Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Looking at Ultimate From Different Perspectives

First off, Im sure you are all expecting me to rant and rave about how awesome Ultimate is, but I am not going to do it in the way you expect. Ultimate has some ridiculously great elements to it, but there are parts that need to be examined from a perspective outside of my usual way. Its rare that a product like this comes out, where some of the cards can be as awesome as they are, and other can be as problematic. Although they all look good, some spell disaster for some while being great for others.

The first perspective is from me, the singles buyer, rather than someone who buys wax. Right now, there are no less than 10 cards I would purchase in a heartbeat if I didn’t have a baby on the way. These cards are easily the coolest ones of the year in some cases, and in others they go far above my expectations. I think Ultimate's good cards are borderline what some were getting in baseball, which says a lot about the effort that was put into this product.

Much like last year, the Ultimate Patch autos are the best of the set. These cards just look cooler than anything that has been released this year. I like these ones better than a lot of the ones from the Exquisite previews, so that says something. I also like all the inscriptions that have made their way into the product, as they add a lot to a normal auto card that cant be duplicated by stickers. Im not going to go buy any of the Personal Touch ones, but I would definitely buy some of the others that relate to the player's accomplishments.

I am also a huge fan of the duals, triples and quads, as it looks like they really got their shit right on these. The dual jersey autos are just amazing, and I could understand if someone wants to do a victory lap if they pulled some of the ones that have been posted.

Lastly, the UD Legends cards are always a treat. They definitely added some great players to the growing set, and though they may not always recoup a box price, the cards look as great as they did back in 1997. Its too bad we cant do a similar product with a new design and similar focus.

Moving on to the second perspective of me, the wax breaker, Ultimate takes on a very different feel than someone who buys singles. Most importantly, if you are busting a case of this, expect a lot of non-auto jersey cards. Too many for most people to justify busting this product. Although the jerseys are six piece, eight piece, or jumbo patches, its not going to be enough to make anyone crazy like they did in baseball. At 80+ per box, to pull one of these cards is pretty much a death sentence to the box with very few exceptions, which is why I can understand the feelings of some of the people who were buying and complaining.

Its pretty much impossible to put out a product where every pack is a winner, that’s obvious. But, to include half a case worth of junk in a product that costs as much as Ultimate does, people are going to be pissed. Limited faced some of this criticism as well because of its dud boxes, but Limited does offer more hits. Those extra hits are usually poop, but for the general public who likes both quantity and quality at the same time, its not going to be as much of a problem.

Basically, when busting Ultimate you are either going to win big, come out of it with cool cards that arent worth a lot, or get some jerseys that you can sell for 10 bucks. I think this structure of returns is what makes Ultimate such a love it/hate it product. I think its cool that some of the duds can be as cool as they are,but I also get that people want to get their money's worth. Im saying its probably a good idea to buy singles on this one, but if you must bust, buy more than one box to protect yourself from the dud.

Overall, I really like the look of this set, as I really didn’t think I would. When the preview came out, I was pretty disappointed, yet now my tune has changed thanks to the un-previewed part of the set. Despite the fact that it wont live up to baseball, I think its definitely a great product to have fun with if you have the money.


  1. I think that was a fair and balanced review.

  2. Side note... Macy's is advertising their kitchenware on your blog? Impressive, for being a mostly male hobby. Unless, of course, there are several male cooks here that follow the blog!! Random comment.... a bit off topic.