by James Morisette
NCAA-licensed Upper Deck is set to release a fresh design of its mid-end 2013 edition of SPx football and the final checklist has been released.
SPx will provide collectors less cards than in prior years but Upper Deck promises more quality.
This year, Upper Deck has reduced the number of cards in SPx hobby boxes from 72 cards (18 packs per box, four cards per pack) to 50 cards (10 packs per box, five cards per pack).
Like 2012, SPx will feature a 50-card base set that includes past and present NFL stars. SPx also stays true to its legacy of including college football greats in its base set. Each base card will have a die-cut auto #’d to 5 (minus Archie Manning).
Similar to Topps Strata Football, SPx will bring back its popular line of Shadow Box cards. The basic set will have 32 cards that include legends John Elway, Joe Namath and Bart Starr. It also includes rookies Geno Smith and Matt Barkley.
The Shadow Box Signatures series will include every player from the regular Shadow Box set, minus Archie Manning and Ken Stabler.
Within each hobby box, buyers are guaranteed three autographs, to include at least one SPx rookie auto jersey with a jumbo swatch. Collectors are also guaranteed one single, dual, triple or patch memorabilia card; as well as three SPx Finite Rookies or Legends cards. All boxes will include a total of six insert cards.
Also, for the first time, every SPx hobby box will include three 1996 or 1997 SPx retro hologram inserts (to include rare gold parallels).
“The goal for 2013 SPx Football is to deliver collectors a tremendous amount of bang for their buck when they open their box,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s collegiate sports brand manager. “With three autographs, a memorabilia card and a variety of other quality insert cards in each box, we know fans are going to love busting these packs open. Mix in bonus UD Premier Football packs as an incremental hit and we expect there will be a lot of dads requesting a box or two of 2013 SPx Football for Father’s Day.”
Upper Deck secured every big name rookie to appear in the set and collectors can expect to find autograph and memorabilia cards for these future stars throughout the product. Upper Deck also pushed to deliver a checklist that includes some of the biggest names to ever step onto the gridiron with Joe Namath, John Elway, Barry Sanders, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Bo Jackson, Jerry Rice and many more having autograph content in the product.
Paying respect to the lineage of SPx, collectors can find three retro SPx Hologram cards per box in the classic 1996 SPx and 1997 SPx designs. SPx Finite is another beautiful insert series dedicated to rookies and legends limited to 899 copies or less for each. The popular Shadow Box insert cards return as well, but also a new twist with rare dual signed versions available in packs. And the Winning Big Materials feature a huge memorabilia swatch (1.5”x1.5”) and along with double and triple memorabilia versions.
While not guaranteed, hobby box buyers will have a chance to pull Shadow Box Dual Player Signature cards for the first time. This includes the rare dual autographed parallel of Jerry Rice and John Elway. Other dual shadow boxes this nine card set will include Geno Smith/Matt Barkley, Aaron Rodgers/Bart Starr and Jerome Bettis/Bo Jackson.
Also new, case buyers will receive four UD Premier Bonus Packs. Each pack includes an UD Premier auto jersey or patch card. These cards include top 2013 rookies and past football legends #’d to 125 or less. Names in the UD Premier Auto Jersey set include Barry Sanders, Joe Theismann and Dan Marino.
2013 Upper Deck SPx boxes are priced at around $125 on eBay.
James Morisette is a contributing writer for Sports Collectors Daily. He is also the Founder and Chief Editor at the Basebook Baseball Social Network. You can follow him on Twitter.
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