Can you have too much of a good thing? Maybe so. My third and final box — for now, anyway — of 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series gave me some new surprise insets, as well as inserts that I’ve already grown a bit tired of.
As much as I love the retro-esque inserts in Extended Series, I seem to get the same types over and over, while there are other types of inserts that I have yet to see. And I don’t mean that I’m getting doubles of any insert cards. Collation for Extended Series has been great overall, and I did get a few types of insert cards that I didn’t get from my previous two boxes.
So, let’s take a look and see what surprises were inside my third box of Extended Series.
167 Base Cards
Like my prior two boxes, my third box of Extended Series had 167 base cards. There were no doubles within the box and no quality control issues. Once I sort these base cards, I hope to have two full base sets.
6 Young Guns Rookie Cards
Hayden Verbeek, Michael Bunting, Aleksi Heponiemi, Patrick Khodorenko, Mikhail Maltsev, and Callum Booth were the six Young Guns in my third box of Extended Series. Fortunately, my three boxes yielded me 18 unique Young Guns, meaning that I only have 12 more to track down.
I did not hit the jackpot when it came to parallels found in this box.
1 French Parallel Card
It’s a French Parallel version of the Young Guns Checklist…or should I say “Jeunes Loupes Liste De Verification”…?
And that’s it for parallels. No Clear Cut, Plain Clothes, or All-Star variants in this box!
The best part about Upper Deck Extended Series is the insert cards.
3 2005-06 Retro Inserts
The 2005-06 Retro Inserts have really started to grow on me, and I’m thinking about putting the set together. Then again, with so much to collect out there, I might not. Anyway, the three Retro Inserts I got were Mika Zibanejad, Teuvo Teravainen, and James van Riemsdyk.
1 2005-06 Retro Inserts Young Guns
Yay! Another Blackhawks rookie. This one is of Swiss-born center Philip Kurashev.
3 Ultimate Victory Insert Cards
By far, Ultimate Victory are my least-favorite of the Extended Series inserts. I’d rather get just one or two of these per box in exchange for some of the better-looking inserts. The three Ultimate Victory cards I got were of Auston Matthews, John Gibson, and Alexander Romanov
2 Rookie Class Insert Cards
Or the Bathroom Selfies insert set, as I am now calling it. The two I got in my third box are Olli Juolevi and Bowen Byram.
1 Dazzlers Blue Insert Card
Dazzlers is the only insert set from Series One and Series Two to also appear in Extended Series. The only Dazzlers card that I got in three boxes was this blue Dazzlers card of Elias Lindholm.
1 HoloGr-FX Insert Card
Artemi Panarin — a.k.a. “The Breadman” — was the HoloGr-FX card found in my third box of Extended Series.
1 HoloGr-FX Rookies Insert Card
Another Nick Robertson card? If this card looks familiar to you, it is because I got the Gold version in my second box of Extended Series. I have so many Nick Robertson cards that I might have to start player collecting him now.
1 Ovation Insert Card
I can’t really complain about another Auston Matthews insert, though.
1 Ovation Standing Ovation Insert Card
Now this was interesting. It is a shiny silver parallel version of Ovation called Standing Ovation, which are numbered out of 50. This Rasmus Dahlin card is numbered 48/50 and has shiny silver foil all over the front.
1 SPx Finite Insert Card
This Brent Burns SPx Finite insert is numbered 2379/2999.
1 Triple Dimensions Reflections Insert Card
I did not get one of these Triple Dimensions Reflections insert cards in my prior two boxes. It is not numbered, but you only pull these once in every 52 packs, so I was bound to get one eventually. (There are also parallels of this card that are numbered.) Alex Ovechkin is printed on a shiny, mirrored surface, and his name is etched into the card in the lower left corner.
After three boxes, and my enthusiasm for 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended is starting to wear off a bit. Initially, I did consider buying a full case of this product, but am glad that I only got three boxes because I feel like Extended Series gives you more of the boring inserts like Ultimate Victory per box while making the really-nice, eye-catching inserts so much harder to come by, such as UD3 and SPx Finite Spectrum. Plus, all the parallel versions of most of the inserts — yes, there are even parallels of Ultimate Victory — makes this product start to feel repetitive after a couple of boxes. That is weird, because there are so many insert sets in Extended that the insert sets really shouldn’t feel repetitive after just three boxes.
Another small issue I have with Extended Series is that one pack in every box did not have an insert, parallel or Young Guns card; it was just eight base cards. While 23 of the 24 packs DID have an insert, parallel or Young Guns, it seems odd that one pack would not have anything, considering that there are over a dozen different types of inserts and parallels in Extended Series. Likewise, I did not get any UD Exclusives — numbered out of 100 — in any of my three boxes of Extended Series, though they seem to be one per box in Series One and Series Two.
Nonetheless, Extended Series is still a must-have, minimally for the base set and Young Guns. I don’t feel that every insert is worth chasing down, but different collectors like different things, so Extended Series will have something for everyone.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■