Monthly Archives: July 2010

First look: 2010 Bowman Platinum baseball cards

Topps released the basic product information and preview images for its newest prospect-laden line, Bowman Platinum, on Friday, a product that carries some high-end possible hits at a lesser price point.

Set to arrive in mid-November, the new line will include two on-card autographed Refractors and one autographed patch card per 24-pack box. Each pack will include three Platinum cards and two Chrome prospect cards.

The Platinum Chrome autographs will all be signed on-card and the checklist includes 48 minor league stars, all with SuperFractors and Printing Plates as well as Red, Blue and Green Refractor parallels. (The most plentiful cards are numbered to 199, while Reds are limited to 10.)

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Box Busters: 2010 Press Pass Showcase racing cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Tracy Hackler as they rip into a box of 2010 Press Pass Showcase racing cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside the highest of high-end racing sets?

Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2009-10 National Treasures basketball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Keith Hower as they rip into a pair of 2009-10 National Treasures boxes from Panini America in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside each $400 box?

Watch and find out …

First Look: 2010 Topps Unrivaled Football

Topps officials on Thursday afternoon released preliminary information and images on 2010 Topps Unrivaled Football, a brand new product due out in mid November delivering two rookie autographs and one patch autograph per box.

The rookie autographs are variations of the 50 base RCs and include Platinum hobby-only 1/1s, Red parallels numbered to 10 and Black parallels numbered to 99. Unrivaled also features the hobby-exclusive Six Sigs Rookies book cards and Quad Rookies four-signature book cards (both #’d to 10).

Unrivaled’s autograph patch card roster consists of a base 60-card Patch Relics insert (40 rookies, 20 veterans) paralleled again by Platinum, Red and Black versions. There are also Jumbo Patches (#’d to 15), Dual Jumbo Relics (#’d to 15) and Dual Jumbo Patches (#’d to 10) enticements.

The 150-card set (including 50 RCs numbered to 999) is joined by seven different base parallels, including the veteran-only Unrivaled parallel (one in six packs), and Platinum and Printing Plate hobby-only 1/1s. The base relic offering includes Unrivaled Triple Relics (one legend, one superstar veteran, one rookie), Rookies, Veterans and Greats versions.

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Mandatory, Massive Gallery: 2010 Press Pass Showcase Racing

The day that racing collectors have been anxiously anticipating for the better part of a year arrived today with the release of 2010 Press Pass Showcase Racing, the heavily anticipated followup to last year’s history-making debut of the most expensive racing product in trading card history.

Showcase’s 2009 premiere was one the most talked-about sports card releases of the year and it lived up to its billing with a stunning ensemble of some of the greatest racing cards ever made. Judging by the massive gallery that follows, it would appear that 2010 Showcase is every bit as alluring.

Showcase’s $225 boxes include three five-card packs, each including one autograph or memorabilia card. The 51-card base set is bolstered by four unique autograph programs, three unique memorabilia programs and five sequentially numbered parallel levels.

For those of you partaking in the Showcase thrill ride in the coming days, enjoy. For those of you who just want to window shop or kick the tires first, feast your eyes on this . . .

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Ever wonder how many 1/1 cards have been made?

I personally love it when a 1/1 is found in a Beckett Box Busters box and “outrage” erupts from a seemingly always agitated few.


Because the 1/1 is nowhere close to being what it used to be.

Ever wonder how many 1/1s have been made?

Well, I looked up last year’s total — just for baseball.

It will surprise you. Find out how many were made after the jump …

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Incoming! New Arrivals for 2009-10 National Treasures Basketball

Panini America‘s first foray into ultra-high-end basketball card production becomes official one week from today with the release of 2009-10 Playoff National Treasures, a $400-for-eight-cards proposition that guarantees its fair share of thrills among its eight cards per pack.

When the stakes are as high as they are with a hand-packed, super-premium product like this one, card manufacturers will wait until the last possible second to complete pack out in order to squeeze every last card into production.

That, of course, means lots of jaw-dropping jewels featuring lots of superstar players have been creating lots of excitement inside Panini America headquarters in recent days. Jaw-dropping jewels such as . . .

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Stephen Strasburg 1/1 Red autograph card sells for $17,000

The premiere Stephen Strasburg card from 2010 Bowman — his 1/1 Red autograph — sold for $17,000 (not including any additional fees) after 10 bids Wednesday evening in an auction that ran for a good portion of this month with Huggins and Scott.

The Silver Spring, Md.-based company’s auction of the card opened at $9,000 after it was found by a collector in Florida who initially opted for an eBay auction that ended with plenty of bad bids.

The card jumped from $12,000 to $17,000 on its final day, prompting overtime in the auction. It had been set to end at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time but ended at 11:30 p.m. Eastern as interested bidders were allowed extra time if they remained interested if a bid was placed late.

The card came up short of the highest price paid for a Strasburg card from 2010 Bowman, though this card’s status as a 1/1 autograph clearly trumps the other card.

The Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman has been sold twice since it was discovered — on eBay for $16,403 and to Razor Entertainment’s Brian Gray for $21,403.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Upper Deck unveils signed LeBron Heat memorabilia

Upper Deck released the first glimpses of its new LeBron James autographed Miami Heat memorabilia on Wednesday, a small assortment of items marking The King’s decision to take his talents to South Beach.

The initial assortment from Upper Deck Authenticated includes the autographed photo seen above, limited to 100 pieces, an NBA basketball branded with the Heat logo and, of course, the autographed jersey.

Prices for the items was not announced, but the company pointed interested fans toward for details to come soon.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Box Busters: 2010 Topps Tribute baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of the high-end 2010 Topps Tribute baseball card set in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside these boxes?

Watch and find out … and you can find out how to win the sweetest cards from these boxes in future issues of Beckett Baseball.

Collect Call: Talking with a serious Michael Jordan collector

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler as he talks to Lou Costabile, a serious collector of rare Michael Jordan basketball cards in this edition of Collect Call.

Box Busters: 2010 Classics football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2010 Classics football cards from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find? Watch and find out.

Famous Fabrics Second Edition Impresses — Without a License

What In The Game patriarch Dr. Brian Price lacks in big-time league licensing, he more than makes up for by continuing to push the creative envelope when it comes to high-end multisport, multi-generational products.

For the latest case in point, look no further than Famous Fabrics Second Edition, a simply majestic memorabilia-card marvel from Price’s Creative Cardboard Concepts label due to drop next week at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore.

Devoid of player photography and the always-welcomed stamp of approval that player and league licensing affords, the product manages to sparkle anyway thanks to the historic nature of its content and the innovative high points of its development.

The checklist alone is arguably the most comprehensive ever assembled in terms of sports and eras touched. No less than 20 sports or disciplines are represented (the big four plus mixed martial arts, golf, boxing, soccer, horse racing, poker, professional wrestling, auto racing, bicycling, gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, swimming, ice skating, coaching, announcing and even dare-deviling). The fact that Price and his people even managed to acquire memorabilia for such a far-reaching roster is a commendable feat in and of itself.

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First Look: 2010-11 Score Hockey

Panini America officials on Tuesday released preliminary product information and images for 2010-11 Score Hockey, the company’s highly anticipated fun-and-affordable-for-all-ages product that will release in mid October.

The product — initially expected to be Panini’s premiere release under its new hockey license — will follow Certified into the market but will pack a bevy of its own distinctive bells and whistles, not the least of which are a$.99 pack price and a massive 550-card base set that includes 50 rookies.

In a nod to Score Hockey’s landmark first release in 1990-91, this new-generation version includes a little of the old (36 packs per box and throwback inserts such as The Franchise and Snow-Globe Die-Cuts) with a lot of the new (autograph cards seeded one per case, including on-card BuyBacks from the original 1990-91 set).

Each box will deliver 18 Rookie Cards, 36 Glossy inserts, 12 additional insert cards and one Rookie Redemption card that collectors can exchange for an early card of a hot 2010-11 rookie.

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Chris Bosh's First Heat Autograph to Arrive at The National

Last week, Beckett Media’s Chris Olds was the first to report that the first Miami Heat trading cards of new teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh would be part of Panini America‘s wrapper redemption program at next month’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore.

Today, Beckett Media confirmed that Bosh’s first Miami Heat certified autograph trading card will be part of that wrapper redemption, too.

First Look: 2010 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football

Panini America officials on Monday offered the first glimpses of 2010 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football, the $40, hit-per-pack product launching in early October that annually delivers the most coveted Rookie Cards of the early NFL season.

Rookie Premiere Materials RCs, Absolute Memorabilia’s instantly recognizable calling cards, return in full force; from the looks of the early sales material, so do some absolutely breathtaking oversized patch pieces.

Every autograph card in the set is numbered to 299 or less and every memorabilia card in the product is numbered to 100 or less. Each four-pack, box of Playoff Absolute Memorabilia should deliver one rookie or veteran autograph card, one Rookie NFL Die Cut Material autograph card, two memorabilia cards, two Rookie Cards numbered to 299 or less and two additional insert or parallel cards and eight base cards.

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First Strasburg National Topps Heritage card sells for $869 in charity fund-raiser

Update: The card sold for $869.

The first copy of the 2010 Topps Heritage National Sports Collectors Convention card of Washington Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg has hit the auction block benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes foundation.

The card, No. 1/999, is available on eBay right now.

The other 998 copies of the card will be available during limited times at the Topps booth during the NSCC, which starts next week in Baltimore, Md. There is a limit of one card per person per day if they open packs of cards at the company’s booth during the show.

The winner also will receive a VIP Pass to the National, which includes 12 free VIP celebrity star autographs, all promotional cards given to VIPs as well as entrance into the private VIP Party among other benefits.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Matt Garza throws first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history

Matt Garza‘s no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers Monday night in St. Petersburg was the first in Tampa Bay Rays history — and the fifth this season, The Year of the Pitcher.

Garza was one of nine pitchers we spotlighted recently in Beckett Baseball No. 53. At that time, Garza’s 420 baseball cards carried a total value of $2,023.75 — an average of $9.64 per card for all of those that are not too rare to establish a reliable price range.

Garza, one of many former Minnesota Twins pitching prospects, carried a 10-5 record and a 4.36 ERA into Monday night’s game. His Rookie Cards from 2005 include Bowman Sterling, Bowman Chrome Draft, Topps Chrome Update and Topps Update among others.

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First Impressions: 2010 Classics Football

I managed to get my grubby paws on an early box of 2010 Classics Football earlier today. Stay tuned tomorrow for another riveting episode of Box Busters. Until then, here are some random observations — and an interest-piquing preview gallery — from one box.

* While Classics’ overall base design likely won’t overwhelm you, the looks of Membership, Team Colors and Flashback Fabrics probably will. The attention to detail on Membership will make you think your card has a crease on it.

* Flashback Fabrics, the insert provides a nice, tidy opportunity to incorporate dated game-worn inventory without looking way out of place. The Terrell Owens we pulled included a rather juicy patch from one of TO’s old Eagles jerseys; seems like forever ago that Owens was flying high in Philly.

* Many of the cards in this set seem particularly susceptible to chipping. Handle with care.

* All four RCs and both Significant Signatures autographed parallels feature photography of the respective rookies in their NFL uniforms. That’s a good thing.

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PSA 8.5 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sells for $130K

Aug. 16 Update: The pack sold for $21,404, while the PSA 8.5 Mickey Mantle card sold for $130,000

“Let’s play two” is an understatement of how exciting this one is.

Ernie Banks‘ memorable phrase comes to mind when two of the biggest PSA-graded gems from 1952 Topps hit the bloclk– even though Mr. Cub wasn’t around to be found in those packs.

Up for grabs as part of Memory Lane‘s Summer Treasures auction, found now at, are a PSA 8.5 Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card and a PSA 8 wax pack from the famed set. Only 10 Mantles have graded higher from PSA.

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Bustin' Blasters: 2010 Allen & Ginter baseball cards

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds rips into some 2010 Allen & Ginter boxes in search of the elusive white whale … err, the Stephen Strasburg mini.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out.

Part 1 is above… Part 2 is after the jump.

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First look: 2010-11 Panini Prestige basketball cards

Panini America revealed its first basketball set for 2010-11 — its sophomore season as the NBA’s lone trading card licensee — and it’s Prestige leading the way.

Set to arrive on Sept. 29, Prestige will include a rookie in every pack and each 24-pack hobby box will include one autograph, one NBA Auto Draft Class card (limited to 499 or less) and two memorabilia cards.

Oh, and perhaps Panini’s biggest selling point? There are more than 20,000 on-card autographs to be found in this product.

Eight-card packs will carry a $4 suggested retail price.

The set will mark the first cards of No. 1 overall pick John Wall as well as autographs from Panini-exclusives Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson. It also will include the first Knicks autographs of Amar’e Stoudemire as well as debut autographs of Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer in their new uniforms.

Among the autograph checklist are Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Shaquille O’Neal, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Tyreke Evans, Rajon Rondo, Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, Elgin Baylor and Alonzo Mourning.

See more images from the set after the jump.

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Topps will release Heritage Stephen Strasburg card at National Sports Collectors Convention

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg will be at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention next month in Baltimore, Md.

On cardboard, that is.

Topps revealed on Wednesday that collectors who open 10 packs of 2010 Topps or Bowman packs (except Attax, Opening Day and 99-cent cello packs) at the company’s booth during the show will receive a Strasburg 2010 Topps Heritage card (No. NCC1).

The card will be limited to just 999 copies and will be available in limited quantities at certain times during the show, which runs from Aug. 4-8.

Collectors will be limited to one card per person per day.

Panini America releases additional details for 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition

Panini America released additional information on its forthcoming 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball set on Tuesday, the most notable nugget being that the product will include Elite Legacy buyback autographs from the last decade of releases.

Scheduled to arrive on Sept. 29, Elite will include six autographs in each 20-pack box with five-card packs carrying  a suggested retail price of $5 a pack. In addition, each box will include one Elite Series insert and one School Colors insert card.

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LeBron James' first Miami Heat card arrives at The National Sports Collectors Convention

The Heat is on — LeBron James’ back and now cardboard, too.

Panini America, the only officially licensed manufacturer of NBA trading cards has unveiled the first card of James in his new uniform, a card that will only be found at the National Sports Collectors Convention next month in Baltimore, Md.

Collectors who open five packs of current Panini NBA or NFL cards at the company’s booth during the show will receive a pack of cards specially made for the event that runs Aug. 4-8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

James is one of 50 athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL and college baseball ranks who will appear in the company’s National set. There will be rarer Green and Blue parallels (rarer versions numbered to 50 and 25 respectively) of the card to be found as well.

Also to be found in the set? Chris Bosh’s first Heat card, too.

Historically, a high-profile player’s first few cards showing him with his new team command serious attention. For example, Michael Jordan‘s first standard-issue (not limited) Washington Wizards cards routinely sold for $25 apiece around the time of his arrival in Washington, said Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Keith Hower.

“It will probably be the most popular card on the market,” Hower said of the first James Heat card. “And most likely the most expensive base card of the year.”

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Panini America unveils plans for this year's National Sports Collectors Convention

Panini America announced its plans for next month’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore on Monday evening with the highlight being a 50-card multi-sport set featuring NFL, NBA, NHL and college stars.

Collectors who open five packs of current NFL or NBA product at the company’s booth will receive a pack of cards from the set, which will include LeBron James (in new uni?), Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Tyreke Evans (and others) from the NBA.

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Collegiate Licensing Company official clarifies contract details

A Collegiate Licensing Company official has clarified the details of the company’s deal with Upper Deck in the wake of Panini America‘s announcement of a CLC-approved baseball card set arriving in September.

Panini unveiled plans for its 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition set on Friday, which seemed to fly against the previously announced CLC exclusive signed with Upper Deck last year.

Despite the deal, the Panini set is fully authorized by the CLC.


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TRISTAR's Obak returns at The National

Obak is back once again.

TRISTAR‘s tobacco card-styled Obak baseball set, which arrived last year about a century after its namesake, will return for 2010 with a debut at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, Md. , early next month.

This year’s Obak set marks the 100th anniversary of the originals and each and every card will be printed on old-style recycled cardboard to give the throwback cards an even more distinct look and feel.

Each 20-pack hobby box will include four autographs (numbered to 125 or less), two parallels, one T212 mini parallel card, three short-prints and one T4 Cabinet Card. Each 24-box case will include one Hot Box that will have 10 autographs and a mix of 25 other “hit-type” cards.

See more — with a gallery of images — after the jump.

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TRISTAR will launch latest TNA Wrestling set — TNA Icons — with appearances at National Sports Collectors Convention

TRISTAR unveiled its latest TNA Wrestling card set — TNA Icons — on Saturday and it will launch the latest product with appearances from several wrestlers at the National Sports Collectors Convention early next month in Baltimore, Md.

Among TRISTAR’s guests will be Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich.

Each of the TNA stars will appear on Saturday, Aug. 7, and will meet and greet fans at the event while also working autograph sessions.

TRISTAR has a Championship Package available for fans, which includes one of 400 limited edition TNA Icons boxes. Also included in the $129 package are two autographs on any items from all six wrestlers, four photo opportunities with the stars, and a show special TNA grab bag that will include show-exclusive cards. The limited edition boxes will include a National-exclusive autograph card of one of the guests — or Hulk Hogan.

Single autograph tickets for each of the TNA stars are also available.

See more images and learn more about the product after the jump.

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Topps readies 2010 Topps Sterling baseball cards — with Stephen Strasburg autographed Relics

Topps Sterling baseball returns for yet another season, arriving in early November with one autographed Relic or Relic limited to 10 or fewer copies along with a second Relic numbered to 25 in each and every box.

The company released the basic preview information — product checklist, images and breakdown — on Saturday.

Last year, the product introduced theme boxes, rather than player-focused assortments, and this year Topps has two new themes to be found among the various mixes — one for the first Hall of Fame Class, one for “The Five Ring Club” and one for “Rookie Phenoms.”

That last one includes a teaser … “you know who” … in the sales materials.

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Guest commentary: Sports Art For Less Than $100,000

by Russ Cohen

There is an eBay auction that caught my eye specifically because it had some “vintage” New York Rangers included in it. This 1968 Leroy Neiman oil painted masterpiece is valued at around $200,000 but the 89-year-old painter will let it go for $89,000.

The players involved are pretty special. That “No. 1” for the Rangers was Eddie Giacomin and his number has been hanging from the rafters from Madison Square Garden since 1989. It was the second number retired by the franchise. I love the way he’s playing so deep in the net (without a mask), very few goalies do that these days.

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Panini to make CLC-approved Elite Extra Edition baseball set

Panini announced on Friday that it will return to the baseball card market with 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, a fully licensed release approved by the Collegiate Licensing Company.

The set will include 200 players, 100 of those autographed, with each hobby box including six autographs when it arrives in September.

Each 20-box case will include four Hot Boxes, which will include 10 autographs.

We’ll have more on this product when it becomes available.

Upper Deck had signed an exclusive with the CLC earlier this year, but it appears that deal has been modified with the announcement of this product.

Bustin' Wax: WWE Heritage III Chrome (2008)

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a hobby box of 2008 WWE Heritage III Chrome wrestling cards from Topps in yet another throwback box break.

What will he find? Watch Part 1 and find out above.

Find Part 2 after the jump…

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Bustin' wax: 2009 Topps American Heritage

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a blaster box of 2009 Topps American Heritage — a throwback box break just for fun.

What will he find inside this history-laden Blaster Box? Watch and find out.

First Look: 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football

Topps officials on Thursday unveiled preliminary images and product information on 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football, the company’s perennial super-premium pigskin homage slated for release in early November.

New to the brand this year are Laundry Tag Book Cards, NFL Shield Relics and Jersey Sleeve Jumbo Team Patch Book cards. Every Relic card in the set includes at least three pieces of memorabilia and there are no less than 25 different 1/1 insert versions.

The product will include two six-card mini boxes per display box, with each mini delivering one Triple Relic numbered to 99 or less, two base parallels numbered to 525 or less and three base cards numbered to 1,350 or less. Every display box will include one Autographed Triple Relic.

Every 18-display-box case will yield a 1/1 Autographed Triple Relic and a Triple Autographed Triple Relic numbered to 36 or less.

There are 10 Autographed Triple Relic inserts in all, including:

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