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Retail Review: 2009-10 Upper Deck Ovation Series 3 Tin

January 19, 2011

Last Wednesday I posted an article about a tin of 2008-2009 Upper Deck Ovation Series 4 that I was quite happy with the results of.  Even more pleasing in the time since that article was posted is that I have been able to sell off a large number of the rookie cards that were contained in the tin, along with the Patrice Bergeron jumbo card for more than the $10 that I spent on the tin.

This week’s post is about a Series 3 tin of the 2009-2010 Ovation set that I picked up at the same time as that 208-2009 tin for the same $10 price tag.  Without giving too much away off the top, my opinion of it is not nearly as glowing.

One of the aspects that I really enjoyed about the 2008-09 edition was the quality action shots of the players pictured on the cards, and they are once again present in the more recent incarnation of the set.  Many of the photos are simply outstanding.  My favourite of the bunch has to be the Scott Hartnell card.  A great shot of a guy in the heat of battle!

The positive comparisons pretty much stop right there for me though. 

I will start my airing of grievances against Upper Deck on this set from the second I found the product on the shelf at Wal-Mart.  The 2009-10 set is similar in distribution to previous years, though there were only three 50 card series produced as opposed to the usual four, the tins were smaller, and there was no picture of a player on the tin. 

Inexplicably, Upper Deck chose to insert a plastic window on the front of the tin instead, which allow collectors to see the very player they will receive as their “Ovation Spotlight” insert card, which replaced the randomly inserted jumbo card that was a staple in the tins of previous editions.

When I realized that this was the case, I looked through the available tins and decided that the tin with the picture of Sidney Crosby staring at me through the window was the one for me.  I know that pack searching is about as popular as Patrik Stefan with collectors, but I wouldn’t put my choice of tin in that category.  While I did a quick look through the tins to see what was there, it hardly qualifies as pack searching if the “special” card is blatantly visible.

Even though my Spotlight card featured the best player available in the set, I really did not find it all that impressive.  As I said in last week’s review about the jumbo Patrice Bergeron card that I received, why put all the effort into the base set cards and leave the “hit” looking so boring?  This card does absolutely nothing to tell me that I received a bonus of any consequence.

Now on to the base set itself.  In each of the previous Ovation sets that have been released over the past number of years, the cards in the tin corresponded to the tin number that the collector purchased.  Cards 1-50 were in the Series 1 tin, 51-100 in Series 2 and so on.  Generally, the last series featured the bulk of the quality rookies since players must actually dress for an NHL game before they can be featured on a card.

With that in mind, I figured the fact that my tin, with my “special” Crosby card included, was likely to have cards 101-150 and would also yield a strong group of rookies. 

Wrong on both counts.

The numbering of the cards was an entirely random distribution, and as with the 2008-09 version, they were not collated in spite of the fact that I am guessing those same 50 cards appear in every single Series 3 tin.  Why Upper Deck would suddenly change the way the cards are distributed amongst the series after having a consistent format for the three previous releases of the product is an absolute mystery to me, and came as a very unwelcome surprise.

For the Rookies, Michal Neuvirth and Ville Leino were easily the best of the bunch of only seven who were featured in the set.  A couple of the remaining rookies were players that I had literally never heard of, which is never a good sign.


Another difference that I noticed with the 2009-10 set is that the background imagery hasn’t been removed as in years past.  The players are still embossed in a close-crop, but with the amount of “stuff” in the background the players don’t seem to pop of the card the way they did in years past. 

The inclusion of the background imagery, along with the team colours supplementing the blue splash effect leaves the cards feeling incredibly busy, and frankly not all that attractive.  The blue makes sense on cards like the Neuvirth Rookie since there is blue in the team colours, but on the Toews and Hartnell examples the combinations look brutal.


So there you have it.  From a positive review one week to a less than stellar showing the next.  Not the best $10 I’ve ever spent, but certainly not the worst either.

Have you bought any of this product from Upper Deck?  Was your opinion of it similar to mine, or is my experience unique?

Let me know what you think by posting a comment or sending me an e-mail at bb_bros [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Sunday’s article will be the seventh in my eight-part Toward Self Sufficiency series.  Strategic purchasing in pursuit of my goal will be the topic of conversation this week.

Until then, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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