Monthly Archives: February 2010

Topps details pie surprise in 2010 baseball card set

Collectors have been spotting some New York Yankees variant cards in packs of the recently released 2010 Topps baseball card set — and the company detailed precisely which players have “pie cards” in the set on Friday.

Last season, the Yankees created a new tradition of a pie to the face for any player who won a game in walk-off fashion. A dozen of those players have short-printed cards in the set.

See the list after the jump.

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Preview Gallery: Topps Star Wars Galaxy Series 5 Sketch Cards

Topps released on Thursday a sneak peek at some of the Sketch Cards that will be found in its forthcoming Star Wars Galaxy trading card set, the latest in a long line of sets focused on the sci-fi franchise.

The Sketch Cards will be found one per hobby box and there are more than 100 artists whose work can be found inside the packs of the art-based brand when it arrives later this month. (See a bit more here.)

Among the artists whose work is seen here are Gabe Farber, Russ Walks, Katie Cook-Wilcox, Tim Proctor, Mark McHaley, Nina Edlund, Nolan Woodard and Joe Corroney.

See more of the cards after the jump.

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Press Pass ready to unleash Legends of KISS set

Press Pass’ strong run of trading card sets dedicated to the music legends KISS isn’t even close to a finale.

Up next on the company’s set list is Legends of KISS, a 100-card themed set that tells the story of the band through their own words — a set that, when placed in pages, tells the story from card to card.

The set will include the first cards to bearing both a concert-worn memorabilia swatch and an autograph — KISS Kuts – while there will be another helping of autograph cards from Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss to lick, err, pick up.

Also new will be a six-card set of pop-up cards as well as a few parallel sets — First Edition (limited to 25) as well as cyan, magenta, yellow and black Proof Edition Parallels.

Legend of KISS is set to arrive on April 21.

See more images from the set after the jump.

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Product Preview: 2009-10 Be A Player hockey cards

Upper Deck has released the basic product breakdown and preview images for its 2009-10 Be  A Player hockey card set that will arrive in May packing plenty of autographs and a few rookies hockey fans might have heard of.

Be A Player will include one autograph in every five-card back with each eight-pack box including one dual-player autograph, one Rookie or rookie redemption and one Rookie jersey card.

Every 15-box case will include  five cards signed by three players.

The standard set will consist of 200 cards, and  of course, there are rookies — lots of rookies. Guys like John Tavares, Matt Duchene, James van Riemsdyk, Jonas Gustavsson, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan Stoa, Bobby Sanguinetti, Evander Kane and so on …

New this year are autographed rookie jersey cards as well as rookie patch cards, which are limited to just 15 copies apiece.

See more images and a breakdown of the product after the jump.

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Box Busters preview gallery: 2009 Topps Sterling

We’ve cracked a pair of 2009 Topps Sterling boxes for an upcoming episode of Box Busters but wanted to make sure you could see some of what’s to be found while the video is in the famous Beckett microwave.

Can you guess what our two boxes’ themes were based on this small selection of cards?

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Konami blasts Upper Deck in statement on settled Yu-Gi-Oh! counterfeiting case

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball Editor

Konami issued its first public statement on Wednesday following the settlement of its long-running dispute with Upper Deck over the Carlsbad, Calif.-based trading card company’s unauthorized production of more than 600,000 Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards.

The case was settled before the second day of a trial could begin in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles last week. Konami was seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages after a judge found that Upper Deck did, indeed, make unauthorized counterfeit cards that were distributed via repackaged products.

Upper Deck opted to settle and was due to make its first multi-million-dollar payment (specifics of the settlement were confidential) on Friday. It’s a case in which a New York Post story says has fueled “widespread speculation that this case could severely hurt its financial health. Some believe [Upper Deck] is on the brink of bankruptcy.”

Konami’s release on Wednesday included both comments from Upper Deck’s attorney as well as its company officials — a sharp contrast to UD’s statement issued last Friday.

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Figure skaters take center ice in new Upper Deck set

With the Winter Olympics not long away, Upper Deck revealed on Wednesday that it’s added a twist to the insert card lineup in its upcoming second series of 2009-10 Hockey cards.

And it’s a twist that’s more like a double axel.

There will be 18 U.S. Olympic figure skaters from the past and present included in “The Champions” insert set — something the typical hockey fan wouldn’t expect to find along side guys like Martin Brodeur or Sidney Crosby.

“We’re extremely happy to be including U.S. figure skaters as part of this year’s inserts,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s hockey brand manager, in a release. “They are exciting to watch and consistently wow the crowds with their incredible routines and performances. We think card collectors will appreciate their inclusion.”

Rachael Flatt, Jeremy Abbott and Nancy Kerrigan are on the checklist —  as are Johnny Weir, Jojo Starbuck, Todd Gilles, Alexe Gilles, Piper Gilles, Madison Chock, Melissa Gregory, Brandon Mroz, Denis Petukhov, Jane Summersett, Timothy Goebel and Zach Donohue.

Upper Deck also intends to include autographed versions of their cards in upcoming hockey sets as well as several other Winter Olympics stars, a few of which are seen below.

How will collectors react? We’ll just have to wait and see. See more cards after the jump.

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Someone's done some cleaning at Beckett HQ

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Someone’s done some cleaning at Beckett HQ — and Tracy Hackler gets all the gifts.

What awaits him in his office today as he works feverishly to prepare a Super Bowl magazine?

Watch the video and find out … and be sure to watch the big reveal after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection basketball cards

Upper Deck may be done producing NBA-licensed basketball cards, but it’s not done trying to put high-end basketball cards into the hands of collectors.

On Wednesday, the company revealed the basic product information and a package of preview images for its upcoming 2010 Ultimate Collection basketball card set, a Collegiate Licensing Company-approved product that packs an autographed card in every four-card pack.

The standard set consists of 60 base cards and 20 Rookie Signature Redemptions, but the real highlight in the product just might be the 1997 Legends autographs — which brings the look of the landmark football set to the hardwood.

Also to be found among the autograph lineup when Ultimate Collection arrives in May are Personal Touch Inscriptions (where players write answers to questions about their lives alongside their autographs) as well as All- Time Team Signatures and  All-Time Draft Signatures among others.

The Legends autographs will be signed directly on the cards and the checklist is set to include Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill  Walton, Jerry West and Yao Ming among others.

See more from the set after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars baseball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they dig into a box of 2009 Signature Stars baseball cards from Upper Deck in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Also watch to find out a question we want our viewers to answer in the comments below…

Topps details manufactured Logoman insert card program

Topps detailed its 2010 Logoman insert card program on Wednesday by releasing a checklist of the cards that feature manufactured MLB patches.

There are 50 cards to be found in 2010 Topps Baseball – all limited to just 50 copies — with a second 50 to come in other products throughout the year.

Topps also noted that on Opening Day collectors can visit Topps Home Team Advantage hobby shops and receive one of 50 Logoman cards with a purchase of a 2010 Topps pack.

See the checklists after the jump.

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Kim Kardashian meets NASCAR?

I always knew there was some reason I followed Kim Kardashian on Twitter …

The celebutante and reality television star announced via her Twitter feed and her website on Wednesday that she will be appearing on a special paint scheme for an upcoming race this month while promoting a new perfume line.

The Chevy will be driven at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the Shelby American race on Feb. 28. The driver? Mike Bliss.

Will there be diecasts or trading cards showing the car? We’ll just have to wait and see…

And don’t forget that she appears on a pair of autograph cards from Upper Deck — just in case you’re wanting to start a Kardashian kollection

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.

Florida Collector Finds Panini's Manning/Brees Bounty Card

Panini America struck a chord with collectors last week – and sent many of them across the country scrambling to scour their collections – by announcing a bounty for the 2009 Limited Pro Bowl Combo Materials card featuring Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and sequential number 44/100.

There was speculation in the collecting community at the time that the card would never be discovered. Well, the card has been discovered, from the personal collection of a Peyton Manning super collector.

Dawn McNew, a physical education teacher at Lehigh (Fla.) High School, contacted the Panini offices just a week prior the contest deadline to let company officials know that the winning card was part of her Manning collection that’s more than 1,000 cards strong.

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First Look: 2010 ITG Between the Pipes Hockey

In the Game recently announced that Between the Pipes is back for another season. Interestingly enough, just the other day I had a conversation with former New York Rangers great Gilles Villemure who told me that he was excited about being included in this release.

He was in ITG’s 1972: The Year in Hockey set and now he’ll be in the preeminent goaltenders set. He was a co-Vezina winner in 1971, along with Eddie Giacomin.

This set digs deep into goaltending’s greatest the including Bruins legendary netminder Gerry Cheevers, who has the unforgettable stitched up mask, Patrick Roy, who some regard as the greatest goaltender in the history of the sport, Leafs great Turk Broda, who won a Cup in Toronto in 1951, and Ernie Wakely, who played on the St. Louis Blues team in 1970 that reached the Stanley Cup Finals and lost, but achieved fame in the WHA playing for the Winnipeg Jets.

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Box Busters: 2010 Topps baseball cards

Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2010 Topps baseball cards in this edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out by clicking here.

Preview Gallery II: 2010 Topps National Chicle baseball cards

The 2010 Topps National Chicle baseball card set is still on the schedule for  release in April, but we’ve gotten a another glimpse at more artwork from the dozen artists who helped produce the set.

Here’s the second of three galleries — one piece per artist — exclusive to Beckett Media. It’s a roster that includes Monty Sheldon, Paul Lempa, Mike Kupka, Dave Hobrecht, Jason Davies, Ken Branch, Brett Farr, Chris Felix, Don Higgins, Chris Henderson, Brian Kong and Jeff Zachowski.

Look for our final gallery in a future issue of Beckett Baseball closer to the set’s arrival. (See the previous gallery here.)

Until then, check them out…

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2010 Video Palooza: Box Busters Episodes You May Have Missed

In case you missed it, the Beckett Box Busters crew has been feverishly recording one episode after another in recent days, opening everything from Topps Platinum Football to Playoff Contenders Basketball to Press Pass 8 Seconds Professional Bull Riding to hockey products like SPx and ITG Heroes & Prospects.

You can watch any of those videos by clicking the links above. Oh, and stay tuned in the next few days when you’ll find Box Busters episodes devoted to 2010 Topps Baseball, 2009-10 Upper Deck Trilogy Hockey, 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Baseball and 2009 Topps National Chicle Football.

The good news: There’s something in just about every box we open that we give back to collectors. So stay tuned.

— Tracy Hackler

Jack Brisco's legacy can't be found on cardboard

Two-time National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Champion and highly decorated former Oklahoma State wrestler Jack Brisco died on Monday after complications following open-heart surgery at age 68.

While his pro career was largely over by the time Vince McMahon revolutionized wrestling with the World Wrestling Federation and a guy Brisco helped discover — Hulk Hogan — in the late-1980s, Brisco’s career was one full of influence and success, though many fans may not know much about his achievements. (Read the linked column by The Baltimore Sun‘s wrestling writer Kevin Eck.)

Brisco appears on just seven wrestling cards in the Beckett.com database, his first in the 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A set (card No. 7; $2.50) and the rest produced by Topps, the lone WWE card licensee, since 2007. (Brisco is paired with his brother, Gerald, on WWE Legends cards from Topps.)

Read more after the jump…

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MLB Properties files lawsuit against Upper Deck

This sure didn’t take long …

Major League Baseball Properties filed suit against Upper Deck in a New York federal court on Monday alleging that the Carlsbad, Calif-based company is in violation of its trademarks in a pair of recently released baseball card products.

On Friday, MLBP issued a statement that it would “vigorously use all legal means to protect the intellectual property of Major League Baseball and its member Clubs.”

The filing notes that Upper Deck owes MLB Properties $2.4 million and that the company’s actions are “reflective of a pattern of utter disrespect for the contractual and intellectual property rights of those from whom it licenses valuable trademarks.”

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Box Busters: 2010 Press Pass 8 Seconds rodeo cards

Join Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck, Tracy Hackler, Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they open a pair of the new 8 Seconds rodeo cards from Press Pass in this extra-special edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out … click here to see the video.

In The Game Creates 2010 Olympic Hockey Collectibles

The Winter Olympics happen once every four years and for as long as NHL players take part in it, the hockey collectibles market will always be a bit more exciting this time of the year. National pride takes over.

To take advantage of that product-peddling patriotism and the Vancouver games, In The Game has announced that it will be offering direct to collectors a special group of autograph and memorabilia cards beginning Feb. 5.

Cards will be produced in four different card categories – autograph cards, game-used jersey cards, game-used patch cards and autographed game-used jersey cards – and will be limited to just 10 cards of each player in each category.

All cards will go on sale Friday at the In The Game store. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don’t miss your favorite players when they become available.

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