When we look at the problems facing the hobby, one could easily cite Beckett, collecting tendencies, or lack of visual appeal in recent card designs as main problems. However, fakes and the prevelance of the fake patches in cards is definitely at or near the top of this list, without question. I have championed different ideas of how to combat fakes in this hobby, whether it’s a national photo database of the high end patch cards, or encasement of the hits, but I think one unexplored solution may already be the best deterrant around. To my personal humor, it actually comes into play because of sticker autos, and it has been done already in a prevelant Upper Deck hockey product of all places.
For UD Ice, a set that a lot of hockey collectors wait for every year, Upper Deck has found a way to virtually encapsulate the patches on a card due to the need to have a player’s signature over the patch. A thin layer of acetate is placed over the swatch window to create a space to affix the sticker, thus creating an unfake-able card as well. If a douche wanted to fake one of these cards, they would need to remove the autograph some way, and I don’t think it would be hard to see if they did.
SO, this begs the question as to why this cant be used in a high end release like SPA, Exquisite or National Treasures to prevent the problems that have plagued the cards since their inception. Upper Deck cites that collectors want to get “closer to the game” by having the opportunity to touch the jersey swatches, but even I know that is code for “its too expensive.” I think that if the companies want to gain some fans on this side of the computer screen, they better figure out a way to fit it into the budget. I would much rather have confidence that my logo patch is real than have the ability to molest the swatch surface. I think it would also be a great solution to getting rid of ugly sticker autos, instead having the player sign the acetate surface instead of a tiny sticker.
Because the acetate is clear, as well as hard enough to resist damage, it is the PERFECT solution to this massive problem when it becomes the front of the card. Its time that the companies step up and actually do their part instead of letting the fucktards run wild with the douchebaggery I cover on an almost daily basis.
In fact, here is a visual representation to show you what I mean:
I am in the process to purchased a cheap version of one of the 05/06 Upper Deck Ice signature swatches to show to the readers of this site, and ill let you be the judge once I have it in hand.
h/t Mstng99tim on FCB