The Beckett Blog


First Look: 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports by Tracy Hackler

Upper Deck officials recently unveiled preliminary information and images for the company’s newest multisport product, Upper Deck World of Sports, due out in December.

As you might imagine, the product’s key calling cards will revolve around longtime company exclusives Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tiger Woods. But the product also is slated to includes stars from such sports as baseball, hockey, soccer, mixed martial arts, extreme sports, Olympic sports and even lacrosse.

The 400-card base set is bolstered such insert sets as Athletes of the World Signatures, Sports National Dual, Triple and Quad Signatures, All Sport Apparel and Clear Competitors.

In addition to including a stable of traditional signature inclusions (Jordan, James, Woods, Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky), the preliminary World of Sports autograph checklist also calls for the likes of Pete Rose, figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Sasha Cohen and MMA legend Randy Couture.

Product promotional literature promises an average of two autographs and one memorabilia card per box (and one multi-signed card per case).

Stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional information on this product.

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Topps Offers An Exclusive Sneak Peek at 2010 Topps UFC by Tracy Hackler
August 27, 2010, 11:05 am
Filed under: First look, MMA, Topps, UFC | Tags: , , , , ,

The doors opened this morning at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston for the two-day 2010 UFC Fan Expo, held this year in conjunction with Saturday night’s UFC 118 event. The Expo — a sensory-overload combination of, among other things, collectibles, apparel, autograph signing sessions and martial arts demonstrations —  is nirvana for diehard MMA fans.

But one of the highlights for the card-minded enthusiasts among the throngs attending no doubt will be booth #2015. That’s where Topps officials are providing the first opportunity to view — and purchase — 2010 Topps UFC, the company’s hotly anticipated next product available everywhere else Sept. 15.

Topps’ Clay Luraschi and Jeremy Fullerton were nice enough to smuggle some first-look photos our way. Enjoy the images . . . and if you’re in the Boston area over the next two days and plan on attending the Expo, by all means give us a full show report.

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Fedor’s First Cards Give Razor’s Foray into MMA a Powerful Punch by Tracy Hackler

Razor officials on Wednesday formally and definitively declared their presence in the mixed martial arts trading card arena with a stunning blow: The company’s premiere product, 2010 Razor MMA, will feature the first-ever trading cards and autographs of Strikeforce heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, regarded by many as the greatest fighter in the world.

The Russian’s history-making inclusion in Razor’s September-releasing debut is a staggering development for MMA collectors, and one that’s been in the works for quite some time.

“Getting a deal done was a very challenging process,” says Razor President Brian Gray. “When you’re dealing with the man that may be the greatest MMA fighter in the sport’s history, you have to expect some challenges. However, we are infinitely pleased and feel very fortunate to bring Fedor’s first mainstream cards and autographs to collectors.

“Fedor was an exciting addition for us and insures an automatic sellout.”

If that didn’t do the trick, the lure of one autograph per pack (eight packs per box) in the industry’s first “super-premium” MMA product probably would have. The set’s high-end composition provides a developmental distinction between Razor and the three successful Ultimate Fighting Championship launches so far from Topps, which has enjoyed a virtually unrivaled run in MMA for almost 18 months.

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Must-See Gallery: Press Pass Fusion Inscriptions by Tracy Hackler

One of the most anticipated features of just about any Press Pass product are the coveted Inscription and Red Ink autograph variations. Rest assured that 2009 Press Pass Fusion, the company’s first multisport product that released yesterday, has a healthy share of both.

For your viewing pleasure, Press Pass officials shared a few of them with Beckett Media.

— Tracy Hackler

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2009 Press Pass Fusion: Box Busting Begins Thursday Morning by Tracy Hackler

fusionboxes

You’re looking at the first three boxes of Press Pass‘ new multisport endeavor known as Fusion. Hot off the presses Wednesday evening, they’ll be fodder for the Beckett Box Busters crew Thursday morning.

The product includes two hits per eight-pack box (including one autograph and an additional autograph or memorabilia card) and a legend-steeped autograph checklist that includes the likes of John Elway, John Wooden, Bob Gibson, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, Larry Bird, and more.

Stay tuned.

— Tracy Hackler



WARNING: Hardcore UFC Fans Only by Tracy Hackler

LauzonTKO

Look, I know it may seem like we’ve worn out the Topps UFC coverage in the last two weeks. But it’s justifiable when you consider how undeniably successful Topps’ first product was in February, and how that success served to whet an ever-growing appetite for the release of the second installment, released to considerable fanfare earlier this week.

In addition, most of our collectibles UFC coverage to date has been concentrated around two releases, not throughout the year like with the major sports, lending a feel of overkill to the proceedings. But facts are facts — mixed martial arts remains the fastest-growing sport in America, with an under-served audience, collectibly speaking, that has proven it will pay whatever it takes to secure the cards it wants. And the UFC and its superstars are at the forefront of that explosion.

I say all of that to say this: The following 25 cards — from the new 2009 Topps UFC — comprise what I believe to be the most fascinatingly graphic, emotionally compelling insert set in sports cards history. You may think that’s hyperbole . . . until you see the cards for yourself.

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Randy Couture: The UFC’s Undisputed Collecting Champion by Tracy Hackler

CoutureEEE

Ultimate Fighting Championship icon Randy Couture enters Saturday night’s UFC 102 main event against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as one of the most influential mixed martial artists in the world.

Couture made his Octagon debut at UFC 13 in 1997 and has built a career record of 16-9 by headlining some of the most important fights in MMA history. His grittily inspiring performances in most of them made him a superstar and helped the UFC gain mainstream acceptance.

It’s only natural, then, that the UFC Hall of Famer and former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion commands similar status in the trading card arena, where he ranks as an unparalleled trailblazer, a ground-and-pound granddaddy.

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