Upper Deck's 2007 product is out, but the talk isn't about the memorabilia or autographed cards included. Those who've opened packs have found evidence which indicates the company has some bitterness about its unsuccessful dalliance with Topps.
Upper Deck's Sweet Spot baseball hit stores this week, with the company hitting back at its rival with a Wacky Packs-like card that parodies new Topps' boss Michael Eisner.
The card was not announced by Upper Deck and has apparently been released in limited quantities but a few have made their way to eBay. The card features an unflattering caricature of Eisner, who won the bidding for Topps this fall despite a larger bid by Upper Deck. Eisner is portrayed as "Michael Buysner" in a Bazooka Joe-like pose.
The back of the card reads:
"Upper Deck welcomes this season's newest rookie, Michael Buysner. After humble origins as a page for a top TV network and stints that included crashing a hamboni machine at an Anaheim hockey arena, he is now the topp dog searching for a way to bring Bazonka Joe into the 21st century. As Big Cheese of his own cardboard kingdom, he is enthusiastically searching for the baseball cards his mom threw away and no one will be surprised to see a new big budget film titled, ‘Bazonka Joe and the Temple of Lost Trading Cards' in the very near future. Upper Deck wishes Buysner well – in the candy business."
No word yet on how many of the Buysner cards were produced, but Upper Deck is apparently hoping the new Topps' management has a sense of humor.
For those who really are interested in the Sweet Spot product as a whole, Upper Deck is hoping its new batting helmet cards might get the attention of collectors.
“Sweet Spot is consistently one of our top performing products in Baseball,” shared Jason Masherah, Baseball Brand Manager for Upper Deck. “We continue to push the envelope by creating these new types of cards. It is also important to not get too far away from what collectors love about this product in the signed ball, glove and bat barrel cards as well.”
Another large change with the product is the configuration. In the past UD Sweet Spot was released in boxes with several packs, most of which would yield regular base cards. To eliminate frustration felt by collectors in opening that type of pack, Upper Deck is placing all the content into one collectible tin. Collectors will find six cards in every tin with two regular cards numbered to 850, two memorabilia cards and two autograph cards. The tin also helps prevent pack searching.
“We solicit a lot of feedback from our collectors and hobby shop partners,” Masherah continued. “We heard some complaints about the Sweet Spot brand on packs being too searchable and frustration over packs with just regular cards in them. The key driver in this product is the autograph and memorabilia cards so we set out to address that. Using a collectible tin eliminates issues of pack searching and collectors are going to find the cards they are really after all in one tin.