UD Sweet Spot Gets An NCAA Twist + Draft Edition Info

Upper Deck unveiled its first two football products that take advantage of its exclusive NCAA license that goes into affect April 1 of this year.  These two products would be 2010 Draft Edition Football and 2010 NCAA Sweet Spot Football.

2010 Draft Edition Football – This product has been canceled!

This will be the third year Upper Deck has produced Draft Edition.  You can look for 5 autographs in each box on average.  This includes 2010 rookies and veterans pictured in their college uniforms.  New to this year are the box toppers that look like magazine covers.  As of right now, Draft Edition should be released in April.

I’ve busted a box of ’08 and ’09 Draft Edition, and they have each been ok.  Nothing too spectacular.

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2010 NCAA Sweet Spot Football:

Due out in June, 2010 NCAA Sweet Spot Football is the first Sweet Spot brand based on college football.  Each box will contain 6 packs with an autograph or relic in each pack.  Upper Deck really plans to take advantage of their exclusive license by having multiple college football logo cards for each player.  It too will have rookies and veterans to collect.

I’m more excited about this product versus Draft Edition.  I’m a high-end pack ripper and enjoy a quick thrill without having a ton of base cards leftover.  After seeing these early pictures, I wish they wouldn’t have used silver ink on light colored backgrounds.  This can make the autographs hard to see.

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You can see a lot more preview images of these two products over on Upper Deck’s Facebook Fan Page.

What does this mean for Press Pass?

Press Pass has been using college logos for years.  On March 31 they plan to release Draft Pick Football, which is their last product they can make using NCAA logos.  On their release calendar, Press Pass has two football releases for the summer – Portrait Edition and Legends.  I’m interested to see what these cards look like without logos.  Perhaps Press Pass will pull an Upper Deck like move and use logos anyway 🙂  With Upper Deck getting sued from everyone, maybe they don’t have enough money to sue Press Pass if they use NCAA logos.  Its going to be an interesting summer.

Take Away Their Relics & Autos: My 2¢ On Upper Deck’s Lawsuits

I have held my tongue for awhile about Upper Deck and its legal troubles, and I promised that I wouldn’t write an entire post about it but thats not what having a blog is for.  A blog should be used to speak your mind and be a platform for your voice to be heard.  Its not a place to hold your thoughts back.  If you have something to say, just come out and say it.

It surprises me that entities such as MLB and Topps would think that taking away Upper Deck’s right to use certain logos would prevent them from making baseball cards this year.  It sure didn’t work when Donruss/Playoff was told they couldn’t use MLB logos.  Since when have collectors purchased cards just for the logos?  Thats right.  Is been a hell of a long time.  When you have a market filled with collectors willing to spend well over $100.00 for a single pack, I’m betting they have a good idea who those players have played for.  And if by chance the collector doesn’t see a logo, what stops them from just researching who they played for online?  Nothing at all is the answer to that question.  Collectors don’t need logos which is why I think Upper Deck shouldn’t have put them on with their newest releases in the first place.  Upper Deck was just asking for trouble when they did that.  Its something they could have easily avoided and certainly didn’t need to get all wrapped up in after having to pay millions of dollars to Konami for counterfeiting a ton of Yugioh cards.

Upper Deck has been one of the top, if not the top manufacturer when it comes to high-end cards.  Collectors aren’t looking at logos when the card they just pulled contains some jumbo, multi-colored, World Series logo patch.  They are looking at the quality of the relic and of coarse the serial number.  If you want to take a shot at a manufacturer and really nail them below the belt, simply take away their autographs and relics.  That is what most collectors are looking for in the first place.  I’m no legal expert, and I doubt this would even be possible, but if you take away a company’s relics they would have to survive by doing something else.  I can’t even think of the last product released that didn’t contain at least one autograph or relic per box.  If they couldn’t stay alive its most likely they would go under and there would be one less manufacturer in The Hobby which is really what entities like the MLB want.  At least thats what they appear to want when they give exclusive licenses to companies.

Many people believe Upper Deck has a good chance of filing for bankruptcy due to all their current financial problems.  Just because a company files for bankruptcy doesn’t mean its going away.  There are all kinds of bankruptcy.  If by chance, and I mean this is a small chance, Upper Deck were to leave The Hobby altogether I think all the bloggers within the card blogosphere should get together and start-up their own manufacturer.  Bloggers by far know more about this hobby than certain executives only in it for the bottom line.

So who’s with me?

Manufactured Patches Done Right…. Is It Possible?

I refuse to dedicate an entire post about the legal drama thats unfolding at Upper Deck this year.  Who cares about who can and cannot use logos for their trading card products.  I just hope Upper Deck is prepared to pay out some hefty legal fees.  Gellman over on SCU thinks its a possibility that Upper Deck could go under.  If that happens, I think its time that all card bloggers come together and start a new card company 🙂

I know manufactured patches don’t get a good rap within The Hobby.  Some collectors would rather pull a Barry Bonds ’87 Topps RC versus one of those manufactured letters where you can barley read the player’s signature.  Currently I only own one card like this in my collection and the only reason its there is because I can’t move it.  Nobody wants it!

While looking at some of the Phillies stuff coming out of 2010 Topps Series 1, I discovered a few commemorative manufactured patches which I think look really good.  I must not be the only one either, because they have been selling anywhere from $30.00 to $60.00.  I believe certain manufactured patches should be welcomed, but certainly not all.

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’08 World Series logo commemorative patch – I like the look of this card a lot.  I still think a manufacturer should try and include pins into a card somehow.  I bet it would look something like this.

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I know this isn’t a piece from an actual hat worn by Richie Ashburn, but it is made from hat material.  I’m also glad to see that Topps used the old Phillies “P” instead of the modern one.