2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Releases Today – Missing Hits!

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball released today exciting baseball collectors and especially those that love the 100 year old designs trading cards brought back in the day. Topps Gypsy Queen comes with a guarantee of 2 autographs and 2 relics per box and comes at a price tag just north of $100. I’ve heard rumors that DA Card World has sold out of this product so the demand is very high and prices should be expected to rise because of that.

Topps has come out with some solid baseball products this year, especially Topps Tribute which has been a stud of a product. Seriously, I have seen cases of this product ripped and really haven’t seen one terrible box. Prices have jumped over $100 since the release because of that. But Topps Gypsy Queen is doing something I haven’t seen a company do in a long time, short what seems to be every single box at least one hit.

It seems as though every box of Gypsy Queen is missing an autographed hit. A friend of mine opened 5 boxes of this product. Box 1 was missing an autograph. Box 2 was missing an autograph. Box 3 was missing both autographs. Box 4 was missing an autograph. Box 5 was missing an autograph. You can see that this isn’t merely a problem amongst a few boxes in the product, this appears to be a widespread problem.

Topps has responded quickly to this problem promising anyone who sends their UPC code in will receive their missing autograph. I don’t know which is worse, being shorted a hit in your box and then having to send in your UPC code or receiving a bunch of redemptions. Here is a link to the statement by Topps with information on how to receive your missing autographed hit.

Let’s hope Topps Quality Assurance gets ripped for this and takes the extra steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again, especially on a product that is selling this well.

What do you think of Gypsy Queen baseball?

Panini Releases Preview of 2010-11 All Goalies Hockey

Since I am in a hockey mood still, today Panini America released a little teaser preview of 2010-11 All Goalies Hockey. This product will only come as a boxed set featuring 100 base cards, 5 parallels, and 1 memorabilia card. It features today’s goalies as well as legends such as Patrick Roy, Felix Potvin, and Curtis Joseph. This seems like a page directly taken from In The Game’s Between the Pipes series which is a constant hit amongst hardcore hockey collectors.

A set featuring just goaltenders has always been an intriguing proposition for collectors. This is like a product by Topps that features just pitchers in one product. I have always been a fan of the game as a whole, all players play equal parts on the team, but hockey may be a little different. Goaltenders are probably the most important piece to a successful hockey team. Do you think Carolina would of been in the playoff race if they didn’t have Cam Ward in goal? They gave up the most shots in the league, over 2000 actually, and still had a chance to make the playoffs. If a lesser goaltender were in goal, they may have been much closer to the cellar of the Eastern Conference despite having an above average offense this year.

I believe Panini may be putting this boxed set out as a feeler. I think if this set does well with collectors, next year you can expect a full fledged hobby box product from Panini featuring goaltenders, more similar to Between the Pipes.

If you are a fan of masked men who are the defenders of the goal, this product is right down your slot. Let’s just hope this is a goal and not one of those sprawling saves Dominik Hasek used to do. You can get your glove on this product scheduled for June 8, 2011. Okay, I promise no more hockey puns in this “post”.

Link to Panini’s announcement here: Panini Peek: 2010-11 All-Goalies

A Nice Easter Surprise

Easter baskets are a great place to put little presents. Whether it’s your children, family, or significant other, it’s always nice to receive a little surprise in your Easter basket. But sometimes you truly do get a surprise inside your basket.

Let me preface this by saying that this year my fiancee and I agreed not to give each other Easter baskets. The fact that I am unemployed and we just had our 2 year anniversary is part of it, but I made sure we had verbal confirmation that neither of us would be giving Easter baskets this year.

Well we were eating dinner before she went to work for the night and she goes upstairs to finish getting ready. As she is coming back down both dogs turn and look at the stairs, so being the observer I am, I turn and see what they are looking at. I turn and see a bright orange basket. Oh crap, I thought we agreed not to give each other anything. This wasn’t one of those instances where the girl says she doesn’t want anything but really does. It turns out her co-worker was talking about getting an Easter basket and how happy he was so she changed her mind and made me one.

The basket had all the regulars. Starburst jelly beans, Reese’s peanut butter eggs, the always yummy chocolate bunny, but what is this little box? It appears to be a little blaster box (7 packs) of Upper Deck Series II hockey! Awesome! This hockey season has been one of my favorites for collecting. My two favorite teams have awesome rookies. Carolina has Jeff Skinner and Edmonton has Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Magnus Paajarvi. So what’s better then trying to pull a Magnus Paajarvi Young Gun? I know it’s retail, but there’s still the chance!

Here’s how I did with the hits:
Victory RC Cam Fowler
Victory RC Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Victory RC Gold Mattias Tedenby
Young Guns Checklist Paajarvi/Seguin/Shattenkirk
Young Guns Korbinian Holzer
Young Guns 20th Anniversary Evgeny Grachev

Not bad at all for a retail box! I almost got the Paajarvi I was looking for. Well I can’t say I didn’t pull a Paajarvi Young Gun because I kinda did. The odds of pulling a Young Gun were 1:6 and I technically pulled 3 of them. The odds of a 20th Anniversary Young Gun were 1:96 which was a nice surprise too, especially since after opening 2 HOBBY boxes of Series I hockey I didn’t pull one 20th Anniversary Young Gun. Overall, this retail blaster was definitely one of the better ones I’ve opened in awhile. I never seem to get lucky with blasters. Perhaps I should let the fiancee pick out my retails from now on!

The mojo was lurking with me, and may the mojo be with you!

Review: 2010 SP Authentic Football

It’s right before the NFL draft which means one of the last products of 2010 has been released (March 2, 2011) and it’s the one that collectors clamor for the most, 2010 SP Authentic Football. I recently broke a box of SP Authentic Football before I created this blog and thought it would be a great first break and review for those who love football.

As many know, Upper Deck has lost its license to produce NFL trading cards. To keep their hold in the football market they received licensing from the NCAA and have produced several nice sets featuring both rookies and veterans in their college football uniforms. While some cards don’t look as crisp due to the lack of photographic technology back when they played in college, the cards look just as good as the products featuring players in NFL uniforms. Here are some photos of SP Authentic cards from my break. At the bottom I will post a video of the break, however, to be honest, the box break part sucks. It had bad angles, lack of decent descriptors on my part because I had been awake 24 hours, and my camera ran out of batteries. But I think the pre-break festivities I recorded were solid.

Base:
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Rookie Authentics /999:
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Rookie Authentics Autographs /599:
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Rookie Patch Autograph /499:
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Design: 

I have always loved the design of SP Authentic throughout the years. Even though the design may seem repetitive or very similar to designs of past years, the design is still appealing every year. This year has a solid white background with circular designs on each side of the player who is centered in the middle. What I really like about circular designs on each side is that they use the team colors as the color of the design. On the left is the player’s name written vertically in gold foil, which looks real sharp and makes it stand out. Great design work.

Checklist:

When looking at the checklist for this product, you feel like you can pull just about any of the top rookies or players from your favorite teams. Since the loss of the license, it would definitely appeal more to the college collectors but also I think the player collectors get a real present. There isn’t many NCAA licensed cards out there and getting a player in a college uniform definitely changes up the collection a little bit, in a good way. As always, there are a ton of autographs to pull as well as autographed memorabilia cards. With plain game used seemingly turning into overproduced commons, it seems as if autographs and autographed memorabilia cards have taken the forefront as to what players want the most. The sickest patch, lowest number autograph, all of these are high on collector’s want lists. You can pull regular rookie autographs as well as retro rookie autographs which features superstars and hall of famers in their college uniforms. The checklist of names is long, but it’s also full of depth and value.

Value:

SP Authentic cards, specifically the rookie autographs, hold their value better than most other products out there on the market. The patch autographs are some of the most sought after autographs by rookie autograph collectors. With 3 autographs guaranteed per box (1 being an autographed memorabilia) and the $100-$120 price tag, you can pull some real gems. I really haven’t seen many terrible boxes of this product if you look at the names pulled, but it’s always possible. The only gripe I really have with this product is actually a huge one. Mike Williams. The Mike Williams drafted this past year who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played at Syracuse is NOT the same Mike Williams as the one who plays for the Seattle Seahawks and was drafted in 2005 out of USC, I believe. Whomever was responsible for quality assurance missed a huge mistake. Mike Williams (USC/Seattle) autographs have been spotted all across the product on Mike Williams (Syracuse/Tampa Bay) cards. Now maybe it bothers me more because I’m a Tampa Bay fan but this is unacceptable. I heard Mike Williams (TB) has been tough to get autographs from lately, but throwing on autographs of the other Mike Williams (SEA) isn’t the answer and he’s not the same person. I really hope Upper Deck replaces every last one of those cards, especially since it guarantees the authenticity of the autograph. It’s not Mike Williams’ (TB) autograph, therefore, it is not authentic. Other than that, I don’t see anything else that would hurt the value. Well I do, manufactured patches, but it seems as though those are here to stay in all products from all brands.

Overall:

Overall, SP Authentic brings you closer to the college game than has ever been seen. These are some of the hottest rookie cards on the market with the great patch auto hits you have the possibility of pulling. The visuals are stunning year after year and they change it up just enough to feel fresh but maintaining what makes it great. Simplicity. Despite a couple of screw ups, SP Authentic should be tops on your list of football boxes to pick up to complete your 2010 football purchases.

Here is my video, sorry for the epic fail:

What do you think of 2010 SP Authentic Football?

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-SCB