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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Box Busters: Panini Black Friday packs and Golden Age box highlights

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into some Panini America Black Friday packs after buying a 2013 Panini Golden Age box in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Corny or cool? Leaf puts cornstalks into cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

They’ve been built, will you come looking for them?

Leaf Trading Cards revealed on Wednesday its newest creations — baseball cards with cornstalks from the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.

They will be found in holiday bonus packs given to distributors.

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First look: 2013-14 Totally Certified hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Totally Certified was supposed to make its debut in hockey last season. However, the abbreviated hockey season pushed the product back into this season’s calendar.

The first 2013-14 Totally Certified Hockey is scheduled to come out Feb. 26 with four five-card packs in every box. Each box will come with four hits (with at least one autograph guaranteed) and for Rookie Cards.

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First look: 2014 Bowman football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Bowman Football will hit in June jammed with rookies for the 2014 season.

The base set will have up to 220 subjects, with 110 rookies and 110 veterans. These cards will also come with several parallel versions include Silver Ice, Blue, Gold, Orange, Orange Ice and others. The rookies will have also have paper parallels (meaning the not chrome versions) with up to six parallels.

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National Hockey Card Day returns to the U.S. for third straight year

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

National Hockey Card Day is slated for January 18, 2014 in Canada and the United States.

Upper Deck has promoted this day throughout the last several years to get hockey fans into hobby shops across North America. This is the third year in a row it’s been hosted in the U.S.

The U.S. set will contain 21 cards with 11 rookies. Collectors will get a free pack of cards when they go to a participating hobby shop, and can get the 21st card with a $10 purchase of an Upper Deck product.

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps Heritage High Number set — with 100-card visual checklist (including card backs)

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a 2013 Topps Heritage High Number baseball card set in this latest Box Busters video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

See all 100 cards — front and back — from the set after the jump.

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First look: 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards (with preliminary checklist)


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Allen & Ginter is back for its ninth edition — and this year it’s adding metal and pop-up cards into the mix.

Yep, cards printed on metal and pop-up booklet cards like the children’s books.

Topps unveiled the first looks at its 2014 edition of the eclectic throwback-style set on Tuesday and it’s one that also includes skeleton cards and one-per-case mini parallel packs are new features, too. The mini packs will include red mini parallels of the standard set limited to just 50 copies, while some will have redemptions for a framed Relic set.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps U.S. Winter Olympics

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2014 Topps U.S. Winter Olympics in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Panini America develops reward program for card shops

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America is offering a special rewards program for card shops.

The Panini Roundtable recently launched with more than 800 stores in the United States and fewer than 300 in Canada. The purpose of the program is to drive customers into brick & mortar shops, giving local card stores opportunities to thrive.

“When you talk about longevity and things that are major drivers to have a sustainable business, you start with brick and mortar and end with brick and mortar,” said Panini America’s Tim Franz, Director of Sales.

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The Highland Mint to donate proceeds from collectibles to U.S. Navy Seals

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Highland Mint is offering sports fans special framed photos of some of their favorite teams. The 12-by-20 inch photos will feature facsimile autographs on top of a glossy image of a picture of the stadium.

The Highland Mint is raising money for U.S. Navy Seals through this project. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to the Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation (NSWFF), which benefits the families of active and fallen U.S. Navy Seals.

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First look: 2013 Topps Turkey Red Football Cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

2013 Topps Turkey Red is back as an online-only exclusive for football.

Each box will contain 11 cards with nine base, one mini parallel and an autograph. Turkey Red goes on sale on Friday for $19.99 at Topps.com.

Like last year’s online debut, the base set will feature 100 rookies from the current season.

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First look: 2014 Donruss baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Donruss is back in baseball.

After nearly a decade on the bench through licensing losses, licensing gains and even a change in company hands, the standalone Donruss brand will return to the baseball card field in 2014 as Panini America announced its plans for the revival on Tuesday.

Set to arrive on Feb. 26, 2014 Donruss will include Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies and more when it returns for the first time since 2005.

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Chatter Up with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds … Wednesday on the Beckett Media Facebook page


Join Beckett Baseball’Chris Olds for this week’s Chatter Up over on the Beckett Media Facebook page on Wednesday night at 8:30 Central. Thanks to Topps for this week’s prizes, which will go out to active chatters during the two-hour session.

Click here to find the image above and leave an early comment there if you can’t make it — also look for the early bird question now for a shot at a prize.

If you can’t make the chat, be back on the page next week.

Companies prepare for Black Friday — where the industry’s creativity continues to show


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor  | Commentary & Opinion

It’s not just a big sales day, it’a a whole lot of work — and, to some degree, an experience for collectors.

Black Friday is nearly here, and, for card companies, it’s a chance to add to the creative pieces collectors can chase. For card sellers, it’s  a chance to be creative with marketing and to ensure they are utilizing all of their sales potential as best they can.

These days, that’s not just a website or simple storefront for many dealers. It’s a multi-channel online approach that creates and fosters surges of traffic — as well as collector interest — throughout the biggest sales weekend of the year. It’s building an audience and an experience — and, of course, both of those things benefit a brand that can stick with collectors the remainder of the year.

How big can it be online?

“In the past, the website has averaged between two to three million pageviews on Black Friday,” said Chris Park of Sterling, Va.-based Blowout Cards.

And that’s just one of the company’s platforms.

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First look: 2013-14 SPx Hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Collectors will be getting an update to Upper Deck Trilogy.

UD will put UD Trilogy Update cards in 2013-14 SPx, which is scheduled to come out in February. The cards will feature 13-14 rookies, which were not in the initial release, including No. 1 pick Nathan MacKinnon.

Each box of SPx will come with four hits of autographs and memorabilia cards with at least one Autograph Rookie Jersey card.

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Topps Chrome Football full of photo variations

By Dan Good | Contributing Writer

2013 Topps Chrome Football is back – and with it, photo variations.

A total of 55 players, 30 veterans and 25 rookies, appear on variations.

The variation photos should look familiar. The same poses were used on variation cards in 2013 Topps Football.

Base Rookie Variation cards fall at a rate of 1:340 hobby packs. For veterans, it’s every 283 packs.

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Family’s love of collectibles turns into a family business

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Chuck Whisman’s home was filled with trading cards and memorabilia. Even his young daughters would comment on how their dining room table was completely hidden by the goods.

But everything has been moved into Whisman’s new card shop in Lancaster, Pa. – VSM Sports Card Outlet, which opened in August.

“The thought of just doing the shop is a little scary these days,” Whisman said. “You don’t see shops alone anymore.”

That’s why Whisman has turned his love of collectibles into a family business with him running the shop, his wife as an auctioneer for their other new company Wheatland Auctions and his young daughters offering up their brand of advice along the way.

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Collecting USA: On the road with Baseball Card Exchange buyer Reed Kasaoka

The following is an excerpt — and also some extra info — from the upcoming Collecting USA issue in Beckett Sports Card Monthly, which arrives in hobby shops next month.


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Imagine your job is to get in a Ryder truck and drive from city to city to examine card collections, make offers, buy cards and load the truck for your next stop. Mile markers, highways, iTunes and baseball cards are your best friends for days on end — if you’re even sure what day it is.

reed-mugThat’s the job of Reed Kasaoka, the buyer for Baseball Card Exchange, a leading dealer of vintage wax in the hobby.

He’s spent a decade on the road as a buyer and he’s seen plenty of collections, loaded plenty of trucks and more.

We caught up with him in the midst of a five-day road trip for this Q&A about his days of helping people “collect USA” while traveling the USA, too.

Q: You travel the U.S. buying cards, putting in thousands of miles a year in a Ryder truck. Any idea how many other people in the industry do what you do?
A: I think I’m the only person in the hobby whose full-time job is to travel and buy cards. Any dealer would gladly jump in a truck to pick up a significant collection, but once they get back to their office, that’s when the real work begins. They have to unload the truck, process and sort the collection, price each item, find ways to market to the public or other dealers, pack and ship orders, and do all the paperwork. I’m lucky to have co-workers and a boss who take care of all these steps, freeing me up to just concentrate on buying cards.

Q: Have you ever logged how many miles you have done in a year? What’s the longest stretch of days on the road you have done? And how many years have you done this now?
A: I’ve been a dealer since I was 14, but didn’t start traveling extensively until May 2004, when I moved from Hawaii to Buffalo, N.Y. I’m not sure of actual miles I drive each year on the road, but 2013 has been the busiest year of my career, and I’ll log about 35,000 miles this year. The longest trip was in the Summer of 2006. I drove from Buffalo to the National Convention in Anaheim, spending 32 days on the road covering 7,979 miles.

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Topps signs Mark McGwire to autograph deal


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The former single-season home run champion and Bash Brother is back.

Mark McGwire is back in Topps baseball card sets — with autographs — after the company announced on Friday that it has signed a deal with the former Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals slugger who is now the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The signatures will be his first for the company.

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Box Busters: 2012-13 Exquisite Collection Basketball

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Beckett Basketball Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opened a box of 2012-13 Exquisite Collection. Check out her reaction to the big hit.

Box Busters: 2013 Topps Chrome Football

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Beckett Football Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Topps Chrome Football.

Box Busters: 2013 Bowman Sterling Football

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Beckett Football’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Bowman Sterling Football cards.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald teams with past NBA stars in a new memorabilia company

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

BRONX, NY – The teens dribble across the John F. Kennedy High School court, one player after the other. Forward. Only with their left hands. Backward.

A man in sweats stands at the top of the key, overseeing the drill and offering feedback. He’s not the head coach or a school employee, just somebody who wants to give back. He also happens to be a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and NBA’s Top 50 team, New York City’s own Nate “Tiny” Archibald.

Archibald, one of the quickest and hardest players to defend in his day, remains the only player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring and assists in the same season, 1972-73.

Archibald could easily be stalking the sidelines of an NBA team somewhere, coaching in the pros or being a special assistant to someone with a big title.

But that’s not where the 65-year-old wants to be. No, he’d rather attend high school and college basketball games around the city.

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Topps adds Mexican National Team cards to upcoming Major League Soccer set


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is adding some extra futbol into its next Major League Soccer release.

The exclusive licensee of MLS announced on Wednesday that its 2014 Topps MLS set will include players from the Mexican National Team, which is World Cup bound after downing New Zealand 4-2.

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Box Busters: 2014 Press Pass racing cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2014 Press Pass racing cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …