Review: 2006-07 Upper Deck MVP

Keeping my word, as I always try to do, I've just finished busting open two boxes of Upper Deck's MVP offering for this season. And, up until the final pack, I was prepared to share my disappointment in the product.

As I opened that 48th pack, many with the help of my hound-in-training, Colin, any impending disappointment was wiped away by the last card. Yessiree, buddy, I got my first Evgeni Malkin rookie card.

It's not so much any financial value that others may place upon the shiny piece of cardboard (more on that later), but for all the hype that Malkin has received, I believe Upper Deck and its subsidiary, Fleer, owe it to collectors to make sure every box, especially those at the mid-level price range, carries a Malkin card.

Bottom line, Upper Deck, it's all about value. Even if I spent only $35 for a box, I believe it's going to be a waste of money if I don't get the rookie du jour. Last season, it was Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Dion Phaneuf and, once the playoffs ended, Conn Smythe winner Cam Ward. Honestly, even without yesterday's crowded playing field, I don't believe it's too much to ask.

Seriously, I was relieved at seeing that Malkin card. Granted, it was nice getting a Jordan Staal rookie card. The Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a nice little bonus, too. But it wasn't until I saw the Malkin card that I felt I received any value for the $110 I paid for the two boxes.

I suppose I could start voting with my wallet, and stop buying cards by the pack or box until Upper Deck makes that kind of commitment to its customers. It's easy enough to cherry-pick on the secondary market, or gobble up lots of unwanted commons for our autograph stock.

It's my guess, though, as it is with many things that I see in life, that I'd end up standing alone. In a sense, I've already started. Back in the heyday, when Upper Deck, Topps, Pacific and Be A Player had twice-monthly product launches, I would gobble up as much as I could.

These days, I've become much more finicky. If it wasn't for the opportunity to score a Malkin or a Staal, I would've passed on the MVP offering. Sure, it showed Anaheim and Buffalo players in their new uniforms. It also has just enough second- and third-year players, as well as the obscure common, to appeal to autograph hounds. And I certainly won't complain about my memorabilia cards -- two double-sided game-used jersey cards (though one featured Curtis "The Oxygen Thief" Joseph and Dan Cloutier).

No, what I dislike the most about these cards is that dadgum glossy coating. If you're an autograph hound who collects on cardboard, you know what I mean. Glossy cards require prep work -- from piles of white eraser debris to messy baby powder to rubbing it off with your fingers. Any way, it's a royal pain in the patootie.

One final thing, too. One would think that you could put together the 297-card base set out of the 384 cards from two boxes. Guess what? It'll take at least three to complete a set. Now that I have what I want, though, I won't even bother.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home