Upper Deck divulges plans for National

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

As we get closer to the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention, trading card companies are getting ready to reveal details about their redemption programs and booth activities and Upper Deck has beat them all to the punch in letting collectors know what they can expect in Chicago from July 29 to August 2.

For their redemption program, the company is bringing back Prominent Cuts and the set will focus on sports and entertainment personalities. Participating collectors will not only be able to easily finish the set due to its availability throughout the show, but they could pull some limited autograph cards or even one of six one-of-one cut signature cards depicting a deceased Chicago sports legend.

What else does Upper Deck have planned for the National? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2015 Topps Heritage High Number baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Heritage High Number is back in packs beginning on Sept. 23.

Topps revealed the details on 2015 Topps Heritage High Number on Wednesday, a product that makes a return in pack form for the first time since 2009. Topps released the Heritage update in packs in 2008 and 2009 along with a few basic Topps Update cards in every pack before placing the season-capper into boxed set form in 2012, which has been the routine since then.

This second helping of the 1966 Topps design will include one autograph or Relic in every 24-pack hobby box with a base set that begins with card No. 501 and adds 225 more cards to the overall set. This allows for 2015 call-ups to get their shot on a retro-styled Heritage card.

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Newest Goodwin auction opens with rare pieces

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The Goodwin & Co. Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LX Auction is now open for bidding and has some rare pieces of hobby history.

Key pieces from The Benanti Collection will be up for sale including an uncut 3-D sheet from the 1968 Topps Baseball Test issue, which features 12 cards, including the legendary Roberto Clemente and two unissued cards. Also from the collection is a 1968 Topps 3-D Test Issue of Bart Starr, which might be one of the rarest football cards ever. This is the only known copy and has the company Xograph printed on the reverse side.

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Your Turn: Pick The NHL Award Winners

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Once the Stanley Cup Final draws to a close next month, the best players in the game will convene on Las Vegas as the NHL prepares to hand out the hardware to those who have put forth a fantastic effort during the 2014-15 season.

Readers of Beckett Hockey can voice their opinions as to who they think should win these prestigious awards and if they support their choices in the comment section below, they could be quoted in an upcoming issue.

Who do you think deserves to receive the sport’s major awards?

Who do you predict will win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player?

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Who do you predict will win the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year?

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1986-87 Topps hockey cards

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Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds joins Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange to open packs of 1986-87 Topps hockey cards in this latest Ripping Retail Retro video.

We’ll have a series of 10 Ripping Retail Retro or Box Busters Retro videos to come in the following weeks where they rip and discuss packs from the past — packs as far back as the 1970s.

What Retro video would you want to see next?

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First Look: 2015 Topps Chrome Mini Football

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Football collectors will bidding a fond farewell to Topps this season, but that does not mean that the company is holding back by any stretch with the announcement that they are once again producing a special mini edition of their ever-popular Chrome product.

Set for release on December 18, the company is looking to end the brand’s run in the most spectacular way possible by providing hobbyists with a strong mix of rookies, retro variations, autographs, and a vast array of parallels in each box of 2015 Topps Chrome Mini Football.

What is slated to be found in packs? Find out after the jump. Read More »

NFLPA releases Rookie Premiere participant list

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Will your top NFL rookie be among those with event-used memorabilia cards and autographs when the first 2015 NFL products arrive?

Now’s the day you can find out.

The NFL Players Association released the list of  more than 40 top rookies who will be in attendance at the signing session and photo shoot known as the NFLPA Rookie Premiere First held back in 1994, it’s the annual event where players gather to sign autographs for future products and be captured in their pro uniforms for the first time. This year’s event begins Thursday in Los Angeles and Topps and Panini America will be there.

“NFLPA Rookie Premiere is the best opportunity for our partners to engage early on with the next wave of the NFL’s marketing stars,” said Ahmad Nassar, President, NFL Players Inc., in a  prepared release. “Beyond providing a platform to learn about the business of football and benefits of their union as they game plan for their new careers, Rookie Premiere gives players a chance to showcase their personalities so that the NFLPA team can use that insight to connect the right players with the right brands to tell their story.”

See the full list of attendees … after the jump.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … this season and its cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The MLB All-Star Game will be here before you know it — but at least there’s plenty of time remaining in the baseball card season. We figured we’d take a moment and allow you to assess both in our latest 20 Questions.

1. Who is your hobby MVP so far this season?

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2. Who is your hobby Rookie of the Year so far this season?

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First Look: Cryptozoic DC Comics Super-Villains

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

In the DC Comics universe, it seems that for every super hero, there is a super villain waiting in the wings to create havoc. Whether they are robbing a bank or committing some elaborate and crazy prank, many of these mayhem makers have gained a huge following among readers and they are now getting a trading card product of their own thanks to the team at Cryptozoic Entertainment.

Scheduled for release this week, Cryptozoic DC Comics Super-Villains is loaded up top quality art focusing on these characters and collectors busting boxes will have an opportunity to pull some memorable cards – including sketch cards from top artists.

What else will be coming out of boxes? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2015 Rittenhouse James Bond Archives

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Rittenhouse Archives has been the home of trading cards based on the long-running series of James Bond films in recent years and the world’s greatest spy will be returning for another cardboard retrospective next month with 2015 Rittenhouse James Bond Archives.

Featuring a look back at several different Bond adventures from different eras, this product will be loaded up with two autograph cards per box and the lineup of signers is rather impressive. In addition to former leading men Roger Moore and George Lazenby, collectors could also potentially pull autographed cards of such notables as Christopher Lee (The Man With The Golden Gun), Teri Hatcher (Tomorrow Never Dies) and Dolph Lundgren (A View To A Kill).

What Bond films are covered in this release? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Panini Contenders Draft Picks

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Join Beckett Football‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini Contenders Draft Picks in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Contenders Draft Picks variations revealed

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By Justin Grunert | Football Market Analyst

Panini America recently released its first collegiate product of the year: Contenders Draft Picks.

This rendition of Contenders has the familiar short-printed photo variations, in both the base set and parallels, that collectors have come to know, love and chase.

In an online exclusive, most of the photo variations have been identified and are now detailed in the Beckett Online Price Guide.

The image on the right is the short-printed photo variation.

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Box Busters Retro: 1997 Bowman Chrome baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Reed Kasaoka of BBCexchange.com as they rip into a box of 1997 Bowman Chrome in this latest Box Busters Retro video.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2015 Topps Update baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s back, and it’s bigger than ever.

Topps unleashed the first look at 2015 Topps Update on Thursday and one big detail that jumps out at one is this — the base set will consist of 400 cards, which is the largest checklist for the release in years.

Packed with veterans players on new teams and the newest rookies, Update will arrive on Oct. 21 with 36 packs per hobby box.

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Max Scherzer signs baseball cards for a cause

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer wants to help the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, so he’s doing one thing he does pretty well.

He’s signing autographs.

Scherzer and the team have created the Baseball Cards for a Cause program where the right-hander will sign baseball cards sent to him for a $25 donation to the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.

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First Look: 2015 Leaf Memorabilia Vault

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Repacked memorabilia products have been growing in popularity as of late and Leaf Trading Cards is about to get in on the action with 2015 Leaf Memorabilia Vault.

Loaded up with a strong and broad selection of memorabilia from a variety of genres, there will be 10 items inside each box and it has a suggested retail price of $1,250. Releasing in August, some of the pulls could include actual worn wardrobe pieces from movies and televisions shows, signed jerseys and even autographed trading cards.

What other types of items can be found in 2015 Leaf Memorabilia Vault? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Topps online release gets an update set

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A recently released online-only set of oversized cards and wall art is getting an update.

Topps revealed the ’52 Tribute Update Series on Thursday, a 20-card addition to the previously released line that revisits the famed 1952 Topps set and is only available online via Topps.com.

There are two versions of the 5-by-7 set — a standard limited to 99 copies that sells for $49.99 and a Gold edition that’s limited to only 49 copies for $99.99.

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Ricky Williams talks cardboard & football

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Former Texas Longhorns star and NFL veteran Ricky Williams sat down with Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler to talk football and examine some cards. Check it out …

Gallery: 2014-15 Panini Spectra

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 By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Basketball card collectors had better put on some shades as 2014-15 Panini Spectra is about to hit store shelves and the cards inside each box are going to dazzle thanks to the etched opti-chrome technology that Panini America used to make them.

Each box will contain eight cards and seven of them will feature autographs, memorabilia or a mixture of both. Earlier today, the company gave a sneak peek of some of the cardboard treasures headed into packs and their sample break showed a strong mix of players from the past and present along with a blast of color.

Look for an extensive gallery after the jump. Read More »

Topps Unleashes UFC Knockout Wall Art

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Collectors of mixed martial arts cards and fans of the sport can now display loyalty to their favorite fighters at home as Topps has issued limited wall art for their 2015 UFC Knockout base set exclusively through their online store.

With all 100 cards being faithfully reproduced in a 10″ X 14″ format, there is a solid mix of stars, legends and rising prospects to choose from and the basic version is numbered to just 49 copies. Priced at $24.99 each, some big names could move quite quickly and the competition will be stiff for the gold one-of-one versions that retail for $99.99.

Action has been swift on some of the gold prints as Jessica Eye, Holly Holm, Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Rose Namajunas, Bec Rawlings, Ronda Rousey, Georges St-Pierre, Ken Shamrock, Paige VanZant, and Cain Velasquez have already sold out.
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Bat brands get spotlight in 2015 Topps Tier One

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

I’ve always had a soft spot as a collector for game-used bats, which are perhaps the most-personalized pieces of equipment for a player.

The wear and tear that a bat shows only adds to a bat’s mystique, its intrinsic value. The same can be said for players’ choices in modifications — and with all of the bat companies out there these days approved for use by MLB players a brand of bat can be directly tied to a player, too, beyond just a specific model that they’re always known to use.

One type of game-used bat card in 2015 Topps Tier One, which arrived in hobby shops today, is the Limited Lumber set. It is a tad different from those typically found in packs. This time, at least on some cards in the set, the center brand of a bat gets the nod as the showcased piece of lumber in the 1/1 creations.

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You wouldn’t believe how I got my Letterman auto

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

As David Letterman prepares for his final show on Wednesday — a career that has spanned more years than I’ve been alive — I couldn’t help but think about one autographed photo in my collection.

Exactly when I got it, I don’t remember. I didn’t see him sign it, either, but I’m fairly confident that it’s real.

The best part? You wouldn’t believe how I got it more than 20 years ago.

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BGS Diary (May): A lone Michael Jordan 10, another Lana, a rare Yankee & one USA Baseball lineup

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

For the last few months, I’ve submitted a few cards a month to Beckett Grading Services to finally get some of the cards I like into slabs. Selecting which cards to submit has been easier said than done — and the results can be interesting, too.

Here is the batch I got back from BGS for May — so here is my latest BGS Diary entry. See which cards I decided to submit … after the jump.

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First Look: 2014-15 Panini National Treasures

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Expected to be a hot summer release once it hits the market in July, 2014-15 Panini National Treasures is back once again and it will be delivering a few new twists to an already-solid formula this time around.

Containing 10 cards per pack, there is a heavy focus on autographs and memorabilia with eight of those highly sought-after pieces being found inside. As always, Rookie Patch Autographs are expected to be a major part of this collection and with a strongly-hyped freshman class, the competition will be tight for big names. There are five different types of these cards to collect, including horizontal versions that contain a Logoman patch piece. The pieces on each card are large and often eye-catching as well.

Panini America is also debuting college-themed cards of rookie players, which may give an early indication of how they will incorporate these themes into their basketball products.

What else can collectors expect to find inside of 2014-15 Panini National Treasures? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2015 Topps Heritage ’51 baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There’s a new addition to the Heritage baseball card line — and it’s from 1951.

Topps revealed the newest retro brand on Friday, and it’s 2015 Topps Heritage ’51 — a boxed set homage to the 1951 Topps red-back and blue-back cards that predated the company’s flagship arrival the following year.

Set to arrive on Oct. 28, there will be 104 base cards, one autograph and a mix of 21 parallel cards per set. There will be 24 sets per case.

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GTS Helps Group Breaking Go Global

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

GTS Distribution has sent some of the hobby’s most prominent professional breakers to the Asia-Pacific region to help trading card shops build their business through group breaking utilizing some new Topps products that are exclusive to that market.

The wholesaler has partnered up with the Ripping Wax team and will be meeting with dealers in both Taipei, Taiwan and Tokyo, Japan to run breaks in their shops and show off what can be pulled from packs from the recently-released Asian editions of 2015 Topps Tier One and 2015 Bowman Baseball. Collectors in the United States also have an opportunity to take part in these events, which run until May 21.

“We have all seen the impact breaking has had in the North American card market, and while the Asia market typically mirrors what happens here in terms of product reception and performance, we feel there is substantial growth opportunity for all involved by helping this method of product delivery to the end-consumer take hold with our partners overseas,” said GTS Vice President Lloyd Kee in a press release. “We couldn’t be happier to be working with Ripping Wax. They’re among the best in the business and add tremendous value to what we are trying to achieve.”. Read More »

Ripping Retail Retro: 1989 Score football cards

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Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds joins Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange to open packs of 1989 Score football cards in this Ripping Retail Retro video.

We’ll have a series of Ripping Retail Retro or Box Busters Retro videos to come in the following weeks where they rip and discuss packs from the past — packs as far back as the 1970s.

What Retro video would you want to see next?

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Box Busters: 2015 Panini Prizm baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 Panini Prizm in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Panini Americana trading cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Matt Bible as they rip into boxes of 2015 Americana from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Chipz

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Chipz in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014-15 Masterpieces

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Eric Norton and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Masterpieces in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Classic Auctions Highlights Historic Hockey Jerseys

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The jersey worn during one of the most controversial moments in Stanley Cup history is up for bidding as Classic Auctions gives collectors an opportunity to purchase the Dallas Stars sweater worn by Brett Hull when he scored in triple overtime to give the franchise its only championship to date back in 1999 in their June 2015 event.

While Buffalo Sabres fans are still understandably bitter that the goal still counted even though the Hockey Hall of Famer’s skate was in the crease, this is but one of the incredible hockey treasures that will be finding new homes once the auction closes on June 16.

A portion of Hull’s personal collection had been auctioned off in the past, but this time, his items are joined by prominent items from the estate of former Detroit Red Wings and 1972 Team Canada defenseman Gary Bergman and several other historical items that are truly one-of-a-kind – including a Bill Barilko Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from his final season and the last sweater ever worn by the legendary Tim Horton.

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First Look: 2015 Topps UFC Champions

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Following a first round knockout in 2014, Topps is bringing back their popular UFC Champions brand back once again this fall and there is an excellent chance that this release will make an even greater impact with mixed martial arts fans and collectors.

Now loaded up with four autographs per 20-pack hobby box, the spotlight will be turned on those that bravely stepped into the octagon, whether they be proven talents like current champs, Hall of Famers and legends or those poised to make name for themselves now and in the future.

What does Topps have in store for collectors breaking boxes? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Beckett “Hobby Legends” May auction closes Sunday

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Beckett Auctions’ current “Hobby Legends” auction is in its final few days before it closes for good, but there is still time to bid on some pieces of hobby history, both sports and gaming.

There are several showcased items this month including the 1968 Topps 3-D Framed proof sheet with eight cut signature autographs authenticated by JSA, including Roberto Clemente, from the Benanti Collection.  Two notable cut signature cards up for auction also include the historical 2005 SP Legendary Cuts Dual Autograph of Babe Ruth and Harry Frazee and the 2004 Upper Deck History of the United States George Washington cut signature.

This current auction ends Sunday at 9 p.m. Central with a 15-minute extended bidding window on certain items.

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Hobby challenge: Build an autographed card set

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We all want the best player possible as the autograph every single time we open a box, but we should realize that’s not possible.

Why? Simple economics.

Every time a card company puts a card of The Iconic Veteran Player into a pack of cards that sells for $5, it’s actually losing money on that pack and the box that it’s in. Why? Because the player dictates his cost of signing — you take it or leave it — and that’s got nothing to do with how much the card will sell for on eBay or what your product might cost.

What do you do? Who makes it onto your checklist and who doesn’t? That’s up to you as the brand manager — but your goal is to hit your production numbers while also creating the best lineup you can that will appeal to the most people.

Do you load up on quality bargain players? Do you go for the big chase cards? Do you create a balanced product that would appeal to more people but not necessarily draw in the gambler types hoping for a crazy find?

Take our challenge … after the jump.

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