Saturday, January 18, 2020

Buybacks on Ice - Kevin Dineen

This season, Upper Deck hopped on the buyback bandwagon big-time on the hockey side of the house, with an entire release dedicated to the concept.  I don't really keep tabs on new releases these days, but I found out about these because some of the cards starting turning up in my saved eBay search results for "Upper Deck buyback" that I use to track down some of the older buyback inserts they've put out in years' past.

I was intrigued enough to look into the product to see how these were produced, and found this:

This is not my box, just a picture I grabbed from the internet.  The reason it's not my box is that these are currently selling for $189.95...for two cards?!?!  Don't hold me to this since I'm not going to be buying any of these to open myself, but I believe one card is from the base set for the product, which is a new release Upper Deck printed up, and the other card is an "amazing" buyback, as indicated by the box.

Now, that "amazing" buyback could be a Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews Young Guns rookie, autographed and encased in a one-touch holder much like the Archives Signatures baseball releases of recent years.  On the flip side, it could be something slightly further down the sliding scale of amazing, like this:

This is the lone card I've picked up from the product so far, which longtime hockey collectors will probably recognize as Kevin Dineen's base card from the '96-97 Upper Deck flagship hockey release. 

What differentiates this as an amazing buyback?  Well, these buybacks are foil-stamped with a 30th anniversary logo, which you can see in the lower right corner of this card.  Aside from that, the gimmick is that these standard, non-autographed/encapsulated buybacks are all "1/1's".  It's a bit hard to make out in the scan, but if you look closely you'll see the foil 1/1 designation just below the Upper Deck logo in the upper right corner of the card.

The back of the card has not been modified in any way, typical of most buybacks.

As an admitted lover of buyback cards in general, I'd like to applaud Upper Deck for creating this release.  I'd like to, but I just can't.  To me, this seems like the gamble of buying a one-card box of Archives Signatures baseball from Topps, but magnified.  If I'd shelled out $189.95 for this box, and received this card as my "amazing" buyback, I'd be pretty disappointed.  And that's coming from an absolute die-hard Whalers card collector who bothered to seek this one out on the secondary market!

So, how much did I shell out for this card?  $7.99.  Even at that price point I'm sure some folks would find this a silly purchase.  I thought it was a fun pick-up for my ever-expanding team collection though, and to land a "1/1" of the great Kevin Dineen (regardless of how gimmicky) it seemed like a reasonable enough price.  Imagine being the poor soul who opened this, listed it on eBay, and received my lone $7.99 opening bid.  Ouch!

To me, the way to release buybacks is on the lower end of the collecting cost spectrum, as cool or unique inserts in other products.  I can't imagine these boxes are selling all that well, and I'd guess that they'll be a good deal cheaper a few months out from now when something newer has captured the fancy of high-end collectors.  Then again, I've been wrong before.

Regardless of how you feel about this concept, if you're a hockey team or player collector these are kind of a cool pick-up if you can find them cheap on the secondary market, but that's about the extent of it in my opinion.  I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for any other sub-$10 Whalers 1/1 cards like this one, and maybe I'll go slightly higher than that price point if I can find a 1/1 of a HOFer I collect, but there's a snowball's chance in hell that I ever plop down close to $200 for a box of this stuff.

How about you?  Have you heard of this set prior to reading this post?  What's your opinion on what Upper Deck has done here?  I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments.  Thanks as always for stopping by!


Base Card Hero said...

Yes, the boxes seem priced too high. However, it does seem Upper Deck put more high-end cards than Topps puts in their buyback products. Unless people don't buy these, the price will stay up. Oh well.

I also love buybacks. I recently purchased the 1/1 stamped buyback of Jordan Leopold. I most likely paid too much, but it was year I really liked. So I hold no regrets.

Billy Kingsley said...

I feel the same way as you do...when I saw the set announced, I was excited...then I saw the format, and all my excitement evaporated in an instant. The same with their retired player could have been great, but isn't.

I saw the checklist of the buybacks is almost 3000 cards. I applaud them for publishing an actual checklist, at least.

Shlabotnik Report said...

I'd never heard of this product, and pretty much every buyback that's come my way has been sent to Shoebox Legends HQ, so I think that gives enough clues as to how interested I am in this product. I find the *concept* interesting, but that's about it.

Chris said...

Upper Deck is killing me with this crap. I never found an MVP 20th Anniversary parallel of Peter Worrell and those were #d to 20. There's no chance I'll find the 1/1 from this set.

That said, great find on this Dineen!

Fuji said...

I watched one of these breaks a few weeks ago on YouTube. Definitely not my cup of tea, but like you... I'd buy a single for my collection if the price was right.

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