The blogosphere (or at least our little corner of it) has been mostly about Allen & Ginter for the past week or so. I have yet to see any of this product in the Houston area. I may have to break down and try to buy a box on eBay. On my latest futile trip to the big box stores I did find something new - Upper Deck Icons. 5-card packs for $1.97. A blaster wasn't available so I bought 10 packs.
This product answers the pointless question, "What can Upper Deck do in 2009 to top 2008 SP Authentic"? If by top you mean "Make a more boring set" the answer is Upper Deck Icons.
I could find nothing about this set on Upper Deck's site. There is a Home Page for the set which is essentially blank. The cards feature player photos devoid of background or context. The top and bottom borders come in various shades of red/orange or blue/black. In the lighter colors you can see a hit of clouds or smoke or something. The middle background looks like clouds on one side and an eggshell (?) on the right.
Once you've seen one of these you've pretty much seen them all. The set name is in gold foil. The back features 5-6 lines of stats but no photo.
The pack says "Look for Silver Board Parallels!". I suppose this is what this Berkman card is. It has a Dufex foil finish. I'm sure I've seen this before.
This Victor Martinez card is serial numbered to 999. It has a different design on the front and back from the other cards so I suppose it is an insert. It also features the Dufex foil on the front.
Of the 50 cards, 2 were the silver parallels, 1 was the Martinez card and there were 3 of the 20th anniversary cards. I'm real tired of those. Of the 43 base cards, the highest was #99, so I'm guessing it's a 100-card set. I got three duplicates which I guess isn't so bad for such a small set. I did pull 12 cards of players I collect, including 3 Phillies and 2 Astros. If there are only 100 cards, that works out to about 4 cards per team. I players are not evenly distributed however as I got 6 Yankees cards.