The 2012-13 SP Authentic Hockey set was released just as the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals were getting underway. A 24-pack box (5 cards per pack) currently sells for around $125 online. SP Authentic boasts “3 Autograph Cards” per box. Even better, there are no silly jersey cards. Another draw is that “update cards” for 2012-13 Upper Deck Series One are found in SP Authentic. Come for the autographs, stay for the update cards. Or something. Anyway, onto the box break.
96 Base Cards
The 150-card base set features a mix of current stars and retired greats. The player’s photograph is cut out and superimposed over a gray and white background, which is pretty much the standard look for SP Authentic these days. The actual shape of the player has a gloss coat on it, while the background has a dull coat, which makes the player picture really “pop” off of the background. I am happy to report that out of the 96 base cards pulled, there were NO doubles.
6 Authentic Moments short-print cards
Instead of SP Essentials, the 2012-13 SP Authentic set features Authentic Moments as one of the insert sets. This is a very nice idea, as both highlights from last season as well as from the past are featured. Two of the cards that I pulled feature multiple players and are harder-to-get than the “single-player Authentic Moments cards. I beat the odds by getting two of these “multi-player” cards, which fall 1:18.
2 Team Canada Moments short-print cards
I also got two Team Canada Moments cards: Wayne Gretzky from the 1991 Canada Cup Tournament, and Jonathan Toews from the 2007 World Junior Championships. There are also multi-player Team Canada Moments cards that are in in every 36 packs. I did not get one of those.
1 Future Watch autographed rookie card
There are only 25 Future Watch rookie cards in this set. Unfortunately, you only get one per box. I wish there were at least two RCs per box, like in previous SP Authentic sets. I got Tyler Cuma. It is signed on-card in blue Sharpie marker and is serial-numbered 752 / 999.
1 Sign of the Times autographed card
1 SP Chirography
This is actually an “update” card that I guess was supposed to be inserted in 2011-12 SP Authentic packs. Not a bad looking card, either. It is signed on-card by Brad Marchand in blue Sharpie marker, and serial-numbered 43 out of 50. FYI, Chirography “is the study of penmanship and handwriting in all of its aspects,” according to Wikipedia. And now you know.
5 Upper Deck Update cards
Upper Deck (the company) inserted Upper Deck (the brand) update cards in packs of this year’s SP Authentic. Man, oh, man — I wish these were one-per-pack like the Victory Update cards from a few years back. In additon to Zack Kassian, I also got Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Anze Kopitar and Jarome Iginla.
1 Upper Deck Exclusive
1 MVP Rookie
5 Retro Set cards (shiny!)
These are not parallels, but instead their own 100-card insert set. Back in the 1990s, SP Authentic cards were inserted into packs of Upper Deck. Now, we have SP Authentic cards as inserts in packs of SP Authentic cards. This is so meta!
What I like about SP Authentic: Three autographs per box, no jersey cards, Upper Deck Update cards, nice base card design and no doubles. The Authentic Moments is a nice change of pace the short-prints, too.
What I dislike about SP Authentic: Only one rookie card per box. Boo! Plus, given the popularity of Upper Deck Series One, I’m disappointed that the update cards are so hard to come by. Those should have been seeded maybe one in every other pack, alternating with the SP Authentic Retro series.
Special thanks to Upper Deck for providing the box for this break.