The coronavirus pandemic delayed The Cup, but Upper Deck’s annual high-end set more than makes up for it with on-card autographs, memorabilia cards, rookies, booklets and low-numbered offerings.
The 2019-2020 version of The Cup is scheduled to be released the week of Feb. 24, 2021.
A hobby tin will contain one pack of six cards, and Upper Deck is promising two autograph patch cards on average.
The base set will have cards numbered to 249, and there will be foil parallels for the veteran stars and notable rookies. Veterans parallels include Gold Spectrum Foil, numbered to 12, and a 1/1 Black Foil. Rookie base cards are also numbered to 249, with Gold Spectrum Foil parallels numbered to 24. Red Foil parallels will be numbered to 2.
Autographs are a major drawing card in any of The Cup sets, and the 2019-2020 set is no exception. In fact, the choices are almost mind-boggling.
There are big patch cards as well. Autographed Monumental Patch Booklets open to reveal a pair of large patch pieces. Rookie cards are numbered to 6, while veteran cards are 1/1s.
Returning to the lineup for the 2019-2020 set are Color Coded autographs, numbered to 33 or less, NHL Glory autographs numbered to 10 and Dual Auto Rookie Bookmark autos numbered to 17. Enshrinement autographs come as solo signatures (numbered to 99 or less) or Enshrinement Duos (numbered to 25 or less). Signature Renditions will be scarce, showing up once in every 13 packs, while Signature Renditions Combos will appear once in 120 packs. Brilliance autograph cards are seeded 1:18.
New to the set this year are Inked Insignias, which are numbered to 75 or less and combine an autograph with a manufactured patch.
Rookie Auto Patch Tribute cards are numbered to 10 and use designs from the 2005-06, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-17 sets.
Legends of Hockey Triple-Signed Booklets and 9-Way Signature booklets are numbered to nine and cram several autographs onto the card designs.
Splendor autograph and patch cards are each numbered to 36.
Emblems of Endorsement cards are numbered to 15, and Limited Logos are numbered to 50 or fewer. Each subset has jumbo patches.
Making its debut this year is The NHL Collection, with cards numbered to 35 or less.
Memorabilia cards are plentiful in The Cup. Offerings include Cup Trios (numbered to 33), Cup Quads (#’d 24) and Cup Sixes (#’d 15). Premium Materials Gold parallels are numbered to 10 or less, and Red parallels are numbered to 2. There are also 1/1 Green Button cards.
Four pieces of a player’s jersey are embedded into Cup Foundations (numbered to 49) and Cup Foundations Rookies. Each subset has parallels that include patches, tags and autographs.
Notable Nameplates embed the letters from the back of player jerseys onto cards. Signature Materials are numbered to 99 or fewer, with Dual Signature Materials coming in at 15 or less. Autographed Rookie Gear is numbered to 24, while Autographed Pro Gear is numbered to 12. Scripted Swatches (#’d 35) and Honorable Numbers, which have jersey numbering, are also cards worth chasing.
Logo Autograph Booklets are numbered to 3 for rookies and 1/1 for established stars. The cards have a signature on one side and a large patch on the opposite side.
Inserts are just as compelling.
Championship Etchings are numbered to 15 and present engraved cards. Rookie Class of 2020 and All-Time Alum cards are numbered to 249. There are Gold Foil parallels numbered to 75 or less, Red Foil parallels numbered to 5, and Black Foil autographs that are 1/1 cards.
Printing Plate Booklets, Young Guns Printing Plate Booklets, Cup Masterpiece Press Plates and Rookie Masterpiece Press Plates are all 1/1 offerings. A booklet card will feature all four plates from the same card, with some of them containing autographs.
The 2019-20 Exquisite Collection, previously featured in Upper Deck’s Black Diamond and Ice sets, concludes in The Cup.
Exquisite Rookie Auto Patch cards are numbered to the player’s jersey number, and there are 1/1 Shield parallels. Exquisite Endorsements have three tiers that are numbered to 50, 25 and 10, respectively. Rookies cards are numbered to 50.