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Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Beckett Baseball Artball contest winners are …

We received quite a few creative entries in our Beckett Baseball artball contest and we’ve selected the winners, each of whom will receive one of the artballs we found in boxes of TRISTAR World Treasures.

The winners are:

Mayumi Seto (right), for her four-panel baseball featuring ornate ink drawings of the four members of Bon Jovi.

Dori Gronich, for her three-dimensional dragon baseball collage, which featured the baseball as Earth complete with cotton ball clouds (one of few entries that added to the baseball itself)

Arnulfo Luna, for his Nolan Ryan Express baseball, which had a drawing across the entire sweet spot and a full panel of the ball.

Each of them will receive an artball — randomly selected and already mailed — from the TRISTAR World Treasures product. Check out each of their baseballs in a mini gallery after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010 Sweet Spot football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2010 Sweet Spot football cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Beckett Grading Services opens New York City office

Beckett Grading Services has opened an office in New York City for collectors in and around the area to submit cards for grading in-person.

Conveniently located near Times Square, the office is located at 135 W. 50th Street on the 14th floor. The office accepts submissions by appointment only, but those who use the office for submissions receive free shipping and insurance on all submissions, which are then sent to Dallas for grading.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact BGS Regional Sales Manager Charles Stabile via phone at 212-375-6760, fax at 212-375-6738 or email at cstabile@beckett.com.

As always, grading information and regularly occurring offers can be found at www.beckett.com/grading

Panini releases Donruss Elite Extra Edition checklist — no Bryce Harper there, either

Panini America released its 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition checklist on Monday but, like Topps’ 2010 Bowman Draft, the elusive prospect that many a baseball collector is hunting –Bryce Harper — was nowhere to be found.

But what was included in its 200-card checklist is a deep crop of baseball prospects, many of whom signed autographs for what could be the company’s final Collegiate Licensing Company product for some time. Its deal with the CLC for non-football products has expired making way for Upper Deck‘s CLC exclusive to begin this fall.

The set will include more than 100 signers — a good number of them signing on-card — as well as a Pamela Anderson Pepperdine autograph, limited to just 35 copies.

The on-card autograph checklist consists of 33 players, while the rest signed stickers for inclusion in the product.

See the checklist and additional images after the jump.

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First Look: 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear Football

Panini America officials on Monday released preliminary product information and images for 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear Football, a product that arrives in early December carrying a $6 pack SRP and slated to deliver two autographs, two memorabilia cards, 18 rookies and nine additional insert or parallel cards per 18-pack box.

The two autograph cards per box will be numbered to 330 or less.

2010 Gridiron Gear will mark the sixth consecutive installment of the product known in recent years for picking up the pioneering Rookie Hidden Gems Autographs pull-out swatch concept that first appeared in 2001 Playoff Honors. The idea is still coveted all these years later. The product also includes the tried-and-true Plates and Patches prime-patch jersey insert (numbered to 100 or less), NFL Gridiron Signatures featuring “on-field” autographs of retired and current NFL stars (numbered to 50 or less).

And perhaps it’s just my blatant Tim Tebow bias on display, but that Rookie Orientation design is quite attractive — you know, as far as card aesthetics go.

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Box Busters: 2010 Topps Triple Threads baseball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they each rip into a box of the not-even-out-yet 2010 Topps Triple Threads baseball cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Two Minutes with Detroit Lions Superstar Rookie Jahvid Best

The statistics speak for themselves: Two games, 268 total yards and five touchdowns. Indeed, in way more than surname, Detroit Lions do-it-all running back Jahvid Best is, ahem, the best rookie of 2010 so far – by far.

He’s off to a roaring start in the NFL with consecutive scintillating performances in narrow losses to the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles. If the former Cal Bear burner keeps this up, he’ll have Offensive Rookie of the Year honors wrapped up by Week 6; heck, at this pace, he’ll have MVP honors all but clinched by then, too.

In two short weeks, Best has separated himself from 2010 rookie classmates such as C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow on the field; as a result, he’s also swiftly catching up with them in the hobby.

In this exclusive interview, Best discusses his collecting cousins, seeing himself on a football card for the first time and just what he thinks about what Ndamukong Suh thinks about him.

What does having your own NFL trading card mean to you?
“It means a lot. It definitely means that somewhere some fans care about me and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s who I’m playing for; so it means a lot to me.”

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Box Busters: 2010 Epix football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of the not-even-out-yet 2010 Epix football cards from Panini America in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out …

First Look: 2010 Topps Supreme Football

On the heels of releasing 2010 Topps Platinum Football and just days before the launch of 2010 Topps Finest Football, company officials on Friday unveiled preliminary information and images teasing 2010 Topps Supreme Football, the company’s new high-end, hit-per-pack product due out in January.

Supreme promises one “low-numbered autograph, autograph relic or relic card” in every four-card pack/box. According to the product’s promotional materials, each 16-pack case of Topps Supreme will yield  three Autograph Relics, two autographed Rookie Cards, one single autograph, one multi-player autograph, an additional autograph from that lineup and eight memorabilia cards.

As you might imagine, Supreme features a savory ensemble of tantalizing book cards highlighted by three unique Eight Autograph cards numbered to 5. Other book cards are used for Autographed Six-Piece Relics (numbered to 25 with a 1/1 Patch version), Autographed Double Jumbo Relics (numbered to 10 with a 1/1 Patch parallel) and Eight Piece Relics (numbered to 25 with Patch and  Blue parallels numbered to 1 and 10, respectively).

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Box Busters: 2010 Topps Finest Football

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The man-handling Beckett Football team mauls an early box of 2010 Topps Finest Football while discussing, of all things, Twitter, a 17-year-old shirt and 1993 Collector’s Edge John Elway Prisms. Oh, yeah, the guys also pull a few pretty sweet cards.

Box Busters Gallery: 2010 Topps Finest Football

Beckett football fanatics Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler mauled an early box of 2010 Topps Finest Football on Friday, revealing a sparkly spectacle steeped in Refractor and Atomic Refractor printing technologies with a slightly high-end predisposition.

Sporting a $10-per-pack SRP, each six pack mini box (two per master box) revealed either a dual relic autograph card or a rookie patch autograph card (both of which are really nicely done), a healthy dose of dazzling sheen and a rather ho-hum base set.

The must-see episode of Box Busters should be posted shortly. Until then, enjoy this shining first-look gallery of the contents of a second box of a landmark product that’s been around since 1993.

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Preview Gallery: 2011 Topps baseball cards

Topps released even more images teasing its 2011 baseball card set on Friday afternoon as the company ramps up its offerings for its Diamond Anniversary of making baseball cards.

The 60th anniversary will include some new offerings and some surprises, but the details are being kept under wraps.

For now, just examine the images after the jump — and  offer your two cents on what you see with our poll or via the comments.

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Preview Gallery: Upper Deck's 2009-10 The Cup hockey cards

Upper Deck is busy packing out its highest of the high-end products this weekend, 2009-10 The Cup, and the company has offered up a sneak peek at many of the autographed game-used patch cards that can be  found inside each box.

The Cup will include two autographed patch cards in every box, one of those being a rookie, so there will be plenty of on-ice excitement inside when it arrives on Oct. 1.

See a monstrous gallery after the jump.

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First Impressions: 2010 Panini Epix Football

Boasting a plethora of downright dazzling printing technologies, Panini America’s 2010 Epix Football is sure to command a special place in the hearts of collectors who coveted the concept when it first arrived more than 13 years ago.

When it hits hobby shops next Wednesday, it may just capture the hearts of a whole new audience, too.

Although it’s a been-there-done-that idea, Epix feels rather, well, epic — partly because it’s been gone for far too long and partly because its blast-from-the-past parallels and namesake inserts feel unlike anything else in the football market today. It’s an absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder type of thing that just works.

In a hobby perhaps overly preoccupied by autograph and memorabilia content, it’s nice to see a product deliver that plus whiz-bang print wizardry simply for whiz-bang print wizardry’s sake. Epix packs an appealing variety of visually-stunning effects with unique appearances that seem to change depending on how the light hits them.

According to Panini America Football Brand Manager Carlos Torrez, the product’s base-set Silver, Gold and Platinum parallels are produced with a holographic pattern UV-coating called “holokote.” Each card surface produces a mesmerizing pattern in direct light. Blessed with the luxury of direct sunlight, that effect is only intensified. (For the record, even the product’s Tim Tebow-graced packaging is printed using holokote.)

Holding a holokoted Epix card is like clutching one of those beloved Mattel hand-held  electronic football games, but with the added benefit of color photography. For those who don’t know what that is, I pity you.

As for other random thoughts from an early box of 2010 Panini Epix Football . . .

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NFL Player of the Day returns for 11th season

The NFL Player of the Day program has gotten cool stuff into collectors hands for more than a decade now and as it starts its 11th season there’s no end in sight.

The promotion offers up a chance at 50,000 prizes and the chance to spend the day with an NFL player. It launched Wednesday and runs through Nov. 30 at more than 550 hobby shops. You can find a hobby shop involved with the program at www.nflpod.com.

In the past, the program was a joint effort between the NFL licensees, but Panini is now the title sponsor of the program. It also is supported by NFL PLAYERS and its licensees, Gamewear, The Licensed Products Company, McFarlane Toys, WinCraft, Reebok, and PSG.

The hobby shops involved receive a free merchandise kit with materials for he promotion, including posters, T-shirts and a variety of prizes supplied by participating licensees.

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First look: 2011 Topps baseball cards

Topps released the first look at its 2011 baseball card set on Thursday with the above image of an Albert Pujols card from its Diamond Anniversary set, which will arrive in early 2011.

As with the last few releases, Topps has opted for a white border and a subtle use of foil stamping in its design. The look has a similar feel to last year’s base set, but with a larger photo frame and a slightly smaller presence for the team logos as Topps enters its second season as the official licensee of MLB cards.

We’ll have more on this upcoming product in the coming days.

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

Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best Named 'Topps Rookie of the Week'

Topps kicked off its season-long Rookie of the Week program earlier this week by naming Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best as its Topps Rookie of the Week on the strength of Best’s debut two-touchdown performance against the Chicago Bears.

The program is being conducted all season long at participating Topps Home Team Advantage, or  HTA, hobby shops.  Customers in those stores who purchase 2010 Topps football products are eligible to receive Rookie of the Week redemption cards.

Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Topps will name a new “Rookie of the Week.” Holders of redemption cards for that particular week can log onto the program website to receive their free Player of the Week card.

Topps fills in 2010 Bowman Draft Picks autograph checklist — but there's no Bryce Harper … yet

When Topps released its 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects preliminary checklist recently, it appeared that “The Home of the Rookie Card” was populated by one not-so-popular player named TBD — To Be Determined.

While TBD still exists in its lineup, the lone fully licensed manufacturer of Major League Baseball cards released an updated version of the checklist for the always anticipated prospect-laden product, helping soothe the concerns of prospectors buying in bulk, hoping to bank on the big-name prospects with the most promise inside those heavily broken mylar wrappers.

While the biggest name of them all — Bryce Harper — is still nowhere to be found — not even on an Aflac autograph as he has apparently not yet signed — Topps has confirmed the following players for Bowman Draft as Chrome Autograph Prospects:
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First look: 2010 Topps WWE Platinum

Topps‘ latest WWE wresting card set will have a bit more high-end feel — but with a “vintage” read on the card backs.

The lone licensee of WWE trading cards revealed on Wednesday its plans for 2010 Topps WWE Platinum, which will include one autographed Relic card, one autographed card and an additional Relic in every 24-pack hobby box.

The card backs in the 125-card base set will be written by Raw announcer Michael Cole, whose calls and style have been known to rile up a few wrestling fans. But it will be this product’s higher-end approach that should get wrestling collectors riled up even more when it arrives in late-December.

As with the last Topps WWE release, there also will be signed Relic cards as well as 1/1 Red parallels and printing plates.

Each hobby box also will include a dozen insert cards and four serial-numbered parallels, while every six-box case will include a triple Relic limited to 99 or fewer copies.

See more images and highlights from the preliminary checklist after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010 Topps UFC

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Bryan Hornbeck as they have their way with an early box of 2010 Topps UFC cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …