Blaster Review: 2009 Upper Deck Spectrum

I needed Advil and shampoo which was enough of a reason for me to head to Target (and to check out their card aisle of course)! I didn't see anything new and exciting, so I decided to take a risk and buy a blaster of Upper Deck Spectrum (I felt I was close enough to the full set I ought to complete it) and a blaster of Topps Heritage.

Did I get lucky? Would I get my one memorabilia card (on average as the box warns)? Let's see.

Upper Deck Spectrum Blaster
$19.99 (from Target)

25 base cards:
1: Brandon Webb

4: Dan Haren
8: John Smoltz
12: David Ortiz
17: Alfonso Soriano
20: Carlos Zambrano
24: Jim Thome
28: Brandon Phillips
33: Troy Tulowitzki
40: Lance Berkman
42: Roy Oswalt
49: John Lackey
56: Ryan Braun
58: Justin Morneau
65: Derek Jeter

66: Chien-Ming Wang
72: Carlos Gonzalez
74: Ryan Howard
75: Jimmy Rollins
81: Trevor Hoffman
82: Tim Lincecum
90: B.J. Upton
91: Evan Longoria

97: Roy Halladay
98: Vernon Wells

1 blue parallel (these appear to be one per retail blaster):
39: Dan Uggla

1 Black/Grey parallel (numbered out of 50):
35: Miguel Cabrera (#35/50)
These look a lot nicer in person - the scan makes the card look blue but I assure you it's black and grey.

1 Upper Deck Retrospective
282: Nolan Ryan

1 Memorabilia - Spectrum Swatches:
SS-HI: Rich Hill

Overall, I was disappointed with the blaster from a set building perspective - I only got one card I needed! I was, however, pleased with the two different parallel cards. I like the blue (retail?) parallel set a lot more than the regular purple base cards. I like the Black (or is it Grey) parallel set even more - if the entire set looked like that more people might be inclined to purchase the product. The jersey swatch was boring to me, but I know there are a lot of Cub fans out there so that's up for trade!

Of course, a month or so ago I said that this set was garbage and that I wouldn't be trying to complete it. Then, a couple weeks after that I picked up another two blasters of Spectrum. And now, I'm the proud owner of 4 blasters of this crap. Guess I ought to finish the set so that the card aisle doesn't rob me of another 20 bucks when I next visit Target. If you have any of these cards for trade, please check out my want list!

Bottom Line:

I give the 2009 Upper Deck Spectrum set a 50/100.

Pros: Small base set full of (mostly) stars - the set doesn't suffer from much of the "who is that?" syndrome. Of course, when you only get 4 cards in a pack you better recognize most of them. The parallels are really nice. If Upper Deck had made the Black/Grey parallel the regular base card and made the purple one of the parallels, people might like this set a lot more.

Cons: Expensive cards for what you get (basically nothing). The swatch cards are boring. Is anyone trying to complete the Upper Deck Retrospective set? Finally, Upper Deck really needs to stop using an "X" design with all of its products - it's boring...and ugly.


  1. I don't really get how you can have a blue parallel card in a set that is already predominantly blue.


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