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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Blowout Cards settles court case with Upper Deck

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Blowout Cards has settled its lawsuit against Upper Deck that had alleged that the Carlsbad, Calif.-based card company’s distribution policies introduced last year were illegal under antitrust laws and “manipulated the pricing of its products.”

As a result, The Fantastic Store, Blowout’s retail storefront in Chantilly, Va., has been granted Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer status and can sell the company’s products. Meanwhile, the long-running BlowoutCards.com online storefront does not sell current Upper Deck products at this time.

Beckett Media caught up with Blowout owner Thomas Fish for a quick Q&A about the case and what it might mean for collectors.

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Fenway Park celebrates its 100th anniversary

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

BOSTON | The Boston Red Sox are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.

The small ballpark nestled inside the city limits could be hard to see if you’re not looking for it, but the stadium has such a rich history with most of the greatest players in the game having once played there.

Along with today’s ceremony, the Red Sox have made it easy for fans to celebrate as well. They have created a number of memorabilia pieces with “100 Years” adorning them.

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Honus Wagner card sells for $1.23 million

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

An SGC 40 specimen of the hobby’s most-famous baseball card sold for more than a million dollars on Friday morning at auction.

It’s a Honus Wagner T206 tobacco card (Sweet Caporal back), and it sold for $1,232,466.34 after 14 bids through St. Louis-based Goodwin & Co.

According to Beckett sales data for the card, 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. This is just the fifth time Beckett has tracked a sale of more than $1 million for the card (in any condition).

This one blasted prices previously paid for cards in similar condition as a GAI 3.5 (Very Good+) sold for $456,057 through Mastro Auctions in late 2005.

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.

Need a T206 checklist or a Honus Wagner OPG? Click here.

Box Busters: 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Need a Prime Cuts checklist or OPG? Click here.

First look: 2012 Onyx Platinum Prospects

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There’s a new prospect on the baseball card field.

Onyx Authenticated, an MLBPA-approved memorabilia licensee, is a relative newcomer to the packaged memorabilia field. But now the Riverview, Fla.-based company is taking the next step.

It’s making baseball cards.

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Box Busters: 2012 Press Pass FanFare (w/contest)

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2012 Press Pass FanFare boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

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

Need a checklist or OPG for other 2012 Press Pass sets? Click here.

First Look: 2012 Triple Play baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Have you turned a triple play lately? If not — and it’s not easy — then Panini America‘s next baseball card brand just might let you do that.

Err, well … maybe it will just let you have some fun while collecting.

Panini’s new version of the short-lived, kid-focused card line of the early 1990s arrives this summer when Triple Play comes in July. The 99-cent-a-pack product features vector art drawings of big-leaguers in the 90-card base set — a new look and feel for most any card sets. It also will include oddities such as eye black cards that you can peel and wear to get into your gameday mode. (Need a Triple Play checklist or OPG? Click here.)

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First Look: 2012 Bowman Chrome

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Get ready, Chromies, you now have a new date to mark on the calendar.

Topps unveiled the first look and basic set information for 2012 Bowman Chrome on Thursday, the latest chapter in the always-beloved brand that will pack a bit more punch this year.

Set to arrive on Oct. 17, it will include one Chrome autograph per box and every third box (12 boxes per case) will include an extra autograph, too. (Need a full checklist of past Bowman Chrome sets or an OPG? Click here.)

 

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Box Busters: 2011-12 SP Game-Used hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Andrew Tolentino and Dan Hitt as they rip into a pair of 2011-12 SP Game-Used boxes from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Need an SP Game-Used Checklist or OPG? Click here.

Collector says meeting Kobe was ‘time of our lives’

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

When Nick Gauder opened a pack of Panini America‘s 2010-11 Gold Standard basketball cards, he found something that could have made him very rich from a cash perspective.

It was a Golden Ticket good for a all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles and a chance to meet Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

But after meeting Kobe on Sunday — and an extended trip that allowed Gauder and his mother to meet relatives they hadn’t seen in decades — he was even more enriched.

“It was worth it, brother,” he said Wednesday, “because my mom and I had the time of our lives.”

While we’ll have more on Gauder’s trip in the next issue of Beckett Basketball soon — featuring Kobe on its cover — check out these Panini-produced videos. See Gauder meet Kobe above and see what else he left Los Angeles with below. (Need a full Kobe checklist or OPG? Click here.)

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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.

Your Turn: What are your best memories of collecting in the 1990s? (with polls)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Last year in the pages of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we took a look back at the decade when the hobby as we know it today was born, the 1980s.

This year, we’re taking a look at the decade where the hobby grew up and got complicated … the 1990s.

As part of the upcoming issue, we want to know what you think of the decade — from the 1980s-style overproduced trainwreck sets of the first few years, to the post-strike re-organizing and hobby-revitalizing inclusions such as game-used and certified ink in the later years.

We want to know what your favorites are from that time — any sport, any player, any team. We want to know what you miss. We want to know what you loathe.

We want to know … which players define the 1990s in your mind? We want to know all of that … and more. Tell us what you think and take our polls about the 1990s after the jump.

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First Look: 2011-12 Prime Hockey

 


By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

When the folks at Panini America launch a brand with the word “prime” in the title, they mean it.

On Tuesday, the company gave collectors a look at 2011-12 Prime Hockey. Delivering the industry’s first game-worn helmet decal pieces (Collision Course inserts), sweater lace cards (Prime Ties) and other choice materials, this  product is chock-full of, you guessed it, prime memorabilia.

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Box Busters: 2012 Topps Museum Collection

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Need a 2012 Topps Museum Collection checklist or OPG? Click here.

First look: 2012 Americana Heroes & Legends

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America‘s latest chapter of its popular Americana line of non-sport cards arrives this summer with 2012 Americana Heroes & Legends, a product that will return to a more traditional format, too.

Each 18-pack box will include three autograph or memorabilia cards  as well as nine inserts and a parallel card when it arrives on July 11. There will be 10 cards per pack and 16 boxes per case, according to the company’s announcement on Tuesday.

The product will include a mix of Olympic athletes, military heroes, Astronauts and more — including four Dwight D. Eisenhower Army uniform cut autographs. (Need an Americana checklist or OPG? Click here.)

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Box Busters Retro: 2002-03 Fleer Platinum

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a hobby box of 2002-03 Fleer Platinum cards in this latest Box Busters Retro video.

What will be found inside? Watch and find out …

Need a 2002-03 Fleer Platinum checklist or OPG? Click here.

Mars Attacks co-creator Len Brown autograph added to set; Gallery of Martian artists cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The 50th anniversary of the Mars Attacks will be here shortly. These iconic cards have spawned a movie, toys and many, many nightmares.

It’s a story that people have talked about for a generation.

The creation of Mars Attacks Heritage has already been announced, but Topps announced a surprise addition:

Autograph cards from co-creator Len Brown.

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Don’t call it a comeback: Are food issues the next big retro-redo thing?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

If there’s one trend of the last decade or so that we know has worked pretty well on cardboard, it’s the revamping of old brands or old niches and making them new again.

We’ve seen it in all sports. We’ve seen it from all companies — from the Topps Heritages, Allen & Ginters and Goodwins of the world to the revival of recent-year brands, too in Pacific, Fleer and more.

But one niche we haven’t seen all that much of (but we have some) — at least in direct reproductions — is the revival of the food issue set.

Panini America‘s upcoming Past & Present basketball set will celebrate the look and feel of some past vintage food issue sets with its Bread for Energy and Bread for Health insert sets as part of a nod to the past in the product. While the company previewed some of the cards here, we have one above and want to know what you think via our poll or a comment below. (Need a John Wall checklist or OPG? Click here.)

Your Take: Food issues revisited

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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.

Panini turns 2011 National Treasures error into a redemption (kind of)

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Making an altruistic move this morning, Panini America just gave collectors good reason to dig up inserts from last year’s National Treasures Football product.

Company officials announced that the 97 cards from the 2011 National Treasures Pro Football Letterman insert set which mistakenly read, “Authentic Autograph” can now be exchanged for a random NFL signature.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1982 Topps vending box

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) for a 1982 Topps vending box break in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Preview Gallery: Panini unveils autographed eye candy from 2011-12 Elite, Playoff Contenders

 

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

In a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of way, Panini America revealed answers to its Guess the Autograph contest by way of a 28-image signature gallery over the weekend.

Using pieces from 2011-12 Elite and Playoff Contenders, the manufacturer provided an answer key to the NHL Playoffs-inspired promotion and previewed some soon-to-release autographed eye candy, to boot. Let’s have a look.
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First Look: 2012 Topps Triple Threads (updated)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps released the basic product information and preview images for this year’s edition of Triple Threads on Friday, and it looks like the seventh edition of the always-popular hit- and autograph-laden brand will deliver what collectors have come to expect — maybe more.

And that starts with a slightly different configuration that will have two types of packs to be found per box when it arrives on Sept. 19. (Need any of the Triple Threads checklists from 2006-2011? Get them and an OPG here.)

One pack version will include three base cards, two parallel cards, one triple Relic and a Unity Single Auto Relic. The other pack version will include three base cards, two parallels, one triple Autographed Relic and one Unity Relic.

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Strange Brew: Panini partners with Molson for Interactive Stanley Cup set

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor | Commentary

Free hockey cards AND beer? Take off, hoser.

Koo roo koo koo koo koo koo koo! The marketing gurus at Molson Canadian have partnered with Panini America to offer a trio of Canadian classics that would make Bob and Doug McKenzie’s heads spin. Read More »

Updated: Upper Deck loses case over redemptions

Update: Upper Deck decided to comment on the case on the afternoon after this story was published. Comments added below.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A Michigan man took Upper Deck to court over redemption cards that were not fulfilled and won his case back in March, a $1,329 judgment.

But as of April 12, he had not been paid.

David Bailey, an Emmy award-winning chief investigative reporter for a CBS-affiliated television station, was the plaintiff in the case — and a collector of 2007 SP Authentic baseball cards. He said he purchased upwards of 10 cases of the product and opened them recently. However, he had no idea there were expired redemptions inside — and he took the card company to court when he did not hear from it when he was left empty-handed.

“My read of Michigan’s consumer laws suggests what they’re doing is illegal,” Bailey said. “Upper Deck ignored me, so I made good on the promise and sued them for all my expired redemptions — $1,300 worth on the low end of Beckett’s price [ranges]. I had a Roger Clemens/Derek Jeter and a couple of Tim Lincecum/Matt Cains. I really wanted the cards, not the cash.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Topps adds Darvish, Cespedes autos to Golden Giveaway

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Topps Golden Giveaway just got a little more lustrous.

The company announced on Thursday that the code cards found in packs of 2012 Topps can now unlock cards of two of the most talked-about rookies in MLB so far this season — Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

And not only that, they are autographed.

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Rare Kobe commands crazy cash on eBay – but will it be paid for?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

A Kobe Bryant 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Emerald card up for auction on eBay ended at more than $37,600 just seconds ago on Wednesday night after 45 bids.

It ended at $37,665 to be exact.

The card is serial-numbered 008/100 — matching the Los Angeles Lakers star’s old uniform number — and is one of just 10 copies of the Emerald card that were made. The remaining 90 cards are the Red version of the partial parallel to the Metal Universe set, which carried a $2.49 a pack suggested retail price at the time of release. Not a bad potential return from a few years ago, eh? (Need a Metal Universe checklist or Beckett.com OPG to find out what your cards are worth? Click here.)

Now, we just need to wait and see whether the card will be paid for.

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