Sunday, October 10, 2010

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Football blasters (4)

After Michigan's disappointing performance yesterday I decided on a little retail therapy and ended up grabbing four of these 2008 UD Masterpieces football blasters, which were on sale for $12.99 (down from $19.99).  I'm a huge fan of the design after seeing cards from this set as well as those from baseball.  I didn't have especially high expectations as I was mostly just interested in grabbing the base set.  Let's see how I did:

Purchased from/price:  Meijer, $12.99 x4 
Packs/cards:   8 packs / 4 cards 
Set size:  86 base cards (1-90; there are four cards that got "skipped")
Key features:  No photography here--all these cards are hand-drawn by artists and many feature iconic shots from legendary games/plays; plenty of current stars and Hall-of-Famers 
Key cards:  Almost everything in the base set, really, though besides the Hall-of-Famers, the real attraction for me is the pretty awesome 2008 rookie class, including Chris Johnson, Joe Flacco and Michigan star Mario Manningham

Sample front
Sample back


Box 1:
  • Pack 1:  LaDainian Tomlinson, Tom Brady (#84), John David Booty RC, Barry Sanders
  • Pack 2:  Chuck Bednarik, Paul Hornung, Andre Caldwell RC, Framed Black Red Grange
  • Pack 3:  Chris Long RC, Adrian Peterson (#2), Dan Marino, Devin Thomas RC
  • Pack 4:  Alan Ameche, Dexter Jackson RC, Herm Edwards, Framed Black Jamaal Charles
  • Pack 5:  Brian Urlacher, Don Shula, Wes Welker, Kevin Smith RC
  • Pack 6:  Bart Starr, Lester Hayes, Limas Sweed RC, Brett Favre (#8)
  • Pack 7:  Jack Lambert, Mario Manningham RC, Devin Hester, Kellen Winslow Jr.
  • Pack 8:  Matt Forte RC, Drew Pearson, Eli Manning/David Tyree, Donovan McNabb 
Box 2:
  • Pack 1:  Kevin Smith RC, Earl Bennett RC, Doug Flutie, Felix Jones SP RC
  • Pack 2:  Brian Bosworth, Tony Romo, Brett Favre (#10), Sammy Baugh
  • Pack 3:  Frank Reich, Bob Sanders, "Snow Plow Game", Chris Johnson RC
  • Pack 4:  Matt Forte RC, Drew Pearson, Jordy Nelson RC, Eli Manning
  • Pack 5:  LaDainian Tomlinson, Tom Brady (#84), Randy Moss, Kevin Dyson (#55)
  • Pack 6:  John Elway, Chuck Bednarik, Jim Thorpe, Dustin Keller RC
  • Pack 7:  Dwight Clark, Gale Sayers, Joe Flacco RC, Red Grange
  • Pack 8:  Tom Brady (#83), Terry Bradshaw, Jerome Simpson RC, Framed Black Brian Urlacher
Box 3:
  • Pack 1:  Tony Romo, Kevin Smith RC, Malcolm Kelly RC, Jim Brown
  • Pack 2:  Bob Sanders, Brian Bosworth, Jordy Nelson RC, Eli Manning
  • Pack 3:  Frank Reich, Randy Moss, Kevin Dyson (#55), Framed Black Dwight Clark
  • Pack 4:  Eddie Royal RC, Walter Payton, Jim Thorpe, Dustin Keller RC
  • Pack 5:  John Elway, Chuck Bednarik, Donnie Avery RC, Fran Tarkenton/Adrian Peterson Time Warp SP
  • Pack 6:  Dwight Clark, Gale Sayers, Champ Bailey, Joe Flacco RC
  • Pack 7:  Earl Bennett RC, Tom Brady (#83), Kevin Dyson (#54), Adrian Peterson (#75)
  • Pack 8:  No 8th pack in this box (see below)
Box 4:
  • Pack 1:  Marvin Harrison, Kevin O'Connell RC, Doug Flutie, Y.A. Tittle/Eli Manning Time Warp SP
  • Pack 2:  Scott Norwood, Ed Podolak, Chris Johnson RC, Brett Favre (#10)
  • Pack 3:  Desmond Howard, Ben Roethlisberger, Devin Thomas RC, "Snow Plow Game"
  • Pack 4:  Walter Payton, Frank Reich, Jordy Nelson RC, Eli Manning
  • Pack 5:  Vince Young, Eddie Royal RC, Randy Moss, Kevin Dyson (#55)
  • Pack 6:  Harry Douglas, Early Doucet III RC, Jim Thorpe, Dustin Keller RC
  • Pack 7:  Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, Jerome Simpson RC, Framed Black Kevin Dyson (#54)
  • Pack 8:  Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Joe Flacco RC, Red Grange

Set completion:  75/86 (87%)
  • Doubles:  32
  • Triples:  10
  • Framed Black:  5:  Kevin Dyson (#54), Dwight Clark, Jamaal Charles RC, Red Grange, Brian Urlacher (no odds, but I got five in four boxes, so maybe 1:10?)
  • SPs (technically not an insert but this is a good place for them):  3:  Felix Jones RC, Y.A. Tittle/Eli Manning Time Warp, Fran Tarkenton/Adrian Peterson Time Warp (again, no odds, but maybe 1:12?)
The Inserts

Autographs:  None (None Expected)
Relics:  None (None Expected)
Best pack:  The very first pack (LaDainian Tomlinson, Tom Brady (#84), John David Booty RC, Barry Sanders).  Can't go wrong with a future HOFer, a Michigan star, a Lions star and a RC
Best card:  Without a doubt the Desmond Howard (see WOLVERINES below)
Quality control:  6/10  As noted above, a big ding for shorting me a pack in the third box.  That's four cards I missed out on, and who knows what they would have been?  Since this is a couple years old I'm not going to bother with contacting UD, but that gets a BOO-URNS from me.  Otherwise, everything else looked fine quality-wise.
Collation:  9/10  Minus a point for not coming closer to completing a pretty small base set; minus a point for 10 triples and some (but not all) non-random packs; plus one point for taking into account that I grabbed four random blasters.  
Value:  8/10  I didn't realize I could have possibly grabbed cheaper hobby boxes online, but that doesn't bother me much--I don't really care for the relatively boring relics I've seen from these.  I still came pretty close to the set for around $50, and the extras and hits I got made the boxes worth it.
Set design and player selection:  10/10  The design is one of the best I've ever seen; once I complete the set I may scan all of them and throw them up here for everyone to enjoy.  As for the players, the mix of current stars, rookies and legends is excellent, and more importantly, the games/plays depicted are iconic, from "The Catch" to "The Music City Miracle" to "The Tuck Rule" game.  I'd give this an 11 if I could.
Inserts and extras:  8/10  Again, I'd ding this more for the apparent lack of big hits, but they didn't look very interesting to me anyway. I'd have liked something else besides a few SPs and only one type of parallel, but I was only getting these for the base set anyway.  And to be fair, the SPs I pulled added a nice amount of value.

Overall score:  41/50

Given how much I like the look of the cards that's a seemingly disappointing score, but it's mainly due to two issues:  a missing pack and a lack of interesting extras; if you're a set collector, get these cards, you won't be disappointed.

If you counted through the dupes you'll noticed I pulled 32 different, including two Tom Bradys, which I'll of course be keeping. However, the remaining 30, as well as the five Black Framed cards will be awarded in a giveaway I'll do really soon, maybe even today if I'm up to it.  I'll note who they are in that post, though if you look at the pack-by-pack you'll be able to tell yourself.

By the way, if you think you can help, my current wantlist for the set is:  21 33 40 42 47 68 71 76 77 81 86

As noted, I may scan the whole set when I have it finished, but in the meantime...
Love that Desmond card honoring his Heisman pose...


  1. I think it's fairly annoying that in such a small base set there's guys with multiple cards (sorry, Tom Brady.)

  2. Great Review. There were a lot of good cards out of that selection though.

  3. I thought each box was supposed to come with at least 1 auto card.

  4. These were retail blasters, so they didn't have anything guaranteed.

  5. That sucks, I just bought a box of those. Well I broke down and bought the full base set. A guy was selling it on eBay for $25 or best offer. He sold it to me for $20 with shipping. He has one left if you're interested. I know you only need 6 cards so I guess it really wouldn't be worth it for ya. I just wanted to give you the option.