2009 Upper Deck Football Review

If this wasn’t an official Wax Heaven review, this could easily be titled ‘Upper Deck Conspiracy pt. 5’. This release is just another example of Upper Deck releasing a superior product that looks much better than what they produced for baseball.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all comes from the insert, ‘3D Stars’, which is a throwback to those classic Sportsflics cards we grew up on in the 80’s and 90’s. Not surprising, the gimmick still works extremely well and would make for a great insert in baseball next year.

The only downside to this product is Upper Deck’s inability to come up with a parallel that can compete with Topps’ Refractor. Upper Deck Football looks great, features wonderful photography, and top-notch design but it just cannot compete with Chrome and on-card autographs.

It’s clear that the group of designers behind the U.D. football releases is the absolute best staff around. I think it’s time Upper Deck goes back to the drawing board to come up with a suitable parallel to capture collectors’ heart (and money) for the 2010 releases.

Until that happens, Upper Deck Football will always be the A.C. Slater of football releases. Sure, he’s good-looking, charming, and a great athlete but it’s Zack Morris that everyone loves (Topps Chrome).


Current eBay price – $55+

Guarantees – 320 cards, 3 relics & 1 autograph

Look for – Cut Signatures, Premier Autographs (case hit)

The Good:

Perhaps the best use of U.D.’s flagship design

Excellent, crisp photography

Sportsflics-like inserts!

The Bad:

Lack of popular parallel hurts brand


Relic – Matt Ryan

Relic – Marques Colston

Relic – Pat White

Autograph – Garrett Wolfe

Final Grade: B+



  1. I disagree. While Topps Chrome is a great product (and you can add me to the list of people that love it), Upper Deck should not change their flagship brand by adding needless parallels. UD has great mid- and high-end brands that deliver tons of amazing relics, autographs, etc. The flagship set is a set collector’s best friend. Not only will you pull all of the veterans in the set (1-200), you get 70 RCs in a box, 4 of which are short printed. It is a solid set that almost serves as a yearbook of sorts. Upper Deck’s flagship is fine, just as it is.

  2. I love that Barber card – it’s nice to see them putting a little thought into the inserts and making them something noticable. Maybe holograms are next to return?

  3. I bought a box of both Chrome and UD FB and I think they are both equally great.

    My only issue is that I could not get much in return trade wise for the UD hits. I’ve already unloaded almost all my refractors from Chrome and my autograph I sold on eBay.

    This was my first year of buying a box of UD FB and I was pleased.

    Also, I have no idea what Sport Flicks are.

  4. I still think UD should use Masterpiece cards as an insert set.
    I agree UD has the best football photos going but the design this year doesn’t do much for me. I am not a big fan of too much silver or gold in a base design.

    I really like teh design of the signatutre shots cards, too bad you pulled a buster.

  5. Another decent design ruined by the fact that the player name is in hard-to-read foil.

    When will companies realize that collectors want to be able to read the player name without squinting!

  6. Is it me or are those relic swatches tiny? I haven’t collected baseline products in a very long time and viewing these cards reminds me why…maybe I’m cheesy but unless its slapped with shiny chrome, the cardboard just isn’t appealing to me anymore. The Colston jersey is a nice piece, i like the texture of the swatch.

  7. Very nice, clean design and photography. I’m a fan! Could do without the sticker autos, though. And I don’t mind the “hard-to-read foil” so much. Again, the shinier the better!! =)

  8. Ooo I love the sportflix-ishness a lot. I’m always a fan of kind of gimmicky cards, and they look awesome to me.

    Also, I really like the base cards of the 2009 Upper Deck a lot. The name text is nice, the positioning is nice, the pictures are nice…I’m pretty happy with UD as a set. I like this stuff.

  9. The base cards look alot like 01 baseball(Pujols RC). There is nothing wrong with that. I hate the Ryan Game Day Gear jsy card. That set can be found in nearly all(if not all) retail versions of UD football products this year. It looks cheap and hastily designed. It is a huge disappointment when that is the guaranteed hit you get in blasters of Philadelphia, UD, SP sig and who knows what else?! Flagships should provide retail value and while Chrome does this in flying colors, UD rarely doe

  10. I would never buy a box of upper deck for the hits in the product, I could never justify that. What is really great about this product though is the look of the base cards. Upper deck always has done a great job of designing their base cards for the main set. Also the rookies in this set are nice also, and the short print rookies add additional value to the box.

  11. I love that they brought back the 3-D cards!! They have always been a fav of mine way back to sportsflicks. The Auto layout is also not bad. The base design I could do without as it seems blah every year but the photography is crisp as usual. I could also do without the relics which are getting old.

  12. The best part of this product seems to be the photography. They use clean crisp picture and they seem not to let the fact that a jersey peice is include affect it. The 3-D Star also looks nice (will only truely tell when I get one in-hand).

    The one aspec that ruins part of the product for me is the auto design. Why are they sidways? This nver makes sense to me. Why couldn’t they use the Game Jersey design and levae the space at the bottom for Autos.

    The price point is not bad. $55 for 320 is respectable. Would i buy this product? Most likely no. I can’t see myself building this set. I may go after the 3-D or other inserts, but that is it.

  13. I don’t know I have never really been that big of a fan of the Upper deck flagship brand… the game used inserts look kind of cheap, however the base cards look pretty sharp, so that I do like. I think I need to see a 3d stars card in real life before I can release an opinion on that. However I can say without a doubt that the autograph you pulled looks great, and I have always been a fan of cleverly named inserts, “signature shots” falls into that category

  14. the design look great. Upper deck has really stepped up in football now with topps losing their licences. Great product

  15. I agree that these cards are better than what UD does for baseball, but what can you do. The design is great and the jerseys are nice and colorful, with the exception of the Ryan.

  16. I don’t dislike the design it’s just that I wish UD (as well as Topps sometimes) would not re-use their designs from the baseball releases. By the time the football cards come around I am usually tired of the design.

  17. Pros: Love 3-D cards

    Cons: falls flat on other areas to seriously break away from the rest of the football card market, needs more WOW factor. Price point at $65 is a stretch to justify.

    Overall: B flat

  18. I personally like this years release. I think the photos are really sharp and color is wonderful. Ya, the sticker thing, but it is what it is. It all depends what kind of collector you are. If you are buying strictly for Auto’s, than ya, they stink. If you are a set collector, great set, but a little pricy. The patches are same as reasons above.

  19. This release has alot to offer. I love the photography, and the overall quality/design of the cards. Some of the SP product has been really lackluster and I find a set like this refreshing, not too busy, just great photos on glossy finish. I nearly built the entire base set (minus the rookies) from one box, which makes it a great product for getting kids started collecting.

    On the downside, the inserts leave something to be desired. The jersey cards are largely forgettable, and the sticker autos are even cheaper looking here than usual, and not #’d. I’ve also noticed a problem with the autos being badly dinged up out of the pack. This has been a problem with other UD products as well with the filler cardboard damaging the card beneath it. For an SRP of $5/pack, you might expect a little more here. The 3D “Sportflick” throwbacks are a nice touch, and I would have rather seen more of those than the jersey cards.

    Still, with the # of cards per pack compared to the Chrome releases, the value is quite high here. My advice would be for insert chasers to stick with Chrome, but if set building is your main objective you can’t go wrong with 09 UD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s