Upper Deck reveals $200 a pack Marvel cards

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Upper Deck is changing the way it does entertainment cards – at least for one release.

The company is releasing a $200 pack product, Marvel Premier, which is set to be released on October 2, UD announced today at the San Diego Comic-Con.

This probably comes as a surprise for many comic fans. Perhaps they’re used to shelling out lots of money for rare and old comic books.

However, Upper Deck thinks it has something special on its hands with a set that will feature many of Marvel’s top artists.

One card in the pack will be a premium base card on thick card stock numbered to just 99. There are 50 cards in the base set. The second card will be a 1/1 sketch card from a Marvel artist.

The third is one of the more unique cards in the product. It could be a dual-, triple- or quadruple-hinged sketch card. UD said it will be releasing images of these cards soon.

The fourth card could be one of three types: “Classic Corners” card (which pays homage to some of the greatest Marvel comic corners of all-time in a premium patch), a Shadowbox card or an “Emotion” booklet card by artists Jason Adams and NAR!

“For years we’ve seen die-hard Marvel fans pay big bucks for some of the premium inserts in our Marvel trading card lines,” said Jason Brenner, Upper Deck’s Marvel brand manager in a press release. “This is our first opportunity to provide them with a set of Marvel cards that are all high-end insert quality. This is certainly not a product for everyone which is why we are not making very much of it, but the fans it is targeted for are going to love it!”

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


  1. bill johnson
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    $200 bucks for a non sport pack of cards. good luck selling those upper deck.

  2. ddizzal
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    sweet, cant wait to see the images and artist sketch list

  3. Josiah Cecil
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    That price is ridiculous for a pack, unless you are a FANATIC of comicbook mem that is crazy I guarantee they will regret that idea eventually

  4. ted lee
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Jason Brenner stated that fans are paying big bucks for some of the inserts so Upper Deck just wants the “BIG BUCKS” up front.

  5. KZed
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Dear Upper Dreck / Marvel – I love the idea, but would NEVER pay that price for it.

  6. David Johnson
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The sketch cards and classic corner cards are cool, but not sure the product is worth $200 a pack. You would have to get some pretty big hits to make up for that price tag. It’s interesting to see UpperDeck try out high-end, but the price tag is definitely going to keep A LOT of collectors away. The value will really depend on who they got to do the sketch cards.

  7. JonathanI
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    If this helps keep UD the card business, this is a great move. I have always been partial to UD products in sports, and I am sure they can share that quality experience with comic fans.

  8. Michael Marrufo
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    OMG what are you thinking Upper Deck $200 MSRP is toltally outragious. Good Luck on selling them.

  9. Randall
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    After these things quickly fall to clearance prices, they will still be way over-priced. The idea is cool. The price is not.

  10. Richard
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    So, now they will kill the sketch card like they killed the 1 of 1 cards.
    I have no doubt that some people will buy these.
    But, for $200 you can buy some really cool silver age comics in beautiful shape.
    And, you can even buy original PAGES for many comic books out there, though not Kirby level.

    And, for card collectors, there are some really awesome autograph cards you can get from
    your favorite TV Shows and Movies, most of which are available for far less.

    Time was something got made, people started collecting, it became scarce relative to demand,
    and it went up in value/ Now you have companies artificially pumping up the value and it almost
    always does poorly for the collector.

  11. thecardcouplene @ twitter
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I commend Upper Deck (I don’t do that much), on trying to push the interest in this type of collection, especially in the high end form. Without knowing what these hinge cards look like it’s hard to say. I like comics, and have purchased some packs from sketch card companies at about 45-50 a pack, so if the checklist is good, I could see value in this.

    It is quite possible Upper Deck, is trying to carve out a market where their products can push the bubble a little. Could this be their way of “purchasing a box of the Cup”? High investment, High Risk… the possibility of Huge Reward? Is this a “last gasp”?

  12. Chris H
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, it’s a tough call. Die hards may eat it up but of course casuals won’t dig it. I might scope out singles of the Shadow Boxes. Love those things!

  13. Anthony
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic idea. I’m in for a few packs if I can get my hands on it.

  14. Nathan Weber
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    The could at least have autographs from the actors that have played the Marvel Comic Book characters on the big screen. Going to overproduce 1/1 Sketch cards with each pack having 1. 99×50=4950 packs based on the # of base cards with 1 being in each pack. That means 4950 different 1/1 Sketch cards! 4 cards for $200.

  15. 808Irie
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t collect nor have I ever read a comic so correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t original comic book art done by famous comic book artists extremely expensive? So if UD gets a line up of famous comic book artists to do the sketch cards wouldn’t those be worth the cost of $200 a pack? Id buy a few packs if the sketch card artists were decent to fantastic. But if they are going to hire someone to scribble some crummy pictures like Topps has done then yeah this is over the price and ridiculousness!

  16. jonervin26
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I am a collector of both comics and sports card. I also have purchased many comic card sets over the years. I like the idea of a “premium” non-sports comic related card set. However, at $200 a pack, I’d rather spend my money on a cool classic comic or maybe an awesome old rookie card. That is just a ridiculous price, and that is coming directly from a person that would absolutely be in their target market for this product.

  17. Richard
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Original art by top tier artists are indeed expensive.
    The thing is, they are not guaranteeing you will get one of the top tier people, just someone that has
    done work for Marvel comics at some point.

    Next, there is a big difference in the values of a sketch, a published page, a “splash” page, and the cover
    art. Artist, characters, subject matter, etc. make a huge difference. In any case, comparing a sketch card
    to an original page is close to comparing a patch card with a full game worn jersey. The amount of time and
    effort on published art, or commissioned sketches, can be hours or even days, while the stuff we are likely
    to see in the packs will be far smaller and not likely all that detailed in comparison.

    Anyway, if you look at completed sales on Ebay you will see published pages selling for far less than
    $200. And, even more important, you are able to buy the exact page with characters and subject
    matter you want vs a random item.

    Don’t forget, published art are 1/1 too.
    Well known stuff can sell more than a nice car, the better stuff more than a nice house.

  18. randy
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    $200 a pop. No way, Upper Deck is honeslty becoming pathetic at this point. No way comic collectors are paying this. And the sketch card in every pack has already been done by several smaller non-sport card companies–for less than $30 a pack.
    Rittenhouse does premium packs of major TV licenses, like NCIS ans Spartacus, with a auto and 2 relics a pack-for a quarter of what UD is looking for.

  19. Chris N.
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I guess I am on the “Skeptical” side of the house in regards to these, as you can pick up some very nice Sketch cards (all 1/1’s of course) from existing UDE products on eBay for not even a dent of what the current boxes sell for now/upon release, so I just cannot see someone ponying up $200 a shot to take a change at some sort of “Holy Grail” 1/1 art piece, which I just cannot imagine this product having. The difference between something like this and say The Cup, is of course, it’s not like Spider-Man is gonna have an MVP Year that propels the resale vallue of his sketch cards in this product :)

    That said, if this set sells, I fear that the next step is gonna be someone at UDE saying “Hey, lets take this original Jack Kirby page and cut it up, and put it into cards like we do Jerseys and the like currently”

    **shakes head**

  20. Ed
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Can you tell me how many “Hall of Famers” , “Existing Stars” and “Rookies” will be signing these cards?
    Will the materials be “Game-Worn?
    That would be cool…..but not at $200.00 per pack.

  21. Marvel
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I saw the hinged cards at looked like crap.
    To much going on in too little space.
    Saw some of the original art selling for less than the per pack cost.
    No way it sells

  22. Riggs
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Well what else is UD supposed to sell – $200 tennis or soccar packs??
    They have nothing else going on.
    I wish someone would give Press Pass a license for MLB and NFL – they do great with NASCAR, NCAA and non-sports – beautiful cards.

  23. T
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    From the first 20 comments, doesn’t look like the price is right. After CUP hockey falling off the cliff this year, you would think they would have figured it out.

  24. jimmy
    Posted September 2, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I might have considered spending the money right up until i read that there would be 1 base card out of a 50 card set in the packet . What’s the good of just 1 card and what will be the cost of trying to get the other 49???
    Madness . Perhaps this is elitist collecting for select wealthy few. And does anyone really find the “classic corner ” that exciting a card? Just curious

  25. butch
    Posted October 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    The price is too steep for me. I will look out for interesting singles though. It seems like they will be producing very limited quantities so I don’t see how they can regret this, even if it doesn’t work out. I do appreciate that they’re trying something new and different, and pushing the boundaries somewhat. I was involved in the set as one of the artists, and the cardstock we worked on was superb!

  26. Allen
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    825 cases is a low print run. I’m in for a couple boxes.

  27. Allen
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Actually there are 400 or so cases I’d there are two base #’d to 99

  28. Hscshooter
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I guess people are bent out of shape about spending $200 for a box, but I guess you would rather spend $400 for the Cup, $650 for Exquisite Football or better yet $800 for Exquisite Basketball!! I bought a case of the Marvel Premier and must say it if worth the money. Don’t forget you do get 3-4 hits and that should pay for your box. If you hit a big time artist like I did, you are looking $800-$1,000 for the hinged sketch. There are big time collectors out there willing to spend. If people are dropping $1,500-$2,000 for a Michael Jordan Fleer Retro Gems Red /150 (a base card people) then buying a case of the Marvel is worth it. Just saying.

  29. Stephen McCann
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Remember when you could buy a box of cards and have at least one, maybe two complete sets?
    Then came the chase cards, say five holograms.
    Okay, so maybe you had to buy a second box or make a trade with someone but, you could complete the entire set.
    Now with this product at $200.00 a box, how many boxes do you have to buy to just to get a complete base set?
    Most collectors are completest, so how many thousands of dollars do you want to spend to have the complete set.
    Many of the sketch cards are crap. I’ve seen children do better with a box of crayons.
    If you had big name artist doing the cards, the worth is there but, many of these artist I’ve never heard of.
    I’m an artist myself and I can say that I definatly do can better than many of these so caled artist.
    Products like this just makes me mad.
    I’ve been collecting for about 45 years and this is the first time I’ve said, “I’m done.”
    Take your cards and stick them up your a__!
    Done ranting.

    Upper Deck, f___ you.
    I’m done with your products.

  30. keving
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    And a year + later all the people saying it wouldn’t sell were completely wrong. Not only did they sell, but the box rate is still climbing. (Around $400ish).

    Find them in the clearance bin. HA!

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