2017 Topps Tribute Reminds Us of the Randy Johnson, John Kruk 1993 All-Star Game Showdown

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

As a teenage baseball fan, Randy Johnson facing off against John Kruk in the 1993 All-Star Game was one of the most memorable moments I witnessed on TV. Not being a big Blue Jays fan but living in Canada, it even left a bigger impression on me than Toronto winning the World Series in 1992 (Joe Carter’s 1993 home run trumps them both, though).

The showdown was comedy gold. It had timing, it had emotion and it played into the personalities of both men. It was a little bit of fun that baseball isn’t always known for on a grand stage.

And now Johnson and Kruk have been brought back together with a dual Duel Autograph in 2017 Topps Tribute Baseball.

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2016-17 Upper Deck ICE Hockey Checklist and Details

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Reconfigured last season as a product that comes incredibly close to cutting to the chase, 2016-17 Upper Deck ICE Hockey is heading to stores in late March. The brand first burst out in the hobby 20 years ago and earned collector love for its cards printed on acetate stock and they are back once again, of course.

Each pack has at least one hit inside, including cards from 2016-17 Upper Deck Exquisite Hockey, which will be spread across several of the company’s brands this season. Boxes should yield at least one hard-signed autograph, a pair of Rookie Cards, and one or more non-memorabilia insert cards.

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2016-17 Panini Studio Basketball marks the brand’s NBA return to after seven years

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

After a seven-year absence, 2016-17 Panini Studio Basketball marks the return of one of the most iconic trading card brands of the 1990s and it hits stores at the end of May.

There will one autograph and one memorabilia card per box, but there have been some interesting tweaks made to the brand’s format and configuration since it last released in 2009-10. Read More…

2017 Panini Classics Football Offers a Nostalgic Take on the Past, Present and Future

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2017 Panini Classics Football is a product that targets nostalgia with both its look and construction. That said, the checklist has eyes towards the past, present and future.

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2017 Football Card Release Dates and Set Information

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Looking for 2017 football card release dates, checklists and set information?

You’ve come to the right place.

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2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Variations Gallery

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball underwent some major configuration changes compared to past years. But it wasn’t only in mini cards and memorabilia cards largely being left out. The 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen variations see some changes as well.

Rather than standard photo variations, this set has them in three distinct themes, one of which brings Gypsy Queen a little closer to its tobacco roots (albeit with a more family-friendly angle).

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2017 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Trumpocracy Trading Cards Are Politics Unusual

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Donald Trump and his ascension to the White House have been fodder for many Garbage Pail Kids. Cards for the primaries were followed by GPK DisgRace for the White House, which topped more than 150 cards. The latter included Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but Trump and company took the majority of the checklist seeing as how it continued well after the November election. It continues with 2017 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Trumpocracy, a similar line of online offerings that satirize the 45th President’s first 100 days in the White House.

Despite there being a separate set of online Wacky Packages released at the same time, it didn’t take long for these to be added to Trumpocracy as well.

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2017 Panini Elite Draft Picks Football Autograph Short Prints

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Just because they’re not all numbered, it doesn’t mean that all of the 2017 Panini Elite Draft Picks Football autographs are available in equal quantities.

Panini has released a list of names that are short prints in their first college football product of the season.

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2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball Lowers Price Tag, Number of Hits

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball has some significant changes from previous years. One of the first things collectors may notice is a lower price tag. But that cheaper price comes at a cost. Whereas before hobby boxes had two autographs and two memorabilia cards, now only the autographs are guaranteed.

Also gone are the mini parallels.

Some other tweaks to the configuration have also been made including the addition of an over-sized Chrome-style box topper and a new design for the base set.

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2017 Panini Diamond Kings Variations Gallery

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The 2017 Panini Diamond Kings variations aren’t complex. They’re not particularly rare either. But they’re out there, adding 24 additional cards to the set’s checklist.

For the most part, they’re not tough to spot. However, there are a couple of exceptions where you need to look close or even take a look at the text on the back.

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2016-17 In The Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey is Leaf’s CHL swan song

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Sometimes, it is better to go out with a bang instead of a mere whimper.

At least, that is the approach Leaf Trading Cards is taking with its final product featuring a full slate of future stars from the Canadian Hockey League. It was recently revealed that the company would no longer be a CHL licensee, but that does not mean that quality is going to suffer one iota as 2016-17 In The Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey is loaded up with a jaw-dropping 15 autograph or memorabilia hits per box.

With a release date of May 31, 2017, it will hit hobby shops just after the Memorial Cup tournament and weeks before the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Read More…

Topps Now Loyalty Program Has Its Perks, Including 9 Autographs for 25 Platinum Members

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

For those who regularly took part in the 2016 Topps Now Baseball program, they were used to mailboxes filled with cards. Twenty-five of the biggest buyers are getting a massive bonus in the mail in the form of a set of nine exclusive Topps Now Platinum Autographs.

It also appears to be the launch of the Topps Now Loyalty Program, offering discounts for buying cards, participating on social media and other actions.

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2017 Baseball Card Release Dates and Set Information

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Looking for 2017 baseball card release dates, checklists and set information?

You’ve come to the right place.

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2016 Panini Encased Football Box Busters

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Join Beckett Media’s Eric Norton and Justin Grunert as they open some 2016 Panini Encased Football.

What will they find? Watch and find out.

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2017 Leaf Babe Ruth Immortal Collection Includes Two Bat Cards Per Box

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2017 Leaf Babe Ruth Immortal Collection Baseball follows in the footsteps of other releases under the Immortals name for the likes of Ichiro, Muhammad Ali and Pelé. Centering exclusively on the Sultan of Swat, this set takes Babe Ruth to the high-end.

Highlighting each six-card 2017 Leaf Babe Ruth Immortal Collection box is a pair of bat cards.

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2017 Topps Wacky Packages 50th Anniversary Checklist Celebrates Five Decades of Satire

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The past five decades have seen a lot of trends come and go. And when it comes to commercial products we eat, use, enjoy and indulge in, Wacky Packages have been there to spoof them. 2017 Topps Wacky Packages 50th Anniversary mixes new gags with a nostalgic trip back to the satirical product’s roots.

One of those modern angles is the continued use of two separate hobby configurations. There’s basic Hobby, which is more for the traditional set builders, and Hobby Collector that has more inserts and the promise of one premium insert per box.

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2016-17 Panini Instant Basketball Checklist, Details

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

It was only a matter of time before Panini America was able to produce its first cards of Kevin Durant in a Golden State Warriors uniform and the company chose to utilize its exclusive athlete to kick off its 2016-17 Panini Instant Basketball collection.

Available for just a short 24-hour window, the new set of on-demand cards have several numbered variations, including a facsimile signature option, which is a new concept for the brand. Read More…

2017 Topps Gold Label Baseball Heads to Class

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2017 Topps Gold Label Baseball is the brand’s follow-up release since being brought back in 2016. Its relatively small checklist creates a somewhat simple approach. That said, with three tiers of base cards, it has some complexities to it.

Similar to the previous year’s release, each box has a Framed Autograph.

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2017-18 Upper Deck MVP Hockey drops the puck on next season

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The current regular hockey schedule is just coming to a close and the playoffs are upon us, but Upper Deck is already looking toward the future as details have arrived regarding the company’s first release of the next campaign – 2017-18 Upper Deck MVP Hockey.

A summer staple in recent years, this edition of MVP offers up some of the aspects collectors have come to appreciate along with some new ideas and changes that make it a strong option when you need a dose of hockey in the heat of early August. Read More…

2016-17 Donruss Optic Basketball ready to dazzle and deliver

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America‘s Optichrome technology has gained a great deal of momentum within the hobby in recent years. Another big serving is available in 2016-17 Donruss Optic Basketball.

A brand that has seen some success so far in other sports, Optic will make its highly-anticipated basketball debut in early April. Each hobby box is expected to yield a single autograph along with 20 inserts or parallels. However, there are also multiple retail formats like blasters, fat packs, gravity feed packs, and hanger boxes that have cards exclusive to those packaging formats. Read More…

2017 Topps Tribute Baseball Checklist Is a Mix of New and Old Players and Content

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Overall, not a lot has changed with 2017 Topps Tribute Baseball from a configuration perspective. The biggest thing that’s likely to be noticed is the fact that it’s back to an early-in-the year release date. But the high-end, hits-focused checklist that features one of the broader mixes of current and retired players returns.

As has been the case for several years, each pack of 2017 Topps Tribute Baseball includes either an autograph or a memorabilia card. Spread over a six-pack hobby box, and there are three of each. All hits are numbered to 199 or less.

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Product of the Year Among Panini’s 10 Industry Summit Awards

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Panini’s D.J. Kazmierczak (left) accepts one of his company’s 10 awards from Beckett’s Jeromy Murray.

LAS VEGAS — Panini America won a category-leading 10 Industry Summit Awards, presented Wednesday during closing ceremonies of the sports collectible industry’s annual trade conference.

Among Panini’s winning entries: “Card of the Year” for the Ezekiel Elliott #301a from 2016 Panini Contenders Football and “Product of the Year” for 2016 National Treasures Football. The awards ceremony, held at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino, was sponsored by Amazon Sports Collectibles. Read More…

American Gods Trading Cards Coming from Rittenhouse Archives

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

American Gods is getting trading cards. The first episode hasn’t aired yet, but Rittenhouse Archives has secured the license.

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Upper Deck Grandeur Coin Collection marks company’s arrival in collectible coin market

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

In the collectibles world, the gap between trading cards and other types of memorabilia is not as broad as one might think. There are often similar concepts between genres and it all boils down to the root idea of an item having some sort of value – whether it is intrinsic or monetary.

In the case of the just-unveiled Upper Deck Grandeur Coin Collection, the traditional trading card hobbyist definitely gets something new from a familiar company that is branching out in order to attract a new audience that may not always be hockey card collectors but they still love the game and just happen to enjoy collecting coins as well.

“We’re always looking for something new and different where we can apply what we’re good at,” Upper Deck’s President, Jason Masherah, told Beckett Hockey. “It came to us that we could do something really cool and powerful in the coin industry. And the coin industry, if you look at it, is very similar to the trading card industry in a lot of different ways.” Read More…

Industry Summit Live Blog: Leaf’s Brian Gray

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Leaf’s Brian Gray is giving his annual address at the Industry Summit. Follow along for highlights and announcements, live blog style.

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2017 Topps Legends of WWE Highlights Wrestling Greats and Hall of Famers

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Since reacquiring the WWE license back in 2005, Topps has used retired stars and Hall of Famers in virtually all of their wrestling products. 2017 Topps Legends of WWE is dedicated to them, focusing on the past rather than the current pro wrestling scene.

Twelve-pack boxes come in the form of two mini boxes, each with at least one autograph and an additional hit.

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2017 Cryptozoic Gotham Season 2 Trading Cards See Villains Rise (and Lots of Autographs)

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

No official Batman appearances yet but 2017 Cryptozoic Gotham Season 2 trading cards continue to lay the groundwork for what will be. Like the debut release, the checklist features a deep list of autograph singers plus several other elements.

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2017 Panini Stars and Stripes Baseball Box Busters

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Join Beckett Media’s Eric Norton and Sam Zimmer as they open some 2017 Panini Stars and Stripes Baseball.

What will they find? Watch and find out.

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Mickey Mantle Baseball Cards Coming from Panini

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

It has been a while since Mickey Mantle’s face was on a new baseball card. But that’s changing as Panini America has reached a multi-year agreement with the Hall of Famer’s estate.

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National Baseball Card Day Back in 2017

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

August 12, 2017 — save the date. Topps, MLB and the MLBPA are bringing back National Baseball Card Day for the second consecutive year.

And while the overall draw remains the same — free baseball cards — pieces are evolving to make it bigger and better for both collectors and participating shops.

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2017 Topps Clearly Authentic Baseball Debuts with All-Autographs, All-Acetate

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The 2017 Topps Clearly Authentic Baseball checklist has an air of familiarity to it. It’s also fairly straightforward in its approach. That’s because everything in the product is an autograph card done on acetate, putting a different spin on a 2017 Topps Baseball card or one from the company’s past.

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2017 Upper Deck Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trading Cards Are a Hobby Mixtape

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket and the rest of the gang are back with 2017 Upper Deck Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trading cards. Like the set based on the original film, there’s a cardboard mixtape including more autographs from the movie’s stars and a pair of memorabilia cards per hobby box.

While the product does lean towards a more high-end configuration with regards to three premium inserts per hobby box, it’s not to quite the same extent as some of Upper Deck’s other recent Marvel products like Doctor Strange.

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2017 Topps Star Wars: Rogue One Series 2 Trading Cards Finish the Story

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2017 Topps Star Wars: Rogue One Series 2 trading cards work to fill in the many story gaps from Series 1. Because the first set’s release coincided with the film’s theatrical run, there were limitations do to the potential for spoilers and unreleased images. This bookend takes care of those.

Autographs are a focal point of hobby boxes. The combine with manufactured patch cards and sketch cards to land two per box. Each pack has eight cards including an insert and at least one parallel.

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2017 Leaf Best of Baseball Details

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

If you’ve checked out or even contemplated the brand before, you know the drill with 2017 Leaf Best of Baseball. It presents a shot at a vintage card, Rookie Card, autograph or some other card that’s considered to be high-end.

Everything from a graded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle to gem mint Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs are possible in the product’s varied offerings.

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5 Ways to Invest in 1980s and Early 1990s Baseball Cards

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor | Commentary

For the most part today, collecting baseball cards from the 1980s and early 1990s is done so for fun. It’s an era that’s great for nostalgia, but the hard truth is that the vast majority of cards produced during the era will never be worth much. It’s not a knock on the cards themselves. The Junk Wax Era gave us many classic cards and many great sets.

But there’s a difference between a memorable card and one that’s worth lots of money. But what if there was some investment potential in 1980s baseball cards and other cards from the era? Or maybe you love cards from that period but want something a little nicer and tougher to chase.

They’re out there.

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