Run-of-the-mill set with legends thrown in for good measure
The 2006-07 SP Authentic set featured the typical short-printed rookie cards and one-per-box autographs. The short-printed cards were limited to just 999 copies each. Since many collectors bought multiple boxes with dreams of getting some expensive insert card, the result is that they end up with multiple base sets (1-100). Go on eBay, and you’ll find people trying to get rid of base sets for $5 or $10.
Since I only have the base set, that is what is reviewed here.
Player selection 3 out of 5
Like so many other sets by Upper Deck, the 2006-07 SP Authentic set is small, clocking in at only 100 base cards. This limits the selection to only two or three players per team.
Interestingly, some retired greats are featured in this set – Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr. Mario Lemieux also has a card in this set, but does not feel so out of place here because he retired at the end of the previous season. Gretzky has not played since 1999, Howe since 1980 and Orr retired in 1979. While those three are the greatest three hockey players ever, I wonder why Upper Deck would put them in a set of otherwise current players.
Card design 2 out of 5
The design of these cards does not overly impress me. While there’s nothing wrong with the design, I don’t find it all that interesting. The front of each card has a “cut out” player photo that has been dropped against a background comprised of lines, angular shapes and little plus signs +++ Some of the background lines use a color from the player’s uniform, giving a bit of emphasis to the team, as no team logo is shown on the front. A drop shadow gives a bit of separation between the player and the background.
The player’s name is written at the bottom, as well as the words “2006/07 SP AUTHENTIC HOCKEY”. This is, of course, in case you missed the shiny silver SP Authentic logo in the upper right corner. The player’s position and uniform number – along with the team name – is written vertically along the left edge of the card. The player name, position and number are written in shiny silver ink. Unless you look at the card head on, the shiny ink is difficult to read against the gray background shapes.
My problem with the design is, if you are going to cut players out of a game action photo, you should put them in front of an interesting background. The predominance of gray in the background gives these cards a very achromatic look, which just doesn’t do it for me.
Stats & info 2 out of 5
The backs are also nothing special. Three years of stats, as well as totals, are displayed.
There’s also a short bio and a head shot of each player. The head shot is actually the same photo from the front, but not “cut out” from the background. The back of each card is more colorful than the front. This is due to some added color around the bio “box”, as well as the inclusion of a team logo.
I’m not attracted to this set – but I’m not offended by it either Since you can find this base set rather inexpensively, it’s a worthwhile pickup, considering that it has cards of Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe and Orr as well as 96 of the best players currently in the NHL.
BONUS: Top 5 cards
20 – Sidney Crosby – A second year card of Sid the Kid, who is currently the best player in the game. (back)
23 – Mario Lemieux – Super Mario could have played until he was 50 if it wasn’t for all those injuries during his career. (back)
55 – Wayne Gretzky – This card makes me miss those old 1990s Kings jerseys. (back)
64 – Mr. Hockey – Gordie Howe, a.k.a. Mr. Hockey. Why do they always call him Mr. Hockey on these modern trading cards? Is using his real name forbidden? (back)
95 – Bobby Orr – Best defenseman ever! (back)
100 card base set
150 short-printed cards
– 60 SP Notables
-50 Autographed Future Watch
– 40 Future Watch
Card Size: 2 1/2″ wide x 3 1/2″ tall
Click here to download a printable checklist