Sunday, August 16, 2015

2015-16 Upper Deck MVP - The First Product of the New Season

So...remember a couple of days ago where I wrote something along the lines of, “won't be buying any cards because I'm moving, blah, blah, blah”? Well that lasted all of three days. How was I to know that the first hockey product of the year was going to be released? Not only released, but at a pretty decent price point.

It's really John at Elite Sports Cards fault. If he hadn't sent out his weekly email about new products. If he didn't list it at a reasonable price ($55), I probably wouldn't have bought a box (or two).I am a man of little self-control. Since I broke that promise I figure I owe you all a box break review. Here we go – my first box of the hockey year:

2015-16 Upper Deck MVP

The Base Cards:

The design is a bit busy for my tastes. I would have liked to see them trim down the borders a bit and make the photo a little bigger. A total lack of foil makes the name easy to read, at least. The backs are standard MVP backs with four or five lines of statistics and basic biographical information (Wayne Simmonds was born in Scarborough! A good Ontario boy!).

Let's face it. We don't buy MVP because of the photography. We buy it because it's first and normally it's a pretty easy set to put together. That holds true for the first 100 cards of the set. Unfortunately the next 100 are all short printed. I'm not a big fan of sets where a large portion of the cards are short printed. It makes it a little too hard to complete the entire set. On the other hand, with 24 packs of 6 cards each – plenty of base to trade!

The inserts:

Colors and Contours:

Seeded at about one every four packs most boxes will yield six of these die-cut inserts. (Boo to Upper Deck by not going with “Colours and Contours”). Overall I like the inserts. Fancy die-cut and shiny are normally a plus in my book. My issue with this one – there are three “levels” and three different colors of each card. Oh and each level/color combo is seeded differently. For instance the Curtis Lazar is Teal – Level 3 which falls one every eight packs. God help you if you are a player collector trying to complete the rainbow.

In years past the Patrick Kane purple level 2 would be in running for card of the box. This year, well let us move on to a more recognizable insert for fans of MVP.

Silver Script:

Sam card as the base except everything is silver and there is a facsimile signature on the front. These fall about one every three packs and I don't think the higher numbers are short printed. I pulled four cards numbered over 100 and four numbered under 100. If you were going to try and put together a complete set it's almost obtainable.


Serial numbered to 25, the amped-up cousin of the Silver Script cards replaces the gold borders with a nice red and keeps the signature in gold. It's a pretty nice combination in my book. Good luck to those that collect these. I pulled this card pretty early in the box and was happy with it (expecting to get a relic card at some point) and would have considered it a pretty good box. Unfortunately I did not get a relic. Instead, hidden in the middle of the next to last pack, was this little gem:

An Alex Ovechkin 1-of-1 black printing plate!

Not a bad little card to pull, eh? What's even better – I have absolutely no allegiance to Alex Ovechkin and I'm lukewarm at best on printing plates. So that means it's heading straight to eBay (sorry Caps fans, I got to recoup a little of my investment).

With the exception of the printing plate it was indicative of what breaking a box of MVP is like. Lots of base, some ok inserts and the joy of knowing that hockey (and the release of Series One) is right around the corner. For $55 I don't feel like I got ripped off (which also goes for the second box that I busted that didn't have a printing plate in it).

It'll be interesting to see how the pricing on this set goes. With a lot of people chasing the first licensed Connor McDavid card (done as a NHL First Round Pick redemption to get around rookie card issues) and busting a lot of packs it might drive down the price of inserts and short prints while driving up the cost of a box. I imagine dozens upon dozens of dime boxes being filled with inserts from this set soon appearing at card shows around the country.

I'll put a lackluster effort into completing the entire set. By lackluster I mean I will add them to my wantlist on Zistle and occasionally throw one in the shopping cart when I'm binging on CheckOutMycards. In case you were wondering – all of the inserts except for the Ovechkin printing plate, the Witkowski Colors and Contours and the Kane C&C are available for trade.

I give it a random 3.5 stars out of 5. Anyone else out there rip some packs yet?

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