Upper Deck is saving the good stuff for last.
It’s a high-end product and technically the last one of the 2017-18 calendar year, being released October 24, but collectors generally consider The Cup to be worth the wait. A tin contains one pack with six cards. Upper Deck is promising that there will be two autographed patch cards in the upcoming edition — and that one of those cards will be a rookie patch. This year, some of the rookie patch autograph cards pay tribute to designs from 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10. All will be numbered to 10 or less.
Another new arrival is Razors Edge, which will feature a piece of a player’s skate embedded into the card. These cards also will be numbered to 10 or less and will feature blades from current and former players.
Base set cards will be numbered to 249, and these cards will have Gold Spectrum parallels numbered to 36, 1/1 Black Foil cards and 1/1 Masterpiece Press Plates.
The Autographed Rookie Patch cards will be a major component of The Cup. There will be two levels of cards, with Level 1 players numbered to 249 while Level 2 will be limited in numbering to 99. There are parallels, too: Gold Foil Auto Patch cards will be numbered to 24 and 12, while Red Foil Auto Tag cards will be numbered to 8 and 4.
Other premium first-year player cards include Rookie Auto cards, numbered to 99; and Rookie Patch, numbered to 249 and 99. Parallels include Gold Spectrum Foil Auto (numbered to 36 or 24), Gold Spectrum Foil Patch (24 or 12), Red Foil Tag (8 or 4) and Red Foil Tag (8 or 4). One-of-one parallels can be found in the Black Foil Auto and Black Foil NHL Shield subsets.
Lower numbered cards will be featured in the Cup Foundations (15) and Rookie Foundation (15) subsets. Each will have 1/1 Tag parallels.
In addition to the new cards, hockey collectors will enjoy the return of Emblems of Endorsements (numbered to 15), Honorable Numbers and Dual Honorable Numbers, Limited Logos (50 or less), Scripted Swatches and Dual Scripted Swatches (15), Signature Materials (numbered to 99 or 25), and Dual Signature Materials, which are numbered to 25 and 15.
The Cup’s Exquisite cards are well, exquisite. Exquisite Endorsement cards will be numbered to 50 or fewer, and there will be Exquisite Rookie Auto Patch cards that will be numbered to the player’s jersey.
The Show/Hockey Legends features some of the NHL’s greatest players and promising rookies, with a classy looking front that is beautiful in its simplicity. Top 10 Picks Autos are numbered to the position in which the player was drafted.
Property Of and Notable Nameplates feature the players’ names on pieces of memorabilia and are 1/1 cards. Unsigned Limited Logos for rookies are numbered to 25, while Championship Etchings are numbered to 15 and feature sterling silver nameplates for the game’s greats. Other cards to chase include Color Coded (numbered to 33) and Color Coded Rookies (44). NHL Glory features big-name stars and is numbered to 10.
Even more high end are The Cup booklets, which includes a Signature Booklet—numbered to 9 — that includes nine autographs. Other booklets include 1/1 Monumental Patch Booklets, Legends of Hockey Triple Signed Booklets (9), Monumental Rookie Patch Booklets and Ticket Inscription Booklets.
Fine Silver Rookies and Fine Silver 2005-06 Retro Rookies
A late addition to The Cup, the Retro Rookies are crafted from two solid ounces of pure silver. Upper Deck says they “were encased in airtight holders immediately after minting to avoid oils from the human hand transferring to them.”
Rookies and Rookie Tributes featuring veteran players in their first season are part of a short checklist.
It’s the launch of a concept that will continue in future sets of The Cup.
“Our goal was to artfully blend the theme of our most premium hockey brand, The Cup, with precious metals in a manner that had not been previously envisioned or designed,” said Grant Sandground, Upper Deck’s Director of Product Development. “We wanted to deliver to the hockey card collector the finest precious metal card ever produced. The goal was to take elements of Lord Stanley’s Cup, the waved ridges, the gleaming surface and transpose that into the design of a super-premium trading card, as if to answer the question, ‘What if the Stanley Cup trophy was morphed into the format of a trading card?’ What would that look like? What would that feel like?”
“It had to be beautiful, it had to be heavy, it had to have depth and texture and it had to be rare. It had to live up to, and possibly exceed, the standards expected from customers that buy our most premium brand. Our Creative and Product Development teams worked together for almost a year with a minting company to bring to life these new chase cards to market.”
Print runs will not be released for these cards.
Boxes are online for just over $600. You can see boxes, cases and more on eBay here.
2017-18 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey Final Checklist