2009-10 NBA Exquisite will be Upper Deck’s last under its NBA license. The ultra-high end product will feature superstar autographs and even a LeBron James-Tiger Woods combo.
When Upper Deck released 2003-04 NBA Exquisite, the trading card market was forever changed. Despite a hefty price tag, a single pack of that product routinely sells for more than $3,000 because of the opportunity to land 1-1 autographed cards featuring some of the NBA’s biggest names including LeBron James autographed rookie cards. Six years later, the product’s run comes to an end–at least for now– when Upper Deck’s 2009-10 NBA Exquisite set arrives in stores on September 30.
Panini becomes the NBA’s lone licensed manufacturer in October.
In addition to having Exquisite rookie cards from some of the top 2009-10 NBA draftees, some retrospective inserts have been created paying homage to the heritage of the Exquisite brand. In 2009-10 Exquisite, Upper Deck honors the most valuable modern day rookie card: 2003-04 LeBron James Exquisite RC (#78). Upper Deck is bringing back that particular card design as a limited insert with some of the sporting world’s biggest names like Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, John Elway, Barry Sanders, Sidney Crosby, and Wayne Gretzky. The ever popular “Triple Logoman Patch” cards and “Dual Logoman Autographed Patch” cards return as well.
“It’s awesome to be able to provide collectors with a final exquisite experience in basketball, and this will represent the most limited run we’ve ever done because of the short amount of time we had to bring it to market,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s basketball brand manager. “There are some cards we included that will have everyone talking starting with the Ricky Rubio autograph rookie cards. This will be the only chance collectors have to pull a Rubio Exquisite rookie so that should be big.”
“Also, we have Upper Deck spokesman Tiger Woods signing dual patch cards with Michael Jordan as well as LeBron James. On one of the Tiger and LeBron cards, they actually inscribed their birthdates on the card as they share the same birthday [Dec. 30].”
Each five-card pack of 2009-10 NBA Exquisite carries a suggested retail price of $650 per pack. Given the limited nature of the product and the fact that it will be the last NBA Exquisite release for the foreseeable future, prices may go higher than the suggested retail.