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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Topps unveils wrapper redemption for 2011 baseball

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps wants you to save your hobby wrappers — and this time they’re telling you in advance.

The arrival of 2011 Topps is just around the corner and the longest-running manufacturer of baseball cards is celebrating its 60th anniversary in countless ways.

One of them, announced Tuesday, is a wrapper redemption program for 2011 Topps Series 1.

Read More »

Checking out 2010-2011 Upper Deck's NHL Ultimate

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With the NHL All-Star Game in less than a week, it’s never a bad time to look at hockey cards.

2010-2011 NHL Ultimate is gearing up to be a very impressive product on Upper Deck’s calendar, which is currently scheduled for mid-April.

We know how Ultimate works. You get one pack per box, and the hits can be worthwhile. Collectors can snag rare cards of players such as Alex Ovechkin, Mark Messier or Taylor Hall.

There are just four cards in a pack, but collectors get one autograph, one memorabilia and one rookie card in each pack. A 15-box case will yield one autographed-memorabilia card, three to four patch cards and three “A” Level autos on average.

Many of the best past and present players are included.

The NHL shield patch cards already seem to be favorite for some collectors.

Look for more pictures after the jump.

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Wizard magazine ceases publication after 20 years

By Chris Olds | Editor

Wizard magazine, the leading publication dedicated to comic books, has ceased publication after 20 years and a digital magazine will be launched in its place.

The first issue of Wizard arrived in July 1991. Its final edition is the one on shelves now as the magazine’s staff was reportedly let go today. A digital magazine will be forthcoming from Wizard World Inc., a company that  went public on Monday.

Wizard’s parent company had branched out to publish other magazines — ToyFare, for example — and promote comic book shows through the years while the scope of its flagship magazine had grown to include more than just comic books.

On Monday, Wizard founder Gareb Shamus, who is CEO of Wizard World Inc., announced that its Comic Con Tour will hit 12 cities this year and unveiled its plan to launch a digital magazine called Wizard World in February. That magazine will focus on pop culture via content on comic books, toys and more.

“This is a very exciting day for Wizard World and the industries it serves,” said Shamus in a news release. “Having the Tour produced by a public company provides additional opportunities to expand and grow the Tour. The new digital magazine Wizard World will give consumers the content they want in a magazine format with which they are familiar, but distributed in a form that is always available at any time on any device. It is a natural evolution for us in this market.”

Panini & NHLPA Offer MVP Jersey in 2011 NHL All-Star Contest

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Fortifying its role as a major hockey hobby player, Panini America has teamed up with the National Hockey League Players Association to deliver a sweet sweater from next week’s 2011 NHL All-Star Game.

Considering that the prize is a jersey worn by the game’s MVP, the rules are simple:

  1. Go to the 2011 All-Star MVP Challenge homepage
  2. Click to predict the All-Star MVP winner and register with your contact information
  3. Click Submit
  4. Wait, Watch, Bite Fingernails

Lucky fans who correctly select the MVP from the 42 options will be entered into a drawing to win a game-worn sweater from that player.

Mindful of making everyone a winner, Panini and the NHLPA joined forces to offer another incentive. Upon registering for the contest, every entrant will receive 10 free virtual NHL Adrenalyn cards with the use of  promo code, NHLPAMVP.

Super Bowl Champs cards back in eTopps

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With the NFL getting closer and closer to its Super Bowl champions, Topps has released a new set of Allen & Ginter Super Bowl Champions on its ETopps.com website.

The first three cards in the 15-card set were released on Monday with Howie Long, Jerome Bettis and Vince Lombardi.

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Upper Deck to Make a 2011 NHL All-Star Appearance

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

For the past two decades, Upper Deck has made an effort to promote hockey-card collecting at various NHL All-Star festivities. This year, the major manufacturer will make a three-day appearance at the 2011 NHL All-Star Fan Fair in Raleigh, N.C.

“We’re anticipating a great turnout, so we’ve come up with a highly sought-after lineup of All-Star redemption card sets to hand out each day of the show,” said Jodi Wasserman, Upper Deck’s Director of Marketing.

From Friday, Jan. 28 through Sunday, Jan. 30, thousands of fans can enjoy various programs organized by Upper Deck and other hockey advocates.

Bringing its wrapper redemption program to the booth, Upper Deck will offer one commemorative 2011 three-card All-Star pack to fans who open three packs of any 2010-11 Upper Deck hockey product (excluding Victory). These tribute packs come in three different versions, as listed below: Read More »

Box Busters: 2010-11 ITG Heroes & Prospects Hockey

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Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010-11 ITG Heroes & Prospects hockey cards in this latest editon of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

ITG Celebrates Miraculous '80s with Decades

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

“Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

Quoting broadcaster Al Michaels in a recent press release, In The Game officials highlighted a Team USA Gold Medal victory as one of the many hockey miracles that occurred in the 1980s. Pointing to an era of growth and rising stars in the sport, ITG revealed the historical significance of its upcoming Decades – 1980s product.

“Back in 2009, In The Game surveyed collectors to determine which year they would like to see covered as part of a special trading card release. The winner was 1972, but 1980 was a very close second,” said In The Game’s President Dr. Brian Price.

Scheduled to release in March, Decades will offer appearances from USA Gold Medal team members like Jim Craig and Mike Erzione, and other luminaries who debuted in the era. Prominent players like Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey, Patrick Roy, and Mario Lemieux first graced the ice as pros in the ’80s, thus adding a powerful allure to the set. Appearing throughout the 150-card base set, on inserts, and in game-used memorabilia cards, these greats add a strong foundation for the forthcoming release.

Beyond memorabilia and mugshots, big-name and cult-collected hockey heroes also impact the set with hard-signed autographs. Alongside Hall of Fame players like Mark Messier and Mike Gartner are signatures from underrepresented favorites like Barry Pedersen and Bob Sauve. Several players in this era-specific set will debut with their first-ever autographed trading cards.

Stay tuned for more information on In The Game’s Decades – 1980s.

Preview Gallery: 2011 Heroes & Prospects "Hits" S. 1

By Chris Olds | Editor

In The Game‘s foray into the baseball card market is inching closer toward a reality as 2011 Heroes & Prospects Baseball “Hits” Series 1 is set to arrive on Feb. 24 with a little something as its name suggests.

Hits.

Nothing more than hits.

Each box will contain five autograph or memorabilia cards — there are no base cards in the product — for a suggested retail price of $95. Every 12-box case will include a 1/1 card, while each master case is made up of four 12-box cases.

Although the product was announced at last year‘s National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, ITG has opted for a spring training-timed release.

The product is mostly prospect-driven but does include memorabilia and autograph cards of Hall of Famers, retired stars and current MLB players. Some of the notable signers include Johnny Bench, Tommy Lasorda, Yogi Berra, Tom Seaver, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly and Harmon Killebrew among others.

Notable prospects who signed for the set include Brandon Belt, Yonder Alonso, Wil Myers, Dellin Betances, Jameson Taillon, Kyle Drabek and Mike Trout to name a few.

What can you expect to find? See the images … after the jump.

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Danny Woodhead's cardboard drought will end soon — but don't expect any autographs

By Chris Olds | Editor

He’s a small-town guy from Nebraska who went to a small school — Chadron State — where he was the best player in the nation two years in a row as the winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy and destroyed the record books with 7,962 rushing yards and 109 touchdowns, both NCAA records.

He went undrafted in 2008 and toiled on the New York Jets practice squad before getting some playing time last season. He was cut earlier this year after getting attention on HBO’s Hard Knocks and featured treatment from Coach Rex Ryan‘s memorable mouth (“Look at that little *&^%$#$,” said Ryan, watching a preseason touchdown), only to sign on with the New England Patriots where he’s become a cult hero of sorts.

He’s a small-in-stature guy, just 5-foot-7 (though 200 pounds), who could probably blend in well behind the counter at your local fast food joint or working the shelves at Modell’s — after all, he has sold his own football jerseys in relative anonymity despite the fact that he scored six touchdowns this season while playing alongside the likes of Tom Brady and Wes Welker.

And worst of all? He has yet to appear on a single licensed NFL trading card released in pack form. (But that will soon change — keep reading.)

His name? Danny Woodhead.

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Anticipation Swells over Panini Plates & Patches

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Teasing collectors with a recently fast leak of 2010 Plates & Patches  Football preview images, Panini America is building anticipation over next week’s launch.

As previously mentioned, the brand new Panini brand will carry a $150-per-pack price tag with high-end bells and whistles galore. Collectors willing to drop the coin can expect four hits in total: one prime-piece memorabilia autographed Rookie Card, two more autographs and either an autograph or a memorabilia card. Surely far from shabby, the other per-pack pulls (two base cards, one parallel and one insert) are designed to compel as well.

Until hobbyists can get their hands on the product, this growing collection of digital eye candy will have to do. Read More »

Topps' 60th plan involves engagement ring promotion

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By Chris Olds | Editor

Move over Zales, Topps is taking over.

Topps unveiled on Tuesday its plans to make 10 lucky couples the possible winner of a diamond engagement ring as a tie-in to its 60th anniversary — a diamond anniversary — of making baseball cards.

Couples who produce a 90-second video and post it to the company’s Facebook page will have the chance to be one of the lucky 10 who will compete, on Valentine’s Day no less, for the chance at a ring.

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Collecting Vince Carter

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Vince Carter isn’t nearly in the news as much as he used to be. I remember way back in my teens, Carter was coming out of college and he received so much press. He was followed through North Carolina until he was drafted by the Toronto Raptors.

But once Carter got to the NBA, he never got the type of attention some of the other prolific scorers in the league received.

One of Carter’s issues is that he never played for a popular team. He spent six years with Toronto and then went to the New Jersey Nets where he spent another five years. Though a good player, the first 11 years of his career occurred in obscurity.

However, Carter was never quiet in these slow-moving areas of basketball.

On Monday, he became the eighth active player to reach 20,000 points and 37th player to ever do it.

Read More »

Rajon Rondo steps out of the cardboard shadows

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Rajon Rondo isn’t the biggest star on his team.

The Boston Celtics point guard lets the attention fall on those around him while he dishes out the ball to get the rest of his team the numbers that make people look.

Rondo is an assist machine. He averages 13.4 assists a game and had a 23-assist game on Jan. 5, but that wasn’t even his best game this season. He had a 24-assist game on Oct.29 against the New York Knicks.

With all those players around him such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and even Shaquille O’Neal, is Rondo overshadowed in the collecting world?

Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 Element Racing

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Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2011 Element from Press Pass in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2011 Topps Series 2 Baseball & 60th Anniversary ring

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps unveiled the first glimpses at its second series of 2011 baseball cards on Friday, marking the first public unveiling of a 60th Anniversary diamond ring that will only be produced in limited quantities and found via Topps Diamond Dig redemption code cards as part of the company’s anniversary celebration.

However, one lucky reader of Beckett Baseball will have the chance to put one of the rare rings on his or her finger, too, via a contest in the pages of our magazine coming later this spring.

While the new series will supplement Series 1, which arrives in roughly a month, new for Series 2 will be Diamond Anniversary parallels, a Before There Was Topps insert card set, a Diamond Stars insert set, Hall of Fame buybacks, Topps 60 dual Relics and a new batch of Topps Attax cards.

The Diamond dig cards will be found one in every six packs and can unlock the diamond ring, a vintage pack of cards, a card with an actual diamond embedded into the cardboard or one of a few other options. Codes found on the cards will be entered at www.diamondtopps.com where fans can also collect virtual rings and other anniversary-themed cards.

Each 36-pack hobby box will include one autograph or Relic, while every 10-pack HTA Jumbo box will pack an autograph and two Relics inside when it arrives on June 6.

More to come. See images after the jump.

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First Look: 2010-11 Contenders Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier this morning, Panini America revealed an early glance at 2010-11 Contenders Hockey. Shooting to score with avid hockey hobbyists, Panini’s late-March release should hit with recognizable characteristics from unique Playoff origins.

“[Contenders is] an instantly identifiable brand — nothing else looks quite like it — and I think that will make it compelling to hockey collectors who are looking for something unique to pursue, said Panini America’s Hockey Brand Manager, Al Muir. “Add that to the brand’s legacy of value thanks to the Rookie Tickets subset and it was the most obvious choice from Panini’s stable of brands to make the transition to hockey.”

With a bevy of hot players lending signatures and sweater swatches to the product, 2010-11 Contenders Hockey is set to deliver the best of its brand roots. Contenders delivers four autographs per box, including an average of three hard-signed Rookie Ticket autographs, which are favored staples in the line. The spring set also offers nine-per-box inserts like Leather Larceny, Against the Glass, Lottery Winners and more listed below in greater detail. Read More »

If you could have one Blake Griffin rookie card, which would you pick?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

You can’t turn on ESPN without seeing highlights of Blake Griffin’s dunks. The Los Angeles Clippers big man is giving people a reason to finally watch the Clippers.

He puts down dunks with such ferocity that it looks as though opponents just step out of the way.

Seriously, who wants to stand in the way of an upcoming freight train?

Dunks aren’t the only thing he has going for him, which is why this rookie’s cards are blowing up and they didn’t come cheaply to start.

But if you could have one Griffin Rookie Card in your collection, which card would it be?

Read More »

Collector Goes Green with National Treasures 'Noise Toy'

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Some might say that the trading card industry is notoriously not “green.” However, as featured on Panini America’s blog, Delaware collector Amarin Cogburn has proven otherwise.

Scouring the internet and seeking expertise from an engineering-minded friend, Cogburn managed to repurpose a 2007 National Treasures Football box as “noise toy.” Specifically, Cogburn created a functioning amplifier with the collectible wooden box, a soldering iron and a few spare parts along the way.

Originally intended as a tinker-based offering for a white elephant gift exchange,  the recycled high-end hobby container was a success. “The amp was  a hit among my friends and I ended up building two more in the following month,” Cogburn said on The Knight’s Lance.

Ideally, this type of DIY spirit can permeate throughout the hobby, leading to more recycled collecting ingenuity. Considering the winter weather, who is willing to make the first foil-wrapper overcoat? Read More »

Players Get Creative on Topps Five Star Sketch Cards

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Topps announced today that collectors will be able to see the creative sides of pro football players in the upcoming Five Star product.

Lending their artistic talent (sometimes better referred to as “effort”) on player sketch cards, athletes like Tony Romo (whose effort is pictured above), LaDainian Tomlinson and Tim Tebow add a unique allure to the high-end line. Hand drawn by NFL standouts, each one of one illustration is signed on the back by the respective footbartist.

This makes for an interesting means of getting more than just autographs from Romo, Tomlinson, Tebow, Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Roddy White, Matthew Stafford, C.J. Spiller, Matt Ryan, Mike Williams, Aaron Hernandez and more.

Set to release in late February, Topps Five Star Football is loaded with high-end hits, some of which might even end up at The Met.