The Upper Deck & MLBP Settlement

Well it looks like its another one of these weeks in The Hobby.  Yesterday we saw Press Pass get an exclusive license to make Tim Tebow cards for draft pick products, and today we’ve seen Topps get the exclusive license to the USA brand.  In addition to all that, just a few moments ago Upper Deck settled its dispute with MLBP.  Its events like this that make me proud to be part of the blogosphere.  I think its crazy if we all had to rely upon one hobby news source for information, especially one that comes in magazine format and most likely would be outdated by the time it reaches your mailbox.

From what I have read, Upper Deck won’t be allowed to make baseball cards for a very long time.  Their only way around it would have been their USA cards but Topps grabbed that away from them today.  Here are some of the items Upper Deck got smacked with during the settlement:

  • Upper Deck will pay MLB Properties more than $2.4 million (the entire amount in dispute) for Upper Deck’s 2009 debts.
  • Upper Deck will pay MLB Properties a substantial sum of money for the unlicensed cards it sold in 2010.  The specific sum of that payment is confidential.
  • Upper Deck agreed it will not make any new sets of cards using MLB logos, uniforms, trade dress, or Club color combinations.
  • Upper Deck also agreed it will not airbrush, alter or block MLB marks in future products.
  • Upper Deck must receive approval from MLB for the use of baseball jerseys, pants, jackets, caps, helmets or catcher’s equipment in future products featuring players.

Basically it sounds like Upper Deck is out of the baseball card business.  I don’t even think they can get around the rules this time.  I think if it would have gone to court, Upper Deck would have been hit even harder.  So hard in fact they would have been put out of business.  It looks like Upper Deck will have to survive on football and hockey.

What cracks me up about the whole situation is how MLBP thinks the benefit goes to the collectors.  Upper Deck released some great stuff, especially on the high-end side which I enjoy.  Topps will seriously need to beef up their high-end baseball products if they want to win over collectors.  I think I’ll miss Legendary Cuts the most and I didn’t even open a ton of it in the first place.  I just liked seeing all the cool cut signatures pop up for sale, plus they made the first relic card of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

What will you miss the most about Upper Deck not making baseball cards?




1989 – 2010

3 Responses

  1. The Upper Deck I liked stopped making cards back in the 1990s. I can’t afford to collect the high-end stuff, and the recent low- and mid- level products were so generic that they were tough to tell apart.

  2. This is really awful. I will miss SPX the most probably. As of Today I am done with Topps period.

  3. I won’t miss Upper Deck’s cuts because they frequently destroyed much better items for what were often bad looking cuts. I got sick of seeing them brag about cutting up Michael Jackson autographed pictures and vintage signed baseballs. The better option, which many bloggers have stated, would to be to offer a redemption for the signed item intact.

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