I know it had been a while since I did a box break, but there hasn't been a ton that interested me and/or was a good deal. Despite a possible card show on Sunday plus scads of Black Friday deals on Blowout, Dave & Adam's et al, this afternoon I took advantage of one of the few days a year where Meijer has its cards on sale. (Which sewingmachineguy also pointed out today--good on you, dude!) I'll be honest--I check Meijer's ad scans online every week to check for this kind of thing, so it didn't exactly catch me by surprise today. Add to that the fact that you could snag a few further discounts and it added up to a nice deal for me, one I was happy to take advantage of after nothing on Black Friday wowed me.
Therefore, I ended up with these three boxes. I had some fun with the baseball set of that year and these were the only boxes at the store I hit up that made any sense to buy--I refuse to buy anything new from Topps since I know it'll be poorly made, missing cards and completely lacking value, and there's an easy way to avoid that headache. Blasters generally don't appeal to me either, and Panini's retail products leave a LOT to be desired. But these looked enticing especially since I almost picked up a bunch of blasters of them on the cheap from D&A. I was somewhat considering opening one each day for three straight days, but in my post Michigan victory euphoria, all bets were off, and I ripped through these quickly.
So, without getting too formal, since my review process has changed greatly--mostly because I didn't like the amount of effort I was putting into them--here's a quick look at how I did:
Product: 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Football retail boxes (x3)
Packs/cards: 24/6 (x3)
Price: $23.99, not including further discounts with Meijers "Santa Bucks" (x3)
Base fronts: veteran, RC, legend, (also a checklist) Sports Hero, Guitar Hero
Base backs: a regular card and a checklist
Once again I like the look of the base set: you get a nice action shot framed by a nice marble kind of background. The hand-painted checklists really stand out, too, and are a great addition. The set's split into five groups: football heroes, rookie heroes, (in college unis!) legendary heroes, sports heroes and guitar heroes.
My two quibbles: I don't love the multiple versions of every player and would have preferred that they cut the set size down or include additional players instead; this set is called "Football Heroes" and yet you're lacking Tom Brady, among others? The only pro Wolverine in the set is Braylon Edwards of all people.
The other big issue I have is the inclusion of the sports heroes and guitar heroes. At least the other athletes fit in as part of a sports set, though again I don't appreciate them taking away from the subjects of the base set; the guitar heroes bore me to death and are an obvious cash-in attempt on the series of games, and to that end, UD failed miserably. Overall, I still generally like the set, especially since it features so many Wolverines. (See below)
Set completion: 258/266 (97%)
Total dupes: 171/429 (40%)
Unfortunately, that group happens to include the Sports and Guitar Heroes throwaways mentioned above. A tiny handful of my quadruples and a few of the triples come from #s 1-199, but obviously the majority of the rest, including all of the quintuples, are from that other craptastic group. So here's the part where I ask you, my readers, to check if you have the ones I need because I'll happily send money, cards, money/cards your way for them; otherwise I'll just grab them from Sportlots and call it a day. I currently need: 15 17 27 33 46 88 91 95. I also obviously have plenty of extras up for trade if anybody would like some before I eventually sort them into teams for dispersal that way.
Blue LenDale White (#017/125), Green Andre Woodson (#331/350) and running Michael Johnson (#058/350)
These inserts appeared to fall one per box since that's exactly how I pulled them. Not as exciting as the hobby versions I'm sure, especially since I like what they did with the baseball set, but not terrible either.
Dwayne Bowe Green Retail jersey
Eli Manning Green Retail jersey
Tony Romo Green Retail jersey
The outside of each box promised one of these per box ("On average") and each did deliver as promised. I don't love the ugly background or the tiny jersey windows that feature single-color swatches, but all the same, these are a nice bonus in a box I bought primarily to build the set. I'm not a fan of Bowe, and Manning and Romo are two of my least-favorite QBs ever, so each is absolutely up for trade and already in my trade bait. They will serve nicely in that respect, so, again, a nice bonus, though easily not as valuable as they should be at the original price of the box.
Overall: I got everything that was due to me, including three guaranteed hits, and I was only eight cards short of a complete set. It still kills me that I pulled that many dupes because Upper Deck fails at basic math, though. But I do like most of the aspects of the base set, and I'll be happy to have it completed shortly, one way or another. I certainly wouldn't pay the original $50 for these and now, having opened them, I wouldn't drop $30 each either, but for what essentially amounted to $20 per box, I'm only slightly miffed at the overall haul. In the end, I'd stay away from these and either go hobby or just grab a complete base set.