quick Note: These images were released by Upper Deck a while ago. Almost all Star Rookie cards and rookie-themed inserts should feature rookies in their new NFL jerseys and logos.
Per Box Breakdown: 16 packs of 20 cards each (320 total), including 1 autographed card, 3 memorabilia cards, 2 3D Stars insert cards, 64 Star Rookie cards (4:1) and short printed Star Rookie cards (1:4). Each 12-box case will also include 1 Iconic Cuts cut signature card, 1 Premiere Signature autographed card, and 1 Same Day Signature autographed card.
Last year, in the midst of my buying frenzy, 2008 Upper Deck was the product that really got me excited about football cards again and was the one set I hand collated (except for the short printed RCs…not sure why I never got around to getting the rest of those, especially since two PSU rookies were amongst the ones I did not pull), which was completed in just 3 boxes, the third of which I only needed to pull 4 missing rookie cards (I wound up with 2 complete sets sans SPs). This year, now that I am married and a home-owner, my card spending is going to be way down from last year. However, I still plan to buy a few boxes of 2009 Upper Deck and hand collate the entire set. Upper Deck has always created beautiful base cards in football, and the photography has gotten better and better each year, truly capturing some of the most recognizable moments each year (T.O. eating popcorn after a TD, Favre celebrating his record breaking TD pass, Eli Manning escaping a sack to throw a Super Bowl winning TD, etc.). There seem to be some changes to the inserts from last year. First, UD is including Premiere “hits” as high-end inserts. The quantity of cards in a box (320) and the price of that box ($60-70) have not changed from last year, so these insert cards are only adding value to the product. The basic jersey and autos cards of the past were nice, but didn’t command high secondary prices. By giving some low serial-numbered hits in the flagship product, UD appears to be trying to give the collector more bang for the buck. Another change is the addition of the 3D Stars set, which appears to have replaced the very popular Starquest insert sets of the past. I was a big fan of the Starquest sets, so I am holding judgment of this new insert until I actually see it. The SportFlix sets of the past were pretty nifty, but I am curious how UD revived them without just making it seem like they grabbed an old card and threw it into a new product line. Another addition, the America’s Team inserts is interesting. Although I grew up a Cowboys fan (because my mom was a Cowboys fan and I idolized Emmitt Smith), I don’t know if this is a good idea. Picking one team to feature in a set can be tricky. For fans and collectors of that team, the idea is amazing and gives another great looking set to collect. However, for the tons of fans who hate the selected team (and there certainly are tons in that category when it comes to the Cowboys), they are seeing their guaranteed box “hits” taken up by a team they hate. Baseball fans have seen this in the massive Yankee Stadium Legacy set and basketball has gotten its share of Michael Jordan- and Kobe Bryant-specific insert sets. Hopefully all of the Cowboy haters who pull these cards can find eager buyers on eBay or traders through online blogs and forums to get cards they would rather have.
Overall, with a great looking base set, plenty of RCs, a chance for well designed “hits”, and a fairly low price point, 2009 Upper Deck appears to once again be a great buy for new and experienced collectors alike.
My opinions aside, what do you guys think. Does 2009 Upper Deck look like a great product, or is it just another flagship set that is much ado about nothing?