Monthly Archives: August 2011

Box Busters: 2011 Complete Star Trek: TNG 1st Series

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2011 The Complete Star Trek: The Next Generation First Series cards from Rittenhouse Archives in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What four autographs will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2011 Limited Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

In today’s “Panini Peek,” the Texas-based card company offered a limited look at 2011 Limited Football — a product that proudly boasts a checklist of cards numbered to 499 or less.

Confirming a late-November release, Panini detailed the seven-card-per-pack  product with high hit counts, subsets and brand enhancements. Among those improvements, Material Phenoms Rookie Cards and other freshmen-focused features take center stage.

Material Phenoms offers what the company explains as its “most extensive and star-studded lineup of Draft-Day-worn hats and jerseys ever.” According to the manufacturer, these  wanted rookies are made even more desirable with on-card autographs, prime memorabilia and a limited print run. To seal the deal, each one will be numbered to 299 or less.

Draft Day Lids & Jerseys is an aptly named insert set, headlined by hats and jerseys actually worn by players on their respective draft dates.  This set spans 13 top NFL Draft picks and each card here will be numbered to 199 or less. And, in even even rarer territory, limited-to-10-or-less Rookie Lettermen inserts will resurface with letter patches inked by the biggest names in the 2011 draft class.

Now of course, Limited isn’t limited to newcomer cardboard.

Playing with its words, Panini’s Limitless inserts are said to include “scarce autographs from the NFL’s most dynamic players.” These cards are numbered to 199 or less and feature the likes of Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, Sam Bradford and other gridiron dominators.

Check out the visuals and see what each pack is packing after the jump.
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Ripping Retail: One scam to watch for

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds shows you one scam that recently got a Beckett employee when he bought a box at retail.

Inside his box of 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards he finds … 1991 Stadium Club.

Needless to say, it didn’t come this way from Topps.

Watch it so it doesn’t happen to you …

Pulling with everyday people: Threadless HQ

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By Andrew Tolentino | Editor

Renowned for having the world’s best and biggest array of unique graphic tees, community-committed provides a hip parallel to the trading card industry.

Offering something that stretches well beyond the buzzverb “crowdsourcing,” Threadless has built an opportunistic empire of user-submitted, user-chosen designs — all the while rewarding artists with cold, hard cash for their awesome designs. As in the story of sports cards, an international network of devoted fanatics has become obsessed (in a good way) with collecting and discussing every print that the company produces.

Luckily located in Chicago (the site of this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention), the affable operation was kind enough to entertain my request to film an episode of “Pulling with Everyday People” at its headquarters.

There, I cozied up in a sweet Airstream trailer with Social Media Coordinator Kristen Studard, Warehouse Manager Bryan Schaefer, Designer Joe Van Wetering and Multimedia specialist Craig Shimala to talk about the collecability of T-shirts over a few boxes of trading cards.

Be sure to take the three-question poll and check out a gallery of images from the visit after the jump.

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First look: 2012 Topps Tribute baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled its first high-end product of the 2012 baseball card season Tuesday evening, and it’s the newest edition of the product that might have been the runaway hit of the high-end offerings this year.

It’s Topps Tribute.

Back for its fourth straight year, Tribute will include an autograph or Relic card in every $50 pack with every six-pack box of this hobby-only line including three on-card autographs. Every autograph and Relic card will be limited to 99 or fewer copies, and there will be a parallel card also found in every pack when it arrives on Feb. 7.

The base set will consist of 100 cards mixed between active and retired players with seven parallels and printing plates for each card, while seven Relic insert sets and an additional set of autograph cards — Tribute to the Stars (signed on stickers) will also be found.

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The Cup overfloweth tomorrow

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Tomorrow is Aug. 31.


As any puck-inclined collector can tell you, tomorrow is a special day for the hockey hobby. Wednesday marks the official release date for Upper Deck‘s yearly opus — 2010-11 The Cup.

Built for whale-chasers and spectators alike, the manufacturer’s top-of-the-line brand needs no introduction. Since its inception, it’s been a self-fueled steam engine — barreling toward the hobby year after year with some of the most coveted cards of the season.

In the coming days, we’ll surely see box breaking, case cracking and other online banter about the latest incarnation, but we wanted to give readers one last chance to comment on what they’ve seen so far. Read More »

Contest: Win a copy of Nicktoons MLB video game & vote for your favorites

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The postseason will be here before we know it, meaning that the MLB awards voting will be, too, but there’s another vote that’s perhaps as red-hot as the trio of Boston Red Sox on the cover of the latest issue of Beckett Baseball.

And that’s the voting for “The Showdown” taking place in advance of the arrival of the Nicktoons MLB video game, which you can have a chance to win a copy of if you pick up the magazine thanks to 2K Sports — or if you keep reading. (Click the link above for a look at our recent sneak peek at the game.)

As part of the video game’s promotion — and an overall push by MLB to get kids more involved with the game and its merchandise (sound familiar, card collectors?) — fans online can vote until Sept. 7 on which 11 MLB stars they want to see in The Showdown as well as which park and, of course, which Nicktoons they want to see take them on in a simulated game on Sept. 13, the day the game arrives.

The current voting (click here) looks like a who’s who of MLB All-Stars right now with Albert Pujols, Jose Bautista and Roy Halladay in the mix but it’s also a world where the done-for-the-year Buster Posey can play injury-free, too. (He’s the leading vote-getter at catcher.)

How can you win a copy of the game? Pick up the magazine for instructions on how to win one — and leave a comment below to a chance to win another.

We’ll give one of our games to one of you at random once they arrive.

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

Your Turn: What one baseball card is the worst ever?

This Jim Kavourias 2002 Bowman card just barely gets Chris Olds' nod as perhaps the worst single card ever for some rather-forced Photoshop work. What's yours?

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

You may have seen the Your Turn page in nearly every issue of Beckett Baseball where we showcase stuff that is all about you. You can see your comments on hobby topics and get chances to win cool stuff in contests all on one page.

Here’s the next Your Turn question for the November issue:

What one single (real) card is, in your mind, the worst ever made — and why? (BASEBALL ONLY)

Please include your name and location with your comment below — we will only run items with that information. A selection of your answers will appear in the next issue along with our next batch of contests and giveaways found only in the magazine.

My three leading candidates  — though there would be others if given more time — are:

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Will there be a next year for NBA cards?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

The silence is deafening … and it says plenty so far.

While the NFL’s lockout robbed us of some meaningless training camp reports while the football card printing presses kept on a rolling with all the veterans and the newest rookies, the NBA is quite a different story.

How different? There have been zero officially licensed 2011-12 NBA products offered for pre-sale by Panini America, the league’s exclusive trading card licensee.

That shouldn’t be surprising considering that has stripped players of their ability to appear on their own profile pages but it might be to some. It’s looking like the labor woes also could mean that collectors – fans – could be stripped of those same players’ appearances on NBA-approved basketball cards, too.

It’s all a bit circumstantial right now, obviously, but consider that a nearly 12 months ago, Prestige arrived on Sept. 29, 2010. It’s almost September. One should also consider that some of us were eagerly awaiting the return of NBA Hoops, a long-running staple of the basketball card market’s revival in 1989 and into the 1990s that hasn’t been around recently. That nostalgia kick housed in mylar had been teased for a late-September release.

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Weekly Highlights (Aug. 22 – Aug. 26)

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Contest of the week

Box Busters

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Memory Lane to sell million-dollar vintage PSA collection of landmark singles and sets

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Memory Lane Inc. has acquired a collection consisting of more than 20,000 PSA-graded vintage cards from a long-time collector in the northeast — a million-dollar-plus highlight reel of cardboard history.

Among the sets included are 1887 and 1888 Allen & Ginter releases to a T206 set that ranks a 5.74 on the PSA Set Registry and, of course, iconic Topps and Bowman sets from the 1950s and beyond into the 1970s. Memory Lane is touting it as perhaps “the largest such collection ever to come to market at one time.”

Among the notable singles that will be sold are a PSA 2 T206 Honus Wagner, a PSA 5 T206 Eddie Plank, a PSA 4 1909 American Caramel Joe Jackson, a PSA 8 1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson, a PSA 6 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth, a PSA 9 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie and a PSA 8 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle.

“We are honored that this gentleman entrusted us to sell what is one of the hobby’s greatest collections,” said Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen.  “We’ve enjoyed helping him acquire many of these same cards over the years and it’s a thrill to see them together in one place.

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Topps announces signings, replacements in new lines

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Topps acquisitions team has apparently been busy of late as the company officially announced a pair of signings for upcoming baseball and football products while  also noting some Hall of Fame-caliber changes to another forthcoming baseball release.

On Friday, Topps confirmed news that Kansas City Royals rookie Eric Hosmer, who had been locked up in an exclusive autograph contract with another company, will be among the signers for 2011 Topps Chrome, arriving on Sept. 7. He also will appear in the upcoming Triple Threads, Finest and Topps Update sets. These are his first MLB cards to be found in packs. The company had previously discussed that Hosmer would be in some of its forthcoming products during its National Sports Collectors Convention Q&A session.

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Ripping Retail: 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds as he rips into a retail box of 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail: 2011 TRISTAR Obak Football (3 packs)

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into three packs of 2011 TRISTAR Obak football cards in this latest Ripping Retail video. (Stay tuned for our Box Busters video to come soon.)

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail: 2011 Topps WWE PowerChipz

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a starter kit of 2011 Topps WWE PowerChipz to see what’s up with this new release in this latest edition of Ripping Retail.

What will he find? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Press Pass Fanfare

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

BSCM Sports Movies Issue Contest … WIN WONDERBOY!

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he reveals the contest prize for the upcoming Sports Movies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly. It can be yours by picking up the issue and following the instructions found inside.

What is it exactly? Watch and find out …

Pat Summitt’s news may put focus on her few cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

A coaching legend’s sad news announced Tuesday may not spark any pity parties — she won’t allow it — but there will certainly be more than a few fans who are prompted to pick up a piece of her memorabilia.

Basketball Hall of Famer and Tennessee Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, but plans to remain as coach this season. The 59-year-old has coached the Lady Vols for 37 years, winning 1,071 games and eight national championships.

“She’s our John Wooden. If you are a Tennessee fan or not, there’s no denying her place in women’s basketball,” Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey told The Associated Press. “I played for the woman. She’s as tough as nails. People think I’m tough. I’m a pussycat compared to Pat Summitt …. Pat Summitt will fight. Pat Summitt will be on a crusade to help people with dementia.”

Summit has won more games than any other coach in college basketball history, yet, despite her accolades, she’s signed just one certified trading card for any manufacturer — Panini America last year — and appears on just 21 cards total in the database.

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BSCM Sports Movies Issue: A Major League Mailday

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he opens some Major League mail … an example of one of the 10 ways you can collect your favorite sports movie as found in the upcoming special issue of BSCM.

What is it? WHat will he find? Watch and find out …

Topps signs 21 for Bowman Draft autographs … so far

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s MLB draft picks have finished committing to their teams, so now it’s time to see who committed to Topps and sign on for their first baseball cards and truly turn pro.

The official MLB card licensee announced on Tuesday that it has signed 20 first-round picks out of 21 total players so far who will have autograph cards found in the previously announced 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects slated to arrive in November.

The signers — so far as it promises more — include former UCLA star Trevor Bauer and Mets first-rounder Brandon Nimmo, the highest draft pick in the history of the state of Wyoming among others.

See the full list after the jump …

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First look: 2011 Topps WWE Classics cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps unveiled its newest WWE trading card line on Tuesday, 2011 WWE Classics, a line that will be an all-foil series including an insert set dedicated solely to the forthcoming WrestleMania clash between John Cena and The Rock.

Scheduled to arrive in mid-December, Classics will consist of 90 base cards of Superstars, Legends and Divas, each found with gold parallels. The base set’s design is one that was tested in Topps’ 2011 Target baseball value boxes as Chrome bonus cards.

Here, we’ve traded The Mick for The Miz and gone with foilboard.

Some of the highlights from the base set’s checklist include card No. 1 being the debut for newcomer A.J., while, interestingly, also on the checklist is Eden Stiles, who has yet to make her TV debut on either Smackdown or Raw, and even a card for Batista.

There will be a 10-card Cena-Rock insert set, meanwhile the autograph and Relic checklists — 16 cards for each — are all TBDs at this time. There will be 24 packs per box and eight boxes per case when Classics arrives in hobby shops.

See more images from the set … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2011 Panini Americana

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a pair of 2011 Panini Americana boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Card Gallery: The still-elusive 1989 Major League Movie baseball card set

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

We’re coming down the home stretch in preparations for the Sports Movie Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly and we’re now at the point where we know what won’t be making the cut for print because of real estate.

You know, space.

While its story will briefly be told as part of my admitting I have one big-league obsession, I wanted to ensure that some recently received scans of what remains my biggest baseball card collecting nemesis — the 1989 Major League Movie set — could be seen by many.

It’s not an expensive set at all but it’s one that I have never seen in-person, let alone had a chance to own. It’s a real 11-card set of slightly over-sized photos featuring the stars of David S. Ward’s first baseball movie.

How obscure are they?

“I had lunch with [writer and director] David Ward a few years back and brought in a set,” said Miles Levy, who represents Corbin Bernsen aka Roger Dorn, “and he didn’t even own one.”

No wonder I can’t find one …

See all 11 cards — and learn a little more about the set — after the jump.

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Monday Matinee: The first video trading card?

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By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

“You’re goofy. Why don’t you have your mother buy you some Post Cereal and get your own tradin’ cards?”

Even reading from a script, the young actor in this ’60s-era commercial was in the right for being protective of his cereal-box treasures. Little did he know that the Mickey Mantle cutout from this set would be worth as much as $2,000 some 50-odd years later.

Little did we know that a talking trading card was also on its way.

Why Bull Durham is not my No. 1 baseball movie …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

We’ve been busy prepping the Sports Movies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, which means I’ve taken some time to re-watch a few memorable DVDs to soak up some of the nuances one last time before we put it all down on paper.

And there was one film — one that’s quite highly regarded — that I struggle with at times.

It’s Bull Durham.

You see, while the intermingling tale of Crash Davis, Nuke LaLoosh and Annie Savoy definitely is a classic, some of us look at sports films in different ways. As a memorabilia and card collector, I sometimes watch films to soak up details beyond story, greatness of performances and profanity-laced perfection found in many a memorable quote.

Instead, I watch them for accuracy — and to see what kinds of uniforms and equipment are used. (Yeah, I know, it’s weird … but you’ll see in the magazine one instance where it’s pretty cool. I hope … )

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Cardboard Commentary: 2011 Panini Americana autos

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

One of the reasons I look forward to non-sport, celebrity-laden sets such as 2011 Panini Americana each time they arrive is the fact that the boxes are just so full of surprises.

While some of this year’s pre-hyped additions are nowhere to be found — Michael J. Fox failed to make pack-out, for example, what would have been his first certified autograph card — there are always fun things to be found in sets that have so much variety in them because they simply aren’t like anything else.

Sometimes, they’re just one of a few cards — or no previous cards — for a signer. Sometimes it’s just the latest way to get an autograph that might have been tough in the past like Pamela Anderson here. (She’s had a couple previous Panini cards but this brand might be your best bet at landing one at a reasonable price.)

Here’s a rundown of cards already pulled from packs that caught my eye — with some one-liners and factoids where worthy. Read More »

Ripping Retail: Topps MLB & Panini NFL stickers

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he talks stickers and rips into new offerings from Topps in MLB and Panini America in the NFL in this rather sticky ediiton of Ripping Retail.

What will he say about stickers? What will he find inside the sticker packs? Will he actually stick them? Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail: Random packs from Target …

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds as he rips into some random packs of cards from Target in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will he find? Watch and find out …

Weekly Highlights (Aug. 15 – Aug. 19)

First Pricing of the week

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Box Busters

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

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Question of the week

Auction action

This week in hobby departures, BILL MURRAY and more

Just for fun

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Box Busters: 2010-11 National Treasures basketball

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Join Beckett Basketball’s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2010-11 National Treasures basketball cards from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2011-12 UD NHL Black Diamond

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Marching right along into the 2011-12 hockey season, Upper Deck leaked a sneak peek at its December-dropping NHL Black Diamond product.

Features like flashy Lustrous Rookies and appropriately named Championship rings cards carry brand appeal in nuance, while other signature elements shine with a new finish. The jersey cards seen here, for instance, offer something different for the material set builder.

We’re not quite clear on how many pairings there are, but these Capitals cards (when coupled) align to spell “Washington” — a simple, but handsome hobby puzzle.

Black Diamond comes five cards per pack, 24 packs per box (plus an advertised “bonus,” which means 25) and yields the following, on average … Read More »

First look: 2011 Gridiron Gear Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Promising more Rookie Gridiron Gems than in previous years, Panini America‘s 2011 Gridiron Gear will arrive to the pleasure of pullers in mid November.

The manufacturer revealed information today regarding the influx of these now numbered-to-349, eight-per-case Rookie Cards and more about the upcoming release.

Through 18 packs, a box of 2011 Gridiron Gear should yield:

  • Two autographs limited to 349 or less
  • Two memorabilia cards numbered to 299 or less
  • 18 Rookie Cards
  • Nine other inserts or parallels Read More »

Nick Matijevich leaving Press Pass after five years

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Long-time Press Pass employee Nick Matijevich is leaving the company effective today, according to an email he sent to hobby industry members and athlete representatives this morning.

“After five years at Press Pass and 11 years in the trading card industry, the time has come for me to move on to pursue other endeavors,” he wrote. “With that said, today will be my last day at the company.”

Matijevich was most recently the director of product development at Press Pass. He previously worked at Donruss as a brand manager. Press Pass’ Tom Farrell will assume some of the duties previously handled by Matijevich.

“I have greatly enjoyed working with each of you over the years,” he wrote, “and hope that our paths will cross again at some point in the future.”

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

First look: 2012 Topps baseball (updated)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled the design for its 2012 flagship baseball card set on Thursday — the first look at what the company promised would be a “game-changer” of a year for the company’s products.

It looks like it will first attempt that with gold.

New this year is the Golden Giveaway, a successor to the Diamond Giveaway, which will allow collectors to unlock, you guessed it, cards with gold embedded into them. Code cards call one every six packs and will have a chance to unlock Golden Moments die-cut cards, Chrome parallels of those cards and virtual coins that can add up to win prizes. Also to be found are autographed gold coin cards, which will be limited to just five copies apiece along with 1/1 gold-embedded Golden Moments die-cut Chromes.

Series 1 will include one autograph or Relic in every 36-pack hobby box when it arrives on Feb. 1, while each HTA Jumbo box will include autograph and two Relics in each.

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Box Busters: 2011 Topps football cards

Join Beckett Football’s Andrew Tolentino and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2011 Topps football cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …