2011-12 Upper Deck Victory Hockey
2011-12 Upper Deck Victory Product Review
Reviewed by Ryan Cracknell
Good: Straightforward and basic, ideal for set builders, packed with stats, name annunciations are a nice touch.
Bad: nondescript inserts add little value or excitement, lack of depth as far as rookie cards go.
The Bottom Line: Aimed at young collectors and set builders, Victory is an excellent entry-level set. With clear player shots, career stats and annunciation guide, new hockey fans could use this set as a way to learn more about the game in a hurry. Although there's little to no shot of getting a big-money hit, that's not what Victory is about. At a dollar a pack, there's no real risk involved. Some of the inserts are extremely generic and don't add much to the overall package, but the excellent base set more than makes up for it.
Card Design: 3.5/5.0
2011-12 Upper Deck Victory features an extremely clean design. Card fronts have an isolated player shot put against a generic background. The Victory logo in the background is overpowering, but the rest of the design elements are great. The name plate is subtle and the lack of action clutter should help new hockey fans connect names with faces.
The card backs are reminiscent of the base Upper Deck design. Full career stats are complimented by a small face shot. While short bios would have been nice, the clean lines and ample white space are done well. I also love the name annunciations that are included for every player. Those alone should make them a necessity in every press box around the league.
If the design falters anywhere, it's in the inserts. In particular, Game Breakers and Stars of the Game are extremely boring and don't serve much of a purpose beyond squeezing a few extra star cards into packs.
From a veterans standpoint, 2011-12 Upper Deck Victory covers the major players on every team. At 200 cards, it's more than the top-tier stars, but not nearly the same depth as base Upper Deck or O-Pee-Chee offer. But if the goal is to educate new collectors and hockey fans, this is the perfect size. O-Pee-Chee's 500 base cards may be overwhelming for some.
The challenge of Victory comes from the rookie short prints, but even those shouldn't be hard to come by. Inserted every second pack, the 50 cards aren't much rarer that the base cards. Being the first set of the new hockey season, Victory lacks many of the major rookies from the 2011-12 season like Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Upper Deck will be offering update cards, but they're going to be in 2011-12 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey so many Victory collectors may end up missing them.
Even at a dollar a pack, you're not going to make your money back selling your singles. But value shouldn't always be viewed from an investment perspective. 2011-12 Victory offers a lot of value simply from the time collectors can spend sorting through the cards and getting to know more about hockey and collecting in general. The low cost means there's virtually no risk either.
A nice touch are the MVP cards. A standalone set in previous years, MVP has been integrated into Victory as a set within a set. Although they're not difficult to pull, they offer a little challenge for those looking to bust more than a box or two. Plus, because they have a completely different design, they're more intriguing than a simple parallel set.
The Fun Factor: 4.0/5.0
I have to admit, up until now I haven't given Victory much of a chance. I've had a couple of cards come through my collection here and there, but I didn't give them much of a look. Having gone through a box of the 2011-12 set and I was pleasantly surprised. While it's not about the hits, sorting through a clean-looking set of cards shouldn't be underrated. 2011-12 Victory took me back to my earliest days of collecting, when it was about finding your favorite players and teams more than the high-value chase pushed in many current releases.
Victory returns to the world of budget hockey cards this August. One of the noteworthy new additions to the $1 per pack product is the introduction of Upper Deck MVP cards to the Victory mix. Each $30 box of 2010-11 Upper Deck Victory Hockey delivers 36 packs, 18 MVP cards and the possibility of pulling a rare Black parallel.
Release Date: 8/2/11
Box Configuration: 36 packs/6 cards per pack
Pack Price: $1
Product Type: Low-End Hockey Card
Geared Toward: Budget collectors, Low-End set builders, Rookie card seekers, Player collectors, Kids
- New Upper Deck MVP cards now part of the Victory mix - find 2 MVP Rookie Cards (1:18 packs) and 18 total MVP cards (1:2 packs) per box.
- Look for Victory Rookie Cards (1:2 packs)
- Superstar Inserts (1:2 packs) - "Stars of the Game" (1:4 packs) and "Game Breakers" (1:4 packs)
- Rare lack parallels - Rookies (1:1440 packs) and Veterans (1:720 packs)
- 250 card base set - 200 veterans, 50 rookies
- 20 boxes per case, 36 packs per box, 6 cards per pack
- Also available in 11 pack retail Blaster Boxes, 48 pack Gravity Feed and 36-card Fat Packs.