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Monthly Archives: April 2011

First look: 2011 Topps Chrome baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

What will be perhaps one of Topps‘ most-scrutinized releases of the year, 2011 Topps Chrome baseball, was unveiled Thursday in advance of its late-August arrival.

Each 24-pack hobby box will include two autographed Rookie Cards — both with on-card signatures — and there will be 12 boxes per case. How collectors will react to Chrome a year after it was plagued by printing problems and severe stock warping issues remains to be seen.

The base set will consist of 220 cards — 170 veterans and 50 rookies — and every autograph card in the product will be signed on-card. New this year will be 1/1 Canary Diamond Parallels while other inclusions will be Sepia parallels, USA Baseball autograph redemptions and 60th anniversary autographs along with a “Vintage Chrome” insert set modeled after the 1996 Topps Chrome design.

There will be 20 rookie autograph variation cards in the set, each with printing plates, SuperFractors, Red Refractors (/25), Golds (/50), the aforementioned Sepia (/99), Blue (/199) and standard Refractors, which will be limited to just 499 copies.

The base cards’ parallels will include the Canary Diamonds, SuperFractors, plates, Reds, Golds, Sepia and Blues with the same press runs. Standard Refractors will not be numbered and will be found in every third pack.

Among the insert sets to be found are 2011 Heritage Chrome cards, Black-bordered Refractors and the Vintage Chromes. The Heritage Chromes will pick up where the inserts in this year’s Heritage set left off, each numbered to 1,962 copies. The Black-bordered cards will include just 110 players and will be limited to 100 copies apiece, while autographed versions of the cards will be limited to 100 as well.

See images from the set and read more after the jump.

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Upper Deck Authenticated lands Landon Donovan


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

One of the most widely known American soccer stars is coming to Upper Deck.

Landon Donovan has signed to be a spokesperson with the company. Donovan already has game-used memorabilia and autographs cards in soccer products, but his signature is coming to Upper Deck Authenticated.

And it looks like these pieces could be picked up in the very near future.

Donovan has already had his first signing session with Upper Deck, which include a number of autographed products such as posters, soccer balls and jerseys.

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First Look: 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified — aka where Panini HRX video cards make their debut

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

Panini America isn’t done with announcements regarding its Highlight Reel Xperience, or HRX, HD video trading cards, and the further proof of that came Wednesday evening as it unveiled 2010-11 Totally Certified, the product that arrives in June packing the first HRXs.

But, first and foremost, there was additional information on HRX released on Wednesday as well. There will be just 240 total HRX cards made in this inaugural run — 51 per player for Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and John Wall. There will be 40 standard cards, 10 signed cards and one 14-karat gold-coated autographed card made for each player.

Yep, you read that right … the Golden Ticket hunt just went multimedia.

So, not only do we get the world’s first NBA video cards in Certified …  we get the world’s first NBA video card parallels. (Shocking? Nah … ) So, that also should mean that there should be differing footage between the versions of the cards since autograph documentation has been promised by Panini on the cards since their unveiling.

Each six-pack box of Totally Certified will include 30 cards — six autograph or memorabilia cards — along with two Mirror Red parallels and four extra inserts. Each five-card pack carries a $20 suggested retail price.

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Topps Tribute’s Albert Pujols Rookie Card buybacks include extra twist

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

The Albert Pujols Rookie Card buyback redemptions found in packs of 2011 Topps Tribute aren’t just good for copies of Pujols’ Topps RCs.

They’re good for graded copies of Pujols’ Topps RCs that have been examined and slabbed by Beckett Grading Services.

The big one in the brand is the most sought-after modern day Rookie Card — the $4,000 2001 Bowman Chrome. In all, there will be 30 copies of three different Pujols 2001 autograph cards to be found via an autograph redemption card.

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Lunch break video: Upper Deck’s ‘What do you collect?’ commercial

Ding-ding-ding-ding bats? Powder-powder-powder blue?

Before you step out to lunch today, enjoy this blast from the past (circa 1993) featuring Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan and a few other “average collectors.”

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Panini Teases 2010-11 Dominion Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

With the Stanley Cup playoffs underway, hockey fans are undoubtedly gripping armchairs and multitasking with their eyes glued to television sets (do they still call them sets?) at home, in sports bars and wherever the icy action is being aired.

Still in its debut season with NHL products, Panini America continues to make its presence known to hockey hobbyists. While the default home team — the Dallas Stars — for the north Texas-based card company is no longer in the running, Panini America is rooting for the release of its late-summer set.

The four-card gallery (after the jump) is but a mere glimpse at 2010-11 Dominion. Surely, this brand has a few more bells and whistles to brandish before its late-July release — but an early look should establish the high-end appeal here. Read More »

Box Busters: 2010-11 Classics basketball cards

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Join Beckett Basketball’s Rob Springs and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 Classics basketball boxes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch to find out …

Box Busters: 2010-11 Upper Deck UNC Basketball

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Join Beckett Basketball’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Upper Deck University of North Carolina basketball cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Panini previews 2011 Prestige with retrospective Rookie Review set

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Panini America recently revealed a comprehensive look at the Back-to-the-Future-esque Rookie Review insert set in 2011 Prestige Football.

While these 40 inserts aren’t actually Rookie Cards, they offer a retrospective glance at the top newcomers from 2010. Last year’s poster boys — a la Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow — appear as expected, but the roster has been expanded to include the likes of not-so-obvious standouts — Chris Ivory, anyone? —  from last season.

Visual samples of the mid-May release are up for review after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Between The Pipes Hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Andrew Tolentino and Tim Trout as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Between The Pipes hockey cards From In The Game in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters preview gallery: 2010-11 Classics basketball

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

While the Box Busters video for 2010-11 Classics is in the microwave, we figured what better time than now to show off a few cards from just one of our boxes.

The product is jam-packed full of colorful designs — something pretty different from past editions of the brand — with two autographs and two memorabilia cards in each and every 18-pack hobby box.

We saved the best for the video, but here’s a look at some of what was found inside Panini America’s latest basketball product.

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Hobby shop thoughts: on-camera video card opinions

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Last week, we took a quick trip over to Nick’s Sports Cards — the closest hobby shop in our neck of the woods — to get a few lunch-hour reactions to Upper Deck’s EVOLUTION.

With the video card in my hand and the video camera in Olds’, we set out to capture as many opinions as we could get during an admittedly low-traffic time. While we weren’t able to put the industry innovation in hundreds of hands that day, we definitely managed to spark some real interest and honest discussion about the latest hobby brainchild.

Watch in 720p for better resolution.

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Card Gallery: 2011 Topps Tribute baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Our Box Busters video fried and went to video purgatory — it happens … but we’ll re-film another soon — but we didn’t want to wait to show off some of what was inside one box of 2011 Topps Tribute.

A definite highlight was the Lou Gehrig card seen above, but you can see more … after the jump.

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Collector Break: 2011 Topps Tribute baseball

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We stopped by Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas late last week and saw one collector, who didn’t want to be shown on camera, ripping into some boxes. He did let us record this box of 2011 Topps Tribute, though.

What will he find inside? Watch to find out …

Weekly Highlights (April 11 – April 15)


Card galleries

Winning arrivals

The video card conversation

Box Busters

First pricing

Seasonally relevant card of the week

Auction Action

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Card Gallery: 2010-2011 Between the Pipes

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

In a forthcoming Box Busters episode, collectors will be able to watch the entire video break for In The Game’s recently released netminder-minded brand. However, we couldn’t resist firing up the scanner to show off a sample of what’s in store.

Be sure to read the manufacturer’s statement on incorrectly labeled 1/1 Masked Men cards and behold the 20-card co-ed goalie gallery after the jump.

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IRS & you: Can you afford the taxman’s trading cards?

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Today’s normally the day one might take a hit from The Taxman, but if you’re a long-time collector of pro wrestling cards then you might be familiar with another guy who probably gets a kick out of April 15 each and every year.

His name is Irwin R. Schyster, and he’s a former superstar with World Wrestling Entertainment.

The taxman cometh to the ring in the past for each and every match wearing what you see above, save for the glasses. He wrestled in dress clothes, suspenders and necktie under that moniker from roughly 1991 to 1995. Fittingly, he also teamed with “The Million-Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, a team titled “Money, Inc.”

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QTY, FYI: 2011 Press Pass Blue Ink & Inscriptions

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

As previously promised, below is a list of quantities for players who signed Blue Ink inscriptions for 2011 Press Pass Football.

Broken down by variation and subset, his should clear up any questions on the respective penmanship of this year’s draft class.

Blue Ink Bronze

Darvin Adams – 20 “Smoove”
Prince Amukamara – 24 “Go Big Red”
Armon Binns – 15 “Bizzle”
Ahmad Black – 23 “A.B.”
Brandon Burton – 25 “Bam Bam”
Delone Carter – 26 “DC3 = MVP”
John Clay – 18 “Big Play Clay”
Randall Cobb – 10 “‘Wild’ Cobb 18″
Marcell Dareus – 25 “Roll Tide”
Nick Fairley- 11 “N.F. Big Nick”
Mark Herzlich – 25 “Stay Up”
Cameron Heyward – 25 “#97; 2 “Go Bucks!”
Kendall Hunter – 22 “Spud”
Jerrel Jernigan – 25 “JJ”
Julio Jones – 4 “Roll Tide” Read More »

QTY, FYI: 2011 Press Pass Red Ink & Inscriptions


By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Delivering a familiar product to early-season collectors, Press Pass has made its presence loud and clear with 2011 Press Pass Football. By now, the hits have surfaced and sold on the secondary market — garnering the attention of prospectors and flat-out college football enthusiasts.

To add some more substance to these preseason pulls, the manufacturer provided us — and in turn, collectors — with all-important information on many of the most desirable cards in the set. After the almighty jump, you’ll find a full-blown list of players and respective quantities for their Red Ink autographs and Red Ink inscriptions in 2011 Press Pass.

Stay tuned for more information — landing tomorrow — on Blue Ink autographs and Blue Ink inscriptions.


Red Ink Bronze

Darvin Adams – 31
Prince Amukamara – 50
Armon Binns – 25
Ahmad Black – 99
Da’Quan Bowers – 50
Brandon Burton – 47
Delone Carter – 49
John Clay – 45
Randall Cobb – 18 Read More »

Card Gallery: 2011 Upper Deck Football


By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

In yesterday’s somewhat dramatic episode of Box Busters, we tore into a box of 2011 Upper Deck Football — and ultimately landed the product’s most mystifying hit. Safely tucked away at the bottom of the box and underneath 20 packs of veteran-heavy, collegiate-focused cards, the contentious collectible — EVOLUTION — awaited our review.

While the video card naturally became the main attraction of our break, the brand’s bread and butter — the cards themselves — merit a closer look. As the following gallery should reveal, 2011 Upper Deck Football offers a good depth of photography and seasoned veterans in their college uniforms. Beyond the nuance and potential for pulling the latest hobby innovation, the set offers collectors a solid start to another year of football card collecting.

Check out the sans-EVOLUTION gallery after the jump and stay tuned for more on our video card hit.

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ITG announces error on Masked Men III emerald cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In the Game announced an error with the Masked Men III cards in Between the Pipes on Wednesday.

There are three colored versions of the cards and the emerald version were mistakenly labeled 1/1. There are 340 of each emerald card in the set.

“I guess no one is perfect” said Dr. Brian H. Price, President of In The Game, Inc., “but we sure try to be and this bothers me a great deal. I personally apologize to all collectors for this error.”

The gold version is limited to 10, silver 100 and emerald 340.

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

Charlie Sheen’s winning streak sure means one thing … more memorabilia

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Charlie Sheen‘s eccentricity — can we safely call it that … or is it merely a winning streak? — of late has meant one thing amidst the hustle and bustle of the Violent Torpedo of Truth tour.

Big business for memorabilia hunters and memorabilia companies.

First, on Tuesday, Leaf announced that it had signed the Major Leaguer for an upcoming non-sports card set. Then, on Wednesday, SportsMemorabilia.com unveiled its line of Sheen-signed photos, baseballs and baseball jerseys. Those items feature him in scenes from a few of his movies and include signed Cleveland Indians jerseys.

But the most controversial piece of new Sheen memorabilia is yet to come — and it can’t be found in a pack of cards or in a fancy webstore. It can only be found down on the farm.

What might it be?

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First Look: 2011 Topps Finest Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

While Topps gave the hobby a certain Five Star product in 2010, the trading card icon just released information on another superlatively named set. Packed out in protective mini boxes, 2011 Topps Finest Football promises a high-quality rip for turf-loving collectors in mid-August.

The base cards set is comprised of 35 rookies from the forthcoming NFL draft and 90 proven veterans. Collectors can expect to land five cards per pack in two-per-box-six-pack mini-boxes. Was that as confusing as it was to type it?

Behold the breakdown and a seven-card gallery after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 Upper Deck Football cards … and also Evolution video cards

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Join Beckett Football’s Andrew Tolentino & Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2011 Upper Deck football cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Will it be an Evolution in cards?

Watch and find out …

2010-2011 Pinnacle Hockey Preview Gallery

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

It’s been 13 years since a Pinnacle hockey brand set has been on the shelves. But in about a week’s time that is all going to change as Panini America releases 2010-11 Pinnacle Hockey.

The 24-pack box (five cards per pack) should yield four Ice Breaker Rookie Cards, four Museum Collection parallels, one artist’s proof parallel, one Tough Times insert and four autograph or memorabilia hits on average.

See a full gallery of images after the jump.

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