Upper Deck Evolution Video Trading Cards in 11-12 The Cup Hockey

As a surprise from Upper Deck, 2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup hockey features their newest versions of their Evolution video trading cards, featuring some of the hottest rookies in the game today.

Each card takes the form of a redemption, with a player randomly being assigned to the holder of the redemption. These redemptions are then sent to the collectors with the player unknown until the collector opens their package. It’s interesting as it makes you feel like you are opening a pack all over again, really hoping to pull a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Gabriel Landeskog.

Now one of the big questions from collectors, with Upper Deck’s rival providing limited signatures on their video cards, is whether these cards will contain some ink from the player on them. Well, sadly, the answer is no. But I recently emailed super UD guru in Marketing Chris Carlin to ask why they decided against autographs. I’ll let his response speak for itself.

In our quest to innovate, we are trying to develop different types of trading cards that do not rely on the same old drivers that make them collectible like memorabilia and signatures. By creating innovative new content we are hopeful to inspire collectors to hunt different types of cards where original content is the main driver. That is the goal with Evolution at this time.

I, personally, applaud Upper Deck’s stance on this issue. It really is about time to change the dynamics of card collecting a bit. With game used memorabilia pieces and autographs driving the current market, the industry could use a kick in its ass to find some new content that will inspire and create hype for a product.

At the same time, as a collector, I really wish these cards had autographs on them. I mean, at this point, where else can you find a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins video card…let alone one with an actual autograph on it? I will never stop loving autographs, so I really wish they would have included them on these inserts.

What are your thoughts on the omission of autographs? Do you agree with Upper Deck or would you rather have some signatures on those video cards?

Read more about the cards on Upper Deck’s official blog.

 

Panini HRX Returns For 2011 Panini Totally Certified Football

The Panini HRX video trading card will make a return from it’s debut in 2010 Totally Certified basketball and will be featured in this year’s new 2011 Totally Certified football product.

With secondary sales of these groundbreaking video trading cards by Panini hitting great highs, the amount of hype surrounding the football version is starting to get some talk around the hobby forums. You either loved or hated the original video trading cards, but there is no denying what kind of value they bring on the secondary market.

These video trading cards can be found in non-autographed versions, autographed versions, and the 1 of 1 autographed version. They are extremely rare pulls and come in redemption form to protect the buyers from over-eager pack searchers and hobby shop owners.

They will feature a several minute video highlight of the player pictured and allow you to recharge the battery with a USB cable.

Now that Panini is coming out with it’s second group of video trading cards, we wonder if Upper Deck has something up their sleeve in possibly hockey or college basketball with their video trading card, the Upper Deck Evolution.

I recently asked someone at Upper Deck when their next video trading card release will be and from what I am told, it will appear as a surprise in a soon to come future product. I can’t pry that information from them, but let’s hope Upper Deck has added some ink to these video cards to add some value to them as their first go around wasn’t as successful as most thought it would be.

So for now, Panini is still in the lead for video trading cards, but who knows what Upper Deck will do this time around?

Review: 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified Basketball

Now, I don’t know what makes this “totally” certified compared to just regular certified, but this year’s product looks pretty good compared to years past. 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified basketball is back yet again with great improvements from last year as well as some new additions, mainly the reveal of Panini HRX video trading card technology. While these are extremely hard to pull, they are some of the best looking and include the first autographed video trading cards to hit the market.

While our box did not contain such awesomeness, we were able to see what really make 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified basketball stand out this year and that is the color, some on card autographs, and some nice looking game used pieces. Want to see what we got? The video provides some information, but when I started I thought the camera was runing, but it wasn’t. So I was halfway through when I noticed it, but reviewed the cards pulled. But look no further than below:

Base:

Parallels:

Game Used:

Autographs:

Design:

Actually, I really enjoy the design. I’m usually not huge on foil board type designs unless it is done really well, but I believe this is actually done really well. The starburst effect in the background looks great on the base cards, I just don’t understand the need for the abstract lines in the back. I see that the effect changes when the line is there, but couldn’t you do it without the abstract lines? The lower ones look out of place, but I wouldn’t mind just the triangle design. I’m not sure what they did with the finish on these cards but it feels pretty cool. It feels kind of grainy in the foil area but the player actually is raised up on the card and gives it a cool depth feeling.

Checklist:

While I can’t find a list of the veterans who actually signed in this product, the overall checklist is actually very solid. There are 35 different rookie autographs to pull including the top picks in the draft which is not an over kill like other sports. The base set is kind of big for being limited, but the 150 cards presents a challenge to set builders and player collectors if you want all the parallels. The Certified Potential autographs list is great and the names on the game used jerseys is very good. Don’t forget about the HRX video trading cards! Making them hard to pull was a great strategy and keeping them limited in the future is something I would recommend.

Value:

Honestly, I wasn’t sure whether to give this a 3 or a 4. As I say, I always round this to the nearest whole number, so we’ll just say it’s around 3.6. The hit per pack thing is great and it has it’s place in the hobby. But a box of this product is nearly $100 right now. I ended up with nearly 1/10th of the base set, 6 or 7 parallels, and 6 “hits”. I would like to see just a little more content in these packs. The hits can stay as they were solid, the insert per pack is good enough for me, but maybe add in another base card or two. It would take at least 10 boxes to build a full base set and that is being generous. The names on the hits are solid which is nice compared to other Panini products with sometimes too many retired players. Just add another base card or two and I’d be very happy.

Overall:

Overall 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified basketball gets 4s across the board from me. The design is very nice with a few odd things here and there but it really is something to see for yourself in your hands. The foil board looks great and the jerseys are done well. Just the autograph space on the rookie autographs looks a bit small but the nice big jersey piece is there too. Gotta take the bad with the good there. The checklist is solid overall and not killing you with retired players. The HRX makes it’s long awaited debut and even though I did not pull one, they look great. Finally, value wise I would like to see maybe another card or two added to the pack. Maybe it’s just me on that one and maybe I’m over reacting a bit. But it’s still not bad.

Now you get to see my ugly mug do a horrible job at opening it on video. It’s such a bad video, I forgot to press play or something when I started. So it’s a review of the half the box I had opened plus me opening the second half of the box, oops, sorry.

Now as for the contest part, I have in my hands the Brandon Roy Totally Blue insert numbered to 299. The winner of this contest will be the person closest to guessing the serial number without going over, Price is Right style. Please also include at least one thought on the product in which I reviewed. The winner will receive the Danny Granger jersey and the Dejuan Blair jersey. Good luck!

A big thanks again goes out to Panini America for providing this box for me to review.

Who Really Won The Video Trading Card War

First, sorry for the delay! I’ve been busy training and getting some certifications, permits, and such to help me get some sort of job. These will definitely benefit me which in turn benefits the blog. More money in my pocket means more boxes I can break! I think that’s a good trade off, don’t you think?

Anyway, happy Monday! And boy am I tired.

But what is awesome about today is we are finally able to see some of the results of what people are paying for video cards. And honestly, didn’t we all know from the beginning who would win this video card war? Upper Deck had the first video card on the market, the Evolution, but proceeded to fail to give these cards any sort of value besides them being kind of hard to pull, just regular case hits and easily searched by dealers or collectors. The first ones sold didn’t do too bad but right now you can have them for $30-$40 bucks a piece.

But just as I called it when Panini announced their HRX video trading cards I knew Panini would win this battle. Why? Better collectibility. Upper Deck was so caught up with trying to get video cards out on the market first they forgot the key ingredient to make these really want to be collected by collectors. What did Panini do that Upper Deck didn’t? Autographs and rarity.

Firstly, HRX cards are about 1 in every 6 cases of 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified basketball. Rarity is important and with 51 total video cards for each of 4 players, you will have a hard time finding these. With 11 of them being autographed including a 1/1 version, this adds a new layer of collectibility to those video trading cards.

Upper Deck could of had the upper hand if they waited just a little bit and got some autographs slapped on those cards. Instead, Panini’s HRX video cards are selling through the roof on the secondary market. The first Kobe Bryant autographed HRX video trading card sold for $1,000! Blake Griffin? Over $850! And that guy Kevin Durant? Just north of $500. Even the unsigned versions are getting decent money because of the rarity. I don’t think any of the Upper Deck Evolution video trading cards reached heights like those and I expect those numbers to stay higher than the Upper Deck Evolution video cards.

Panini HRX easily wins hands down in the first ever video trading cards, but I can assure you that Upper Deck will be back to the drawing board and will be adding autographs to these cards in the future. Which company will create the first autographed plus memorabilia card? What will they do to improve on the first generation of video trading cards? With secondary values achieved by the Panini HRX, I don’t think these will be going away anytime soon. Do you want to see what these cards look like? Panini announced a world premiere of revealing of the finished HRX video trading cards ready to be delivered to your door if you’re lucky enough to pull one so you definitely need to check that out!

I just noticed another blogger posted about this today as well so many sure you check out Card Geeks Blog and their thoughts on Upper Deck Evolution vs. the Panini HRX video trading cards. Let’s hope my plans for an article tomorrow aren’t the same as his! That would be awkward to have two days in a row.

Now tell me, which ones would you rather collect?

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Want to see more autographed HRX cards?