And now, a box review!
As I mentioned when I announced the case break, I took advantage of Dave & Adam's' deal where if you spend a certain amount, you get free stuff. I felt like my best choice for what I spent was a box of 2008 Upper Deck First Edition football. I've made it no secret that the 2008 draft class (Wolverines Long, Henne, Hart, Manningham, Arrington, etc., plus Matt Ryan, Chris Johnson, Joe Flacco, et al) is pretty much my favorite in recent memory, plus considering how much base I'd be getting, I thought I'd be a lock for pulling a complete set. It doesn't really have any bells and whistles, pretty much being the recent equivalent of Collector's Choice, but I was cool with that in a free box. Read on to see how I felt about the results of a box that was, for all intents and purposes, free.
Box: 2008 Upper Deck First Edition football
Price: Free (free gift), Dave & Adam's
|Veteran and Star Rookie fronts|
I definitely like what UD did here. The card stock is different--maybe more of a cheaper feel, but that doesn't bother me. I like the fronts quite a bit, especially the full-bleed photos. My only real ding is the semi-transparent white band on which the player's name, position and team reside, because I think they take away from the photo. The shots of the players are often excellent, though, and I picked a fun example in T.O. above. The Star Rookies are a nice mix of poses, like Rice above, and action shots, including players in pro and college unis. Another plus is the ordering of the set--I often like when they're sorted by team, although in this case that's where sorting stopped because players aren't in alphabetical order (not that it really makes a difference to me). While it's not always necessary, I like team groups for the purposes of team sets and checklisting. Overall this is a low-end but enjoyable base set, definitely targeted toward the bottom of the market, especially kids, I'm sure.
Base set completion: 204/225 (91%)
Extras: 82 doubles (25% of base cards pulled), 38 triples (12%). Total doubles: 120/324 (37%)
Collation grade: E
If you think I'm being harsh, you should have seen me while I was busting these. A little more than halfway in I hadn't seen a double and things were going swimmingly. Then, pretty quickly, things went downhill and I started pulling the exact same packs, in some cases twice. I wasn't too worried at first since I was going to be getting 324 base cards, which meant 99 dupes--that means I should have been seeing lots of extras. Still, when I noticed that I was missing some players I knew were on the checklist, including one Chad Henne, I started getting mad. All the same, I wasn't that frustrated, at least not until I actually sorted these out. Holy gap power, that's a lot of doubles! While I need a few from the first 200, it looks to me like 201-225 may have been short printed--I only pulled 10 from that group, and that meant lots of other rookie doubles. I can't complain too much about having extra Joe Flaccos and Chris Johnsons, exactly, but I'm not a fan of the non-random pack-outs you see sometimes, and I got bitten hard by them here. As a nice segue into the insert
StarQuest: 36 (1:pack, 36 expected): The box clearly touts this insert and nothing else (which makes sense, since there isn't anything else). I remember this insert from the Collector's Choice days, and as usual, the design is hit or miss. I call this bland, shiny design a miss, but maybe others like it. When I found out it was a 30-card set, I hoped I'd land all 30, and just six doubles, but that wasn't meant to be--instead I got 25 unique players (I didn't feel like scanning all of them) and 11 different dupes. Since I'm so close to the set I figured I'd tack them on to my wantlist, then maybe dump the set later if I decide I don't want to keep it.
Overall insert grade: D-
I'm not as harsh here because the box doesn't purport to include any big extras and you get exactly what you're promised. I just wasn't wowed with the design of the one they did include, and I was annoyed at not even pulling a set of them, odds be damned.
Hits: In this box? For real?
Value grade: D-
I may as well be consistent! While I got this box for free, I want to compare the value of picking up the packs vs. buying a factory set, which is apparently an option. I can tell you hands down that the factory set is the way to go, and not just because you get a free jersey card; there was just no way I was going to pull either set from this box. I have a few useful dupes of the rookies, but other than that, not much to be excited about. Hell, even as a free box this isn't doing much for me, considering the money or effort I'll have to put into completing it.
Stay away, stay very far away. Go with something else if you spend this much on D&A. Woof.
How about some Wolverines to cheer me up?:
Braylon Edwards, Charles Woodson, Tom Brady, Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington, Shawn Crable, Tom Brady StarQuest
Wantlists are here. Please help if you can--I have plenty of dupes for trade, or other stuff of course.
2008 Upper Deck First Edition: 41 53 57 163 193 198 202 204 205 206 208 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 225
2008 Upper Deck First Edition StarQuest: 4 16 17 21 25