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News & Views from the Card Summit

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Well.....got back from the Universal Distribution Retailer Card Summit held Monday in Montreal at the Marriott around 10:00 p.m. Monday night. What a road trip with the five hour drive getting us there at midnight Sunday night and getting little sleep.

We were up again at 7:00 to prepare for the day and heading out for breakfast which was FREE and provided. Around 9:30ish we were treated to a presentation from Wizards of the Coast regarding their newest trading card came which will launch up here in July. I didn't think I would be into this as we don't do any gaming stuff right now but it was very interesting to watch the TV show version of the product which is airing right now in the US. It took almost two hours of time for the presentation but the numbers of people and the ages who watch and take part was incredible to me. We will definately be getting into this in the new place (more on that in our next blog).

Next up was Panini and their product showcase. First was general talk about their products and then specifics of release dates and features. PRIME and ANTHOLOGY were discussed plus future products like SCORE, TITANIUM and more. The product still to come for this year looked phenominal with some great ideas. Strangely DOMINION was not featured or mentioned. I can tell you that the patches and autos look great along with the great card designs. I did get a private word in edge wise with the rep asking how come Contenders was more in price and less in product. He denied that this was the case but I know my prices and we were selling packs of 10-11 at release for $5.00 and this year they are $6.50 so do the math.

Lunch was another FREE and provided event hosted at the Marriott Restaurant with something for everybody to enjoy. Salads, hot food such as Salmon, Lasagna, Rice, Veggies (lamb stew was a favourite) and a cold plate gave way to dessert for some as well. Truly a great eating experience for us and served wonderfully by a pleasant staff.

Back for the afternoon portion of the Summit the first presentation was from WizKids talking about their lines such as Heroclix, Smurfs and more. We really don't see venturing into their stream of products because of time and space constraints. It really isn't a thing of interest for us and nobody has really asked us about it. Konami was next and talked about Yu-Gi-Oh for their presentation time. This was another eye opener for me as I was unaware of the shear numbers who take part in this. On top of that was the added value that players get from tournaments and championships. We are definately looking at getting into this market as we have a gaming guru coming on board and we have the room at the new place (on my next blog) for the tables to play. We have already started looking at the 'tournament' hosting application.

Finally we get to hear from Upper Deck and what they are going to be doing. There presentation starts with products remaining from this year and then moves on to next year's stuff. Not mentioned but alluded to was 'The Cup' but more on that in a minute. The first item from Upper Deck was SP Authentic and how it was laid out. The basics for this product are you'll get the usual but they are trying to make it a more 'hit' oriented product so pack boredom doesn't set in. Outside of the usual SPA stuff comes the new 'Extended Rookies Set' which will be a 100 card set seeded at 1 for every 2 packs. With this innovation you will see pretty much something in every pack. The 11-12 Ultimate has some really nice cards, card designs and ideas. Next year's O-Pee-Chee looks awesome and will feature the usual parallel set plus a new wrapper redemption program. It will also feature a 'patches' set that will drop 4 per case with one of the four being a very hard to get card. The high end patches, there are only four different ones, will fall approximately 1 in 17,000 packs !! I know a lot of guys look at OPC as a low end product but with these couple of changes even the die hard will like it I think. There are some other greats such as Bobby Orr silver paint pen limited signed cards, a Wayne Gretzky signed card numbered to only 79 to celebrate Wayne's rookie NHL season and some other new goodies with an emphasis on patches and autos. Back to 'The Cup', the comments were guarded and not mentioned by name. The bottom line is it is coming

We did score some really nice gifts as well from all of the presenters including a nice 1 of 1 P.K. Subban Luxury Suite Black Box Autographed Rookie card. This card will be posted on our eBay page with the proceeds going to our charities.

That is all for now and please watch our blog for the skinny on the new location. It will knock your socks off !!
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