Upper Deck issued a promotional card of Wayne Gretzky to show what their upcoming 1994-95 Upper Deck Series One Hockey set would look like. The promo card is nearly identical to the card of Gretzky found in packs later that fall. However, there is one small difference that is quite obvious when you know what to look for.
The front of the promo card looks the same as the actual card. Note that these cards shown above may have been “cut” a little differently, hence the slight shift in the photograph, text, etc.
On the back, though, there is one glaring difference: the card number in the upper left corner is printed in white text, while the actual card put the card number in black text inside of a white rectangle
I always though the numbers on the back of 1994-95 Upper Deck Hockey cards looked clunky. Why would a designer put black numbers in a white square on a black background, instead of just using white numbers on a black background? Apparently, that was the original plan. The white number against the black background feels better integrated into the overall design, while the black number inside the white rectangle looks “slapped on.”
It is a minor difference, and not as exciting as when a promo card uses a alternate photograph. But if you collect Wayne Gretzky cards or promo cards, this gives you something to look out for. Chances are, most would likely mistake the promo for Gretzky’s actual 1994-95 Upper Deck card, so you may find it in a dollar box at a show. ■