The First Good News From UD In A Long Time

I have been sick all day, so I missed this awesome nugget of news to share with you all. Today on Twitter, Upper Deck announced that Percy Harvin had started signing all of his redemptions for SP Authentic through Exquisite. If you bought any product from them, and were looking for a Harvin like I was, this should be a pretty happy day. Not only that, but it signals that Upper Deck is still chasing their athletes for unfulfilled redemptions.

Ever since the news that Upper Deck had lost their football license, many redemptions dropped in price out of fear that they wouldnt be handled due to the cost of doing so. Harvin’s SP Authentics have dropped from a release price of around 100 bucks to an average of about 75. His Exquisites, which started out around 220, have dropped to about 175. Im sure those prices will go back up now that the cards should be live in a few weeks.
Overall, I would file this under good news, no doubt. Then, with a little birdie on my shoulder telling me that UD is possibly going to next month’s rookie premiere with College Jerseys for the players, things may be turning around.

Upper Deck Has A Exquisitely Tough Problem To Deal With

There is a time when signing on the patch of a card is great. I am a big fan of signed memorabilia cards, and I seek them for my collection when available. There are also times when it is catestrophic, and this is one of those times.

For some of the 2009 Exquisite Rookie Patch Auto cards, a few rookies got the instructions wrong. With so many signed patch sets in the product, I can see why they may get confused, yet it should be the job of Upper Deck to run QC and maybe even include more detailed instructions for the rookies to sign. Mark Sanchez, in particular is the most visible rookie in the set, and it looks as if he did each and every one of his /99 base rookie autos incorrectly. What makes this even more ridiculous is that he did all of his /25 cards right, signing on the card and not the patch. This makes me wonder a few things.

First, when Phil Hughes was a member over on the old BMB, he documented a signing he did on about five or six different card sets. Each card set had EXPLICIT instructions, including little arrow stickers where he should sign. Did someone label Sanchez’s cards incorrectly? It could be a definite possibility.

Secondly, with all the signing of memorabilia in this set, it’s a possibility that sanchez signed all sorts of material for the mem cards, his /25 cards, and all the other subsets for the product, but didn’t sign the /99 ones due to whatever problem. Instead of having a redemption and making people wait, they just used 99 pieces of the material he signed. The reason I say this is because the swatches are signed in silver pen, not the blue that the cards are usually signed in. Not a likely scenario, but plausible.

Lastly, maybe this is a Sanchez problem, and he made a mistake due to rushing through the cards. One of our closest family friends is close with a past NBA lottery pick, and he told me a story that would make a ton of sense. Basically, his friend HATED signing the cards because of how long it took, so they had to force him to do it due to the contract he signed. They helped keep him focused while he signed, and im sure he didn’t mind if he made a mistake. On the other hand, from what I heard from people watching Sanchez at the rookie premiere, that’s not his personality, and he is one of those people who likes making his fans happy. As for Kenny Britt, another player who made the SAME mistake, Im not sure.

In the end, we are stuck with what we got, and I guess its better than nothing. Sanchez’s /25 cards just became more valuable, either way, so I guess that’s a plus for the people who pulled them. Regardless of whose mistake it was, this is the biggest football set of the year without question, and it should have been taken care of rather than packed out. With all the recent problems for Upper Deck, you don’t want the biggest player in the biggest set to have these issues.

I guess we can await the news of what UD will do, if anything.

Its Not All Fuzzy Bunnies and Rainbows With Exquisite

Exquisite is live, and there are some breaks that are finally making their way onto message boards. It gives people a first look at box makeup, and results have been good and bad. I think the way the cards look are very much living up to the previews we got from Upper Deck during packout, but a few complaints are surfacing about a few things that seem unacceptable to me if true. Outside of these few complaints, I think that we are going to have a blast with the boxes that we will be getting, and hopefully the cards will equal the excitement that I have over the product in general.

The main complaint so far is that there seems to be a lot of chipping and damage to the cards in the boxes. I have commented numerous times how terrible this can be, especially for a card that is as rare as some of the chase examples are. My suggestion has always been encasement, but more than one manufacturer has expressed how costly and time consuming that would be when the issue has been brought up. Not that its an excuse for the damage displayed so far, but when the cards are put in cardboard boxes without holders and handled by a number of people, it increases the possible damage to the card. That sucks, bad.

I will say that this is nothing new for Exquisite and nothing new for hand packaged products in general. Its expected, as unforuntate as that is, and it doesn’t stop many collectors from buying the chipped cards because of the extreme rarity that characterizes the product. No one should be grading these cards, and I have said before that its more about the card itself than the condition with these. Regardless of collector’s willingness to put up with chipping, it doesn’t make it any less of a crap oversight.

Another thing I noticed is a lack of a certain player in the set, something I talked about when the checklist was first released. The darlings of last year’s season were definitely Drew Brees and Brett Favre, but only one is reflected with presence in the set. Brees has many cards in the product including cool inscriptions, but Favre only has 1 or 2 without a single auto. A rare materials was pulled on blowout, but the pic has him in a Vikings uniform, where the jersey swatches are from the Packers. I understand why this is the case (the cost of Favre stuff from the Vikings is astronomical), but I think a lack of Favre autos in this product will hurt a lot of prospects for Vikings fans and Favre fans.

Lastly, the box configuration seems to be more geared towards additional swatch cards than additional auto cards. I understand that cost is mutually exclusive to adding further auto content, but I dont think thats what people are thinking about when opening a box of this stuff. Much like Ultimate, the cool auto cards are awesome enough to chase a box or two, but the jersey ones have huge potential to kill a box. However, that is the nature of a product like this. At least you are guaranteed an extra auto in the bonus packs, and there are no more non-auto jersey cards, only patches.

EDIT: Just got confirmation that its 1 base, 1 Rookie Patch Auto, 1 Rookie Auto, 1 “Additional” auto, 2 patch cards, 1 signed booklet. This is a change from previous years where it was 1 jersey/1 patch.
Personally, I will hunt singles in this set like a shark, so I am definitely on board with this Exquisite. I guess we will just have to wait and see how everything turns out after a few more breaks before passing final judgement.

SCU Breaks – Exquisite Boxes and Ultimate Box Have Been Ordered

I placed the order yesterday for the Exquisite boxes with Blowout cards, and added on the Ultimate box to our break. We should have the boxes later this week or Monday of next week depending on UPS, and the randomizer will be posted soon.

Exquisite is popping up more and more on eBay and we should have a good look at a box very soon.
Good luck to everyone involved, Im pulling for you guys to have three great boxes.