2011 Upper Deck was released a few weeks ago to mixed reviews on everything from the Evolution video cards to the deep auto checklist they had chosen to include in the set. Outside of the mixed reviews, and one twitter fight later, there are two specific pieces of the puzzle that look to be doing very well.
Because Upper Deck has been operating with a license in only one of the four major sports, they have resorted to certain tactics, some successful some not, with their cards. Exquisite has literally surpassed everyone’s expectations in terms of the boxes and the secondary selling value of a lot of the cards, but 2011 flagship hasn’t really followed suit. It could be the less limited print run, it could be the quality of the cards, and it definitely could be the lack of a pro license. However, for the SP variations and the stripe rookies, things have been a lot different.
Here is the background on the stripe rookies, something I was not aware of until some of my twitter followers let me know. Back when Brett Favre was a rookie, Wild Card had instituted redemption cards with numbered stripes on them. The number on the stripe represented the number of that card you could receive in the mail if you traded in the stripe card you had in hand. The stripes went up to 1000, and if you see a Favre come up on eBay, its not going to go cheap, even though the promotion and the company has long since died out. Upper Deck is trying a similar idea this year, and the cards are selling suprisingly well considering the nature of them. I think it’s a cool concept to resurrect, but its not going to make up for other shortcomings in most cases.
Here are some of the bigger sales:
The second part of the set that has been selling like proverbial hotcakes have been the SP variation cards out of the hobby and retail sets. These unpublicized cards are garnering values that eclipse the normal value of the Prestige variations that sell high when that product comes out. I have said many, many times that SP variations need to be used more often in low and mid range sets, and I am very glad that Upper Deck thought the same way.
Check out these prices:
Overall, im not as impressed with 2011 Upper Deck anymore, but these two elements are cool. I also love the retro cards inserted in packs, and I really am kind of dissapointed that it wasn’t the base design in general. Outside of that, there really isnt much that gets a non-NCAA collector like me excited at all.