Like many other Upper Deck products, it's self-titled football brand is undergoing a bit of change for 2007, offering more cards per pack and less packs per box. Fortunately, it's not abandoning it's historic strengths, as Upper Deck Football is full of great action photos and fun rookie cards.
Each hobby box of 2007 Upper Deck Football contains 16 15-card packs. Expect to find a rookie card in every pack as well as two memorabilia cards and one autograph per box on average.
Base Cards and Parallels
In the past, some of Upper Deck's best base card designs have come when the layouts aren't too fancy. The 2007 set takes that to heart, with simple white borders flanking the player photo. Thin team color stripes and team and position info are the only other components on the sides, and the Upper Deck logo and player name are done in silver foil over top of the picture.
The layout really looks good on the set's horizontal cards, giving the pictures the effect of a widescreen TV. Card backs are also done well, with a small head shot and full career statistics even for long-tenured players like Brett Favre.
The base set includes 200 veterans and 100 Star Rookies divided into two tiers. The first 75 rookie cards fall one per pack, with the remainder falling 1:4 packs or four per hobby box. A number of the Star Rookies make use of photos taken at the NFL Players Rookie Premiere, allowing for some unique shots of some of the biggest names from the 2007 draft. All 300 base cards have parallel versions numbered to 99.
My review box had very good collation, falling two cards short of the full set of veterans with just 15 duplicates. I pulled the expected 16 rookies as well as two parallels, one veteran and one rookie.
Upper Deck's inserts begin with its popular Predictor cards, which give collectors a vested interest in several aspects of the 2007 NFL season. The cards come in MVP, Rookie of the Year and Super Bowl Champs varieties, and if the player or team on the card wins that award, the card can be redeemed for special parallel sets.
Nostalgia buffs will get a kick out of the 1964 Philadelphia insert cards, which fall 1:8 packs and depict today's NFL players on a card design that mimics the famous vintage set of the same name. Finally, NCAA to NFL cards pair up college and pro photos of top NFL stars.
All told, I found eight insert cards in my sample box: four NCAA to NFL, two 1964 Philadelphia and two Predictors - one MVP and one Super Bowl Champs.
Serious memorabilia card collectors probably won't be blown away by the cards packed into 2007 Upper Deck Football, but the three jersey card inserts do add a little bit extra to every box.
The two primary sets are the self-explanatory UD Game Jersey and UD Rookie Jersey inserts, the former serving up game-worn swatches from 42 NFL veterans and the latter including event-worn pieces from 32 top newcomers. A little more pizazz comes from Rookie Tandem Materials, which feature two player-worn pieces from two rookies each, for a total of four swatches.
My review box beat the odds with a memorabilia card from each of the three sets, including a Rookie Tandem Materials card of receivers Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett.
Upper Deck Football has four different autographed sets that combine to ensure there is one signed card per box, but except for the designs, there isn't much to differentiate NFL Ink, Rookie Ink, Inkredible and Signature Sensations. That's because none of the cards are numbered, and except for Rookie Ink, the checklists all include a mix of rookies, established stars and NFL legends.
The About.com sample box produced the single expected autograph: an NFL Ink card of former Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko.