Upper Deck adds an LCD screen to its Evolution Series of NFL trading cards

upper-deck-evolution-seriesThose of us in the over-30 set almost certainly remember the bygone days of baseball fandom, when many a rainy Sunday was spent in heated negotiations among friends over baseball card trades. After the Topps monopoly on the trading card game was broken in 1981, more competitors began to enter the market. Fleer and Donruss were first, but a newcomer called Upper Deck emerged in the late ’80s that quickly rose to challenge Topps as one of the dominating players with its high-end cards and innovative approach to the trading card business.

Now the company is preparing to put a 21st century twist on its products with the announcement of the Evolution Series of football trading cards, as reported by Switched. Arriving on April 12, this high-tech collection of trading cards pack an LCD screen and a battery into a half-inch thick body. An onboard memory chip contains 60-second long highlight reel for one of four NFL players which plays every time the cardboard flap cover is opened.

The initial offering will include four NFL players, Adrian Peterson, Tony Romo, DeSean Jackson, and Patrick Willis, and each one’s highlight reel will reportedly made up of clips pulled from their college years, according to CoolestGadgets. The site also reports that each card includes a small port, which is presumably used to charge the built-in battery. There’s no price yet, but the four cards will start shipping out in random boxes of 2011 Upper Deck football cards this week on April 12.

It might seem unusual for Upper Deck to kick off this Evolution Series with NFL cards only a few months after Super Bowl XLV on February 6, but it does make a certain amount of sense. If the cards prove to be popular now, Upper Deck will be left with plenty of time to plan for a more complete offering — and work out the apparent licensing hiccup that kept NFL footage from appearing in each card’s highlight reel — before the 2011-2012 season kicks off in September. The April 12 timing is no coincidence either, as the Evolution Series cards should start appearing in stores at right around the same time the NFL Draft happens at the end of this month.

Check out a completely non-revealing video for the Evolution Series right here:

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