Gross Bears and Bathroom Buddies make a comeback in 2016 Topps Garbage Pail Kids

1985 Gross Bears Box copy

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2016 Garbage Pail Kids American as Apple Pie in Your Face isn’t just about Garbage Pail Kids. A couple of retail exclusives bring back a pair of short-lived brands from the 1980s and ’90s created in the same vein, Gross Bears and Bathroom Buddies.

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Box Busters: 2015 Panini Contenders Football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini Contenders Football in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Chrome Mini Football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Eric Norton as they rip into a box of 2015 Topps Chrome Mini in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

The hobby impact of the low Canadian dollar, no matter which side of the border you’re on

Low-Canadian-Dollar-Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The United States and Canada have a long history of trade together. It’s only natural considering they’re neighbors. But right now, the Canadian dollar is the lowest it has been in more than a decade. No matter which side of the 49th parallel you’re on, it’s creating some challenges in world of collecting. But with those challenges, there’s also opportunity.

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Beckett Gaming Preview: Magic The Gathering Oath of the Gatewatch

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By Ian McDaries | Guest Commentary

Hey all you Magic the Gathering Fans! Today is the day Oath of the Gatewatch hits stores. Oath is the 2nd set to release in the Battle for Zendikar block, and it brings 184 cards into the Magic the Gathering universe. The set brings on an onslaught of new Eldrazi, the new Wastelands, and new versions of popular Planeswalkers. Today we will take a look at some of the more powerful cards that are sure to make a splash in the current Standard format.

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Box Busters: 2015 Topps Chrome Football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Eric Norton as they rip into a box of 2015 Topps Chrome in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Collection delves deep into the legend of the Bambino

2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Despite the fact that he played before most of us were born, Babe Ruth remains a larger-than-life baseball icon. This also comes despite the fact there isn’t much video footage of him either. Instead we have to rely on other forms of storytelling like words and pictures to keep his legend strong. 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Collection does just that, offering a detailed look at the life and times of the Sultan of Swat.

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Artemi Panarin Rookie Cards and Beyond

Artemi Panarin Rookie Cards Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Although Connor McDavid is still the focal point of the 2015-16 NHL rookie class, his injury has shifted some of the attention to other standout freshmen. Artemi Panarin rookie cards are among them.

After getting off to a strong start with the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that certainly helps his hobby standing, Panarin hasn’t let up. He’s leading all rookies in goals, assists and points. In fact, he’s among the leaders in points in all of the NHL. There’s still lots of hockey left to play, but Panarin is a likely clear Calder favorite at this point.

While there are already plenty of Artemi Panarin cards available, collectors can expect plenty more before Upper Deck wraps up their 2015-16 hockey card calendar.

We’ve highlighted the Artemi Panarin rookie cards and some of his other inserts and pre-rookie cards to give you a overview of some of his key early cardboard.

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2016 Rittenhouse James Bond Classics trading cards info

2016 James Bond Classics Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The character of James Bond is a classic. He’s the movie spy that everyone else is compared to. So 2016 Rittenhouse James Bond Classics might be an appropriate name. Despite the new title, much of the format remains the same as recent sets of James Bond trading cards. Large vintage-style insert sets and autographs lead the way.

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We need more collectibles for classic sports video games

Mike Tysons Punch Out Cartridge

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Many of us have spent countless hours trying to master video games. A select few of these games live on in the same way we look back at classic movies, TV shows and books. Perhaps even more so. Whereas we watch TV, video games require interaction. Beating a level is an event. Wrapping a game can be a life benchmark.

We often collect to connect to memories and remind us of moments — like playing video games. And while there are some cool pieces of sports video game memorabilia available, it’s a corner of the hobby that has tons of potential for plenty more.

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren’t the only politicians made into Garbage Pail Kids

Garbage Pail Kids Politicians Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

No matter what you political leanings are, there’s something satisfying about the Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and other presidential hopefuls with cards in 2016 Topps Garbage Pail Kids: American as Apple Pie in Your Face. Yes, they’re cheeky. And a little bit edgy — at least as much as a trading card can be that’s intended for a fairly wide audience. But it’s not the first time politicians have been given the GPK treatment.

In fact, the history goes all the way back to the franchise’s beginnings during the Reagan Era and have continued all through to the present.

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2015 Topps Football Oversized Red sets come with legend autograph, big price tag

2015 Topps Football Oversized Red

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

There’s another 2015 Topps Football factory set. This time it’s bigger, very limited and comes with an autograph from a Hall of Famer. And just like the dimensions, it comes with a hefty price tag as well.

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2016 Topps Archives Baseball is full of nostalgia and Bull

2016 Topps Archives Baseball Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Past is present with 2016 Topps Archives Baseball. Once again, old designs are brought back to be mixed with current and retired players. Also back is the promise of two autographs per hobby box with much of the attention on retired players, many of whom might not have a lot of signed cards.

The pop culture nostalgia continues as well, this time centered on 1988’s Bull Durham.

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8 Survival Tips for Collectors Returning to the World of Sports Cards

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

For a lot of people, collecting sports cards isn’t something we do our entire lives. We might start as kids then stop in the pursuit of a car, college degree, family or any combination of the above. Some may collect for a while and simply move on for whatever reason. And that’s perfectly okay.

Actually, it’s normal.

But there’s a solid chance that when you returned to collecting sports cards, the hobby landscape looked a lot different, good and bad.

Depending on when you last collected, navigating this new world can be fun, exciting, disheartening, scary and a little bit overwhelming.

Here are some tips to get you thinking and help you through some of those changes and back into the world of collecting.

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2015-16 Panini Luxe Basketball back for a sophomore effort

2015-16 Panini Luxe Basketball Porzingis

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America had some favorable reaction to a new brand last season and 2015-16 Panini Luxe Basketball looks to build on what made it a hit with some collectors.

With an average of four premium cards per box, the hits will be either hard-signed autographs or memorabilia cards. Each one will be numbered to 99 copies or less and it is expected that there will be plenty of prime material coming out of packs. Read More »

2016 Panini Super Bowl 50 football card details

2016 Panini Super Bowl 50

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Whether your team is in the game or not, no matter the score, the Super Bowl is a game that becomes instant sports history. The 2016 Panini Super Bowl 50 football set aims to capture some of that in the form of a simple factory set.
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NHL to auction Winter Classic-themed jerseys to benefit injured Denna Laing

Denna Laing

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins will face off for the first time since the 2016 Winter Classic and both teams are coming together for a cause greater than the game itself – supporting the injured Denna Laing of the Boston Pride.

Laing was hurt during the Outdoor Women’s Classic on December 31 between NWHL and CWHL clubs at Gilette Stadium and has a long recovery process ahead. Both NHL teams are signing the Winter Classic-themed jerseys they wear tonight and they will be auctioned off for her benefit. Read More »

Monday Morning Collector Tuesday Edition: NFL Playoffs (Divisional Round)

Playoffs 2 Gronk

By: Justin Grunert | Football Market Analyst

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our top players of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Here are our selections for the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

(7 catches, 83 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns)

Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end in the NFL, and he proved it in Saturday’s 27-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He came off of an injury in week 17 to have a great game, scoring twice and recovering an onside kick to seal the victory for the Patriots. This is the fifth straight year that the Pats are going to the AFC title game. They are also trying to repeat as champions for the first time since 2003-2004. Gronkowski is already the most collected tight end in the NFL right now, but his cards still have room to grow. Last season saw his value start to take off in the playoffs and this year could be more of the same. His value could see a new high if he can win another Super Bowl title.

Cards to Grab:

2010 Exquisite Collection #131 JSY AU/120 RC ($200)

2010 Playoff Contenders #229A AU/499* RC ($120)

2010 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs #C112 ($100) Read More »

1996-97 SkyBox Autographics Basketball, near 1998-99 set up for bid

1996-97 SkyBox Autographics Scottie Pippen

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

When it comes to basketball autograph inserts, Autographics is a classic. The checklists are known for both running deep and including a lot of marquee signers who don’t have a lot of autograph cards. Singles can be found here and there, but a complete set of 1996-97 SkyBox Autographics and a near set from 1998-99 are up for bid in Goldin Auction’s Winter Auction.

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More vintage Mickey Mantle cards breaking price records

1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle PSA 8 Empire State Collection

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Another auction and closed and key vintage Mickey Mantle cards continue to break records. This time it was Memory Lane Inc. selling an entire run of cards from his playing days.

Of the 21 Mickey Mantle cards that were part of the “Empire State Collection,” 14 set new records for public sales. Among them were a PSA 8 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card and a PSA 7.5 1952 Topps.

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Cam Newton Rookie Card Countdown

2011 Playoff National Treasures Cam Newton Rookie Card

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Good luck collecting every Cam Newton card from his rookie year. Including inserts, parallels and everything in between there are well over 1,000 to choose from. But when you stick to Cam Newton rookie cards, as in those found in a base set from his rookie season, it’s closer to 30. While still a big number, it’s a much more manageable than four figures. And more realistic to collect for those that are so inclined.

Ever since he broke into the NFL, he’s been a player to watch in the hobby. A couple of ups and downs have followed him, but it has been his strong play and big personality that have garnered most of the attention. As he enters the prime of his career, it’s time to move from looking at his potential to his accomplishments.

Cam Newton rookie cards don’t look to be going anywhere soon. He’s established himself as one of the NFL’s most athletic quarterbacks. He also has that x-factor that comes with what happens after play has stopped. Newton gets people’s attention. Not everyone is a fan, but he’s talked about. He’s interesting.

His rookie cards are all over the place when it comes to styles and secondary market prices. There are your basic cards that don’t have much going on other than a photo and his name. From there they move into autographs, memorabilia and other rarities. Prices can go from a low of a fast food value meal and move into a month or two’s worth of groceries for a family of four.

So what are the most valuable Cam Newton rookie cards and what makes them different? We’ve listed them all and broken them down.

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2015-16 Upper Deck Black Hockey marks the return of a hobby favorite

2015-16 Upper Deck Black Panarin

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

A familiar name is coming back to card stores soon with 2015-16 Upper Deck Black Hockey and at a first glance, it is certainly striving to be better than ever with visually striking rookie and autograph content.

Presently scheduled as a mid-April release, 2015-16 Upper Deck Black Hockey is expected to yield one base card and a Lustrous Rookies card along with four more autograph or memorabilia hits in each box. If that was not compelling enough, every card in this product will be hard-signed. Read More »

Dinosaurs were harmed in the making of Mars Attacks: Occupation

2016 Mars Attacks Occupation DInosaurs Attacks

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2016 Topps Mars Attacks: Occupation (aka, the set that was made exclusively for Kickstarter) is getting closer to releasing. Among the cards is a series of Dinosaurs Attacks inserts. And in true Mars Attacks fashion, they take on a theme of obliteration. In this case, it’s the dinosaurs themselves.

The product’s Dinosaurs Attacks Letter-Press cards have actual dinosaurs in them, even if you don’t notice it at first glance.

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Buy a box of cards, get a motorcycle autographed by Michael Jordan

2016 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Master Collection Michael Jordan Motorcycle

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Looking for a motorcycle? A box of cards might be your ticket. And signed by Michael Jordan, no less.

2016 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Master Collection, a product that comes with a price tag of $15,000 per box, includes a randomly inserted redemption good for a Michael Jordan Motorsports 2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000 AMA Superstock motorcycle.

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15 Most Valuable Star Trek Autographs

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Five decades of Star Trek has given us a half-dozen TV shows, more than a dozen movies and a never-ending supply of trading cards. The result is literally hundreds of different Star Trek autographs to choose from and chase. While some are likely to be appreciated largely by major fans of the franchise, there are plenty of others that have crossover appeal.

William Shatner, Leonard Nimory, DeForest Kelley and virtually every major character in the original series has autographed cards. Most have many. The same carries over to the stars of the more recent spin-off shows and into the films.

As one of the most popular franchises in trading card history, there are plenty of Star Trek autographs that carry big price tags. We’ve pulled together a list of the most valuable of all. While there’s a heavy emphasis on the original series and its top stars, there are a handful of contemporary names as well.

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2015-16 Panini Prizm Basketball White Sparkle Prizms exclusive to Rewards program

2015-16 Panini Prizm Basketball White Sparkle Prizms Gary Payton

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

If you’re going for the full rainbow of your favorite player in 2015-16 Panini Prizm Basketball, you may want to head over to the Panini Rewards site if you’ve got some points. White Sparkle Prizms have been added to the mix. Following in the footsteps of similar 2015 Panini Prizm Football parallels, it’s the only place the cards are being made available.

And even if you have the points, getting a specific card isn’t going to be easy.

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2015-16 Leaf Metal Hockey to showcase the game’s prospects and legends

2015-16 Leaf Metal Hockey Eichel_Base_Auto

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Following a strong debut last season, Leaf Trading Cards is bringing back their solid mix of hockey’s brightest prospects and many of its greatest legends with 2015-16 Leaf Metal Hockey.

Set to be unleashed on the hobby in March, 2015-16 Leaf Metal Hockey will have five autograph cards per box. Printed using the company’s metal technology that has been well-received in other sports as well, the roster of talent is set to include 2016 NHL Entry Draft prospects from the Canadian Hockey League like Alex DeBrincat, Jakob Chychrun, Julien Gauthier, Michael McLeod, and Matthew Tkachuk. On top of that, there will be cards of hot Finnish prospect Jesse Puljujarvi and future draftees such a Nolan Patrick and Joseph Veleno. Read More »

2016 Panini Super Bowl Highlights cards available exclusively to NFL Experience attendees

2015 Panini Super Bowl Highlights Joe Montana Oversized

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Those headed to the NFL Experience in San Francisco ahead of Super Bowl 50 will likely have plenty of collectibles and items to chase. On the football card front, it’s the only place to find the 2016 Panini Super Bowl Highlights promo set.

The main part of the set features standout stars from past Super Bowls. While there’s a lot of history on the checklist, a lot of the players gravitate more towards the modern era of the game. Among them are Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Joe Namath, Emmitt Smith, John Elway and Roger Staubach are some of the legends from previous generations.

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When it comes to photos, 1996 Upper Deck V.J. Lovero Showcase is one of the best inserts ever

1996 Upper Deck V.J. Lovero Showcase 11 Jay Buhner

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Call me old-school but photos are one of the number one things I gravitate towards when I decide to chase a set. Slick card stock, autographs and shiny things can be nice too, but I like the idea of every card telling a story. That’s what pictures do for me. Some sets simply stand out when it comes to photography. One of my favorites is 1996 Upper Deck V.J. Lovero Showcase. It’s not a tough set to build. Nor is it particularly valuable in case that’s what you’re looking for.

But if you want great intimate portraits, interesting angles, intense action and the deep stare of Derek Jeter, this set has it.

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2016 SAGE Hit Low Series Football Card Details

Sage Logo

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2016 SAGE Hit Low Series Football is an autograph-heavy product aimed at collectors more concerned with signatures than logos. Not licensed, it features players eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Eighteen-pack hobby boxes have a total of ten autographs.

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2015-16 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Basketball autograph short prints

2015-16 Panini Contenders Draft Picks School Colors Autographs Karl-Anthony Towns

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Serial numbers make things easy. No matter how big or how small, they take the guesswork out of print runs. Although many of the 2015-16 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Basketball autographs are numbered, some are not. And of those, some are more common than others.

In case you’re wondering if what you’ve got is a short print or are curious why few copies of something you’re targeting have surfaced, Panini has released a list of short prints.

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2016 Academy Award nominees with autograph cards

2016 Academy Awards Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The 2016 Academy Award nominations are out. And while there’s not a lot of hobby crossover among the nominees, there are some big ones when it comes to autographs. And some obscure ones too.

Starting at the top is one of modern cinema’s legends, Steven Spielberg. He failed to wrangle a nod for directing Bridge of Spies but since he’s a producer, Spielberg is in contention for a Best Picture trophy.

As far as the acting categories go, this is where things open up a bit. Three of the five Best Actress nominees have autographs. Actually, it’s only two at the moment but there’s one on the way.

Jennifer Lawrence received her fourth Oscar nomination for Joy. She’s Hollywood’s biggest leading lady right now and she actually does have an autograph card. However, it’s an obscure one a lot of people might not know even exists. To help launch the Hunger Games DVD, NECA produced special packs of cards exclusively for special events at Walmart. Randomly inserted were autographs from many of the film’s stars, including Lawrence.

From the front, it looks a lot like a base card but the back is numbered A1 so you can tell from a potential in-person autograph.

Cate Blanchett, who already has a pair of the golden statues, signed for Topps in 2001 and 2002 for their Lord of the Rings line. She appeared in the main Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers sets.

Charlotte Rampling’s first signed cards are on the way in Breygent’s soon-to-be-released Dexter Seasons 7 and 8 release.

On the men’s side, no Best Actor nominees have autograph cards but a pair who are up for Best Supporting Actor do. Sylvester Stallone is a sentimental favorite for his reprisal as an aging Rocky Balboa in Creed. His signature has appeared in a few different sets. The one with the greatest connection to his nomination can be found in 2015 Topps Allen and Ginter Baseball where he signed a card as Rocky.

Tom Hardy is quickly ascending Hollywood’s A-list. Many would say he’s already there. Up for his part in The Revenant, Hardy signed way back in 2002 when his name wasn’t so well known. He was included on the Star Trek: Nemesis autograph checklist from Rittenhouse.

Every time you hum the theme music from Star Wars, Home Alone, E.T. or Jaws, you can thank John Williams. The legendary composer is approaching 50 Oscar nominations (he’s won five), the latest of which comes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His lone autograph card is in 2007 Star Wars 30th Anniversary from Topps.

Although I don’t have a lot of stats, it’s probably safe to say that not a lot of sound editors have signed trading cards. Matthew Wood might be the only one. He’s also up for The Force Awakens. He has appeared in numerous sets for the franchise thanks, in large part, to his voicing General Grievous in the prequels.

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2015-16 In The Game Final Vault Hockey ends a chapter of hockey card history

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

All things inevitably come to an end, and in the case of the old incarnation of In The Game, a era of hockey card history is about to close with the release of 2015-16 In The Game Final Vault Hockey.

A product born out of some controversy regarding the liquidation of the company’s cardboard assets where questions arose about production numbers once some additional cards were hitting the secondary market, Dr. Brian Price decided to go out and buy back as many of those cards as possible in an attempt to smooth things over with collectors. As a result of this effort, they will be placed into a last release which includes 10 stamped and limited cards inside each box. Read More »

Early 2015 Panini Select Soccer sales are higher than you might expect

2015 Select Soccer Black Patch Gianluigi Buffon

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise. 2015 Panini Select Soccer is bringing some impressive sales. This comes about a year and a half after 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup did the exact same thing.

The sample size is still small, but there have some big online sales. During its first handful of days of release, more than a dozen cards have topped the $1,000 mark on eBay (assuming the sales were completed). Most of these are one-of-ones but there are a couple that don’t have a signature or memorabilia swatch. In fact, a basic Lionel Messi Gold Prizm numbered to 10 hit four figures. That’s not something we see in most modern baseball, basketball, football and hockey sets.

And this is coming from a product that’s currently hovering around $150 per box. Even that is significant as the final presales for 2015 Panini Select Soccer had them closer to $100 per hobby box shortly before the set came out.

While Select doesn’t have the same immediacy as 2014 Panini World Cup Prizm, the early signs are there that there’s a pent up international demand for international soccer products — particularly ones that are a little more upscale.

Here’s a look at some of the big sales 2015 Panini Select Soccer has seen so far.

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Funko launches DC Comics Legion of Collectors subscription service

Funko DC Comics Legio of Collectors Box 1 Armored Batman

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Following in the footsteps of their Marvel Colletor Corps and Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty programs, Funko has launched DC Comics Legion of Collectors. It’s another subscription service that delivers exclusive Funko Pop! figures and other collectibles directly to fans.

The first box, which comes with the theme Batman v. Superman, is highlighted by an Armored Batman Pop! vinyl figure that won’t be sold in hobby shops, Walmarts or your nearest convenience store.

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