A few days ago, I was at Target and decided to peruse the trading card aisle. I’ve been pretty good at avoiding blaster boxes this year, but I saw something shiny that caught my eye: a collector’s tin of 2011-12 Upper Deck Series One.
I was intrigued. This tin did not have the usual “retail packs,” and yet these were not quite full-fledged “hobby packs,” either. Like hobby packs, you get 12 cards per pack, 1 Young Guns card in every 4 packs and 1 Canvas card in every 6 packs. The only major difference is that the jersey cards here are seeded 1:24 instead of 1:12. So, you may or may not get one in the tin.
The cost was $30 for the 12-pack tin–so this roughly equates to buying half a hobby box (minus the guaranteed jersey card). After some deliberation, I decided to buy it (they had one left). Here is what I got:
86 Base Cards
Fortunately, I got the 24 cards I needed to complete my 2nd base set–anyone want to trade for it? I’d rather have doubles of Upper Deck cards than of, say, Victory cards.
3 Young Guns
As promised, this box delivered 1 Young Guns card in every 4th pack. I got Erik Gudbranson, Sean Couturier and Jonathan Blum. Luckily, I needed all 3 for my set.
2 UD Canvas Cards
These also happen with the same frequency as in a hobby box, as I got 2 Canvas Cards: Sean Avery and Brendan Morrow.
1 Hockey Hero
Ah, crap–a double! I got this card of Ted Lindsay the last time I opened a box of Upper Deck.
1 All-World Team
Yarg! Another double of an insert I already got. And this one has a defect too–notice the white marke on Henrik Zetterberg’s face.
2 EA Ultimate Team
Jarret Stoll and a double of Jonathan Quick. In a hobby box, you get these inserts 1:24. Here in this quasi-hobby tin, they occur 1:6. The two I got were Jarret Stoll and Jonathan Quick (gah, double!).
1 Day with the Cup
Now this was different. At first glance, I thought this Zdeno Chara card was part of the base set, but it is part of the Day with the Cup insert set. This must be a “retail thing,” since I didn’t get one in any of my 3 hobby boxes last month.
1 Big 3 1/2″ x 5″ Winter Classic Card
These are unique to the Collector’s Tins of Series One. Not a bad looking card–I love the composition in the photography, with Alexander Ovechkin leading the charge.
The Verdict: Basically, this is half a hobby box for less than half of a hobby box’s price (currently $67-$70 online). Instead of getting a jersey card, you instead get an oversized Winter Classic card and a shiny metal box. If jersey cards are important to you, then you will probably want to skip these. Otherwise, this makes for a nice “non-blaster” alternative that can be found at a retail outlet.