The first hockey card release of the year sets the table for a new season of collecting and Upper Deck thinks fans are going to love the return of the MVP series. The hobby version will be loaded up with cool content while entry-level collectors can get in on the product without breaking the bank at retail with a 99 cent price point pack. Back are many of the aspects of the set that made it a favorite with collectors like the 2-on-2 jersey cards, ProSign autograph cards, along with Silver, Gold and Super Script cards.
MVP Souvenirs are back as well with a new look and a dual jersey version that collectors will really enjoy!
One of the new additions to the MVP product is the Colors & Contours insert set where we utilized stunning gold, purple and teal foil board to create a beautiful new type of card that fall 1:4 hobby packs. There are three types of die-cuts as well for a total of nine different cards with different levels of rarity. It is important to note however that there are not nine different parallels, rather just one card for each player in the 300-card set. Here is a breakdown on the rarity levels and a look at some of the cards.
Teal Die-Cut 1 – 1:96 packs
Teal Die-Cut 2 – 1:72 packs
Teal Die-Cut 3 – 1:8 packs
Gold Die-Cut 1 – 1:36 packs
Gold Die-Cut 2 – 1:24 packs
Gold Die-Cut 3 – 1:172 packs
Purple Die-Cut 1 – 1:60 packs
Purple Die-Cut 2 – 1:144 packs
Purple Die-Cut 3 – 1:520 packs
Don’t miss 2014-15 NHL® MVP when it releases on August 6!
In just a few months, Upper Deck will issue the 25th consecutive release of Upper Deck NHL® trading cards. To help celebrate this historic milestone, Upper Deck has a variety of promotions in store for collectors, but we wanted to work with our old friend Tim Carroll to create something special for fans to check out that commemorates this achievement.
While we absolutely hate the idea of anyone defacing or intentionally damaging Upper Deck trading cards, Tim Carroll does it in a way to create a bigger picture and something really amazing. We commissioned Tim to create a mosaic of the famous 1990-91 Upper Deck Wayne Gretzky card from our first NHL® set to help celebrate the anniversary.
To make things even more interesting, Tim Carroll only used cards from the 1990-91 Upper Deck NHL® release along with 99 Upper Deck Wayne Gretzky Los Angeles Kings cards. Now I have to be honest, I had some reservations about how this would turn out when Tim sent me a preliminary image of where he was at with the piece.
However, like the true professional he is, he came through with flying colors. Check out the completed piece!
You can view this piece, his 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. mosaic and watch him work on a new piece for LeBron James at the Upper Deck booth in Cleveland for the 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention on Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2. Come see him transform regular Upper Deck trading cards into incredible art LIVE!
Man’s best friend. A furry companion. Snugly, loving, caring, loyal and the list goes on and on to describe how important a dog can be to a family. Jacobe Martin had his best friend in the form of his dog Belle up until recently when Belle was tragically lost while the family was out of town. Devastation does not even begin to describe feelings of loss for 14-year-old Jacobe upon hearing this news. Belle was 8-years-old and stood by Jacobe’s side to comfort him no matter what.
After the passing of Belle, Jacobe was not taking the loss well and felt that no one truly cared about him. This was heartbreaking for his family to hear and they knew something had to be done. In a letter written to Mackenzie Dodge of KEKB 99.9 Colorado, it explained that Jacobe did not make friends easily and now that Belle was gone he just felt terribly alone. Mackenzie Dodge was touched by the story and moved to let Jacobe know just how much people do care about him. Jacobe’s address was posted and people were encouraged to write letters to him letting them know that people are thinking of him and that he will always matter. Within the same day of the story being posted, news had already traveled all the way to North Carolina and Jacobe’s PO Box was about to be flooded.
Shortly after the story was online Upper Deck received a note from Dan Coulter (Jacobe’s father) asking if there was a possibility to create a trading card in memory of Belle. We loved the idea as it matched perfectly with our ongoing Random Acts of Kindness program where we look online to help worthy fans and create some feel good stories to promote everything good about the hobby. We jumped at the opportunity to help create something special for Jacobe to remember Belle by and for him to share with his family and friends. Not to mention, it’s pretty exciting to appear on an Upper Deck card before you’ve made the pros! Our goal primarily was to lift Jacobe’s spirits however and we hope the trading card we created in loving memory of Belle does just that.
Dan plans on sharing the cards with Jacobe when they finish production next week. It will be nice for the family to bond over the experience and the card, because in their simplest form that is what trading cards are all about, bringing families closer together. And every time Jacobe looks at his card with Belle, we hope he smiles with confidence knowing just how much we all care about him.
If you would like to get involved and send Jacobe a letter, please do so at the address below:
P.O. Box 4281
Grand Junction, CO 81502
UPDATE: Jacobe’s father Dan received the cards and had this to say:
“He couldn’t believe that you all did this and that these are the only cards in the world like them. Tonight he is going to give his little sister and brother a card, he wanted to wait till he could get them cases for them to put in. I think they are turned out amazing. And they are a huge hit!”
We are thrilled to share an exclusive interview with one of Upper Deck’s top artists. Today we want to shine the spotlight on artist Joe Jusko. This iconic illustrator was the talent behind the famous Marvel Masterpieces trading card release from 1992 and Upper Deck is thrilled to share we have been able to secure Joe Jusko to resurrect the set. Recently we were able to sit down with Joe to talk about his artwork and what fans can expect from the new Marvel Masterpieces release.
UD Blog: What inspired you to become an artist?
Joe Jusko: “As a little kid I would watch my older brother Danny draw. He was really talented and actually won a contest on the old Jon Gnagy ‘Learn To Draw’ TV show. Once I realized I also had a facility for drawing it became an obsession and how I spent every spare moment of my time. Comic books were always around the apartment and provided a direct channel for my creative instincts. I determined at the age of 6 or 7 that I would draw comics for a living! It was really one of those instances where the career chose me instead of the other way around. In hindsight it’s fascinating to me just how convinced I was of that being my calling, and how lucky I am to have fulfilled that dream!”
UD Blog: Who helped you along the way to become the artist you are today?
Joe Jusko: “I was fortunate having parents who never dissuaded me from art, but who actually encouraged my passion. I remember getting two of the Walter T. Foster art instruction books (The Nude and The Model, by Fritz Willis) at Christmas one year. How many parents would buy those for their 9-year-old? Henry Fiol, my grade school art teacher at St. Brigid’s was a constant source of encouragement, and several incredible teachers at NYC’s High School of Art & Design, including Richard Taylor and EC Comics legend Bernie Krigstein put so much effort into helping me hone my skills. Howard Chaykin, who hired me as his assistant the summer after I graduated A&D helped me put the final polish on my portfolio, taught me many insightful tricks of the trade and opened doors for me at both Heavy Metal magazine and Marvel Comics that may have taken years to access, otherwise. Lastly, all the editors at Marvel (Jim Shooter, Tom DeFalco, Archie Goodwin, Louise Simonson, Larry Hama and Bob Budiansky) who saw promise in my work and who kept assigning me jobs at the beginning of my career, which gave me the experience to grow as an artist in a professional environment.”
UD Blog: Looking at the evolution of comic art from 20 years ago to today, what do you like and dislike about it?
Joe Jusko: “I love that the level of draftsmanship has gotten so refined, especially after that period of mediocrity in the late ‘90’s, but I do miss the quirky and stylized inaccuracy of the art I grew up on. I do think that the trend toward hyper realism in many instances has compromised some of the dynamics that first drew me to comics. It’s a nit-picky generational thing, though that makes me sound like a codger.”
UD Blog: What excites you about creating Marvel characters?
Joe Jusko: “I grew up on Marvel characters above all others and I’ve always had a lifelong affinity for them. They were drawn by all my favorite and most influential artists. I’m always excited to add my take on them to such a historic artistic pantheon. I know them better than any other company’s characters, as well, so my comfort level makes working with them a sincere pleasure.”
UD Blog: Who are your favorite characters to paint?
Joe Jusko: “I don’t know that I have a favorite. Just like my career path, I like bouncing around the characters. I especially like painting characters I’ve never worked on before as the challenge keeps my brain working. I do always look forward to the Silver Surfer, Black Cat, Hulk and Thor pieces, however. The bad guys are infinitely more interesting to me, as well. I can understand why actors prefer playing the villain over the hero much of the time. You can really have more fun with them.”
UD Blog: What do you remember about creating the 1992 Marvel Masterpieces trading card set?
Joe Jusko: “I remember the excitement over initially being offered the project! Up to that point it was the largest job I’d ever had. It was definitely a ‘right place/right time’ situation. I was painting a great majority of Marvel’s covers at the time and I guess I was the logical choice for their first painted cards set. Next I remember the absolutely grueling schedule. I worked night and day for 3 months straight. Even though they were small (6”x8.5”) pieces it was a remarkably short time. In hindsight I’m not sure how I did it. Mostly I remember the incredible response to the set upon its release. No one involved expected it. It just seemed like a really cool project that took on a life of its own and its popularity has truly stood the test of time. To this day at conventions I still sign more of those cards than anything else I’ve ever done.”
UD Blog: What is your favorite image from the 1992 Marvel Masterpieces set?
Joe Jusko: “Wow, that’s a tough one. I really liked the Hulk, White Queen and Black Cat cards, but I think my favorite is Namorita, as it’s an homage to Jay Scott Pike’s cover to the Dolphin story in Showcase #79. I loved that cover and story when I was a kid. It’s always been a dream to own the original, though I’ve never seen it for sale anywhere.”
UD Blog: What excites you about re-imagining that set with Upper Deck?
Joe Jusko: “The time factor has always been an issue for me with that first set. The images were painted very quickly and while they made cool cards they were not great paintings, and I had to compromise cool card ideas for simpler alternatives in my effort to get the job in on time. No one can tell where all the shortcuts are, but I sure can. Upper Deck is affording me the time to really spread my wings on these new pieces. I’m 20 years a better painter with a lot more time to produce the images. I’m enjoying every second of this!”
UD Blog: What card do you think fans will like the most from what you have created so far?
Joe Jusko: “The Captain America card! It’s a strong Cap image with a couple of special guest stars that don’t have their own cards in the set.”
UD Blog: What is the process like creating the imagery for these cards?
Joe Jusko: “I’m producing fairly tight sketches for approval at both Upper Deck and Marvel/Disney. I do the sketches on tracing paper because once approval is granted I rub graphite on the reverse and trace it onto my board. Doing this way saves the surface from the damage of constantly erasing. I then tighten up the sketch as much as need and render the piece in acrylics.”
UD Blog: How do you come up with your ideas on how to show the characters for this set?
Joe Jusko: “As with the first set I’m trying to not rely on generic action poses. I think it’s important to imbue each card with a bit of the character’s personality or some reference to his/her history wherever possible. That’s not to say there aren’t some really cool pinup style action shots!”
UD Blog: What are some of your favorite things to create that aren’t Marvel, or even comic, related?
Joe Jusko: “I’m a huge fan of wildlife art, particularly big cats. Artists such as John Seerey-Lester, Simon Combes and Robert Bateman are major influences and I would love to spend a year or so just painting big cats.”
For more information on the artwork of Joe Jusko, please check out the following links:
Fans taking part in Upper Deck’s popular wrapper redemption program at the 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention are in store for a special surprise! To help celebrate Upper Deck’s 25th Anniversary and Amazon.com’s increased support of the sports collectibles category with their specialty online store, the two companies are partnering for a special promotion. Randomly inserted into Upper Deck’s wrapper redemption packs are four Amazon.com exclusive autographs limited to 25 copies from four of the best players in each of the four core sports.
Baseball – Reggie Jackson
Football – Peyton Manning
Hockey – Bobby Orr
Basketball – Magic Johnson
We hope fans enjoy and appreciate the additional autograph content that will be available in Upper Deck’s wrapper redemption packs and we are appreciative for Amazon.com’s support to bring these cards to life!