We are now in year two of the Fleer Retro phenomenon in football, and its interesting to see what Upper Deck chooses each time they release this product. It has gone from sport to sport after its original release in basketball, and collectors are in love with the nostalgic aspect of the product each time it is released.
Here are some of the cards up so far:
Here is my thing. I am an autograph collector, and I am a bit perturbed by the fact that there is only a few on card autographs in this product. Upper Deck has the ULTIMATE pass to really get going on this product VERY early in the season, and that gives them no excuses to not get the cards signed immediately. I do realize that this product’s focus is the retro inserts, but that doesn’t make stickers right. If you have a college based product, for which you can easily build in May after the draft, it gives very little slack in not getting all the cards hard signed.
The ones that are hard signed range from blah to awesome, especially the greats of the game autos that I have always loved. I am thankful that these cards are in the set, as the results are pretty impressive. Others are very much like 2012, including the 1960 cards which I don’t find all that interesting.
I was also disappointed this year to see that the Precious Metal Gems look exactly the same as before for the rookies, where in the other sports, they have changed year to year. Although the other veteran PMG inserts have changed, I sense there was a fear of losing more value in an already value-less class by changing the favorite design. Let me reiterate – I HATE THIS DESIGN. I HATE 1990s FOIL LADEN INSERTS. They are both gaudy and busy, and I see no appeal to continue collecting them. I get why they are popular (collectors are obsessed with shiny things), but I hate them.
That being said, I absolutely love the addition of the rookie sensations and 1991 Ultra cards. Those sets were the best of the best when I was a kid, and I think they are done very well. The problem is that this is a high end set that would DESTROY the market in the pre-season, and yet here we are in April and it is being released. This is not a product for April. When NT is struggling to keep up with the market, and Upper Deck has the gall to try a product like this, we have problems.
Im guessing Exquisite will still be out in May or June, months too late to be as effective as it could be in February. We are moving on now to 2014, and I am concerned for Five Star, let alone a product filled with sticker autos, college jerseys, and nostalgic inserts. Too little too late. If the class was stronger, sure, take a bit more time, but a HUUUUUUGE opportunity was missed by pushing it to a late year product.