Since I am “all in” on building a set of 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series, I know that I will need at least two boxes to build the 200-card base set. Extended Series also has a plethora of insert sets designed to look like popular late 1990s Upper Deck releases such as HoloGr-FX, Ovation and Ultimate Victory, among others. (Click here for my first box break of 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series and for more general information about this set.)
Since the inserts you get in 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series can vary from box to box, I’ve decided to post another box break so you can see some of the inserts that I didn’t get in my first box.
First, a quick look at what you can expect in a box of Extended Series.
167 Base Cards
I got 167 base cards with no quality control issues and no doubles, so that’s all good. 44 of the cards are of players from the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. While there are some photo variants of the All-Star cards, I did not get any.
6 Young Guns Rookie Cards
Nolan Foote, Mikko Lehtonen, Glenn Gadwin, Fredrik Handemark, Reese Johnson, and Sasha Chmelevski were the six Young Guns in this box. While there were a lot of quality control issues with 2020-21 Upper Deck Series One — particularly, rounded corners on the Young Guns rookie cards — I’m not seeing any of that here with my Extended Series box breaks.
Sadly, I did not get a “Plain Clothes Variant” in this box, though I did get two other parallels.
1 French Parallel Card
This French Parallel card of Bobby Ryan isn’t the French Parallel that I hoped for. However, what makes this card great is the photo, which shows Ryan in front of cardboard cutouts of Nashville Predators fans.
1 Clear Cut Parallel Card
Speaking of Predators, the Clear Cut parallel that I pulled in my second box break was of Predators’ winger Erik Haula.
The insert cards are what makes 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series so much fun.
3 2005-06 Retro Inserts
I got a trio of goalies: Carey Price, Carter Hart, and Jacob Markstrom. But seriously — was THIS the best photo that Upper Deck could find of Carey Price?
1 2005-06 Retro Inserts Young Guns
Not gonna lie, I really like the 2005-06 Young Guns rookie card design being used as an insert set. The Young Guns RC I got was of Blue Jackets center Liam
3 Ultimate Victory Insert Cards
I’m starting to get a little tired of these Ultimate Victory cards. One per box would have been sweet. But these are starting to feel like the “Shining Stars” inserts of 2021. The three I got were Nick Robertson, Gabe Vilardi, and Mathew Barzal.
2 Rookie Class Insert Cards
Featuring the shiniest bathroom tile seen on a hockey card are these “Rookie Class” inserts. I got a pair of Finnish players in my box: Kevin Lankinen and Aleksi Heponiemi. The Lankinen does NOT have a facsimile autograph on it, but the Heponiemi card does.
1 HoloGr-FX Rookies Insert Card
Admittedly, these are not as cool as the HoloGr-FX cards from the late 1990s, though they do look better in person than on a computer screen.
1 HoloGr-FX Rookies GOLD Insert Card
Wait? They’re doing Gold Versions too? Okay. I guess the odds of getting a Gold HoloGr-FX card is one in every 60 packs. I hope Nick Robertson turns into a bona fide superstar because I keep getting all his inserts!
1 Ovation Insert Card
Tim Stutzle had a solid rookie season in 2020-21, so I was excited to get his Ovation insert card. He has already shown that he has the skills to be an elite NHL player, and could possibly become the greatest German-born hockey player some day. (Heads up, Leon Draisaitl.)
1 SPx Finite Insert Card
This Connor Hellebuyck card is a hell of a…no…not gonna go for the easy pun. The giant black area is actually shiny silver foil with a “SPx Finite” logo. This card is numbered 1440/2999, which means that 2999 Winnipeg Jets fans could potentially have this card in their collections.
1 SPx Finite Spectrum Insert Card
Now THIS is awesome! The SPx Finite Spectrum inserts have a shiny, rainbow-colored, foilboard background behind the player. The SPx Finite logo also has a rainbow sheen to it. This Mathew Barzal card is numbered 83/99. I like the Spectrum inserts so much more than the normal versions. If Upper Deck had just used this design with the extra-shiny foilboard, the Finite inserts would have been my favorite. (There are also “Radiance” parallels of Finite inserts that are numbered out of 299.)
1 UD3 Insert Card
By far, my favorite insert in any of my boxes of Upper Deck Extended is this UD3 insert of Ryan O’Reilly. It is limited to 1000 serial-numbered copies, has a shiny, almost-holographic background, shiny red borders, and is die-cut. Plus, it uses two different photos on the front. It is a great insert, and I really wish these were at least one per box, though they occur much less than that. And with 50 different UD3 cards to collect, this should prove to be a tough insert set to put together. Oh, and there are Gold versions too.
Two boxes in, and I’m still enjoying 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series Hockey, though I am starting to get a little tired of the same type of inserts over and over, and want a little more of the variety that I was promised. Still, I’m liking pretty much everything about Extended Series and hope that Upper Deck reprises the idea of a third full-fledged series for 2021-22.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■