2013-14 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball Review

May 3rd, 2014

At the end of April, one of the best 2013-14 basketball products was released in Fleer Retro Basketball. Upper Deck has brought back some of the most popular designs in the history of their basketball cards. Among those are Scoring Kings, Power in the Key, Precious Metal Gems and Star Power Supreme. Each box guarantees two(2) autographs and four(4) inserts on average. This product offers collectors the first chance at having a Precious Metal Gems(PMG) of James Harden, Paul George and Rajon Rondo. It also offers the first PMG’s for popular rookies like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Tim Hardaway Jr. As with recent Upper Deck products, Fleer Retro also offers the chance at pulling low numbered buyback autos featuring the players in their NBA uniforms.

Pros

Easily the best part about this product is the inserts. Many of my favorites from my childhood were brought back in this release. There is the 93-94 Scoring Kings, which was one of the most sought after sets in the early 90’s. I remember how the Michael Jordan was always at or near the top of Beckett’s Hottest Cards, each time the magazine showed up in my mailbox. They also brought back 93-94 Ultra Power in the Key, which was a very popular card and one of my childhood favorites. As I mentioned in the opening, there were four(4) guaranteed inserts per box on average with some being scarcer. To help out in this I have an example of each insert and the odds of pulling one in a pack.

• 93-94 Ultra Power in the Key- 1:60 packs
• 95-96 Skybox Premium Meltdown- 1:60 packs
• 94-95 Skybox Emotion N-Tense- 1:120 packs
• Final Four Stars- 1:36 packs
• 92-93 Fleer Team Leaders- 1:90 packs
• 92-93 Michael Jordan Career Highlights- 1:60 packs
• 93-94 Ultra Scoring Kings- 1:60 packs
• 98 Ultra Exclamation Points- 1:216 packs
• 95-96 Metal Universe Maximum Metal- 1:60 packs
• 97-98 Ultra Star Power Supreme- 1:216 packs
• 96-97 Premium Golden Touch- 1:120 packs

Retro-Inserts
Inserts-Continued

Those are not the only inserts that can be found in this product, they are just the ones with given odds. The most sought after inserts are the PMG’s(Precious Metal Gems). They stay true to their roots with only three parallels- Red(#/150), Blue(#/150) and Green (#/10). The veterans use the 95-96 Metal Universe design, which didn’t originally have PMG’s , while the rookies are on the 97-98 Metal Universe design. I was very fortunate to pull TWO(2) Precious Metal Gems in my three(3) boxes. These cards look absolutely spectacular in hand!

PreciousMetalGems

I love how they featured different Skybox Premium base cards in this product. Growing up Skybox was one of my favorite products because the base cards always looked magnificent; the design was never busy and really made the player stand out. I wouldn’t mind if Upper Deck decided to in the future bring back a Skybox Premium product as a standalone.

Skybox-Premium

Cons
I spent some time examining this product and couldn’t come up with much in a way of things I think they could change. In previous reviews I hit on value and this product provides TONS of value for the $100 price tag it had on release. The only thing I wish they would change for next year would be making the “Autographics” on-card. I know sticker versions are easier but these cards just don’t look as sharp as they could if they were on-card, like they were in the late 90’s. They could even do a variation signed with a different color sharpie, making them shortprints. I don’t mind the base autos being sticker, I would just like to see the Autographics go back to on-card.

autgraphics

Summary
2013-14 Fleer Retro is the basketball product of the year so far! It is a very exciting and nostalgic break, taking many of us collectors back to our childhoods when we first started collecting. It puts more of an emphasis on the inserts than the autographs, which is very refreshing. I would recommend this product to anyone looking to bust a box of cards.

Heres the video of Chris at CardsInifinity breaking a box for me and hitting a Karl Malone Green PMG


 

 

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