Upper Deck bringing back popular inserts for Fleer Retro Basketball

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Upper Deck Fleer Retro has been pushed back to September, but for good reason as the company wants to get as many live autographs in the product as it can and limit the amount of redemptions collectors have to deal with.

The 2011-12 version will bring back some more old-school inserts that basketball fans once loved.

The 1997-98 EX-2001 Jambalaya cards are making an appearance. These original die-cuts have become a popular insert with many cards commanding hundreds of dollars.

Another popular insert is the 1997-98 Metal Universe Championship Hardware design. That’s back, too.

So many of the popular late 1990s inserts designs are making a comeback and will feature many of the top all-time players.

But rookies will be part of Fleer Retro as well. Some of the first-year players included are Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmer Fredette and Norris Cole.

As with other basketball releases from Upper Deck, all the players will be featured in the college uniforms.

Retro will have 83 cards in the base set with 50 regular players and 33 rookie sensations. Many of the autographs will appear as Autographics showing off designs from 1996-2000.

There are five cards in every pack and 10 packs in each inner box with two inner boxes in every main box. According to Upper Deck, there are six autographs in every box – three autos in each inner box – and four inserts per box.

Yep, inserts are rarer than the autographs in this product.

The inserts in Fleer Retro Basketball include: Precious Metal Gems, Golden Touch, A Cut Above, Noyz Boyz, Big Men on Court, Competitive Advantage, Metal Championship Hardware, Intimidation Nation, Ultra Court Masters, Ultra Stars and Flair Showcase.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.


  1. Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Wow! Can’t wait. Is it September yet?

  2. Richard
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    “Sticker” Autographics = FAIL.
    One of the main reasons that Autographics is such a popular set to collect is that they are all
    on-card autographs.

    So, is this going to be a licensed NBA product?

    As far as I know, Panini is still has the exclusive license till the end of the next season.
    So, will Beckett be calling these rookies?
    If so, why not cal the SPA product rookies then?
    Or perhaps they will put an XRC label on them.

    And will collectors welcome the product over the long hall if its not licensed and using
    the NBA symbols and Jerseys? If I want a college product I go with Press Pass, who also
    happens to have on-card autographs.

  3. chrisolds
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Richard: There are no NBA logos shown.

  4. Steve
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m really happy to hear that they pushed back the release date to accomodate the live autographs. I’m really not a fan of redemptions.

    It’s too bad no one else has been able to secure an NBA license agreement. I really like the look of these cards and it’s great to see some popular old styles being brought back, but it’s unfortunate we have to settle for images of the players in just their college attire. I feel like this could throw off a new collector and somehow trick them into thinking it’s a rookie card when it really isn’t.

  5. ddizzal
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    thry should change the name to 12/13 fleer retro since its going on a year late.

  6. joe
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I am not a huge fan of UPPER DECK. However, when a product is done correctly, I can’t help myself. Bringing back those old school designs (Flair Showcase and Jambalaya) is awesome.
    Chris do you know if the Showcase will have the different rows as well.

  7. Tom Waldron
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    While anything from UD is questionalble we all dig this in reality we just wish it was from a Reutable company.
    I’m wondering why didn’t Topps or Panini go after these Rights Considering how popular these cards are now from the actual sets.This would be refreshing to see and the allure of having Jordan Or Lebron is considerable.
    I would take a wait and see apprioach but somehow at Ud the wheels are turning.
    Topps really needs a NBA liscnese seriously. Something is missing no Chrome since 09 leave a big void no refractor rc’s.

  8. chrisolds
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Tom: Upper Deck bought the Fleer name and all of its intellectual property when Fleer went under in 2005.

  9. Posted June 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Richard: Never stated it was a NBA licenced product. Who’s to say with UD getting busted for reprinting YuGiOh cards that they can not or will not reproduce the old inserts from the 1990’s that are very expensive today?? Nice concept but will not go over well with Stickers and NCAA licence.

  10. c.v.o. Chi's Very Own
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    All that was fresh. They would look a lot better with current pics tho. The NBA get their chop regardless, it’s all about the demand. I will buy them. We need them refractors too.

  11. sf
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    I really whished that Panini did something like that. The inserts in this set belong to my favorites of all time (especially Noyz Boyz or A Cut Above), but the execution of UD is horrible because a) of the bad player photos (college jerseys look bad and one and the same photo of a player is used on different cards), b) the inserts do not seem to have the same quality as the originals and c) having no Tim Duncan card in a set sucks. I think I will only try to get the Kawhi Leonard Noyz Boyz card as he is one of my new favorite players …

    Really a missed opportunity here :-(

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