Sunday, June 26, 2022

I am not a metal head.

 When Upper Deck announced they were bringing back the Metal brand in hockey, I was pretty happy. I was a HUGE fan of the NBA version of the set during it's brief 5 year existence. The etched foil aspect that was the hallmark of the set really looks good to much so that the fact that they are altered photos doesn't even really bother me, and that's my second biggest dislike in the hobby as a general rule. 

They made 7 sets in the brand for the NBA, and 5 of them used the etched foil I love. Although I wasn't collecting the NHL yet during the Metal's brand in this sport, the ones I've gotten later feature the etched foil that I liked as well. In addition, there was a DC movie and Marvel comics set which also used the same technology. Actually, they used a slightly different technology that was just as good if not better. 

I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. I picked up a blaster a few months ago, even paying more than they should be because I had such fond memories of the set. I was disappointed. There's no etched foil at all...ZERO. It's all mirror foil. Mirror foil stinks. Oh, they tried to make it look etched by placing a bunch of lines in it, but you run your fingernail over it and it's completely smooth, other than the player image and Metal Universe logo, which are slightly raised. 

And it scans like garbage. 

See, no etching and nothing good in the scan. Can you even tell who this is? No? It's Nils Hoglander, a rookie from last season. Even though it was last season, these cards didn't come out until this season. As I'm writing this on December 8th, we're still three weeks away from the 2021-22 cards from Upper Deck. Rookies were short printed in that you either got one rookie or one All-Star in each pack. It seems strange to me that they would have an All-Star subset in a premium set like this but I won't complain about that, I like All-Star cards. 

The design, what you can't see in the scan, is fairly lackluster, as the left side of the card is a diamond plate pattern, and the right side is images of outer space that appear to be swiped from Hubble. 

You can see them better on the blue parallel.

 This is the design, only the base cards don't have any blue. The parallels are holofoil and they are pretty nice. Much nicer than mirror foil. Still not etched though. 

Inserts are OK...not great. Honestly, with how disappointing this set was, I think I would have been happier if the Skybox set was the base set and the Metal set was an insert, like they did with 2016-17 Fleer Showcase (where they also used mirror foil and not etched foil for the Metal insert). Yes, that last set is named "Alloyance". Upper Deck is making up words now.  I guess I should have been clued in that they would use mirror foil when the Retro insert, shown here by Patrick Kane, was the ONE year Metal didn't use etched foil but mirror in hockey.

I still have one pack to open, which I need to scan first. It left such a dissatisfaction on me that I got it back in August or September and it's now December and I still have not scanned and opened it yet. 

Honestly, I would have been happier if I hadn't spent the $50 on it. Fifty on a blaster...what was I thinking? That's what the hobby boxes should be, not a blaster. 

The Panarin parallel is by far my favorite card in the blaster. Maybe the last pack will hold something better, but that seems unlikely. 

At least I got a card post out of it, which is increasingly rare, as I focus more on the "history" portion of Cardboard History

Additional note written June 26th: I forgot about this post completely but went looking in my drafts to see if I could find something to post. As it turns out I did get something nice in the last pack, which I ended up opening back around January...

A purple spectrum parallel of Jack Hughes, which is serially numbered, and the purples look awesome. But the blue Panarin was still my favorite card of the blaster.


  1. I like the blue and purple parallels best. They are the nicest looking and are clear in the scans. I can do without the rest. I'm not a matalhead either even though I have acquired many from each of the big 4 sports.

  2. Had no idea a fifty dollar blaster existed. I mean... I could see a blaster costing that much if it's an older product that's really popular, but not a current release.

    1. The store was asking $80 for the NBA and $60 for the WNBA blasters, both of which I didn't get.

  3. UD brought back Marvel Metal a couple of years ago too. I made the mistake of buying one card from it on COMC awhile back, it looked like poo in person. Definitely not the Metal of old.

  4. $50? Yikes. Thanks for showing off some of the cards though!