31 March 2012

2012 Upper Deck Soccer Preview

The latest 2012 Upper Deck MLS product's sell sheet was recently made available. based on these pics I'm not sure I like the design yet. I did notice a few interesting tidbits with the new additions to the collection in the form of MLS throwbacks and the update set redemptions. I'm not exactly sure what they're about but I'd be thrilled if the throwback set had something to do with the various legendary footballers which have had stints in MLS such as Lothar Matthäus, Hugo Sánchez, Hristo Stoichkov, Carlos Valderrama, etc.

I seriously doubt this is the case though since Upper Deck seems to be having a hard time paying for athlete's signatures lately with UD continuing to face legal woes, the latest being a lawsuit from the NFL (gridiron) for breach of contract. Apparently UD have not been paying paying money owed to players for obtaining their signatures on trading cards. Surely if they can't meet the obligation of paying for auots then that's a sure sign that UD are in dire straits. I fear this may be the end of the line for UD and their soccer cards so this very well could be the last of UD's MLS products. Hopefully it's a good collection in case they do go out of business so they can at least go out with a bang.

2011-12 Topps Authentics Premier Gold

Topps have recently released another Premier League premium collection with the 2011-12 return of the Topps Authentics brand. If you ask me this product is a real breath of fresh air from that nefarious Match Attax crap. This time around it appears there are no newly issued auto & jersey cards, at least no sign of them as of yet. The collection consists of 50 cards total with 10 being foils and the remaining 40 regular cards. It looks a solid set but unfortunately it appears as though the collection will only be obtainable in the UK via some type of promotional giveaway from British bank Barclays. Looks like eBay's the best option to pick up a set for those of us who not residing in the UK.

27 March 2012

Women's Soccer Cards, Who Knew?

Lately I've been quite busy with a move to a new home and hadn't the opportunity to login to my computer much let alone my blog. As I get settled in the new entries will come. In the mean time a piece of news from the World of women's soccer caught my attention, WPS (Women's Professional Soccer) suspended it's 2012 season and has pretty much ceased to exist. Apparently this happened a couple of months ago but I only heard the news last week on the BBC's 5 Live World Football Phone In. To be honest, although bad news, this isn't of much consequence to me since I'm not really a fan of women's soccer. It may be the same sport as the men's version but it's a different game entirely, if you know what I mean.

However this news does have implications for Upper Deck's trading card products. Unlike the WPS league, women's cards are surprisingly popular. Cards of the likes of Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Marta, Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and especially the newest starlet in Alex Morgan, are highly sought after and command hefty prices for the higher end type of cards such as autos and jerseys. I have even seen a Morgan UD auto sell for over $400.00 on eBay, the rest of her autos do very well at auction too!

Alex Morgan

I would normally be opposed to having any WPS cards in an MLS collection but there's no denying that they add value to the product so I can't really complain. With UD's upcoming 2012 MLS soccer release and the success of women's cards on the secondary market I can only see UD finding a way to incorporate them into their future soccer products even now that WPS has folded. I'm guessing they'll have to include them in their collegiate uniform or maybe even in international kits? I suppose only time will tell...

05 March 2012

Awesome Mailday!

This CR7 card is one I'd been looking to pick up for quite awhile now. The last time I spotted one on eBay I was outbid at the last moment so I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out this time. Fortunately I was able to get it this time and as you can imagine I was extremely happy when I found it sitting in my mailbox.

I'm loving this acquisition, especially for the bargain price I paid. The only thing I'm not happy with is the fact that the autograph stickers that Upper Deck used in the mid 2000's not only look bad but apparently the signatures on them don't hold up well over time, unfortunately that is the case with mine. With all that said though, UD's the only manufacturer to get a Cristiano Ronaldo auto from (don't get me started on Futera's autos) and they're all signed on a sticker so in that sense this is about as good as a certified Cristiano auto's gonna get. Needless to say, this one's going straight to my PC.