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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Numbers crunching: Memorabilia cards have made their mark on hobby

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

The first memorabilia cards arrived 15 years ago with the novel idea that a smaller piece of something big and valuable could still be a pretty big deal.

Turns out they were right.

Since 1996, memorabilia cards might have built a bit more of a love-hate relationship with some collectors as the once-treasured cards have become a bit of a mainstay — almost an unexciting expectation — in today’s products. While jerseys make up most memorabilia cards these days, countless kinds of items have been chopped up and placed into cardboard. Everything from jerseys to stadium walls, towels, artificial turf and even game-used dirt have found their way into cards for fans to caress, obsess about and collect as a way to get closer to the sports that they follow.

While we’ll use a bit more time and space elsewhere — in the February 2012 Beckett Sports Card Monthly — to focus more on game-used memorabilia and items, we took time today to do some digging in the Beckett database to crunch the numbers and discover a bit more about game-used memorabilia cards.

The statistics? Well, they are quite telling …

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Game on! Panini America reveals ‘overhauled’ 2011-12 NBA card lineup after lockout delay

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

NBA fans, your wait for trading cards is officially almost over.

Panini America announced its plans for the 2011-12 NBA card season on Tuesday with what it calls a “completely overhauled roster” of products.

The company, which is the lone NBA card licensee, will launch its offerings with the high-end 2011 Preferred coming in late-February. That high-end product will include three autographs and one six- or eight-swatch booklet card in every pack. Its price — $200 a pop.

“We are excited by the return of the NBA and look forward to delivering NBA trading cards to basketball fans around the world with the release of our 2011-12 NBA products,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “There was so much excitement for the NBA and its players last season and we are looking forward to picking up where we left off.  The time away has only strengthened the demand for Panini NBA trading card products and we’re confident that our new product roster will be well-received.”

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First look: 2011-12 Elite Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Behold, hockey collectors. Elite is back.

As explained in Panini America‘s announcement this morning, “For the first time since the 1997-98 season, passionate NHL collectors will have a stand-alone Elite product to call their own.”

Scheduled for a late-February release, Panini’s latest brand resurrection looks to land with hints of the past and hits of the now. More on what makes Elite so elite after the jump. Read More »

Yo Gabba Gabba! Trading card Dancey Dance!

By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

For those of you who just face-palmed had to Google the whimsical, nonsensical phrase “Yo Gabba Gabba,” there’s probably no need to read any further. But for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other individuals in the know, this Press Pass product could very well be the best kid-friendly hobby find in quite some time.

DJ Lance, Foofa, Muno, Brobee, Toodee, Plex and others from the hit Nick Jr. show are coming to cardboard in mid February with a wide array of special inserts.

If you just started singing, “There’s a party in my tummy,” read on to see what’s “so yummy, so yummy” about this set. Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 Bowman Sterling football

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

T206 Plank tops $100K at auction as expected

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A PSA 5 specimen of one of the hobby’s more sought-after pre-war cards sold for more than $100,000 as had been expected in Memory Lane Inc.‘s Winter Classics Auction that closed on Saturday night.

The Eddie Plank T206 card, which featured a Sweet Caporal back, sold for $107,100 after 16 bids and buyer’s premium as part of an event that generated $1.6 million in sales.

“The auction again showed the strength of rare and high grade material,” said Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “Collectors are willing to invest in items that either exist only in small quantities or carry a grade that makes them desirable to those who want the best they can find.”
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First look: Press Pass’ Essential Elvis

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Almost 35 years after his death, Elvis Presley remains one of the most iconic cultural icons. Imagine if was still around today, the companies would be clamoring for exclusive autograph deals with The King.

Press Pass, however, is still doing what it can to bring fans close to Presley with its forthcoming set Essential Elvis, which is due out in February.

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Box Busters Preview: 2011 Bowman Sterling

Behold the beauty of our 2011 Bowman Sterling Football break.  These are just six cards from the entire rip, but they should give you a decent idea of what’s to come in our soon-to-post Box Busters episode.

While you’re waiting for the video, make sure to visit our Facebook page to see 12 more highlights from the break. Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 Topps USA Baseball box set

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2011 Topps USA Baseball box sets in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 15

By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Matt Stafford, Greg Little and Donald Brown round our selections for NFL Week 15. Here’s why… Read More »

Would you, could you actually destroy a card?

By Andrew Tolentino | Beckett Media | Commentary

Among the cheesy holiday cards I’ve received (and sent out) over these past few weeks, one not-so-cheesy piece of mail from Beckett Facebook contest winner Lee Patton continues to make me think the most.

Patton, who won the opportunity to destroy my very own Vince Young card after a lopsided Red River Rivalry game, sent me a thank you card and explained his position. “I watched your heartfelt video and decided to send your card back. Which I really don’t like destroying cards. Just goes against my collecting nature.”

To my surprise, he included not only the original Young card I kissed goodbye, but another single to add to my collection.

Was  this a trick? Should I have expected both cards to suddenly vanish into thin air and then see a hologram of Patton laughing and saying “nanner, nanner boo boo?” Read More »

Interest in Tim Tebow cards continues to rise

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Love him or hate him, football fans everywhere cannot stop talking about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. All that attention and has transformed into collectors going after a number of his Rookie Cards.

Why all the fuss?

We can take a guess, but from all accounts it seems Tebow is genuinely a good person. He’s engaging and is certainly a leader, based on the way his teammates have responded. But even more important to football fans is that Tebow’s team is winning.

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First look: 2012 Topps Archives baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A day after it teased the return of Fan Favorites as an insert card set, the home of those Favorites has been unveiled.

And they’ll be found in the archives — 2012 Topps Archives to be exact.

Last produced in 2002 but with a history linking back to the early 1990s, Topps Archives will revive the looks of old Topps designs with brand new images of present-day players, reprints and more from the past when it arrives on May 23.

Every 24-pack hobby box will include two Fan Favorites autographs inside, while rarer finds will include redemptions for larger memorabilia pieces directly from the Topps Vault.

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Preview Gallery: Contenders Award Winners

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With the first MLBPA-approved Panini America baseball set just days away in 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, we’ll soon be getting our first looks at how Panini will be handling the challenge of logo use on its cards for players who had been draft picks or minor leaguers this past season.

But with Playoff Contenders, coming in January, we’ll get to see how they handle the big-leaguers.

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Panini’s National Treasures Football teaser builds anticipation

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Most collectors don’t worry about what’s coming at the end of the trading card season just yet. Usually, we like to focus on the next coming product to gauge our interest if we want to buy or hold off until the next product comes out.

But Panini America likes to constantly tease it collectors with pictures and info from products that won’t be coming out until the spring.

It’s a way to build collector interest in forthcoming products, just as they did recently with 2011 National Treasures Football. The set is still in its relative infancy as cards are being set to players for their signatures – and there isn’t even a release date firmly placed on the cardboard calendar just yet.

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McQueary card reveals eerie tie to Sandusky

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor | Commentary

Beyond the shock and dismay brought on by today’s key testimony in a preliminary hearing for the Jerry Sandusky trial, we managed to find a few cards of former Penn State player and assistant football coach Mike McQueary in the Beckett database.

The key witness has a total of three cards, but this one in particular sent some shivers. Read More »

First look: 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is bringing back the favorites.

The Fan Favorites, that is.

The company teased the release of a new — but old — line of cards for 2012 as it appears it is readying Fan Favorites for a return of sorts after a seven-year hiatus.

Fan Favorites, which first arrived in 2003, was a set comprised of past favorites in new photos on varying card designs from past Topps sets. The real draw? Certified autographs — signed on-card — along with the old looks with new (cleaner) printing technology. Oh, and there were Chrome cards — and Refractors, too. This time, though, they will be found as an insert set in an also-revived and not-yet-unveiled Topps Archives product.

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Did you know? … Jose Cano has a story

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

I’ve said for years — and written it at a few stops along the way — that every card has a story.

Here’s my latest example, which comes from a set I have sorted thousands of cards from through the years — and it’s a card I don’t remember ever seeing because it’s just that forgettable.

It’s a 1990 Bowman Jose Cano Rookie Card — card No. 68 — and it’s generously valued at a nickel. But the story part? Did you know that this once 27-year-old pitcher with six games in the big leagues in 1989 has a pretty famous son?

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Ripping Retail: 10 Japanese baseball card packs

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into 10 random packs of Japanese baseball cards from BBM and Konami in this latest edition of Ripping Retail.

Why Japanese baseball cards? Because the MLB world is awaiting the news of whether Japan’s Yu Darvish will come to MLB, of course.

What was inside? Watch and find out …

Prime Cuts returns in March with MLB legends

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The box is back.

Panini America announced on Thursday that one of the most-popular high-end releases from the Donruss-Playoff days, Prime Cuts, will return in March with some of baseball’s most legendary names in tow.

The names are part of a new card agreement with CMG Worldwide, which will give Panini the rights to use the likenesses of Jackie Robinson, Jimmie Foxx, Johnny Mize, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, Roy Campanella, Thurman Munson, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Jim Thorpe in its MLBPA-approved products.

It will be the first Prime Cuts release by Panini, though the brand was quite popular in 2004-05 when Donruss was a full MLB Properties and MLBPA-approved manufacturer and then when it was revived by the former company after it lost its MLB licensing in 2008.

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