Upper Deck Gets Slapped With ANOTHER Lawsuit

As much as I absolutely love what Upper Deck does in terms of design and production, they continue to surprise me with the way they approach their business dealings. Yesterday TMZ reported that HOFer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is suing Upper Deck in an amount GREATER than 1 million dollars in regards to the use of his name, picture and autograph in one of their latest releases. According to the always 100% factual TMZ report, UD had received advanced knowledge that this would happen, and went ahead with it despite Kareem’s objections.

Considering that Upper Deck is already in a HEAP of trouble with just about all of the league offices in some way, to run with this in the way they did is incredibly terrible business sense. Although I am sure there is another side to the story regarding autograph contracts and likeness contracts that dictate the use of players in a product, it is definitely NOT good news for Upper Deck.

The bottom line is that Upper Deck has a lot of stuff on their plate already, and they will need to stop things like this from happening if they want to continue business as usual. As it stands right now, their product lines remain in jeopardy until there is a proven record that an NCAA exclusive and NHL license can sustain them, and if lawsuits continue to pile up, it wont matter if they have success.

Its pretty obvious that something needs to change, and hopefully situations like this don’t continue to happen. More on this as it becomes available.

BREAKING NEWS: Upper Deck SP Prospects Is BACK!

For those of you who love prospecting, this may something you are very happy about. I just got confirmation that Upper Deck will be entering the Baseball market again thanks to their NCAA license with 2010 SP Authentic Prospects Baseball. SP Prospects has been off the market since the earlier part of the last decade, and was usually a favorite of prospectors as an alternative to the Bowman products. Well, its back, and Upper Deck is hoping that it will have similar popularity as it did before.

The product will be NCAA branded and should feature prospects from this year’s draft through the CLC licensing that Upper Deck owns exclusive rights to. The product is scheduled for 10/12 as the release, so that should leave a lot of people time to save up to buy. There is no word yet on whether Bryce Harper will be making an appearance in the set, but I would guess that the top college picks from this past year will be included.

Per the info here is what is included in each box:

- 5 autographs
- 3 foil numbered parallels numbered to 799 or less
- Each pack will have either an auto, a parallel or a “platinum power” insert

There will also be one multi-signed card per case and Blue, Red and Black foil cards with 1/1 parallels.

That’s all I can speak to right now, but there is no doubt that Upper Deck is trying to make the most of their license without infringing on the lawsuit they settled with MLBP.

A Quick Comment On Upper Deck’s New President

Over the last few days, Upper Deck took a very bold step towards a good direction by making Paul Meyer the new president of the company. From what I have heard, Meyer has a very good reputation within the circles that matter, and I hope that it will lead to less problems that have plagued the company over the last year.

Although it hasnt fixed all the problems, reputation was a huge one that could be helped by this new addition. Obviously we will have to wait and see what happens over the next few months to really get a good picture of Meyer’s strategy with bringing Upper Deck back to the forefront of the hobby. If you look back at where they used to be at the beginning of 2009 versus their current state now, its like looking at two different companies. Although it looks like they are getting back on their horse, they are not out of the shit quite yet.
I dont think its any secret that I am a fan of Upper Deck’s more than any of the other companies due to the quality of their products, designs and concepts, so I am glad that they are heading in the right direction. Ill be waiting with baited breath to see how things work out.

Dont Waste Your Money On Playoff Prestige

I never got why people pay out of their ass for Prestige cards, especially when they are just base cards. Though it is the first set of the year, its like collectors have long term memory problems with remembering how much these cards tank the minute a real set comes out after the premiere. Classics is always the first set to come out with pro uniform pics, and almost immediately, Prestige becomes an afterthought.

The thing that confuses me the most is the price of the SP base cards, which each year start at astronomical prices, and then end up at normal prices. This Stafford sold a few times at higher than 50 bucks last year when Prestige came out, look at it now. Why would anyone jump on these cards now? We have vision into the future, and buying in at 40 and 50 bucks is NOT worth your time if past sales have any indication. What is even worse, Prestige is now including the Letter signatures that make Donruss Threads such a popular set each year, and those are selling at prices so high, I cant even put it into words.

Basically, just because Prestige is the only set out there, doesn’t mean you need to buy a shitload of your target’s cards right now. You cant even use “I want them in their college jerseys” as an excuse this year, because Upper Deck is preventing that with their NCAA exclusive. Plus, according to a little birdie on my shoulder, Prestige may have even taken it too far with depicting the players, as a lawsuit may be in order. Looks like Upper Deck is deciding to pass along the favor that Topps gave them.

I am telling you right now, if you buy into Prestige, Elite, or even Classics for that matter, you are throwing your money down the drain. Even if you collect the players, WAIT FOR TIME TO PASS. The prices will drop so drastically that mid year, you will be able to pick up these cards at drastically lower prices. If you are buying the Super SPs and hoping that having a complete set will mean as much as it did in 1979, I can tell you that you may just want to stop right now. That, or wait until you can get the cards at much cheaper prices. I mean, Im not sure why people even like these cards, they look ridiculously terrible.

Classics will be out soon enough, and at that point, you will be able to get cards of the players in their full uniforms, and in the gear of the teams you collect. I will warn you again to wait on prices at that time as well, but I know its tough to wait when you get that first picture of your target in his NFL uniform.

Uh-Oh, More Terrible News For Upper Deck?

This has not been a good month for Upper Deck. That’s for sure. After losing the football license in epic fashion, seemingly right after getting it secured for another few years, there may be more bad news on the horizon.

I just received an email from a shop owner who said that his distributor let him know that ALL Upper Deck release dates have been indefinitely postponed. Not just football, but Hockey and other stuff too. Obviously, Upper Deck was in dire straits to begin with thanks to loss of their only remaining big three sport, but this may be the final straw before UD has to decide on the company’s future for the rest of this year and beyond.

Who knows what this news actually means long term, but right now, its not good news for anyone in Carlsbad or in the hobby.