Box Break: 2018-19 Ultimate Collection

Yesterday, I posted a break of Upper Deck Chronology Hockey Volume 1, a box that has just four cards. Today is a break of another four-card box, this time of 2018-19 Ultimate Collection Hockey by Upper Deck. The set came out about three weeks ago and costs around $140 for a box. Let’s see what that gets us. 

Card #1 – Patrick Kane Base Card

I really like the base card design of 2018-19 Ultimate Hockey. The design has just the right amount of bells and whistles that a “premium” base card should. It uses shiny holographic foil, printed on thicker stock, is serial-numbered and uses a spot varnish on the player’s picture. Upper Deck made similar design choices on its 2016-17 Black base cards. I like the Black base card design better than the base card design of this set. Still, I might try and track down all 50 of these Ultimate Collection base cards. 

Card #2 – Michael McLeod Ultimate Introductions

The rookie card I got was pretty cool, too. It has sort of a plastic finish on the front. The card is signed in black — and the signature is a little weak — and is not serial-numbered. Still, I guess if I was a Devils’ fan, I’d be pretty excited. McLeod was a first-round pick of the team in 2016, and split the last season between the Devils and its AHL affiliate in Binghampton. 

Card #3 – Brock Boeser Ultimate Access

A jersey card with a white swatch? That’s my least-favorite jersey card to get. Actually, that’s probably everyone’s least-favorite jersey card to get. At least the swatch is game-used and the card itself has a pretty cool design. But giving this card a colored swatch would have kicked it up a notch. Upper Deck should save all the white swatches for its Upper Deck Series One and Series Two sets, and use a more — oh, I don’t know — ultimate swatch for its cards in Ultimate Collection. 

Card #4 – Tomas Hertl Signature Materials Laureates

Huzzah! A second autograph in this box. This Tomas Hertl Signature Materials Laureates card is signed on-card in Blue Sharpie Marker, and features a game-used jersey swatch. It is also serial-numbered 52/99. This is easily the most-impressive card in the box. And Hertl has a pretty nice signature for a young guy; it looks like he actually practiced penmanship growing up, and doesn’t just draw a squiggly line with a marker. 

Rating 4 out of 5

I know this set isn’t necessarily the same as Chronology, but I can’t help but compare the two, given ghat they are both cost about $140 for a four-card box. I’ll take an autographed card with a game-used patch any day over an autographed card with a manufactured patch. Plus, I really like the base card design of Ultimate Collection. I could see myself buying a few boxes of these, in the hopes of getting some quality autograph or auto/patch cards, and I would actually enjoy keeping the base cards, too.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.  

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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

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