August 2011 Sports Card Releases

Here we go again for the month of August. Plenty of goodness about to be released in all 4 major sports. It’s heating up here in the dog days of summer with this product line up about to go out to collectors. As always, ratings are my excitement level for each product and what should be your excitement level too. Dates are subject to manufacturer change.

Baseball:

2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects “Hits” Series 2 Baseball – August 3, 2011 – Price: $85 – 7/10

This one pack per box baseball product brings you only the hits. Find autographs from players of the future and yesteryear including cuts of players like Hank Aaron and future stars like Manny Banuelos.

2011 Topps Lineage Baseball – August 3, 2011 – Price: $100 – 7/10

Find autographs from past and today as Topps uses it’s popular designs from the 60s and 70s including autographs on the old 1952 card design. It should be loaded with some great hits.

2011 Topps Marquee Baseball – August 24, 2011 – Price: $175 – 8/10

This new hit per pack product looks to be a mix of Tribute and Triple Threads. While I’m not excited about the relics unless I pull a patch, for this high end of a product I would want more patches. Other than that, the autograph checklist looks pretty good in itself so it’s definitely worth it to check it out.

2011 Tristar Obak Baseball – August 10, 2011 – Price: $105 – 7/10

11 hits per box! With autographs from history’s greatest baseball players as well as future stars, this product looks loaded with the possibilities for some nice hits. When you get 11 of them, there is sure to be a ton of filler, but the really good hits should be really good.

Basketball:

2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box Basketball – August 31, 2011 – Price: ? – 9/10

The newest high end offering from Panini looks like it has great promise for it. A ton of beautiful on card autographs and a few embedded autographs that don’t look that bad besides the autograph getting cut out a bit is what you’ll find and will be what everyone is looking for. A nice insert set dedicated to Kevin Durant has been long in the making. This product just depends on the checklist. But for now, I got the hype.

2010-11 Panini National Treasures Basketball – August 10, 2011 -Price: $440 – 8/10

The prominent high end product of the basketball season comes out with awesome patches, great autographs, and the rookie cards of the season for basketball. The rookie class may not be that great, but these cards are always top of the line from Panini.

2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball – August 30, 2011 – Price: $115 – 6/10

I can honestly say that I’m not very excited about this product. The only excitement comes from the fact it’s possible to pull a Michael Jordan or Lebron James autograph. The man-crush on North Carolina and the amounts of possibly Lebron or Jordan autographs is kind of killing their values, but if you want another good chance to pull one, here’s another shot.

Football:

2011 Panini Threads Football – August 24, 2011 – Price: ? – 8/10

One of the better Panini football products, there is a ton of great looking cards in this year’s set with some great looking rookie and veteran autographs, including the always popular rookie letterman autographs. The veteran and rookie autographs you can pull are pretty solid in this product and it looks like a winner.

2011 Topps Finest Football – August 31, 2011 – Price: $100 – 8/10

Topps Finest football is always a hit amongst collectors. Rookie autographs, rookie patch autographs, and veteran autographs, you can find some great cards in this product but also some duds. It’s a fun break as it’s one of the first Topps products of the season featuring rookies and veterans.

2011 Topps Inception Football – August 11, 2011 – Price: $90 – 9/10

I’m impressed with this product with the rookies and the design Topps was able to use despite not getting great pictures at the NFL Premiere when the lockout was in place. I’m in love with the design and what Topps has done with this product and I think it would be a great pickup.

2011 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot Football – August 3, 2011 – Price: $110 – 8/10

A hit per pack product again, I think the price is a little high for this product, but it should be filled with some great autographs from the incoming NFL rookie class in their college uniforms. With college football gaining popularity by the year, it looks to be a solid product as it gives collectors, especially college collectors, what they want.

Hockey:

2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey – August 31, 2011 – Price: $390 – 10/10

I am beyond hyped up for this product. Finally, a competitor with The Cup in the hockey arena and it looks like it will do a great job with some great cards and new concepts in this set. Plus, who doesn’t love an insert set dedicated to the Hartford Whalers?

2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey – August 30, 2011 – Price: $390 – 10/10

The Cup hockey. Really, what else is there to say here? The highest of high end from Upper Deck is back and looking just as good as ever. It will be challenged by Panini Dominion, can it claim it’s spot at the top of the high end hockey world with some new competition?

2010-11 ITG Heroes & Prospects Update – August 30, 2011 – Price: $40 – 7/10

H&P Update isn’t my favorite ITG product, but it always has very decent hits with heroes from the game of hockey and ITG’s great players that they have signed and some of the top prospects in the minors and junior hockey leagues.

2011-12 Upper Deck Victory Hockey – August 2, 2011 – Price: $30 – 8/10

How can you not like the first NHL product of the season? All the new rookies and the offseason trades and pick ups. This is the first cards of the new season’s hottest rookies from this year’s draft!

Check this post back often as I will be releasing official Sports Card Blog preview information in the coming weeks before the products are released!

Racing:

2011 Press Pass FanFare Racing – August 24, 2011 – Price: $115 – 8/10

Press Pass’s newest hit per pack product hits the shelves running with some of your favorite NASCAR drivers as well as some of your favorite Nationwide and truck series drivers. A lot of first time drivers on these cards make for some great value before you even open a pack!

NFL Lockout To End This Week

With several articles pointing to the end of the NFL lockout this week, I am excited. Not only are teams and players going to be heading straight to training camp and getting ready for a great season of NFL action, card companies will finally be able to get pictures of players in their jerseys, with correct uniform numbers, and not taken at the Rookie Premiere.

No more pictures at the combine.

No more pictures at the Rookie Premiere:

No more staged photos with 00 on their chest:

It’s finally going to start heading back into the direction we all love. Action shots of hard nosed football at it’ s finest. That’s another reason to love the end of the NFL lockout.

Are You Ready For The 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention?

Well I sure hope that you are prepared. I hope you have your plane tickets to Chicago or your hotel rooms in that area paid for because as always, it will be an awesome time. I have never been to the National before, but I think it would be a great experience. It hasn’t visited the west coast since I think 2005 or 2006 so I’ve been definitely disappointed. Oh, and it won’t come back west anytime in the foreseeable future. For the record, I believe it would do well again in Anaheim, Phoenix, or even Seattle (my personal choice). If I had the money, I would create a NSCC-West Show every winter. Just something to think about.

Anyway, the show is coming up the first weekend in August and the major trading card companies are announcing their plans for the show. So here is a rundown of the information I have found regarding each company and their wrapper redemptions, VIP swag, and whatever else I can find. I will update this post as I find more information for everyone and the day draws closer.

Panini:

Panini unveils autographed memorabilia available as prizes in their wrapper redemption packs!

Panini unveils its wrapper redemption set!

You think Panini forgot about it’s hockey collectors?

More Panini autographs in redemption packs.

Panini is putting the goods in this year, Football Hall of Fame autos!

How about some box war prizes?

More specifics about redemption packs at the Panini booth.

Upper Deck:

Upper Deck announces plans for 2011 National in Chicago!

Press Pass:

Press Pass announces promotions for 2011 National!

Topps:

Topps announces limited Heritage set for 2011 National!

If you are interested in the VIP experience or getting some great free autographs make sure to visit the official National Sports Collectors Convention website for all information related to this year’s National.

2011 Topps Monopoly Baseball

Something that his been moving like a virus across the baseball blogosphere is the preview and reveal of 2011 Topps Monopoly baseball. I mean, have you seen the YouTube video of this product yet?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moLKtOAzLoU]

Absolutely amazing.

The first time I read about this product is on one of my favorite sports card blogs, The Mojo Beard. Make sure to check their site for a full blown preview of the product. I would do a preview myself, but I wouldn’t do it as much great justice as Beardy could over on his blog.

This product looks stacked and you should go to Wal-Mart or whatever and try and find a box.

OMG! More preview images leaked  of 2011 Topps Monopoly baseball!

Speaking of boxes, Brent and Becca are opening up like 35 cases of 2011 Allen & Ginter. Some may call them crazy, but I would call them genius. Especially since I got dibs on Oregon and Connecticut if they pull either one of those state cards. That is quite possibly the biggest case break of any product I have ever seen. I can’t even afford to get one case of Allen & Ginter. I just want to open one! I do have my box coming in for the Gint-A-Cuffs contest so let’s hope for a victory in my part of opening up the product!

Keep on truckin’ ladies and gentlemen. I’m going to take a nap.

Interview: Adam of Dave and Adam’s Card World

This is the first interview I have ever done for the blog and it definitely will not be the last. I was contacted by Adam of Dave and Adam’s Card World after my review between Dave and Adam’s and Blowout Cards. Despite me giving Blowout Cards the upper hand in that head to head purchase, Adam was nice enough to email me and make himself available to me. He even offered me a tour of their facility in upstate New York for whenever I am in the area. Anyway, I took him up on his first offer and sent some questions his way late last week. I got some great, well thought responses. I’m not sure if I can do the responses justice by breaking them up. So here is the full context of my interview with Adam of Dave and Adam’s Card World. Warning: It is pretty long!

Sports Card Blog: I’ll start with the basics, how did DACW get started?

Adam: Dave Silver and I met on the local card show circuit in 1987.  At the time, we were the youngest dealers in the area and we ended up becoming friends.  In 1988, we started running classified buying ads together under the name Dave & Adam’s Hockey World which would change in 1989 to Dave & Adam’s Card World.  In 1991 I was looking for someone to open a card store with and approached Dave with the idea of becoming business partners.  Dave had one more semester of school left, but readily accepted and on May 15th, 1991 our little 500 square foot store with no parking opened in Buffalo New York.  We struggled for the first couple of years, putting almost everything we earned back into the business, until a few good purchases allowed us to move to the 3000 square foot store we still operate in Tonawanda New York.

​During this time we were also running a mail order business for single cards that was growing faster than anticipated.  Eighty hour work weeks were typical.  When Ebay arrived on the scene we began listing thousands of cards per week and quickly grew to a 5 person company.  Several large purchases necessitated us renting our first warehouse which Dave ran while I manned the store.  When memorabilia and autographed cards arrived on the scene in 1996 we channeled our energies into becomingthe place to find the top cards. We stepped up our advertising and soon had the World’s top collectors counting on us to find the rare cards they needed. I was traveling every weekend to major shows around the country just looking to buy high end modern cards.  During this time I began making connections with trading card distributors and manufacturers which would set the stage for the next major metamorphosis of our company.

​By 2000 Ebay dominated the market for unopened boxes.  Most of the hundreds of dealers who had begun trading card websites in the 1990’s were now selling exclusively on Ebay.  Recognizing that the industry didn’t have a one stop online source for unopened boxes of cards and utilizing the connections we had made with the manufacturers and distributors, we launched dacardworld.com.  Right away we saw that our decision was a good one.  We rented a larger warehouse and grew to 20 full-time employees.  Every year we were growing rapidly, adding new product lines, and hiring more and more people.  Today we have 50 full time employees and work out of a 35,000 office and warehouse facility.

Sports Card Blog: Approximately how many orders are you handling a week and how many people are employed to get the operation done?

Adam: Depending on the time of year we handle 2000-4000 orders per week.  It takes a lot of people to make the system work.  We have a full-time marketing department, a dozen order pullers and shippers, a sales force, customer service team, I.T department, and several people whose job it is just to buy merchandise for the site and manage it.

Sports Card Blog: What does it mean to you to be chosen as one of the few Upper Deck Official Online Retailers?

Adam: We were of course pleased to be chosen as an Upper Deck Authorized Internet Retailer.

I believe all of the manufacturer’s trust us.  Upper Deck choosing us is an extension of that trust.  Konami has a new program we are a part of and Panini is launching a new program this summer that we will be part of as well.  More than ever it is key for a business such as ours to work closely with the manufacturers to remain viable in this business.

Sports Card Blog: In your opinion, what makes you a better choice than all your competitors?

Adam: That’s a tough question.  All my competitors do a variety of things well.  Some are focused on trying to be the cheapest while others focus on selection and service.  I think we do an excellent job in both areas.

Regarding pricing, one thing many collectors aren’t aware of is that we offer discounted pricing to our repeat customers and larger buyers.  This we refer to as our Premier Program.  We felt a long time ago that better customers should be rewarded with better pricing.  When a Premier customer logs onto to the website he sees a price lower than the public sees.  Twice a week we review our competitors pricing on current releases to make sure that we are competitive, especially at the Premier level.  On top of that, customers who place an order over $75 can add free packs and boxes to their order.  Case buyers especially like this since they often get a box of two of free cards that they can bust, giveaway, or even resell.  On top of that, we always make sure we have a wide variety of boxes and cases at prices our competition just can’t match.  Many of these come from large purchases from distributors or manufacturers.

Selection and service are incredibly important as well.  We have customer service specialists on hand to answer questions or concerns six days a week as well as personal sales reps to deal on a one to one basis with our Premier customers.  When a good customer has an issue with a redemption or another problem with a manufacturer, we can generally handle it for them.  And of course of ourselection is unbelievable.  Not only do we have a massive selection of unopened boxes, cases and sets going back to the 70’s, we have newer singles, vintage singles and sets, gaming, entertainment, autographed memorabilia, supplies, plus all kinds of different clearance items we come across.  I sincerely believe that when you add it all together we are the premier trading card website in the industry today.

(SCB Note: I did not use my Premier Membership when I purchased my boxes, as I felt it may alter the review for the casual buyer.)

Sports Card Blog: Finally, I have a couple of questions from your consumers…why is your free shipping with over a $150 purchase strictly UPS Ground when USPS may be similar in price and arrive to your customers earlier?

Adam: Great question. Next to employee salaries shipping is our number one expense.  To get the best possible rates with UPS we have to reach a certain shipping volume.  On top of that, we have virtually no issues with UPS.  Maybe 1 in 1000 orders have an issue.  With USPS the numbers just aren’t as good.  The main issue with UPS is transit time to the west coast and other regions distant from our area.  While we offer free 3-day upgrades for orders over $300 to our Premier customers, the occasional buyer in California has to wait 6 days for their order.  We recently met with Fed-Ex, who can bring it down to 4-days, and have begun to explore the possibility of USPS Priority mail to certain regions in the US.  I’m certain that by the Holidays we will have something in place that offers better service to customers who live far from us.

(SCB Note: I did not use my Premier Membership when I purchased my boxes, as I felt it may alter the review for the casual buyer. And personally, living in Oregon, this sounds great.)

Sports Card Blog: What do you say to those who believe you are hurting the local card shops with your low prices?

Adam:  It would be disrespectful to card store owners for me to say anything other than that there is no doubt that websites such as mine and my competitors have hurt card stores immeasurably.  You only need to look at the difference between the number of stores today versus ten years ago to see that this is true.  What is especially hard for me personally is that store owners who loved us when we were buying their 98/99 Jordan autographed Jersey cards for $8000 now dislike us.  If I were in their situation I would feel the same way.  Having said that, Upper Deck’s new program seems to be making it easier for Card Stores and our company to co-exist, and Panini’s new program should as well.  Some people don’t know that we operate three cards stores in Western New York and have a fourth opening in July.  Hopefully in the future the manufacturers all find ways to support the online environment and embrace retail sellers as well.

Sports Card Blog: And I’ll end it on an easy note, do you collect cards yourself? If so, what are your favorite teams or players to collect?

Adam: I have been collecting vintage cards since 1985.  Mostly Shoeless Joe Jackson, Christy Mathewson and Roberto Clemente.  Occasionally I will look at a product not doing well and buy 10 cases with my own money as an investment – last year’s 2010 Topps T206 Baseball comes to mind.  Much easier than buying stocks.

I’d like to thank Adam for his time answering my questions as well as the couple I gathered from people online. It’s obvious he is passionate about his business and the hobby from these answers and he is a very classy individual. As you can see, the answers were amazing which is why I wanted to post the full context. I just didn’t want to leave anything out.

If you have any comments about his responses, please post them here in the comment section of the blog. I am 100% sure Adam will be stopping by to read this post. While I don’t know if he will be posting anything himself, when I send him a link to the article I will ask him to read any comments that may be posted.

Again, thank you Adam for spending the time to answer these questions for me. If you have not visited the Dave and Adam’s Card World Facebook page I recommend clicking Like. They will often post coupon codes and have giveaways just for a simple Like click. Their latest coupon code is (533-FWY9) for $5 off a $50 order. I’m not sure if it’s still valid, but it’s an example of what you can find there.