Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Product Review: 2009 Upper Deck Draft Edition Football

This year, we have had two duds as our 1 and 2 hitters for the football card season schedule. UD Draft, Upper Deck's first product of the year, comes out this week and many people have been waiting what the product has to offer. 5 autos per box, most of them on card, and a good design to boot for the masher in the 3 hole. Most of the time, being late to the party is a bad thing, unless the first two guests are Bowman Draft and Prestige. The only thing I could forsee being a problem is the Bowman brand being attached to the Topps product, as that will always draw more people. Either way, I am so glad my favorite part of the card year is coming up. Im going to need it.


Last year the design made Topps Rookie Progression seem like it was done on MS Paint, but that wasn’t hard. This year the design is much improved (nice job Lindsey), and I even like the horizontal orientation with the slanty auto placement. It doesn’t interfere with the player's picture, and even without the auto, the design looks complete - unlike many of the cards in Prestige. The granite look seems to fit well, and the parallels seem to blend better than they did last year.

The only complaint is a lack of NFL presence on the cards, as the college logo makes me think that UD put this set together a long, long time ago. Obviously, to get the signatures on card, you need to do that, so Im not too put up about it considering that the set's checklist looks about right.Also, UD used the same RC Logo on the card as last year, which I hate, and it looks completely unnecessary on this design. There is no reason for any company to use a stupid logo to signify a rookie card anymore, especially with the amount of information people can get from the internet. I remember it was an issue in baseball because the league forces it to be on the card, due to the confusion over the number of sets. Really, if you need an outdated logo to tell you which card is THE rookie card, you need to learn how to use google more effectively.

Lastly, you can tell this set is put out by UD and that is a good thing. Prestige and Bowman lacked the pizzazz of a well designed set, looking thrown together at the last minute, while this looks themed and nicely put together. Shows you what preparation can do for you, as Prestige seemed like they just threw some twists on last year. This set looks new and fresh (again, nice job Lindsey), and I would choose this over the other two any day. Even the pictures they chose for the cards look intimidating and fit well.

Rating =

Relic Cards

This set does not have any relic cards as far as I know.


Autograph Cards

I really, really like the autographs in this set, as they use a concept that you don’t usually see in the placement of the sigs. Normally I would say that you shouldn’t break something that aint broken, but they look quite good. As the first on card offering of the year, I put this down as a win for UD in terms of the looks of the cards with the hard signed sigs. They just look so much better than throwing a sticker on a pre-designed spot for the autograph to go. This gives players more room to sign, and you can see where it benefitted players like Stafford and Moreno who have loopy and large autos.

The duals fit the theme of the set well, and the alumni association cards are a college team collector's wet dream. It seemed as though UD knew the type of collectors that would value this set, and included elements of what they want in a set of this type. Considering that no other set has a Stafford and Moreno dual, or anything close to it, you have to give props to UD for beating them to the punch with such cool looking cards.

The problem I see is that the duals seem to be stickers, which is understandable considering the time needed to get two college players to sign a card during the end of the season. I didn’t get to see any of the Vet sigs during the few boxes I saw broken in Vegas, but I assume they will be stickers too. If not, then this product will be THAT much better.

Rating =

Value To The Collector

These sets never hold their value, and for good reason. College cards are a waste of space for anyone BUT the college collectors, who are a ridiculously small portion of the hobby. Stupid people always come on here and try to say that Press Poop and Sage are good sets for those type of people and I have said on numerous occasions that I agree. They must miss that for anyone who doesn’t care that Kenny Britt played for Rutgers, all of this is just a placeholder until the post premiere sets. Personally, I would like to see them shift the card season back a while, even though it would mean more time I would have to wait without cards. Offer post-premiere sets with ELEMENTS of this stuff instead of getting it out there just to get it out there.

I would expect that once an NFL based UD set comes out with the players in their new uniforms, this set will drop 10-20% in value. Once the season gets to SPA, this stuff will be at 40 dollars a box. At 85 dollars for a box, the price delivers ten fold over Bowman Draft's 2 autos for 110, and Prestige's 1-2 for 120. That means that at least if you buy this out of boredom, you will get something out of it. Having 5 autos a box never a bad thing.

Rating =

Overall Impressions

If I had the past three products to choose from for the entire year, I would buy 100 boxes of draft before the thought even entered my mind to buy another early 2009 product, but I would still choose to wait for a post premiere product in any other situation. UD did better than I thought they would with this set, so a kudos is due on that. However, when a product gets delayed by as much as draft did, people get frustrated, especially when there is nothing else to buy. Hopefully the sets continue to be new and fresh, something that would make me happier than I could ever imagine in such a boring plethora of bad products.

Average Rating =

2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1. 2009 UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). 2009 Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). 2009 Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)


  1. Whoa there cowboy... Easy on the MS Paint designs... That's my bread and butter.

    I don't trash cussing and football cards over on my blog.

    Let's be mindful of our audience before we go trashing an American institution like MS Paint. ;)

  2. hahaha, HOF comment right there.

  3. I busted 2 boxes of this stuff today and I couldn't stand it. Dunno if I am gonna write up a full review on it like yours but one thing I can say for sure, looking at the sell sheet/checklist/previews vs actually busting a box..... this stuff just doesn't deliver. They turned all these insert sets into part of the base, the parallels are hard to see, and my number 1 pet peeve - no mention what so ever about which team drafted a player, at least Prestige got that right.

  4. I had a peeve about the teams too, but for them to get the autos on card, that would be quite tough.

    As for the base and inserts, I couldnt care about it, its not an issue to me. For someone who is out to collect the set, I would assume that would be tough with all the inserts.

    As for the parallels, they stuck out to me without a problem.

  5. Per Gregg, the inserts were part of the base set last year. Also, as I suspected, he also said you would need to trade the logos for on card sigs. I would rather have the on card.

  6. I was designing some team icons for a mfl fantasy site, and found myself nostalgic for football cards. Last Friday, I got a hankering for some football cards, so I went down to the only local shop. I purchased a UD NFL Draft 2009 for $100 (yes, I know now that I paid too much). Call it beginner's luck, but I pulled a Mark Sanchez auto (Copper 29/50) and a Donald Brown auto (Copper 44/50).

    I've spent this past weekend reading all the archives of this blog, educating myself of the current state of the hobby. Thanks for the great blog. Based on your advice, should I sell now? Will these cards go up in value if Mark Sanchez and Donald Brown are superstars in three years? I can wait, and it's not life or death or anything, but I just wanted to you to reconfirm one more time. Thanks!

  7. sell now, no doubt. once the legit NFL uniform products come out, these wont be worth as much.