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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Preview gallery: 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition

Panini America has released additional images for its forthcoming foray into baseball cards in 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, which will arrive in early 2010.

A preliminary checklist has not yet been released, however additional details have been announced as the set will include on-card autographs for nearly 20 top players in the set.

See more images and get more details after the jump.

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Preview gallery: McFarlane Toys' Cooperstown 7 SportsPicks

McFarlane Toys‘ seventh series of Cooperstown Collection SportsPicks figures arrives in March, but you don’t have to wait that long to see what the toys will look like.

There will be five players in the release — Babe Ruth (third figure), Thurman Munson, Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Gwynn and Joe Morgan. All are Hall of Famers with the exception of Munson.

The highlight figure of the bunch will likely be the Ruth as he’s seen calling his shot against the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series.

McFarlane Toys announced on Friday that the Gwynn chase figure will have an autographed figure base. The former San Diego Padres star will sign 100 bases.

See more images after the jump. (Click for a closer look.)

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First look: 2009-10 Certified basketball cards

Panini America released the basic product breakdown and preview images for its 2009-10 Certified basketball card set on Friday, a product headlined by a rare autograph appearance from Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.

Set to arrive on Feb. 3 with a suggested retail price of $10 a pack, Certified will include four autograph or memorabilia cards in each 10-pack hobby box (one autograph minimum), while each 24-box case will include an autograph from Bill Russell, Jerry West, John Havlicek, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson or No. 1 overall draft pick Blake Griffin.

While that stout list of signers has some serious star power on it, consider Nowitzki’s signing habits. The German star has signed only 28 different certified autographs during his career — and the majority of those made in recent years consisted of fewer than 25 cards apiece (and most of them below 10).

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Product preview: 2009-10 Panini Studio basketball cards

Panini America released the basic information and preview images on Friday for its 2009-10 Panini Studio basketball card set, which uses the name of the famed Donruss line of the early 1990s but appears to stand on its own with a new look and design from the NBA’s exclusive licensee for basketball cards.

Scheduled to release on Feb. 24, Studio will pack four autograph and memorabilia cards per 24-pack ($4 per pack) hobby box as well as eight rookies, six legends cards, two Bronze Studio proofs, one Silver proof, three Masterstrokes cards as well as 14 other inserts.

Every 12-box case will include an autograph from one of the following players — Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Elvin Hayes, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson or No. 1 overall draft pick Blake Griffin.

See a full selection of images after the jump.

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Sneak peek: 2009 Goodwin Champions Landmarks Golden Gate Bridge memorabilia cards

Upper Deck released some preview images of its latest memorabilia card that has been manufactured and will be headed out to collectors who found its redemption in packs of 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball cards.

The Goodwin Champions Landmarks Golden Gate Bridge card, an oversized collectible, features a piece of cable from the famed bridge itself embedded into the cardboard.

“The thing that makes this card a little different is the size,” said Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin. “It’s a 4×6 card that is actually a half-inch thick.  It can actually stand.”

See additional images of the card after the jump.

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Must-See Gallery: Press Pass Fusion Inscriptions

One of the most anticipated features of just about any Press Pass product are the coveted Inscription and Red Ink autograph variations. Rest assured that 2009 Press Pass Fusion, the company’s first multisport product that released yesterday, has a healthy share of both.

For your viewing pleasure, Press Pass officials shared a few of them with Beckett Media.

— Tracy Hackler

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First look: 2010 Topps Heritage baseball cards

Topps unveiled its basic product information and preview images on Friday for its 2010 Topps Heritage baseball set, the 10th consecutive release in the throwback line which this year utilizes the 1961 Topps design.

Set to arrive in the last week of February, this year’s Heritage will include a 500-card base set of veterans and rookies (75 of those short-prints; 1:3 packs) in the famed, but simple, look.

One of the new inserts will be Chase ’61, which will note the great home run chase by the New York Yankees’ Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle — a set that will include Relic parallels with as many as three memorabilia pieces and three cut autographs. (So, yes, that will include Babe Ruth as well…)

Every 24-pack hobby box will include one autograph or Relic card with all signatures signed on the cards.

See several preview images and get more info after the jump.

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McFarlane Toys launches new line; announces first autographed chase figure

McFarlane Toys has announced a pair of forthcoming items that should get the baseball fans and toy collectors buzzing.

First, baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn will be signing 100 figure bases that will be included with new chase figures in the company’s SportsPicks Cooperstown 7 lineup.

Secondly, McFarlane is launching a new line of articulated action figures — pieces that promise more than 20 moving parts on a 4-inch figure.

The first series of Playmakers will arrive next spring with 12 MLB players on the initial offering — and each toy will have a batting and fielding version.

They are:
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First look: 2009 Topps New York Yankees World Series Champions set

Topps‘ previously announced 27-card World Series Championship Set is arriving in stores soon and we’ve got a sneak peek at the postseason highlights cards found inside.

The 27-card set includes 20 player cards, six highlight cards and a card of manager Joe Girardi. The sets carry a suggested retail price of $9.99.

See the rest of the highlights cards after the jump.

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Card gallery: 2009 Topps Heritage High Number baseball cards

We’ll have yet another episode of Box Busters ready here soon — this time for the 2009 Topps Heritage High Number baseball card set.

Until then, chew on this small selection of base cards found inside the packs after the jump …

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Card gallery: 2009 Topps 206 baseball cards (updated)

While a Box Busters episode for 2009 Topps 206 is in negotiations for Friday or Monday, we’ve already busted a box for a card gallery right here.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can find in your boxes when they arrive starting next week …

Update: Topps released the following statement on Friday… something that was mentioned in our review in BSCM, but not with this gallery.

Although the 2009 Topps T206 Baseball selling information solicited autographed cards featuring stickers, Topps is pleased to announce that 80 percent of the autographs in the product are signed on-card. Topps T206 100th Anniversary Edition just shipped and guarantees two autographs and/or Relics in every box.

See several images after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Topps Opening Day baseball cards

Topps released the basic product information and additional preview images for its 2010 Opening Day baseball card set, which will arrive well ahead of Opening Day on Feb. 15.

The base set consists of 220 cards (14 of those rookies), including 74 players who will be in Topps Series 2 later in the year.

The packs carry a $1 suggested retail price with 36 packs per box and 20 boxes per case.

Every pack will include a card from one of five insert sets — Superstar Celebrations (10 cards), Mascots (26 cards), Where’d You Go Bazooka Joe? (10 cards), Topps Attax Opening Day (25 cards) and ToppsTown.com Stars (25 cards).

Also to be found are Opening Day parallels (numbered to 2,010 copies), autographs and printing plates (219 cards; no checklist plate).

The preliminary autograph checklist includes Denard Span, Aaron Cunningham, Ricky Romero, Chris Volstad, Eugenio Velez, Matt Tolbert, Daniel Schlereth, Cliff Pennington, Gerrardo Parra and a player to be determined.

See more card images after the jump.

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Topps joins forces with mobile phone application company

Topps and GetFugu have joined forces to create an interactive partnership that will allow collectors to use their baseball cards to obtain more information about the player through their portable phones.

GetFugu’s “See It, Say It, Find It, Get It”, vision, voice and location recognition service will allow collectors to take an image of a 2009 Topps Legends of the Game card and get additional information relevant to the card. The application will send the user to the player’s Wikipedia page, the Topps online store or other sites where they can purchase Topps products.

“We are thrilled to be working with GetFugu on this new technology,” said Steve Grimes, Chief Digital Officer at Topps, in a news release. “Their mobile search and recognition technology enables our consumers to interact with trading cards in new and exciting ways and opens up new revenue opportunities for the future.”

Preview images: 2010 Topps Opening Day

Topps released a handful of preview images for another of its upcoming baseball sets on Thursday morning.

The products are 2010 Topps Opening Day, a retail staple of the last few years, which includes inserts as a preview to 2010 Topps Attax, a gaming product geared toward children.

Topps has made no secrets about it needing to clean up its place on the retail front, to simplify its product offerings as it enters its multi-year agreement as MLBs lone fully licensed manufacturer of baseball cards.

See more images after the jump.

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Upper Deck signs New York Yankees pitchers Mariano Rivera & Andy Pettitte to autograph deals

Upper Deck announced on Wednesday evening that it has signed veteran New York Yankees pitchers Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera to non-exclusive autograph deals to include their signatures in the company’s 2010 baseball products.

According to the Beckett database, Pettitte has signed just 137 different cards for inclusion in packs during his career — the most recent cards coming in 2005 Donruss products. Rivera, who notched his 500th career save this season, has signed 135 — his last certified autographs coming in this year’s Topps baseball set.

By comparison, Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who is an Upper Deck spokesman, has signed more than 1,000 different certified autograph cards during his career.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring signature cards of these two iconic players to collectors with our 2010 Upper Deck Baseball releases,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s baseball brand manager, in a news release. “Their achievements are legendary and we know it will mean a lot to bring the New York faithful closer to their heroes. We are also very excited about some of the multi-signed trading cards we will be able to bring to the market with Pettitte, Rivera and Jeter in particular.”

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

First look: 2010 Press Pass Trackside Autographs and Four Wide memorabilia cards

Press Pass has unveiled its Track Edition Autographs and the new format of its Four Wide memorabilia cards that will be found in its first 2010 NASCAR set, Press Pass 2010 and in Press Pass Eclipse.

The autograph cards, which are sequentially numbered to 10, use at-track photography and the checklist includes the top drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.

The new Four Wide cards program has evolved to include four designs for each version, keying on the main oversized swatch. The coming year also will include a 1/1 oversized race-used shoe version for the first time. The versions are  firesuit (limited to 25), sheet metal (limited to 15),  tire (limited to 10) and shoe (1/1).

Fifteen drivers are included in the Four Wide set with two cards for Earnhardt Jr. — one for each of his two main sponsors.

See several images after the jump.

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Now on the auction block: An authentic Yankee Stadium media room telephone

Just in case you know one of those New York Yankees fan who has everything, there’s a new item on the auction block that just might be right for them as the holiday season is upon us.

Available right now from Steiner Auctions (and ending Dec. 7) is an MLB-authenticated Yankees Media Room telephone.

That’s right, a media telephone — not one of those snazzy make-a-call-to-the-bullpen types used by an un-average Joe (Torre or Girardi), but one of those phones used by more than a few Joe Schmoes. It was used by, you know, those [insert adjective here] reporters, through the years.

(Oh, and if that’s not enough for you, Steiner’s throwing in a 16×20 autographed World Series photo of Nick Swisher.)

We’re not sure how many telephones were authenticated by MLB — but something tells us that someone, somewhere might be able tell us — and we’re not really sure just how many phones were in the media room, anyway. (Dallas is a ways away from The Bronx.)

But we can pretty much expect that when it comes to authenticated sports memorabilia there isn’t much out there quite like this.

Oh, and the current bid? User dbre7 is in for $1.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Busted! 2009-10 Donruss Elite Basketball

We were lucky enough on Tuesday to receive two early boxes of 2009-10 Donruss Elite Basketball, due out everywhere beginning Nov. 25. We’ll open one box on Wednesday for an episode of Box Busters; as for the other one, well, we just couldn’t wait.

What we found in 20 rapidly ravaged packs is an-all-too-familiar base design that somehow takes on a different feel thanks to the relative newness of NBA photography (as opposed to the “same-old” football images).

We also found a veritable cornucopia of insert variety – 21 total inserts or parallels (including two prime-piece memorabilia cards, one autograph and two cards numbered to just 24), one autographed RC and two numbered legends. In all, 13 of our cards were sequentially numbered, including seven to 100 or less and four numbered to 50 or less.

See a full 27-card gallery after the jump.

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Card gallery: 2009-10 Rookies & Stars basketball cards

The 2009-10 Rookies & Stars basketball set from Panini America arrives on Wednesday with four autograph or memorabilia cards per hobby box — and one of this writer’s favorite card designs of the year in the Dress for Success inserts (above).

Few trading card sets have carried a more organic (non-geometric) design as interesting and different than this one — one that will incite as many oohs as it might ughs because it’s just that different than other stuff out there. (That’s the sign of an interesting card set to me.)

Don’t get the (what looks like) underwater dye swirls confused with paint splatter designs used in the past. This one’s different — and perhaps more interesting.

What else can be found in Rookies & Stars? See a sampling after the jump.

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First Look: 2010 Upper Deck Draft Edition Football

Here’s how we know the NFL’s 2010 Draft Class is going to be one of the most talent rich in recent memory: Upper Deck officials on Tuesday began soliciting orders for 2010 Draft Edition Football, the company’s first football product of next season slated to be live roughly five months from now.

With names like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford gracing Rookie Cards next season, perhaps it’s never too early to begin creating demand.

2010 Upper Deck Draft Edition will feature 150 base cards and four 25-card subsets (Todd McShay Scouting Report, Draft Edition Magazine, Alumni Association and Conference Clashes).

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The five finalists for The Face of 2010 SPx Baseball are …

If you hadn’t heard about Beckett Media‘s promotion with Upper Deck to find The Face of 2010 SPx Baseball, then that’s too bad.

It’s too late for you to enter.

However, here are the five finalists in the contest, one of which will appear in the company’s upcoming advertisement for the baseball set and win free cards.

The winner, The Face of SPx Baseball, will be announced Thursday on Upper Deck’s Facebook page.

Who are the finalists? Read their submissions after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2009 Press Pass Fusion

Box Busters Bryan Hornbeck, Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler get jiggy with three boxes of the multisport marvel known as 2009 Press Pass Fusion. What will they pull? What can you win? Watch and find out.

Press Pass goes green with 2010 Wheels Element set

This might be a hobby first.

In an industry full of mylar wrappers and plenty of cardboard, going green is near impossible, but Press Pass is doing the next-best thing.

They’re going green with their 2010 Wheels Element NASCAR set.

Scheduled to arrive in January, Element will consist of a 100-card base set and a full array of inserts printed on recycled card stock with a retro look and feel.

(Yes, Topps printed on dark stock for years — but in this case Press Pass is focusing on it and partially building the set’s concept around it.)

The Green flag, which signifies “go” to the racers? They will be used in a Green-White-Checkers insert that has pieces of race-used flags all on a single card.

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Another look: 2010 Topps baseball cards


Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard all about 2010 Topps Baseball, here’s the latest from the company as released on Monday.

There’s not much new here in the product breakdown, but, hey, it’s a light news day when it comes to baseball cards as we await the remainder of the 2009 card schedule and move ever so closer to 2010.

See the full release after the jump.

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Topps Unveils WWE Slam Attax TCG

WWESlamAttaxTopps officials have publicly acknowledged the importance of the company’s Attax trading card games in the ongoing effort to re-engage kids into trading cards and collecting.

The company, which recently launched its NHL Puck Attax game, started soliciting orders Friday for the WWE version of the game, Slam Attax Evolution.

The TCG, which, according to Topps, has been responsible for more than $4.5 million in net European sales, includes 130 base game cards representing WWE’s three main brands (Raw, Smackdown and ECW), and its top tag teams, legends, match types and Pay Per Views. In addition, there are insert sets devoted to Champions (16 cards), Finishing Moves (19 cards), Title Foil (11 cards) and Props (10).

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