The Beckett Blog


Another look at Muhammad Ali set by Susan Lulgjuraj


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

On Sunday, we had a quick peek at some of the rarest cards in the Muhammad Ali trading card set Leaf Trading Cards is producing.

Slowly, Leaf is letting a few pictures trickle out as its teases collectors with this set that should be released in February. This time there are five cards from a subset that include associates, fans and opponents of the greatest boxer in history.

While these cards are the autograph versions, which are all numbered to 5, there are more common versions of these cards available in the product.

Of this group, my favorites are the ones where there is a picture with Ali. Leaf is obviously limited to certain pictures, but they definitely used pictures they had with Ali whenever possible.

How do you feel this set is shaping up?

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.



Leaf preps Muhammad Ali card set by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

He’s the baddest.

The greatest there ever was.

Now, he’s coming to a new a trading card product.

Leaf Trading Cards has taken another step to add to Muhammad Ali’s legacy by bringing fans closer to the iconic boxer. Leaf is creating a set dedicated to Ali, which will feature all on-card autographs from Ali and others, including many exclusive features.

Each box will include four base cards, one Ali hit and two other autos.

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TRISTAR goes extreme with latest TNA Wrestling card set by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

The legendary names are in there, but this time it’s a trading card set with some edge.

A razor’s edge to some degree — you know, what some wrestlers use to be busted open — as TRISTAR‘s latest TNA Wrestling set is called TNA Xtreme and it arrives late this month with a heavy dose of the extreme-style wrestlers the company has utilized lately.

Oh, and it will apparently include the remnants of some scissors’ edges, too, as there will be Lovely Locks Hair Cards that will be signed by one of four TNA Knockouts — the company’s female competitors — and include a strand of their actual hair embedded into the card.

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Card gallery: TRISTAR TNA Icons wrestling cards by Chris Olds

You’ve probably seen the Box Busters episode, but we wanted to make sure you got a closer, sharper, look at some of the cards to be found in the latest Total Nonstop Action wrestling card set from TRISTAR, 2010 TNA Icons.

The design of the autograph cards seems to be stepped up and the photography, as always, is rich with a mix of studio and action images from TNA’s official photographer, Lee South.

See a selection of the cards from the set that arrived in hobby shops last week after the jump.

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TRISTAR will launch latest TNA Wrestling set — TNA Icons — with appearances at National Sports Collectors Convention by Chris Olds

TRISTAR unveiled its latest TNA Wrestling card set — TNA Icons — on Saturday and it will launch the latest product with appearances from several wrestlers at the National Sports Collectors Convention early next month in Baltimore, Md.

Among TRISTAR’s guests will be Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich.

Each of the TNA stars will appear on Saturday, Aug. 7, and will meet and greet fans at the event while also working autograph sessions.

TRISTAR has a Championship Package available for fans, which includes one of 400 limited edition TNA Icons boxes. Also included in the $129 package are two autographs on any items from all six wrestlers, four photo opportunities with the stars, and a show special TNA grab bag that will include show-exclusive cards. The limited edition boxes will include a National-exclusive autograph card of one of the guests — or Hulk Hogan.

Single autograph tickets for each of the TNA stars are also available.

See more images and learn more about the product after the jump.

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (7-16) Contest No. 5 — A TRISTAR TNA The New Era Mick Foley & Abyss dual autograph (only 25 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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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-30) Contest No. 2 — A set of 2010 TRISTAR TNA wrestling cards (90 cards) 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 triviaand this week’s biggest prizes are courtesy of Topps.

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 — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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Exclusive gallery — TNA: The New Era Obak insert cards by Chris Olds

While TRISTAR‘s upcoming TNA Wrestling set doesn’t arrive in hobby shops until the end of the month, we’ve got a sneak peek at all 10 of the retro-styled Obak insert cards that will be found in TNA: The New Era.

The 10 Obak cards will be limited to just 600 copies per card when the product arrives on April 28.

They’re designed after the 1800s tobacco baseball cards of the same name.

The checklist includes Hulk Hogan, The Beautiful People, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, AJ Styles, Sting and more.

See all of the cards after the jump …

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TRISTAR releases more details on “TNA: The New Era” card set by Chris Olds

The TNA Wrestling card news from Monday had plenty of impact, but here’s more.

TRISTAR‘s upcoming TNA: The New Era set won’t just be packing the greatest wrestling card ever made, but it will be packing plenty more where that came from.

There will be two autographs and one memorabilia card per 20-pack box with one parallel card and two Obak cards also along for the ride, but the real highlights will be the autograph and memorabilia cards that can be found.

The product will include the first wrestling cards signed by “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and several signed cards for Hulk Hogan, who appears on more than 30 different cards in the product.

There will be a Hogan-Flair dual, a Hogan-Sting dual, a Hogan-Dixie Carter dual, a Hogan-Mick Foley dual, a Hogan-Kevin Nash dual …get the picture?

There also will be variation autographs with differing photos as well as autographed memorabilia cards and multiple-piece memorabilia cards, too. The memorabilia checklists are small, but there will be autographed memorabilia cards for Hogan, Flair, Sting, Foley and more.

And even the standard autograph checklist has plenty of first-time signers — Lacey Von Erich (the daughter of Texas wrestling icon Kerry Von Erich), Brian Knobs, Jerry Sags and even controversial radio host Bubba The Love Sponge, who has had a small — and controversial — role in TNA.

As with other TRISTAR hobby runs, the product will be somewhat limited. There will be only 100 cases created, with each box serial-numbered. You can read more about the product — and get checklists — by clicking here.

See more images after the jump. (Click for a closer look.)

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TNA’s New Era takes wrestling cards to new heights by Chris Olds

Cue up “Sprach Zarathustra” (aka “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair‘s theme music) because that’s the greatest professional wrestling card ever made.

Without question — at least in this writer’s mind.

The Hulk Hogan-Flair-Sting-Kevin Nash autograph card above is among some of the highlights that will be found in TRISTAR‘s forthcoming TNA: The New Era professional wrestling card set.

Hogan is the biggest household name in the modern era. Flair is considered by purists to be the greatest wrestler ever. Sting is one of the most charismatic performers ever, while Nash is perhaps among some of the best big men in wrestling history.

And they’re all found on one card.

The product, which will arrive next month, reflects a new time in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as the company has changed its face to compete with World Wrestling Entertainment in several ways.

Flair, who has appeared on only one other pack-released certified autograph — a Donruss Americana non-sport autograph released last year — will have his first autographed wrestling cards found in these packs, while new faces to TNA like Hogan, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam also will have prominent places in the forthcoming set.

TNA: The New Era will arrive on April 28.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

See more images from the set after the jump …

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (3-12) Contest No. 3 — A 2009 TRISTAR TNA iMPACT! wrestling set (100 cards) by Chris Olds
March 11, 2010, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Free Stuff Friday, TNA wrestling, TriStar, WWE | Tags: , , , , ,

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 — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …
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TRISTAR reaps the rewards of new Monday-night “wrestling wars” by Chris Olds

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling makes a permanent move to Monday nights with its live broadcast of iMPACT! tonight on Spike TV — and what does that new influx of talent mean to wrestling card collectors?

Some big names will be in the next TRISTAR wrestling card set, which the Houston-based TNA licensee announced on Monday.

The TNA 2010: The New Era will arrive in April packing memorabilia cards and autographs from Hulk Hogan as well as cards of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair (a tough autograph), who also made his TNA debut on Jan. 4. Also included in the product will be the first TNA cards of Jeff Hardy, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jimmy Hart, Mr. Anderson, D’Angelo Dinero, Desmond Wolfe and others.

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First look: Hulk Hogan’s first TNA Wrestling cards by Chris Olds

Hulk Hogan‘s return to the ring with TNA Wrestling tonight on Spike TV — a live show that’s running head-to-head with Vince McMahon’s WWE flagship show Raw — already has been commemorated via two new trading cards from TRISTAR.

Only 210 copies of each card seen here will be made by TRISTAR, the exclusive licensee of cards for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

The cards will not be found in packs of TNA wrestling products. Instead, they will be sold on TNA’s website, ShopTNA.com. as part of the “Hogan Joins TNA” photo and card package, which is $40. (One can also expect a heavy amount of Hogan merchandise as that’s  a big part of the wrestling business’ landscape.)

Hogan’s first standard-release cards from TRISTAR will be in a forthcoming TNA Icons set, which will arrive in March.  This product will showcase the top names in TNA, including Hogan as well as Sting, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Kevin Nash and others.

Can we expect Hogan autograph and memorabilia cards in that product as well as cards combining stars like Hogan and Sting or Hogan and Nash? It’s likely, though no details about the product have been officially announced.

See all of the card images after the jump.

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Hulk Hogan’s TNA debut will also mean his debut on TRISTAR trading cards by Chris Olds

Afternoon Update: See the cards here.

Hulk Hogan‘s much-anticipated debut with TNA Wrestling which happens tonight — in a live three-hour show on Spike TV that goes head to head with Vince McMahon‘s WWE show Raw — means one more fortunate thing for wrestling fans.

His return to wrestling cards with TRISTAR, the official card manufacturer for TNA.

Details are unclear at this point, but Hogan will have at least one limited edition wrestling card noting tonight’s debut. We can’t show you more than this top secret preview, but we do know that the cards won’t be found in packs of TRISTAR products.

They’ll be found online.

That’s all we’ll say for now … when more information is available, we’ll have it all — as well as full preview images — right here.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.



Former WWE star Umaga — aka Eddie Fatu — dies at 36 (updated) by Chris Olds

Former World Wrestling Entertainment star Eddie Fatu, most recently known in the ring as “Umaga, The Samoan Bulldozer,” died Friday. He was 36.

Fatu, who also previously wrestled for WWE as “Jamal” from the bruising tag team Three-minute Warning, was a two-time former WWE Intercontinental champion. His most notable match might be his WrestleMania 23 bout against Bobby Lashley, which was dubbed the “Battle of the Billionaires” with Umaga representing WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and Lashley wrestling for Donald Trump. The losing wrestler’s billionaire (McMahon) had his head shaved after the match.

Fatu, a cousin of actor and former wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, was released from his WWE contract in June after declining rehabilitation for a reported second failed test under the company’s wellness policy.

For wrestling collectors, there is just one certified autograph of Umaga’s to chase — his card in the 2006 Topps Heritage II set valued at $15. He appears on just 30 other fully licensed WWE cards, according to the Beckett.com database.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

See a few more card images after the jump.

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Hulk Hogan’s return to pro wrestling with TNA might not mean much to collectors … yet by Chris Olds

hogan-copy

Hulk Hogan announced that he will return to major professional wrestling with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on Tuesday — a move might not mean much to collectors just yet  — as certain things are not a given — but it obviously does mean a lot for the landscape of sports entertainment.

The 56-year-old isn’t in the kind of shape where physically he’ll be as overwhelming as he was in the past when it comes to in-ring work (if that’s a key piece of his deal). But with wrestling that doesn’t always matter — it’s about persona, his ability to talk and be “Hulk Hogan.”

And that may not resonate with fans like used to after his family’s drama of late — but it’s certainly one thing that he can undoubtedly do well, brother.

Hogan means plenty to TNA in terms of drawing power and adding another piece to the puzzle — a household name at the highest of levels in pro wrestling — when competing with World Wrestling Entertainment. There are fans who haven’t seen him wrestle — but would like to — and there are fans who would like to obviously meet/see him.

You know, they’re called Hulkamaniacs — you may know one… or two … or …

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The ultimate in pro wrestling memorabilia — the steel chair? by Chris Olds

chairThere are countless things that wrestling fans could say are the ultimate piece of match-used memorabilia. Perhaps an elbow pad worn by The Rock before it was thrown into the crowd before the “People’s Elbow.” Perhaps a Hulk Hogan torn t-shirt. Or perhaps a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin beer can.

But there’s been one constant in decades of professional wrestling, one item that has weathered the changing landscape of promoters and the always evolving roster of athletes that come and go from arena to arena.

The steel chair.

Really, hasn’t the WWE done more for the steel chair’s existence and mainstream exposure than any other single entity in world history? (Well, other than bingo halls … )

Steel chairs were one item I personally saw more than a few fans carrying around to get autographs at events when WrestleMania XXIV came to Orlando, Fla., two years ago. When the Sentinel did a caricature of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as a Roman emperor a steel chair was in his hand. Why? Because nothing else seemed to say “wrestling.”

Where are we going with this? WWE Magazine has revealed six secrets behind the steel chair — for example, the WWE goes through more than 500 of them every year. Some end up signed and sold via WWE Auctions — but not all … read more about steel chairs right here.

It’s an interesting read.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.



The 10 greatest pro wrestling cards by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Millions (and millions) of fans watch pro wrestling every week on television, but many won’t admit it. That’s OK — it’ll be our dirty little secret. But there’s no doubting that people are interested in the pop culture phenomenon that’s part sport, part soap opera but wholly entertaining for many.

How much interest is there in pro wrestling? A lot. If the DVDs, video games and countless other items don’t tell you that, consider this — there are two companies producing wrestling cards these days. That’s more than you can say for a few pro sports.

On Sunday, the traveling caravan known as World Wrestling Entertainment makes its biggest stop of the year in Houston for WrestleMania 25, so we figured now’s the time to examine 10 classic cards that should be in any serious wrestling collection.

hogan-copy
1. Hulk Hogan — 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Autographs
Let me tell you something, brother, there’s nobody bigger in WrestleMania history than Hogan. And in the last decade of card sets only a handful carry as much weight as the 2006 Allen & Ginter baseball release. Included as a “world’s champion” for wrestling, Hogan signed just 200 of these cards, which sell for roughly $150. (The card was pricier before his family’s recent drama.)

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