So in the span of two years, Upper Deck loses its license with two of the major sports: Basketball (NBA) and Football (NFL). It's no secret that some of the business practices of Upper Deck have been questionable, but the fact is that Upper Deck has been a major player in the trading card industry for over 20 years now. And a hit like this on the industry will cause a lot of people to possibly turn away from the hobby. I will be honest that I have always been on the collector side of this hobby, never really getting into the business side of it all. So most of my opinion comes from what this means as a collector. Upper Deck's designs have always been superior to its competitors. Lately they have gotten lazy, with the design as well as just using the same photos over and over. And of course sticker autographs and the dreaded redemptions *GAG*. But even with all of these pitfalls, I still liked the products, they just "felt" like better quality. Even if they used a similar design from a different product from the year prior, I are it up! I may have been brainwashed by the UD marketing team, but I always thought products like SPX and SP Authentic were just great products. It's probably because you KNEW what you were gonna get out of those products. They were staples in the product release for the year. Since this was the first year Upper Deck didn't release any NBA products, I actually found myself less interested in the hobby. Will this happen to football collectors next year?
So what does this mean for the trading card industry? What does it mean for the survival of Upper Deck? It seems that Panini is taking a strong hold on the industry. I hope that they could do right what Upper Deck has done wrong!
I enjoyed this post by the Voice of the Collector on this situation: VOTC Blog - check it out
I'd love to hear what other collectors think about this as well. Feel free to leave a comment!