Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs Box Break and Review

A while back I heard that Upper Deck was making a Dinosaur set and I got a little excited. However, my LCS didn't happen to pick up any of this product and my early research had it out of my price range a bit so I figured I would maybe try and buy a base set on the secondary market some day.

Well as luck would have it, my BFAM Tom happened to received a box of Dinosaurs in a mailing from Upper Deck and I immediately asked if I could trade him for it. Being the great guy he is, he just wanted to straight up send it to me because he wasn't too interested in Dinosaurs but I wouldn't have any part of that kind of deal so in the end we made a very good swap for both sides and I got myself a box of 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs. As luck would have it, I would end up with two more boxes but I'll save that for my next post! Without further ado, here is 2015 Dinosaurs.

Each box contain 20 packs and each pack has 5 cards. On average a box should deliver 1 Artist Sketch card numbered 1/1, 1 Manufactured Patch Card, 6 Stickers, 4 Lenticular 3-D cards, 10 mini's and the rest are base cards with 1-100 being standard, 101-125 being short printed and 126-150 being super short printed. There are other surprises like Roar Cards which are like the Upper Deck The Cup Video Cards, and redemptions for Fossil cards. There are sketch cards that consist of multiple panels and all sorts of other goodies. While the cost for this product is around 100 USD, truth is most of the value is in the art you get in the box. Each box has it's very own sketch card created by an artist and I'm sure that added significantly to Upper Deck's production cost.

Base cards

In sports cards Upper Deck is renowned for their photography but since cameras didn't exist when dinosaurs were around (or people for that matter), the images you see are artist and computer generated. With that being said, the images are still awesome. Some have backgrounds and others are close ups. What I really enjoy about the set is the selection of creatures. Not all are dinosaurs and more importantly there are even ones I haven't heard of before and I am pretty well read in this department. Spinosaurus is one of my favourite dinosaurs (and my oldest son's too) so I am featuring it's base card.

Back side of base card
The back side of the card uses the image from the front and then includes some stats and facts about the creature which help give you some perspective. Upper Deck being an American company means all my facts are in American units (Imperial?) and not metric which may be my only complaint. To date, Spinosaurus is the largest known land carnivore which means it's even bigger than the T-Rex folks!

Base Card
Here is a bonus base card. The Quetzalcoatlus which many may not have heard of before, is one of the largest flying creatures ever on our planet.

Imagine a flying creature with a wing span of 30 feet and was a carnivore. It could nearly gobble an adult human whole!

 Each box has 10 mini cards and they are in the canvas style which we know from Masterpieces etc and it mirrors the base set completely. There are 150 mini cards you could collect. Given you only get 10 per box this is a tougher set to chase for sure.

Here is the back of the Allosaurus mini. As you can see the mini cards have stats and info on them too and the sunset with a roaring Allosaurus is another example of the great artwork the artists from this set have created.

Patch Cards
Each hobby box has one of these and I lucked into one of the more rare patch cards. There are 60 different patch cards in this insert set and they range in difficulty to hit. This one is a group B patch card and they fall 1:179 packs! The images on the patches are different than those of the base card which is also a nice plus!

Here is the back side and again what I love about this set are all the interesting facts you get on the backs of the cards. You can appreciate the art on front and get educated on the back.


Each hobby box should yield 6 of these. This insert set has 30 in it and they are all equally produced so this one might be very doable for the average collector. I went with another one of my favourite prehistoric beasts, Dimetrodon. Which some may not know this but it actually isn't considered a dinosaur and is more closely related to mammals. This synapsid lived millions of years before the emergence of the dinosaurs.

Another neat bonus is the backs of the stickers form a puzzle. I definitely want to try and complete this set to see what the images make on the backside.

3-D Cards
One of my favourite features of this release are the 3-D cards. They don't scan too badly but I assure you they are even cooler in person. This insert set has 42 cards and they fall 4 per box and depending on the type (Herbivores, Predators, Marine or Flying) they could be tough to pull. Much like my patch card, I lucked into the hardest pull and that is the Pterodactyl which is 1:150 packs. Herbivores are the easiest and make up 24 of the 42 cards in this set.  The artwork on these are amazing and in 3-D they are especially enjoyable.

Once again top marks to Upper Deck for the backsides of these. Lots of get stats and info about the different animals.

Here is my rare Pterodactyl.

You might be surprised at how small they actually were. When I was really young I always pictured them being much larger but obviously that isn't the case with them being much smaller than an albatross.

Here is an example of the great selection by Upper Deck. Prior to pulling this card I never heard of a Minmi.

A very cool battle scene between two Triceratops'.

As you can see the colour scheme is different on the back between Herbivore, Predator and Flying. I didn't pull a marine one in this box which have the odds of 1:50.

1/1 Sketch Card
In my opinion what really makes or breaks a box of this is the Sketch Card. Don't get me wrong, I am a very very poor artist and all the cards that I have seen are very nice. However, I've seen some sketch cards that look pretty juvenile and others that look amazing. I would definitely classify my pull as amazing. My Plesiosaurus is a creature that I really like in the first place and the way it was drawn by Eric Van Elslande is fantastic.  This piece of art is one that I truly love and makes my box a home run for me. On the secondary market the prices of these 1/1 sketch cards are all over the map because it is a one of a kind. In some cases many can appreciate the subject and the creation and they sell for lots and others less so. I definitely plan on keeping this beauty in my collection for the boys and I to enjoy for as long as possible.

Here is the backside of the sketch card which is signed by the artist.

Artist Signature Card
My box had a little bonus, an artist signatures card. These are not in every box so I was super excited to pull it and the fact that it's a Velociraptor is even cooler. The image is one created by Benito Gallego and was used to make the 3-D Velociraptor and is signed by him and numbered to 49.

Here is the backside information which again supports what you can guess is on the front.

So there you have it, my first box of 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs. I want to begin by saying that I loved this product and when I compare it to other Upper Deck products I am going to go out on a limb and say it is nearly as perfect as they come. Good creature selection, enough rareness to card to make them more coveted and I love the sketch card idea. I do wish I hit a fossil card of course but at 1:1000 which means 1 per 50 boxes, hitting one is pretty unlikely but that's ok, half the fun is the chance to do so.

One thing I really enjoyed about this break was there was no interest in money. When I break hockey and stuff like that, since the beckett has been around during my entire time of collecting, one factor that always comes up is...what are these cards worth? Did I get my money's worth? What could I sell this card for? In the case of these cards, that never occurred to me. I opened this box with my boys and we just enjoyed the cards for what they were. My oldest son who's 5 and can't really read could still name many of the dinosaurs thanks to the many BBC movies he's seen and that's another testamate to how well these cards are made. If you are a dinosaur fan or just want to bust something different, I complete recommend this product!!

At the end, I was about 37 cards short of a 1-100 set so I definitely plan on finishing that off and perhaps I will go after the 1-150 set and maybe even some of the insert sets like the 3-D or Stickers. I completely enjoyed this break and as far as the product goes I give it a 5/5. Well done Upper Deck and thank you Tom for the fantastic trade which I believe worked out well for both of us! 


  1. Very nice, I've seen a couple other boxes of this busted around the web and it's cool to see something so different from Upper Deck. I'm a sucker for 3D cards generally speaking, so I think those would be my favorite part if I were to bust a box. Would love to see what you landed in your other two boxes at some point...

  2. Those dino cards look awesome! And yes the trade was fantastic! Cheers!

  3. Any chance you have an extra copy of base card #12 that you scanned in this post? I'm (still) trying to complete my UD Dinosaurs set all these years later.