The Beckett Blog


Preview Grows, Anticipation Swells over Panini Plates & Patches

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Teasing collectors with a recently fast leak of 2010 Plates & Patches  Football preview images, Panini America is building anticipation over next week’s launch.

As previously mentioned, the brand new Panini brand will carry a $150-per-pack price tag with high-end bells and whistles galore. Collectors willing to drop the coin can expect four hits in total: one prime-piece memorabilia autographed Rookie Card, two more autographs and either an autograph or a memorabilia card. Surely far from shabby, the other per-pack pulls (two base cards, one parallel and one insert) are designed to compel as well.

Until hobbyists can get their hands on the product, this growing collection of digital eye candy will have to do. Continue reading



First Look: 2010-11 Contenders Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier this morning, Panini America revealed an early glance at 2010-11 Contenders Hockey. Shooting to score with avid hockey hobbyists, Panini’s late-March release should hit with recognizable characteristics from unique Playoff origins.

“[Contenders is] an instantly identifiable brand — nothing else looks quite like it — and I think that will make it compelling to hockey collectors who are looking for something unique to pursue, said Panini America’s Hockey Brand Manager, Al Muir. “Add that to the brand’s legacy of value thanks to the Rookie Tickets subset and it was the most obvious choice from Panini’s stable of brands to make the transition to hockey.”

With a bevy of hot players lending signatures and sweater swatches to the product, 2010-11 Contenders Hockey is set to deliver the best of its brand roots. Contenders delivers four autographs per box, including an average of three hard-signed Rookie Ticket autographs, which are favored staples in the line. The spring set also offers nine-per-box inserts like Leather Larceny, Against the Glass, Lottery Winners and more listed below in greater detail. Continue reading



Collector Goes Green with National Treasures ‘Noise Toy’

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Some might say that the trading card industry is notoriously not “green.” However, as featured on Panini America’s blog, Delaware collector Amarin Cogburn has proven otherwise.

Scouring the internet and seeking expertise from an engineering-minded friend, Cogburn managed to repurpose a 2007 National Treasures Football box as “noise toy.” Specifically, Cogburn created a functioning amplifier with the collectible wooden box, a soldering iron and a few spare parts along the way.

Originally intended as a tinker-based offering for a white elephant gift exchange,  the recycled high-end hobby container was a success. “The amp was  a hit among my friends and I ended up building two more in the following month,” Cogburn said on The Knight’s Lance.

Ideally, this type of DIY spirit can permeate throughout the hobby, leading to more recycled collecting ingenuity. Considering the winter weather, who is willing to make the first foil-wrapper overcoat? Continue reading



NFL Players Get Creative on Topps Five Star Sketch Cards
January 13, 2011, 11:48 am
Filed under: Beckett Media, NFL, Topps | Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Topps announced today that collectors will be able to see the creative sides of pro football players in the upcoming Five Star product.

Lending their artistic talent (sometimes better referred to as “effort”) on player sketch cards, athletes like Tony Romo (whose effort is pictured above), LaDainian Tomlinson and Tim Tebow add a unique allure to the high-end line. Hand drawn by NFL standouts, each one of one illustration is signed on the back by the respective footbartist.

This makes for an interesting means of getting more than just autographs from Romo, Tomlinson, Tebow, Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Roddy White, Matthew Stafford, C.J. Spiller, Matt Ryan, Mike Williams, Aaron Hernandez and more.

Set to release in late February, Topps Five Star Football is loaded with high-end hits, some of which might even end up at The Met.



ITG Meets Collector Demands with New Between The Pipes Signees

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Still a few months from hitting shelves, In The Game’s 2010-11 Between The Pipes is shaping out to be a product for the people.

“I have been informally polling collectors online as to what they would like to see in the 2010-11 edition of Between The Pipes,” said In The Game’s President, Dr. Brian Price. “They have come up with some amazing ideas that we are looking to bring to life and they have also suggested many players that we are diligently trying to sign.”

Proving that diligence pays off, In The Game recently announced that the upcoming release will bolster a list of favorites with lesser known players like Coyotes netminder, Tom Fenton. Price explained, “As soon as Fenton sat on the bench for Phoenix, collectors were asking us if we were going include him in Between The Pipes.”

The upcoming product will also include the likes of Manon Rheaume, Charline Labonte and Kim St-Pierre, some of Canada’s fiercest female goalies. Appearing in Between The Pipes with base, autograph and game-used memorabilia cards, these women certainly broaden the scope of the hockey hobby.

“Our mission with many of our products this season has been to include players that rarely appear on cards these days,” said Price. By making a special effort to seek out those cult players and reexamine the overlooked, In The Game hopes to connect collectors to a wide array of sung and unsung heroes.



Card Gallery: 2010-11 Limited Hockey
January 7, 2011, 11:40 am
Filed under: NHL, Panini | Tags: , ,

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier this morning, I whipped out my handy box cutter (my house key) to open a sealed package from Panini America. The fine folks from the other side of town sent us a few products to bust for the Pulling with Everyday People video series, along with two boxes of 2010-11 Limited hockey.

Though small in size, each box delivered a hat trick with three hits worth showing off before the upcoming Box Busters video. Since we don’t mind sharing and there are only 14 cards from both breaks, please enjoy the full gallery. Continue reading



Sneak Peek: 2011 Upper Deck Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Upper Deck recently released a few (two to be exact), preview images of its 2011 football product. Set to release on April 12, the NFL newcomer-focused manufacturer announced that this set will deliver “the top 2011 rookies before the draft.”

After all, Upper Deck is the only company allowed to use NCAA team logos with its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company.

In addition to the forthcoming football freshmen, league veterans and greats will be featured in what appears to be  a 1991 throwback design on some cards (see below). As the images indicate, Adrian Peterson and Dan Marino are amongst the many players pictured in their collegiate uniforms.

The saga will surely unfold over the next few months, but for now this product breakdown will have to do. Continue reading



World Junior Championship Gives Collectors a Live Glimpse at Heroes and Prospects

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Considering In The Game’s upcoming release of 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects, tonight’s International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship offers collectors a sneak peek at their near future pulls.

Featuring many players who will land in hobby shops on Jan. 20, the Canadian team will make its 10th consecutive Gold Medal game appearance against Russia. Dazzling title contenders like Brayden Schenn, Ryan Ellis, Olivier Roy and Vladimir Tarasenko can be seen on the ice tonight and on shelves in a short time. Stacked with professional hockey standouts in the making, both teams offer a good look at the NHL in years to come.

“We offer our sincere congratulations to all players in this tournament and are proud to include many of them in Heroes and Prospects,” said In The Game’s President, Dr. Brian Price.

The IIHFL World Junior Championship Game takes place today in Buffalo, N.Y. at 7:30 EST.



Topps Creates Cards for 2011 Under Armour All-Americans

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

While many high school students are returning for their spring semesters to show off their new iPhones, eBook readers and unfortunate sweaters, only a select few can say that they appeared on a Topps trading card over winter break.

Knowing that so many faces at the fourth annual Under Armour All-American Football Game are destined to show up in future card sets, Topps took the first step in creating pre-collegiate collectibles.

After a Friday photo shoot and an undoubtedly tight weekend of printing, Topps made quick work of the 2011 All-American roster. On Monday, Topps presented players with their respective cards and gave the future stars a chance to practice their autographs in a signing session. Although the ink has some time to dry before the autographs resurface at a later date, the prospect-minded manufacturer provided us with a sneak peek.

Furthermore, fans can still collect these high school standouts on 92 different cards. The first 5,000 attendees who show up at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. for tomorrow’s game will received three Topps cards exclusively made for this year’s All-Americans. Ideally, the parents in attendance will be civil in trading for their sons’ cards.

The 2011 Under Armour All-American Football Game airs live on ESPN Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. ET. Continue reading



Pulling with Everyday People: Marc Hall and 2010 Topps Magic

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

For the second installment of Pulling with Everyday People, we managed to wrangle Marc Hall from Arlington, Texas. After taking an extended hiatus from collecting, the 31-year-old U.S. Navy ex and improviser is in the midst of returning to cardboard.

Equipped with a camera and box of 2010 Topps Magic Football, we thought it would be nice to capture a glimpse of Hall’s hobby homecoming.



Oh Canadadiana: ITG Celebrates being Canadian

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

On the verge of a new year, In the Game officials recently gave collectors one of many great things to look forward to in 2011. Putting it as plainly as possible, today’s newsletter explained, “In the Game celebrates being Canadian with the upcoming release of Canadiana.”

Filled with Canadian pop culture and history, this set presents an opportunity to collect and even learn about the heritage of the great white north. Appearing alongside rare and some familiar autographs, Canadian-born celebrities, athletes, artists and inventors add depth to the celebratory trading card context.

Although the pending release is old news by now, the hockey-happy manufacturer recently revealed new images of base cards, cut signatures and beyond. Nobody likes being called a hobby hoser, so check out these cards, eh? Continue reading



Card Gallery: 2010 Bowman Sterling Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Sometimes, the flatbed scanner just doesn’t do justice to a good-looking trading card.

Yesterday we busted open two boxes of 2010 Bowman Sterling football, knowing a few things from the get go.

Firstly, according to product history and on-box odds, we expected a hit-heavy ripping session with four autographs, two autograph Relics and 12 Relic cards to be exact. At around $250 per box, the Topps line is light on veterans, but loaded with attribute ample rookie pulls. It’s a high-end product, but when broken into $40-$50 packs yielding one autograph and two Relic cards, Sterling can be an affordable smile maker.

Secondly, we knew that the scanner couldn’t capture every shiny nuance on each card.

We scanned them anyways.

Before we pop up the official Bowman Sterling Box Busters video, we wanted to whet your whistle with this 12-card gallery. Continue reading



And So Begins Santa’s Year-Long Vacation

 

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

With his biggest project now out of the way, old St. Nick is taking a well-deserved vacation…probably somewhere sunny if I had to guess.

For years, hobby manufacturers have caught Claus on and off the job, playing football, dunking basketballs and enjoying other recreational activities. As you may have already seen in the current issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, these candid moments have made for an interesting array of Kringle cardboard.

Even though he’s gone into hiding for now, perhaps disguising himself as a portly Brian Wilson, we thought it would be nice to share a few of his trading card appearances. For the full scoop on Claus cards, look for the Oddities section in the latest copy of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

1991 Pro Line Portraits Autographs #NNO Santa Claus /200 ($60)

Carrying the DNA of Howie Long, Ernest Hemingway and a bag of NFL goodies, this Santa signed the Kringle card with the highest price, according to Beckett analysis.

 

Continue reading



Tim Tebow Media Mix Tape: ‘Gator-Bronco Man’

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

In case  you missed it, Panini America’s Tracy Hackler assembled somewhat of a “greatest hits on cardboard” gallery for the recently reaffirmed Tim Tebow.

Hackler took a preemptive maneuver to celebrate the rookie icon’s first NFL start; and thankfully for the quarterback, the Broncos and the hobby, Tebow shined in the face of scrutiny. Despite a Denver loss, the widely touted rookie lived up to his hype with 8 of 16 completed passes for 138 yards and a 40-yard touchdown run. Since Tebow has been named starting quarterback for the rest of the season, he has plenty of time to dispel doubt and rise even higher in the hobby.

Continue reading



Panini Previews New Heights: 2010-11 Pinnacle Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier today,  Panini America’s Tracy Hackler leaked a sneak peek at the “serendipitous return” of  Pinnacle Hockey.

After a 12-year snooze, the once grand hockey brand is set to awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed on March 16 in the form of 2010-11 Pinnacle Hockey. Unlike “Encino Man,” the line that was frozen in time isn’t waking up with any primitive dispositions, and it certainly won’t be found anywhere with Pauly Shore. Instead, the new and improved Panini-powered Pinnacle release will be loaded with contemporary collecting nuances and twists on its foundational features.

Staples like Museum Collection parallels and Artist’s Proofs will  be found four and one per box respectively. Bringing Pinnacle into the now, Panini is also packing each box with  four Ice Breakers Rookie Cards and one Tough Times insert.

Continue reading



Leaf Announces 2010 MMA Wrapper Redemption Program

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Get out the hand sanitizer. Those wrappers don’t belong in the garbage.

For as few as  16 2010 Leaf MMA wrappers, collectors can redeem limited edition and exclusively signed cards from various fighters. Throughout the next few months, Leaf Trading Cards will reveal more specific redemption opportunities, so collectors can choose when to cash in.

To kick things off, the collectibles company is offering a limited (to 85) 2010 Leaf MMA Shogun Rua autographed card in exchange for 96 wrappers.

If you have (or plan on acquiring) wrappers from 2010 Leaf MMA, follow the instructions below to get this exclusive Rua piece. If you need to take a trip out to your trash can, please wear gloves.

Submit your 96 wrappers  in accordance with the following instructions: Continue reading



Topps Continues to Tease Five Star Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

It’s like the experience of eating at a five-star restaurant, really.

Encouraging collectors to savor each and every single morsel of the upcoming high-end product, Topps released a few more photos of 2010 Five Star today. In a previous post, we showed off a few Favre autographs from Topps’ answer to other fine products in the industry’s exquisite treasure chest, but these hors d’oeuvres are coming in courses.

Under normal circumstances, this kind of delay between appetizer and entree would drastically reduce the server’s tip. However, the Five Star line (with a five-star price nearing $500) clearly takes some preparation. Before the manufacturer brings out the main course in February, this cardboard nosh will have to do for now. Continue reading



Naismith’s Basketball Rules sell for $4 Million at auction

Image Courtesy of Sotheby's

 

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Toto, meet James Naismith.

The Associated Press revealed today that University of Kansas alumnus David G. Booth purchased James Naismith’s 13 original basketball rules for a whopping $4 million.

With his last namesake already appearing on KU’s Booth Family Hall of Athletics, the apparently very wealthy Jayhawk will leave another legacy in Lawrence. Hoping to bring the historical document to his alma mater, Booth and his wife bought the 119-year-old hoops origins from an auction whose proceeds will benefit the humanitarian Naismith foundation.

In an October AP interview, Naismith’s grandson and foundation founder, Ian Naismith revealed, “It’s what Dr. Naismith wanted.”

Stained and tattered by time, Dr. Naismith’s original document is bigger than Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant combined. Without the 13 rules listed below, these league legends might just be … tall. Continue reading