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Monthly Archives: August 2014

National Treasures Hockey Packs a Stanley Cup Surprise

NT Stanley Cup Front

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Last week’s release of 2013-14 National Treasures from Panini America marked the end of an era for the company, but they are still making waves with hockey card collectors as the product flies off store shelves and delivers some monster hits along they way.

One of the craziest hits of them all, however, was not even announced as part of the final checklist and it is a remarkable piece that will be heavily chased for years to come. The game’s greatest treasure, the Stanley Cup, is honored with a Flawless insert card limited to five copies and it has an actual diamond embedded into it. According to Panini Hockey Brand Manager Chris Barr, there is also a Platinum parallel version with a larger diamond piece that is a one-of-one.

Collector Lisa Su pulled the elusive card on the day of release and collectors almost instantly began buzzing about the unexpected treasure. Read More »

Trading Card Industry Tackles ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Magazine Exchange owner Roger Barry is doused Thursday by his sales staff. Barry’s Ice Bucket Challenge came from Panini's Vice President of Sales, D.J. Kazmierczak.

Magazine Exchange owner Roger Barry is doused Thursday by his sales staff. Barry’s Ice Bucket Challenge came from Panini’s Vice President of Sales, D.J. Kazmierczak.

Individuals from throughout the trading card industry – and even groups of staff members from Upper Deck and Topps – have invested in the wildly successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during the past few weeks.

As you would expect, the videos are priceless.

The highlight so from an engagement perspective has been a head-to-head challenge from Upper Deck that was accepted by The Topps Company. Take a moment after the jump to watch and consider making a donation of your own as the post ice-bath expressions from Topps Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Sports & Entertainment, Doug Kruep and Upper Deck’s Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager Chris Carlin are incredible. Read More »

First Look: 2013-14 Upper Deck The Cup

The Cup Logo

First Look: 2013-14 Upper Deck The Cup

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

For hockey card collectors, the 2013-14 season saw many great releases from manufacturers that featured a strong double rookie class and plenty of eye-catching cards that have created plenty of buzz in the hobby.

With the highly-anticipated release of 2013-14 The Cup from Upper Deck, we can finally bring this year to a close in fine fashion and the company has pulled out all the stops once again to create some memorable cards that will be heavily collected.

Set to hit store shelves on October 22, collectors can expect to find a strong assortment of limited cards in every pack. Naturally, there will be some epic hits that will find a place in even the most exclusive of personal collections. Learn more about what is on the way after the jump… Read More »

Pete Frates, the man behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, gets his own Topps baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Employees of Topps took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Thursday in New York City and the former college baseball player who inspired the viral video movement as part of his own battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis now has something he never had before.

He has a few Topps baseball cards.

Pete Frates, the former Boston College captain, now appears on five new wall art offerings from Topps — cards featuring photos of Frates from his playing days and designs from the Topps archives.

“Topps is honored to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and money for ALS charities,” reads the description in the store. “All proceeds will be donated by Topps to fund ALS research to find a cure for this disease. #StrikeoutALS.”

Read More »

First Look: 2015 Topps MLB Sticker Collection

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

New year, new stickers.

Topps revealed the lineup for its 2015 Topps MLB Sticker Collection on Thursday, giving beginners — and maybe even collecting veterans — a simple option for the new year at just $1 a pack.

Set to arrive on March 4, it will include 50 packs per box and 16 boxes per case, while each album will include 32 pages and a sheet of six free stickers.

Read More »

Upper Deck Announces Return of O-Pee-Chee Wrapper Redemption Program

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

For Canadian hockey card collectors, the annual O-Pee-Chee issue is a tradition with deep roots that speaks to generations of fans that have fond memories of breaking packs and putting sets together.

Since Upper Deck took over the brand in 2006-07, the product has evolved with each passing year and those that have broke it in mass quantities last season were able to redeem their wrappers for special limited packs containing red bordered cards and exclusive inserts.

There was a bit of an issue in 2013-14, though, as unexpected demand for the packs saw supplies run out earlier than Upper Deck anticipated. That will hopefully not be a problem this season as the company has taken steps to ensure that there is enough produced to satisfy public demand.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2014 Bowman Platinum baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2014 Bowman Platinum in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Finest baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Finest in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Box Busters: 2014 Topps football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Box Busters 2014 Topps Chrome MLS Soccer

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Chrome MLS soccer cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Inception football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Inception in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Box Busters: 2013-14 Upper Deck Edmonton Oilers Collection

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Join Beckett Hockey editor Stephen Laroche as he breaks open a box of 2013-14 Edmonton Oilers Collection from Upper Deck.

What will he find inside? Let’s find out…

A half-day where the magic happens … visiting Panini America’s headquarters

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

IRVING, Texas | Monday marked the first day of school for many down here in The Lone Star State, and on Tuesday I felt the exact same way by setting foot in a place I hadn’t been before to learn a thing or two.

I spent a half-day at Panini America‘s headquarters.

There were no first-day jitters, there was no daydreaming at what was going on outside in the 100-degree Texas heat. There was plenty inside that was piquing my collecting interest as some of the company’s plans, products and strategies were discussed for future pieces and the collectibles ideas flowed like water. My teacher list included names I had known from years of ripping packs and writing about the hobby — and a few of them were mentioned on the backs of cards that can be found in my stash. (They’re probably on yours, too.)

From the outside, the simple white building in an industrial park adjacent to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport could be easily missed with some simple signage that blends in well with its neighbors — companies perhaps without the kind of magic among their inventory and readied on their own loading docks nearby. But with just a quick walking tour of Panini’s place, though, it was apparent that this spot has perhaps the perfect combination of collecting and commerce, a blend of bold ideas and brash business sense — you know, something strong, something energetic and also something intangible in the mix — to make it all happen.

It’s a place where collecting comes to life daily.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2013-14 Upper Deck AHL Boxed Set

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Join Beckett Hockey editor Stephen Laroche as he breaks open the 2013-14 AHL Boxed Set from Upper Deck.

What will he find inside? Let’s find out…

First Look: 2014 Panini Immaculate baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America is going high-end on its next baseball card set — and it’s coming soon.

How soon? Less than a month.

Company officials officially pulled back the curtain on 2014 Panini Immaculate on Monday, preparing for its arrival on Sept. 24 when it will be found packing five autograph or memorabilia cards in every six-card pack with the remaining card a base card limited to just 99 copies. There will be just eight boxes per case.

Read More »

First look: 2015 Topps Heritage baseball cards

2015Cano

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Next year’s Topps Heritage baseball set means it’s 1966 all over again.

Topps unveiled the first looks at its long-running baseball card brand’s next edition on Monday with 2015 Topps Heritage being a brand that arrives on March 4 with one autograph or Relic in every 24-pack hobby box.

The model here is largely the same as past Heritage releases with 425 cards in the base set capped by 75 short-prints. Returning for next year are throwback team uniform photo variations as well as action image variation cards that will only be found in hobby boxes. Also back will be mini versions limited to just 100, Chrome cards with Black (/66) and Gold (/5) parallels. The back variations from the last few years continue with blue being the ink of choice for this year.

Read More »

Stars of Tomorrow Shine at 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

For a single day, over 30 of hockey’s brightest young prospects returned to the site of some of the game’s greatest moments as the 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase took place at the site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on Saturday.

In recent years, the Rookie Showcase has become a late-summer tradition and the NHLPA and Upper Deck hosted several stars of tomorrow including 2014 first overall pick Aaron Ekblad, Max Domi, Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett.

“It’s been fantastic,” said Chris Carlin, Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager for Upper Deck. “It’s been a great weekend all around. This group has been tremendous to work with. When you see that type of good natured spirit in an athlete, it makes you want to collect. I think as fans start to interact with them at arenas and shows, they’re going to have and great experience and it’s a great rookie crop to collect.”
Read More »

What’s the impact of Panini America’s NFL Players exclusive? Check back with us in 2020 …

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Panini America’s Mark Warsop and NFLPI President Keith Gordon discuss the new deal between the companies that begins exclusively in 2016.

By Kevin Isaacson | Commentary

CLEVELAND | NFL general managers have a pat response when questioned about the current-year draft class: “Ask me in five years.”

Same is true in the sports card industry, especially as it pertains to licensing decisions. Any change in licensing prompts countless Chicken Littles to bemoan the hobby’s demise and activates even more glad-handers hoping to ingratiate themselves with the current manufacturing “winner.”

This month, the “winner” is Panini America, courtesy of its recently announced exclusive NFLPI deal. But the reality is the same, whether the topic is Upper Deck in hockey, Topps in baseball or any other licensing move: It is fun to debate, but we won’t know the full impact for at least five years!

Read More »

Box Busters: 2014 Rookies & Stars football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Rookies & Stars in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Elite football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Elite in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …