The Beckett Blog


Upper Deck aims to make collectors do a double take with baseball card promotion by Chris Olds

Collectors who thoroughly examine their baseball cards now have a reason to look a little closer at their 2010 Upper Deck baseball cards.

Upper Deck unveiled on Tuesday a variation card promotion contest that will award prizes to collectors who can spot all 25 variations in 2010 Upper Deck and collect all of the cards.

“This should be a lot of fun for collectors as they seek out the variation cards,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s Baseball brand manager. “We’ll be announcing more and more players every month up until July, so collectors really need to be on top of things to keep track.”

The base set variation cards will have “between two and four subtle tweaks to the image shown on the commonly seeded version of the card,” according to the company, which announced that Jorge Posada (card No. 347) and Chase Utley (No. 376) are the first two. Posada has three variations, while Utley has four.

The variants are found one in every 96 hobby packs (and one in 960 at retail), while some will be much tougher to find than others.

The first five collectors to complete the set and send it in to Upper Deck will win autographed memorabilia.

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10 Comments so far
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Just another marketing gimmick designed to hoodwink stupid collectors into spending thousands on garbage. I would avoid this. Just buy the memorabilia; you’ll spend 100 times for cards what the memorabilia would have cost. Not smart money management.

Comment by Chris Borden

Hmm, let’s do the math: Assuming you get a different variation every four boxes under the best (and impossible) scenario of one variant per 96 packs (Upper Deck says this is the average seeding ratio; check the press release on its Web site), it will take A MINIMUM of 300 boxes to find them all. At $75 or $80 per box, you’re looking at $24,000, assuming you get a different one every 96 packs. Still think this chase is a great idea? Even if you are one of the lucky five to submit the complete set of 25, your “free” memorabilia will cost you tens of thousands. All right, let’s suppose you try to bid for them. Good luck meeting the June deadline. Even if you bid on these, they’ll still go for $100 each. Just buy the memorabilia. Forget the gimmicks. Let this company go bust.

Comment by Chris Borden

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They’re not going to say that the logos they use are actually “tweaks” are they?

Comment by Paul

Sounds like a good idea. Adds a little more fun to the base cards.

Comment by LivingDedMan

Of coure it doesn’t make awesome financial sense for collectors just seeking out this promotion. The promotion is not targeting those collectors. It IS however a nice promotions designed for collectors who normally enjoy building Upper Deck sets.

Comment by Sanders Yen

if your product is based upon base cards, then it should be 99 cents a pack.

Comment by Kevin

Jorge Posada cards aren’t exactly tearing it up… I think the charm of this promotion is that people who have collected base cards because they collect the players just might have something in their stash and they might not even know it. Same goes for those cards sitting in some dealer’s commons boxes… the hunt is what it’s about.

Comment by chrisolds

@Chris Borden:

I think it’s more that one of each variation card can be found one in 96 packs. I would imagine that considering one box contains 20 packs, every five boxes on average should have, say, one Chase Utley variation card. That same five boxes (100 packs) could also have each of the other 25 variation cards. Thinking about the law of averages, I would imagine that a serious person (who doesn’t get lucky and pick them all up at once) could have an average chance of getting all 25 variation cards in about 10 boxes worth of cards, if not less.

Comment by Andrew Meeusen

Dear Andrew: OK, even if I accept your math, it will still take about $1,000 worth of boxes to get all variations, assuming–and that is a huge assumption–that the seeding odds fall in your favor, and it’s my bet that they won’t. It’s a sucker’s game, and YOU lose!

Comment by Chris Borden




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