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Monthly Archives: September 2010

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 …

This Michael Jordan basketball card remains a real gem

Most of you probably remember the Skybox Metal Universe sets of the mid-to-late 1990s and cringe.

But the card above, which is numbered to just 50 copies,  is one reason why those older wax boxes and wax packs should still be considered when wandering the aisles of a card show or digging around at your local card shop.

Why?

You’d be surprised what it recently sold for.

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First Impressions: 2010 Topps UFC

One of the most buzz-worthy product lines in the sports card universe over the last two years is on the verge of striking another solid blow when 2010 Topps UFC, the company’s fourth full-blown installment with the exclusive UFC license, releases to the masses next week.

Although some of this newest product’s pioneering elements — the UFC’s first book cards, fighter-worn hand tape cards and dual-signed cards featuring UFC president Dana White and his most popular athletes — will be tough to come by, that doesn’t stop 2010 Topps UFC from shining at the box level.

Topps unveiled the product in limited form at the UFC Fan Expo a few weeks back in Boston, but it will be available nationwide on Wednesday. Be sure to visit Beckett.com on Monday for a must-see episode of Box Busters. Until then, here’s hoping these first impressions and jaw-dropping images can tide you over . . .

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Box Busters: 2010 Topps Platinum Football

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Join Beckett Media‘s Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler as they have their way with an early box of 2010 Topps Platinum Football. It’s safe to say that one of them pulls one of the “Best” autographs in the product. Watch to find out which one.

Box Busters: 2009-10 Panini Hall of Fame Basketball

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Join the Beckett Basketball tag team of Keith Hower and Tracy Hackler as they get handsy with two boxes of the legends-laced thrill ride known as 2009-10 Panini Hall of Fame Basketball.

Completely Random Friday Poll: Which Would You Rather Pull From a Pack of Cards . . .

Mostly because polls are just so darn easy, revealing and fun to take (and partly because it’s Friday), we figured now was as good a time as any to get your take on another hot hobby issue. This time, we want to know . . .

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First Impressions: 2010 Topps Platinum Football

Football collectors, buckle your chinstraps. It’s about to get bumpy.

There’s an honest-to-goodness new-product free-for-all – you know, the thing that happens when you have more than one manufacturer in a given sport? – going on all around us, just in time for the start of football season.

Some might call it “Christmas in September.” Mostly, though, we collectors just call it awesome.

Indeed, the just-days-old 2010 Panini Threads and two-week-old Topps are about to be joined by the third new product in as many weeks: 2010 Topps Platinum, due out next Wednesday.

We managed to get our hands on an early couple of boxes earlier today. We’ll save one for a Friday-afternoon episode of Box Busters. As for the other one, well, we busted it so we could bring you these random thoughts and revealing images:

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The NFL's Must-Collect Players for 2010

Man, we thought the 2010 NFL season would never get here. I mean, it seems like forever ago that Drew Brees and the Saints – yes, the Saints – were winning Super Bowl XLIV, setting off a celebration in the Gulf Coast region that still hasn’t ended.

Everywhere else, the euphoria quickly subsided, vanquished by the dark recesses of something called the off-season. But now that a new season has arrived, officially starting Thursday night when New Orleans hosts Minnesota in an NFC Championship Game rematch, happy days are here again.

In honor of that, we present some of our choices for the must-collect players of 2010. We’ve profiled five players here. For the complete list of 10 – you know, 10 for ’10 – check out the October issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, on sale everywhere next week.

Some of our selections are no-brainers, a few will leave you scratching your head and one or two will likely have you questioning our sanity (if you don’t already). Perhaps the rationale behind each pick will help our case.

Either way, here’s to another fantastic NFL season. And by all means, if you disagree with our list send us yours (readersrock@beckett.com) and you might be profiled in a future issue of the magazine.

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Box Busters: 2010 Wheels Main Event Racing

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Beckett Media‘s Tim Trout and Tracy Hackler are joined by special guest Jesse Leadbetter, Press Pass Brand Manager, to bust the first box of 2010 Wheels Main Event.

What did they pull? Well, you’ll just have to watch and find out.

First Look: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey

In a hockey trading card season that promises to be full of history-making firsts and grand reintroductions, Panini America provided a sneak peek at the latest one Wednesday afternoon: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey.

Indeed, for the first time since the 1997-98 season, there will be a Donruss-branded hockey set for diehards to devour, complete with its own throwback Donruss logo and everything.

Due out in mid November, the product (five cards per pack, 24 packs per box, 12 boxes per case) carries a $4 pack SRP.

Returning to the product are longtime product standbys (50 Rated Rookies, Press Proof parallels and the Les Gardiens, Elite and Ice Kings inserts) and venerable brand staples such as Fans of the Game. Of course, there are plenty new-generation bells and whistles, too, including the Tough Times insert honoring the most fearsome enforcers of the 1980s (including on-card-autographed parallel versions) and Line of the Times memorabilia cards.

As of now, the Fans of the Game autograph lineup includes such celebrity hockey fans as Pamela Anderson, actor Michael Ontkean and folk singer Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Each box of 2010-11 Donruss Hockey should deliver two memorabilia or autograph cards, six Rated Rookies, three Boys of Winter, two Ultimate Draft, one Press Proof, one Les Gardiens, one Tough Times and one Fans of the Game.

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Press Pass Five Star Kicks High-End NASCAR Collecting into Another Gear

NASCAR collectors just thought Press Pass Showcase was as high-end as a racing card set could get when it launched to rave reviews just two years ago. In hindsight, they haven’t seen anything yet.

In late November, on the day before Thanksgiving, the company is releasing 2010 Press Pass Five Star, a super-premium product sure to give well-heeled racing enthusiasts plenty of things to be thankful for.

Each five-card wooden box of Five Star will deliver:

* A base card numbered to 35 or less
* A dual, triple quad or oversized memorabilia card numbered to 25 or less
* A certified autograph card numbered to 35 or less
* An autographed memorabilia card serial numbered to 50 or less
* A Classic Compilations book card featuring either an autograph, a piece of memorabilia or both

Two pieces of memorabilia incorporated in Five Star sure to command collector attention are Wrangler firesuits — one worn by Dale Earnhardt Sr. in 1981, the other worn by Junior during his 2010 victory at Daytona — that will be paired together on a historic Classic Compilations card.

Other drivers included on the Five Star roster include Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Bill Elliott, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick.

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