Upper Deck is utilizing its autograph contracts with Basketball Hall of Famers to bulk up its latest product. 2010-11 Ultimate Collection Basketball offers autographs from some of yesteryear’s biggest stars including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Dominique Wilkins, Julius Erving, Bill Walton and Jerry West.
“With a highly sought-after, high-end product like Ultimate Collection, we’re always looking for new ways to excite and bring collectors closer to the athletes,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s Basketball brand manager. “With that in mind, we’ve offered a large assortment of unique inscription cards in the set including carrying on our line of ‘Personal Touch’ inscriptions. The players really had fun adding something unique to those cards.”
Beyond the retro callout to the ’97 Legends Football release, which includes hard-signed autographs from 16 basketball greats including LeBron James and Bill Russell, the 2010 set features multiple inserts designed to allow athletes the opportunity to add unique inscriptions to their cards.
These inscriptions (numbered to 35 or less) from each of the players offer a glimpse into each athlete’s all-time heroes and movies along with shout outs to their alma maters and recognizable nicknames. For instance, Houston center Yao Ming signed his card “Great Wall,” while Magic Johnson indicated that his favorite movie is “The Godfather” and Penny Hardaway – not surprisingly – added that his favorite film is “Blue Chips” (a film in which he starred). Portland mainstay Clyde Drexler, meanwhile, gave a shout out to his old Houston alma mater by writing “Phi Slamma Jamma,” while Sam Perkins, out of UNC, paid tribute to his well-earned nickname from his college days by penning “Big Smooth.”
And to make this year’s offering extra special, collectors should look for the “All-Time Draft” signature set highlighting a “what if” list of the greatest players of all time if they were drafted in the same year, as voted on by fans via the Upper Deck Facebook page.
“Ultimate Rivalries” autographed cards are combos including Jordan/Bird, Penny Hardaway/Tim Hardaway and Brandon Roy/Derrick Rose.
“Ultimate Triple Signatures,” numbered to 25, include Magic/West/Gail Goodrich and Bill Sharman/Jerry Sloan/Pat Riley, while “Ultimate Quad Signatures,” numbered to 15, are headlined by the likes of Jordan/ Bird/Russell/Erving.
A Michael Jordan 1/25 autographed card from the product sold on eBay this week for over $500.
The entire base set consists of 60 regular cards and 21 “Ultimate Rookie Signature” cards (varied numbering per player) including youngsters like DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors.
Upper Deck’s 2010 Ultimate Collection Basketball (four cards per pack, one pack per hobby box) is currently on store shelves. Boxes are selling for $70-80 online.