Monday, February 8, 2010

2010 Upper Deck: Genius?

I stopped in Target on my lunch break today to pick up a 12 pack of Diet Mountain Dew and while I was there I mosied over to the cards aisle with the intent of picking up a few packs of Topps when I saw that the Upper Deck cards were finally out. They had blasters and rack packs, and not wanting to deal with a bunch of unwanted inserts, I picked up a handful of the racks. I was as curious as anyone else to see how they skirted the deal with Topps, and boy was I surprised.

In a move of genius, it looks like Upper Deck managed to get around the logo issue by selecting some very well positioned photos. It looks like they are forbidden to use the team names too, as all mention of of any teams is done so by the city they play in and not the team they play for.

According to Topps website, "Topps will have exclusivity on MLB, Jewel Event (?), and club trademarks, logos, and other intellectual property, for use on baseball cards, stickers, and certain other products categories featuring MLB players. Topps' exclusivity begins on January 1, 2010."

While Upper Deck did a great job of picking photos that obscured most of those things mentioned, not all of them do, so it will be interesting to see what merit Topps' lawsuit has. (You can clearly see the logo on Magglio's helmet). On the majority of cards where you can see the front of the players' uniforms, the logos on the jerseys are mostly blocked by the players arms. Also most of the caps were caught at an angle where you can only see the logo partially.

Lawsuit or not, kudos to Upper Deck for not caving in to what is an asinine move on the part of Bud Selig to run them out of business. I love the Porcello card where you can read the entire name and number on his uniform. I would love to see an entire set with the photos framed that way. Whoever was doing the job of designing these did a great job. The small head shots more than make up for some of the photos where you don't get the entire face of the player.

As for Topps' beef with Upper Deck, I say fuck 'em. They've been violating the rookie card rule ever since it started by including inserts of prospects in their Bowman sets long before they reach the major leagues. Now Upper Deck has come back and decided to play hard and loose with the rules too.

It's about time.


Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, Topps isn't suing Upper Deck. MLB Properties is.

And I believe the use of minor leaguers in Bowman sets was actually a part of the previous agreement, so Topps wasn't really violating anything.

Grand Cards said...

handcollated is right on--while I'm sure that Topps is pissed at UD, it is MLB that is suing them. Also, the MLB exclusive isn't unique. UD has exclusives in Hockey, Football and with NCAA starting this year, while Panini has an exclusive in Basketball.

I think that UD did a nice job selecting angles like the Porcello that don't violate any agreements. The problem is, there are many more cards where they don't even attempt to obscure the logos at all. I'm interested to see how the whole lawsuit plays out with this.

robbyt said...

Great, you guys have to bring facts into my irrational hatred of Topps!

Just kidding, but I still think the Bowman thing is a crappy deal, especially when you make a big deal out of labeling cards rookie cards in your other sets that aren't really rookie cards.

It didn't dawn on me until last night the prominence of the team logo on the 2010 Topps cards until seeing a 2010 Upper Deck card beside it. Coincidence?