Monthly Archives: February 2012

Box Busters: Inside another vintage baseball card grab bag

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds noticed that a lot of you noticed his recent vintage baseball card grab bag video, so naturally he picked up another vintage baseball card grab bag to video just for you — and he’s hoping you’ll notice once again.

What will he find inside this time? Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail Retro: A pack from a 1980s classic

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a single pack of a 1980s classic in this Ripping Retail retro video.

What did he buy? What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Preview Gallery: 2012 Topps Heritage baseball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s edition of the hobby’s annual throwback to yesteryear, Topps Heritage, isn’t set to arrive in hobby shops until March 14, but we got our hands on an early retail box and cracked it without the cameras rolling.

We’ll hold off on any in-depth analysis of what we found until our forthcoming Box Busters episode and instead let you examine some of what we found for yourself among the colorful throwback cards in the style of 1963 Topps.

After the jump, you can find a massive 40-card preview gallery of what we found inside … and you just might notice some quirks among the cards seen here to get you guessing what Topps might have up its sleeve in this year’s set. Also be sure to take our poll (and leave a comment) to offer your first impressions.

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Davy Jones’ career can be remembered via music, television … and trading cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Cheer up, Sleepy Jean.

Davy Jones, one of the four members of the 1960s band The Monkees, died on Wednesday at age 66, leaving a career chronicled via music, television shows and, of course, trading cards.

Jones sang lead vocals on the band’s final No. 1 hit in the U.S., “Daydream Believer,” and, of course, was one of the key targets of hijinks — as the little guy — during episodes of the band’s television show, which ran for parts of three years and won two Emmys. According to Billboard, the band sold more albums than the Rolling Stones and The Beatles combined in 1967.

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Box Busters Teaser: 2011-12 NBA Hoops (3 packs)

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into three 2011-12 NBA Hoops hobby packs in this Box Busters teaser video.

What did he find? Watch and find out …

We’ll have a full box break later this week.

Panini America unveils Playoff Contenders Baseball autograph short-prints

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s newest edition of Playoff Contenders baseball is barely a week old — and that’s an eternity for many collectors wondering which autographed cards are short-printed in this year’s set.

The company took care of that mystery on Wednesday when it released the tiers of SPs in the MLBPA-approved product.

The rarest card in the product is the Rookie Tickets card of No. 2 overall pick Danny Hultzen, which is limited to just 87 copies.

See the rest of the list … after the jump.

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First look: 2012 Topps Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Hold tight, football fans. There’s plenty of time before the next season starts, and we’re still more than 50 days away from the 2012 NFL draft, but Topps is already building hype with its basic football brand.

The pre-preseason preview has officially begun. 2012 Topps Football hits the streets in early August with familiar appeal and new, old-fashioned fun. Behold.

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Panini America reveals photo variations for 2011 Playoff Contenders Rookie Cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

If you look closely at the Rookie Tickets in 2011 Playoff Contenders Football, you might have noticed a slight difference in the photos of the same player.

There are small discrepancies, but Panini America has made variations to all 36 cards in the subset.

Want to know exactly what you’re looking for? Well, check out the photo gallery with pics below. Click on the images twice for a full-size look.

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Preview Gallery: 2012 Topps Opening Day


 By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We got a chance to open some packs of 2012 Topps Opening Day baseball cards without the cameras rolling on Tuesday, well in advance of the arrival of the retail staple’s debut on March 7.

We’ll save the details for the Box Busters and more to come, though.

For now, check out some of the cards — inserts and notable uniform updates for a few players not seen in 2012 Topps Series 1 — that we found inside.

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Box Busters: 2012 Upper Deck World of Sports

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds, Bryan Hornbeck and Dave Sliepka as they rip into a pair of 2012 Upper Deck World of Sports boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter code is cracked

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The Ginter Code was a tough one this year. Unlike year’s past when it took days or even just a few short weeks to figure out the puzzle, the 2011 code took seven months to finally get cracked.

Topps is closer to the release of 2012 Allen & Ginter than it is of the release that had this crazy puzzle.

Finally, a group of three men broke through.

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Does extra auto ink negate need for logos?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The ongoing saga of how collectors might react to Panini America‘s MLBPA baseball cards offered its lasted chapter on Monday as the company teased a number of cards yet to the signed for its forthcoming Prime Cuts product.

And it all left me saying “Who needs logos when you have inscriptions?”

Prime Cuts is set to include a Notable Nicknames autographed insert set — which means Albert Pujols here should be adding something like “The Machine” signed alongside his pricey sig. That’s an addition that doesn’t come cheap.

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Box Busters: A hobby shop vintage grab bag

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into something he picked up at a hobby shop (gasp!) and found a great piece of trivia inside in this latest edition of (sorta) Box Busters.

What did he buy? Watch and find out …

Want to comment on the video? Find it at www.beckett.com/news

Hank Aaron is Topps’ third Prime 9 redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you have card No. 3, then you have the guy who was once known for 755.

You know, 755 career home runs.

Topps has announced its third HTA Prime 9 card, and it’s Hank Aaron who is the third player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

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Former Topps employee files multi-million dollar lawsuit over John Henry card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A former Topps employee filed a lawsuit in a New York Supreme Court last week seeking more than $4 million in damages after his image was used on a trading card without his permission.

Christopher Holmes, a former long-time brand manager for the company, was featured on five trading cards depicting him as the folk hero John Henry, a former slave who helped build railroads in mystifying fashion.

According to court documents, Holmes has “suffered public ridicule, degradation, humiliation, emotional distress, economic damages and other injuries” due to the American History Relic card, which was released in 2011 Topps Triple Threads. He also alleges that the cards are in violation of New York Civil Rights Law, which prohibits “the use of a person’s name, portrait, picture or voice for the purposes of advertising or trade without the written consent of the subject.”

Holmes, who had been employed by the company since 1994, was photographed while an employee last July, but he was terminated from the company without good cause, according to court documents, on Aug. 26. The cards were released in Triple Threads on Sept. 28.

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Box Busters: 2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball boxes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Playoff Contenders Football

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a  pair of 2011 Playoff Contenders boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Collectors create insert set for Panini’s upcoming NBA Hoops

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Almost a year ago, Panini America asked collectors to come up with an insert set for an upcoming NBA product.

Collectors were asked to vote on theme, name of the insert, checklist and also design for the cards. It was a insert set essentially made by collectors.

Well, Panini has unveiled the inserts that you – the collector – has made and will be live in 2011-12 NBA Hoops, which should be out next week.

The 20-card set is named “A Night to Remember” and features some of the greatest NBA players in history such as Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson. But current stars weren’t forgotten either as guys such as Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant made the list.

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Michigan family finds rare football card in old farmhouse

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Attics and basements, old storage units and safe deposit boxes. These are the kind of places collectors store things away, sometimes even forgotten about.

Many people have found treasures in strange places, most recently a Michigan family who unearthed a rare find when going through an old farmhouse after a recent family death. They found many old items, but one thing caught their eye: a slew of vintage football and boxing trading cards, according to a report from WSBT-TV.

The family held on to the cards and got in touch with a local card shop. It was a good thing they didn’t trash the collection.

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Box Busters: 2012 Press Pass Total Memorabilia

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Join Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2012 Press Pass Total Memorabilia racing boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011-12 ITG Heroes & Prospects

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects hockey cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Kyrie Irving NSCC promo card picks up steam

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

What happens when a player has no regular-issue NBA cards?

It means what had been a free promo card is now a $40 in-demand commodity.

That’s exactly the case as the only card of No. 1 overall draft pick Kyrie Irving can be found in the 2011 Panini National VIP set (No. 5), a card selling so well of late that it’s been bumped up from its previous high of $6.

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Hobby Challenge: Make fun of your collection

 

I'd like the hair on my head to match my mustache, please.

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By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Why so serious?

Poking around our hockey forums yesterday afternoon, I stumbled across a thread entitled “HILARIOUS hockey cards! Post em here!” Member tha penguin opened the online floodgates and encouraged fellow collectors to join in on the fun by posting scans of their favorite funny cards with interpretive commentary.

For the most part, hobby hilarity has ensued and the collector challenge has been extended. (More details after the jump.) Read More »

2012 UFC Finest offers more than autos, relics

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

When collectors get their hands on 2012 Topps UFC Finest, they should be on the lookout for Dana White autographs.

The current UFC Prez is one of the most familiar faces, but also pulling his solo autograph means a chance at winning an exclusive UFC trip.

Finest is a comprehensive set when it comes to getting hits. Of course, it has the requisite autos and relic cards, but it includes opportunities to win autographed memorabilia and a trip where a lucky fan and a guest will attend an event and meet fighters.

That all comes in one product 2012 Topps UFC Finest scheduled to be out mid-July.

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The late 1980s: The gift that keeps on giving

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

If you weren’t around collecting in the late 1980s, then you missed out on a whirlwind of epic proportions that shaped much of the cardboard world we know today.

But thanks to overproduction, you can relive it all over again in a few ways — but now it’s even better.

One example of that can be found — enhanced — in the re-launched NBA Hoops line of basketball cards that arrives next week from Panini America. It will have autographed buybacks of David Robinson‘s second card from his rookie year in tow, and that’s a pretty impressive inclusion that might not resonate with some, but it will with many others.

You see, Hoops — and 1989 in particular — was a game-changer for the hobby.

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Lin’s game-used jersey to benefit charity

 

Update: The auction ended at $42,388 after 34 bids.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Interest in Jeremy Lin‘s meteoric rise to the biggest name in The Big Apple might be waning just a bit, but a key piece of his memorabilia is on the auction block and could change some people’s minds once again.

Because it, too, is a bit lin-sane.

It’s his game-used New York Knicks jersey from Feb. 10 — the night he scored a career-high 38 points in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers — and it’s being sold as part of a package with four Knicks tickets and the chance to meet Lin through CharityBuzz.com.

The auction ends at noon on Tuesday and bidding presently stands at $31,388. It benefits The Garden of Dreams Foundation.

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

Panini addresses customer service concerns

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America addressed collector concerns about its customer service department and the long-standing, industry-wide issue of redemption cards on Monday after a number of collectors had recently expressed frustration with an inability to get in touch with representatives for the company.

According to a company statement, Panini is restructuring the department to expedite deliveries as well as follow through on replacement scenarios in a more timely fashion when needed.

The full statement can be found after the jump.

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Panini’s 2011-12 Titanium Hockey marks another brand revival

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Over the weekend Panini America gave collectors a sneak peek at the latest chapter in its hockey brand revival saga. This time, the card maker took us back to the early 2000s to reawaken Pacific Trading Cards product Titanium Hockey.

Retaining original Rookie Card appeal and updated to meet current hobby standards, 2011-12 Titanium Hockey will hit  the streets in April — seven years after the brand’s last installment. Read More »

RG3 & friends’ first SAGE cards arrive in March

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III will appear on licensed football cards starting in March. The Baylor quarterback gained plenty of attention last season when he ran away with the Heisman voting and became known by just three characters: RG3.

He and many other football rookies get their faces on the first card set of the year in HIT Football – Low Series from SAGE Collectibles.

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NFLPA sends agents memo on unlicensed deals

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The NFL Players Association recently sent a memo to agents reminding them that signing deals with non-licensed trading card companies could end up costing their players money later.

Presently, only Topps and Panini America are fully licensed card companies with the NFL and the NFLPA, which allows unrestricted use of NFLPA members in their products once the players sign. Meanwhile, four other card companies — Press Pass, SAGE, Upper Deck and Leaf — will produce prospect cards of the players in other uniforms (only Upper Deck has NCAA logo use rights).

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Ripping Retail: 1991 Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards (UK edition)

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 1991 Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards (UK edition) in search of a Whitney Houston card or two in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside this affordable non-sports gem? Watch and find out …

Online giant Blowout Cards opens a shop

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Sometimes it pays to go against the grain — and Blowout Cards is trying just that.

While countless hobby shops have closed their doors in recent years to focus on selling inventory online, one of the industry’s leading online sellers is doing the exact opposite.

Blowout is opening a card shop.

Beckett Media caught up with Blowout’s Thomas Fish to talk about the company’s new shop in Chantilly, Va., which recently opened with a soft launch in advance of a March 1 grand opening.

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Babe Ruth is Topps’ second Prime 9 redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you have card No. 2, then you can do your best Sonny Bono now.

As in “I got you, Babe.”

Topps announced its second HTA Prime 9 card today, and it’s Babe Ruth who is the second player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

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Hall of Famer Gary Carter loses cancer battle

By Chris Olds| Beckett Baseball Editor

Baseball Hall of Famer Gary Carter, a member of the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets, lost his battle with cancer on Thursday. He was 57.

“The Kid” played 19 seasons in the majors for the Expos, Mets, Giants and Dodgers, hitting .262 with 324 home runs and 1,225 RBI. He was an 11-time All-Star, twice the MVP of the Midsummer Classic, and a three-time Gold Glove winner behind the plate. He retired in 1992 and was inducted into Cooperstown in 2003 on his sixth try.

On cardboard, Carter appears on 2,746 different cards in the Beckett.com database with his Rookie Cards coming in the 1975 Topps and 1975 O-Pee-Chee sets. Before the news, his Topps RC commonly sold for $15 or less, while his OPC card topped out at $25 — both bargains within the era.

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Box Busters: 2011-12 Limited Hockey

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Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino tear into two boxes of 2011-12 Limited Hockey. Watch to find out what they found inside this limited-quantity box break.