Companies have been known to recycle photographs on trading cards in the past, but Upper Deck probably saved a ton in photographers’ fees during the 2002-03 season by reusing the same photo of Tony Amonte over and over. Amonte signed with the Phoenix Coyotes in July 2002, and when Upper Deck got their hands on a photo of Amonte with the ‘Yotes, they really got their money’s worth out of it.
They used the photo on Amonte’s 2002-03 Upper Deck Series Two trading card, and then also used it on his 2002-03 Classic Portraits card.
The photo also appears on a parallel “Classics” version of the card. Yes, using the same photo on a parallel card is standard operating procedure — but don’t all of these Amonte cards already feel like parallel versions of each other?
Then it got really ridiculous...
Talk about seeing double. On Amonte’s 2002-03 Upper Deck Vintage card, the company used the same photo twice! Using the same photo two times on the front of the card really diminishes the impact of using two photos.
So, the same mediocre photo of Tony Amonte casually skating with the puck during warmups was used in five different sets, plus parallel versions of MVP, Vintage and SPx.
That might be OK if Amonte played one shift for the Coytoes, but he was with the team for 59 games. Even Topps, In The Game and Pacific managed to use different photos of Amonte in their various card sets — a concept that was lost on Upper Deck that year.