Monthly Archives: December 2008

Coming Tuesday: 2008 Bowman Sterling Baseball Box Busters

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This year’s Bowman Sterling baseball set arrives in hobby shops on Wednesday — but we’ve already ripped a box for a Box Busters episode that will arrive right here on Tuesday.

There wasn’t a Gordon Beckham Gold Refractor autograph (above) inside the box, but there was plenty of Refractive fun.

Tune in right here tomorrow to find out what we pulled …

(Here’s the checklist of what’s possibly found in Sterling this year.)

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.

Box Busters sneak peek: 2008 Playoff Contenders football

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On the schedule for this week’s episodes of Box Busters is 2008 Playoff Contenders Football with its always popular rookie ticket autographs.

Here is a look at a few as you await the episode …

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Upper Deck's upcoming NBA Radiance set focuses on autographs

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Upper Deck released images and information about its upcoming NBA Radiance set that will arrive in April.

Each three-pack box will include five autographed cards — including one autographed rookie and one autographed Auto Focus Plexi card or autographed Sweet Shot card.

Also included in the set will be Auto Focus Triple autographed cards, which are limited 10 copies apiece.

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What did the Topps Sterling Rip Party pull?

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We know you love Box Busters, but let’s take it up a notch (and a few decibels) and see what The Rip Master Alan Narz saw collectors pull at the Topps Sterling Rip Party recently held at his shop in Orlando, Fla.

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 will release Obama-Robinson dual cut autograph in American Heritage

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Topps announced Tuesday that its upcoming American Heritage set will include a dual cut autograph of President-Elect Barack Obama and baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson.

American Heritage (see previous previews here and here) will include two Relic or autographs per box, including this name-your-price fold-out masterpiece. The non-sport set will use past Topps designs to show U.S. history and document Obama’s historic campaign.

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 bonus in WWE DVD may put fans over Edge

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Arriving in stores today is the latest career retrospective DVD from World Wrestling Entertaiment – Edge: A Decade of Decadence.

While this three-disc set is an obvious must-own for most WWE fans, many fans may not realize that Best Buy has an exclusive edition of the DVD for sale that includes some memorabilia that could be of interest to fans down the line.

The $40 (sale price) Ultimate Fan Edition of the DVD comes with an oversized (roughly 5×7) Edge memorabilia card from Topps that includes a piece of a Rated-R Superstar event-used shirt. For wrestling card collectors, this might be a tough card to come by in the future. (Other exclusive sets from Best Buy have included cards, but not any memorabilia cards that I know of.)

Also included are an Edge coin and a skull cap.

The regular DVD carries a $25 price tag at the store.

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.

By the Box: 2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects blaster box

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Here are the results from a randomly selected box I recently opened …

2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects (retail blaster box)
Suggested Retail Price:
$20
Packs per box: 8
Cards per pack:
7
Cards in this box: 55
Base set completion: 16 of 55 (29 percent)
Base Chrome set completion: 5 of 55 (9 percent)
Draft Picks set completion: 14 of 110 (13 percent)
Chrome Draft Picks set completion: 9 of 110 (8 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Insert/short-print cards found: 11
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By the Box: 2008 TRISTAR TNA Cross the Line wrestling cards blaster box

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Here are the results from a randomly selected box I recently opened …

2008 TRISTAR TNA Cross the Line wrestling cards (retail blaster box)
Suggested Retail Price:
$20
Packs per box: 1
Cards per pack:
25
Cards in this box: 25
Base set completion: 23 of 100 (23 percent)
Duplicates: 1

Insert/short-print cards found: 1
Autograph (one per box) — 1. No. C-JL Jay Lethal

Notes: This latest retail release of TNA cards includes 25 cards per box, down from 35 in the initial release, but the mission in these boxes is the same. It’s all about the autograph. This box didn’t deliver one of TNA’s biggest stars in Jay Lethal, but it deliver one with an amusing schtick. Lethal, known as Black Machismo, delivers a pretty cheesy, yet mildly entertaining, impression of Randy “Macho Man” Savage. … To see the results of a hobby box break, click here.

Box Grade: * out of *****

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.

By the box: 2009 Press Pass NASCAR blaster box

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Here are the results from a randomly selected box I recently opened …

2009 Press Pass NASCAR (retail blaster box)
Suggested Retail Price:
$10
Packs per box:
6 plus one two-card bonus pack
Cards per pack:
6
Cards in this box:
38
Base set completion:
25 of 120 (21 percent)
Duplicates:
0

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Coming Monday: 2008 Topps Sterling Baseball Box Busters

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Tune in Monday for another episode of Box Busters when we open two minty fresh boxes of 2008 Topps Sterling, which includes a player-specific wooden box of four cards and a one-card Mystery Pack.

The major addition to this year’s set? Babe Ruth.

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.

Checklist: 2008 Bowman Sterling baseball

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The final big set arriving for prospectors this year is Bowman Sterling, which packs plenty of punch in each five-card pack.

Each pack includes two autographed cards, one Relic or autographed Relic, one rookie card and prospect card.

Here’s a complete checklist …

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First look: 2008-09 Upper Deck Lineage Basketball

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Upper Deck released images and preview information on Friday for its 2008-09 Lineage basketball set, which will arrive in April.

The set utilizes designs from the 1991-92 to 1993-94 sets and will include the first Michael Jordan Legacy cards, which will document all of his games played with the Chicago Bulls.

See more after the jump.

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Even more from Prime Cuts IV …

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Because we know you want to see even more from Prime Cuts IV before it hits hobby shops next week …

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More Playoff Prime Cuts IV: Checklist & preview images

We’re still working on some Prime Cuts Box Busters action, but until then (later today), chew on these …

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and if that’s not enough try these …

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Topps adds World Baseball Classic patches to Bowman Sterling

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Topps announced Thursday that it is adding redemption cards for 2009 World Baseball Classic patch cards into packs of 2008 Bowman Sterling baseball.

Each four-box case of Sterling, which hits hobby shops next week, will include one redemption card. The checklist is to be determined.

Each five-card pack includes two autographs, one Relic or autographed Relic, one rookie and one Prospect 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.

Sneak peek: 2008 Upper Deck Iconic Cuts football cards

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Upper Deck released images of several cards from its 2008 Iconic Cuts cut autograph set on Wednesday. These cards were found via redemptions in 2008 Upper Deck Icons football cards. These cards will begin shipping to redemption holders this week.

See them all after the jump.

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Sneak peek: Playoff Prime Cuts IV baseball cards

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Playoff Prime Cuts IV is set to hit hobby shops on Dec. 24 after a three-year break. Check out a selection of Colossal Jumbo Materials and other insert cards after the jump.

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Playoff Contenders basketball anyone?

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Three Rookie Ticket Autograph cards of top NBA draft picks will cap the Playoff Contenders football checklist. Perhaps you’ve heard of these guys?

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Latest Upper Deck gem features Ali, Jordan and Tiger signatures

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Upper Deck has produced an autographed item that just might not be toppable among living signers — its Legends of Sport lithograph signed by Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.

It’s the first item ever signed by all three sports legends. The 57-inch wide and 34-inch tall framed piece is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. A price was not announced, so interested buyers are told to visit www.upperdeckstore.com, or call 1-800-551-8220, ext. 2292 for more information.

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First look: 2009 Upper Deck Artifacts Baseball

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Upper Deck released the first  images and box breakdowns for its 2009 Artifacts A Piece of History Set which will arrive in April.

Each 16-pack hobby box will include one Piece of Hollywood memorabilia card, one Rookie Autograph Signature or Rookie Autograph Signature parallel numbered to 99 or less and two Franchise History, Stadium Scenes, Box Score Memories or Timeless Memories memorabilia cards per box.

The base set will include 100 Regular cards, 50 Historical Moments cards and 50 Rookie Cards.

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.

First look: 2009 Upper Deck SPx Baseball

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Upper Deck released information and images for its 2009 SPx set, which will arrive in March.

Each 18-pack box will include four memorabilia cards and one Rookie Signature or Jersey Autograph.

The product also includes three patch cards per case numbered to 99 or less as well as a Joe DiMaggio career highlights set with cards numbered to 999.

The basic set is 100 cards and, like last year, there will be seven rookie autograph redemption cards.

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.

Reel Bats brings memorabilia for baseball's big-screen stars to life

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There are a handful of baseball movies that truly stick with fans — Bull Durham with its loggygaggers, fungus-covered shower shoes and even a quadraphonic Blaupunkt is one of them.

It’s the movie where ground balls are more democratic, where we find out what a journeyman catcher truly believes in and we get a look inside the Church of Baseball. By most movie critics, and a large number of baseball players, it’s considered one of the top baseball movies ever made — if not the best sports movie of all time.

All this wasn’t lost on one man — Abel Sanchez – who had an idea a year ago while touring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. It was a simple concept, one he said he figured had been done before — work with Louisville Slugger to make replica baseball bats for some of baseball’s biggest stars of the big screen.

They hadn’t — and that’s how Reel Bats was born.

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Sneak peek: 2008 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Legends

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Upper Deck released images of 10 cards from its upcoming Legends set of autographs that will be included in 2008 Ultimate Collection, which hits hobby shops in February.

The autographs update the 1997 Legends set, which is a landmark set for autographed football cards. The 2008 versions will all be signed on-card — no stickers — and pick up where the 1997 set left off numbering-wise. Throw in a stout lineup of familar Hall of Famers (and a few others) and this is a recipe for cards that will be in demand.

The Legends cards will be found one per case.

“Collectors have been waiting for us to resurrect this set for some time,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck brand manager for football. “It was important enough to us that if we did it, we did it by providing collectors with the players who were not available on the initial checklist. Well, we’ve accomplished just that so football fans should be thrilled to add these cards to their set.”

Ultimate Collection is scheduled to arrive in hobby shops on Feb. 11.

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.

Sneak peek: Topps Ultimate Fighting Championship MMA cards (with checklist)

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Fresh in from Topps this morning are a few more images from its upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship card set that will arrive in hobby shops next month.

Each 16-pack hobby box includes three autographed cards, three Relic cards 20 parallel cards and eight additional insert cards. The 100-card base set includes 90 UFC competitors shown in their debut matches as well as 10 UFC Personalities — including UFC president Dana White and Octagon Girls such as Arianny Celeste. Also included will be instant-win cards for UFC tickets.

Each pack also will contain a parallel card — available in gold, black (serial-numbered to 888 or less) or Red (1/1).

The full tentative checklist is after the jump.

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Upper Deck reveals Timelines Cuts list

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Upper Deck has announced the lineup for its 2008 Timelines Cuts set, a baseball only cut signature insert in 2008 Upper Deck Timelines baseball. There are several Hall of Famers included — and a few guys who don’t have many cuts available.

The full checklist is after the jump (along with more images).

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Now that's an interesting sticker autograph …

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Imagine opening a pack of Donruss Sports Legends and discovering you have a Joe Montana card numbered out of 10. You flip it over to see an autograph of … Hank Aaron‘s last name?

That’s exactly what happened to one collector who reported his find on the BMB.

I’m not sure it’s a priceless kind of error — but he’s got the card on eBay with a BIN of $499. Will anyone buy it? We’ll see. It’s an interesting error — one that Donruss may try to fix for the collector.

But here’s the real question … did Aaron get paid the same for signing half as many stickers? Or does Donruss have a super sticker project in the works?

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.

Coming Friday: Box Busters with Razor President Brian Gray

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Razor President Brian Gray will stop by Beckett Media headquarters Friday to bust open some boxes of his company’s first baseball card set, 2008 Razor Signature Series, for an episide of Box Busters.

Look for it here tomorrow.

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.

A peek inside the Topps American Heritage checklist includes Obama, Phelps, Olbermann autographs

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Topps American Heritage is about a month away from release and we figured it was a good time to take a look at the checklist, particularly for cards of President-elect Barack Obama (who will be a main selling point and non-collector draw in the set) and the autographs, which will draw the attention of the more advanced collector.

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Struggling to finish off that Topps WWE Heritage IV autograph set?

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Are you grappling with collation as you try to finish off that Topps WWE Heritage IV autograph set?

It doesn’t seem like it would be a huge challenge, but some of these cards have been nowhere to be found, it seems.

Until now.

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The Mick is still bringing it …

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There’s no doubting the allure of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card and the current bid total for the PSA 8 copy of the card above reinforces that.

How much is the card going for in the Memory Lane Inc. Winter Extravaganza Rarities Auction with more than two days left to bid?

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Upper Deck sacks Buffalo Bills legend Bruce Smith for some autographs

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Upper Deck announced Wednesday that it has signed former Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins star Bruce Smith to an autograph deal.

The 11-time Pro Bowl sleection will have cards in 2008 SP Rookie Edition (available now) and 2008 Ultimate Collection, which will arrive in hobby shops in February.

Smith will appear in the highly anticipated Legends Autograph set, above, which is modeled after the ground-breaking 1997 Upper Deck Legends set. Others in that set will include Troy Aikman, John Elway, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Jerry Rice among others.

A quick search of the Beckett database shows that Smith hasn’t signed any substantial amount of cards since 1992 — when he signed for the Pro Line Profiles set.

Just another nugget: Smith will be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

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.

So, you think you can coach in Texas …

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The Fort Worth Cats, an independent minor league team that has helped produce major-leaguers Luke Hochevar and Max Scherzer, is allowing one fan to become a coach.

The winner of an eBay auction will join the likes of Duke Snider, Sparky Anderson, Rogers Hornsby and Maury Wills as a coach of the team — but only for six games (home and away).

But that’s not all.

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Upper Deck cancels MMA card set

mmaudUpper Deck has canceled its mixed martial arts trading card set, The Art of Fighting.

Originally scheduled for an October release but delayed until January, it would have been the first standalone MMA trading card product. Plans were to include 100 basic cards in the basic set and two autographed cards per 24-pack box.

When I was in Orlando when the product was announced, I said the mainstreaming of MMA reminded me of poker’s surge in popularity a couple of years ago.

Ironically, Upper Deck had planned to produce a professional poker set, but those plans were scrapped around that same time. Same for a professional fishing set.

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.

Just Minors Mystery Mini Bats Plus coming soon

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Arriving in hobby shops very soon will be 2008 Just Minors Mystery Mini Bats Plus — a packaged memorabilia product that includes three autographed mini bat and one autographed jersey per four-box case.

Each box contains one jersey or mini bat (jersey and bat boxes are appropriately marked) along with two autographed cards.

See a list of the bats and jerseys in the product after the jump.

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By the Box: 2008 Sweet Spot Baseball (retail)

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It’s pretty unusual for a product to arrive at retail ahead of its hobby store counterpart, but that’s exactly what has happened with 2008 Sweet Spot baseball this year as special three-pack tins have arrived in Target stores ahead of the Dec. 23 hobby release date.

Here are the results from a randomly selected box I recently opened …

ichiro2008 Sweet Spot baseball
Price:
$29.99 (Target)
Packs per box:
3
Cards per pack: 8
Cards in this box: 27 (Each pack actually had nine cards inside.)
Base set completion: 23 of 100 (23 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Insert cards found: 4 (One autograph or memorabilia card per Target tin.)

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