Per today’s news via numerous sources on the web, Upper Deck is going to be facing some major heat thanks to some horrible business practices done by their Upper Deck Entertainment department. As said in the report, UD had taken the production of the once popular Yu-Gi-Oh! card game and re-printed many cards outside of the license agreement. This led to the creation of over 600,000 counterfeit cards outside of the international agreement with Konami and the other creators of the show, and brought about a major lawsuit.
I sincerely hope that people arent THIS stupid to bid on a card like the Viking Head Logo that was just posted on eBay. This is actually number four that has been listed, the third of the fakes. It could also be the worst ever posted, as you can see the colors, stitching, and material dont match any authentic jersey ever worn.
Over the last year and a half, there has been a lot of stuff that I have written about in terms of the dark underbelly of the hobby. Much to the chagrin of a few people, Beckett has been the center of about 90% of it. I really dont think that people understand just how bad it can get, as its still unclear as to how far down the rabbit hole goes. Most people just think about it from a standpoint that its just a hobby and they dont care as long as they get whatever they usually do via ebay or the local shop. The issue is, that this hobby is one based on chance and random, so any dillution of those factors has an impact on anyone who participates in the purchase of cards. Therefore everyone should feel the effect with each card that is taken out of circulation.
One of the major pain points for people like me, is that the stuff that is given to people who have no business receiving it. Whether its product, swag, or just ad money in general, free stuff complicates everything, especially when you have done nothing to receive it. Since I first started up March 2007, Beckett has been the prime focus of my anger, mainly because of all of the stuff they do that compromises the integrity of their perceived place as THE hobby news source. Most of the time, with every product release, Beckett gets a box full of stuff to pass around to their lackeys, with wax being a main focus. I have gotten emails from former Beckett employees talking about all the stuff that comes through the door, and just how little of it actually makes it to the people its supposed to go to – you. So far this year alone, Beckett has received close to 50 boxes of product from companies that have actually made it onto video. There are many more that dont, according to my sources. This is completely frustrating to collectors once they find out how much money they are actually getting, in addition to the ad money for products in the magazine. Why is this acceptable for a “news source” to receive? It creates a huge problem.
Then we have the recent video, where Beckett has received a full case of Exquisite Basketball from Upper Deck. This is the first public box of Exquisite they have received from Upper Deck since the 2007 fiasco, despite the fact that we have been told a number of times that it wouldnt be happening again. When you think of the fact that a case of Exquisite can cost in upwards of $1,800, its a little bit more apparent how much money Beckett receives from the companies each year. I think this is a direct reflection of the companies themselves, as they should know better than to flaunt their subtle kickbacks to the magazine that can easily make or break a product. As for Exquisite, a product that features one of the lowest print runs of any product ever produced, it is also unfair to expect collectors to sit back and watch Beckett receive all they do, when so few of the cards actually exist. Its funny too, because they tell us how all these cards are going to be available for the public to win in contests, but I have yet to see how that is even remotely true. Sure, some the fifteen pulls of a lifetime and 1 of 1s they have pulled since 2007 have been given out to contest winners, but why are those enormous pulls even going to Beckett in the first place? What does that accomplish for the collectors in general? More and more are seeing through the practice of doing the video box breaks, so why even risk it?
Its become a disgusting display each time Hackler and the Giant appear on their vid player, as we can see the grease in the wheels being replentished with each turn. Its pretty much become a display of the constant arrogance and douchebaggery that Beckett displays every time. This is the same arrogance that makes them spit on the blogs saying they dont deserve the news, when in reality, many blogs are ten times the news source they are. On top of all of this, there is zero reason why Beckett cannot tap into the thousands of collector videos on youtube, or why the manufacturers cannot do the same. Video box breaks have reached a point of parody, as we have seen with “Packs to the People,” a feature created to break the monotony of the breaks. Based on that premise, Beckett’s breaks should go the way of the dodo as well.
As for the rest of the shipments that Beckett gets almost daily, its time for the general collector base realizes the giant conflict of interest at work. If Upper Deck decides that providing thousands of dollars worth of product in one shipment is worth the exposure when the boxes are broken for the world, its our job to continually voice our disapproval. Beckett has become an organization whose sole purpose is promote an agenda of certain interests that pad their bottom line. When you see that the only reason for their existence is to make money for the parent company, it becomes very clear that they have zero responsibility to maintain content that has informative purposes rather than advertisement purposes. Look down the product lines, and really see what is being sold to people. Is it information, or is it instead ways for the companies to garner more revenue on product sales resulting from what is laid out in the pages?
The one indisputable fact is this:
This whole situation is a double edged sword, bloodied by the wounds of the dishonesty displayed by both Beckett and the card companies. When the companies, like Upper Deck and the recent Exquisite break, send the boxes for Beckett to break, the collectors lose. Not just because the cards in those boxes are no longer available for collectors to pull, but because it creates an environment where people who dont know any better are preyed upon. Its obvious that Upper Deck didnt care how much backlash they would get from the people in the know, because they knew there would be thousands who would see it. Also, it may have begun to repair a damaged relationship with the magazine over relationships created with blogs like Wax Heaven and this one. Clearly Beckett didnt care about any voiced disapproval because they got those thousands to watch it and come to their site. Because of this, it is now our responsibility to call them out as publically as possible, just to show them the thousands who will now spread the word against their practices. I may only get 600 visitors here per day, but if 200 of those people tell one friend, and they tell another, you can see what I mean. Its time for you guys to really show what you are about.