Month of Marvel Giveaway No. 1

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst

The Month of Marvel is here!

From August 17 to September 18, we will be giving away cards everyday on our Instagram page and we will be having a weekly contest right here on Beckett.com. All you have to do to enter is answer the question in the comment section below. After that, you’re eligible to win our weekly prize.

For the first week, we are not only giving away a complete base set of 2015 Fleer Retro Marvel, but also a complete base set of 2013 Fleer Retro Marvel (for complete checklists of each, please checkout our non-sports online price guide).

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2014-15 Panini Flawless Basketball First Look

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America revolutionized the game when it comes to high-end trading cards with its first Flawless release back in 2012-13 and it is back once again this season with even more jaw-dropping cards and some new concepts that are bound to get some attention from collectors once it comes to card stores on September 30.

With presentation meaning so much, there is much pomp and circumstance whenever a pack of 2014-15 Panini Flawless  is opened since it comes in the form of a locked briefcase and the cards themselves are nestled perfectly inside. With a lofty retail price that is justified by its limited nature, Panini has provided some early details regarding Flawless and it is truly meant for advanced collectors – or those with deep pockets. Read More »

2015 Topps Inception Football Rookie Autographs gallery and short print info

2015 Topps Inception Rookie Autographs RA-4 Amari Cooper

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

For 2015 Topps Inception Football, one of the major draws is the combination of on-card autographs and NFL uniforms for rookie players. The Rookie Autographs, which make up the bulk of the product’s signed content, come with a moderately deep checklist of 42 players. It’s big enough to go beyond the top position players heading into the season but it’s not to the point where it’s loaded with scrubs who have little to no chance of starting any time soon — if ever.

But like past years of the brand it looks like several players are available in lesser supply than others.

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Connor McDavid puzzle promotion added to 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

With less than two months left until his NHL debut, the mania for cards of Connor McDavid is picking up further momentum as Upper Deck has just announced it will be adding a special #1 Draft Pick puzzle promotion to 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee.

In order to receive this card, collectors must purchase packs of 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee and put together a complete set of all nine puzzle cards. The first 97 hobbyists to send all nine cards to Upper Deck will then receive an exclusive #1 Draft Pick card of McDavid that will be numbered and limited to just 97 copies. The specific odds for pulling a puzzle piece from a pack were not released.

“Puzzle pieces will not be too difficult to find,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck’s Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager. “We want fans to get them, trade them and race to get their sets in. They will be available in equal levels across hobby and retail and none of the puzzle pieces will be short-printed.”

When will the hunt for this card officially begin? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Panini Prestige football cards

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Join Beckett Football’s Chris Olds and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini Prestige in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame shutting its doors

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Fans of the Montreal Canadiens only have a few days left for a chance to explore the team’s lush history as the team’s Hall of Fame and museum will be shutting its doors on Aug. 30.

Opened to the public back in 2010 as a means to cap off the franchise’s centennial year, it is a 10,000 square foot facility which contains some of the team’s greatest treasures for fans to see when they visited the Bell Centre. The museum is closing due to arena renovations, but according to a report in the Montreal Gazette, the pieces of memorabilia on display will be returned to the Hockey Hall of Fame, former players, and fans that shared items from their collections unless they are being moved to another part of the arena.

“In the coming months, as the real estate development projects around the Bell Centre move forward, we will be in a position to proceed with a number of new initiatives, including the redeployment of Centennial Plaza,” said Kevin Gilmore, the Canadiens’ Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer in a statement found on its official website. “This beautiful new site will serve as a permanent gathering place for years to come that celebrates the history of our team, from its greatest legends to its unforgettable conquests and unparalleled legacy.  The Hall of Fame will close in order to offer new amenities to fans and clients during games, though we will be redistributing certain of its displays and assets throughout the building so that they can continue to be enjoyed.  For those who have never visited the Hall, we invite them through the end of the month to experience it at no cost.” Read More »

What would the Tom Brady courtroom sketch look like on his Rookie Cards?

2000 Aurora Tom Brady Courtroom Sketch

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The chances of the Tom Brady courtroom sketch making its way onto a football card are about as likely as the quarterback taking a trip to the moon during his start-of-season suspension.

Because some might think that’s a shame, we’ve gone ahead and asked the big what if.

What would Tom Brady’s Rookie Cards look like if he actually resembled the melting face from the courtroom sketch?

Beware! The results are disturbing.

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2015 Topps Inception Football Rookie Autograph variations? Yes, there are.

2015 Topps Inception Rookie Autographs Variations RA-9 Melvin Gordon Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Inception is still a relatively new brand for Topps. For football, it has been rookie autograph-focused. And while that’s still the case with 2015 Topps Inception Football, some unannounced Rookie Autograph variations add a new spin, albeit one that’s familiar with a lot of other brands.

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2015 Panini Playbook Football Cards First Look

2015 Panini Playbook Football Rookie Playbook

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

With 2015 Panini Playbook Football, the brand continues to evolve. While many of the elements are similar to years past, there are some changes. And they’re not just in insert names. This set marks the first time that all of the base cards are done in a book card format.

Boxes maintain a more high-end configuration carrying just three cards. The first is an autographed memorabilia booklet. There’s also an additional signed card or relic. The third card is the booklet-style base card.

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Panini revives baseball brand with 2015 Contenders coming in October

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With a college license in hand, Panini America is reviving a popular brand from the past with the NCAA logos at the forefront.

The brand is 2015 Panini Contenders, and it will arrive on Oct. 7 packing many of the game’s young stars in their college, international and USA Baseball uniforms. It’s a brand that’s been on the bench since 2011 when Panini entered the baseball ranks as part of its licensing deal with the MLB Players Association.

Collectors can expect six autographs and eight cards per pack, 24 packs per box and 12 boxes per case. A basic set size and a preliminary checklist was not revealed for the product.

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2015 Panini Spectra Football details

2015 Panini Spectra Football Blue

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2015 Panini Spectra Football is like Prizm meets high-end. It comes with the rainbow of colors and chromium look that Prizm has. But it is also a product that stresses a lot of hits-based content.

Boxes, which have just four packs, come with four autographs and seven memorabilia cards.

Every card in the product is serial numbered to 199 or less.

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Beckett Radio Presents: Ultimate Box Breaks with Bryan Gavin

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By Derek Ficken | Beckett Radio Host

This week on Beckett Radio we talk to Bryan Gavin of Ultimate Box Breaks (23:53) about his NSCC experience, the Panini VIP party, and much more!

We also bring on Beckett Media’s new Hobby Editor, Ryan Cracknell (11:38), as we talk new products and some topical hobby news.

Check out the Month of Marvel all month long on Beckett News as well as their social media outlets for some amazing giveaways. Listen to what Matt Bible (2:18) has to say about this awesome contest!

To subscribe to Beckett Radio via iTunes Podcasting, click here. Beckett Radio episodes are posted every Thursday at 4PM Central, bringing you the most up-to-date content and interviews from around the industry. Read More »

Star Wars Chrome Perspectives: Jedi vs. Sith Autographs checklist announced

2015 Topps Star Wars Chrome Perspectives Prism Autograph Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Autographs have become a given in almost every set of modern Star Wars trading cards and that’s showing no signs of slowing. The 2015 Topps Star Wars Chrome Perspectives: Jedi vs. Sith Autographs has one of the larger checklists the franchise has seen.

Highlights include Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia).

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Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose … sometimes you get Peanuts Lowrey

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

It’s no secret to most of us that the online world has changed how we collect our cardboard.

Whether we hunt or jettison our cards in cyberspace often depends on what we collect — the newest stuff can be found in a few ways but the older stuff not so much. On top of accessibility and availability, trends such as group-breaking have made our hobby even more possible at times when they think they might not be. Sometimes, they lead to big wins and surprises out of packs. Sometimes they lead to nothing out of packs. That’s just how it is.

Last night, though, I tried a different type of online break for the first time — a vintage baseball card set break via BlowoutTV, the breaking presence for Blowout Cards, which handles these events on its forum. How? It was as simple as seeing a tweet and making a decision — and then waiting to see the results. The set? The classic 1954 Topps release with every card PSA graded with an average grade of about 5.8 for all 250 cards. The key guys in that one? Rookie Cards of Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks, though there are many other familiar names and Hall of Famers to be found.

The stakes? Not as high as you might think.

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Michael Jordan was paid how much by Upper Deck?

2007-08 Upper Deck Exquisite Number Pieces Autograph Patch Michael Jordan

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

$14 million — that’s what Upper Deck gave Michael Jordan to be a company spokesman between 2000 and 2012.

Normally these aren’t the kinds of numbers that athletes and companies like being made public. But Jordan and his attorneys released the information as part of a lawsuit brought against Dominick’s, a grocery chain that went under in 2013.

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Topps offers a behind-the-scenes look at process of making our trading cards

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Ever wondered the steps that go into making trading cards? Topps offers a glimpse …

2015 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Baseball Cards First Look

2015 Leaf Perfect Game Baseball

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Prospecting is all about patience. It’s not about who’s hot today, but rather who is going to be big a few months or even a couple of years down the road. With that in mind, there’s a good chance that most collectors won’t know many of the names in 2015 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Baseball. And that’s largely the point. The all autograph product focuses on high school players, most of whom are likely years away from having a chance of breaking into the majors.

Each box has a ton of autograph content with single-pack boxes delivering a total of 25 signed cards.

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1991 Topps Toxic High School — a cheap and overlooked set worthy of your attention

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Card collecting is often portrayed as a wholesome activity. You know the image — young kid sitting on his bed shuffling through a stack of his heroes.

“Got it, got it, got it, need it,” is his mantra.

But if you look back on the history of the hobby, trading cards have a subversive and trouble-making side as well. You’ve got the dog getting zapped in Mars Attacks, the mockery of Wacky Packages where no consumer product is sacred, Billy Ripken’s bat and the snotty Garbage Pail Kids to name a few. Even the early days of cards being used to promote tobacco raised some eyebrows then.

When cards caused trouble, it was often at school. Kids get their rubber band-bound stacks confiscated. A trade that seemed good at recess leads to a fight at lunch after the No Trade Backs Code of Honor is upheld.

School is also the battleground for 1991 Topps Toxic High School trading cards, perhaps the most overlooked set of entertainment cards of the early 1990s.

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Topps adds another variable to wall art … autographs

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ wall art lines of the last two years have given collectors an immediate look at happenings on the field and new more-impressive views with oversized pieces that bring its brand to collectors’ walls.

Now, the company is adding one more enticing element into the mix.

Autographs.

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English Teen Chases Vintage Baseball Cards

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Owen Randell, a native of England, with his American grandfather Joe Kroes.

By Mike Payne

Of the thousands who attended the 36th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago recently, it’s likely few travelled as far as 13-year-old Owen Randell.

It’s a long way from England to Chicago.

Randell was attending his first National with his grandfather, Joe Kroes, a resident of upstate New York. The 13-year-old from West Sussex, England, was visiting his grandfather in the States (Joe’s daughter is Owen’s mother) and, since Owen wanted to add to his vintage baseball card collection, Kroes thought it would be a great opportunity to head to Chicago and attend the industry’s biggest event.

Besides, Owen had already taken the tour of Fenway Park – home to his beloved Boston Red Sox. So while the two made the trip from New York to Chicago, Owen’s adventure began when he left his hometown south of London to fly to America.

So how does a kid smack in the middle of England’s Premier League soccer fan base come to checking out daily MLB highlights online – which Owen does through ESPN, MLB and YouTube? “I just started watching baseball when I would come over and visit family in the U.S.,” says Owen. “I really like it.”

A typical day for Owen consists of all the things kids his age do – school, sports, family. The big difference is while his friends are talking about the latest exploits of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Owen is checking to see how Big Papi fared the night before or looking into baseball’s rich history to get a better understanding of how the game itself has become so much a part of American history.

“Yeah, they’re not all that interested,” he says about his friends back home.

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The $400,000 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle and other top sales from the 2015 Goldin Summer Auction

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 8

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

$400,000 for a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle? That’s what a top-condition copy of the card sold for at the 2015 Goldin Summer Auction. Actually, the final price with buyer’s premium was $400,950 for the iconic card, which has been graded a PSA 8.

The Mantle was the top sale at the auction, which also included many other important cards and one-of-a-kind pieces of sports memorabilia. More than 1,200 lots were put up for bid leading to $4.4 million in total sales.

The auction was split up into two parts. The first closed to coincide with a live event at the 2015 National. Online bidding was also accepted. The remaining items sold through an online auction.

“The combination of our live and online auction was once again well-received by collectors as there was very active bidding both at the live event and our online event,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions.

Other top sales included a Babe Ruth game-used cap from 1932 ($261,225), a bat used by Christy Mathewson in the 1905 World Series ($218,700) and Andre Dawson‘s 1987 National League MVP award.

See the biggest sales after the jump where we’ve listed the auction’s top card and memorabilia sales.

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Carlos Correa and Joey Gallo among the 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball rookie short prints

2015 Topps Chrome Carlos Correa RC

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Topps has confirmed that five key rookies were last-minute additions to 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball. And all five are short prints.

When the product was first announced, the base set was advertised as having 200 cards. However, when the final checklist was released, it reached 205 cards with the final five players all being recent call-ups.

Although 2015 Topps Chrome Baseball isn’t scheduled to release officially until August 19, it is already showing up in some retail locations. As some began to open the product, they quickly discovered that the five high numbers were tougher to pull. This was confirmed by the card maker on their Topps Talk podcast.

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Ripping Retail: 2015 Topps Chrome WWE

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a pair of 2015 Topps WWE Chrome blaster boxes in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

2015 Panini Certified football cards details

2015 Panini Certified Football Fabric of the Game

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

With a little more distance from the draft and the Rookie Premiere, 2015 Panini Certified Football is a more hits-based product than the card maker’s earlier products for the season.

It’s a continuation of a brand that has been around in its basic form for more than a decade. However, collectors can trace the Certified name back 20 years as a football brand to 1995 Select Certified. Throughout its history, the product has been home to a lot of foil and color. 2015 is no different.

Ten-pack boxes of 2015 Panini Certified Football come with two autographs and two memorabilia cards. One of these is Freshman Fabric rookie autographed memorabilia card. Boxes also have lots of inserts, three parallels and a pair of basic rookie cards.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1991 Topps baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 1991 Topps in this latest Ripping Retail Retro video.

Of 25 Atlanta Braves cards in the box, how many will be Chipper Jones Rookie Cards? Watch and find out …

2015 Topps UFC Chronicles Trading Cards First Look

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2015 Topps UFC Chronicles is a new brand that charts both the past and the present of the leading company in MMA.

To do it justice, it has the biggest base set for the Topps UFC set and the packs to match. Done in a jumbo pack format, each has 40 cards including five parallels and three inserts.

But just because there’s a big focus on the basic part of the product, that doesn’t mean that autographs and memorabilia are forgotten. Ten-pack boxes still come with five total hits.

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First look: 2016 Topps MLB Sticker Collection

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ latest reveal for a 2016 baseball product is one that’s clearly aimed at kids — with the hopes that the collecting bug will stick.

The product is the 2016 Topps MLB Sticker Collection, and it arrives on March 2 with the latest selection of stars to be collected and booked into an album — or placed wherever one wants. (For this collector? Well, a key sticker gets a BGS slab.)

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Signature City: Brock Lesnar gets his first WWE autograph card

2015 Topps WWE Road to Wrestlemania Autographs Brock Lesnar

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Brock Lesnar has been one of the most intimidating athletes in sports (and sports entertainment) for more than a decade. And while collectors have been able to snag his signature on cardboard for years, it has been limited to MMA cards stemming from his time in UFC.

For wrestling card collectors, there haven’t been an WWE Brock Lesnar autographs — until now.

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2015 Topps Football cards info and checklist

2015 Topps Football 60th Anniversary Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2015 Topps Football marks the 60th anniversary of the company breaking into the sport with 1955 Topps All-American. You know they’re not going to let a milestone like that slip by.

And it doesn’t. The 60th anniversary theme weaves throughout all reaches of the product including the base set, inserts and autographs.

As with past flagship Topps releases, the set is one of the largest of the year. And that’s before factoring any inserts in.

Hobby boxes come with either an autograph or a memorabilia card. Jumbo boxes have a pair of autographs as well as an exclusive Rookie Patch card.

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Hobby Q&A: Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground talks 2015-16 MVP

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The new hockey season is less than two months away, but that is not stopping collectors from rushing to their local card store to grab a box or some packs of 2015-16 Upper Deck MVP. The company’s first release of the year, it has already grabbed some headlines due to the presence of a #1 Draft Pick redemption card which will feature Connor McDavid and be released once he hits the ice for the first time this fall.

Grant Sandground, Upper Deck’s product development guru, recently took some questions from Beckett Hockey and offered his insights on this release and the hobby’s positive reaction to it.

It was recently announced the 2015-16 Upper Deck MVP was a factory sellout. What do you attribute to the hobby’s reaction to this release and was it produced in smaller quantities that last year?

We don’t publicly discuss print run numbers for our products, so we can’t provide info comparing 2014-15 MVP vs. 2015-16. We can, however, share with readers that we were surprised that MVP sold out within 24 hours of release. One of the reasons for the quick sell out is that although we anticipate significantly more demand this year, we are still making a collectible product. We will not mass produce our releases, rather produce what we think is best for the market that allows us to deliver the best value to our customers. Given that, we expect to see several sellouts during the 15-16 NHL season. Read More »

Your Turn: Who’s your Rookie of the Year?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Your next issue of Beckett Baseball will examine 10 notable rookies from this season, and, as part of the issue. we’re curious who your picks for the American League and National League Rookie of the Year winners might be. Tell us in our polls (or the comments) below …

Who's your NL Rookie of the Year?

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Correa

Who's your AL Rookie of the Year?

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Recap: Panini’s Tracy Hackler

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Panini America was quite busy over the weekend with both the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the 2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot, but it still managed to deliver plenty of excitement to dedicated collectors through its social media feeds.

At the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot, nearly 40 of the game’s brightest prospects headed to Tarrytown, New York to pose for their first trading card photos and sign for several of the company’s early-season releases for 2015-16. In addition to this, the players also went head-to-head in a Trick Shot Challenge competition and managed to interact with fans who are unable to attend this exclusive event by taking over the company’s Twitter feed and answering collector questions.

Beckett Basketball caught up with Panini’s Marketing Manager, Tracy Hackler, in the days following the the annual spectacular and he was able to reveal some details that will surely be of interest to collectors.

How excited were the players about seeing and signing their first NBA trading cards?

“One of the biggest highlights of this event every year is watching the reactions of the players when they see their cards for the first time. To see those huge, authentic smiles come across the players’ faces – or to watch them carefully scrutinize the card-back copy on every card – is a true sight to behold. And this class in particular is filled with players who grew up collecting cards. Karl-Anthony Towns worked in a card shop when he was younger; Frank Kaminsky still loves busting packs. These players understand and appreciate what this event means for fans and collectors and they seemed to really enjoy being there.”

Read on after the jump for the rest of the interview and images from the 2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot.

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2016 Topps baseball design revealed — and it’s not like you might expect

2016 Topps Series 1 Baseball Base Buster Posey Cropped

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Today, the design for 2016 Topps was revealed and it’s anything but traditional — at least for the most recognizable brand in the hobby.

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Box Busters Retro: 2012 Panini Cooperstown baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he turns back the clock three years to rip a box of 2012 Panini Cooperstown in this latest Box Busters Retro video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2015 Topps Fire football cards

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2015 Topps Fire Football is big, bold and anything but traditional.

The sophomore release, which once again includes the digital art of Tyson Beck, has a base set that’s unlike many other in the collecting world. Hobby boxes come with a pair of autographs or autographed relics as well as nearly 40 additional inserts and parallels.

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