Thursday, November 24, 2011

'09-10 UD hockey box break #2

Full of turkey yet?   Falling asleep at your computer screen?  Hopefully this won't put you further into the abyss.  I mentioned last weekend that I had a 2nd box of Upper Deck hockey from the Toronto Expo to show you, so without further adieu, here we go.

Base set:  149 cards with no duplicates.   Both boxes that I opened from the show had no dupes, kudos to Upper Deck for this.

 Love the shot UD gets here of Mikka Kiprusoff of the Flames, the eyes show the concentration.  Great photo!


Inserts:   Captains calling: 1  Johnathan Toews ...same as the first box (fail)
              Playoff Performers:  2  Roberto Luongo and Jarome Iginla...same as the first box (Epic fail)
              Draft Day Gems:  2  Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Hejduk...same as the first box  (Fail!!!)
              Hockey Heroes:  2  At least these Messier Heroes were different from the first box
              The Champions:  2  Ben Agosto, Hayley Wickenheiser.   I've had time to think about this insert, and have decided it would have been better served in another product, such as Goodwin Champions, or something to that end.  Figure skaters and ice hockey, at least for me, don't go together.

Young Guns:  6   MacGregor Sharp, Devan Dubnyk, Andrei Loktionov, Andreas Thuresson, Bobby Sanguinetti, Braden Holtby.  At least I have heard of 3 of these guys, and there were no duplicates from the first box.

Victory:  1 per pack.  I think I did quite well with these in this box.  I pulled two more gold cards, plus 4 Leafs Rookies (Reimer, Gustavsson, Stalberg, Bozak).  Plus the design of the cards is clean and simple, not a lot of logos or anything else cluttering up the card.

And finally, the one per box relic card.....well....

Sadly, not quite a household name, but as we know with most of the card companies in this day and age, not all of the relic cards are going to be superstar versions.

Furthermore, between the two boxes, I was not able to put one base set together (200 cards).

428,429,432,438,442,448  are the 29! cards I need to complete a base set....not good at all, considering there were no triplicates at all in the 2 boxes.  I could see coming maybe 5-10 cards short, but 29 is totally unacceptable.

Negatives:  Between this many cards needed to complete a set, the 3 different inserts that were carbon copies in both boxes, there were too many excuses for me to knock the total grade down.

Positives:  No duplicates for the Victory inserts, or the Hockey Heroes cards of Messier.  The Young Guns were all unique as well, though I could do without the damn checklist being shortprinted (WHY IS THIS?)

The only thing that saved the two boxes from a D grade was the price...$22 each is less than 1/2 of the original box price, so that makes a big difference.

Final Grade:   C-

Thanks for reading, Robert

words in this post:  479.  total for the month, 13484


  1. Hi Robert,

    It doesn't strike me as that unusual to be left with 29 cards after two boxes if one box gives you 150 (or so) of 200. The packing is random (other than attempting not to get dupes of the same card in a box), so it's not that likely that the second box would fill that many of the holes left by the first. There might be a box that's the dead match to yours, but what are the chances you happen to hit it?

    When I'd bust two boxes of these things, I usually treated the second box as a source of extra inserts and young guns and just hoped for the best with the set.

    (I'm checking with someone with experience in probability equations, but this could take some time. :) )

  2. OK - this is hardly scientific because nobody has the time to do the full calculations, but basically it breaks down like this: if each box contains 150 cards and no dupes, the odds that two boxes will produce all 200 cards is greater than 99.99999 percent against. It won't happen.

    Similarly, the odds that both boxes will produce the exact same 150 cards are almost nil. It seems reasonable to think that the number of the remaining 50 that you could hope to get in the second box follows a basic bell curve. You should expect roughly 25 of them and the greatest chances will come somewhere between 20 and 30. You got 22 (of 51), so you were slightly on the unlucky side of centre.

    If each box were giving you 175 of 200, then it gets a lot better. The basic problem with the box is that there are too few base cards, so boxes are a lousy way to go to build the set.

  3. 1967ers, thank you for the comments, they definitely give me something to think about. I will say this, and it is strictly from past experience, I've had better luck with building sets by buying boxes rather than picking up random packs here and there. I don't know what it is, but when I just buy packs here and there, I usually end up with a boat load of doubles/triples. Maybe it's just my poor luck that I've always lamented here on the blog ..LOL

  4. I've ended up abandoning the box break largely because of this. By the time I manage to pick up the stuff I'm missing, I've spent far more than if I'd just gone and bought the set outright.

    Less entertainment value, but more cost-effective.

    With the old OPC sets, you usually came pretty close to a set out of a box. If you had 2-3 boxes, you generally had 2-3 sets. (Of course, there was one year where I had about six sets on the go and they ALL needed Jim Benning...)

  5. I should say that THESE boxes are a lousy way to build the set. 150/200 is too low. Series 2 is even worse because they give up spaces in their packs to Victory Update. That's one I'd just go buy.

    If the boxes have good collation, then they're clearly better than random packs, but there are just too few cards per box to make it work unless you buy a ton of them.