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Saturday, September 15, 2007

2007 Goudey Review

My impression of Upper Deck Goudey has not really changed much from my previous post on Goudey now that I actually have some of the stuff in my hands. The set looks fantastic. The photos are almost all portraits slightly touched up to look more like the paintings on the original cards. The backgrounds are all in the style of original 1934 Diamond Stars and 1941 Play Ball cards. Many are taken directly from the vintage cards, as seen with the Glavine/Rice cards above. The Heads Up cards look great as well, and also use the poses from the original set. It appears that SPs are inserted 1:2 packs which makes completing a set with 88 short prints possible, if not easy.

The inserts are typical of recent retro style sets. There are two relic sets, one which is basically the base set with a jersey piece slapped on. The is also one other relic set, The Immortals, that appears to be inserted one a case. The big pull from that set is a Babe Ruth Jersey. I'm not sure if it's a hobby only insert or not. There are lots of autos from a wide range of players. The color scheme from the auto set could be headache inducing if you had pages of them, but if you land one or two it's worth it for the good pull. The rest of the inserts I think can only be obtained in the box topper packs, but I'm not really sure to be honest with you. Double Play mimics the 1941 set with 200 subjects over 100 cards numbered to 15. Diamond Stars is supposed to be an homage to the original set from the mid-thirties, but since the design was already taken for the base set, they don't really look like them except for the back. Most of the ones I've seen have a solid background or are an action shot. The set has three tiers of rarity, one numbered to 15, one numbered to 5 with a variant pose, and one numbered one of one and autographed. They are all pretty darn rare and the extreme short printing of these and the Double Play cards are the biggest disappointment to me about this set. There is also a Sport Royalty Box Topper card that mimics the 1933 Goudey Sporting Kings set in the design and in its subjects from a wide range of sports. This set also has an autographed variety, but none of them appear to be serial numbered. Buyback cards can also be found with a UD certificate at about one a case. Other than the base relic and auto cards, I do not believe any of the inserts can be found in retail packs.

Still overall I'm impressed. The set looks great and these packs delivered some good stuff. The cards are the original 30's gum card size at 2 3/8" by 2 7/8". This set isn't doing a pack with 7 modern size cards and one mini parallel, these are all minis. There are 2 back variations, the first 4 cards in the pack are printed with green ink like the original Goudeys, the other 4 cards are printed with red ink. I suppose this is so obsessive compulsive master set builders have to bust twice as many boxes for a set, but I don't think you'll get your membership in the Card Collecting Guild revoked for building a mixed color set. I was lucky enough to pull a SP card my first pack, it looks like they will be seeded as the 4th green card in the pack. The cards have a real vintage feel to them, the only way they could feel more authentic is if the corners were well rounded.

The two main beefs I have with the set is the price point for hobby packs and the inserts numbered to 15. Goudey Hobby packs retail for $4.99 each, but it's hard to find them at this price. I bought mine for $5.50 each or 4 for $21, and I've seen them as high as 7 dollars a pack. I did pretty well with mine as you can see below, but other than the 1 auto seeded a box the packs are indistinguishable from the retail packs that can be found for $2.99 each everywhere now. The packs have the same number of cards, and both have the Green/Red back variations at 4 per pack. You can't tell me that a 1 in 24 chance at an autograph card is worth paying literally twice as much per pack for the exact same cards. The inserts are all seeded in the bonus box toppers as well, so there's no chance at getting one of them unless you drop $120+ on a box. It really doesn't make any sense to buy individual packs at all in a hobby shop, especially since the ones I've gone to wouldn't sell a box topper pack at any price. For $120, you'd be better off buying three Box Blasters at Target for 60 bucks and using the leftover money to buy individual insert cards on eBay. I'm guessing with a little digging you could probably get a Sporting Royalty, one of the serial numbered cards and maybe even a buyback of a common player for that money. Allen & Ginter Hobby packs are also about two times the cost of a retail pack, but in the hobby version you get a Dick Perez per pack plus 2 more cards than in the retail pack.

Like I said before, the inserts numbered to 15 are the thing I'm most unhappy about. I just don't see the point to putting in the effort to recreating (very well I might add) a set like 1941 Double play, making it really faithful to the original set, then making it completely impossible to come even close to building a set. A collector literally has a better shot at building an original 1941 set than these new cards. What's the point? A better solution in my opinion would have been to make the serial numbered case loader inserts all autographed and then insert one Diamond Stars and one Double Play card per Hobby pack. That way, the tough serial numbered cards actually have some value other than their artificial scarcity, there is a bonus for those spending the extra money on Hobby packs and the inserts can be enjoyed by people other than the hard core collectors. I collected the 1941 Play Ball reprints from UD's earlier Play Ball set, and I certainly would have collected these sets had they not been rendered unobtainable.

Still, I love the set and I'll be trying to complete the common set albeit through retail packs. I've taken way too long to get this review out, so I'll post it as is and come back later this weekend to post more pics and go over the packs. Here are the pulls from my 4 hobby packs, you can see my first retail box on A Pack A Day.

-No.38- Eric Chavez
-No.121- Brad Penny
-No.145- Luis Castillo
-GG-JB- Jason Bay Auto
-No.91- Scott Rolen
-No.42- Gary Sheffield
-No.149- Raul Ibanez
-No.173- Paul Konerko

-No.73- Livan Hernandez
-No.3- Aaron Rowand
-No.130- Matt Cain
-No.172- Rickie Weeks
-No.51- Jason Bay
-No.2- Aaron Boone
-No.139- Brandon Phillips
-No.163- Ryan Langerhans

-No.19- Brian Roberts
-No.54- Jason Varitek
-No.189- Noah Lowry
-No.101- Alex Rodriguez
-No.24- Carlos Zambrano
-No.43- Grady Sizemore
-No.157- David Eckstein
-No.143- Luis Gonzalez

-No.47- JD Drew
-No.110- Ray Durham
-No.134- Michael Cuddyer
-No.201- Mike Schmidt SP
-No.97- Trevor Hoffman
-No.27- Chipper Jones
-No.113- Brandon Webb
-No.137- David DeJesus
Not a bad 4 packs at all, Jason Bay auto in the first pack plus a Schmidt SP. Plus I got a little added value as the shop I bought the cards from had a promotion where if you bought $20 worth of Upper Deck product, you got a ticket for a free autograph from Braves prospect Yunel Escobar. I know it's Yunel since I saw him sign it in person, but future generations may never be able to decipher that auto. You can kinda see Yun, but there's no way the second word is Escobar. To complicate matters all his authenticated autos from card sets not only do not look like mine, but none of them looks remotely like each other, even among the same set. He adds his #19 to the autograph so as long as no other player ever uses that number I'm set for authentication. Since it looks like I've used up all my luck on the Bay card, I'd better stick to retail from now on.


Joey said...

I agree with you on the retail vs hobby pack pricing. I payed $6.99 per pack at my local shop and $2.99 for packs at Target. I won't be buying anymore hobby packs unless I buy a whole box.

sportsguy27 said...

I get my cards online at this site, I think overall it is a better deal than packs.