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Are We Witnessing the End of Upper Deck?

March 25, 2012

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On Thursday I was over at The Cardboard Connection looking for some information related to another article I’m planning to write when I saw something on their homepage that struck me as pretty big news: for the second time in less than three weeks, Upper Deck has been slapped with a lawsuit by a major professional sports league.

On the first of the month The Cardboard Connection reported that Major League Baseball was coming after Upper Deck for non-payment of money it owes from the settlement of a previous suit.  That was followed with this week’s report that the National Football League was also suing Upper Deck for not living up to its financial commitments.

As soon as I saw the story about there being yet another lawsuit on Upper Deck’s plate it got me to thinking about whether we might be watching what could end up being the end of an era.

I have heard rumblings of Upper Deck’s impending demise on a number of occasions in the past that never did come to fruition (the company seems to be no stranger to getting into legal troubles with their partners), but this certainly seems to be much more significant than any issues I’ve read about in the past.

From my perspective, it looks as though if they’re not already in a crisis situation then Upper Deck seems to be rapidly approaching one.  These lawsuits leave one with the impression that the financial well has run dry for the company.  The end of the line wouldn’t follow too far after the money runs out.

I would definitely be sorry to see the company go should that end up being the case.  For the most part I enjoy their products, they have a rich history in the hobby, and I collect a number of their products.

Their departure from the scene would leave NHL collectors with nothing but Panini products left to collect when it comes to fully licensed releases.  After a five-year period in which Upper Deck was the exclusive hockey trading card producer for the NHL, I was one of many collectors happy to see some competition back in the business.  That’s something I would hate to see disappear as I feel things are much better off with multiple different options from which collectors can choose.

What are your feelings on the situation?

If Upper Deck does end up having to close up shop and doesn’t produce cards any more, how will it impact the hobby in your view? 

Would you miss Upper Deck or are you fine with them leaving the hockey trading card scene?

What impact would such a situation have on your collection and/or collecting habits?

Let me know by posting a comment, emailing me at, or connecting on Facebook and Twitter.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2012 3:09 PM

    It certainly doesn’t sound good, but – as you point out – we’ve heard “Upper Deck is near its end” for 2 years now and it has still managed to survive.

    • March 28, 2012 8:14 PM

      Definitely agree that they seem to be pretty resilient, but this is the first time I can remember their legal troubles revolving around simply not paying money they owe from previous legal issues. To have it happen twice within mere weeks only seems to reinforce that these troubles could be worse for UD than we’ve seen in the past.


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