Saturday, October 1, 2011

How did Upper Deck get away with this?!

I'm sure everyone has seen the images of 2012 Topps Heritage by now. It's sort of funny when the preview image is released because we all know what it's going to look like anyways. When the Ryan Braun card hit the interwebs, I thought to myself, "I've seen this card design recently." No, I was thinking about an actual 1963 was a more recent issue.

So I dug through a box of Yanks, and lo and behold, I found this 2001 Upper Deck Vintage card...aka this Upper Deck 1963 Topps card. While there are subtle differences (black bar at the bottom most notably), how the heck did this fly? It's clearly inspired by this set. I think Upper Deck also did this with 1971 Topps and a few others...'65 and '75 ring a bell. Seems bizarre to me to use a design that was originally released by one of your main competitors.


  1. Upper Deck owned the rights to OPeeChee, which used Topps designs with french on the back.

  2. I remember a lawsuit about the use of the designs (especially for O-Pee-Chee). I'm not sure about the outcome, but I think the argument was that Upper Deck bought the OPC name but Topps owned the designs?

    Even with an OPC license, this isn't an OPC set, and this is just lazy on UD's part. They made some bad business decisions over the years, but sets like this help explain why they lost their license. MLB probably didn't want to have anything to do with a company the pulled some of the shenanigans UD tried.

  3. The 1971 design got me back into collecting. I had picked up a few packs here and there of other cards, but I went wild with that 1971 design. I can't even remember when it was released...maybe '02?

  4. Upper Deck got what they deserved. This was one of the major indicators of how they operated.