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Collecting trading cards has been a great hobby for families to enjoy together. However, with younger kids, sometimes they are not all that interested in sports so parents who enjoy collecting cards have to wait until their kids get older to share the hobby with them. One thing that kids do enjoy is dinosaurs, especially boys. From books to television shows to movies, kids gobble up dinosaur content and this summer youngsters will enjoy “The Good Dinosaur” movie from Disney & Pixar and older kids will find “Jurassic World” from Universal Pictures totally polarizing.

Upper Deck has produced some trading card sets that feature dinosaurs in the past that cater to youngster and the young at heart. Fans have absolutely loved them. Here’s some feedback on what collectors have thought about these dinosaur themed trading cards from Upper Deck.

“I got a Wooly Mammoth molar, I love the design! Thanks Upper Deck.” – Brian Koester

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The 2008-09 Champ’s Hockey had rare fossil artifact cards that included a piece of a prehistoric fossil.

“I think these cards are awesome. I think people get tired of regular sports cards and they need something special to shake them up a little. These cards sure do that!” – Matt Coudriet

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The Champ’s fossil inserts were so popular, we continued using them for the next few years.

Pretty unreal what you are doing with cards now. Very cool that you’re able to share history like that.” – Luke LePlant

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Less expensive dinosaur cards were available in Champ’s that catered to younger fans for educational purposes.

“I think this is a great idea and you guys have always been known for pushing the envelope and being one of the best most innovative card companies around! I would love to pull one of these unique cards! “ – Nick Gauder

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The theme for the Champ’s fossil cards was, “Where the Ice Age meets the Ice,” as these cards could be found in a hockey release.

“I love these cards!” – Dustin Heino

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These prehistoric artifact cards were pretty rare and some sold for several hundreds of dollars in the secondary market.

“These cards are just amazing. It’s like owning a museum piece…” – Derek Chaiken

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Champ’s cards that featured fossils of teeth and claws from dinosaurs were, and remain, incredibly popular.

“It’s great to have something to get my kids excited with the past. Great job Upper Deck!” – Ernie Villalobos

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Animal Kingdom & Origins of Species patch cards in the Goodwin Champions brand from Upper Deck are incredibly popular too. This card sold for over $200!

Another summer blockbuster featuring dinosaurs will come courtesy of Upper Deck where the entire set will include content from the world of dinosaurs called appropriately enough; 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs. The product will have something for everyone with a version in a lunchbox catered to the youngsters and a hobby version primarily for serious dinosaur collectors.

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Here are some of the key cards and inserts to look for from the set!

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Look for incredible original art with tons of fun facts about the different types of dinosaurs who once ruled the earth.

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Kids will love dinosaur stickers randomly included in packs!

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Shadowbox cards on creatures from the sea will have a 3-dimensional look.

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Cool patch cards for the dinosaurs are colorful and rare!

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Now hear this! There will be booklet audio cards that feature the sounds of these ancient beasts when you open them up.

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Super rare fossil cards will have actual prehistoric dinosaur fossils embedded in them.

Artists are creating incredible one-of-one sketch cards that will be found in packs with different themes. These cards are designed primarily for a younger audience, but they are pretty incredible that an artist can create works of art like this on such a small canvas (a 2.5” x 3.5” trading card).

Don’t miss 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs when it arrives in stores in May 2015!

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We found Eric (@Arrick77) on Twitter and we loved his passion for Deadpool. Recently from the Marvel Premier set, he chased down the Code Name Letter card set for Deadpool which is no easy task. Here’s his story on how he did it and what he did with the cards when it was completed!

“I’m a die-hard Deadpool collector. I bet I own 90% of the licensed Deadpool products and 99% of every Deadpool comic appearance.

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Eric’s office is a tribute to Deadpool.

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His Deadpool collection is vast to say the least.

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When it comes to figurines, Eric has just about every licensed Deadpool collectible there is.

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And how can you be a die-hard Deadpool fan without a tattoo? You can’t and he does!

“When I first saw the Code Name Letter card listed on eBay, I knew I wanted that card and also to complete the set. I probably spent more on this set than any other I’ve done before. I won all the cards through eBay auctions. There were moments when I thought I may not complete the set. The letters ‘E’ and ‘A’ were very elusive.

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“The letter ‘A’ was at auction from a seller in Hong Kong and I bid pretty high to make sure I didn’t lose out on it. The ‘E’ was the last letter I acquired and I was so excited when I won that auction knowing the set was complete. I knew from the start this set would look very cool framed. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the frame is shiny chrome and the red matting is actually fabric like the letter patch material.

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“Everyone I have shown the piece to love how it came out. It is a very cool set to add to my Deadpool collection.”

 

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Once a year, gamers instinctively flock to Indianapolis for GenCon which is truly a Mecca for tens of thousands who make the pilgrimage. Gamers gathered at the Upper Deck booth on a Friday morning to participate in the Marvel Legendary™ 10K National Championship Tournament with hopes of winning the grand prize and taking home the Iron Man trophy.

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We were fortunate enough to have participant Calvin Patten document the entire event from start to finish and we wanted to share the experience with Legendary™ fans who may wonder what it is like to compete in such an event.

“I Woke up and started the day just like any other big event day. Planned ahead, knowing that the tournament starts at 10:00 am. After breakfast I made my way back to the room to get a little prep work with the Villains set. So many things to take into account for the tournament. I have had my share of bigger events. Last year I had the chance to play in both of the Gen Cons 5K tournaments. I was able to make the top 10 the first one and top 25 the second one. This event is a little different as it is only (1) event and it is for $10,000. While coming in the top 5 would be great, I was really just looking to have fun as that much prize money brought out some serious gamers.”

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Round 1:
“After looking over the table, the breakdown that they went with for the entire 10K was the following…

Dr. Strange: Commander Build an Underground Mega-Vault Prison: Plot Adversaries: Defenders, Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Asgardian Warriors and S.H.I.E.L.D. Assault Squad. The Allies Deck: Venom, Sabretooth, Kingpin, Magneto, Juggernaut and Green Goblin.”

“The pairings go up and everyone is split into tables of 5. I was at a table with four other guys that have not played the game a whole lot, but had played many other Deck Building Games (DBGs). I decided to try a different strategy for this round that I had experimented with at home. I decided to use my recruit points to buy the “New Recruits” cards which will allow you to keep your deck small and get anywhere from 3-7 attack a turn. Playing in a giant tournament it can only take 1-2 victory points to win. So if you are using 3-7 attack a turn it is very possible to get enough points to win the game before it runs out. After taking into account those strategies I was able to get first place in game one and earn five points. I was able to walk around a bit and see many of the same people that played in last year’s event, and see how they were doing. Most of them won the first round and will look to keep that momentum going into the next 6 rounds.”

Round 2:
“They kept the same set up and decided to keep it all day long. The strategy I used in game one seemed to work well but it was a little too close for comfort. I decided to use a different strategy this round and use the recruit points to get additional points to buy the “New Recruits” faster. Looking at the people that we got to us, Kingpin did assist in the recruitment and attack of those cards. We had five people at our table and after the dust settled the new strategy did not do me well. I was able to squeak out a thirdplace finish this round so I am sitting at seven points total. Not a bad start, but would have loved to be sitting at 10 points at this time.”

Round 3:
“This time I decided to go back to the original strategy and see if I could right this ship.  We did not even make it around the table four complete times and the game ended on turn 18. Good was able to clear the “Bindings” Stack quickly and we had the game over within eight minutes. I was not able to get out anything to kill so I ended this round in fifthplace for a total of zero points. Then we went to a showdown for third, fourth and fifth place, where each player still in it draws a new hand and then plays it out like normal, but you add the “Recruit Stars” and “Attack” on each card played. The play with the highest total gets next and so on. If there is another tie, then you showdown again with the remaining players. So after three rounds I am sitting at seven points still.

Round 4:
“Looking into this round I knew that it was only a matter of time that we would run into a table of 4 people. I was able to pull off a quick kill early on after drawing into the first position. That helped as the game only lasted 13 turns total. I was able to come in second that game with two VP. This was the second fastest game that I have seen or played this tournament. I was able to bring my total points up to 10. “

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Round 5:
“This round did not start out well for me. I had horrible draws and I had to go last out of everyone. This is not a good place to be if you are fighting for your tournament life. On to round six as I got zero points for this round.”

Round 6:
“I needed to get in the top two every game from round five on to make the top 25. This game went quickly as the set up they used allowed the game to go very fast and not linger. I finally figured out that a five cost Juggernaut is very good when you are able to pull him off. I was able to win this round after going to a showdown and winning to bring home the final Dr. Strange Commander card.”

Round 7:
“The final round and the game lasted a total of 7 minutes. We hit every bad situation that we could and the bindings went away too quickly. We ended our game before most people made it around the table once. I came in fourthplace this time and overall it was not bad. “

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“Looking back on the last seven rounds it was a fun way to spend 10 hours. The event was run really well and it seems like players and Upper Deck are getting more comfortable with these events. The judge staff worked very hard this year and did everything they could to keep the event running smoothly. The tournament finally got the Top Five cut. I decided to stick around for the final five finish where savvy players who performed well in previous tournaments assembled to do battle once again.”

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“The final table all decided to split the prize money so that each player walked away with $1800.00. The trophy was a very cool Iron Man trophy and did light up as well. Over all the event went very smoothly and everyone had a blast. Thanks to Upper Deck for a fun event and I look forward to taking part in it again next year. See you in Indy! “

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There are over 7,000 characters in the Marvel Universe and that number continues to grow. When it comes to Marvel “characters” however, not many are more well known that Stan Lee. He had a hand in creating some of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe and spun stories that are beloved by fans around the world.

As Upper Deck continues to work with Marvel, it is important to us to deliver fans autographed cards of this Hall-of-Fame talent. Check out an image of the great Stan Lee signing for the Upper Deck Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy release.

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Males make up the majority of the sports trading card and gaming card categories. While there certainly are some die-hard female sports card collectors and gamers in the hobby, there really are not many offerings geared directly to young girls to get them involved with trading cards.

“I know a lot of female collectors who are just as savvy in the world of collecting as their male counterparts,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck’s senior marketing and social media manager. “Females make up a small segment of the collecting community and as an industry, I just don’t feel we have done enough to engage girls. That is something that has really been missing, to offer products that will show them how much fun the hobby can be.”

“I think the biggest problem with previous female-focused products was that they were produced just like the male-focused products, just with female oriented subjects,” said Mendy Cady, girls category brand manager for Upper Deck. “Girls have different interests than boys who collect, and the offerings we put out should take those differences into account.”

When Cady came on board with Upper Deck last October, that strategy was something she definitely wanted to change going forward. At that time, Upper Deck had experienced some success with Hello Kitty® offerings that were different than just normal trading card releases, but Cady worked to really make these releases have interactive elements that girls would love.

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The Upper Deck team made Comic Con a memorable event with a variety of promotions with Hello Kitty at the show.

“For Upper Deck’s latest Hello Kitty® 40th Anniversary Fun packs, we wanted to make them just that; fun,” said Cady. “There are some traditional trading card elements, but this product is much more than that. There are miniature figures that girls will love to collect and play with along with albums, puzzles, stickers, trivia, timelines and much more. These cards are an experience that cater directly to young girls. It’s about time girls had a line of trading cards made specifically for them.”

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Upper Deck saw the results of the paradigm shift in strategy first hand at Comic Con where the company produced special Hello Kitty® 40th Anniversary bundles (blow-up cards from different decades with figurines) that sold out incredibly quickly. Hundreds of bundles were gone before the show was over.

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Upper Deck’s Comic Con promotion for Hello Kitty was extremely popular with fans pushing to get their hands on limited-edition collectibles before they sold out.

“Our learning from Comic Con is that for the next show, we should probably create a lot more,” said Cady with a smile. “It is a good problem to have however. You want there to be interest and demand for the collectibles you are creating. We are excited to bring other unique offerings to future events like Hello Kitty® Con which runs October 29 – November 2 in Los Angeles. Upper Deck will have a solid presence with offerings and experiences that girls of all ages will love.”

One of the elements that makes the Hello Kitty® property so compelling for Upper Deck’s girl-focused marketing efforts is that the age range of fans for Hello Kitty® fans runs the full spectrum. The company is finding it is not just young girls who are excited about new releases, but teens and adults as well.

“One of the elements we added to the Hello Kitty® 40th Anniversary fun packs was original artwork from the different decades (1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s) which really seems to be striking a chord with older Kitty fans,” said Cady. “She has definitely evolved over the years, but there are moments in time we capture in this set that help bring adult fans back to their youth. That is one of the powerful aspects of a product like this.”

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Upper Deck’s Hello Kitty® 40th Anniversary fun packs are available at select retail locations like Target, Walmart, Toys ‘R’ Us, Sanrio.com and Upper Deck’s online store (www.upperdeckstore.com). Pick up some packs today for your daughter, niece, granddaughter or yourself!

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