Upper Deck’s Evolution will be first video trading card … on the market


By Chris Olds | Editor

Two days after Panini America announced its plans for the hobby’s first HD video trading card, Upper Deck has pulled back the curtain on its previously top-secret Evolution insert cards to be found in the upcoming 2011 Upper Deck football card set.

What is Evolution? A video trading card.

Evolution will be the first video card on the market beginning April 12 as Panini’s cards, which will be autographed and limited in number, are merely slated for inclusion in NBA products later this year.

“I founded Upper Deck on innovation and even today we continue to reinvent the trading card,” said Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck’s owner and CEO. “I have always dreamed of bringing this type of technology to market and we are pleased to be the first to do so as the leader in the category. I believe Upper Deck’s ‘Evolution’ trading cards will capture the imagination of sports fans around the world for what trading cards can be and how far they have come.”

Upper Deck’s planned Evolution checklist  will include cards of Adrian Peterson, DeSean Jackson, Tony Romo and Patrick Willis in standard-size format cards that are a half-an-inch thick because there is a video screen built into the card. The cards will include merely college football footage since Upper Deck has a Collegiate Licensing Company exclusive to use NCAA logos on its products.

“From the onset, it was important to us that this new insert was a trading card first, otherwise it would just be a video player,” said Jason Masherah, Upper Deck’s vice president of Marketing. “The cards are built like our premium booklet trading cards with a video monitor built into the card. The beauty behind these cards is that they are self-contained. You don’t need any other gadgets or a computer to play them. You simply open the cover and press play. A video screen with 60 seconds’ worth of highlight reel footage of the player immediately starts playing. The card also has a port so it can be recharged as well.”


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  1. J.R. 24 March, 2011 at 20:33

    OK, seriously? can we please, PLEASE not categorize this as a trading card? I, for one, will gladly pass. anyone remember PowerDeck? yeah… like that.

  2. steve 24 March, 2011 at 21:48

    These are the dumbest things I have ever seen. How about save some money to get your MLB license back instead of wasting money on this soon to be flop!

  3. SeanC 25 March, 2011 at 01:12

    I’ll say this; it seems like a neat idea – for the non-sport market. As it stands, it’s one of the dumbest, most desperate last gasps of a dying company.

  4. Andre Pretorius 25 March, 2011 at 04:42

    Are you kidding me? This is just stupid. Those things are hideous! This will be the anti superfractor. If I NEVER pull one, I’ll be super happy!

  5. Lou 25 March, 2011 at 07:04

    Umm this is garbage. If this is the best Upper Deck can come up with maybe it’s time for them to finally go. Who would honestly buy this????

  6. Jacob Baldwin 25 March, 2011 at 07:57

    I find this to be ridiculous as well. If I want to watch highlights, I’ll turn on ESPN. As collectors items, you would never ‘play’ with these. Finger prints, dead batteries, dented corners from opening it up to show your friends..Come On Man!

  7. Bill 25 March, 2011 at 08:27

    I think once again Upper Deck has taken a big leap into an untested category in the trading card market, likely the same thing was being said back in the day about autograph cards and holograms. Give it a shot … and for Larry who says Topps does not produce “CRAP” when was the last time you bought some of their products?

  8. UD Insider 25 March, 2011 at 09:36

    From the company that brought the trading card world anti-counterfeiting hologram technology to the company that got caught counterfeiting YuGiOh! cards. What will they think of next?

    Oh, the irony.

  9. Bill 25 March, 2011 at 11:39

    Larry seriously, let’s take a look at “innovation” when it comes to Topps … this will be quick as most can imagine. Topps Supreme football (oops, I meant to say UD Premier football) is a knock off from what was done and was made popular years ago from Upper Deck … and you base “quality” on what grades you get on your cards from BGS and not how they look, are they stickers or hard signed, et. then if I show you a bunch of BGS 9.5’s from UD that would be the same quality in your mind as Topps?

    How many here, besides me, were disappointed BIG TIME when they got the 2010 Million Card Giveaway cards back from Topps that they hyped all year and helped spur sales?

    Nothing like getting all these quality cards and most had heaving creasing and wear .. and would grade no higher than a 3 or 4 … and this is all the cards I redeemed (about 22 of them) from 1955 – 1988 … sad!

  10. Joshua Pelletier 25 March, 2011 at 14:35

    These cards are a joke. The money put into theses could have been used to produce some of the product lines they cut out, or possibly licensing. Wow UD, a new low…..

    All the 9.5 topps chromes? You must have pulled the only ones in existence. Topps puts out low quality crap, that gets exponentially worse when they are the only producer for the sport COUGH BASEBALL COUGH.

  11. Erik 27 March, 2011 at 06:16

    This could have been a much better product with a little effort. Enlarge and improve the photo on the front. Add a limited serial numbered auto to the front of the card and a jersey/relic to the inside cover. Now you have something that appeases both the typical card collector and the guy looking for something completely new and different.

    The design does not thrill me at all.

  12. Korbl 27 March, 2011 at 14:32

    Assuming they’re the same height and width as an actual trading card, they’re the thickness of forty. No one in their right mind is going to buy these. Of course, fortunately for them, their target audience is little kids and sports fans, two groups of people I don’t consider “in their right minds.”

    These are a flop before they start. Though their might be some interesing mods done to them soon, but I think those will be the only people buying them.

  13. bryan 30 March, 2011 at 21:31

    Assuming they’re the same height and width as an actual trading card, they’re the thickness of forty. No one in their right mind is going to buy these. Of course, fortunately for them, their target audience is little kids and sports fans, two groups of people I don’t consider “in their right minds.”

    — Wow, this is the saddest post I could ever see about trading cards. It’s as if you have lost all perspective on what these trinkets were originally meant to be – they weren’t meant to be collected, protected and locked away. Baseball cards or trading cards, were meant to be traded, handled, and enjoyed. Originally, the cards were an afterthought meant as a bonus token for selling another product. People enjoyed these trinkets, and a hundred years ago that fan base was mainly kids and sports fans. Personally as both a collector and a sports enthusiast, I believe these things are really awesome. Although it may be hard for a collector to see in that they can’t see the forest through the trees, cards are dead like the rest of print media: newspapers, magazines, and even the old fashioned bargain-mart (where I found some great cards at ridiculously low prices back before ebay forced out the casual collector.) Something like these “cards” could actually move sports collecting out of the realm of internet fanboys and back into the hands of a general consumer who want something new, different or cool.

  14. todd 31 March, 2011 at 19:07

    Looks like the video business card idea from about 5 years ago. Upper Deck put a cardboard wrapper on it and they called it an “Evolution” They must of bought a bunch of close out product that they found online shopping one night. It was a stupid idea then, and now it’s really stupid. Did anyone tell UD that cell phones play video? Hopefully this is the last time we hear from UD. Do we need three card companies? Panini should come up with something better, TOPPS will out do them all. Oh by the way, no volume control, did this come from the 1980’s?

  15. Garrett 11 April, 2011 at 22:15

    Really guys ??? There will be a base of people that chase these just like everything else. And they will be around for a short while just like the power-deck’s were. There will be auto,memorabillia, and all kinds of combos offered. And just like Dufex printing, Super Detailed Die-Cutting, etc,etc. They will eventually fade away. Bottom line,,, I won’t be one chasing and if I pull one it will get looked at and then sold to the highest bidder. Give me a good on-card auto of a quality athlete, personality,etc, and I will be content. Just my 2 cents all.

  16. ryan 18 August, 2011 at 15:04

    Its just not a card, they say its a card but its just not.
    This would be like if they stuck a players picture on a casette tape and filled it full of their radio interviews.
    What package could this be in the you would be surprised that it was there!?
    Oh look Pa!, there was a television and a gum factory in my pack of cards!!

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