Allure [uh-loor] – noun; the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating.
How does Upper Deck’s latest offering stack up with the official definition?
I bought a box so we could find out!
First off, I’ll let you know that I had high hopes for this product.The preview showed some pretty nice cards, with pre-designed backgrounds that looked very different that UD’s typical flagships Series 1 and 2, a little better than the tiring Archive cards and a price point that was below $100 for an offering of decent hits. Its quoted offerings:
• One Rare Parallel or Jersey Card Per Box!
• One Rookie Jersey Card Per Box!
• One Autographed Card Per Box!
• Find Five Base Set Parallels Per Box!
• Look for Eight Insert Cards Per Box!
Sounds promising! So, with six cards per pack and eight packs per box, if you count chase cards in Allure’s Top 50 set, there are actually more “hits” than common cards in this box. Huh? But let’s dive in and see what we’ve got, and we’ll start with the good before I go full “Steve Dangle” on some others at the end.
Commons: 22 total common cards that I like quite a bit. The player is in a game pose over a chromey-fuzzy background of the area; black and gold curved lines and shapes that frame the player and add a nice artistic quality that I find….alluring.
I will say that the image of the player is not that sharp; photos looks like early 1990’s print quality, and I can understand why that would make these cards lose a few points with some collectors. I think it may have to do with the material these are printed on because they are SHINY! You can seriously see your reflection on these cards. If I was stuck on a deserted island with just one pack of hockey cards, it would definitely be these so I could signal a plane or start a fire.
On the back it’s nothing special, just listing as many as 5 NHL seasons with their career totals. No fun stories. Not bad, not great.
Rookies: They look about the same other than a black and gold sign in the corner denoting the nOObs. I pulled 10 regulars of these cards, including Quinn Hughes, Cody Glass and Cale “Dude, Where’s” Makar.
Also pulled was a “Pewter” parallel of Nico Sturm with has some cool light fractal dots behind the player, and a some sort of “Purple Diamond” parallel of Zach Senyshyn, which is supposed to be numbered out of 59 apparently and isn’t.
MORE ROOKIES! Allure Top 50. I pulled four of these and I guess they’re supposed to be the top 50 rookies in the league (50? Really? Feels like you’re watering down the pool for Jack Hughes and his caliber of kids.) Rasmus Sandin, Kirby Dach, Brady Keeper, and Rem…I’m not making this tragic name up…Pitlick.
I will never feel bad for having a boring name again. And with his first name, I hope he gets a lot of sleep! Pitlick, Wow. Moving on!
Oh hey, ANOTHER ROOKIE! A Red Rainbow Rookie of Taro Hirose. This is another pretty card. The metallic red with the Red Wings jersey swatch looks quite nice together.
Speaking of Red Rainbow parallels, there’s also a Drew Doughty in here as well. Now, these rainbow parallels (for the non-rookies) have this odd cutout too them that, for the life of me, I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to represent or why they chose it. I’m a little baffled.
THE “NOT BAD, I’m JUST BEING PICKY”
Winter Storm Warning: Brady Tkachuk. OK, the graphic is a little cheesy, but it’s got a 90’s flair too it. I’ll over look that they use a very derpy image of Tkachuk doing his best Jeff Skinner impression, but the picture behind him is a Doppler image of a hurricane over an old road map of Ottawa. I’m sorry, but only Tampa and Carolina players should be allowed on this card, because that image just makes it look like it’s some other’s team’s city that’s about to get leveled with out-of-season inclement weather!! Ooooh, it’s all rainbowie and metallic, but come on.
Next on the Jim-is-being-picky list is World Tour: A redemption card! So this was in the first pack I opened, and I looking as just this white card stock with a sticker and itty-bitty writing telling you that it’s a redemption card. I honestly thought this was just some filler card like they use to put in packs to fool people trying to grab thick jersey swatch cards. But when you flip it over, it’s printed with a bunch of other details!
It looks like it’s for a Red Rainbow parallel Autograph of Barrett Hayton. I almost threw this away. And now finally to the….
WHAT THE HECK, UPPER DECK?
Open Ice, Steven Stamkos. So, this is just a blue and white shiny card with Stammer…..and a big stupid HOLE in it. “OPEN” Ice! Get it? Yeah dad, I get the joke. Can we please listen to something else beside you stupid Phish live CD boxset now? You’re boring my friends! This is one of the dumbest chase cards I think I’ve seen in a while; “Let’s add more corners to get dinged up!”
The back of this card is even more of a waste of space than the stupid hole.
There’s no stats, not stories, just the player’s name (yeah, we know it already), height, weight, place of and date of birth and at this point, NO ONE READS THESE THINGS ANYMORE! The rest of this card is just blank space AND A STOOPiD FRICKIN’ HOOOOLE!!!! And a random black bar along the side. IDK what that’s about.
And you know what’s STUPIDER than a NOTHING HOLE??? The concept…of a parallel called…White Rainbow.
Now if this doesn’t immediately strike you as at least little odd, go ask a third grader if a White Rainbow makes sense. Go on, go! I’ll wait.
Did Jacob laugh at you? He should have. Because even a third grader understands that a rainbow (or rainbeaux, my Francophone friends) is the refraction of white light, broken into its separate color wavelengths we should all remember as ROY G BIV Devo.
There is no WHITE in a rainbow, because that’s where it came from! With as many times as Ronnie James Dio reference rainbows in his music, even HE knew that; and he wrote a song called RAINBOW IN THE DARK! White Rainbow sounds like some sort of Nationalist propaganda, and to that I say “Booooo! Down with that sort of thing!”
The Bottom Line
Are there some good cards in this new Allure Hockey set? Yeah, I think so.
Are there some really dumb cards that UD needs to go back to the drawing board on? To quote French Kool-Aid Man, “Oh, OUI!”
Should you buy a box of these? Well, probably not at full price unless it’s your birthday and your aunt mailed you a birthday card with $100 and you’re bad with money. But if you find it for sale somewhere for around $60-70, yeah, why not.
I’ll rate this box as, oh, let’s say two pogs…a Magic the Gathering card…and a glowy puck. ■
Jim Howard is a Carolina Hurricanes fan and reformed baseball card collector who is trying to keep the hockey collection from becoming overwhelming. And while he wishes he could give Crosby the business with his mitt, he is in fact NOT the goalie for the Red Wings.