Well, I opened a box of SPA, I have steered clear of packs/boxes lately, but I wanted to try out my personal favorite product.
I was shorted, but other than that I loved the break. I received 4 serial #'d rookies. I also received two autograph cards. The highlight was a Mario Williams/Jared Allen dual autograph /50. A very cool looking card.
Design : 7/10. Very plain, which I like a lot, but I am not a big fan of this years design compared to past years. I loved 07's base design, and that is standard setter for me. I think this years is an improvement over 08 for sure. The base set would be a nice set for IP or TTM autographs since they are pure gloss like most cards out there.
Base Set: 10/10. Well let's see here, they included more than just the 100 card base set! There are now legends and multi player cards (ie Ray Lewis/Terrell Suggs on a card together). I think this is a great idea because it makes the base set much more desirable to build! I was ecstatic to see some of these cards when I busted my packs.
Autographs: 9/10. The checklist looks deep, which is a good thing, but also bad thing. There are plenty of good players, but also plenty of scrub rookies, which is great if you pull the next Tony Romo. I love how they included many multiple autographs this year, especially of defensive guys. I saw a Ray Lewis/Joey Porter, how cool is that! I also love how everything is on card, that just makes this set awesome. The Rookie patch auto's have the horizontal orientation again, which I think has become the best way to do these cards, from what I've seen on eBay they look great!
Quality control: 6/10. No damaged cards, which last year I ran into the problem of damaged cards, so that was nice. There look to be quite a few redemptions, but with on card autographs that is expected. Being shorted is never fun, but it does happen. Hopefully I can get ahold of Upper Deck and get it corrected. Though everything else seems to be great.
Overall: 8/10. I enjoyed busting the product. The autographs are the key to the set, but I love how the serial numbered rookies have the team logo next to the image, that makes them look great, but the downside is that the signature rookies don't leave much room for the signature. I'd say if your looking to open a box, definitely think about SPA, at around $100 it's not going necessarily get your cash back, but you'll have a shot at something really nice with some great looking base cards. Though getting singles on eBay would be a great alternative, these cards look fantastic, which is Upper Deck's M.O.
Here are my hits, sorry for lack of base card pics...
have fun with your breaks!