Mini-Box Break: 2013-14 Trilogy

mini-box_sealedUpper 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

base_skinner_front base_francis_front

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?

linkThe back forgoes stats for more triangles and a biography.

base_skinner_back base_francis_back

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

jersey_russiaAlthough 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

rookieThis 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

auto_ranfordNow 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.

zoidbergOther special cards one might get include see-through “Crystal” inserts, team-centric triple-swatch jersey cards, autographed “Ice Scripts” and dual-autographed acetate “Clear Cut Combos.”

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.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5Despite 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.

Retail Notes
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.

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Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

7 thoughts on “Mini-Box Break: 2013-14 Trilogy”

  1. I think you are right, the Base Set should be 3 subsets (maybe Fowards, Defense, Goalies), all with 33 cards, then card #100 could be a checklist card # / 3,333. I understand the triangle being used since it has three sides and everything but I guess I never understood why the product was called Trilogy in the first place. And shouldn’t there be a third triangle on the rookie signatures? I mean, if we’re going overboard with the 3’s let’s at least be consistent. I enjoy you giving the set 3 pucks as well!

    Is the Puck Auto actually rubber, or is it paper like they used for Sweet Shot years ago? Based on the scan it looks like rubber which is really cool.

    1. I gave this set 3 pucks not because it is Trilogy — although that is a funny coincidence — but for the various pros and cons. The base cards are okay. You get one “hit” per pack, which is exciting, but the RCs are sticker autographs.

      As for the signed puck card, it is a little rubber disc that is signed. It looks about the size and thickness of a half dollar and feels rubbery.

    1. Dave, I agree. $20 to $30 per pack is way too high for me, too. About the priciest packs I’ve bought in the past is Artifacts, which is usually about $10 per pack. After that, it is more about the “hits” than the “set,” and I’ll always go after a better set than a bigger hit.

  2. That Ranford puck is actually very rare. Not just the fact that it’s 3/13 but because I’m pretty sure 80% of them are still and will remain unopened. People jumped on Artifacts before Trilogy could live out it’s life.

    Also, I did a little research and it looks like this retro version of Ranford has never been sold on Ebay. The standard version goes for an average of $16, and the NHL logo has also not been sold on Ebay.

    1. So the “retro” version has an orange Oilers logo? I think there are three different versions of the logo, with the orange logo being numbered to 13.

      1. Yes, the retro version is the orange one that you have and is hand numbered to /13. The standard is not numbered and is a current logo, and the NHL shield logo is /3.

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