The Beckett Blog


What you get signed is as important as the autograph itself by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

For sports collectors where seemingly everything has been commodified, this is probably an obvious statement — but for the rest of the collecting world (or beginners) it might not be.

What you get autographed is as important as the autograph itself.

In the sports world, the type of item you get signed at a show or an appearance is often tied to the amount of money you’ll pay for the signature. Basically, the more valuable item you get signed the more you’ll typically have to pay. Why? The players, agents and show promoters know the relative value of an item, and, well, they want a relative cut.

Getting a jersey or another piece of equipment will cost you more than, say, a baseball card or a photograph. That’s just how it is with the business side of things. In fact, there are countless examples where players won’t sign certain items,  things showing them with certain teams or even certain brands of cards. (It’s not just a scene in Jerry Maguire.)

But the real value in a unique item is in the interest, the reaction, it should draw from those who see it. Some of my favorite autographed items in my collection — items I got signed in-person — were because they were unique items. They’re not the most expensive piece or the toughest autograph to land. They’re not ultra-rare, either, as a collector could conceivably re-create them with some legwork.

Then again, one of my most unique autographed items isn’t even a sports item at all — and that’s why you see a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie, Death Proof, above where stuntwoman Zoë Bell is in action riding atop the hood of a 1970 Dodge Challenger as it speeds down a highway with another car in hot pursuit.

Read more … after the jump.

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Beckett Tip Sheet: Where can you land an autograph? by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s no secret that the autograph is key to many a sports products these days as those certified authentic slips of the pen turn cardboard into collecting gold.

But the certified autograph is not the only way a collector can land a treasured item.

In fact, many a signer of certified autographs actually signs in other ways — ways that collectors may not always think about in a world of commodified, short-print chases and dreaming of winning mylar-wrapped lotteries. It may sound like common sense, but there are other ways to track down signatures besides ripping packs and buying singles at the card shop or online.

Here’s a rundown of ways that collectors — beginners through the long-time hobby veterans — should always consider trying to land an autograph without hitting up a pack of cards or buying a certified signature straight from a trusted dealer.

OFFICIAL WEBSITES
These days, it’s pretty common for athletes and celebrities to have their own websites where they sell autographed items directly to the public. The signed copy of WWE Magazine above, for example, was purchased on Trish Stratus‘ website, www.trishstratus.com. There, the former multi-time women’s champion sells signed magazines, books, photos, posters and more. If you have your own particular item you want signed, she’ll ink it up for a $10 fee.

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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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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (11-5) Contest No. 3 — A lot of three TRISTAR Ken Anderson TNA Wrestling cards (autograph match-used and rare /5 insert) 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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Topps alters missing card policy, procedures by Chris Olds
September 29, 2010, 11:32 am
Filed under: Topps | Tags: , , , , ,

Topps has announced a simplified plan for getting missing “hit” cards — autographs or Relics guaranteed in its hobby boxes — the company announced on Wednesday.

Rather than having to mail box panels, wrappers and proof of purchase materials back to the company, it will handle that information electronically.

Here’s the process:

“Customers can email support@topps.com and include their name and address, along with digital pictures in PDF format.  The image must include the UPC symbol from the box with either an ‘X’ or hole punched through the center, the wrapper from the pack with the missing card and a copy of the store receipt proving the purchase.  Once Topps receives the email and confirms, it will expedite the process and ship the missing item(s).”



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (9-24) Contest No. 4 — A TRISTAR TNA: The New Era Kurt Angle 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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First look: 2010 Topps WWE Platinum by Chris Olds

Topps‘ latest WWE wresting card set will have a bit more high-end feel — but with a “vintage” read on the card backs.

The lone licensee of WWE trading cards revealed on Wednesday its plans for 2010 Topps WWE Platinum, which will include one autographed Relic card, one autographed card and an additional Relic in every 24-pack hobby box.

The card backs in the 125-card base set will be written by Raw announcer Michael Cole, whose calls and style have been known to rile up a few wrestling fans. But it will be this product’s higher-end approach that should get wrestling collectors riled up even more when it arrives in late-December.

As with the last Topps WWE release, there also will be signed Relic cards as well as 1/1 Red parallels and printing plates.

Each hobby box also will include a dozen insert cards and four serial-numbered parallels, while every six-box case will include a triple Relic limited to 99 or fewer copies.

See more images and highlights from the preliminary checklist after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010 Topps WWE wrestling cards by Chris Olds

Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck rip into a pair of hobby boxes of 2010 Topps WWE wrestling cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Part 1 is above. See Part 2 after the jump.

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Card Gallery: 2010 Topps WWE Superstar Swatches by Chris Olds

The 2010 Topps WWE set has been out for a short while now, and there’s one set that should grab the attention of a few wrestling fans because of the energy and the uniqueness that nearly each of these cards brings to the hobby.

They are the Superstar Swatch cards, which feature an ornate jumbo swatch from the most identifiable pieces of memorabilia in wrestling today — the shirts that the stars wear to ringside and then are seen on countless fans in the crowd.

These event-used jumbo-swatch cards are another example of how the recent Topps WWE cards are getting better and better with each release, though these cards largely remain bargains despite being limited to just 30 copies apiece. None of the cards seen here topped $100 on the secondary market, despite having multi-color pieces and patterns that would make many a collector in other sports blush.

Check out a selection of the cards after the jump.

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (8-27) Contest No. 2 — A 2010 TRISTAR TNA Icons Sting 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 …

Continue reading



Card Gallery: 2010 Topps WWE Wrestling by Chris Olds

We got our first look at the 2010 Topps WWE set on Wednesday and one of the things that stands out in this release are strong photographs cleanly showcased on the design for Topps’ 2010 baseball set.

From the WWE Divas to the brutes, the set of both past and present stars seems to carry a crisper and more energetic look than recent wrestling releases — even last year’s much- improved set — largely because of the photos, which are a mix of action and studio work.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that there are some pretty deep insert card sets to be found — and some autographs from guys who haven’t signed in years.

Get a closer look at the set with a 30-plus card gallery after the jump.

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Rippin’ Retail: 2010 Topps WWE wrestling cards by Chris Olds

Beckett Media’s Chris Olds rips into a blaster box of 2010 Topps WWE wrestling cards in this latest episode of Rippin’ Retail. (We’ll have a standard Box Busters video soon.)

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …



Daniel Bryan’s WWE return was in the cards all along by Chris Olds

Wrestling fans know all about the story of Daniel Bryan and his time with World Wrestling Entertainment.

First, he was a breakout star early on in the first season of WWE’s version of American Idol, a show called NXT. But couldn’t get a win to save himself and eventually he was eliminated.

Then, of course, he was fired from the company for choking out an announcer with his tie during a NXT melee — something apparently not kosher in today’s more kid-friendly WWE.

And, much to some fans’ surprise, Bryan was re-hired just this past Sunday to help combat his former NXT compatriots at SummerSlam, a return announced during the pay-per-view.

Did you get all that, non-wrestling fans?

Well, to some it was obviously a work — wrestling slang for storyline that misleads — but oddly Bryan, a long-time star on the indepdendent scene, was allowed to work for other companies during his non-compete time. (Typically, dismissed talents can’t go to work for competitors for a period of two to three months as part of their contractual obligations.)

But to truly know Bryan’s firing was a work — and that his return has been in the works for some time — one has to look no further than the brand new set of 2010 Topps WWE wrestling cards, which arrives in stores this week.

When the card set was announced, not long after Bryan’s firing a few months ago, the preliminary checklist did not include him. But ripping into a pack of cards today I made an interesting discovery — he appears on card No. 68 in the 110-card set.

According to Topps‘ compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act — information obtained by checking a code printed on the cards themselves — the cards were printed between July2 and July 16 — well before Sunday’s PPV.

So much for John Cena‘s recruiting him to help save “Team WWE” on Sunday …

Forget getting Vince McMahon on the phone all you dirt-sheet reporters. If you want the real scoop, everybody knows you have to rip into packs of 2010 Topps WWE trading cards.

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.



Bustin’ Wax: WWE Heritage III Chrome (2008) by Chris Olds
July 16, 2010, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Topps, WWE | Tags: , , , , ,

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a hobby box of 2008 WWE Heritage III Chrome wrestling cards from Topps in yet another throwback box break.

What will he find? Watch Part 1 and find out above.

Find Part 2 after the jump…

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First Look: Topps WWE Slam Attax Mayhem by Chris Olds
July 2, 2010, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Topps, WWE | Tags: , , , , ,

Topps unveiled the latest in its line of Attax trading card games on Friday in WWE Slam Attax Mayhem.

The new offering will arrive in late September with a 24 packs per box or starter decks that include 18 cards, one Power card, one Finishing Move or Champions card and a bonus card.

The set appears to be similar to the last Attax offering in its lineup — cards from Raw and Smackdown along with NXT wrestlers as well. (But no Daniel Bryan for the conspiracy theorists.)

Also back are Legends, Tag Teams, Championship Belts, Match and Prop cards along with a few other subsets.

But there’s also a new twist — General Manager cards — that “change how the game is played.”

See more images after the jump.

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Topps Peppers NFL Attax with On-Card Autos by Tracy Hackler

On the heels of successful Attax launches for English Premiere League soccer, World Wrestling Entertainment and Major League Baseball, the game-developing gurus at Topps are now prepping their first NFL version, a distinct “kid” initiative equipped with something even the most hardened hobby veterans can appreciate: On-card autographs.

For the first time in an Attax release, Topps is including a small amount of signatures — all on-card and acquired at last weekend’s NFL Players Rookie Premiere — to the gaming product that includes 380 total cards (110 offensive players, 110 defensive players as well as Code Cards, and Red Zone, Platinum and Sepia Foil Cards) and is slated to arrive in early August.

The tentative autograph checklist includes Sam Bradford, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Tim Tebow, Jahvid Best, Golden Tate, Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy.

Attax will be distributed in 99-cent booster packs (five cards, one foil), $3.99 value packs (27 cards, three code cards, three foil and one game board and $5.99 mega starter packs (30 cards, four code cards, four foil cards, one game board and one binder).

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Undertaker, Triple H, Chris Jericho & new faces on 2010 Topps WWE autograph checklist by Chris Olds

Several World Wrestling Entertainment stars will make their trading card and certified autograph debuts in the forthcoming 2010 Topps WWE set, which we previewed right here earlier this week.

Now, the preliminary checklist is out and, although it’s always subject to change, there are some debuts and some big autographs to be found, including the first autographed memorabilia card ever made for one of the WWE’s biggest stars — Undertaker — who hasn’t signed since a single Fleer set in 2001.

The product also includes the first certified autograph for Triple H since 2002, when he signed for Fleer. It’s just his second signed card ever made.

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First look: 2010 Topps WWE wrestling cards by Chris Olds

Topps unveiled on Monday the basic product breakdown and preview images for its 2010 WWE wrestling card set which will arrive in mid-August.

The base set will consist of 110 cards, while there will be a beefy 30-card autograph checklist as well as dual autograph and signed memorabilia cards as Topps continues to up its game in its wrestling card offerings.

The memorabilia card lineup will include jumbo t-shirt swatches as well as standard-size cards and even Elimination Chamber pay-per-view memorabilia cards that feature an oversized piece of ring mat from the event.

Each hobby box will include one autograph and one Relic card while there also will be 1/1 Red parallels and printing plates to be found.

There also will be seven insert sets, including Championship Material for both the male and female competitors, a When They Were Young set and more.

See more from the set after the jump.

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