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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Box Busters: 2010-11 Limited Hockey

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Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2010 Limited Hockey boxes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010-11 Timeless Treasures Basketball

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 Timeless Treasures boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Card Gallery: 2010-11 Limited Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier this morning, I whipped out my handy box cutter (my house key) to open a sealed package from Panini America. The fine folks from the other side of town sent us a few products to bust for the Pulling with Everyday People video series, along with two boxes of 2010-11 Limited hockey.

Though small in size, each box delivered a hat trick with three hits worth showing off before the upcoming Box Busters video. Since we don’t mind sharing and there are only 14 cards from both breaks, please enjoy the full gallery. Read More »

Box Busters: 2010 Panini Century Collection

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a pair of 2010 Panini Century Collection boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …



Box Busters: 2010 Topps USA Baseball set

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2010 Topps USA Baseball sets in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2011 Bowman Baseball

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps unveiled its 2011 Bowman baseball set on Thursday, which will mark the first appearance of Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper in his MLB uniform on an officially licensed MLB card.

Scheduled to arrive on May 9, Bowman will feature only on-card signatures with every HTA Jumbo box including three Bowman Chrome autographs and each 24-pack hobby box packing one.

There will be 110 Chrome prospect cards to be found and a base set of 220 rookies and veterans. With a new twist, there will be Bowman Buyback Cut Signature cards in the fold.

Also new will be Topps 60th Anniversary autographs, USA Baseball patch cards and Futures Game Triple Relics.

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Sneak Peek: 2011 Upper Deck Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Upper Deck recently released a few (two to be exact), preview images of its 2011 football product. Set to release on April 12, the NFL newcomer-focused manufacturer announced that this set will deliver “the top 2011 rookies before the draft.”

After all, Upper Deck is the only company allowed to use NCAA team logos with its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company.

In addition to the forthcoming football freshmen, league veterans and greats will be featured in what appears to be  a 1991 throwback design on some cards (see below). As the images indicate, Adrian Peterson and Dan Marino are amongst the many players pictured in their collegiate uniforms.

The saga will surely unfold over the next few months, but for now this product breakdown will have to do. Read More »

World Junior Championship Gives Collectors a Live Glimpse at Heroes and Prospects

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Considering In The Game’s upcoming release of 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects, tonight’s International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship offers collectors a sneak peek at their near future pulls.

Featuring many players who will land in hobby shops on Jan. 20, the Canadian team will make its 10th consecutive Gold Medal game appearance against Russia. Dazzling title contenders like Brayden Schenn, Ryan Ellis, Olivier Roy and Vladimir Tarasenko can be seen on the ice tonight and on shelves in a short time. Stacked with professional hockey standouts in the making, both teams offer a good look at the NHL in years to come.

“We offer our sincere congratulations to all players in this tournament and are proud to include many of them in Heroes and Prospects,” said In The Game’s President, Dr. Brian Price.

The IIHFL World Junior Championship Game takes place today in Buffalo, N.Y. at 7:30 EST.

Beckett President unveils upcoming website changes

Dear Beckett Customer,

Back in July, we estimated the new site launch for the end of December.  We have moved that date by a bit.  The new site will launch by end of this month – yes, January 2011 – in the next few weeks.  I moved it by a few weeks for several reasons, but the overall gist of the conversation is that we want as close to perfection as possible upon release, and that includes new server location with all-new hardware.  We ran into a bit of a snag having the new hardware set up on time.  We also have a bit more work to do to complete all the data migration.  This will allow all of your account history to be included in the migration.

Besides eliminating all of the current load/timeout issues and increasing site speed, our team thought you might like to hear about some of the additions and changes for the new site:

Read More »

Another look at Muhammad Ali set


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

On Sunday, we had a quick peek at some of the rarest cards in the Muhammad Ali trading card set Leaf Trading Cards is producing.

Slowly, Leaf is letting a few pictures trickle out as its teases collectors with this set that should be released in February. This time there are five cards from a subset that include associates, fans and opponents of the greatest boxer in history.

While these cards are the autograph versions, which are all numbered to 5, there are more common versions of these cards available in the product.

Of this group, my favorites are the ones where there is a picture with Ali. Leaf is obviously limited to certain pictures, but they definitely used pictures they had with Ali whenever possible.

How do you feel this set is shaping up?

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

Topps Creates Cards for 2011 Under Armour All-Americans

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

While many high school students are returning for their spring semesters to show off their new iPhones, eBook readers and unfortunate sweaters, only a select few can say that they appeared on a Topps trading card over winter break.

Knowing that so many faces at the fourth annual Under Armour All-American Football Game are destined to show up in future card sets, Topps took the first step in creating pre-collegiate collectibles.

After a Friday photo shoot and an undoubtedly tight weekend of printing, Topps made quick work of the 2011 All-American roster. On Monday, Topps presented players with their respective cards and gave the future stars a chance to practice their autographs in a signing session. Although the ink has some time to dry before the autographs resurface at a later date, the prospect-minded manufacturer provided us with a sneak peek.

Furthermore, fans can still collect these high school standouts on 92 different cards. The first 5,000 attendees who show up at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. for tomorrow’s game will received three Topps cards exclusively made for this year’s All-Americans. Ideally, the parents in attendance will be civil in trading for their sons’ cards.

The 2011 Under Armour All-American Football Game airs live on ESPN Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. ET. Read More »

Pulling with Everyday People: Marc Hall & Topps Magic

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

For the second installment of Pulling with Everyday People, we managed to wrangle Marc Hall from Arlington, Texas. After taking an extended hiatus from collecting, the 31-year-old U.S. Navy ex and improviser is in the midst of returning to cardboard.

Equipped with a camera and box of 2010 Topps Magic Football, we thought it would be nice to capture a glimpse of Hall’s hobby homecoming.

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Rippin' Retail: Panini Longevity Rookies & Stars vs. three Basketball Blasters

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

Collectors often bemoan he differences between hobby and retail boxes, opting for the superior hobby version over the taste-test of a retail blaster or other type of offering.

In some cases, though, that logic just might be unfounded — good cards certainly can be found in retail, but if they’re not there the prices might be better depending on how in-demand boxes might be.

It really just depends on what you’re buying. However, not all retail boxes are made alike, either.

I recently ripped some retail Panini America basketball boxes and was kind of surprised by what I found. Frankly, the cheapest of all retail versions — the Blaster box — seemed to compete well with its bigger-time counterpart, the Longevity version of 2010-11 Rookies & Stars. The $50 Longevity box was a dud, while three Blasters (two Rookies & Stars boxes and one Threads box) seemed more interesting for approximately the same price at $60.

How is that? It surprised me. At first glance, the retail-focused Longevity found only in Target stores seems like a good alternative to the typical Blaster boxes. After all, it looks more like a hobby box so it should feel more like a hobby box, right? It’s packing three autograph or memorabilia cards per 10-pack box and is otherwise an abbreviated offering of the standard Rookies & Stars set but printed on foilboard. (In the case of this design, I actually don’t mind the foilboard — a rare instance.)

Read More »

Century Collection packs big-name baseball stars

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America may not be an official trading card licensee of Major League Baseball, but you wouldn’t know that from the company’s legendary inclusions in the forthcoming 2010 Century Collection set.

No, there aren’t any MLB logos or airbrushed uniforms in the multi-sport and non-sport product — it’s high school and casual photography — but it’s clear that the autograph and memorabilia assets left over from the Donruss days are getting good use and much of it will be in the hands of collectors starting this week.

In fact, it’s that non-traditional photography that might make these cards stand out from others — whether the significance or story behind the photo is noted on the card or not. (They likely aren’t … in their place an authenticity statement.) For example, the Paul Molitor card shown above is from his behind-the-scenes tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., back in 2004.

The bat he’s holding? It’s a Babe Ruth gamer.

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Leaf preps Muhammad Ali card set

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

He’s the baddest.

The greatest there ever was.

Now, he’s coming to a new a trading card product.

Leaf Trading Cards has taken another step to add to Muhammad Ali’s legacy by bringing fans closer to the iconic boxer. Leaf is creating a set dedicated to Ali, which will feature all on-card autographs from Ali and others, including many exclusive features.

Each box will include four base cards, one Ali hit and two other autos.

Read More »

Panini lands Kevin Durant autographs for Absolute

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

It’s been a year since anyone has pulled a Kevin Durant autograph card from a new product.

Fans of the Oklahoma City forward will only have to wait just a bit longer. Durant’s autographed cards will appear in Panini’s high-end 2010-11 Absolute Memorabilia Basketball, which is scheduled to release March 6.

Even though Panini already has five products out for the 2010-11 basketball season, none of them has had a Durant auto.

See highlights from Absolute Memorabilia Basketball after the jump.

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The Iceman Cometh to McFarlane Toys

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

When you think of George Gervin, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that sweet finger roll he made famous.

The Iceman and the finger roll have been synonymous with each other since Gervin started playing basketball.

McFarlane Toys has immortalized that pose – ABA style.

Fans can’t get the special figurine that depicts Gervin in a San Antonio Spurs ABA uniform just anywhere. It’s not available at McFarlane’s website or in stores.

The only place to pick up this exclusive statue is through Babaie Promotions Inc., (www.bpifanconnect.com). Part of the proceeds will go to the George Gervin Youth Center, a K-12 charter school in San Antonio that offers a number of services for students and their families.

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Beckett Tip Sheet: Where can you land an autograph?

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s no secret that the autograph is key to many a sports products these days as those certified authentic slips of the pen turn cardboard into collecting gold.

But the certified autograph is not the only way a collector can land a treasured item.

In fact, many a signer of certified autographs actually signs in other ways — ways that collectors may not always think about in a world of commodified, short-print chases and dreaming of winning mylar-wrapped lotteries. It may sound like common sense, but there are other ways to track down signatures besides ripping packs and buying singles at the card shop or online.

Here’s a rundown of ways that collectors — beginners through the long-time hobby veterans — should always consider trying to land an autograph without hitting up a pack of cards or buying a certified signature straight from a trusted dealer.

OFFICIAL WEBSITES
These days, it’s pretty common for athletes and celebrities to have their own websites where they sell autographed items directly to the public. The signed copy of WWE Magazine above, for example, was purchased on Trish Stratus‘ website, www.trishstratus.com. There, the former multi-time women’s champion sells signed magazines, books, photos, posters and more. If you have your own particular item you want signed, she’ll ink it up for a $10 fee.

Read More »