Reasons That 2013 Exquisite May or May Not Hit The High Notes

I have been a fan of Exquisite since inception. Even during my break from the hobby back in the early part of the 2000s, I still heard about the 500 dollar pack of cards when it was released during Lebron’s rookie year in 03-04. It truly is the granddaddy of all high end products we know today.

Over the years, the product has become synonymous with the best of the best in the hobby, thanks to cards like this:

2007 Exquisite Michael Jordan / LeBron James Auto Patch

2013 Tiger Woods Master Collection Exquisite Auto Rookie Patch

2005 Exquisite Aaron Rodgers Auto Rookie Dual Patch

2007 Exquisite Emmitt Smith / Barry Sanders / Landanian Tomlinson Triple Auto

Tomorrow 2013 Exquisite Football is released, and as I have said before, its about six months too late. Not only is the 2013 class about as cold as it can possibly get, but many collectors wont even give this stuff a look because they have already moved onto 2014 products. Hell, the 2014 rookie premiere was last week! Crazy it is taking this long – even though many 2014 rookies will have stuff in this product. Here are reasons why it will and wont sell.

The Name (PLUS)

The Exquisite name could be added to signed pieces of blank plastic and still generate value solely based on the brand loyalty from all the things Upper Deck did with the product in previous years. If they ever got the NBA license back, they could EASILY make Panini an afterthought in a matter of minutes. That’s how powerful this name really is. Its the most valuable brand name in sports cards, and I am not kidding about that.

Here is the power of Exquisite:

Kobe Bryant Exquisite Cards For Sale


Kobe Bryant Flawless Cards For Sale

The Design (PLUS)

Even with the abundance of cheap bookstore jersey swatches, the cards look amazing – as they always have. Upper Deck has ALWAYS brought design excellence to their products, so much so that Topps and Panini have hired their former employees to run their departments. Upper Deck was as influential in the modern hobby as anyone, and that is why it will continue to be relevant, even without a major league sports licence.

Even with NCAA – the cards still look great:

2012 Exquisite Robert Griffin III Auto Patch

2012 Exquisite Russell Wilson Rookie Auto Shadowbox

2012 Exquisite Barry Sanders Auto


The fact that Upper Deck is still releasing products for 2013, even after they themselves have released 2014 products is fucking bonkers. If the team got their shit together and actually got Exquisite put together for the year to lead off right after 2014 Base Football, this product would be insane. I mean, you could sell case after case of 2014 Exquisite at this point and not even think about it. I would buy a few myself, because there is LITERALLY nothing else on the market. Instead we are left with a stale 2013 class, which was already a dud littering our 500 dollar boxes with cards that wont sell for peanuts. If the class wasnt so horrible, it would be one thing, but this is bad.

2014 Rookie Autographs (HUGE PLUS)

These new rookies are hot, especially Senor Football himself. Having autographs from 2014 may be the only saving grace of this stuff, and im not over exaggerating. Although there are some really nice cards in the product as a chase, the 2013 class is going to weigh Exquisite down like a rock in a deep lake. Pulling a Manziel may get you the box cost back, but good luck on the rest of the case.

The Box / Case Price (MINUS)

Upper Deck may be able to guarantee all sorts of stuff, but I am going to easily say that if NT cant support its 450 dollar price tag, this stuff has no shot. You can pack it full of autographs galore, but without a major source of coinage from the main rookies, its a lost cause. Group breakers should still be able to get a ton of people to buy in, but they are the exception to the rule. I would DOUBT that any normal collector would even put a single thought into buying some. Even 2012 Exquisite is struggling to stay afloat with one of the best rookie classes in history. That should say something.

No one will ever be able to downplay what Exquisite brings to the table. Its just too big a deal overall to write off completely. But this is a unique exception where the focus isnt on the new players that came into the league during the timeframe on the box. That has NEVER happened before. Not a good situation to be in.

Here are some previews:

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4 thoughts on “Reasons That 2013 Exquisite May or May Not Hit The High Notes

  1. Interesting point about releasing it early in the season. Why couldn’t they? They know what colleges these guys went to so why not set their calendar up to be first-to-market? It seems like the logistics could work. Get SP Authentic out around the same timeframe as Inception & have Exquisite out 6-8 weeks after. That would capitalize on pre-season hype plus the college collectors would be salivating for college uni products right when their season is getting going.

  2. this years is getting a little panini looking to me with the UD logo, product name, player and team name and the other design elements taking up so much of the card

    But it doesnt really matter as its college unis and that doesnt interest me at all

  3. Seriously, what is the reasoning that they aren’t licensed by the NFL and NBA anymore? I thought it was to do with them not paying signers for their autographs, validated by that list that got leaked a few years ago of sums owed. Are they not past that? Are they on probation until a review date?

    They’ve had HUGE hits in the non-sports card market since they lost the NFL license. Some of their Marvel franchise licenses have absolutely killed on the secondary market and they’ve got another Marvel Premier set due to release in the next couple months, or so. I am sure the revenue stream isn’t even close to what it used to be but, if reviewed by either the NFL or NBA for a license, they’d have to factor that in since they haven’t been able to make a set for years.

  4. Amen, Brian. I would love to see Upper Deck get an NBA license back. As far as the NFL, I’m a college collector and I love what they’ve done with the CLC license. I don’t want them to lose focus by supporting two football licenses. Don’t want to go back to the press pass days…

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