BOX BREAK: 4 Boxes of 1998-99 UD Choice Hockey

Why would someone buy and break four boxes of a 17-year-old set that offers very little in the way of high dollar items?

  1. Opening packs is fun.
  2. The hobby is supposed to be about fun.
  3. I got the boxes for $5 each at a card show on Saturday.

After dinner Saturday night, my lady and I decided to rip into these for some fun.  Big Bang Theory and busting packs, that’s how we roll.  She recently opened her first few packs and she’s getting into it.  I don’t think she’s into collecting so much as opening the packs.  Still, it certainly makes dealing with me being a “little kid” a lot easier.

The packs themselves all had a $1.29 retail printed on them.  There aren’t any big rookies, as I think the best one is a Brian Gionta that books $2.  There aren’t jersey cards or autographs, and only one insert set that really has a substantial book value.

Each pack contains one or two “starquest” cards.  It is a 30 card insert set that has it’s own parallel set.  The base cards are blue, the next most common are green, followed by the red.  The best cards you can hit are the gold starquest cards.  They are not numbered, but only 100 of each exist.  A quick eBay search last night showed only two available for sale and two in the purchase history.

starquest Blue


The starquest blue cards are the most common inserts, coming usually at least one per pack.  Through four boxes, I was able to complete five sets.  I was also just three cards away from completing a sixth.  I can probably only put together three or four quality sets, as the cards appear quite prone to chipping.


starquest Green and Red


My four boxes yielded 21 of the green parallels:

SQ1 – Wayne Gretzky

SQ2 – Pavel Bure

SQ3 – Patrick Roy

SQ4 – Dominik Hasek

SQ5 – Teemu Selanne (2)

SQ6 – Sergei Samsonov (2)

SQ7 – Brian Leetch (2)

SQ8 – Saku Koivu (2)

SQ9 – Brendan Shanahan (3)

SQ10 – Alexi Yashin

SQ18 – Steve Yzerman

SQ23 – Martin Brodeur

SQ27 – Mike Johnson

SQ30 – Keith Tkachuk (2)

The red parallels seem to appear at just a little over one per box.  I had a friend that opened a fifth box at the show and hit the Patrick Roy.  The five I hit were:

SQ1 – Wayne Gretzky (the best card in my four boxes)

SQ12 – Patrick Elias

SQ13 – Theoren Fleury

SQ14 – Peter Bondra

SQ30 – Keith Tkachuk

Not as common as the starquest cards are the “Choice Reserve” cards that are parallels of the regular set.


I ended up with 25 of these, the best being the Gretzky pictured above.  I did end up with some of the top defensemen of the day, getting Chris Chelios, Paul Coffey and Brian Leetch.

The other inserts in the pack are the Mini Bobbing Head cards, part of another 30-card insert set.


We finished the box busting with 36 of these.  However, there were some doubles and triples, so I wasn’t able to complete the set.

I will be able to complete this set in time.  I bought four boxes yesterday, but I also bought four boxes last month that I haven’t opened yet.  They will be busted sometime and I will post an additional piece on them.  I’m estimating that the starquest Gold are about one per case, and at eight boxes (and seeing a ninth opened that didn’t have one), I feel there’s a solid chance that I see one in those four boxes.

I hope you enjoyed the multi-box break, if for no reason other than nostalgia.  If you like what we’re doing, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and also look through some other pieces on the site.  I’m always looking for more folks that would like to contribute, so let me know if you are!

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