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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2013-14 Upper Deck Artifacts Box Break #1

One of the most eagerly anticipated product lines in the early part of the hockey card collecting Year is Upper Deck Artifacts. The product is loaded with hits, as each box is guaranteed to contain three memorabilia cards, including one multi-player memorabilia card, and one autographed card. Not only that, but each box will contain at least one serial-numbered rookie card and one rookie redemption card, which is good for a rookie who debuts during the 2013-14 season.

The base cards are great this year. The frame around each of the cards gives it a classic look, which was sorely missing from last year's uninspired design. The other cool thing this year has to do with the background. In year's past, players were basically cut out and placed on a uniform backing, but here, we have the actual background of the photo, modified to still give a spotlight to the player image. There is a healthy mix of current and former players, and a few of them, like Evgeni Malkin, are pictured in All-Star jerseys.

The base set is numbered 1-100, but the set continues after that, with serial-numbered subsets. Card numbers 101-12 are goaltenders, cards 126-15 are Team Canada, and cards 151-200 are rookies. All of the base versions of these are numbered to 999, and all of these card, as well as cards 1-100 have parallel version, like Ruby /299, Emerald /99, Sapphire /85, Spectrum /25, and Black /5. Many of the Black Parallels are autographed. My box contained goaltenders Ed Belfour and Pekka Rinne, as well as Team Canada's Corey Perry. There was also an Emerald Ondrej Pavelec, numbered 86/99.

Like most boxes, I also got two rookies: a base version of Alex Chiasson, numbered 526/999 and a Boston Bruins Rookie Redemption. Each box contains one redemption, which will be exchanged for a player who makes his debut during the season. While some of the top draft picks from 2013 are easy to predict, some of the other teams may not have an eligible player until well into the season.

My first hit was a Treasured Swatches dual jersey card of Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards. It appears as though Upper Deck has gone through their Mike Richards jerseys from his Flyer days, as this features the L.A. Kings' black and silver. It's a great color combination, and it's really good that they put in two different colored swatches, but what isn't clearly seen is just how sparkly that silver is. Very nice.

My multi-player jersey card is of Daniel Alfredsson and Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators. Both swatches are red, but that's ok, since at least it is from two different players, and that same color isn't white. I really have a talent for Ottawa Senators hits, though, or maybe it seems that way.

My  third memorabilia hit is a patch/jersey card of Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green. I guess I may have spoke too soon about the Senators being a recurring pull, since this is my second Mike Green hit from Artifacts in two consecutive years. The first came in 2012-13, when I pulled a horizontal dual-jersey card of his. Anyway, it is always cool to pull a patch card, but a single-colored white patch? Booooooo.

The big hit of the box, though, was the autograph. I was lucky enough to pull an autographed Team Canada Black Parallel of Evander Kane, numbered 1/5. These cards, at least the autographed versions, are slightly modified from the base cards. Of course, you have the different-colored foil, but beyond that, they appear to just slightly fade the area behind the autograph to make it stand out even more.

I dipped my toes into Artifacts for the first time last year, and was very happy with the two boxes that I purchased. I picked up two this year as well, and although box #2 (which I will post tomorrow) wasn't quite as good as this one, Artifacts is always a fun break.


  1. I just got my email from my LCS that these are out. I think I will have to pick up a box again this year. Though, I hope I get some better pulls. I actually got a better hit in a pack war wit a Bower two swatch relic than my box hit of a Derek Stepan.

    1. Fortunately, I've fared pretty well. The past two years, I've gotten two boxes each, and three out of the four boxes gave me at least one really good hit, with the Evander Kane from this box being the biggest. I'd give it another shot. Or if not that, just get the cards you really want off of Ebay. That's how I'll have to get my Crosbys.

  2. Sick. Just sick. Despite what seems to be the same, generic, overused, design...I love Artifacts. I've got to get me a box or three.