Today Upper Deck went the digital route, with a twist, similar to what Topps and Panini have done with their digital trader apps. The difference is that Upper Deck’s e-Pack is a combination of e-Topps and the apps. Currently e-Pack is only accessible online through Upper Deck’s e-Pack web site but it will eventually be available through Google Play as a downloadable app, no announcement if it will eventually be on Apple and Windows products.
I tried to figure the best way to describe the service but the best way I can do that is actually just posting part of Upper Deck’s announcement about e-Pack
“As you may have already heard, Upper Deck made a major announcement today regarding the release of Upper Deck e-Pack, an innovative new system that allows collectors to instantly purchase and open hockey packs online at anytime, anywhere. Upper Deck has taken digital trading cards collecting to an entirely new level, with patent pending technology that gives collectors the ability to get actual physical versions of the digital cards they pulled from e-Pack mailed out to them at any time.”
Essentially you can purchase online packs using real cash, though you do get one free 3-card pack each day, and the cards can be combined to make a limited parallel or an insert and then you can request that a physical version of that card to be sent to you or to COMC. Upper Deck is rolling this out in a limited way with only 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey being available. In the spring Series 2 Hockey will be added and a third, unnamed, product will be released later this year.
As you can see I signed up, I figure since I will at least get a free pack a day I am game. I beta tested e-Topps and loved it and I am interested to see how Upper Deck runs with their version. I would think that if the hockey products do well that adding Marvel products would be a natural transition and then eventually their other multi-sport and entertainment licenses.