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Monthly Archives: March 2012

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!


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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Ripping Retail: 2012 Topps Heritage baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into some 2012 Topps Heritage packs in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out … Look for our Box Busters video on Heritage soon.

First look: 2011-12 Panini Past & Present

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

If you’re fan of the old — but also a fan of the new — then the new Panini America basketball set might be for you.

Panini offered the first looks at 2011-12 Past & Present basketball on Tuesday, a product that it promises “to embrace the extreme differences between vintage cards and cutting-edge print technologies in one unique product.”

That means that you’ll find cards with some new looks and experiments on this brand-new line and you’ll also find some cards with more familiar looks, too, when it arrives on May 9.

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The basics: 2012 Topps Heritage baseball variations

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The official hobby arrival of 2012 Topps Heritage is just a day away, so here are some of the things to look for when you’re ripping into those packs of the 1963-inspired cards.

Look for these for starters:

Error short-prints. There are 10 cards with variations based on mistakes found on cards in the original 1963 set. They include Darwin Barney, Kerry Wood, Dan Haren, Ryan Madson (twice?), Carlos Pena, Julio Teheran and Mike Stanton along with two of the Rookie Stars cards, Nos. 29 and 54. What are the mistakes? We’ll let you discover them for yourself for now …

Image-swap variations. There are 25 cards where the images’ positions have been switched from the normal card. The smaller black-and-white image from the circle is the main card photo and the standard card’s photo is now in the circle. Mostly stars in this one — some of them include Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum and Prince Fielder.

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Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit fan gets his own card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you thought it was tough getting on a baseball card, you should try pulling one.

Specifcially, this one — the 2012 Topps Opening Day card of Christian Lopez, the New York Yankees fan who caught Derek Jeter‘s 3,000th hit ball and gave it back to the future Hall of Famer.

After a week of release, just four copies of the card have surfaced on eBay — one active auction and three that have sold for quite a few packs of the dollar-a-pack product. One copy sold for $59.99, another for $40 (after eight bids) and the first to sell went for just $25.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1978 Topps baseball cellos

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) for a retro pack break of 1978 Topps baseball cello 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 3: What should next week's rip be?

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Box Busters: 2012 SAGE HIT football cards

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

What will they find? Watch and find out …

Massive Ink Peek: 2012 Press Pass Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Whether he realizes it or not, Andrew Luck’s Stanford-themed inscription is telling of what many collectors will be shouting when they pull  his exclusive, early season autographs in 2012 Press Pass starting next week. (As in, “I just pulled an Andrew Luck auto, go card!” or “I’m about to sell this Andrew Luck auto, go card!”

The product, as previously noted, will be the first brand to offer Luck-inked cards before the NFL-licensed sets hit the market. Also including inscriptions and red ink from Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Michael Floyd and many more freshman stars,  here’s a look at how the March 21 release looks to extend the luck of St. Patrick’s Day. Read More »

Topps makes good on 2012 Tribute change

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ first high-end release of 2012, Topps Tribute, arrived on Friday with previously announced bonus cards not actually being bonuses due to a change in the product configuration.

The company is fixing that problem.

The Tribute To The Stars autographs were originally supposed to be incrementally placed extra hits in the product. Instead, these cards have been found in place of an autograph or Relic.

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Your Turn: How has the Web changed the hobby?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

How has the Internet changed your hobby?

It’s a bit of a loaded question because there are countless possible answers — it might be better to ask whether there are ways it hasn’t changed collecting.

Better yet, though, we figured we’d just ask you — because there just might be many different answers for many different people. Dealers might sound different than collectors. Manufacturers might have differing answers, too. You’re all out there.

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re going to explore some of the ways that the Internet has transformed collecting, the industry, the market. For one part of the issue, we’re planning to showcase your answers on this wide-ranging topic. Leave your comments — with a name and location — below and we’ll showcase the most notable ones in the magazine.

Also, be sure to take our polls asking you about the Internet’s influence after the jump.

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Mickey Mantle is Topps’ fifth Prime 9 redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you have card No. 5, then you have No.7.

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

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