A box of 2009-10 Upper Deck Victory hockey cards.
The Upper Deck Company sent me a box of 2009-10 Victory trading cards to review this past week. As an on-and-off card collector, I was pretty excited to get the product, and ripped open every pack the day I got the box--it really brought me back, and it was fun to look at today's hockey cards. All in all, it's a good product, a truly collectable set, and although it doesn't really have the really fun cards (game used apparel, signatures), it's probably the kind of set a casual collector like myself can really get into. I've broken down my full impression below.
The good: This is a great collector's set. Although they're not spectacular, they look good, and Upper Deck always has good photos of the players. If you're a collector of the purest ilk, you'll enjoy putting together the 250-card set, particularly because none of the cards are going to cost you an arm or a leg to find. It's also great if you're looking for a relatively unknown player's rookie card, because 50 of the 250 cards in the set are freshmen. And although it's not hard to collect the full base set, collectors looking for a challenge can still work on filling out gold and black parallel sets--the gold are randomly inserted 1:36, and the black are 1:720, so there's plenty of work there for a pure collector.
The bad: Don't look to pull a really exciting, rare card. Victory is an inexpensive set, and that's why you're not going to find any game-used equipment cards or signatures or so on--if you're looking to find those ones, you'd be better off looking into a different (and more expensive) set of cards. The Stars of the Game subset are also pretty cheesy; the designers tried to find a different adjective for each player, so you get 'Carey Price is precocious' and 'Tomas Vokoun is unflinching.' It's a bit of a stretch.
The verdict: Solid set overall. Just a fun set of cards to get into collecting, and you can get back to the fun of collecting rather than dumping absurd amounts of money into it, as some people do. Still, collectors looking for a challenge can try and assemble the parallel sets, and they won't be at all disappointed with the task.
The favourites: Peter Regin rookie card
Upper Deck sent me a box to review, and the best card I got--on a personal level--was the Peter Regin rookie card. He's probably the best rookie of the ones I pulled, and he's an Ottawa Senator, so it was nice when that one popped up. After Regin, probably the Daniel Alfredsson base card; it's nothing special, but the photo's a great representation of the sheer determination the guy plays with.