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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ripping Retail Retro: 1981 Topps football racks

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Join Beckett Football‘s Andrew Tolentino as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) for a retro pack break of 1981 Topps rack packs in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Next week’s rip: A 1989 Upper Deck low series baseball box.

Your take: CBS News segment examines ‘dying’ baseball card industry (take our polls)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

CBS News examined what it calls a dying baseball card industry during a four-minute, 49-second feature on Sunday.

It included interviews with an author, a show promotor, a dealer-collector and vintage dealer “Mr. Mint” Alan Rosen.

We want to know what you think after you watch it with our questions after the jump. Please leave a comment if you’d like to say more.

Update: Panini America did not take the story lightly.

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Topps signs Yoenis Cespedes to autograph deal

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is hoping its latest autograph acquisition leads to some moneyball for collectors.

The company announced on Friday that it has signed Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to an autograph deal, meaning the promising Cuban star will appear in products beginning with 2012 Bowman.

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NFL players’ groups sue Upper Deck for $1.5M in unpaid licensing, autograph fees

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The NFL Players Association and NFL Players Inc. have filed a lawsuit against Upper Deck this week in the New York Supreme Court seeking nearly $1.5 million in unpaid royalties and autograph fees for more than 220 NFL players.

The lawsuit, which is for “serial breaches of contracts,” asserts that Upper Deck has not disputed its owed monies, and offered to negotiate a payment plan “claiming that Upper Deck’s financial situation was preventing timely payments of the amounts due.” Furthermore, the filing also states that “it became apparent during the course of the discussions that Upper Deck did not intend to honor its contractual obligations. Considering Upper Deck’s recent history of flouting its legal obligations to its licensors, including … admitted counterfeiting [Konami Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit] … and millions of dollars in outstanding payments to other licensors, Plaintiffs gave up hope that Upper Deck would honor its contractual commitments.”

In total, the company owes players more than $1.25 million for autographs alone, with the rest ($368,354.49)  being for licensing and service agreements. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo tops the list with $180,000 owed, while new New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow is owed $84,000 and St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is owed $71,960. The NFLPA also is seeking to find out whether the company had players sign additional autographs outside of the NFLPA’s agreements — which also could amount to additional financial damages. This comes on the heels of the company’s lawsuit with Major League Baseball for unpaid settlement agreement money in its trademark lawsuit, while the company also has a few other lawsuits presently in the courts system.

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Ernie Banks is Topps’ seventh Prime 9 redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

You can play two, but the redemption won’t get you two.

Topps has announced its seventh HTA Prime 9 card of the year, and it’s Ernie Banks who is the newest player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

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Manning, Tebow will don new unis in 2012 Bowman

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The card companies didn’t take long to get Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow into their respective new uniforms.

Topps released card images that will appear in 2012 Bowman, which will arrive in May.

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Travis Pastrana to appear in Press Pass Ignite

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Travis Pastrana is working with Press Pass again. The extreme sports athlete is making his way into the mainstream by competing in several Nationwide and K&N races this year.

Press Pass announced the partnership on Thursday on its Facebook page, showing pictures of Pastrana with his famous thumbs up pose.

Pastrana will have autographs and memorabilia cards first appear in Press Pass Ignite, which is scheduled to come out in May. Take a look at more information from Ignite here.

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Panini readies Tim Tebow’s first Jets card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Sure, it took Tim Tebow two tries to attempt a trade from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets, but Panini America was on it the first time around.

With a look at his first Jets football card and its first NFL card set of 2012 — Prestige.

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Topps will bring Five Star to baseball

 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is taking its baseball line truly high-end with one offering to come this year.

How far? MLB will be getting the Five Star treatment.

The high-end line, which debuted in the NFL in 2010 with a $400 suggested retail price per box, included four on-card autographs and one jumbo Relic in every box in its debut football season. Details for the baseball line were not yet disclosed.

While some company officials had previously discounted the idea of such an approach in baseball — there’s no Rookie Premiere to obtain autographs in larger quantities without tremendous cost — the company said it is going forward with plans for the line on Tuesday afternoon.

More info to come soon. Take our poll below and tell us what you think in the comments.

Your Take: 2012 Topps Five Star Baseball

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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.

So, what are the 2012 Topps Heritage variations?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Hope you didn’t jettison some of those 2012 Topps Heritage commons just yet — as there are some tough-to-pull variations to be found inside those packs.

As previously reported here, there are 10 cards in the set that have intentional error-and-correction variations — some as a nod to the 1963 set. While Topps has not yet confirmed these cards, here is our list confirmed with the help of a few dealers around the country.

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Animal Kingdom cards challenge hobby trends

 

Update (April 19, 2013): Check out a Beckett Select Auction for one of these sets here.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Finding The Next Big Thing is a challenge for all of the hobby’s card manufacturers.

What is it? That’s a question that could have a few answers — but it’s an item that will help spark sales of wax boxes without breaking the bank for manufacturers. And, it’s something that’s not an autograph or piece of game-used memorabilia as the acquisition fees for those items just don’t seem to be getting smaller … and the secondary market seems to flounder on them at times, too.

But Upper Deck may have found something with its four-per-case Animal Kingdom embroidered patch cards from 2011 Goodwin Champions as the rarer cards in the set from the multi-sport product have been commanding hundreds of dollars in online auctions for some time now.

Without a single dollop of ink or jersey swatch involved.

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Memory Lane Inc. to auction PSA 2 Honus Wagner

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A PSA 2 specimen of the hobby’s most-famous baseball card is set to hit the auction block.

It’s a Honus Wagner T206 tobacco card, and it headlines Memory Lane Inc.‘s Holy Grail Auction, which launches on April 21 and ends on May 5. The opening bid is $550,000.

According to Beckett sales data, the Tustin, Calif.-based company last sold a PSA 2 for $294,337 in December 2006. Meanwhile, a PSA 8 was sold for a record $2.8 million in 2007. A PSA 2 typically sells for $500,000 or less, but with an estimated total of just 50 known to exist — many of those in worse condition — there aren’t too many alternatives for a prospective buyer when one comes to market.

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Panini America lands USA Baseball license

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America just added the red, white and blue to its baseball card portfolio.

The Texas-based company announced on Monday that it has signed an exclusive multi-year deal to be the official card manufacturer for USA Baseball beginning later this year. Topps had held the license since taking it over from Upper Deck in 2010.

“Some of the greatest players of all time made their marks with USA Baseball long before they made their marks as professional players,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “This new agreement gives us the exclusive opportunity to introduce fans and collectors to tomorrow’s stars.”

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Andrew Tolentino as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) for a retro pack break of 1981-81 O-Pee-Chee hockey packs in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

What should they rip next week? Tell us below …

Ripping Retail Retro Week 4: What should next week's rip be?

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Peyton’s Place is … Denver?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Peyton Manning will be a Denver Bronco this season, meaning the above card will appear in 2012 Prestige football packs from Panini America.

We want to know what you think of the move on cards — for both Manning and current Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Tell us by taking the polls below and leaving a comment.

Peyton Manning as a Bronco

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Tim Tebow's hobby future looks ...

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

First look: Sportskings Series E

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Sports Kings LLP is gearing up for another release this spring with Sportskings Series E, a high-end product featuring athletes across a broad range of sports.

Each box – with a pre-release price around $100 – contains five cards: three base (including random minis), one base with a premium back and an insert, which is a memorabilia or autograph.

The set is scheduled to be released on May 3 and a checklist is not scheduled to arrive until early April.

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First look: 2012 Topps Finest Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Not long after the retro-filled, quarterback commemorative, Andrew Luck-infused goodness coming in basic Topps football,  2012 Finest should hit hobby  shops with distinct, higher-end appeal.

The fourth brand in Topps’ early-season release schedule lands on Aug. 20  — leaving plenty of time  to swap these airbrushed mockup images for fully-licensed NFL photography. According to the manufacturer, 2012 Topps Finest will include even more on-card autographs which should make for a lineup of big hits in Rookie Refractor autograph variations, Finest Atomic rookie autograph Refractors, and, let’s be honest, anything with Andrew Luck’s signature on it.  More details after the jump.

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“Day with the Cup” insert back in 2011-12 Upper Deck Hockey Series 2

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

One of the popular inserts from the first installment of 2011-12 Upper Deck Hockey is back for Series 2.

The card company worked with members of the Hockey Hall of Fame to get pictures of the Stanley-Cup winning Boston Bruins as they enjoyed their day with the Cup.

No hot tubs this time, but several of the Bruins took the Stanley Cup to interesting places. Series 2 features 11 new additions to join the 14 subjects from Series 1.

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Hobby Q&A: ‘Ball Boys’ Executive Producer Shawn Witt discusses reality show debut

Robbie's First Base is the setting for a reality TV show that debuts next Saturday afternoon on ABC.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

While many collectors can walk into a hobby shop any day of the week, many others might get their first glimpses — at least in a long time — when Ball Boys debuts on ABC next Saturday afternoon.

Yep, it’s a reality TV show set in a hobby shop.

The location 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.

Although you can read our previous story by clicking here, We caught up with Executive Producer Shawn Witt to get a few more basics about the show in this exclusive Q&A.

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A-Rod is Topps’ sixth Prime 9 redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps has announced its sixth HTA Prime 9 card of the year, and it’s Alex Rodriguez who is the newest player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

The New York Yankees third baseman is entering his 19th season in the majors and has 629 career home runs, placing him sixth on the career list. With his first home run of the year, he will tie Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on the list.

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Oyo Sportstoys readies for rookie season in MLB

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Sometimes the ideas come from out of nowhere, but for Tom Skripps it came after building a spaceship from a certain popular building-block brand and a subsequent trip to Fenway Park to see his Boston Red Sox play.

That’s how the idea for Oyo Sportstoys was born.

What started as an idea has become a fully licensed creation for Skripps and his Acton, Mass-based company, which has launched its series of poseable mini action figures that can be used in conjunction with those popular Legos — or other toy blocks. (They are, however, not associated with Lego and are more articulated than that brand’s figures. … Anyone want to build a Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium now?)

“Our product line had a limited launch in the fall for the World Series and it did very well for us,” Skripps said. “This spring we have all 30 teams and many players for each team. This is Gen 1 Limited Edition, and we will change to Gen 2 next season.”

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Box Busters: 2011-12 Panini Preferred

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Rob Springs and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2011-12 Panini Preferred basketball boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside this high-end release? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Press Pass + Contest

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Join Beckett Football’s Andrew Tolentino and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2012 Press Pass football in this latest episode of Box Busters.

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

Panini ponders Peyton’s place via 2012 Prestige

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Where will Peyton Manning go?

That’s the question on the minds of many NFL prognosticators as they power up their expertise and expect to play NFL Nostradamuses any time now — well, at least in advance of the forthcoming End of Days … and Manning’s signing that is.

Will Manning end up with one of the four teams Panini has previewed while also unveiling the look of 2012 Prestige on Wednesday?

Only time will tell. Check out the other three cards after the jump — and tell us where you think Manning will end up in the comments below.

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If you’re a SuperCollector, we want your story!

Update: CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED STEPS ON HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SUBMISSION

Summer 2012 update: All collectors who submit information between now and July 15 will be entered in a drawing for a Mike Trout autographed baseball and a hefty six-autograph card seen here. Follow the instructions and submit your stats and story today! (Click on the page above to read the sample submission.)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We’re going to dedicate an issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly to SuperCollectors this summer and we want to see your collections.

We’ll pick the most interesting and most outrageous collections for that issue of the magazine, but first we need to hear about your stash. Some will make the special issue, while others will appear in the magazines leading up to that issue. (We run SuperCollectors every month.)

You don’t have to have the most-expensive collection on the block but it needs to be unique — downright crazy — in some way that it stands out.

Here are your instructions …

Send in an email to BeckettSuperCollector@gmail.com the following information:

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