2009 Spectrum review

(For a full listing of all Wax Heaven reviews, click HERE)

I have no problem admitting that from the very first public scans of 2009 Spectrum, I was immediately turned off. Looking back at my history with Spectrum, I don’t know why I was surprised. I bought a box in 2007 and was barely amused by it and in 2008 was so outraged at the $150 dollar price tag that I did not buy a single pack of it.

Having had the chance to bust 14 loose packs or the equivalent of one Hobby box I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the cards. No, it did not have the design quality of Masterpieces, the photography of U.D’s flagship release, or the big name “hits” from Ultimate Collection but it was way more fun than I expected.

It was still more fun that I expected.

Design: B-

You are either going to love or absolutely loathe Spectrum’s base cards, which has overdosed on shiny foil. Having seen many of Spectrum’s cards from the past two years I can honestly say this is their best-looking product in that time.

Where Spectrum really shines however, is in its parallels. I pulled a Red (#’d to 299), Black (#’d to 50), and Gold (#’d to 25) and thought the best looking of them all was the Red version. Had the Red version been the actual base card you might have seen more interest in Spectrum.

Price: C

Finally, Spectrum is back to a price tag that insn’t so insulting. You will find a Hobby box from around $80-$85 dollars online but like many products, the later you buy, the better the price.

Upper Deck is going to give you two autographs and one game-used relic per box, along with a handful of #’d parallels. Unfortunately, one of your autographs is going to be a celebrity and despite the vast improvement over the celebrity autograph checklist, they just don’t sell very well on the secondary market unless you pull a Kim K. or Burt Reynolds.

I have seen Kim’s “work” but can someone tell me why Burt Reynolds is famous?

Pulls: B

When one of my autographs is a Henry Hill, the inspiration for the movie ‘Goodfellas’, one cannot complain. I also pulled several stars but it’s clear that you will need a couple of boxes to truly enjoy this product and find all your favorite baseball superstars.

It also wouldn’t hurt to get a few more #’d parallels per box.

Overall: C+

While Spectrum won’t change my mind about Upper Deck’s constant use of the letter “X” in their designs, even I can admit that the product itself wasn’t as lousy as the scans I had seen led me to believe. If the price ever drops to the range of $65-$70 like ’07 Spectrum has, it would make a perfect box to bust over and over again.

However, at it’s current price I would only recommend this product to those “completists” who love busting every release that comes from the big two. You might not pull the biggest hits possible but you will end up with enough foil in your card house to unscramble that channel that shows Kim K’s movie late at night.

19 thoughts on “2009 Spectrum review

  1. haha, That is an awesome Henry Hill Auto!!
    Goodfellas is one of my favorite movies ever!

  2. You may want to sit on that Phil Coke card. If he’s as solid this season as he was at the end of last, he’s likely to become saught after, and you could probably flip it for something decent.

  3. hey mario! looks like i will be sending another sase for the heritage and spectrum manny ramirez cards! thanks for doing this. i don’t get why manny is shown in a red sox uni on the spectrum, though. and bedard as an oriole. weird.

    do you still want a copy of ‘card sharks’? i just finished it and can send it with my sase if you like.


    jim (gcrl)

  4. I didn’t bust the Heritage, Shane did. Those are all his cards as he paid for them on his own.

    I do however have the Manny Spectrum and a box of UD series 1 still to review. I’d wait to see if I get anything from that as well.

  5. Gasp, Phil Coke auto! I want that card so bad. When my eBay hiatus is up I’m definitely going after that one.

  6. Mario,

    Joe is sad 😦

    You actually ask why the genius behind Smokey and The Bandit, Cannonball Run, Gator, Sharkey’s Machine, and still able to play Chubby on My Name is Earl is famous?
    He dates hot chicks.

  7. Why is Bedard pictured in an O’s uni? He hasn’t been in Baltimore for 2 years…and I an grateful for that.

    Burt Reynolds is the man! It’s funny, you know, cause it’s bigger than a regular hat.

  8. To be honest, I really like last year’s spectrum base set design a whole lot more the 09 base. 2009 Baby blue and pinkish purple vs 2008 Metallic Black and Blue. Hah… I hate to say this but I think Piece of History and Spectrum both took a step back from last years design simply by changing to a more disgusting background color. UD has yet to impress me this year….hmm

  9. The Leslie Neilsen card is selling alright as well. Eventually one willslip through the cracks and will be mine cheaply.

    What bugs me to no end about Upper Deck right now is all of the crap that you get in packs that isn’t the crap that you are paying for. When I buy 2009 Upper Deck I don’t want update cards to a set that no one bought. I didn’t want the Yankees Collection and I don’t want the Anniversary Collection. Topps has been just as bad. The A-Rod and Mantle cards were just a bunch of wasted pack space.

  10. Ooh, a Kershaw relic! Is that mine as the Kershaw collector in the Wax Heaven Directory, or do relics not count?

    (Can’t believe I care. I hate Spectrum).

  11. I went to a card show today picked up a box of spectrum for $65 & I got a hot Box that 4 Memorabilia cards in 1 box all #/99.

  12. I just received a h/c set of base 2009 Spectrum today. I love the design (rainbow foil) but I hate how UD phoned it in on the base card (Santana as a Met? ManRam as a Red Sox?).

    Some of those players were on a different team last season, how come UD couldn’t find and use a current team photo (at least of their team as of the closing day of the 2008 season at least?)

    I expect the 2009 Spectrum set to be called 2008 or 2007 spectrum because that is the teams the players are depicted with.

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