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Digital Subscriptions > Beckett Hockey > Sept 2019 > 30 MEMORAB LE MOMENTS IN UPPER DE CK HISTORY

30 MEMORAB LE MOMENTS IN UPPER DE CK HISTORY

AS UD KICKS OFF ITS 30TH SEASON IN THE HOCKEY MARKET, TAKE A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE SETS, SINGLES AND INITIATIVES THAT LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK ON THE HOBBY.

1 1990-91 UPPER DECK FRENCH

It’s difficult to truly grasp the mania surrounding UD French if you weren’t there. It was the product that turned sports fans into hockey fans and hockey collectors into hard-core investors. Bolstered by rampant rumors of scarcity in a pre-internet hobby awash with cash, UD French was hyped as the product that was going to put your kids through college. Prices would climb by the hour at card shows, with cases topping $17,000 and key cards like the RCs of Sergei Fedorov and Pavel Bure reaching $500 or more. Ultimately, the bubble burst when it became apparent that the product was still being printed – you can read all about it in the great book “Card Sharks” – but the impact of this brand during the boom years of the hobby is undeniable.

2 2000-01 UPPER DECK YOUNG GUNS

It’s hard to remember a time when Young Guns weren’t the heart of the hockey hobby. The term debuted in 1990-91 (most famously on the RCs of Bure and Fedorov), but it would be another decade filled with failed launches before the concept coalesced into the most popular RC subset on the market. Young Guns proved that a card didn’t need an autograph or swatch of memorabilia to capture the imagination of collectors.

3 1996-97 UPPER DECK GAME JERSEYS

Like Young Guns, this was a gamechanger. Inserts had been a part of the hobby forever, but by adding a swatch from a jersey actually worn by a player, the approach of what made a card collectible/valuable completely changed. And, in the process, it also created the concept of the “hit.” Although the basic game-worn jersey card idea has been driven into the ground by UD and other manufacturers over the past two decades, it led to many other many other exciting ideas that continue to power the hobby today.

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About Beckett Hockey

Beckett Hockey September 2019, UPPER DECK AT 30 : A Celebration, RANGER DANGER ! - Artemi Panarin, And More....