The cards are now out, and I'm sure you've already read what the rest of the blogosphere has had to say about it. Needless to say, it's not pretty. Because even though UD got what they wanted (by in effect winning their case), there are no 1971 OPC tribute insert cards in this set. What the masses who bought this product got instead was...this:
In an unannounced move, UD has replaced the 1971 designed cards with what you see above. It essentially is a black-bordered parallel card. Needless to say, there are a few not too happy collectors out there. As for me, I'm not too concerned. After all, it's a UD product. I didn't buy it.
Now, on to the point of the title of my post.
The number one source of the hobby has announced that in this year's Allen & Ginter product, there will be insert cards utilizing paintings done by noted Topps sketch artist Brian Kong. Kong is replacing renowned (and Topps exclusive) artist Dick Perez for the honors this year. That's fine. Based on the samples provided, the cards look great.
But there's a problem.
The cards look eerily like Upper Deck's now defunct Masterpieces brand. Let's compare. First, thanks to Beckett, a scan of a sample card from the Brian Kong insert set.
Now, thanks to the Junkie, a scan of a couple of cards from UD Masterpieces.
Note the texture of both cards. It's strikingly similar. And even if we all know that there won't be a UD Masterpieces set this year, do you think there would be enough people out there who wouldn't be able to tell the difference, even if the brand name of the cards are printed right on the cards?
Now my first thought upon seeing the Topps insert cards for the first time was that they looked like UD Masterpieces. And this was before reading the comment from another person saying the exact same thing. The card designs themselves are not even closely similar (compared to the proposed but now scrapped UD OPC 1971 set vs. Topps 1971 set), but somehow, I get the feeling that the other company is getting their lawyers together to see if they have a case. After all, it's been done to them. I wouldn't be surprised if the tables were turned and now Topps would be on the receiving end of a lawsuit.