2009: The Year of the Buyback

16 10 2009

In a year in which Upper Deck’s MLB license was revoked, the Carlsbad, California company still managed to get the upper hand when it came to big time pulls. From a classic 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. hand-numbered autograph buyback, to two Derek Jeter SP rookie buybacks, they have managed to win over even the most bitter collector.

While none of the three different 2009 Upper Deck autographed buybacks could be labeled “rare” by today’s standards, they still sold for astonishing prices on the secondary market, including a couple of $2,000 dollar+ sales for the iconic Junior ’89 Upper Deck on eBay.

With a few more releases on the way including Sweet Spot and Ultimate Collection, could one final autographed buyback be on the way? Perhaps a 1994 SP of one of the greatest sluggers of our time before controversy hit his life. Of course, I’m talking about Alex Rodriguez and his beloved 1994 SP rookie.

Only time will tell if Upper Deck can hit one final home run in 2009.

Ken Griffey Jr.


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25 responses

16 10 2009
Charlie

Last I checked, A-roid signs exclusively for Topps.

16 10 2009
Mario A.

Good point, Charlie.

It’s all about money for Aroid, though. Maybe UD can swoop him up like Panini took Kobe!🙂

16 10 2009
Jordan O.

They could always insert a Michael Jordan 94 UD buyback!

16 10 2009
jesse

I hope that some company will get original soon. seems like these days its either adding to another card or stealing from a competitor

16 10 2009
Kris

Mario, you failed to mention the ridiculousness of Upper Deck inserting cards from a product released less than 2 months earlier as a buy-back.

When it comes to 600 dollar products, this is about as low as it gets.

Quite frankly, how is it even feasible to repurchase 08/09 exquisite to release it into 09/10 exquisite. If you just hold back boxes of a product in order to instantly insert it into another product, how is that a buy-back?

The crazy video of the Lebron,MJ, Dr. J, more MJ included a lovely Brandon Rush Buyback. lovely.

16 10 2009
Mario A.

Kris, are you referring to Exquisite Basketball?

Could care less about anything besides baseball, with a few exceptions. I still can’t wrap my head around a $600 dollar product of trading cards but that’s another blog, hopefully for another time far away.

16 10 2009
Joe from the D

I would be completely surprised if they DONT do a Jordan buyback. And probably throw their leftover Kobe & Lebron stuff into whats left for baseball.

UD kills me with this stuff. Although I wouldnt think of complaining if I pulled one, but what place do basketball stars have in baseball products?

16 10 2009
jesse

I wonder if Topps has a boatload of Griffey/Thomas/Ripken crusades stashed away… could you imagine if they signed those? I would devastated!!

16 10 2009
Mario A.

Why would Topps have Crusades?

Maybe Panini has a few.

16 10 2009
Joe from the D

Way to put him in check Mario!! lol

I’m sure UD is going to start inserting some CRAZY shit that they’ve been sitting on. The rest of 2009 is going to be interesting…

16 10 2009
jl

Here is your what if cards throw a couple of star autos at a time when the cards were not auto’ed and boom you got 2001 Bowman

16 10 2009
Newspaperman

A-rod may be a Topps exclusive, but I bet Upper Deck still has some of his buybacks sitting around.

http://cgi.ebay.com/1994-SP-RC-Buyback-Auto-Alex-Rodriguez-74-94_W0QQitemZ130326449592QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Baseball?hash=item1e580fcdb8&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Side note, I love that the card shown here is slabbed as “altered.” What A-hole would go trim a card like that?

16 10 2009
Graham

The A-Rod 94 SP was autographed (our of 94) and inserted into 1997 SP.
I think A-Rod is not signing for anyone at the moment. He’s not a Topps spokesman anymore.

16 10 2009
VOTC

Even if UD has a couple of Buyback Autos would they be allowed to insert them if he IS with Topps?

16 10 2009
Kris

Yah, I was talking about exquisite BB. I just think, like every other good idea, ud and topps will eventually end up taking it way to far. Buybacks and Cut signatures are the same. Inserting a 2009 card into a 2010 product just seems as bad as inserting a Longoria cut autograph.

There should be at least 10 year rule on all buy backs and cut autographs, imo.

16 10 2009
Newspaperman

VOTC, I think UD would legally be able to release them. I mean an exclusive contract for signatures means that the player will not sign for other companies (from this point forward and the duration of said contract) and it should have no baring on work performed prior to said contract. This actually brings the sticker autographs issue into a new light. If Kobe is now a Panini signature exclusive, what does this mean for the stash of sticker graphs that UD probably has sitting around? Would UD be prohibited from using the stickers (assuming there are some) on unlicensed cards?

16 10 2009
Newspaperman

Graham … you’re right, the AROD was inserted into 1997 packs and numbered tio 94, but whose to say they didn’t keep a few dozen unnumbered copies for other purposes, like replacement? Not saying they actually have them, but what if they do.

16 10 2009
Charlie

Don’t know what his current status is with Topps, but Arod has autos in 2009 Series 1, Finest, and Ticket to Stardom.

He is no longer listed as a Topps spokesman on the website though. Weird.

16 10 2009
Newspaperman

Arod also was on Topps Ser. 1 packaging. I suspect Topps dropped his name (in public anyway) after the steroid controversy.

16 10 2009
Mario A.

Guys,

I spoke with UD. Got a follow-up to this story on Monday.

16 10 2009
mfw13

Buybacks are just another lazy idea from companies that can’t be bothered to come up with any new ones on their own.

Virtually all of the cards included in buybacks are easy to find on the secondary market, and since autographs of living players are not exactly hard to come by, the fact that the company has “bought them back” and gotten them stamped or autographed does little to add to their value.

Take the Griffey RC buyback…the actual market value of the card is about $50 and the actual market value of the autograph is also about $50. Add to that the fact that nothing is preventing anyone out there from buying their own Griffey RC and getting it signed (as I’m sure many people have already done over the years), and you have to seriously question the intelligence of anyone willing to pay more than $100 for such a card.

16 10 2009
Hoiles

Personally, I think auto’d buybacks are a great idea. I’d much rather have what is essentially an auto’d parallel of their most famous card, than some low-numbered auto card with a part of their pants zipper or whatever.

16 10 2009
jesse

oh yeah I meant Panini not Topps, my mistake.

I agree with mfw on this. they have taken an idea and gone too far.. plus the lazy factor

16 10 2009
Ricky

Take the Griffey RC buyback…the actual market value of the card is about $50 and the actual market value of the autograph is also about $50. Add to that the fact that nothing is preventing anyone out there from buying their own Griffey RC and getting it signed (as I’m sure many people have already done over the years), and you have to seriously question the intelligence of anyone willing to pay more than $100 for such a card.

It comes down to exclusivity, guaranteed authenticity, rarity, desirability, etc… Sure, some people would rather get the RC signed in person for nostalgia and the memory.. But let’s be honest, if they were to sell that card, it’s may not even sell for as much as an unsigned RC..

17 10 2009
Graham

The thing that bothers me about buybacks is that I see a lot of questionable ones on ebay (especially Topps buyback). I think this was also highlighted by Gellman.

Regarding the Griffey buyback, I don’t get how it sold for $2000 (blame it on BECKETT). There is one seller asking $3000 for it on ebay now.
I mean when Upper deck done the Griffey buyback in 1999 (10th anni) the card sold for less than $1000. Anyway, it is a nice card to have.

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