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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Box Busters: 2011 The Tudors Seasons 1-3

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Join Beckett Media’s Andrew Tolentino and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a set of 2011 The Tudors cards from Breygent Marketing in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Oh my, oh me, 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Complete with facial hair fun, 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee Hockey is set to arrive in late September.

Upper Deck recently revealed some basics about its beloved brand — including, but not limited to new Playoff Beard insert variations. While the manufacturer is bound to unveil more as the release date approaches, hobbyists can only benefit from the hairy details.

Box breakdown

Undertaker headlines this year’s WrestleMania autograph plaque lineup from WWE

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

The arrival of this year’s WrestleMania — the Super Bowl of professional wrestling — on DVD means more than just another chance to watch The Undertaker win once again.

It also means the arrival of autographed ‘Mania-used memorabilia plaques — aka one of those rare chances to own an autograph from the man who has never lost in 19 matches at the WWE’s premiere event.

While Undertaker has only signed two certified autograph cards for card companies though the years — a 1994 Action Packed card and a 2001 Fleer Raw is War Booty card — he has signed a limited number of these plaques through the years, which are sold on WWEShop.com. This year’s version, which is 15-by-17 inches and includes a piece of the ring rope from the event, is limited to just 500 copies and is presently available on pre-order for $99.99.

It’s not the only plaque commemorating this year’s event, which marked the return of The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) to the WWE fold, either.

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Rookie Premiere means first look at players in their NFL unis, autographs & more

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

We’ll have plenty more from this year’s NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere that’s winding down today in Los Angeles in the next issue of Beckett Football but we’re not going to make you wait that long.

Here’s a gallery of images from Beckett’s Jon Gold, who is at the event, as well as images released by Panini America and Topps, the official NFLPA card licensees, who are at the Premiere to get work done that will last throughout the football card season.

See plenty of images after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Playoff Contenders hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Andrew Tolentino and Tim Trout as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Playoff Contenders hockey in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Weekly Highlights (May 16 – May 20)

This week in apocalyptic possibilities and other important questions

This week in players posing

Landmark licensing deal of the week

Card galleries

Box Busters & other videos

R.I.P. Macho Man Randy Savage (click for story)

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First look: 2011 Topps Finest baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Topps revealed the basic product information and preview images for its 2011 Topps Finest baseball card set on Friday and there’s one notable thing missing — the manufactured letter patch autographs.

In their place? Autographs. On-card Rookie Card autographs.

Each 12-pack box will include one serial-numbered autographed Rookie Card signed directly on the card, one numbered autographed Rookie Dual Relic, two Finest Moments inserts and six parallel cards when it arrives in late September. As with past releases, Finest will have mini boxes — each with an autograph and six packs inside.

The preliminary checklist includes 19 rookie who will have the following Refractors and parallels: SuperFractor (1/1), Printing Plates, Purple (/5), Diecut Mosaic (/10), Red (/25), Gold (/59), Orange (/99), Green (/199), XFractor (/299) and the standard Refractor.

New this year are jumbo patch cards, which will have Orange (/10), Purple (/5) and SuperFractors (1/1), while there will be another helping of 60th Anniversary sigs and three insert sets: Finest Foundations, Finest Freshmen and Finest Moments.

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Randy “Macho Man” Savage dies at age 58

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Former WWE world champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage — who was known for his colorful ring attire, successful career in the heyday of the 1980s professional wrestling explosion and at least one very memorable commercial endorsement — died of an apparent heart attack while driving in Florida on Friday. He as 58.

Savage, born Randy Poffo, was a two-time WWE heavyweight champ, and his match with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania III is considered one of the greatest matches in the history of wrestling’s premiere event. He was a high-flying main event performer alongside Hulk Hogan in the late 1980s glory days of the WWE (then WWF) with his wife and ringside valet Miss Elizabeth often by his side.

Before he was a professional wrestler, he briefly played minor league baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds organizations before he turned to his family’s business after an injury. His father, Angelo Poffo, was a wrestler and his brother, Lanny, also was a WWE performer best remembered as “The Genius.”

While Savage never appeared on a baseball card in the Beckett.com database, he does appear on 103 different cards as a wrestler. He has two certified  autographs — a 1994 Action Packed autographed promo card limited to just 500 copies and a card in the 1999 Topps WCW/nWo wrestling set, which typically sells for $150 or less.

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Next wave of McFarlane baseball figures includes Posey, Heyward debuts

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

The 28th series of McFarlane ToysMLB SportsPicks figures arrives next month with several first-time figures and a few veterans with their new teams.

Oh, and more than a few members of the Boston Red Sox.

Among the first-timers with figures are Atlanta Braves slugger Jason Heyward, reigning NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier (no offensive fingers this pose). Rounding out the list are veterans Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Daisuke Matsuzaka in their Red Sox uniforms and Cliff Lee as a Philadelphia Phillie.

The remainder of the lineup includes Kevin Youkilis – the fourth Boston player in the 11-player lineup — Ryan Howard, Mariano Rivera and David Wright, who have all previously appeared as toys.

See more images after the jump. (Click for a closer look.)

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Apocalypse tomorrow? Which card will you take to the fallout shelter?

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By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor | Commentary

As if the world didn’t already have enough of an existential complex with the coming of 2012, some seem certain that Saturday, May 21 (tomorrow, around 6 p.m.) is the end of days.

Just in case Judgment Day is a comin’, we wanted to put together a checklist for the hobby fallout shelter. Assuming that there’s  plenty of food, water and other necessary rations, which card would you protect from total destruction? Which card would you want to be found by a new, possibly alien, civilization?

Players’ use of social media at NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere might change things for the hobby

Mark Ingram shows off his jerseys at the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor | Commentary

In the days of instant gratification, the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere autograph and photo shoot weekend is a must as collectors demand to see the players in their uniforms on their Rookie Cards as soon as possible.

But the players’ use of social media — even in the days of uncertain labor strife where it can make a positive connection with fans — might make some higher-ups cringe.

And it’s not really the advanced card collectors who might react badly — many know what goes on with event-used memorabilia at events like this — but the card companies and the league might not like seeing the future New Orleans Saints running back and former Heisman winner wearing enough jerseys to make him look like he’s doubled (or more) in size on the chicken dinner circuit as he wears countless jerseys all at one time all in the name of event-used memorabilia.

“Haha I’m at the #rookiepremiere and I have on like 17 Saint[s] jerseys,” wrote Ingram as he Tweeted the photo to his 45,976 followers. He later added a side view showing his girth below the jerseys to be used as a heavy component in all card products — high-end and low-end — this coming season.

An image like the one of Ingram destroys the perception of scarcity for even the rarest of rare patch cards to be found from jerseys such as these — something that the card companies probably don’t like. Yet, at the same time, not much will quash demand for the key cards of rookies as this has been done for years, though with less publicity.

Sure, there will can only one 1/1 logo shield made from each jersey. But how many jerseys can a guy wear at once? How many times will a wearing like this take place for each of the card companies — Topps and Panini America that are there?

The same could be said for the large volume of autographs signed during the weekend, but, like the jerseys, they are spread out throughout the season so that helps soothe the burn when one might realize that there are a lot of other cards out there just like theirs. (Oh, and i’s also worth noting that Ingram hasn’t been assigned a uniform number … so the No. 80 jerseys will likely bug a few detail-minded collectors.)

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Topps announces 2011 Bowman Mystery Autograph Redemptions

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Collectors who ripped into boxes of 2011 Bowman may have found an autograph redemption with no name attached but Topps cleared that mystery up today.

The autograph will be one of five potential signatures, the company announced.

The player will be revealed when the card is redeemed and can be: Freddie Freeman, Aroldis Chapman, Darin Mastroianni, Jarred Cosart or Lars Anderson.

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.

First look: Topps unveils MLB Sticker Collection

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

We all know that sports memorabilia can be a sticky business, but on Wednesday it got a bit stickier for Major League Baseball.

As in stickers.

Topps unveiled its plans for its 2011 MLB Sticker Collection, a 300-plus sticker release that just might entice collectors of all ages — ok, maybe younger ones — to peel and fill up an album full of today’s stars, yesterday’s legends and more. Each album will come with six free stickers, while the 309-sticker set will be found in eight-sticker packs for 99 cents. Each sticker box will include 50 packs when it arrives in August.

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Topps, Majestic land Joe Dimaggio licensing deals

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

“Joe, Joe DiMaggio … we want you on our side.”

That’s the chorus of a tribute song for the New York Yankees star released in 1941, but it might be Topps‘ theme as well as the estate for “The Yankee Clipper” has agreed to license DiMaggio’s likeness for use on baseball cards.

As part of a licensing and commercial push as part of the 70th anniversary of the 56-game hitting streak, Joe DiMaggio LLC has announced that two companies have been selected as licensees thus far: Majestic Athletic/VF Corp. for jerseys and T-shirts and Topps for trading cards.

The commemoration of the streak will include a substantial online presence with a Facebook page, Twitter account and more along with the merchandising deals. These deals are the only presently signed.

“Joe DiMaggio LLC has entered into a license agreement with Topps,” said Michelle Alfandari, a managing partner, in confirming the deal. “We do not have a license deal with Upper Deck.”

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Latest from UDA has LeBron James’ right-hand stuff

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

Upper Deck Authenticated would like you to give LeBron James a hand.

No, not for advancing in the playoffs with his carefully crafted dream team … UDA wants you to give a hand as a gift to a collector — a Tegata hand print.

Just like his idol, Michael Jordan, James has inked a limited number of the Japanese hand prints which UDA is offering for sale. Each print is a unique print of James’ right hand, signed and limited to 26 copies. Each 36-by-36 framed display sells for $2,999.99 on Upper Deck’s website.

“LeBron’s first season with the Heat provided us with a great opportunity to introduce one of our top exclusive spokesmen in this unique way,” said Steve Sloan, director of UDA. “What better way to christen LeBron’s first year in Miami than with an original ‘Tegata,’ which is considered the highest form of recognition for athletes in Japan.”

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Soon-to-shelve slideshow: 2011 Prestige Football


By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Tired of lockout gridlock? Football cards are here to help.

In just about a week’s time — on May 25 — football fans can get their hands on the earliest Rookie Cards of the season. Panini America’s 2011 Prestige Football is slated to hit shelves next week — no matter the NFL lockout.

Known for being one of the hobby’s earliest sources for the Rookie Card race,  Prestige is a product that sets the tone for what’s to come on cardboard. Its maker — in another act of reassurance — recently unveiled a massive gallery of actual card scans and other signs of NFL livelihood.

From the looks of it, Prestige will hit shelves with an ample amount of autographs, materials and other highlights — even if the stars don’t play a single down.

Behold what collectors will be holding shortly after the jump. Read More »

Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew loses cancer battle

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew lost an ongoing battle with esophageal cancer on Tuesday. He was 74.

Killebrew played 22 seasons in the big leagues — 21 of those for the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins before he played a single season for the Kansas City Royals in 1975. He was known for his tape-measure home runs — earning him the nickname “Killer” — and he hit 573 round-trippers in his career, which placed him fifth on the career list at the end of his career.

Today, Killebrew still ranks 11th.

Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984, Killebrew was a 13-time All-Star and the 1969 American League MVP after he hit a career-high 49 home runs and drove in 140 for the Twins. He appeared in just one World Series in 1965 when his Twins lost to the Dodgers.

Killebrew hit 40 or more home runs eight times in his career, a total second only to Babe Ruth, and it’s Killebrew’s stance that is said to have inspired the silhouetted batter on the MLB logo.

On cardboard, Killebrew appeared on 2,853 different cards during his lifetime, including 813 different certified autograph cards. He appears on 1,213 different memorabilia cards made through the years but has just one Rookie Card, which is in the 1955 Topps set. It typically can be found for $250 or less.

His most recent autograph cards signed in larger quantities can be found in the 2010 Panini Century Collection product, which included many Hall of Famers and retired baseball stars alongside astronauts and other celebrities.

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.

First 2011 Bowman Harper autograph sale tops $1,000

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

There will be plenty of big pricetags attached to the autograph cards of 18-year-old Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper in the coming days as his highly sought-after first Nationals autographs are found in 2011 Bowman.

Like this one, for example, that is attached to a card that was not announced but was found in packs.

However, the only pricetags that matter — and the only ones that count in the price guides — are actual sales, and the first copy of Harper’s autograph sold on Monday night in advance of the product’s release on Wednesday.

How much?

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Ripping Retail: 2011 Bowman baseball blaster boxes

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into some 2011 Bowman baseball blaster boxes in this latest edition of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out in Part 1 above.

Look for Part 2 — after the jump.

How many Bryce Harper cards will he find? Find out …

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Box Busters: 2011 Topps UFC Title Shot

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Join Beckett Media’s Andrew Tolentino and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a pair of 2011 Topps UFC Title Shot boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Collecting 101: Get your questions about the hobby answered in the next BSCM

Do you have any questions about the hobby — easy or hard — that you’d like answered in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly?

We’re prepping the “Collecting 101″ issue, which will be an issue that lays out a lot of the basics of collecting as well as answer other questions.

Leave them in a comment below and they just might get answered in the next issue.

Weekly Highlights (May 9 – May 13)

Redemption announcements of the week

Box Busters

First Pricing

This week in greeting cards, lawsuits and other MARVELs

R.I.P.  Bill Gallo

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ITG offers two Emerald Masked Men redemptions

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Following In The Game‘s announcement and apology about incorrectly-serial-numbered Masked Men III Emerald cards, the company announced a redemption program this week.

The first public statement served to clarify that these Between the Pipes inserts are actually limited to 340— and not 1/1 as the cards would indicate. However, in an effort to give collectors some cardboard recompense, In The Game presented not one, but two new deals.

Details and mailing information after the jump. Read More »

Press Pass reveals wrapper opportunity, other ready redemptions in 2011 Legends

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Not that its latest football line lacks redeeming qualities, Press Pass recently unveiled its wrapper redemption program and some significant signature news for 2011 Legends collectors. Just now hitting shelves, the early-season favorite is filling out right on time.

What might your wrappers warrant? Press Pass Director of Product Development Nick Matijevich explains:

“With the economy still in the process of turning around, and collectors looking to get the most value for their money, we have decided to deliver an exclusive bonus auto of Daniel Thomas to collectors who send in 18 opened wrappers, while supplies last.”

Why tout Thomas?

“With the Dolphins trading up to get him in the second round and their two current running backs entering free agency, it appears as though he will be a starter from Day 1, so we expect these cards to be highly sought-after.”

Assuming that this Dolphin can truly move on the ground (hopefully, better than this), collectors could end up kicking themselves if they miss this opportunity.

Here’s how to avoid that shoulda-coulda-woulda scenario:

  1. Get your hands on 18 2011 Press Pass Legends wrappers (buying a box is easier than dumpster diving)
  2. Legibly print or type your first and last name, mailing address, email address and phone number on a 3″ x 5″ index card
  3. Stuff all of the above inside a mailer of your choice and address it to:
    Press Pass Inc.
    Dept. 11 Press Pass Legends FB Wrapper Redemption
    9115 Harris Corners Parkway, Suite 200
    Charlotte, N.C. 28269
  4. Mail it ASAP to beat the “while-supplies-last” curve.

But before you go trapsing off to the post office though, you might want to double check your box for a few redemption autographs — now ready for fulfillment.

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Low-condition classic comics become cut cards in new Upper Deck Marvel Beginnings set

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Take one single and expensive item … and cut it into many pieces to make cards.

Sports fans are probably used to this idea since many a piece of history has been cut up in the past, but one of the latest products from Upper Deck takes low-condition — yet still expensive — comic books and turns them into collectibles that can be owned by many instead of just one.

That means we can all potentially own a piece of issue No. 2 of The  Amazing Spider-Man — a book that would cost several thousand dollars in top condition —  or perhaps one of several other issues from that title … or perhaps issue No. 181 of Daredevil, which features the death of Elektra.

These Ultimate Panel Focus cards can be found in packs of 2011 Marvel Beginnings, which is in stores now. The cards have fetched as much as $80 a pop in online auctions and there are just 554 total cards made, each technically one-of-a-kind cards from particular cut comic books.

How do the comic book fans among us feel about that? Should be an interesting reaction — after all, many a sports collector still reacts harshly to the notion of rare memorabilia getting the chopping-block treatment before being placed into cards. Yet, at the same time, the allure of a cool card is obvious, too.

Before you make up your mind where you stand, though, watch this behind-the-scenes video from Upper Deck …

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Now that you have seen the comic’s condition — and learned about the process — let us know what you think.

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.