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When Upper Deck first announced the company’s new Random Acts of Kindness program as a part of Upper Deck’s year-long 25th Anniversary celebration, collectors were buzzing about it. The program is designed to reward those individuals who give back to others, who are helpful and who make the hobby of collecting trading cards and memorabilia so much fun. Upper Deck began monitoring Twitter, Facebook, message boards, chatrooms and talking with industry insiders to begin compiling an ever-growing list of individuals worthy of a personalized mail day they would not be expecting.

As these surprise packages began arriving, people started getting very excited. We are only a month into the program officially, but collectors are beginning to realize, if they do good, they may be rewarded for it. That being said, it is our hope here at Upper Deck that collectors will look to do good deeds because it makes them feel great and because it is the right thing to do. The opportunity for a surprise mail day would just be a cherry on top of an already excellent sundae.

Here are just some of the responses from unsuspecting do-gooders thus far:

Trevor Cunningham (Montreal Canadiens Fan)
So Fedex arrived very early today, but I was not expecting a hefty box from Upper Deck. I opened the box with the Upper Deck Logo on it it says “Random Act of Kindness.” No idea what this is about, so I open it up and find some cool 25th Anniversary Promo stuff from Upper Deck: a pen, a little box cutter for busting boxes, a t-shirt and warm-up jacket. When I unrolled the shirt a team bag of cards fell out. I opened them up to find some 25th Anniversary promo cards and this for my personal collection!

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This Montreal Canadiens collector scored a rare Galchenyuk autograph card that any Habs fan would covet!

@BrandonLawson87 (Florida State Fan)
Still tripping over the awesome #mailday from@UpperDeckSports #UDRAK

Big thanks to @UpperDeckSports for the best #mailday ever with the giant @Jaboowins card

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UD created a special blow-up card of Jameis Winston to share with one of his biggest fans!

@jdetter23 (Upper Deck Black Basketball Fan)
WOW. I am blown away @UpperDeckSports by the #UDRAK . Thank you so much!!!

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Jeffrey Detter was disappointed he couldn’t get any of the new Upper Deck Black Basketball, so when a free box showed up at his door he was shocked!

There are some others who have received surprise mail days from Upper Deck who many would argue are just as deserving as the collectors above. The only thing really different about them is that they happen to be famous.

First up was a former NHL® player and now analyst for the NHL® Network; Jamal Mayers. He saw a collector bragging about a 2013-14 NHL Black Diamond Championship Rings insert of Mayers and he shared he would love to get one of the cards. Upper Deck went ahead and sent him a care package with some of those cards along with a special oversize version of the card. Jamal was all smiles upon receiving that surprise mail day.

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We supersized the Upper Deck card Jamal Mayers was trying to track down.

Then there is actor, director and Hollywood icon Kevin Smith who has been a good friend to Upper Deck over the years. As an incredibly passionate Edmonton Oilers fan, we just had to hook him up with the new Edmonton Oilers Collection product when it was released. To say he was excited about it is a bit of an understatement.

@ThatKevinSmith
Gonna roll around in the contents of this @UpperDeckSports box like Suvari in AMERICAN BEAUTY.

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Kevin Smith is a great guy and a great fan so of course it is fun to share items with him from the team he loves.

Then you have a fun story with pro football Hall-of-Famer Barry Sanders. When he saw he was paired with Tiger Woods on a dual autograph card in the Tiger Woods Master Collection set, he was blown away as he knew his kids would love it. Unfortunately the card was a one-of-one and not something that even he could easily own. That’s when Upper Deck jumped in and created a special blow-up version of the card and then we had Tiger Woods sign it and include a personalized message to Barry which read, “To Barry, Thank you for all the unforgettable moments! – Tiger Woods”

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Upper Deck’s Marketing Manager shows off a special Upper Deck Random Acts of Kindness piece for Barry Sanders that Tiger Woods signed and inscribed to him.

And lastly you have a situation where both the athlete and the collector mix. Michael Doffing is a die-hard Ken Griffey Jr. collector who we recently featured here on the Upper Deck Blog for his birthday. Knowing how much Doffing enjoys Griffey and also knowing how much he has given back to fellow collectors over the years made him a perfect candidate for the Upper Deck Random Acts of Kindness promotion. We had Ken sign a personalized blow-up card to Doffing and sent it off to him along with some other limited-edition collectibles and promotional items we knew he would enjoy. We enjoyed reading his excited post on Facebook where he shared his excitement about receiving this unexpected package.

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Ken Griffey Jr. signed a special 25th Anniversary blow-up card specifically for one of his biggest fans for Upper Deck’s Random Acts of Kindness program.

If this shows fans anything, it is to expect the unexpected with Upper Deck’s Random Acts of Kindness program. You don’t know when we will strike or where, but if you end up receiving a package with this special sticker on the outside, odds are you are in store for something you will thoroughly enjoy as we work to thank all those fans who helped make this such a memorable 25-year run for Upper Deck!

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Bryan Berg is a very extraordinary individual to say the least who is passionate about building amazing structures out of playing and trading cards. One of his favorite parts of the process however is the demolition of his incredible creations. Known as the Cardstacker, Bryan creates a variety of impressive structures at events around the world.

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Bryan has worked with Upper Deck in the past and he has an appreciation for our products. As we discussed the 25th Anniversary of Upper Deck, he had an idea of a cool build he wanted to do that would involve a fun demolition, and like that he was off to work on this creation. He was good enough to get the entire build, demolition and rebuild all on video, check out his tribute to Upper Deck’s 25th Anniversary!

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When we create mock-up images of new trading cards, it is very difficult to incorporate printing technologies into a computer image to show what the card will ultimately look like. When it comes to 2013 Fleer Retro Football, that could not be more true. As we began packing out the product one thing we heard more than ever was, “Wow!” And that was coming from people who see trading cards all day, every day. The new Fleer Retro Football cards are absolutely stunning! See for yourself:

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The thing about it is, although the scans look better than the mock ups, wait until you see these cards in person. The foil board, designs and substrates we used for this product are amazing to behold.

We believe strongly we have made huge strides to make Fleer Retro a brand collectors will fall in love with. We believe in is so strongly, we want to encourage fans to take the plunge on the product to really get a feel for 2013 Fleer Retro Football by opening at least three boxes. Although boxes are loaded with very cool inserts, they are all limited and there is a huge variety of chase in the product. By opening at least three boxes, you will see first-hand how unique this trading card release is and we will reward you for doing so. Collectors who purchase three boxes of 2013 Fleer Retro Football through an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer will be eligible to receive a FREE rookie autograph bonus pack. Each pack contains THREE autograph rookie cards EXCLUSIVE to these packs!

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When Upper Deck first announced they would be including one-of-one hand painted tributes to classical artwork in Goodwin Champions, collectors were hesitant. Could an artist really deliver a quality painting of a masterpiece on a canvas just 2 ½” x 3 ½” in size? As collectors soon discovered when opening up packs of 2013 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions, these artists were certainly up to the challenge and had created some beautiful works of art. The “Art of the Ages” cards became extremely popular regularly selling for hundreds of dollars as reported by Beckett Media.

The cards are a part of a three year plan in Goodwin Champions and we created the checklist in advance to make sure each year had some pieces that were widely known not just in the art community, but to the layperson as well. Work from renowned artists featured in the checklist for the “Art of the Ages” set includes Monet, Raphael, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Renoir and many more. Recently we started to get in some of the completed cards and we had to pause to admire their beauty. The artists we commission are getting better at recreating this classical art and the miniature masterpieces they are bringing to life are amazing to behold. The level of detail they are able to add to these tiny canvases is extraordinary.  Just take a look at some of the images!

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You can capture these works of art in 2014 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions when arrives in stores this July. As always with this release, expect to see a variety of additional exciting announcements about the product and compelling content found within!

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Things have been busier than normal at Upper Deck headquarters. Not only is the company ramping up in anticipation of the new exclusive agreement between Upper Deck, the NHL® and the NHLPA, but we are also in the midst of a variety of celebrations tied to the company’s 25th Anniversary. Given the strong tie fans have to that 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card, there has been a lot of attention to that milestone bringing reporters out of the woodwork to find out what Upper Deck has been up to since then. Now collectors of course know what has been going on at Upper Deck and recently fans shared some of their favorite cards and moments from the last 25 years at Upper Deck, but most of the public isn’t as aware.

Upper Deck has made the most of the opportunity by doing a number of interviews with different media across the United States and Canada in particular. It is our hope that we can maximize this opportunity to share what has been happening in collectibles to potentially re-engage lapsed collectors and reach new potential fans. Check out just some of the stories and interviews we have done as of late:

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CBS Morning News in San Diego stopped by corporate headquarters to interview staff and see how UD brings cards to life!

The Coast News pays a visit to Upper Deck headquarters and talks trading cards with UD’s President Jason Masherah.

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Cynopsis Sports asks Jason Masherah about some of the key happenings at Upper Deck these days.

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Baseball superstar Ken Griffey Jr. did a variety of media about Upper Deck’s 25th Anniversary.

ESPN talks with Ken Griffey Jr. about his 1989 Upper Deck rookie card and collectibles.

Upper Deck’s President Jason Masherah gives some updates on the company to the Sports Business Journal.

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Upper Deck is featured in Non-Sports Update talking about the company’s entertainment offerings over the last 25 years.

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Upper Deck also had a HUGE spread on the cover of the San Diego Union Tribune’s Sports section.

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