Fans may have to wait awhile to see NBA basketball this year, but 2011 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Basketball will try to fill the void when it hits store shelves today. What makes this product unique is that there are only twenty different subjects in the checklist made up of all-star names like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Bill Russell, LeBron James and Michael Jordan to name a few.
Fans of all ages have always asked us, ‘Why don’t you just make a pack of cards with only the good players?’” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s collegiate sports brand manager. “Well finally, due to some licensing changes, we’ve been able to produce a basketball trading card set where we can do just that. We loaded this product with hard-signed autographs of all of these stars including limited-edition multi-signed cards of these amazing talents. Upper Deck is thrilled to be able to deliver basketball collectors the value they have been missing from other trading card releases.”
Each four-card box is player specific meaning that collectors can find three regular cards and one autograph card for a specific player in a given pack. Additionally, there are some “mystery” packs that will contain a mixture of players from the checklist. Every card in the set is limited and crash-numbered to enhance their collectability.
Upper Deck is putting a new twist on popular autographed “Letterman” cards by encasing the letters in PETG plastic and having the players sign across the top. Instead of trying to fit their autograph on a small letter, this change allows the athlete to sign bigger and bolder across the card, providing fans with a much more impressive collectible.
A new booklet card features autographs of nine different basketball superstars on one trading card. Collectors who open an “All-Time 9” autograph card to discover these precious signatures are the only cards in the set that will not be hard-signed due to logistical constraints.
One of the last great “chase” features in the set is the chance to find one-of-one “Legacy Booklet” cards where a living superstar’s signature is paired with the autograph of a deceased legend. "These unique cards should fetch a hefty sum as they are traded in the secondary market," promises Upper Deck.
A few single 2011 Upper Deck All Time Greats Basketball cards showed up online late this week with boxes expected to fetch around $330.
See some of the preview images in the slideshow below. Click here to check out what's up for sale already on eBay.