Upper Deck: Encore
My Upper Deck: Encore Collection (Updated November 13th, 2022)
1998 Upper Deck Encore: “Takeo Spikes” RC #9
1999 Upper Deck Encore: “Tim Couch” UD Authentics #TC
In 1998, Upper Deck added it's Encore title. In my opinion, the "Upper Deck Encore" title was supposed to be a "Topps Chrome" type of release. At least the first release seemed to be that way, (See the 1998 Upper Deck Encore "Takeo Spikes" RC #9 left). Although the "Topps Chrome" titles were not a 1 to 1 copy of the "Topps" titles they were essentially a "high-end" copy. Upper Deck applied the same thought process to its Encore brand. The 1998 Upper Deck release had 255 cards, it's Encore brother, a mere 150. The Encore release did have some awesome insert sets though, (See the 1998 Upper Deck Encore "Robert Holcombe" #RE7 below right). The insert sets from the Encore title were not all copies, however. While the "Constant Threat" and "Super Powers" insert sets were copies from the main "Upper Deck" title, there wasn't a "Rookie Encore" set. So not all the "Encore" sets were copies.
The '98 release also brought its first autograph set, (See the 1998 Upper Deck Encore "Joe Montana" UD Authentics #JM left). I really liked this autograph set. The player's photo was a perfect size and the signature area was more than adequate. The only negative about this set was that Upper Deck Encore channeled their inner Collector's Edge. Collector's Edge was a master at creating the same set and placing it in about 5 different releases. And the best part was that no one knew which insert set went with which release. Hell, Collector's Edge didn't even know. So where am I going with this? The 1998 UD Authentics autograph set that was included in the '98 Encore release was also included in 1998 Upper Deck SPx Finite and the 1999 Upper Deck
1998 Upper Deck Encore: “Robert Holcombe” Rookie Encore #RE7
SP Signature. All 3 of them looked exactly alike. Horrible job Upper Deck.
In 1999, Upper Deck did a slightly better job of creating a "high end" copy of their main flagship title. While the Upper Deck release was 270-cards, the Encore release in '99 was 225. Regardless, the '99 Encore set was cool, (See the 1999 Upper Deck Encore "Stoney Case" #14 above left). Upper Deck
brought back the UD Authentics autograph set for the 2nd straight year in its Encore release and this one had no sister set included in other releases, (See the 1999 Upper Deck Encore "Tim Couch" UD Authentics #TC below right).
1999 Upper Deck Encore: “Tim Couch” UD Authentics #TC
Unlike the '98 release that had several insert sets that doubled the Upper Deck sets, the '99 Encore release had only one; the Live Wires set. The rest were new. One was the awesome "Rookie Helmets" insert set, (See the 1999 Upper Deck Encore "Donovan McNabb" Rookie Helmets #H-MC below left). These cards are still extremely hard to find, still extremely cool and yet aren't extremely expansive. And that makes for a very nice attraction for any collector.
The 2000 Encore release was finally 1 to 1 Upper Deck copy; both sets being 270-cards. The Encore cards had that kind of hazy look to them again that made the Encore title unique, (See the 2000 Upper Deck Encore "Donny Edwards" #108 right). This release of the Encore
1999 Upper Deck Encore: “Donovan McNabb” Rookie Helmet #H-MC
2000 Upper Deck Encore: “Dayne / Jones / Alexander” Rookie Combo Jerseys #RC8
series went all out. The "Rookie Helmet" cards were back as well as the UD Authentics cards for a 3rd straight year. But the real winner was the "Rookie Helmet Autographs" set, (See the 2000 Upper Deck Encore "Courtney Brown" Rookie Helmet Autograph #AH-CB below right). I really liked this auto set. It was a good-sized set and all cards were #'d to 25. The other solid insert set included with this release was the "Rookie Combo Jerseys", (See the 2000 Upper Deck Encore "Dayne / Jones / Alexander" Rookie Combo Jerseys #RC8 below left). A very nice set that includes all the top rookies.
In summation, the "Upper Deck: Encore" brand was just an awesome title with no real downers. It was just solid from start to finish which confuses me as to why the 2000 release was it's last. For 3 measly years, the "Upper Deck: Encore" brand held it's own against the plethora of titles that hit the hobby in the early 2000s. I look back at the "Upper Deck: Encore" title as one of the titles that I wish was still around.
I have complete sets:
Upper Deck Encore:
1) 1998 Upper Deck Encore Set
A) Driving Forces Insert
B) Rookie Encore Insert
C) Super Powers Insert
D) Superstar Encore Insert
E) UD Authentics
2) 1999 Upper Deck Encore Set
A) Electric Currents Insert
B) Game Used Helmets
C) UD Authentics - Incomplete ( 15 / 16 ) *
D) Upper Realm Insert
3) 2000 Upper Deck Encore Set
A) Highlight Zone Insert
B) Proving Ground Insert
C) Rookie Combo Jerseys Insert
D) Rookie Helmets - Incomplete ( 27 / 28 )
E) Rookie Helmets Autograph - Incomplete ( 14 / 15 )
F) UD Authentics - Incomplete ( 32 / 34 ) **
*Note: This set was listed as a 15-card set originally, However after I discovered the #TC-X Tim Couch Exchange card, the set is now 16-cards.
**Note: This set was listed as a 28-card set originally, However after I discovered the #LC-X Laverneous Coles, MA-X Mike Anderson, SA-X Shaun Alexander, TC-X Trung Candidate, DJ-X Darrell Jackson, and the TP-X Travis Prentice Exchange cards, the set is now 34-cards.
1999 Upper Deck Encore: “Stoney Case” #14
2000 Upper Deck Encore: “Donnie Edwards” #108
2000 Upper Deck Encore: “Courtney Brown” Rookie Helmet Autograph #AH-CB