A big initiative in Upper Deck’s 25th Anniversary celebration is getting on the road and visiting hobby shops that have helped us be so successful over the last quarter century. Other than providing these shops with the Hobby’s best products, we support them with the best service and plenty of support. I recently did a round of surprise visits to some very loyal shops in the Pacific Northwest to talk to them about their businesses, the future of Upper Deck and of course to surprise them with some goodies to celebrate our anniversary.

It was a fun road trip to say the least. Here is who I saw:

Card Exchange
14020 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle WA 98133
Ph. 206-440-5467
Mon-Sat 10-8, Sun 10-5

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My first stop was the Card Exchange. Owner Ryter VonDiFloe was on-hand to talk about the hobby and his store. He has also been in the hobby since 1989 and this is his second store, having moved into this present building in 1994. Card Exchange is chock full of boxes and singles alike, of both the sports and entertainment card varieties. They have secured the neighboring business as a separate gaming area and they run tournaments five days a week. The overall square footage, including the gaming room, is a massive 3200 square feet!

Card Exchange prides themselves on sales and service and the best variety of sports cards around. They have over 6,000 different sealed box titles of different products, going back to 1986 launch dates. They sell on Beckett on eBay, and occasionally have autograph guests.  This is definitely a shop worth visiting if you are a sports fan or gamer!

World of Collections
22611 76th Avenue West, #101
Edmonds, WA 98026
Ph. 425-778-2678
Mon-Thurs 10-7, Fri 10-10, Sat-Sun 10-6

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Shop owner John Strazzara shows off some of the more popular Upper Deck cards & products in his store.

The layout of World of Collections is amazingly unique. It is split down the middle with sports dedicated to one half of the store and entertainment (comics & gaming) on the other half. They have been in business since 1986 and in this location since 2012. They sell all brands of sports cards, have display cases of must-see singles, a bevy of card supplies, licensed merchandise, memorabilia, pennants and sports novelties. Other cool items adorn the walls including signed jerseys of both Tony and Phil Esposito, and owner John Strazzara shared some stories about the famous hockey-playing brothers that I recommend you ask him about when you visit.

For the die-hard gamers, they sell board games, roleplaying games, card games, puzzle games, dice games, CCG, TCG, CMG and gaming supplies. They have graphic novels, magazines, comic-related memorabilia, t-shirts, figurines, toys and action figures. They offer a comic subscription service to their customers, and they hold gaming events in their store 2 days a week.

Mill Creek Sports Cards
15704 Mill Creek Boulevard, #5
Mill Creek, WA 98012
Ph. 425-742-8500
Mon-Sat 11-6, Sun closed

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Mill Creek Sports Cards has been open since 1991 and they specialize in certified authentic memorabilia. Owner Scott Mahlum states they house over 36,000 unique autographed items in their retail store, as well as trading cards and supplies. They have exclusive representation on memorabilia for players like Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Felix Hernandez and Ichiro Suzuki. They have one of the largest collections of memorabilia I have ever seen, and it is impressively organized in their warehouse.

While there, I could see customers dropping off their items to be autographed by athletes who will be coming in for future signings. Their organized staff easily pick orders and they had a slew of fresh items packaged and awaiting carriers for shipping.

DJ’s Sportscards
1630 Duvall Avenue North East
Renton, WA 98059
Ph. 425-235-4357
Mon-Fri 11-7, Sat 10-6, Sun closed

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Shop owner Don Joss shows off an Upper Deck retailer award!

Owner Don Joss has a great family-owned store and has been collecting since 1985. He officially became a store owner in 1988 by buying out a portion of an existing hobby business, all while he was still in high school. His store has been in its present location since 1990. They have a ton of singles and sealed boxes, selling both in store and online. Their main focus has been sports from inception, though they have dabbled in beanie babies and other items during boom times. They do athlete signing on occasion, as well. DJ’s Sportscards boasts the most singles – vintage and modern. They buy a lot of collections of both cards and collectibles, and sell at reasonable prices to keep the rotation of inventory fresh.

DJs’ sells on eBay and Beckett, but their shop is definitely worth seeing and their service is excellent. Come and visit this family-oriented shop and check them out for yourself.

Pastime Sports and Games
20378 Fraser Highway
Langley, BC V3A 4G1
Ph. 604-530-5507
Mon-Tues 10-6, Wed-Thurs 10-10, Fri 10-midnight, Sat 10-11, Sun 11-9

Pastime Sports and Games
Central City Shopping Centre
Surrey BC V6B 6N9
Ph. 604-584-5507
Mon-Tues 10-6, Wed-Thurs 10-10, Fri 10-midnight, Sat 10-11, Sun 11-9

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I visited the Langley Store location which was awesome. Owner Ken Richardson has been working in card shops since he was 11 years old. He moved from doing shows in 1988 to owning his first store in 1990 and opened the Langley location in 1993, followed by the Surrey location in 2011. This store is packed full of product, with something for everyone.

For sports and sports card events, Pastime Sports has trade nights, group breaks in store, and occasionally set up at local hockey arenas for events. They have a tremendous amount of autograph guests that come to the store, many players being Hall-of-Famers. They also sell on eBay, Beckett, and Amazon.

Gaming has become a large part of their business and they run organized play for many product brands. What they really do well is events and taking care of their customers however. Recently they ran a Customer Appreciation weekend where they had live bands, barbecue, autograph guests, group breaks and the Langley Rivermen hockey team even came by with their mascot.

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So when you make your way up to the Pacific Northwest, make sure to pay these shops a visit! Let me know how it goes and if you’ve ever done a Hobby Shop Road Trip like this, let us hear about it!

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Another week has flown by, and it’s that time again! It’s Throwback Thursday! So let us go back through Upper Deck’s trading card history and come up with yet another exciting giveaway. We thought we would take this opportunity to highlight this epic LeBron James Rookie Card and throw it back to the start of his NBA career in Cleveland in 2003.

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Now let’s see if our fans can come up with some great captions for the card! Please share your comical caption to this card for your opportunity to score a complete 2014 NSCC exclusive card set! Because of all of the amazing participation the past few weeks, we wanted to reward the creativity of the fans and give away more prizes. So this week there will be 4 winners!

Important Promotion Guidelines:

  1. You can only submit one comment per email address so think about it before you post.
  2. Comments are moderated so keep them clean and in good taste as we have a lot of youngsters on these pages. Comments deemed inappropriate will not be posted or eligible to score card set(s).
  3. Make sure to review other caption before you post. If you have the same comment as someone else or make slight improvements to it, the credit will go to the first person who posted the comment.
  4. You have until Friday morning, September 5th at 8:00 a.m. PT to post your caption before this promotion is closed.
  5. Upper Deck will review the captions posted and select four (4) fans who most skillfully share a comical comment to coincide with this card.
  6. Only the customers selected to receive the card set will be contacted via email, so please make sure to provide an accurate email address when you leave your comment.
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Categories : Basketball
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While most fans know Michael Jordan for what he did on the basketball court, other have grown to know him for what he does on the golf course. Trust and believe he brings that same competitive drive to the game of golf. Take for example the time a fan bet him in Lake Tahoe that he couldn’t hit the green, and of course, Michael was able to come through in the clutch.

As a spokesman for Upper Deck, Michael Jordan has autograph memorabilia and trading cards from his basketball career, but he also has some content included in Upper Deck golf sets. The company brought back golf cards in 2014 and fans have loved releases like 2014 SP Authentic Golf, 2014 SP Game-Used Golf and 2014 Exquisite Collection Golf because there is the opportunity to find some Michael Jordan content in packs. Recently we were able to conduct a signing session with Michael where he signed some truly incredible golf combo cards from the Exquisite Collection Golf set, take a look!

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It’s Throwback Thursday again folks! So it’s time to go back through Upper Deck’s trading card history and come up with a fun giveaway. All of us here at Upper Deck are getting pumped up for the start of 2014 college football season, which is fast approaching! As we anticipate the upcoming release of Upper Deck’s Conference Greats Football Cards, we decided to throw it back to 1973 with a Woodrow Lowe National Champions Card. Alabama has their first game of the season on Saturday, August 30th against the West Virginia Mountaineers! Roll Tide!

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Now let’s see if our fans can come up with some great captions for the card. Please share your comical caption to this card for your opportunity to score 10 packs of 2013 SP Authentic Football!

 

Important Promotion Guidelines:

  1. You can only submit one comment per email address so think about it before you post.
  2. Comments are moderated so keep them clean and in good taste as we have a lot of youngsters on these pages. Comments deemed inappropriate will not be posted or eligible to score card set(s).
  3. Make sure to review other caption before you post. If you have the same comment as someone else or make slight improvements to it, the credit will go to the first person who posted the comment.
  4. You have until Friday morning, August 29th at 8:00 a.m. PT to post your caption before this promotion is closed.
  5. Upper Deck will review the captions posted and select one (1) fan who most skillfully share a comical comment to coincide with this card.
  6. Only the customer selected to receive the card set will be contacted via email, so please make sure to provide an accurate email address when you leave your comment.
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Categories : Football
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For the last two years the only thing that has been more popular than collecting the new set of NHL® O-Pee-Chee is collecting hobby wrappers from the product. Fans have taken those wrappers to their local card shop to have them send in for special red bordered bonus packs. The only problem was that last season, there was so much demand for these packs, we ran out quicker than anticipated. We have worked to make sure we have a solid inventory this season and the program should be awesome.

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A special red-bordered version of the entire 600-card set and a unique 50-card O-Pee-Chee Mini Tall Boys set will be available for collectors to claim through a wrapper redemption program. Here is how it works:

  1. Purchase HOBBY packs of 2014-15 NHL® O-Pee-Chee and collect the empty HOBBY wrappers.
  2. Submit groups of 50 HOBBY wrappers from 2014-15 NHL® O-Pee-Chee to an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer (CDD) in Canada.
  3. The CDD will send in groups of 50 HOBBY wrappers for their customers to Upper Deck’s Canadian Fulfillment Center. Shipping information will be provided directly to Upper Deck’s network of Certified Diamond Dealers in Canada.
  4. Upper Deck will send one six-card pack for every 50 HOBBY wrappers received consisting of five red-bordered O-Pee-Chee parallel cards and one O-Pee-Chee Mini Tall Boy card.
  5. CDD will contact their customers to come pick up their packs when they arrive back at the shop.

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The promotion will only be available through Upper Deck’s network of Certified Diamond Dealers in Canada. The promotion is available while supplies last and once inventory is depleted, the promotion is over. There are no charges tied to receiving these packs from Upper Deck although some shops may request a nominal shipping and handling fee to send the wrappers in to Upper Deck’s Canadian Fulfillment Center.

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Categories : Hockey
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