By Karine Hains, Editor-in-Chief

Description
The nearing end of the season means two things for hockey fans; the Cup will soon be awarded and it’s time for Upper Deck’s high-end offerings. First up, Ultimate Collection. Unlike last season when a box included 4 packs, now a box is a single pack of 4 cards. The reasoning seems to be that more people will be willing to spend $100 on a box than $350. The same approach has also been taken in the other sports. While it is true that it is less money to fork out, it is still quite a gamble as you get only four cards to score your bit hit instead of 16.

Box Details

Pack per box: 1
Cards per pack: 4
Base set: 42 cards
Rookies: 18 cards
Autographed Rookies: 36
Autograph Rookies SP: 6
Check out Upper Deck’s Product Information
Price: From $89.99 to $109.99

The Break

The 16 cards below were pulled by a member on SCF during a four-box break.

Pack 1:

Base Paul Kariya
Ultimate Rookie Mikkel Boedker 330/399
Autographed Ultimate Rookies Patch Alex Pietrangelo 11/25
Ultimate Debut Threads Blake Wheeler 102/200

Pack 2:

Base Joe Thornton
Ultimate Rookies John Curry 279/299
Ultimate Rookies Autographed Nikita Filatov 36/99 SP Rookie
Ultimate Jerseys Martin Brodeur 56/100 both white

Pack 3:

Base Wayne Gretzky
Ultimate Rookies Justin Pogge 87/299
Ultimate Rookies Autographed Zach Boychuk 028/399
Ultimate Autographed Jerseys Carey Price 40/50

Pack 4:
Base Markus Naslund 099/299
Ultimate Rookies Brendan Mikkelson 039/299
Ultimate Debut Threads Kevin Porter 074/200
Signed Ultimate Debut Threads Luke Schenn 2/35

 

Comments
There is no doubt, this is a gorgeous looking product which oozes class, the smart design and slick finish makes for a very eye pleasing product and the fact that the base cards are numbered to /299 is always welcome. As always with high-end product, the checklist is quite extensive and covers everyone from the rookies to the Hall of Famers. Although a glaring omission once again is the absence of any autographs of Alexander Ovechkin. UD has stated that they are working towards a new deal to get Ovechkin autographs in their checklists as soon as possible.

As for the memorabilia cards, some of them are pretty impressive but once again we have to come back to the fact that unicolored swatches, especially white ones do not really have a place in a product at this price point. On the autograph aspect, there is no denying that the hobby masses love hard-signed autographs and that UD delivers here.

It is also possible to pull the still rare and highly sought after shield autographed cards that thankfully are still 1/1s let’s hope that they never become as common as the game-used cards have. The hobby is in dire need of rarity and mass-producing should be avoided at all costs.

Final Ratings

Overall Design: 5/5
Value: 3.5/5
Fun: 4/5
Re-buy: 4/5
Variety: 4/5

Final Grade: 82%

While I have nothing negative to say about the design of this great product, I must mention that the value isn’t as good as it could have bit. Unfortunately, the fact that you now only get one pack per box makes purchasing this release somewhat risky as you have less chances to get your big hit, nothing stops you buying 4 individual boxes though. As for the fun factor, it is unfortunately over all too quickly with a single pack to rip open. The price tag might stop many collectors buying more of this product, as it is likely that some will be saving their money for the release of The Cup in July. Finally, on the variety front, it would have been nice to get new sets or memorabilia cards or autographs and not just the same old stuff. If you can’t wait for The Cup though, this is a very viable alternative.