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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Saturday is National Hockey Card Day (Now on both sides of the border)

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

For the fourth year in a row now, Upper Deck will kick off the Canadian National Hockey Card Day on Saturday, Feb. 11  with tons of exclusive giveaways and a special 16-card set. But this year, the other nation in North America, the United States, will also be included in the hobby holiday.

Find out how to participate on either side of  the border after the jump.

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Don’t go nuts: The Rally Squirrel might not be as rare as other 2012 Topps SPs

By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst | Analysis

The 2012 Topps Series 1 base set photo variation short-prints have been some the best selling cards in the hobby during the last 10 days. Topps inserted 22 different variations, including super rare Albert Pujols Angels and Jose Reyes Marlins cards.

But the card that has attracted the most attention has been Skip Schumaker‘s “Rally Squirrel” variation. The first auction for the card ended a little over a week ago at more than $600 and early sales were in the $150-$300 range.  The card has since settled in at $60-$120 and is selling roughly eight to 10 times better than any other short print in the base set, with the exception of the Pujols and Reyes cards.

Should it be? Is the Rally Squirrel and easy pull compared to the other short-printed variations? Our secondary market sales analysis indicates that it is.

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Willie Mays is Topps’ first Prime 9 player of 2012

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

You can “Say Hey” to this year’s HTA Prime 9 cards beginning today as Topps has announced the first player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

It’s “The Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays.

All collectors who found a Week 1 redemption card in their 2012 Topps packs (two per hobby or HTA Jumbo box) can exchange their cards for the Mays  Chrome Refractor card seen here at a participating hobby shop.

Topps will announce the remaining nine Home Run Legends each Friday for the next eight weeks.

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.

HTA Box Busters: A golden 2012 Topps jumbo box

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into an HTA jumbo box of 2012 Topps baseball cards in a rather golden episode of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? What makes this video so golden? Watch and find out …

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

2011 Panini Playbook Football: The Secret Set

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

You know that one track that’s never mentioned, or just subtly hinted at in the liner notes? You think the music is over and you’re about to loop back to the first song, and then — BOOM! — another song!

Keep listening, collectors. Panini America‘s 2011 football product album has a bonus track — 2011 Panini Playbook.

Just as we thought we had seen a preview for the company’s National Treasures grand finale, a “high-end, booklet-based” encore is apparently upon us. Mysteriously teased in an early-January Panini photo gallery, the brand new brand has now been confirmed and slated for an April 4 release date.

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First Look: 2012 Bowman Platinum baseball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The third time’s the charm — at least in some boxes — for Bowman Platinum.

Topps unveiled the basic product information and preview images for 2012 Bowman Platinum on Thursday, and new this year — the third for the brand — will be redemption cards good for full game-used items from the Arizona Fall League.

As in memorabilia pieces, game-used caps, game-used baseballs, bases and more. In all, there are 53 redemption cards to be found for items — including at least one for Bryce Harper.

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Behold: 2011 National Treasures Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Perhaps Panini‘s experience at football’s premiere event  (ahem … the freaking Super Bowl) took their gridiron game to the next level — or maybe this is just the latest and greatest National Treasures release.

The company recently released a jaw-dropping gallery featuring the premium pieces and dramatic details from the highest-of-high-end brand. To describe the forthcoming March 21 release with any word other than “Schwing!” would be more inappropriate than the phrase itself.

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Beam me up, Scotty: A number of James Doohan autos to hit the market

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With all the different Star Trek series and movies, Trekkies have had their favorite characters over the years. But the original always seems to have a special place with fans even if they grew up watching Jean-Luc Picard running the show.

Rittenhouse is releasing the second series of Star Trek: The Next Generation trading cards at the end of February, but one of the most popular cards is cut autograph from James Doohan. That’s Scotty to all you non sci-fi nerds.

It’s unclear how many of Doohan’s cards will be in the set, but the picture released by Rittenhouse shows at least 30 cards.

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First look: 2011 Prime Cuts baseball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Now that the licensing deal is out of the way, the cards can be seen.

Just hours after Panini America unveiled its licensing deal with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it pulled back the curtain on the first product that will be utilizing those Hall of Famers to the Nth Degree.

And that’s Prime Cuts, which is scheduled to arrive on March 15.

Labeled as a 2011 product, this high-end line will include two autographs, two memorabilia cards and one additional auto or mem card in every pack.

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Jeremy Lin’s cards soar after impressive nights on the court

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

One of the hottest NBA players right now is a guy who didn’t get noticed by many scouts. He was usually found at the bottom of reports with nothing more than a line or two.

But over the span of two days, Jeremy Lin has excited basketball fans and card collectors. The secondary-market prices are on a crazy surge – especially for a player who has just one NBA start.

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Panini America signs licensing deal with National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America has taken the next step toward covering all of Major League Baseball on its baseball cards as it signed a multi-year licensing deal with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Terms of the deal announced Wednesday were not disclosed but it starts immediately, allowing the Texas-based company the right to show all Hall inductees, use Hall of Fame trademarks and showcase artifact images in six baseball card sets per year. The first of those will be Prime Cuts, which arrives in March.

“The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum represents the greatest players and personalities the sport has ever known and this partnership will help us bring that level of unparalleled excellence to our products,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “The trading cards we make utilizing this license will no doubt be Hall of Fame worthy.”

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Panini Silhouettes are signed, sealed … and set to be delivered

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America‘s first NBA product of the 2011-12 card season is nearing completion — and one of the most important stages for one card type to be found has been completed.

The autographs — rather, the on-card autographs — and they can be found in 2011 Preferred.

One of the high-end product’s sets, Silhouettes, carry rather striking signed prime patch cards and they are one of the sets found in the product, which is comprised of cards echoing three past products in the company’s portfolio — Panini’s Choice (a nod to Cramer’s Choice from the Pacific days), Crown Royale Silhouettes and Donruss Signatures. In fact, it’s a “three-brand” product without “base” cards at all as every card in the set is autographed except for a selection of booklet cards.

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Hobby reality show, Ball Boys, coming to ABC

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When you walk into a good card shop, it’s can be a place you might not want to leave because of what’s found inside, what walks in the door and the discussions that take place.

And that’s exactly what viewers will get with Ball Boys, a reality show revolving around a hobby shop set to premiere on ABC on March.

The scene for the show is Robbie’s First Base, a shop in Timonium, Md., a suburb of Baltimore, which has been in business since 1989. It’s owned by Robbie Davis Sr., who works with his 30-year-old son, Robbie Jr., along with employees Shaggy and Sweet Lou.  The first two episodes of the show, which is from the producers of Pawn Stars, will air beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern on March 24.

So, how did it all come about?

“One day, I was just sitting at my desk and the phone rang and the girl from Leftfield Pictures, the production company, asked me had I ever seen the show Pawn Stars,”  said Robbie Jr. on Monday. “And oddly enough I had just seen it for the first time the week before, and I told my dad about it. She asked if we would be interested in doing a reality show about sports memorabilia.

“[We were] amazed,” he said. “[It was a] very easy decision. Anytime a small business gets an opportunity like this, it’s a no-brainer.”

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Press Pass Offers Exclusive Andrew Luck Autographs

By Andrew Tolentino | Beckett Media

The Super Bowl is over. Eli Manning‘s Giants are officially a football dynasty, and fans will have to wait until late summer before the gridiron takes center stage again.

But that doesn’t mean football collectors are out of luck.  In fact, according to today’s announcement from Press Pass, it’s quite the opposite.

The card maker that has become famous for its pre-pro football cards just confirmed that Andrew Luck and a lineup of other 2012 top draft prospects will appear — with autographs — in a late-March product release. 2012 Press Pass Rookie Football is expected to hit shelves on March 21 with a number of big-name college players who will undoubtedly amp up a six-per-box autograph guarantee.

More importantly though, this particular product marks the first — and only — opportunity for collectors to land non NFL-licensed authentic autograph cards from the projected No. 1 pick. Lucky you.

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Box Busters: Revealing Beckett Sports Card Monthly’s Art Issue cover piece

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Andrew Tolentino as they get the first look at the artwork you will find on the cover of Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Art Issue when it arrives in hobby shops later this month.

First look: 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Bugs, meteorites and Mars.

That’s not your typical assortment of finds in a hobby box, but Goodwin Champions has never been typical with its hits. This is a product that started a craze with its Entomology Cards where actual bugs were inside shadow boxes.

This year’s Upper Deck Goodwin Champions brings back the entomology cards, but also collectors will have an opportunity to find rocks from meteorites and Mars, and memorabilia pieces from museums, including Civil War and Presidential memorabilia.

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The Martians are coming: Mars Attacks returns for 50th anniversary

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Remember when the Martians invaded Earth? With their huge heads and ginormous eyes encased in a glass helmet? Fans of the Mars Attacks series remember it all too well. But it’s been 50 years since the Topps science fiction trading card set came out.

Mars Attacks spawned dozens of merchandising options from comics to re-issued sets to toys. The series was so interesting and obscure, film director Tim Burton adapted the storyline into a movie in 1996.

It’s time again to remember when the Martians attacked. In conjunction with the 50-year anniversary Topps is releasing a commemorative set.

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Monday Morning Collector: The Super Bowl


By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we selected our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week with a run down on why collectors should take notice. For the postseason we’ll select three standout players for each round. Here are our choices for the Super Bowl. Read More »

Box Busters & contest: 2012 Topps Baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2012 Topps baseball boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? How can you win a hobby box? Watch & find out …


Hobby Q&A: Showcasing A Masterful NBA stash

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Beckett Basketball’s Chris Olds caught up with a heavy collector of Flair Showcase Legacy cards (and more), Ted Yates, after he came to Dallas to get a massive haul of the cards authenticated and slabbed by Beckett Grading Services — a stash that includes two Michael Jordan Masterpiece 1/1 cards and 11 other rarities similar to it.

Check out what he had to say — and what he had to show off — in the video above.

Prolific Patriots: Team Legends on Cardboard


By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Calm down, chowda heads. We wouldn’t dare just run a franchise retrospective on the Giants  without paying homage to Pats of the past. That would be wicked dumb. Below is a cardboard tribute to the most beloved names in New England’s pro football history.

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Giant Giants: New York’s Legends on Cardboard



By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Looking forward to this Sunday’s epic battle between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the most legendary names from each team. First up, the New York Football Giants.

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Upper Deck gets political in World of Sports

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The race for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States is on its way with primaries and caucuses already held in several states. Every week, there’s a new debate with candidates are stumping across the nation looking for support.

Upper Deck has joined the political fray with trading cards featuring many of the Republican candidates such as Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. In addition, UD also created a Barack Obama card to be included in this insert set that will be found in World of Sports.

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Move over Bert and Ernie … here are the Bleacher Creatures

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Just think if Sesame Street came to your street — or maybe Lansdowne Street, Blake Street or any other street with a major sports arena to be found.

That’s just what you get with the Bleacher Creatures, a fully licensed manufacturer of licensed hand puppets, plush and other fun pieces of oddball memorabilia for baseball, football, basketball and hockey fans.

Several stars from the sports world are captured as 14- and 7-inch plush toys, while others are found as hand puppets from the Plymouth Meeting, Pa.-based company. Founded in 2010, Bleacher Creatures aims to create “toys that inspire love for sports teams and players” obviously between the appeal of sports to young children.

In other words, who needs a teddy bear when you have a Blake Griffin, right?


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Panini on location at Super Bowl XLVI Media Day

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Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler took the field (you know, the one in Indianapolis where that game is being played this Sunday) for Super Bowl XLVI Media Day earlier this week. Undoubtedly enjoying some of the perks of Panini’s NFL licenser, the hobby hype man interviewed a number of pro football stars — including a few members from the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.

Watch to see this Sunday’s stars reviewing some of their very own trading cards (Patriots video after the break).
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