The Beckett Blog

Topps-Heavy NFL Experience Starts Today by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

The entire city of Dallas is buckling down for a swarm of Super Bowl guests and a flock of football fandom. Barreling at the head of the herd, Topps officials are arriving with a bag of hobby exclusives.

Starting today, the out-of-town manufacturer is setting up shop at the NFL Experience. Through Sunday, Feb. 6, attendees to stop by the Topps booth for free sample cards, prizes and other interactive festivities. Continue reading

Card Gallery: 2010 Topps Prime by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Each keystroke is a painful one after busting a box of well-protected 2010 Topps Prime. As the upcoming Box Busters video should reveal, I had to channel some MacGyver-esque ingenuity to break the thick plastic seal.

Packaged in 10 six-card mini boxes per box, the rookie-centric football product appears pricier than it actually is. With good use of digital retouching, even the  full-bleed base cards offer a little extra for the collector. Selling for a little under $100-a-box,  Topps Prime delivers a decent bang for the buck, depending on who you pull. Continue reading

Dez’s Dirty Laundry by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to air your dirty laundry in public. Especially when the stinky stuff was worn by an NFL athlete.

With the sharp stench of the gridiron still lingering, Dez Bryant’s first Cowboys jersey arrived at the Panini America offices on Monday. Hopefully, hobby brand manager Tracy Hackler wore gloves and clothespinned his nose as he provided the inside scoop on Dez’s dirty laundry.

The yet-to-be-febreezed football jersey arrived with game used battle scares, galore. From an authenticity standpoint though, it’s a pungently pristine piece of memorabilia, ripe for the picking. Hackler notes, “You can enjoy it now in its entirety…and in a few months on some highly collectible Panini America football card.” Continue reading

An Exclusive Interview with Dallas Cowboys Receiver Dez Bryant by Tracy Hackler


By Tracy Hackler and Jon Gold

Most pre-draft buzz pegged Dez Bryant as a guy with top-five skills and a Mr. Insignificant attitude. Still, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made no bones about wanting him. That Jones got his man – he seemingly always does – means that Bryant landed on football’s most collected team. That, of course, sent Bryant immediately ascending to the top of the rookie hobby heap.

But then he goes and suffers the dreaded high ankle sprain early in training camp and essentially goes undetected all summer by all but the most astute collectors or Cowboys fans.

That’s all about to change in a big way.

Bryant is ridiculously talented and really, really good. Certainly he’s too good to be lugging Roy Williams’ shoulder pads around and at some point sooner rather than later, he’ll be too good not to be in Dallas’ starting lineup.

The former Oklahoma State standout only improves an already-stacked offense that also includes Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Felix Jones and Marion Barber.

Even without the benefit of a full training camp, Bryant is an early favorite – along with San Diego’s Ryan Mathews – for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Hot List appearances later this season are virtually guaranteed.

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Topps Offers Bounty for Rare Quad-Signed Rookie Premiere Auto by Tracy Hackler

A limited-edition 2010 Topps Rookie Premiere Autograph card signed by Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Dez Bryant and Jimmy Clausen will land one lucky collector a full-size NFL helmet signed by the same four rookie stars in Topps’ latest bounty program that was revealed to Beckett Media on Thursday evening.

It’s possible that up to nine other collectors could find the card that’s limited to just 10 copies. They’ll be eligible for prizes, too.

For more information on the bounty, watch the video that stars a most sensational special guest . . .

Complete Gallery: 2010 Topps Football Rookie Cards & Variations by Tracy Hackler

Judging by the considerable buzz being created online and in hobby shops today, it’s pretty clear that 2010 Topps Football is starting to make its way across the country. The product trickled out at mass retail earlier this week and most hobby dealers have received their order of Jumbos. The standard hobby configuration product should arrive tomorrow.

Clearly, the frenzy is beginning.

In addition to the anticipated hype surrounding Topps’ first sequentially numbered Rookie Premiere Autographs cards (one Tim Tebow has already reached $200 with still more than two days remaining), there are quite a few collectors clearly enamored with chasing the 25 short-printed Rookie Card variations in the product.

While it’s unclear just how short the variations are, recent Price Guide history can shed a little light. The Matt Ryan base RC from 2008 is valued at $6 compared the variation’s $100. Last season’s Mark Sanchez base RC also is valued at $6; his variation is at $80.

We know many of you will no doubt embark on some hardcore sleuthing in the next day or so to determine exactly which version of each player card is the short print. In light of that, we reached out to Topps officials in an effort to save you some time. They were nice enough to provide us with this comprehensive 50-image visual road map of every RC and its variation.


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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (7-16) Contest No. 4 — A pair of Dez Bryant and Jordan Shipley 2010 Donruss Elite cards (only 999 exist) by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — it’s one try per person per contest and we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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2010 Topps Rookie Premiere Autographs: Part 1 of an Exclusive Gallery by Tracy Hackler

Has it really been 11 years since Topps first introduced the modern masterpiece known as the Rookie Premiere Autograph? It seems like just yesterday that the company first pulled the curtain back on something so revolutionary that we dubbed it the “Immaculate Collection” way back in May of 2000.

More than a decade later, Topps’ annual manufacturing marvel — photographs are taken and the cards are printed and signed all in less than three days — is still wowing collectors while annually providing one of the principal chase elements in base-brand Topps Football.

Late last month at the 2010 NFL Players Rookie Premiere, Topps officials maximized their day in the sun with the likes of Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Jimmy Clausen, C.J. Spiller, Jahvid Best, Ryan Mathews, Dez Bryant and 27 other young stars to procure the penmanship necessary to produce the 2010 Rookie Premiere Autographs insert.

Not yet included on these preview images is the foil sequential numbering that will grace the cards for the first time (singles will be numbered to 90, duals will be numbered to 25).

This year’s installment, slated to release in late August with 35 single-signed cards and five duals, is shaping up to be one of the most coveted in years. As a means of piquing the interest of football collectors everywhere, Topps officials released to Beckett Media late Monday a most impressive 40-card image gallery.

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Video Vault: The 2010 NFL Players Rookie Premiere by Tracy Hackler

It took us more than a week, but we finally finished downloading all of the great behind-the-scenes video footage we shot at  the 2010 NFL Players Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles late last month. Our apologies for the delay.

We hope you find the following clips both entertaining and worth the short wait. Oh, and don’t be surprised if we post a few more late-arriving videos here in the coming days.

From Tim Tebow signing autographs and posing for pictures to Dez Bryant going uncovered to an impromptu trading card discussion between new teammates Sam Bradford and Mardy Gilyard, there should be something here for everyone.

See all the videos after the jump.

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Hobby Winners & Losers from the 2010 NFL Draft by Tracy Hackler


The first prime-time, three-day NFL Draft in history came to a relatively quiet close on Saturday following two previous days of high drama and record-breaking television ratings.

But for all of the newness of the event, the 2010 Draft meant what it’s always meant to card collectors. It meant the chance to finally see who was going where and how that would affect the collectibility of 2010 Rookie Cards.

After all, the right player going to the right team or the right opportunity means everything to the allure of and demand for his Rookie Cards. On the other hand, even the most talented players going to hobby wastelands can mean instant indifference.

What follows is a partial list of Beckett Football’s biggest winners and losers from the 2010 NFL Draft. For the complete list be sure to check out the next issue of Beckett Football, on newsstands everywhere in May.

Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
First Round (24th overall) out of Oklahoma State

Most experts credited Bryant with top-five skills and a Mr. Irrelevant attitude. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made no bones about wanting Bryant. He got the electrifying pass-catcher from Oklahoma State with the 24th overall pick and promptly gave him Hall of Famer Michael Irvin’s No. 88.

Bryant lands on football’s most-collected team and immediately heads to the top of the rookie hobby heap. With a gun-slinging QB in Tony Romo and a star-studded cast of offensive weapons around him, Bryant has the chance to shine – now.

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Panini already readying draft picks’ first NFL cards by Chris Olds

The second round of the NFL Draft hasn’t even begun, but Panini America already has the first NFL cards of at least three rookies signed and printed for an upcoming set.

Panini teased on Friday afternoon three on-card autographs — the Rams’ Sam Bradford, the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant and the Bills’ C.J. Spiller — that will be found in 2010 Prestige inside packs of the $4-a-pack product when it arrives on May 13.

Prestige will include four autograph or memorabilia cards per box — one autograph guaranteed — and it will include the first cards noting players’ new teams.

Prestige will include 24 Rookie Cards per box as well as three Extra Points parallels and a dozen inserts. Each case will include one autographed card from the following players: Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Jimmy Clausen, Bradford, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Spiller,  Bryant, Jahvid Best and Jonathan Dwyer.

See all three cards after the jump.

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Beckett Football’s 2010 Hobby Mock Draft by Tracy Hackler

Look, it’s no secret that wildly talented defensive dynamos such as Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh will dominate the top of the 2010 NFL Draft that begins tonight. But when it comes to collector adulation, it’s the skill position players – many of whom will be taken rounds after Suh and McCoy are long gone – that generate the most buzz and secondary-market money in the football card world.

That’s why we asked nine hobby luminaries with a vested interest in the football card market to help us select – in order, NFL draft style – the 2010 rookies with the most hobby potential. (For grins, and simply because we needed one more to make it a perfect 10, I forced my way into the discussion, too.)

After using an online randomizer to select draft position, we commenced with our own little Top 10 Mock Draft . . .

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