Man do I miss Upper Deck and Fleer. I think it is fair enough to say at this point that the exclusive licensing "experiment" is an utter fail. Giving Topps the keys to the baseball trading card market with no competition what so ever has set The Hobby back 30 years with an ever increasing amount of mediocrity.
While Upper Deck clearly mailed it in with the last year's worth of product releases in baseball, they were still superior in quality design, checklist depth, and value then anything Topps has produced year to date. As for Fleer, they might have gimmicked themselves out of business, but I really appreciated their willingness to take risks and produce cards out of the norm like Double Header and Hardball.
While I in no way support the shady management of the Upper Deck Company that led to their recent fall from grace, I think the evidence is clear that The Hobby is a better place with them than without.
Donruss may have changed their name but it is clearly obvious they still have trailer loads of foilboard to get rid of. I swear, Anne Powell back in the day must have bought enough of this stuff to cover every square inch of the earth several times over. It seems like just yesterday the blogsphere was abuzz with their pending demise. Look at them now. Who would have thought that in such a short time that UD and Donruss' position in the market would be so drastically flip flopped.