Sunday, June 27, 2010
Does perceived scarcity affect the price of a card? When a card is numbered we know exactly how many are out there floating around the universe but when a company releases a card with no numbering all we can base numbers on is what we see, hear or read about.
Case in point, the 2007-08 Chronology “The LeBrons” Blue Bordered card. There are currently 6 of these cards up for auction on eBay ranging from $4.99 to $800. Between May 24th and June 21st 8 of these cards had been put up for auction, some selling and some not. The highest card to sell was at $31.00 and that was in early June. Now there is one that has hit $46.00 on 18 bids and there is still 2 hours left on the auction.
After I pulled the card 2 weeks ago I began researching it, reading through a number of hobby entities including Upper Deck and Beckett’s Facebook pages and blogs, various sports card blogs and forums I came up with roughly 50 posts of varying degrees stating that they have this card. This would lead me to believe that we are looking at probably 100 or more of these cards out there, and considering that UD is inserting them in to 2009-10 UD Basketball Blaster Boxes I expect it to be even more common then what I have found.
I laughed when I came across the guy selling one for a BIN of $800 and even claiming that people have told him that there are possibly only 10 of these. He posted a couple of the questions submitted to him, one guy states that there may only be 2 of these and another guy claiming UD told him there are probably less then 10 around. We all know that is BS considering UD does not make a statement on the print run of any card that is not serial numbered.
I was hoping to shed a bit of light so this seller would be informed; I contacted the seller on 6/21 with my findings, which I have posted here. The seller’s response was to add another sentence to his posting: “It has come to my attention through some eBay members that there are under 10 of these cards in existence. This may be possible but I cannot confirm or deny this information as of yet.”
To add to the horror, the guy actually received an offer that is awaiting approval. Hopefully it is a levelheaded collector who is making a mockery of the posting and not an ill-informed person buying in to the perception.
Right now the hobby is running amuck with Strasburg cards selling for insane amounts, do people just arbitrarily believe what is being told to them? If I hold up a card and say this is limited will people toss money in my direction?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Upper Deck may have lost their baseball license but they are still trying to cash in on the Stephen Strasburg hype machine. While the Strasburg cards that are included in Upper Deck’s 2009 Baseball Series 2 release are officially USA Baseball cards and not actually considered rookie cards that did not stop this guy from tossing up a GMA Authenticated Gem Mt Strasburg USA card for $100, I know… I had to muffle my snickering when I saw that.
How is UD hyping the inclusion of Strasburg in their Series 2 release? By tossing a huge red sticker on discounted blaster boxes that sit damaged on store shelves. What is sad is that these $11.98 blaster boxes are selling for $30 and up online. Maybe I should have grabbed that last couple of boxes left on the shelf tonight and put them up for auction.
It has been brought to my attention that the distributors, not Upper Deck, are adding the stickers to the boxes. Thank you to those who have contacted me and let me know.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Panini started sending out previews of their 2010 Panini NFL Rookies & Stars set that will be released in August just in time for the beginning of the NFL preseason.
Scheduled Release Date: August 9, 2010
Box Configuration: 8 cards per pack, 24 packs per box
4 Autograph/Memorabilia cards (at least 1 auto)
4 Longevity Parallels
5 “Other” cards
This set consists of 300 total cards in the set, 165 base cards and 135 SP rookies. In addition there are 5 different insert sets; Prime Cuts, Cross Training, Studio Rookies, Studio Combo Rookies and Gold Stars. Oh and did I mention there are a few parallels? Make that 40 different parallels, some #/500 or less, some with sticker autographs and some with dime-sized jersey or patch swatches.
The set will look familiar to anyone that picked up the 2009 Panini Rookie & Stars release, that is because the designers must have been on vacation and one of the un-paid interns must have taken a shot at keeping the release afloat. I am a fan of Panini, I think that they have made some real strides since coming to the U.S., but I am clearly disappointed with this release. I understand that this is a base product, low price point, etc. But take a look at Topps and even UD over the last 5 years and the base sets that they produce are clean and straight to the point. This set is encumbered with lines upon lines in every which way, floating jersey swatches, sticker autos, poor placement of font and I am still trying to figure out the paint splatter that makes an appearance on the bottom corner of many of the cards.
Some of the worst offenders include the Elements Prime Materials set (above left), the Cross Training set and the Freshman Orientation (above right). What is up with the huge red border around the patch on the Orientation cards? Maybe if team colors were used that would be one thing but this is just tossing up a bulls eye in the center of the card.
On the positive side a few elements of the set are on the decent side. The Studio Rookies are pretty cool, a nice picture of the rookies on a dark background, the patch is centered nicely in the bottom portion of the card and it is clearly marked “Prime”. Simple coloring, nice borders and this card is a winner. I like the Rookie Signature cards too; this is a carry over from last year’s release. I know that it is a manufactured jersey and patch but the signatures are hard signed and it looks good. But, then Panini goes overboard with it and creates the Team Chemistry set. Now we have multiple signatures squashed in on a section of jersey fabric that was originally created to hold a single signature. Of course the players pictures are shrunk down to fit all the players on the card and lets toss in some color background behind the player so their image gets lost. I understand wanting multiple player autographs on a card but re-design the card to work, don’t just shove it in on the old design and call it good.
Stick to picking up singles on eBay. Spending close to $100 to purchase a box loaded with cards that make you say “mhem” is not something most collectors want to do.
I will give it 1 out of 5 only because the Studio Rookies and Rookie Signature cards carry the product. I can also say that Panini did use some excellent selections for the patches, multiple colors is definitely a plus.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
There are currently a couple of wrestling “leagues”, the most prominent being WWE, but while the major competition for WWE is long gone you still have franchises like TNA that draws in a niche crowd. Building on those fans Tristar has released a couple of TNA related sets over the past couple of years, the most recent being the 2010 Tristar TNA: The New Era, which is surprisingly selling well.
Scheduled Release Date: Available Now
Box Configuration: 6 cards per pack, 20 cards per pack
2 Autographs #/50 or less
1 Event-Used Memorabilia Card #/199 or less
1 Parallel #/30 or less
2 Obak Cards
This is a very limited release, Tristar announced that only 100 cases are to be produced and at 24 boxes per case that means that there are only 2,400 total boxes released. The set itself is all about Hulk Hogan with the advertisements announcing that there are over 30 different Hulk Hogan cards, not counting parallels.
Some of the wrestlers included in this set are:
Jeff Jarrett (who actually founded TNA)
Rob Van Dam
I am working on a complete set; so far I have 65% of the base set (all base cards no Obaks yet) and 4 autographs. I guess that gives you my thoughts on the set. This set is kind of a history of all the top wrestlers that have been around for the past decade.
I am torn on this because this is what I expect from a good set release; a reasonable size base set, limited parallels and short prints and limited inserts- autos and memorabilia only. I will go with 4 ½ out of 5 with this release.
Monday, June 21, 2010
$26.00. Now let me state for the fact, a number of these “You Sketch It” Strasburg cards that are selling in the $15-25 range are cards sketched by established artist Jay Pangan. The name may sound familiar; Pangan has been creating sketch cards for both Topps and Breygent for a couple of years.
Strasburg at $75 and Ichiro at $60, plus the $12 shipping charge on top of that. Again, no artist signed the card and no name is listed. That is an awful large price for an unknown, especially when you consider you can get a Strasburg sketch card by established artist Ted Dastick Jr, another sketch artist that has done work for Topps, Breygent and 5FINITY Productions, for $25 and free shipping.
Don’t get me wrong, the cards that are being put up are beautifully detailed and no doubt created by an artist with experience in working with human anatomy. The details are exact, the shading is excellent and there is texture and depth to the work, but without knowledge of who created the piece the value is limited. To put in perspective, if you had a card sketched by me and a card sketched by Brian Kong where both cards are exactly the same down to the minutest detail, my card would have minimal value where Brian Kong’s card would be selling for a decent price. Why? I am an unknown artist and Brian Kong is established. With art you are paying for the artist, not the artwork in most cases.
If you do send cards, please let me know if you have a favorite player or team and I will see if I can create a sketch card for you as a personal thank you.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Bol was a freak of nature when he was drafted by the Washington Bullets in the second round of the 1985 NBA Draft. He looked like a Stretch Armstrong doll stretched to its limits, but with his height came the ability to block shots. He actually set the NBA record for blocks by a rookie, he is second behind Mark Eaton in blocks per game and he is 14th overall in career-blocked shots. On a side note, he is the only NBA player that has more blocked shots then points in career. He is also widely known for his charity and efforts to rebuild his war-torn nation of Sudan, a real humanitarian that cared about his countrymen and honestly this is how he should be remembered.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Topps has released some preliminary images for the 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball set, scheduled for release October 18, 2010. The set will contain 220 base cards, 180 veterans and 40 rookies. There will be 6 different parallels; Super-Fractor (Hobby Only), Red, Orange, Gold, Blue and Refractor. Each box will contain 1 Autograph, 4 Team USA Baseball and 3 Topps 100 Prospects.
Schedule Release Date: October 18, 2010 (Topps), October 13, 2010 (Blowout Cards)
Box Configuration: 4 cards per pack, 18 packs per box
SRP: $84/per box
4 Team USA cards
3 Topps 100 Prospects
This is your typical Bowman, a good card with excellent pictures on a simple black (or silver/blue) border. This is what you expect Topps/Bowman and you get what you expect, a great release.
As expected, Stephen Strasburg will be included in the checklist along with autograph and parallel versions.
In an interesting move Topps checklist includes autographs from prospects Tim Beckham, Yonder Alonso and Brett Wallace who all have an exclusive 3-year autograph contract with Razor. Apparently the Razor contract has a clause in it that allows Topps to create autograph cards of the 3 players in the case that the player makes it in to the pros or when the contract runs out in 3 years. There is also rumor that Topps or the players may attempt to buyout the contract with Razor if they do not get called up in time for the release.
This year Topps included Printing Plates, only a total of 1,496 plates are included in the entire run. The plates break down to 4 printing plates (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black) of each of the base cards and then 4 of each of the Prospects and Team USA sets. Additionally, as a Hobby Exclusive, Bowman is including MLB Logoman Patch Cards of 5 players (I have not seen the checklist yet) #/50 each.
This is typical Bowman Chrome, you get what you expect and you expect only the best.
This is a great release; I would give this nothing less then 5 out of 5. A classic that looks good and gives you what you want… rookies and prospects.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Yesterday I posted about some SP Game Used tins that I opened recently and one of the cards I pulled was a Combo Materials of Chris Mullin and Wally Szczerbiak. What caught me off guard was Chris Mullin's hair, it was not his usual flat top but instead a glorious mane of 1980s porn greatness. So while I open a couple packs of 2010 Topps Baseball Series 2 I decided to scan in the Mullin card to share this piece of history.
Hopefully I will hit something nice in the Topps packs, something worth posting about.
I picked up a couple of tins of 2009-10 SP Game Used Basketball the other day at a reasonable price. In the first tin I pulled a 6 Star Swatches jersey card of Nash, Andre Miller, Baron Davis, Mike Conley, Billups and Iverson #/99, a decent collection of guards both old and young. OK, it may not be the best collection of players on the 6 Star Swatches checklist but most important to me is that the card contains 2 of my favorite guards, Nash and Iverson.
After busting the rest of my packs, and pulling a Combo Materials of Chris Mullin (with some wonderful ‘80s porn hair) and Wally Szczerbiak, I went back to the 6 Star Swatches. When I pulled it out of the sleeve I noticed that COA card was stuck to the front of the card. Turns out the adhesive from the hologram COA ran and stuck the 2 cards together. I was able to carefully remove the COA card but the adhesive has done some damage to the front of the card right above the Nash jersey swatch.
The question is do I call it good because I pulled a card with 2 of my favorite players or do I contact UD and roll the dice on what I get in replacement? The card is not a high value card and I could pick up another one for $15-20, I am a little concerned about what I might get in replacement because I have heard some real horror stories.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
I opened the box and noticed one of the packs was obviously much thicker then the other 9 packs so I tossed it aside planning on opening it up last. I began ripping packs and while I would not say that the box was anything special I was satisfied with what I pulled. In all there was a nice selection of base cards and no duplicates, 12 Rookie Cards (including Blake Griffin and Chase Budinger), 2 Immortals, 2 Masterpieces (Courtney Lee & J.J. Hickson) and a handful of other inserts. When I hit pack #8 I pulled a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Jerry West Dual Game Materials jersey card. I was surprised because the super thick pack was still sitting to the side and my hopes went up at that point. I am not a Lakers fan, but I will never complain pulling relics of these two guys.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Now Arizona is not a “hot bed” for a soccer fan. Consider that our “local” team is Chivas USA, located roughly 6 hours away in LA. So, hunting down some packs locally has turned in to a difficult task. I even contacted UD directly to see if they had promo cards or packs that they would be willing to send out to let me review the product on the blog, needless to say that request was shot down with a resounding "No!"
I bought 2 packs, 16 cards total and 9 of them were Defense or mediocre Goalies, which was quite saddening for me. I did pull a 2010 Super Draft card of so-so rookie Corben Bone (1 Game Played, 39 Min and 1 SOG), but the best card pulled was probably the WPS Stars card of Sonia Bompastor (1 Goal and 3Assists in 8 Games Played).
I do like the action shots, there are clean lines and the cards are not overwhelmed by mad designers intent on destroying every card they touch. This is a great set and I love the landscape card of Stefan Frei, you can see the focus he has on the ball. Sadly the packs were void of Seattle Sounders FC cards, something I hope to remedy if/when I pick up a box.
Monday, June 7, 2010
This set may very well be Panini’s Cadillac of their basketball releases… well lets say BMW considering American cars don’t seem to have the same “splash” that they once did.
Scheduled Release Date: August 4, 2010
Box Configuration: 8 cards per pack, 1 pack per box
6 Autograph and/or Memorabilia cards
1 Common base card #/99
1 Legend/Rookie/Parallel or Insert card
This set is all about flash and glitz.
You want autographs? You get them!
You want patches, logos and tags? You get them!
You want parallels galore? You get waaaaay to many parallels!
Some of the inserts are over designed, forced patches or logos can really defeat the purpose of a card. The colors and lines draw your eyes in so many directions, there is too much to look at to be appealing. The “Timeline Signature Materials Custom Team Nicknames” set is just designers gone wild. Even the insert set name is a mouth full. The die-cut windows are tiny so as to fit the team name, toss in the National Treasures logo, the headline, the player name, the date, the “Prime” patch logo and the player’s image and you get the idea of where I am going with this.
Oddly enough, Panini’s designers rebound with the Logoman Combo set and the Rookie Signature Materials inserts. Nice designs, nice lines, the patches fit well and the player images work in to the design. I am confused, are the same designers working on the entire set?
The base set checklist is 238 cards, not counting parallels, and consists of stars, semi-stars, rookies and legends so you get a wide variety to choose from. Though I cannot for the life of me figure why Panini would include players like David Andersen of the Houston Rockets or Ronnie Brewer of the Grizzlies. Who wants to pull guys like this when you are paying over $300 per pack?
One thing that I found of interest, they included 5 Harlem Globetrotters in the base set including Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal, two of my favorites while growing up. Unfortunately no Globetrotters are included in any of the relics or autograph sets.
A down side, most of the autographs are on stickers outside of the Souvenir Cuts and Signature Patches NBA/College Teams which are cut signatures and manufactured patches respectively.
If you are a serious basketball collector and you have money to burn, this set will give you return on your investment. If you are like me, collecting on a reasonable budget, this set is a bit outside of my price range. Imagine Bob Uecker’s call of Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn’s first start and you get my drift of what I mean when I say “a bit outside”. I actually may hunt down the Globetrotters base cards but I think most of the “hits” will be beyond my budget even if I hunt down singles.
I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a pack to bust, but that may be asking too much unless I can find a tremendous deal.
Not taking price in to consideration, I will give this set a 4 out of 5. It looses out a bit on some of the design qualities, but it makes up in hits.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Today my favorite baseball player retired, this was a day that has been long coming and I am happy that it has finally arrived. Ken Griffey Jr decided to call it a career after 22 seasons with the Mariners, Reds and a brief stint with the Chicago White Sox. He should be a first ballot Hall of Famer with the career that he has put up, a .284 lifetime BA, 1,836 RBIs, 630 HRs not to mention 13 All-Star games, 11 Gold Gloves and an AL MVP Award.
I am proud to be a Griffey fan and have done my best to have a diverse collection. Besides the memorabilia I have a decent collection of cards and decided to grab a random selection of hits to post up in honor of this special day. Oddly enough, I have never pulled a Griffey hit ever, which is pretty disappointing; these cards were all received through trades or purchased.
Some of the more interesting highlights in my collection;
2000 Upper Deck Japanese Ovation S-KG- Game Used Shoe
-The scan came out a bit light; the shoe leather is actually bright yellow
2000 Stadium Club Play At The Plate PP4- Batter’s Box Dirt
- The location where the dirt was collected at is not listed; I figured it is probably from Cincinnati’s Cinergy Field.
2001 Fleer EX Wall of Fame- Outfield Wall Relic
- The wall is listed as being from game dated 6/17/2000 when Griffey had 2 Walks, 1 HR and 1 RBI. The Reds played the Padres in San Diego on 6/17/2000, so the wall is a relic from Qualcomm/Jack Murphy Stadium
2003 Upper Deck Vintage Capping The Action CA-KG- Game Used Ball Cap
-Having both a hat relic and shoe relic is pretty cool, part of a head to toe collection.