Monthly Archives: July 2011

COMMENTARY: Panini HRX video card redemptions command cash

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor | Commentary

Earlier this year, there was plenty of talk with the future of trading cards set to be coming from both Panini America and Upper Deck in the form of the video trading card.

Whether the camps will cop to it or not, there were plenty of jabs offered up at the competition. One fight was over “firsties” — who was first with the cards. For the record (as I reported before), Upper Deck was the first to tease that something was coming, but Panini stole its thunder days later when it was the first to publicly announce its intentions for a video card. Meanwhile, though, Upper Deck was the first to deliver the actual cards in boxes of 2011 Upper Deck Football as the boxes included Evolution.

The second fight was over the concept and the quality — a war of words that took place via the companies’ blogs as they jabbed over something that many collectors might not have been so gung-ho over — something that they just might not really care about — while trying to sell collectors on their cards and their inherent superiority. Again, the companies might dispute that approach now as merely salesmanship or educational efforts but what was said was said. (Hey, there were lots of shots — Upper Deck even took a shot at me for my reporting of what they said.)

However, it can’t be disputed.

And now, with the arrival of Panini HRX video cards, there’s no disputing which one has won thus far in the eyes of collectors — at least with those who have paid attention with their pocketbooks. And the irony? Panini’s cards have still yet to physically arrive out of packs of 2010-11 Totally Certified. All of the sales have been for redemption cards.

But, again, the collectors — you — have spoken with your pocketbooks.

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Steiner Sports launches DJ3K memorabilia line after Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

Derek Jeter finally has his 3,000th hit, so now comes the exciting part for New York Yankees fans who collect the captain.

That’s right, the commemorative merchandise.

And that’s where Steiner Sports comes in as the New York-based company has an exclusive deal with the Yankees shortstop for autographed memorabilia and has readied a line of DJ3K memorabilia including several autographed items and game-used dirt displays from the game. The items will feature photos from the actual hit once they arrive.

Among them is a “commemorative dirt bat” which will include dirt adhered to the bat inside a Yankees logo.  Other items include replica scorecards and ticket collages as well as a selection of signed photos.

Thanks to a sneak peek from Steiner, you can see them all — and see the prices — after the jump.

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Derek Jeter hits 3,000 … and we rank his Rookie Cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Derek Jeter made history with his 3,000th career hit on Saturday, a home run to left field off of Tampa Bay’s David Price in the third inning at Yankee Stadium in New York that was welcomed with a standing ovation from the hometown crowd and the spotlight of the entire baseball world.

We knew it was coming — but it didn’t come as fast as many had hoped — but it was a hit that placed him in elite company as he became the only member of the New York Yankees to reach that Hall-of-Fame-assuring plateau and just the 28th player in MLB history to reach the mark.

We all know that the label of “The Greatest Yankee” might not be so easily applied here — and that’s certainly not one that would apply on cardboard, either. There are too many big names among the past pinstripes — Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle. But that got us thinking … how would we rank Jeter’s eight Rookie Cards?

You can see where we ranked them all in the current issue of Beckett Baseball – but you can get a teaser of what we said after the jump.

We have more about each card in the issue, which features the Yankees shortstop on the cover noting his new achievement.

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Card gallery: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

While this year’s Allen & Ginter baseball card set from Topps isn’t set to hit until Wednesday, that hasn’t stopped the cards from already appearing on eBay as of Saturday morning.

While no “big” cards have yet been found (the only top autograph card is a redemption), here’s a selection of cards that will give you a better idea of what’s in store …

We’ll have more on this one when it arrives.

See images after the jump.

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Weekly Highlights (July 4 – July 8)

News-related trading card of the week

MEGA-HUGE, IMPORTANT thing to know of the week

This week in lawsuits and other prickly things

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

Box Busters

Auction Action

You know you want one … and it needs a nickname

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

From The Just For Fun File

We’ve seen some interesting MLB All-Star Game commemoratives through the years with brilliantly painted Statues of Liberty and Mickey Mouses in the colors of MLB teams as part of the All-Star festivities and, of course, merchandising.

This year is no different as you can find this guy, above, on sale for $24.99 at MLB.com — a 7.5-inch replica of the 7.5-foot creation that can be found in and around the Phoenix area for next week’s Midsummer Classic.

Hand-crafted in 100 percent poly-resin and hand-painted in official team logos, it’s one that I’m sure some will treasure.

I for one, though, think it needs a nickname. On the site, it’s merely a “MLB 2011 All-Star Game Cactus Figurine” and that’s no fun at all.

Any ideas out there?

For now, I’ll go with Pokey … but I’m sure you can do better.

Let us know what you’d call it in the comments below …

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

Preview Gallery: 2010-11 Panini National Treasures basketball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

The high-end NBA release that is Panini‘s National Treasures arrives on Aug. 3 with plenty inside its famed wooden boxes, but that nearly month-long wait was satiated somewhat on Friday afternoon as Panini unleashed a new wave of card images for collectors to examine.

It’s a wave of prime patches and autograph ink that includes Logoman cards, plenty of rookies and more of what you’d expect out of a high-end product.

Oh, and it includes The Bird Mann, too. See?

See more images after the jump.

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Texas company sues 12 companies claiming electronic trading card patent infringement via online TCG’s

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Wildcat Intellectual Property Holdings LLC filed a lawsuit against a dozen companies this week in a Texas Eastern District Court claiming that electronic trading cards and similar virtual trading card creations in trading card games are in violation of its patented intellectual property.

Among the companies are Panini America, Topps, Wizards of the Coast, 4Kids Entertainment, Chaotic USA, Konami, Nintendo, Pokemon USA, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment and Zynga.

Wildcat, a Plano, Texas-based company, is seeking a jury trial, a judgment that the companies have infringed upon its patent for an electronic trading card, a permanent injunction for the products and games that are alleged to infringe upon the patent along with damages, costs and expenses of the case.

In 1995, an application for an electronic trading card was filed and it was awarded on March 13, 2001, with its definition being “a system for the application of a trading card metaphor to a disassociated computer program and the unique design of several hardware and software systems supports and enhances collecting trading, game playing and creating of digital electronic trading cards.”

Wildcat’s patent includes a several pages of graphics to illustrate its concept with its lawsuit filing. It cites Panini’s NFL Adrenalyn XL online game, Topps’ ToppsTown, EA’s BattleForge video game, Konami’s Marvel trading card video game and Yu-Gi-Oh! Online Duel Accelerator video game, Nintendo’s Pokemon Online TCG, SCEA’s The Eye of Judgment Legends, SOE’s Legends of Norrah online TCG, Wizards’ Magic Online game and Zynga’s Warstorm as alleged infringers in the filing.

To view the full patent in PDF form, click here.

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

Upper Deck teases high-end hockey product The Cup

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Memorable rookies dotted the landscape in the NHL this season. Fans witnessed great plays from players such as P.K Subban, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin.

But it wasn’t just those three that made fans excited about the NHL again. Add in skaters such as Eric Tangradi, Jordan Eberle and Sergei Bobrovsky, NHL fans were able to get a glimpse of what hockey will be like in years to come.

These rookies will show up again this summer in Upper Deck’s high-end product 2010-11 NHL The Cup. Mock ups of cards in the set show off patches, stick nameplates and cut cards from legendary players.

See of a full gallery after the jump.

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Topps’ final Allen & Ginter autograph checklist includes new names

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With the arrival of one of its most-popular baseball card lines a week away, Topps took the time Wednesday to tout Allen & Ginter‘s ecclectic autograph checklist comprised of everyone but baseball players.

As it turns out, it’s added some new names to the list, too.

New inclusions not previously announced on the preliminary checklist include WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, Bullpen Gospels author and MiLB journeyman Dirk Hayhurst, Jackass stuntman Wee Man, boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, BMX champ Mat Hoffman and a dual-autograph card of Al Gore and Keith Olbermann among others.

A few of those cards had been teased in recent months but hadn’t appeared on any final lists.

See the list of non-baseball signers after the jump.

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Sneaky Panini leaks Gold Standard Football reveal

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

In what appeared to be a regular routing table reveal for the Texas-based hobby powerhouse, Panini America quietly brandished a new brand for the 2011 football card calendar.

The manufacturer has extended its Midas touch to the gridiron with 2011 Gold Standard Football.

According to the limited look, Panini’s new product will “ride the wave of momentum that begins in basketball in the coming weeks.” While the debut for cardboard kin 2011 Gold standard Basketball has been delayed since it was first announced, the coming NBA arrival should shed light on the new aesthetic. Read More »

First look: 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ next wave of Bowman products will arrive late this year — 2011 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects — packing yet another chance at a Bryce Harper autograph (this time Green) and plenty of this year’s top draft picks once they sign.

The Harper autograph will be limited to just 350 copies, while an autographed Relic — featuring a piece of his Futures Game jersey to be used soon — will be limited to just 69 copies when the product arrives on Nov. 23. That card also will be paralleled with a Red 1/1, a Green limited to five, a Gold limited to 25 and a Blue card limited to just 50.

The basic set will consist of 110 rookies in both Bowman and Bowman Chrome format with two Bowman cards, two Chrome cards, one parallel and two Futures Game stars or USA Baseball team members per pack. On the prospect side, the set will consist of 110 players including Future Stars and the 18 USA Baseball 16U team members.

Each 24-pack hobby box will include one Chrome autograph, while there will be USA Baseball autos inserted as bonus sigs. The autograph checklist will consist of 31 draft picks and young stars each with SuperFractors, printing plates, Red, Purple, Orange, Gold, Blue and standard Refractor versions.

Meanwhile, this product will include the first look at the 2011 USA Baseball 16U National Team — the youngest prospects found on licensed cardboard. In addition to autographs, these cards will be found as SuperFractors, printing plates and more with the most plentiful being standard Refractors at just 199 copies.

Read more and see more images after the jump.

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And in this corner: Ringside Boxing Round Two

By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

Last year, Creative Cardboard Concepts (mostly comprised of the makers of In The Game) ended a 15-year drought for stand-alone boxing products with its Ringside Boxing Round One  release. This year, the multi-faceted collectibles company will follow up in true Rocky-esque fashion.

The manufacturer revealed today that Ringside Boxing Round Two will be available on Aug. 3, punched up with the following box formula:

  • Three base cards
  • Three Turkey Red cards
  • One (hard-signed) autograph card
  • One memorabilia or Ringside Seat card Read More »

If the star fits: Captain America, other Marvel superheroes team up with the Dallas Cowboys

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor | Commentary

Image courtesy of Shopcowboys.com

In a recent Dallascowboys.com report, America’s team announced a partnership with Marvel Entertainment — one that should add some depth to the 2011 roster.

“We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to energize our fans, and what better way to combine our brand with some of the all-time great Super Heroes that everyone has grown up with,” noted Cowboys Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Jerry Jones Jr.

In alliance with the Marvel Universe, the Cowboys are currently selling merchandise — namely t-shirts — featuring easily befitting Captain America, and will enlist the powers of other fictional forces in future releases. Iron Man and Spider-Man are obvious picks for the secondary, and the Incredible Hulk should carry the line, but there are still some questions about Romo’s eventual replacement at quarterback.

As for how this news could impact the hobby, assumptions are speculative at best. While Upper Deck has an existing partnership with Stan Lee’s living legacy, it lacks in NFL licensing. Much to many a crossover collector’s chagrin (mine, in particular), no football card manufacturers have announced any related developments.

And they sure haven’t made mention of anything like, oh, I don’t know,  Jason Witten as Wolverine inserts — hint, hint.

First look: 2011 Topps Tier One baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled the basic product information and preview images for its newest debut baseball card line, Tier One, on Wednesday, and it’s a product that it says it “the definitive on-card autograph release for 2011.”

So what does that mean?

It means two autographs and one Relic in every pack along with three base cards and a parallel inside as well. Every 12-box case of the hobby-exclusive product will include one Top Tier on-card autograph, too.

The product also includes signatures from present players, Hall of Famers and other retired legends along with a selected crop of rookies. It also includes dual and triple autographs along with cut signatures and jumbo patch cards along with four tiers of parallels for each basic card.

It will arrive in mid-November packing plenty of punch — and apparently even an autograph of boxer Manny Pacquiao, though he does not appear on the preliminary checklist for the product.

Learn more and see images after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Andrew Tolentino and Tim Trout as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite hockey boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What’d they find? Watch and find out …

So we’ll be mentioning a few players’ Twitter feeds in the next Beckett Baseball …

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So we’ll be mentioning a few MLB players’ Twitter feeds in the next issue of Beckett Baseball … here’s an obligatory piece of Nick Swisher multimedia we’ll be sending people to see here from the magazine.

Did you know that Swisher apparently has more followers (1.3 million and change) than any other active MLB player? (I, the Swisher fanboy, couldn’t believe it, either.)

Let us know who you follow in the comments field below …

Lou Gehrig’s Japan Tour jersey, Joe Jackson’s bat headline Heritage’s National convention auction

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Heritage Auctions has plenty in store for its auction taking place on Aug. 4 in conjunction with the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago — and the highlights set to hit the auction block include “Shoeless” Joe Jackson‘s Black Betsy bat and a uniform worn by New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig during the 1934 Tour of Japan.

The Gehrig alone is expected to bring in more than $300,000 at auction, while the Jackson bat is expected to do the same.

“There are dozens of pieces in this auction that would, individually, be the lead lot on their own in any other auction,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles in a release. “Needless to say, it’s an issue that we’re happy to have. This is easily one of the finest groupings of material that the hobby has ever seen.”

The Tour of Japan uniform is a recent find for what has been a rare breed of game-used item. Babe Ruth‘s uniform from the tour — one of only a few found — sold for more than $750,000 in a 2005 auction. It was the highest price ever paid at auction for an exhibition uniform, according to Heritage.

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PSA 10 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle sells for $115,000

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A BGS 10 Michael Jordan Rookie Card may have gotten the early headlines in a recent Memory Lane Inc. event, but it was The Mick who hit the longest home run.

The big bopper in Memory Lane’s “I Own It Now” sale was a PSA 10 copy of Mickey Mantle‘s 1956 Topps card that sold for $115,000 as part of more than a half-million dollars in sales for the Tustin, Calif.-based company.

This card is not a stranger to the auction block, either, as, according to Memory Lane, the Mantle had previously sold for $40,000 in 2005 and for more than $80,000 in a previous 2008 sale.

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Upper Deck to send a collector to MLS All-Star Game

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With soccer taking the forefront in the sports world right now with the Women’s World Cup underway and Major League Soccer’s All-Star game drawing near, Upper Deck is taking the opportunity to reward one lucky fan.

On the line: a trip to the 2011 MLS All-Star Game, which is hosted by the New York/New Jersey Red Bulls in the New York metropolitan area.

For those of you who have been collecting 2011 MLS cards since the 200-card exclusive Upper Deck set was released in April, this contest could be close at hand.

To win, collect all 20 MLS Materials game-used jersey insert cards. Then, contact Upper Deck at upperdeckmarketing@upperdeck.com to learn how and where to submit your entry.

See a full checklist after the jump.

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Leaf readies promo cards for NSCC

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Another trading card company has unveiled its plans for promo cards at the National Sports Collectors Convention, and this time it’s Leaf with a healthy mix of big names from across several sports with a touch of entertainment, too.

First, the company will be giving away a 10-card set during the show which will include Muhammad Ali, Pete Rose, Vince Lombardi, Nolan Ryan, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, Stewie Griffin (yep, this guy), Tom Dwan, Hulk Hogan and Jon “Bones” Jones.

Details on how to obtain the cards will be announced before the show and during the show.

See more — and see a selection of preview images — after the jump.

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Topps unveils five subjects of 1961 Heritage cards for National Sports Collectors Convention VIP bags

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

As previously reported here, Topps will be bringing back the 1961 Heritage design for its set of VIP bag bonus cards for attendees of the National Sports Collectors Convention next month in Chicago.

But on Tuesday it confirmed the five men who will appear on the cards using the 1961 Topps All-Star design intended as a fantasy “continuation” of the set dubbed “National Heroes.”

They are:

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How a Punch line became an NHL legend — and a card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Add this guy to that one subset of your collection alongside your Kazuo Uzuki 2008 Topps baseball card.

Why? Neither player exists — but they will both have trading cards soon.

Panini America will include a card of NHL legend Taro Tsujimoto in every 20th set of 2010-11 Score Rookies & Traded hockey cards —  oh, and there will be 25 gold parallels of the card to be found, too.

But who is he?

Unlike Uzuki, who was a creation of Topps’ imagination in 2008, Tsujimoto was a real-life punchline during the 1974 NHL Draft.

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Panini adds Dirk Nowitzki to its Panini Authentic autographed memorabilia roster

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Dirk Nowitzki is an in-demand man these days — both off the court and on memorabilia.

Panini America knows that — after all, he is their hometown superstar — but all that demand for his time didn’t stop the world champion Dallas Mavericks forward and NBA Finals MVP from signing items for its recently launched Panini Authentic memorabilia line.

And that’s quite an accomplishment since, after all, he’s not a frequent signer, having inked just 112 different certified autograph cards for trading card manufacturers through his entire career.

“Adding Dirk Nowitzki to the superstar-laden roster of talent signing for Panini Authentic is a huge coup for us as it gives us the unparalleled ability to line Dirk up alongside Kobe Bryant and deliver exclusive memorabilia signed by the last two NBA Finals MVPs,” said Brian Bayne, Panini America’s Memorabilia Business Manager. “Hardcore hoops collectors recognize Dirk as a rare signer. We’re thrilled to have him.”

But what will collectors have a chance to have first?

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First look: 2011 Main Event NASCAR cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If you thought the fireworks during Daytona weekend were all that there was for NASCAR news in July, you’re wrong.

Press Pass has released the basic set information and preview images for its 2011 Main Event set, a product with some new features that will arrive on Sept. 28.

Each 20-pack hobby box will include one autograph and two memorabilia cards along with new box-topper packs that include either parallel card, one of two Miss Sprint Cup autographs or other autograph and memorabilia cards from the Press Pass archives.

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Never tell me the odds: 2011 Goodwin Champions autographs & memorabilia

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

This year’s Goodwin Champions set from Upper Deck has arrived packing a ton of athletes from all sports into its packs.

The eclectic mix includes plenty of autographs and memorabilia as well as some other surprises. We’ll have more in a future Box Busters, but the company did release odds and groupings for its autographs, which might come in handy for some wondering what’s tough and what’s not.

There are some tough pulls out there — that might not seem like it on the auction block. Unlike Han Solo, you might want to know the odds so you can find a steal or two.

See it all after the jump…

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