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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Perhaps I Was A Bit Hasty.

And we wouldn't want to be hasty now, hoom haroom?

I bought a hobby pack of Upper Deck X last week and soundly panned it. I thought the wrapper was deceitful, the base cards were drek and the machine that cuts out the little divots in the die cut cards was faulty. However there have been dissenting opinions on my verdict. Normally I would dismiss such nonsense with but a slash from my razor-sharp wit, but look at the dude's blog title image.

Now that is something that requires one to consider it seriously. I mean, just the font alone screams "this is serious business". Freakin' CASTRO's in there dude! So I reconsidered and decided to take the UDX retail challenge.

I bought two retail packs at Wally World while picking up milk and bread and caffeine and all that other useless stuff that takes money away from cards. (well, caffeine is not useless) For the record, two retail packs cost the same as one hobby pack but I suspect the odds of pulling a hit of some sort is diminished. Here's the results from the experiment:

Pack 1:

Base cards: Jonathan Papelbon, Rafael Furcal, Rick Ankiel

Not bad. next...

Die cut: Corey Hart wears his sunglasses at night.

Xponential card: X-MO Magglio Ordonez

Well, this is different. Nice 'n shiny and you know I love the Red and Black. I still say these cards should have been the base cards for the set.



UDX Signatures: JN Josh Newman

Only I could totally trash a product, then immediately pull an auto from retail. Again. This'll be up on Auto-Matic tonight or tomorrow. Aiight, if it happens again on the second pack, I'll know Upper Deck Spies are following me and planting hot packs for me to rip so they get good reviews.

Pack 2:

Base cards: Cole Hamels, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano

Hey, got a Brave... I still don't like these cards though.

Die cuts: Trevor Hoffman, Ichiro gold parallel

The Quality control issues for three retail diecuts:
Corey - one stuck divot.
Trevor - two stuck divots.
Ichiro - a big roller mark slashing right through his throat.

Xponential card: X2-DL Derrek Lee squared

Final verdict:

I still don't like the base cards, they are way too busy and they feel like a one-off crap product from 2002. The Xponential cards totally kick ass. They look great, feel great, taste great and make sweet sweet love down by the fire. I doubt seriously that I will be building a set or anything, but if I find some sifting through a common box I won't hesitate to pick 'em up. I'm curious about the whole level thing now, I might have to do some research on that and share the knowledge. Despite the quality control problems the die cuts are ok and the set would probably be better off all die cut. I'd really like to get my hands on a base and a die cut from the same player to compare and see if there is actually a difference other than the missing bits. I'm curious about the gold parallel too... it's a shame I got Ichiro with a big scrape across it. I obviously haven't put a whole lot of thought into this product and am just going by what I pulled. Since the UD spies blessed me with an auto I can critique the thing. Pretty pedestrian design, but no one buys auto cards for the design. It's a sticker auto, but it is incorporated into the card very well. I might not have even noticed it was a sticker were it not for the Authentic hologram logo. I'm not sure who Josh Newman is, I'll have to do some digging on that.

Overall, not as bad as I first thought. Not a good set, mind you, but it's got some stuff going for it. I'll keep hammering this into the ground: the Xponential cards should have been the main set. Good, good stuff there. If I were to buy more of this (not likely, but possible) I'd go retail. I'm guessing the autos are plentiful on the Bay, and you just get more cards for your money with retail. Especially Xponential cards. You get two for 4 bucks in retail and only one in a hobby pack. But the hits! What about the hits! I got yer hits right here buster! Don't buy packs for hits. Yeah, it's nice to pull one, but really, just save your cash and buy the one you want. Much easier and cheaper that way.


mmosley said...

Die cuts are exactly the same. Even the little UD rewards code is the same.

My two packs had the die cut and base in the same pack.

Same, Same, Same!

Joey said...

Congrats on the retail auto. Busy was the word I was looking for to describe the base cards, thanks for finding it for me. I can move on now.

Anonymous said...

I think you did well snagging a gold parallel die cut as well. Either they are really hard to notice, or they are quite rare, as I haven't seen a Hamilton on eBay to date.

--David said...

Nice auto. Even better 80's music reference.

Matt F. said...

Well I'm glad I was at least a little responsible for you getting another autograph! I've opened about 10 packs of X but haven't hit anything above a third level Xponential...some people have all the luck.

Anonymous said...

1 Hobby Box netted 2 AU, Frank Catalanotto and Marlon Byrd, and one real bad headache.

Bay Rat North West said...

Is it just me or has Tex been taking photo posing lessons from Sean Casey? Just sayin'