By Karine Hains aka Pheebs888

Description
It would be fair to say that Artifacts has now become on of the staple hockey products of the Upper Deck’s yearly release calendar. Now in its fifth year, the product is still going strong. Of course, its parallel heavy nature does not sit well with all collectors but every year, it still manages to be a best seller.

This year’s incarnation of the base cards present a significantly busier design. While last year the player was fully depicted on a full brown background with the Artifacts pattern in the four corners, this year we notice the addition of pillars on each side of the base cards making it look like something out of the roman empire. Personally, I preferred last year’s base cards but on the bright side of things, the good folks at Upper Deck have also reviewed the design of the much maligned “cartoony” frozen Artifacts game-used insert set. Thankfully, the new look insert set is a success in my view; no longer do the game-used look like a screen capture of a Manga TV show.

Box Details
Packs per box: 10
Cards per pack: 4
Base set: 100 cards
Stars: 15 cards
Legends: 35 cards
Rookies: 50 cards
Price: Between $75.99 and $94.99
Check out: Upper Deck’s Product Preview Information

Checklists

-Base
-Legends
-Stars
-Treasured Swatches
-Frozen Artifacts
-Tundra Tandems
-Frozen Artifacts Retail
-Treasured Swatches Retail
-Auto-Facts
-Tundra Trios
-Rookie Redemptions
-Checklist to all Parallel Versions

Parallel Print Run Guide
Silver: 75
Gold: 50
Silver Spectrum: 25
Gold Spectrum: 10
Black auto parallel: 5
Black non-auto parallel: 5
Game-Used Copper: 50
Game-Used Blue: 25
Game-Used Red: 5
Game-Used Black: 1
Game-Used Patch/Jersey: 35
Game-Used Patch/Jersey Blue: 25
Game-Used Patch/Jersey Red: 5
Game-Used Patch/Jersey Black: 1
Tundra Tandems Red: 50
Tundra Tandems Silver: 25
Tundra Tandems Gold: 1
Tundra Tandems Patch: 35
Tundra Tandems Red Patch: 15
Tundra Tandems Silver Patch: 5
Tundra Tandems Gold Patch: 1
Tundra Trios Patch: 10

The Breaks

All of the cards below were pulled during our break, which consisted of 3 boxes.

Rookies: Tim Wallace, Jaime Sifers, Spencer Machacek, Joel Rechlicz, Chris Chuko, Riley Armstrong, Boston Redemption, Chicago Redemption and Wildcard Redemption

Parallels: Chris Drury Gold, Sidney Crosby Gold, Jarome Iginla Gold

Auto-facts: Mason Raymond, James Sheppard, Rostislav Klesla

Treasured Swatches: Nicklas Backstrom 129/199, Markus Naslund 14/50, Marty Turco 159/199

Frozen Artifacts: Brian Leetch 133/199, Luc Robitaille 126/199, Tony Esposito 3/35 Jersey/Patch parallel

Tundra Tandems: Doug Gilmour/Theoren Fleury 49/50, Henrik Zetterberg/Thomas Holmstrom 49/50

Tundra Trios: David Booth/Nathan Horton/Stephen Weiss 10/75

Comments

Artifacts is not a high-end product, therefore at this price point, you cannot expect to get autographs of the big guns only, nor should you expect to get on-card autographs. Love it or hate it, the numerous parallel levels make for an interesting chase element. However, I would bet that people would appreciate these more if there were any significance to all those levels. For instance, we pulled one Treasured Swatches numbered to 50 and it had two white swatches. Surely something that has a lower print run should have better swatches? This criticism is mentioned about Artifacts every year and yet each new incarnation has the same flaw.

The results of our breaks did not blow us away but this is the gambling element of busting wax. We have seen much better boxes broken on SCF with great results such as a Luongo 1/1 Tag/Jersey to give an example. I firmly believe that the design of this year’s version is a vast improvement over last year’s especially when it comes to the Frozen Artifacts as mentioned earlier.

Final Ratings
Overall Design: 4.5/5
Value: 3.5/5
Fun: 4/5
Rebuy: 3/5
Variety: 5/5
Final Grade: 80%

Overall this is not a bad product, there is plenty of diversity and all the hits make for a fun break with plenty of memorabilia to go around. However, Artifacts rarely holds much value, the parallel levels are less and less meaningful and this is usually reflected in the cards book value. If you are after a product which will be more valuable once open, you might be better off waiting for Upper Series 1 as the Young Guns normally make for great trade bait value wise but if you really like your memorabilia cards, Artifacts is still the product for you.