Monthly Archives: December 2010

Oh Canadadiana: ITG Celebrates being Canadian

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

On the verge of a new year, In the Game officials recently gave collectors one of many great things to look forward to in 2011. Putting it as plainly as possible, today’s newsletter explained, “In the Game celebrates being Canadian with the upcoming release of Canadiana.”

Filled with Canadian pop culture and history, this set presents an opportunity to collect and even learn about the heritage of the great white north. Appearing alongside rare and some familiar autographs, Canadian-born celebrities, athletes, artists and inventors add depth to the celebratory trading card context.

Although the pending release is old news by now, the hockey-happy manufacturer recently revealed new images of base cards, cut signatures and beyond. Nobody likes being called a hobby hoser, so check out these cards, eh? Read More »

Box Busters: 2010 Bowman Sterling football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into boxes of 2010 Bowman Sterling football cards from Topps in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out…

Box Busters: 2010 Topps Magic Football

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Join Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010 Topps Magic football cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: Ghost Whisperer Seasons 3-4

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Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of Ghost Whisperer Seasons 3-4 cards from Breygent Marketing in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps gives everyone a title shot with next UFC set

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps unveiled the latest offering in its UFC mixed martial arts trading card lineup on Thursday with UFC Title Shot, which will arrive in early May.

This latest chapter in the popular MMA line includes14 base cards in every pack and one autograph, one autographed Relic and two more Relic card in every 12-pack hobby box.

The set features autographs from current UFC champs as well as past winners along with a new inclusion — UFC Title Belt Plate Cards, which have a replica belt front embedded into the cards.

See more from this set after the jump.

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2010 Donruss Rated Rookies: All you want in one box

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

You have seen all the rookies this football season.

Some of them have lived up the hype. Others you would like to forget about. Then, there were rookies who just did their job and stayed out of them media spotlight.

No matter who that rookie was, there is a good chance you’ll find him in 2010 Donruss Football Rated Rookie Boxed Set.

You don’t have to comb through veterans in this set. This self-contained collection includes 100 Rated Rookies and one autograph for $19.99.

These cards should be out next week and it’s a cheap way to get your favorite NFL rookies.

There is an extensive photo gallery after the jump. Panini loves showing off its football.

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Card Gallery: 2010 Bowman Sterling Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Sometimes, the flatbed scanner just doesn’t do justice to a good-looking trading card.

Yesterday we busted open two boxes of 2010 Bowman Sterling football, knowing a few things from the get go.

Firstly, according to product history and on-box odds, we expected a hit-heavy ripping session with four autographs, two autograph Relics and 12 Relic cards to be exact. At around $250 per box, the Topps line is light on veterans, but loaded with attribute ample rookie pulls. It’s a high-end product, but when broken into $40-$50 packs yielding one autograph and two Relic cards, Sterling can be an affordable smile maker.

Secondly, we knew that the scanner couldn’t capture every shiny nuance on each card.

We scanned them anyways.

Before we pop up the official Bowman Sterling Box Busters video, we wanted to whet your whistle with this 12-card gallery. Read More »

For Canadians only: National Hockey Card Day Fun

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Canadians can rejoice on National Hockey Card Day.

Upper Deck will be featuring another promotion dedicated to some of Canada’s best hockey players. On Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, Upper Deck is giving away one free pack of cards just for visiting participating hobby shops in Canada.

The 16-card set focuses strictly on Canadian-born players and will feature athletes such as Taylor Hall, Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe.

See the complete checklist after the jump. Read More »

Nine-Year-Old Caps fan wins Upper Deck's 2011 Winter Classic Stick Kid promotion

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The Winter Classic is almost here and fans are geared up for the match up between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day.

But tomorrow, one 9-year-old boy gets to live a dream when he gets to be the 2011 Winter Classic Stick Kid, which was sponsored by Upper Deck.

A promotion was conducted last month where 50 children between the ages of 8 and 14 submitted essays as to why they should be picked.

Robert Janson of Oakton, Va., won.

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Why do you collect who you collect?

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s a simple question with not-so-simple answers most of the time.

Why do you collect who you collect?

For some, it’s a money thing. For some, it’s a fandom thing. For others, it’s a hometown hero thing — or some moment that latched their hobby targets onto a player.

For Beckett regular Abe Doctor, it was a visit to Chick-fil-A.

Really. And it involves a certain baseball player you’re probably well aware of from my showcasing my personal tastes here and there through the years.

Read his story after the jump … then please tell us who you collect — and why —  if you’re so inclined.

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Topps, PSA stand behind Legendary autographs

By Chris Olds | Editor

A heavily scrutinized Topps cut autograph card featuring the starting lineup of the 1927 New York Yankees is off the auction block and headed for additional examination.

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And So Begins Santa's Year-Long Vacation


By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

With his biggest project now out of the way, old St. Nick is taking a well-deserved vacation…probably somewhere sunny if I had to guess.

For years, hobby manufacturers have caught Claus on and off the job, playing football, dunking basketballs and enjoying other recreational activities. As you may have already seen in the current issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, these candid moments have made for an interesting array of Kringle cardboard.

Even though he’s gone into hiding for now, perhaps disguising himself as a portly Brian Wilson, we thought it would be nice to share a few of his trading card appearances. For the full scoop on Claus cards, look for the Oddities section in the latest copy of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

1991 Pro Line Portraits Autographs #NNO Santa Claus /200 ($60)

Carrying the DNA of Howie Long, Ernest Hemingway and a bag of NFL goodies, this Santa signed the Kringle card with the highest price, according to Beckett analysis.


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Christmas means presents and basketball in New York

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Christmas means presents, family and friends. In the sports world, it means a lot of basketball.

The NBA featured five games of some of the best teams and greatest historical rivalries in this year‘s edition.

The first game began with the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, who have played each other often on Christmas, but this was the first time since the Michael Jordan era the Bulls have played on Dec. 25. New York has played on Christmas more than 40 times.

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Box Busters: 2010 TRISTAR TNA Xtreme wrestling cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a pair of 2010 TRISTAR TNA Xtreme wrestling boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Limited football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2010 Limited Football packs from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010-11 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010-11 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2011 Topps Baseball packaging

By Chris Olds | Editor

The annual Topps baseball card set is one that always gets plenty of attention and often every little detail gets examined.

That’s what happens when you’re a product that has existed year-in, year-out for 60 years.

Here’s what you’ll need to be looking for when the cards arrive in February … a first look at the packaging, which features New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.

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.

2010-11 Donruss Basketball … Lots of pretty pictures

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today after looking at the 2010-11 Donruss Basketball card gallery.

These cards just feel oldschool. They feel like something I would have collected when I was just an itty, bitty kid – and that isn’t a bad thing.

Panini America released a massive preview on the product that releases on Jan. 5. There are a number of elements from with jersey cards, autographs, die-cards and flashy Holokote parallels.

Each box yields 24 packs with 10 (!) cards per pack. There are three autograph or memorabilia cards, and more than 20 die-cut cards per box.

The DUOS short-prints are available one in every other box.

What do you think of this product so far?

See the massive gallery after the jump.

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Topps signs Hank Aaron to autograph deal

By Chris Olds | Editor

First it was Sandy Koufax, now it’s “Hammerin’ Hank.”

Topps announced on Wednesday morning that it is adding former home run champ and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron to its 2011 autograph lineup — Aaron’s first signatures for the company in five years.

Aaron’s first 2011 autograph will be found in Topps Heritage as part of the Real One Autographs program, while he will also appear in 2011 Topps Tribute and the company’s inaugural 2011 Gypsy Queen baseball set.

The former Atlanta braves great last appeared on a Topps autograph card in 2005 — also in Topps Heritage — and on a 2005 Bowman Two of a Kind autograph card paired with potential future home run champion, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

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Panini aims to help fans get collecting kicks at Kids Foot Locker

Panini America has teamed up with Kids Foot Locker to produce an exclusive trading card set only available at the show retailer.

For every shopper who spends $20 on NBA-licensed items, they will receive a six-card packs of 2010-11 Rookies & Stars cards. They will include cards of Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson.

There will be more than 100 stores around the country involved with the promotion.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Kids Foot Locker to help promote, grow and strengthen the hobby of basketball-card collecting in this country,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America vice president of marketing. “This promotion represents a tremendous opportunity to turn passionate NBA fans into passionate NBA collectors.”

Bryce Harper launches Topps' 60th Anniversary celebration in 2010 Bowman Sterling

By Chris Olds | Editor

This year’s Bowman Sterling baseball card set may have been delayed into 2011, but some might say Tuesday’s news makes it worth the wait.

It’s Bryce Harper … and it’s autographed.

Topps announced on Tuesday that the 18-year-old No. 1 draft pick of the Washington Nationals will be part of a sneak preview of the company’s 2011 Diamond Anniversary autographs in Sterling, which will arrive on Jan. 19.

The inscribed cards will be found throughout 2011 Topps products, while Harper — who may not see major league action for a season or two — cannot. He’ll only appear in an MLB uniform in Bowman-branded products per the MLB Rookie Card rules for manufacturers. (Not that this card does not use an MLB logo.)

Harper, who is signed to Topps exclusively for autographs and memorabilia, signed a total of 60 cards with three inscriptions —  “Happy 60th Topps”, “Happy 60th” and “Happy Birthday Topps.”

Could Harper’s inclusion be a sign of what’s to come in 2011? Only time will tell.

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.

Tim Tebow Media Mix Tape: 'Gator-Bronco Man'

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

In case  you missed it, Panini America’s Tracy Hackler assembled somewhat of a “greatest hits on cardboard” gallery for the recently reaffirmed Tim Tebow.

Hackler took a preemptive maneuver to celebrate the rookie icon’s first NFL start; and thankfully for the quarterback, the Broncos and the hobby, Tebow shined in the face of scrutiny. Despite a Denver loss, the widely touted rookie lived up to his hype with 8 of 16 completed passes for 138 yards and a 40-yard touchdown run. Since Tebow has been named starting quarterback for the rest of the season, he has plenty of time to dispel doubt and rise even higher in the hobby.

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Panini offers collectors behind-the-scenes looks

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Panini America has been offering great insight into the card production business through a series YouTube videos that show the manufacturing process and more.

Most collectors just see the end product when they pick up a pack or a box of cards. They never get to see what goes into making the cards and what the process actually looks like — until now.

Panini has given the masses some exclusive looks, which includes collations and packing out cards. Even how some of the big hits are collated into boxes.

Video No. 1 (above): 2010 Donruss Gridiron Gear production with cuts, collation, packing and boxing.

See a few more videos after the jump.

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A look at 2010 National Treasures Football's memorabilia

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Panini America released more than just a sneak peek today. They provided images that practically have Sirens singing in the backgrounds.

They released a gallery of photos of the some of the game-used memorabilia that will become part of 2010 National Treasures Football.

And the expectations will be high after this.

Some of the swatches are from the league’s top players. Others are from some of the most sought after football stars. Either way, the product is on its way to becoming something football die-hard fans are going to chase after.

See a gallery of game-used swatches after the jump.

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Panini Previews New Heights: 2010-11 Pinnacle Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier today,  Panini America’s Tracy Hackler leaked a sneak peek at the “serendipitous return” of  Pinnacle Hockey.

After a 12-year snooze, the once grand hockey brand is set to awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed on March 16 in the form of 2010-11 Pinnacle Hockey. Unlike “Encino Man,” the line that was frozen in time isn’t waking up with any primitive dispositions, and it certainly won’t be found anywhere with Pauly Shore. Instead, the new and improved Panini-powered Pinnacle release will be loaded with contemporary collecting nuances and twists on its foundational features.

Staples like Museum Collection parallels and Artist’s Proofs will  be found four and one per box respectively. Bringing Pinnacle into the now, Panini is also packing each box with  four Ice Breakers Rookie Cards and one Tough Times insert.

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Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez will wear new Sox on 2011 Topps baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

The Boston Red Sox have been busy adding new talent this off-season and that means that Topps has been busy, too.

With a little help from Photoshop.

Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez — two players who will have cards topping the next Beckett Baseball Hot List — will appear in Red Sox uniforms in the 2011 Topps set, the company announced on Friday.

Because of their late additions, the cards will be short-prints.

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.

Beckett Select Auctions lands Legendary card

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Beckett Select Auctions, the consignment auction service division of Beckett Media, has sold a few notable cards through the years for collectors who wanted a bit more security with their high-dollar transactions.

This latest auction, which starts tonight, just might be one of the bigger items that Select has ever offered.

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer discuss one collector’s once-in-a-lifetime find with Beckett Select’s Dave Sliepka.

What’s the card? You’ll have to watch the video to find out…

For more on the auction of a legendary Topps creation or Beckett Select, visit

Once the auction goes live tonight, you will find the information right here.

Cleveland Indians legend Bob Feller dies at 92

By Chris Olds | Editor

Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, a Cleveland Indians legend known for his flaming fastball on the field and his prolific pen on the autograph circuit, died on Wednesday. He was 92.

Feller appears on a total of 1,692 baseball cards in the database — 607 of those being certified autographs and 470 being memorabilia cards.

His lone Rookie Card appears in the 1948 Bowman set, a $250 card.

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Leaf Announces 2010 MMA Wrapper Redemption Program

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Get out the hand sanitizer. Those wrappers don’t belong in the garbage.

For as few as  16 2010 Leaf MMA wrappers, collectors can redeem limited edition and exclusively signed cards from various fighters. Throughout the next few months, Leaf Trading Cards will reveal more specific redemption opportunities, so collectors can choose when to cash in.

To kick things off, the collectibles company is offering a limited (to 85) 2010 Leaf MMA Shogun Rua autographed card in exchange for 96 wrappers.

If you have (or plan on acquiring) wrappers from 2010 Leaf MMA, follow the instructions below to get this exclusive Rua piece. If you need to take a trip out to your trash can, please wear gloves.

Submit your 96 wrappers  in accordance with the following instructions: Read More »

Topps revives 1887 Gypsy Queen baseball for 2011 release

By Chris Olds | Editor

Move over Allen & Ginter, there’s a new queen in town.

Topps released the basic product information for its 2011 Gypsy Queen baseball card set on Wednesday, a retro-styled release modeled after the 1887 N174 set of the same name.

Scheduled to arrive in late-April, the Queen will deliver two autographed cards and two Relic cards in every 24-pack hobby box as well as a 10-card mini box inside.

The base set will consist of 450 cards — 50 of those short-printed variations — with a mix of current players, Hall of Famers and rookies in the mix. There will be seven base cards and three parallel cards in every pack.

See the images — and read more — after the jump.

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It's official: Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax signs with Topps

By Chris Olds | Editor

Legendary left-hander Sandy Koufax has signed an autograph deal with Topps and will appear on cards in it 2011 products, the company announced Wednesday.

Koufax will first appear in 2011 Topps and then in 2011 Topps Heritage, which is set to arrive in mid-March, followed by autograph and memorabilia cards in 2011 Topps Tribute.

The Hall of Famer, who won 165 games with the Dodgers from 1955-1966, hasn’t appeared on a substantial number of signed cards since signing an autograph deal with Donruss/Playoff, now Panini America, in the late 1990s. His last certified autographs were released in relatively small quantities in 2007 from Upper Deck.

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Rippin' Retail: 2010 Topps The Best of Chrome Value Box

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he opens a 2010 Topps The Best of Chrome Value Pack in this latest Rippin’ Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out.

Favre football for sale immediately after streak ends

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Brett Favre’s consecutive games started streak ended on Monday night when the long-time veteran and future Hall of Famer was inactive for the first time in 297 games.

Favre has been a starting quarterback in the league since 1992, longer than some Minnesota Vikings fans have been alive.
Favre didn’t waste any time in promoting the streak.

There is an official signed football with “297 starts 1992-2010” already being sold on for $499.99.

Football’s Ironman hasn’t signed any of the footballs yet. This is only for a pre-sale and the item should be available in 30 days, according to the site.

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Beckett Baseball No. 59 contest teaser

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds gives you a sneak peek at an item you have a chance to own if you pick up an upcoming issue.

Check it out.

Topps Continues to Tease Five Star Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

It’s like the experience of eating at a five-star restaurant, really.

Encouraging collectors to savor each and every single morsel of the upcoming high-end product, Topps released a few more photos of 2010 Five Star today. In a previous post, we showed off a few Favre autographs from Topps’ answer to other fine products in the industry’s exquisite treasure chest, but these hors d’oeuvres are coming in courses.

Under normal circumstances, this kind of delay between appetizer and entree would drastically reduce the server’s tip. However, the Five Star line (with a five-star price nearing $500) clearly takes some preparation. Before the manufacturer brings out the main course in February, this cardboard nosh will have to do for now. Read More »