Product Review: 2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot

Less than a year ago, there was little dispute that Upper Deck was the king of football cards. Then, shocking to some, UD lost its NFL license after also losing its NBA and MLB licenses. Many thought UD was dead. Then they got an exclusive contract with CLC to produce NCAA products. After several product delays and much speculation, 2010 NCAA Sweet Spot is the first post-NFL football set from Upper Deck.

2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot box
The Box – Click for Detail

Hobby boxes come with 6 8-card packs for a total of 48 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $74 (I did not buy when it first came out), which translates into a $1.54/card ratio. That is certainly not in the high-end realm, but it certainly isn’t your entry level product either. This price point is also a bit lower than previous Sweet Spot sets if memory serves me correctly.

2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot pack
These cards were sealed like a dolphins butt – watertight

The Breakdown:
Base Cards: 42 (0 duplicates)
Inserts
   Sweet Swatch Jerseys: 1
   Sweet Swatch Jumbo Jerseys: 3
   Mini Helmet Autographs: 2

2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot
Click image for full-sized scan

FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: In the past, Upper Deck has made some of the absolute best designed cards around, so expectations were high for this set. I can’t say that the base design wowed me by any means, but it certainly isn’t terrible. The cards have a clean and classy feel to them and the pseudo transparent team color at the bottom of the card is a nice touch. However, much like many recent Upper Deck sets, the use of gold foil stamping for names, logos, etc. is a bit overdone. In person they don’t look terrible, but they sure don’t scan well, which can be a problem if you’re trying to buy/sell/trade online. The card backs incorporate the same theme nicely, but they are a little drab in my opinion.

2nd Down, Inserts: The only real inserts were the “hits”. The Sweet Swatch cards aren’t bad, although the use of a white background in the jersey swatch area of the card wasn’t the greatest choice, especially for the cards that have white swatches. I’m not wild about the Sweet Spot logo placement on the jumbo swatches and think overall the basic swatch design is actually nicer. The mini helmet autographs are very similar to the same autographs in prior Sweet Spot releases. Overall it’s a solid design and the concept of including the mini helmet piece is certainly interesting. They do make the card ultra thick though, so if you don’t have 180pt. toploaders laying around, that can be a problem. Considering the hits are the only real focus of this set though, they do deliver fairly well.

3rd Down, Collation: With so few cards per pack and per box, it’s almost impossible to not get the collation correct. You get exactly what is advertised in the stated odds, one jersey or autograph card in every pack. Nothing more, nothing less. My problem is that there are so many base cards in each pack. Normally I am a huge fan of base cards, but in a product like this, let’s be honest. No one cares about the base cards (unless you happen to pull your favorite player or college team). I suppose if the six hits are what drives the box price, you’re really not losing out by having too many base cards, but if you don’t like extra cards taking up space in your storage boxes, it can be a tad annoying.

4th Down, Overall Value: This is the biggest problem with this box in my opinion. Granted, I must admit that I rarely like mid-to-high end sets because every box and pack feels like a lottery ticket. When you buy a box of a lower end product, you’re not going to get the fantastic autograph cards, but you’re also not getting a crappy autograph for the price of a great one. With a product like Sweet Spot, you really run the risk of pulling nothing but scrubs in a box that still carries a hefty pricetag. From this box and from other box breaks I’ve seen online, you’re probably better off just buying the singles you want and skipping the gamble of buying a box. I was very happy that I managed to sell four of six packs from this box in my group break, but I felt bad after busting the box because I feel like my customers didn’t get a fair value for their money. Hopefully they don’t feel that way.

RED ZONE RESULTS: MISSED FIELD GOAL RESULTS IN TURNOVER ON DOWNS The cards in and of themselves really aren’t bad. I won’t lie about that. My problem with this product is the lottery aspect that I mentioned above. If every pack or at least every box guaranteed a Hall of Fame or current super star autograph, that would be one thing, but that guarantee has not, and cannot, be made. In my opinion, there is just too much left to chance with this product. In essence, buying a box of 2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot is like putting an inexperienced rookie kicker in to try a game winning field goal from the far hash. There is a chance he could nail it a be the hero, but there is just as much a chance that he could shank it off the upright.

NEXT UP: 2010 Topps Chrome

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3 Responses to Product Review: 2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot

  1. Hoopography says:

    Nice Review. This is def a singles only product for me. I don’t play the lottery at the local 7-11 nor at my local card shop.

  2. chemgod says:

    Any chance of trading the Nigerian Nightmare?

  3. CPAdave says:

    @Mike, one of my group break participants was looking to purchase this pack, but he had to decline, so yes, it most certainly is available. What did you have in mind? I’m a big Emmitt Smith guy, so something in that realm would be nice for a trade. I’m also fine with just selling it to you. Looking at eBay completed listings maybe go $10, including supplies and shipping? I can work with you on that, too if need be.

    Let me know.

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