Upper Deck sidesteps licensing feud with NFL Properties insert


September 13, 1992|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

It's Week 2 of the NFL season, and Upper Deck just did a end run around the licensing feud between the NFL Players Association and NFL Properties.

Upper Deck's NFL low series includes players under contract to both entities.

Players under licensing contract to NFL Properties appear in a 50-card insert set in Upper Deck's NFL low series. These cards come in separate foil packs, are numbered G1 through G50 and carry the NFL Properties logo. Upper Deck lists odds of picking an NFL Properties pack out of a box at 1-in-30.

It's Upper Deck's second non-NFLPA set. Last year, it made a 50-card quarterback set for Domino's Pizza.

Cards of NFLPA players will be in the other packs and carry the familiar NFLPA logo.

This means collectors have the opportunity to find Jim Kelly, Randall Cunningham and Dan Marino of NFL Properties as well as the NFLPA's Barry Sanders and Art Monk.

One of the more interesting insert sets highlights the 1992 Pro Bowl. Each card is a split screen, with an AFC and an NFC player at the same position shown separated by a holographic rainbow.

This season's design device for the NFLPA cards seems to be stone. Stone-like panels contain the team logos and players' names and positions on card fronts and serve as the background for the card-back stats blocks. The special logos for the All-Rookie team and team MVPs also feature stone. NFL Properties cards have shiny silver panels instead.

Other highlights are a nine-card Walter Payton insert set, holograms of top receivers, team leaders cards and team checklists with the artwork of Jim Auckland.

Upper Deck has added what it calls a tear strip to foil packs to facilitate removing cards without damaging them. Don't expect a strip like on Band-Aids. Two sample packs were tough to open at "Tear Here." Packs also feature 15 cards this season, up from 12 in 1991.

Running on a prism

Pacific Trading Cards has an unusual NFL subset. It put the top five rushers in each conference on cards whose fronts are prisms. Backs have bar graphs showing the runner's performance in each game last season. Pacific will produce 10,000 of each card, and they will be randomly inserted in Series II.

A card in every box

Upper Deck is teaming with CBS/Fox Video to give NBA fans highlights. Each boxed set of the NBA Commemorative Collection contains a special Upper Deck commemorative sheet honoring the Chicago Bulls' back-to-back championships. Fans also get three videos: "Champions: The NBA's Greatest Teams," "Milestones: The NBA's Record Breakers," and "Classic Confrontations." Look for the sets at video stores in mid-September.

Gold-medal NBA cards

NBA Hoops and SkyBox, which included Olympic cards in last season's sets, will do so again. Hoops Series I will have a 12-card subset recapping the Tournament of the Americas and the only team card that includes Christian Laettner and Clyde Drexler, the last two men chosen. SkyBox Series I's 12-card subset has highlights from Barcelona and complete statistics. Look for Hoops Oct. 6 and SkyBox Nov. 1.

Collecting cars

Action Packed is moving into the fast lane in January with and 84-card stock-car set. In one of the foil packs is a certificate for a Mello Yello show car like the one Kyle Petty drives.

Upcoming events

Today, baseball card show, Towson Marketplace, noon to 5 p.m. (expected signers are Mike Devereaux and Jeff Tackett), (410) 837-0870 or (410) 837-7632.

Today, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26 S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.

Sept. 26-27, baseball card show to benefit Baltimore Colt Band, Towson Center, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 26, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 27, (expected signers include Y. A. Tittle, Brady Anderson, Mike Mussina), (410) 254-2729.

Sept. 27, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Card of the Week

Leaf Studio is back, 264 cards strong. Fronts have a black-and-white poster-style photo as background to a color portrait. A 14-card subset features today's stars in vintage uniforms, including Cal Ripken in a 1951 Browns uniform.

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