Friday, March 21, 2014

Were French versions of the same set really necessary?

Ahhh, the glory days.   The early 90's gave us a frenzy of new stuff to collect.  Being in college back then, with no family to support, I had a ton of disposable income to spend on the latest and greatest card releases.

While going through a box of cards from that era, I found this card amongst the rubble...

The French version of the 1991-92 Upper Deck set had a lot of people chasing cards.  That was in large part because the 1990-91 Upper Deck French version was going for mad money.   Anyone remember the Pavel Bure rookie going for triple digits?  The multiplier on French cards back then was at least 10x (if my memory serves me correctly), and with the base Bure card valued at around $12, the French version just went crazy.

While I applaud the idea of creating a "parallel" set that was perceived as scarce, and with no offense to our French cousins in La Belle Province, I think that Upper Deck missed on this one.  When a large portion of your target market has no idea what a "rondelle" is, it's a recipe for trouble.   Before too long, the French version of the product fell in line price wise with the English version, and the French parallel experiment ended. 

So if you think that gimmicks are just exclusive to the 21st century, this card is a great example that gimmicks have been around for a while.  Most of them end up dying a slow death, much like the French version of Upper Deck hockey...

thanks for reading, Robert


  1. Just hopped over from your other blog. Already book marked this one.

  2. I had that 90-91 French set. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I don't think I bothered with it the next year.

  3. Also - the later Bowers aren't that pricey, particularly if you're willing to drop a grade or two. I used to run into Bower occasionally at our local Tim's. Really, really nice guy.