Archive for January, 2012
The National Hockey League transformed three full floors of the Ottawa Convention Centre – a total of 100,000 square feet – into hockey heaven this past weekend. In collaboration with the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, the All-Star Fan Fair event was attended by over 30,000 fans and was an experience not to be missed. In the center of it all was the Upper Deck booth, jam-packed with excited hockey enthusiasts in search of the latest and greatest in trading cards and memorabilia.
The highly anticipated Upper Deck wrapper redemption program gave fans the opportunity to open three packs of Upper Deck NHL cards and receive one of three exclusive bonus packs featuring:
Pack 1 – Senators center Colin Greening, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and current All-Star Tim Thomas of Boston
Pack 2 – Senators center Kyle Turris, hockey icon Mario Lemieux and red-hot rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Pack 3 – Senators player Mika Zibanejad, hockey great Bobby Orr and Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby
As an added bonus at this year’s show, collectors who opened an entire box received a highly sought after limited-edition card featuring Senators teammates Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson.
On Saturday, the crowd got even thicker as Upper Deck hosted a free autograph session with Cody Hodgson of the Vancouver Canucks. Hundreds of fans crammed into the booth, hoping to secure their wristband for a place in line to meet one of their favorite ‘Young Guns’ in person. Over 300 lucky fans met Cody and received a personalized oversized card, all compliments of Upper Deck.
While the Stanley Cup was the most sought after attraction at the event, followed by free autograph sessions with local and super star players, the Upper Deck Personalized Trading Card station was almost as high on the list of must-see attractions. From newborn infants to great grandparents and every age in between, Upper Deck fans put on an All Star jersey, grabbed gloves and a Stick and posed for their first-ever Upper Deck Rookie Card. The cards were a huge success and lines for the Personalized Trading Cards filled the booth throughout the entire weekend.
Upper Deck memorabilia covered the walls in the booth, and hockey fans were in awe of the new breaking through and ice-charge pieces. By the end of the weekend, the walls were bare as customers happily hand carried their new purchases home. Our network of Certified Diamond Dealers were also pleased with the event, as their cases seemed close to empty by the close of the show. Our two Authorized Distributors in Canada, Universal and Grosnor, also attended the event – lending a hand wherever needed and helping to keep the dealers well-stocked.
Upper Deck’s athlete relations team was also able to corral a few all-stars to get them to sign trading cards for new Upper Deck releases. Here Steven Stamkos signs cards for new upcoming products.
Thanks to all the fans who cam out to join us in Ottawa and we look forward to seeing you next year in Columbus, Ohio!
If you are not following @UpperDeckSports on Twitter and you are a sports card fan, you are missing out. Recently fans started posting some images of some of their recent hits or acquisitions from mail days and we encouraged more to share. What followed was a barrage of amazing tweets with images of some really awesome UD cards from through the years. They were so nice, we thought we would share with you here on the Upper Deck Blog. Check them out!
@TreyCumby says his favorite card is this SP Legendary Cuts Game-Used Bat Card of Babe Ruth & Mickey Mantle.
@J2THEBSQUARED is happy the Fed Ex girl just dropped off this Taylor Hall Exquisite rookie autograph patch card from the UD Redemption department.
@STUNNAMAYN3 just pulled this beautiful Michael Jordan autographed game-used floor card from 2011-12 SP Authentic Basketball.
@Robertbomar was thrilled when he pulled this stunning Marc Andre-Fleury autographed jersey patch card from 11-12 NHL Artifacts.
@nashcollector nonchalantly showed off his monster Michael Jordan All-Time Greats Storybook autograph card.
@cardsandcomics had a customer who is a huge Jordan fan strike some luck with this SP Authentic Letterman autograph card.
@Shaner1 seemed to be having a lot of luck pulling all three of these monster cards in the last three weeks.
@hhliving1101 probably didn’t realize how rare his 2011 Goodwin Champions card of Gretchen Bleiler was when he pulled it last weekend until he turned it over and saw that it was the Presidential 1/1 version. Wow!
@Quicksilveraus loves how Dr. J. always gives a quality autograph with his Personal Touch card inscribed with the name of his hero, MLK Jr.
@coryoneill loves the great patches UD procured for cards like his Exquisite Ensemble triple patch card of Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr.
Thanks for submitting fans! We were a little surprised we didn’t see any football cards, especially leading up to the Super Bowl. So tweet us some of your favorite Upper Deck football cards fans, we love to see your big hits!
Based on what you see in the February 2012 issue of Beckett Sports Monthly it is clear hoop collectors still love Upper Deck and Fleer products. Of the top 20 cards on Beckett’s Basketball Hot List, 14 of them are from an Upper Deck or Fleer release. Well we’ve got good news for fans who have missed Fleer’s iconic basketball inserts as Upper Deck will be producing a retrospective product paying homage to their greatness due out in April of this season. Upper Deck’s 2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball will have a lot of great content, including the always popular Jambalaya inserts (two of which are currently featured on Beckett’s Basketball Hot List).
And a new player has jumped on the scene in Beckett’s Basketball Hot List and that is red-hot rookie Jimmer Fredette. Upper Deck was able to secure an autograph deal of the highly-touted prospect from BYU and his first cards hit the market with 2011-12 SP Authentic Basketball and have been performing extremely well in the secondary market. Beckett has his SP Authentic Autograph Rookie F/X card #87 as their #8 card on the hot list.
Then it is Jimmer’s SP Authentic Autograph rookie card #17 that took the #5 position on the list.
Some are saying Jimmer has the potential to have a Tim Tebow-like impact on his game, but only time will tell there. There is no doubt he is able to perform at the NBA level and deliver the same type of deadly 3-pointers he became famous for in college.
Upper Deck will have more Jimmer Fredette cards coming out this season starting off with the 2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball set where fans can continue to collect rookies of this emerging star.
Each month Upper Deck spotlights one of its valued collectors to showcase their collection or pursuits. The great thing about sports collectors is that they are all very different in what they collect, how they collect. With Marvel fans getting more and more excited about the release of The Avengers movie this summer, there seems to be renewed interest in a product Upper Deck released this summer called The Avengers: Kree-Skrull War. Assembling this set required patience, problem solving skills and a key comic eye; which are all attributes John Stever possesses. Here is his story:
“I have been a Marvel comic fan for close to 40 years now and I bought my first trading cards 35 years ago. For over a decade I wasn’t really interested in either. Then one day I went into a Toys “R” Us in search of football cards for one of my younger brothers and I discovered Marvel cards. Sure, I bought the old Marvel sticker cards back in the ‘70′s, but these new cards had fantastic art. I bought some packs of the Marvel cards for two of my other brothers and one for myself. Well, before I left the parking lot all the Marvel packs were opened. My wife and I were instantly hooked. We’ve bought all the Marvel sets from the ‘70′s to present day.
“So naturally when Upper Deck announced The Avengers: Kree-Skrull War series, we had to have it. It seemed like it would be difficult to put together and there were not the same ratios for pulling rare inserts like sketch cards like in other UD sets, but I got three boxes figuring that I would be able to get an entire set of the story from that.
“I opened the boxes immediately when they arrived and realized this was a different kind of Marvel set where you are basically putting together the story yourself. The album would be a big help in doing that so I sent the redemption certificate for the albums in right away. I was pretty busy last summer, so I put off collating a set.
“While it did take awhile for the album to arrive, I was happy when it did as it drew me back to the cards. I finally sorted out my cards and found I was short 21 cards. I posted my want list on the NSU forum. I traded for 19 cards I needed and another forum member gave me the last two to finish off the set. During my first attempt at sorting I found I had extra character and retro character cards. I gave many of the triplicates to my nephews and nieces. After a long search on eBay, I was finally able to pick up a sketch card for a reasonable price since I didn’t pull any. Their rarity is keeping the price quite high.
“When the 19 cards arrived I figured it was time to put them into the albums. Thinking there might be too many, I stared backwards. The comic cards were a perfect fit. The album comes with the nine promo cards that I left in, which where the same cards being given away at select conventions last year. There was no room for the character cards, the retro character cards, and the cover cards; which is unfortunate. I will probably put mine in with my Marvel Beginnings cards.
“The comic book compilation cards are a neat idea, but not for everyone. The cover cards are nice. I really like the art in The Avengers: Kree-Skrull War set. Last, but not least, I love the character and retro character cards.”
For new collectors coming into the hobby, it can be a little overwhelming to learn things most savvy collectors are well versed on like how to list a card on eBay or how to make the most of attending a trading card show. Luckily for those collectors who are still a little green, Upper Deck’s Volunteer Alliance has come up with some great tips on how to become an expert on several key aspects of the hobby. Take a look to learn if you are new or for a refresher if you are a seasoned pro.
How to Have a Good Time at a Trading Card Show
- Wear Comfortable Shoes – I can’t stress this enough. If you’re going for any decent amount of time make sure your feet and knees are covered. Cement floors can be brutal on your feet and knees.
- Don’t Use the “E” word –Nothing makes a dealer more upset than saying, “It only sells for $X on ebay”. If you don’t like their price, counter offer with something your comfortable with, offer a trade or just move one. You’re less likely to upset dealers that way. Most are willing to work with you anyways.
- Redeem Yourself – We all buy boxes, but how often do we get free cards with them? If you’re debating on buying a box a week before the show, you might be better off waiting until the show to get your freebie from the card manufacturers. They routinely offer special items for purchasing boxes at some of the bigger shows so make sure you check out their websites or blogs before to see what they are offering and when.
- Mingle – Be sure to say hi to new and old friends. It’s a great opportunity to talk about the sport and hobby with others that share your interest. Make lots of friends, you never know when they might pull that key card you’ve been hunting. Also, if a card manufacturer is in attendance, make sure to talk with the folks there. If you ever have an issue with their products it is good to know someone on the inside.
- Sunday Bargains – Not all dealers, but a lot are desperate to move cards or product on the last day of the show. If a dealer was asking too much on Friday, you might want to hit him up on Sunday. I’ve been lucky at quite a few Expo trips with dealers that were more willing to deal after a card sat in their case an entire weekend.
- Cash is King – Make sure you bring plenty of cash with you as most dealers do not take credit cards and you don’t want to be stuck in the ATM line paying extra fees.
- Want Lists, Pen and Paper – You will find lots of dealers with thousands of cards. Nothing’s more frustrating than seeing a card and not being able to remember if you need it or not. Or worse yet, buying it and realizing you already had it when you got home. Also, make notes on what table had what card in case you want to revisit the dealer after checking out other tables.
- Bag or Backpack – Even if you are not planning on buying a lot, make sure you plan to have something to carry items with in case you see some things you just have to have. You’ll want to bring something that allows you to carry any pickups comfortably.
- Trade Bait – Depending on what a dealer’s interests are, you can sometimes work out great deals for your personal collection by having items you are willing to trade. Make sure to bring items of the home teams for the market you are in as dealers can flip those pretty quickly at the show so they are desirable to them.
- Eat & Relieve Yourself Elsewhere – Trading card shows are notorious for having terrible food and getting indigestion (or worse) is not conducive for walking the floor. Plan on grabbing something to eat before and after you hit the show instead of at it. You’ll thank me. Additionally, next to the terrible food are the terrible restroom facilities you will normally find at shows. Make sure you go to the bathroom before or after you hit the show. You’ll definitely thank me for that!
How to List a Card on e-Bay
Listing a card on e-Bay can be a little intimidating. But take a little time to get set up with an account on e-Bay and PayPal and you will be ready to turn your unwanted cards into cash for new boxes. Just follow these tips:
Why I Collect
Every collector is different and it is important to ask yourself what your goals are for your collection. Check out what this collector has to say about why he collects:
How to Display Your Collectibles
Once you have your cards, what do you do with them? Our friends at UltraPRO have some great tips, but check out how this collector does it:
How to be an Upstanding Member of an Online Sports Card Community
Collecting nowadays is great because the internet helps bring the community aspect of collecting anywhere you go with a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. However you cannot just join a community and expect to immediately be embraced by all the collectors. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of being a part of an online community:
- Make an Introduction – Most online forums will have a section dedicated to just introduction posts. Tell them your name, where you’re from, what your favorite teams are, who you collect and throw in one or two interesting facts about yourself. This will make people interested in who you are as a person and not just as a collector.
- Personalize Your Posts – Make a banner to put in your personalized signature and add an avatar. These are pretty easy to create and can add a lot of character to your online persona. People see this every time you make a post, so make sure it is a decent representative of who you are. You can generally find a decent avatar just from a quick Google search and there are usually several members of an online community that make banners for people, just ask around.
- Make a Trade List/Want List – People want to know what you collect and more importantly, what cards you possess they might need. Scan everything. A description of a card won’t entice people into making a deal with nearly as much as a clear photo of the card itself. Scans just look nicer than photos.
- Contribute – There are almost always sections that are dedicated just to talk about the actual sports and what’s going on there. Tell people what you think of a particular topic. Give a strong opinion and do it often. Contribution to discussion is what really makes a website into a community.
- Trade, Sell and Buy – Get involved in all aspects of the business with your community. Instead of having to pay fees through e-Bay or other auction sites, you can save money by dealing directly with other collectors who are willing to trade, sell or buy at a fair price.
- Understand Values – Beckett prices are a reference. Many people are fed up with how they price cards and will likely look at other sources to tell what a card is worth. E-Bay prices are traditionally the lowest the card will go for because most often the sellers are looking to get money quick and not exactly what the card is worth. Ask members of the community if you have a question about what something is worth.
- Make Quality Posts – Make sure your posts are worthwhile. Nobody wants to see you post “Nice card!” on every single post. As long as your post has meaningful content, your contribution will be appreciated and you will blossom into a successful member of the community. Re-read what you are about to post before you submit it. Even though you didn’t mean it to, some posts can come off as rude and that is a sure way to get in hot water with a community. Be courteous, even if others are not doing the same. Kill them with kindness and others will come to your aid.
- Ship Shape – Shipping is key! Make sure your cards are always in penny sleeves, top loader and team bag. Don’t use tape, this ruins the holder. Don’t use envelopes. Padded or bubbled mailers are a must!
- Do Onto Others – Try and help other people out instead of just looking for what you can get from the community. Perhaps it is helping a member find a card they are looking for or helping to make them a banner, always try to do something to give back. Also if you are having trouble with a member or are unsure of something, ask someone! Most members are happy to help other members.
- Knowledge is Power – READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE! Not knowing the rules is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and can get you banned from the website very quickly. Know what is and what is not allowed. I didn’t know is not a good excuse.