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Latest Gimmick: Video Trading Cards On the Way

Did you see the latest “big thing” in the sportscard market? No, this doesn’t involve dinosaur teeth, Beethoven’s hair or a piece of the Shroud of Turin.

Much like all of the hand-held personal devices available today, you will now be able to watch video on your favorite trading cards. Complete details are on page xx of this issue.

Adrian Peterson Video Card.jpg

How this became public news is quite entertaining. First, Upper Deck announced that the company’s latest insert cards would revolutionize the hobby – but little details were released except for a teaser video ad. The world was told to wait until April 12. OK, I’m fine with that, even though the video ad offered no real clues as to what the heck was going to be unveiled.

Fast forward a few days, and the Industry Summit kicks off in Las Vegas.

Panini does its song and dance for the hobby dealers and distributors in attendance during its manufacturer spotlight segment, and among the tidbits offered by Panini CEO Mark Warsop is that Panini will have video cards in their lineup for 2011. The video cards will also include autograph, with the video showing the cards being signed by the player whose autographs is featured.
Pretty cool, right?

A day or two later, and Upper Deck announces that its “revolutionary” insert cards for 2011 will be . . . video cards! However, the Upper Deck product will hit the market first, on the aforementioned date of April 12. Panini did not provide a date, nor which products their video cards will be included with.

It’s kind of amusing to think how the whole situation went down. Upper Deck has this product in hand, has been teasing it for a week without telling anyone what it is. Then, bam, Panini steals their thunder and Upper Deck is left to quickly tell everyone why their product is better than Panini’s.

Perhaps those on the inside know what’s going to be released by competing manufacturers, but watching this from the outside, I would think Upper Deck choked on their donuts during the Panini presentation. Here you think you have a unique idea and someone else is doing the exact same thing.

I’m not saying one product is better than the other. One is going to show signings (Panini), while the other plays highlights of the player featured (Upper Deck). We’ll see which one has better play quality and lasts longer. Those who have collected the audio cards, CD-ROM cards and similar trends of the past know not to get too excited when new technological trends are introduced to the market. How many of those old cards do you have lying around in a drawer?

I think these cards are great for younger collectors. After all, today’s kids can’t go five minutes without being “plugged in” to something. Having them crack open a video card and having it play in their hands will be right up their alley.
When it comes to collectibles, it’s a different story. The video cards that come with autographs will have much wider appeal, but it will be because of the signature, not the card itself. Of course, I’m sure there will be 1-of-1s produced and others with limited quantities that will drive up demand, much like the current inserts do.

But what about some of our veteran collectors. Does this do anything for you? If we get our hands on some, I’ll provide a full review, and I hope vice versa if readers get them first.