UD gives collectors second chance to pull MJ rookies

Timing is everything, especially within collecting circles. Getting a
second chance to pull the most famous basketball card in history
out of a pack has only been a pipe dream… until now.

Upper Deck recently announced it had purchased a limited
number of 1986-87 Fleer cards, packs and boxes – including the Michael Jordan Rookie Card – on the secondary market, and will be randomly inserting those cards in packs of 2006-07 Fleer Basketball. This, together with a myriad of other Jordan-related goodies including the “Hunt For 23″ sweepstakes, will help commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of the most influential basketball sets ever released.

“Jordan’s Fleer rookie card is the most important card in the sport. It single-handedly breathed life into a dead basketball card market in the late 1980s when everyone else had decided basketball wasn’t worth
producing. The excitement around Jordan’s rookie card paved the way for the basketball boom of the early 1990s,” said Steve Bloedow, Tuff Stuff’s Basketball Price Guide Analyst. “The signed MJ rookie cards will draw huge interest. There are still many Jordan collectors out there and they’ll definitely be fighting over these.”

The 250-card base set incorporates a 50-card Rookies subset featuring top freshmen like Charlotte’s Adam Morrison, LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland and New Jersey’s Marcus Williams.

There will be one Rookie Card and one insert card in every Hobby pack, and an average of one Fleer “Buyback” and one memorabilia card in every Hobby box. Many of the Buybacks, including the Jordan, have been autographed. When you consider this is the lowest-priced product in the market (SRP of $1.59 per pack), you will understand how it appeals to all segments of the hobby market.

Other highlights of the brand include the very popular Autographics cards of players past and present (including Jordan), Michael Jordan Missing Link memorabilia cards, a glossy parallel set, and a 132-card 20th Anniversary subset featuring current NBA stars on cards with the
1986-87 Fleer design.

Even NFL rookies such as Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Vince
Young make an appearance in the Platinum Influence insert set, a
concept devoted to the influence the Jordan Rookie Card had on young
athletes from all sports. This insert set also includes the top NBA players from this year’s draft class.

“Michael Jordan was not part of Fleer’s original autograph or
memorabilia sets, so by including him we are helping to further bridge
the historical gap and bring amazing content to basketball collectors,” added Bill Beaman, associate basketball product manager for Upper Deck.

The “Hunt For 23″ Sweepstakes is designed to encourage both young and novice collectors to repeat purchases by offering a wide range of prizes. Specific cards with a connection MJ and to the number “23” will incorporate a code which collectors can enter when visiting UpperDeckKids.com and FleerKids.com. The grand prize winner (open to youngsters 17 and under) will receive a free trip to Michael Jordan’s Flight School For Kids, a popular youth basketball camp.

“This set marks a major undertaking and a return of the glory days,” said Upper Deck’s public relations manager Don Williams, “especially when it involves our signature athlete.”

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