Monthly Archives: October 2008

My top 10 greatest 1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Series team items

With the Philadelphia Phillies headed back to the World Series, it’s prime time to examine the best items from the last time they won it all — in 1980.

Here are my picks for 10 key items to own if you’re a Philly fan who’s still waiting for your team to equal its past success. They’re not the most valuable — just the most interesting or odd items that come to mind, ones that seem to capture the 1980 team the best.

1. Pete Rose‘s May 28, 1979, Sports Illustrated cover (above). Sure, it pre-dates the 1980 season, but there’s no doubting what Rose meant to the Phillies’ championship. It’s his first cover appearance in a Phillies uniform (he had three afterward) and is the best.

2. Bake McBride‘s 1974 Topps rookie card (click for a closer look) won’t cost you more than a couple bucks. Sure, it shows him in a Cardinals unform, but when’s the last time you heard of a guy named Bake? His full nickname? Shake and Bake. His real name? Arnold. Now you know why he’s cool. What made him really cool in the 1980 World Series was his 7-for-23 performance at the plate. He drove in 5 RBIs in the Series, second to only a guy you might have heard of — Michael Jack Schmidt.

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Texas softball star Cat Osterman among several notable players in upcoming Elite Extra Edition set

University of Texas and USA Softball star Cat Osterman will have her first widely distributed trading card in the upcoming Donruss Elite Extra Edition, which hits hobby shops on Nov. 19.

But she’s definitely not the only noteworthy addition to the set.

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Topps revisits popular Star Wars Galaxy line

Topps announced this week that it will produce a new Star Wars Galaxy set, which long-time collectors would remember as an all-artwork line that was introduced back in 1993.

Series 4 of the set will hit stores in February with more than 50 exclusive paintings, an archive set made of never-before-seen Galaxy art autographed cards of several artists, sketch cards as well as cards featuring art from Star Wars movie posters, comic books and elsewhere.

Here’s a look at a couple more images from the set.

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Elite Extra Edition Dean Smith autographs are now live

Dean Smith‘s 2007 Elite Extra Edition Collegiate Patches autograph cards have been signed and are on the way to collectors.

“Smith battled some health issues late last year and it took him a little longer than he expected to finish all the signatures,” Donruss Marketing/PR Director Scott Prusha said. “He wanted to fulfill those redemptions for collectors and worked hard to get them done — we appreciate all those that have hung in there while we worked hard to complete the signing.”

The Hall of Famer won 879 games as a coach, which ranks second all time, and won a pair of national championships coaching North Carolina.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Razor signs Matt Wieters to exclusive autograph deal – with a bit extra

Razor Entertainment signed an exclusive autograph deal with top Baltimore Orioles prospect Matt Wieters on Wednesday that prevents other companies from producing cards and autographed cards until a year after he makes his debut on a major league (25-man) roster.

The move means that Baseball America’s 2008 Minor League Player of the Year will not have cards in future Bowman products as Topps signs players to individual contracts to appear on its cards.

And after Wieters makes his big-league debut, Topps and Upper Deck will be able to produce standard cards (if he is signed by Topps), but no autographed or memorabilia cards — unless they negotiate for his rights, which would be lucrative, through Razor.

“We took a shot and we are taking a shot that is unprecedented,” said Razor President Brian Gray. “This could basically change the whole game.”

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Michael Jordan: A hint of what's on tap from Upper Deck …

A certain someone you might have heard of just might be among the next class of inductees in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

And among some images released for Upper Deck’s upcoming Hot Prospects basketball set on this week was this card — a Michael Jordan Road to Springfield autograph.

If you’re a Jordan collector — and we know there are a few of you — be sure to be ready for more than a few M.J. releases in the next year when he becomes eligible and just might get into the Hall.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

WWE has several notable DVDs in the works

Among the DVDs arriving in stores today is World Wrestling Entertainment‘s Hell in a Cell three-disc set. Sure, you might think wrestling is fake (it’s fixed), but there’s nothing fake about the brutal matches that are included on this collection.

For those who don’t know what a Hell in a Cell match is — it’s a steel cage match where the cage has a roof and anything goes. One of the most brutal matches in WWE history — Mick Foley vs. Undertaker at King of the Ring in 1998 — is included. Simply put, It’s shocking.

WWE has three notable DVD sets (click for a closer look) coming this fall, including Viva La Raza: The Legacy of Eddie Guerrero (Nov. 11), The Twisted, Distrubed Life of Kane (Dec. 9) and Edge: A Decade of Decadence (Dec. 23). Guerrero, who died in 2005, remains one of the most popular performers in WWE history, while Kane and Edge are long-time stars who really haven’t had the DVD spotlight shine on them.

These wrestler-specific documentary DVDs have made up a good piece of the WWE market in recent years. In 2007, WWE shipped more than 4 million DVDs and had more then $53 million in revenue from DVD sales alone.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Fear Nick Swisher's Thunderbolt!

Nick Swisher didn’t have amazing numbers in his debut season with the Chicago White Sox, but that’s not stopping him from doing some work on the side. Check this out …

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cf84d400b7

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Upper Deck set to bring All-Star Vinyl to masses

Upper Deck‘s popular line of sports figures — All-Star Vinyl — soon will expand into a larger series of 10-inch figures available at retail stores. While it appears they will be produced for several sports, here’s a look at the NHL line set to hit stores in February  …

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Sweet pulls: Collector finds Bill Russell treasure in Topps Treasury

Ever wonder what some of the bigger pulls out of brand new products look like?

Of course you do. (We all do. Trust me.)

But have you ever found one of those monster cards yourself? We want to know.

Rick Jackson of Swartz Creek, Mich., found this gem — an autographed Bill Russell magenta (1/1) printing plate out of 2008-09 Topps Treasury Basketball.

Want to know what he said about landing this big one? Look for it in the December issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

Look for the November issue of BSCM in stores this week.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

McFarlane Toys unveils latest Cooperstown Collection Sports Picks baseball figures

McFarlane Toys released images for the latest in its popular Cooperstown Collection line of SportsPicks action figures and there are a few inclusions that are worthy of Hall of Fame plaques.

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Inkworks' upcoming The Spirit trading card set has plenty of potential

If you haven’t seen previews for the upcoming movie The Spirit (the latest from Frank Miller, the guy who created Sin City and 300), don’t worry, you will.

What you may not have seen is that the movie, which opens on Christmas Day (see the trailer here), will have a trading card set produced by Inkworks.

While an autograph lineup has not yet been set, according to Inkworks’ Andy Modlin, the cast for this movie is full of performers whose signatures would be in demand.

Who might end up in the set?

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Donruss releases Threads checklists and images

Donruss released the checklist for its upcoming Threads baseball set on Friday — and here it is in its entirety.

A quick glance shows a solid cast of baseball players young and old — and a few impressive additions from the Americana ranks.

Base Set – Commons / Autographed
Rookies Hobby / Rookie Class

Parallels:
Green Century Proof (# to 250)
Silver Century Proof (# to 100)
Gold Century Proof (# to 50)
Platinum Century Proof (# to 25)
Signatures Gold (# to 999 or less)
Signatures Platinum (# to 25 or less)     Bats (# to 500 or less)
Jerseys (# to 500 or less)
Prime Jerseys (# to 25 or less)

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NASCAR drivers go pink to support breast cancer research

Three NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will drive pink cars Saturday night in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in support of breast cancer research.

And, of course, you can own diecast replicas of all three. (Click on the cars for a closer look.)

Bobby Labonte will drive the No. 43 Petty Enterprises Dodge Charger in the race, a car adrorned by a pink ribbon paint scheme (or wrap if you prefer).

Kyle Busch will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry in the race with several shades of pink M&M’s on his car as well as a couple of the famous characters.

Elliott Sadler will drive the No. 19 Dodge Charger for Gillett Evernham Motorsports — a predomiantly black car with pink flames.

Each of these diecasts can be found at NASCAR.com and a portion of the proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

What makes the ALCS perfect for the hobby?

Of the two remaining baseball playoff series, for me the American League Championship Series is the one that’s most important for the hobby.

Why? A few key points in my mind …

1. The season’s underdog team — the Tampa Bay Rays – came from worst to first and are facing the defending World Series champs, the Boston Red Sox. Storyline wise, it doesn’t get better than this, does it?

2. It’s prospects vs. established stars. We all know who should win in a match-up like this — the Red Sox, a team that has established stars (and some young talent) against the Rays, a team of elite prospects and, frankly, castoffs from elsewhere. Does that sound a bit like the 2004 Red Sox? In some ways, perhaps …

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Manny Ramirez will bleed Dodger Blue in Upper Deck Update (and elsewhere)

The November Beckett Sports Card Monthly cover star — Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez — hasn’t yet appeared on an official widely produced MLB trading card in a Dodgers uniform.

(He did have an eTopps card not long after the Red Sox traded him, but it was limited to only 699 copies.)

But don’t worry Dodgers fans — he will undoubtedly have several update set appearances in his new threads. Here’s what his card in the upcoming Upper Deck Update boxed set (arriving in hobby shops on Nov. 11) will look like.

If the Dodgers own some extra bling-bling at that time (they’re down 0-1 in the NLCS right now), this card could get pretty hot — at least for a standard card.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Card Gallery: 2008 SP Legendary Cuts Mystery Cuts

Upper Deck will begin shipping the 2008 SP Legendary Cuts Mystery Cuts cards early next week. Here’s a sneak preview at a few of the cards heading out to collectors’ hands …

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Topps signs exclusive card deal with UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship MMA company

Topps announced on Friday that it has signed an exclusive deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship to produce trading cards of past, present and future UFC competitors starting next year. The deal lasts through May 2011.

Topps promises that each card — UFC 1 through the upcoming UFC 91 featuring Randy Couture vs. former WWE star Brock Lesnar — will have a place in its products. The deal also will include UFC providing images and memorabilia for many of its stars, including Couture, Lesnar, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Royce Gracie, Forest Griffin and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

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Razor releases checklist for debut baseball card set

The Razor Entertainment Group released the final checklist for its inaugural baseball set — 2008 Razor Signature Series Baseball – on Thursday.

The Dallas-based company revealed that there will be a 100-card basic set and that card Nos. 101-200 will be autographed with each one having parallel versions numbered to 199, 25 and five. There also will be dual-auto cards with parallels limited to 25 and five copies apiece.

The inserts will focus on the players who have signed exclusive deals with the company, including No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham, No. 2 pick Pedro Alvarez and several other top prospects. Because of its exclusive autograph deals, the company said it has all 29 first-round draft picks in its set compared to 12 for its competitors.

The suggested retail price is $12.50 per pack.

Here is the complete checklist as released (* notes Razor-exclusive players):

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NLCS Game 1 starters — It's no match on cardboard

With Game 1 of the National League Championship Series set for later tonight (8:22 p.m., FOX) in Philadelphia, one thing’s for certain about this pitching matchup.

It ain’t even close on cardboard.

The Dodgers (who I’d pick as an eventual winner in this series) send Derek Lowe to the mound against Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels.

Lowe’s rookie card comes in the popular 1992 Bowman set (No. 98), but it’s valued at less than $5. Lowe (14-11, 3.25 ERA this season) just doesn’t have the hobby following you might expect considering his long career that includes a memorable championship with the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

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Clint Malarchuk has another really bad day

From the news of the weird file …

Former Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk – best known for suffering a gruesome cut to his throat during an NHL game in 1989 — accidentally shot himself in the chin with a .22-caliber rifle, according to The Buffalo News.

Malarchuk, now the goalies coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets, made his cardboard debut in the 1981-82 Fredericton Express set, but his NHL rookie card comes in the 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee and Topps sets (No. 47), which book for about $2 total.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Did you know … John Lennon edition

Did you know I: Today is John Lennon‘s birthday? The late lead singer of The Beatles was born today in 1940 in Liverpool, England.

Did you know II: Cards from the 1964 Topps Beatles set, despite their age, are immensely affordable? Check eBay and you can find more than a few examples for less than the price of a CD. (And you can find graded cards from the set for less than the cost of the white album.)

Did you know III: If you happen to be reading this in New York City today, The Associated Press reports that more than 100 doodles and drawings by Lennon will be on display at the Openhouse Gallery in SoHo through Sunday.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Topps executive's collection to hit auction block

Robert Edward Auctions will handle the collection of long-time Topps executive and hobby pioneer Sy Berger when it hits the auction block next year.

The Watchung, N.J.-based company announced earlier this week that Berger’s collection will be auctioned in April 2009.

What will it include?

Most notably, more than 100 paintings used to create cards in the 1953 Topps set — including one of Hall of Famer Satchel Paige — signed player contracts and canceled checks for the entire 1957-58 Topps basketball set, signed contracts for the 1951 Ringside boxing set and many other items, according to the company.

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Donruss reveals its Dallas Cowboys Kids Fan Club cards

Donruss announced Wednesday that it is producing a special six-card set exclusively for the Official Dallas Cowboys Kids Fan Club.

Included in the Rowdy Rookies set are QB Tony Romo, WR Terrell Owens, RB Marion Barber, DB Terence Newman, TE Jason Witten and LB DeMarcus Ware.

The cards will be included in a kit that members will receive that also includes a letter from owner Jerry Jones, an autographed photo of Rowdy (the Cowboys mascot), a certificate and several other items.

More information can be found at dallascowboys.com.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Edward Norton's Incredible Hulk autograph, James Bond set top Rittenhouse Archives news

Checking in with the non-sports offerings over at Rittenhouse Archives

An expansion set for the latest Incredible Hulk movie is available for purchase at scifihobby.com. What really makes it noteworthy? It includes an Edward Norton autograph. It’s not every day that an Oscar-nominated actor signs for a trading card set of any kind.

Also included in the $333 set is an autographed card from Lou Ferrigno (the original TV Hulk who had a role in the movie) and six costume cards. One is a Norton shirt, while a Liv Tyler card also is a highlight. There also are dealer-incentive autograph cards of Norton and Ferrigno as the Hulk for those making multiple purchases.

A checklist for an upcoming James Bond 007 in Motion set was released on Wednesday with autographs from Honor Blackman, Denise Richards, Wayne Newton, Sid Haig and Priscilla Barnes among the highlights. That set hits hobby shops later this month with two prop or costume cards and two autograph cards per box.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair set to make rare autograph appearance

A recently retired professional wrestling legend will make a rare autograph appearance to sign limited edition Jakks action figures (and more) next month in New York City.

“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, a 16-time world heavyweight champion who retired after his loss at WrestleMania XXIV earlier this year in Orlando, Fla., will appear at the fifth-annual Ringside Fest on November 1 in New York City.

Flair, known for his trademark “Woooooo!” among many other catch-phrases, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania weekend. And despite his status in the wrestling world  — many consider him the finest performer and talker of all time — he does not have a single certified autographed card produced by a WWE trading card licensee.

(Hey, Topps … can you help us out?!?!)

In fact, Flair has made only one other wrestling convention appearance this year, so the only way to get his autograph was via the handful of promotional appearances he made for World Wrestling Entertainment before he left the company or by old-school autograph hounding.

Advance autograph tickets are on sale now on the site  — $35 for an autograph; $80 for an autograph, photo and Q&A session ticket; $40 for an autograph and Q&A ticket or $15 for the Q&A session.

An exclusive Jakks Pacific figure will be produced for the event, which shows Flair in the distinct robe he wore for his final match and includes a miniature Hall of Fame plaque. Pricing on the figure was not yet announced on the site. Unsigned, limited edition figures such as these can be very hot sellers in the toy world.

Signed? Well, that would make more than a few wrestling fans say “Woooooo!”

Update: If you can’t make the show (and most of you reading this can’t just like me), you can order signed figures from the show’s promoter, Ringside Collectibles, on its Web site for $59.99. You can have it personalized for $10 more.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s first White Sox cards coming next month

Yes, his season is over — but his baseball card season isn’t just yet.

The first cards of future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. in a Chicago White Sox uniform are set to arrive in several sets hitting stores in November.

Upper Deck Timeline (bottom) hits stores on Nov. 4, while the Upper Deck Update box set and its Griffey card (top) arrives on Nov. 11.

He also should have ChiSox cards in Topps‘ end-of-the-year update sets as well — Topps Heritage High Number Edition and Updates and Highlights.

Traditionally the first cards of high-profile players like Griffey command a bit of additional attention — at least in the short term. Will Griffey wear the White Sox again next year? I’d bet not, so that probably won’t help demand for these cards down the road. But they obviously aren’t as plentiful as his Seattle and Cincinnati releases.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Negro League Baseball Museum commissions artwork honoring Jackie Robinson

The Negro League Baseball Museum of Kansas City has commissioned baseball photographer Don Marquess to produce a print honoring Jackie Robinson.

Prints of “Finally” were unveiled last month at an event honoring the late Buck O’Neil but remain available for purchase through the museum. The prints are 24 inches by 18 inches, limited to only 1,500 copies and cost $45. They are available by calling 888 221-NLBM (6526) or from the Gallery at 877 977-7773.

The project is expected to raise nearly $35,000 for the Museum. More of Marquess’ photographs can be seen at baseballfineart.com.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Big Papi's bed sells for big bucks (all for charity, of course)

The autographed bed of Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz sold for $10,000 last week as part of a charity auction in Boston.

Donated by Ortiz and his wife, Tiffany, it was sold as part of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless program’s “A Home of Our Own” campaign.

It included a king-size mattress, box springs and a headboard signed by Big Papi himself. The bidding reached five-figures on its eighth and final bid. (See the auction here.)

Who buys such an item? What does a collector do with it? Check out a Q&A with the winner here.

I’m 110 percent sure that the matching Red Sox bedspread had something to do with that price, but I really don’t want to know how much shipping and handling was …

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Who knew Upper Deck's Obama-McCain Predictor card would be so economically accurate?

With the second of three Presidential debates between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain tonight in Nashville and the economy in turmoil, it’s interesting that an Upper Deck Presidential Predictor baseball card released earlier this year could be so poignant.

Examine the back of card No. PP-13 in the Predictor “Issues” set (from Upper Deck Baseball Series II), which focuses on the economy: Read More »

McFarlane Toys adds Slash to its Guitar Hero toy line

Anyone who knows 1980s and early 1990s music knows Guns N’ Roses and their infamous top-hat-wearing guitarist Slash (aka Saul Hudson).

And now a whole new generation of music fans — ones who play video games — like Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock know him, too.

And what does that really mean?

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McFarlane Toys announces Jackie Robinson Day commemorative Sports Picks toys

McFarlane Toys recently announced that it will produce a special three-pack of 6-inch Sports Picks baseball figures highlighting Jackie Robinson Day.

Included in the set, of course, will be Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers legend who broke down baseball’s color barrier in 1947 — along with Ken Griffey Jr., who wore No. 42 during the day this season as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, as well as New York Yankees 2B Robinson Cano, who is named after the Hall of Famer.

But that’s not all that was announced …

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Hey, MMA fans… do you have this Gina Carano collectible?

MMA fans who might not play too many video games might have missed this one …

Donruss and GameStop have teamed up to produce a pair of trading cards featuring MMA stars Gina Carano and Randy Couture, who are starring in the Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 video game for Xbox 360 or PC.

To get your hands on Carano and Couture, all you have to do is pre-order a copy of the game at one of GameStop’s many locations or online.

Couture, the UFC Heavyweight Champion, plays Allied Commander Warren Fuller, while the undefeated EliteXC star Carano plays Soviet Commando Natasha.

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Donruss examines NASA's history in new Americana set

Donruss has taken its Americana line to new heights — into outer space — with an 18-card set documenting the history of NASA that is only available at a pair of Texas-based Presidential libaries.

The set is produced in partnership with the Beyond the Moon: NASA’s Continuing Mission exhibits showing at the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum in College Station and at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum in Austin.

These are definitely not sports cards — but space memorabilia has always held a strong place in the collecting world. Want some examples?

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Wondering about Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon's early baseball cards?

One of Major League Baseball’s best stories this year has been the worst-to-first performance of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays under the guidance of manager Joe Maddon.

Sure, we’re all aware of the rookie cards of Evan Longoria and late-season call-up David Price (not to mention the several other players with big potential).

But what about the early cards of their leader — probably best known for his eccentric choice in eyewear — who was named the Chuck Tanner Major League Manager of the Year award winner on Tuesday morning?

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