Upper Deck Trilogy — or TRILO3Y as it is spelled on the box — was released almost three months before the 2013-14 season started! Lately, Upper Deck has divided their hobby boxes into three smaller “mini-boxes.” A 9-pack box of Trilogy is actually split into three 3-pack mini-boxes. This move was to address that collectors were reluctant to shell out $200-plus for an entire box, but also hesitant to buy a single pack since it may not have a hit. This way, a collector buying a mini-box is guaranteed to get a hit without committing to a full box.
Recently, I opened a mini-box of 2013-14 Trilogy. Here is what the three packs netted me:
11 Base Cards
Each pack contained four base cards, except one pack that had only three due to the thickness of the “hit” (more on that in a bit). The base cards are a mixture of past and present players, and have a triangle in the background. Why would Trilogy use a triangle in the design. Is that supposed to be the Triforce from The Legend of Zelda?
There are 100 base cards in the set, but I’m surprised it isn’t a number divisible by three 🙂
1 Triple Swatch Jersey Card
Although these cards are Nationally themed (Russia, Canada, etc.), they utilize three swatches from NHL sweaters. You get one of these in every nine packs, but some National Trios are harder to get than others. This triple swatch card of Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Nail Yakupov, believe it or not, is one of the more common jersey cards. The only thing that would have made this cooler is if either the Datsyuk or Ovechkin swatch was red, so that there would be red, white and blue swatches to match the Russian flag.
1 Serial Numbered & Autographed Rookie Card
This card has all the bells and whistles. Shiny? Check! Autographed? Check! Serial-numbered rookie card? Check and check! The only thing that sucks about this is that it is that the autograph is on a sticker that sticks out like a sore thumb. If it was put on straight and didn’t noticeably overlap the triangles at either site, it might be OK. Really, though, a high-end product like this should only have hard-signed autographs.
1 Signature Pucks Retro Logo
Now THIS is more like it. This card is super-thick (hence my getting only three base cards in one pack) and has a small puck “embedded” into the card. The rubbery “puck” is signed in gold marker by former NHL goaltender Bill Ranford. There are different versions of these cards too; some are not numbered in the corner, some are limited to 13 copies (like this one above) while others are limited to three.
What I like about 2013-14 Trilogy: The Signature Pucks Retro Logos cards are hella cool. International-themed jersey cards in an Olympic year are a timely idea. I actually kind of like the base cards, although they are no better or worse than most of the base cards in UD’s higher end sets like SP Authentic, etc.
What I dislike about 2013-14 Trilogy: The serial-numbered Rookie Card is a sticker autograph — and noticeably so. To me, that is not acceptable for a product that sells for over $20 a pack. Perhaps one more base card per back would make a difference, too, so that the base set would be a bit easier to complete. A full box would get you around 33 base cards, meaning that you’d need to buy 3-plus boxes of Trilogy…just to complete a base set. But I suppose no one really buys Trilogy for the base cards.
Despite my complaining about the use of sticker-graphs, it still looks like Trilogy will get you nine hits per box. So, yeah, Trilogy is kinda pricey at $200 a box, but nine hits makes it worthwhile if this is your sort of thing. You’ll get three signed Rookie Cards per “hobby box” — one per mini-box — and probably around three more autographs and three jersey cards. If I was a gambling man, hoping to get that Gretzky/Lemieux/Sakic jersey card or a Lemiux/Jagr dual autograph, this would be a set I’d buy into.
Currently, DA Card World, Steel City Sports and Collect and Save are selling full boxes of 2013-14 Trilogy Hockey for $200. (Price subject to change. FYI, none of these stores sponsor this site, but I have made purchases from all three stores and was satisfied with their prices and service).
Special thanks to Upper Deck for providing the mini-box for this break.