Weak NHL Draft Could Hurt 2012-13 Hockey Cards

As most hockey fans know, last night was the NHL Draft. My Edmonton Oilers picked up RW Nail Yakupov who was easily the most talented offensive player in this year’s draft. But after Nail, there were 8 defenseman taken in the first 10 picks.

We all know defenseman, in any sport, aren’t what sports card collectors get hyped over. Sure you have P.K. Subban who was pretty popular in 2010, but he is more of an offensive defenseman and he was drafted by one of the most popular teams in the NHL, the Canadiens.

Collectors will enjoy cards of Ryan Murray, Derrick Pouliot, and other defensive players, but they don’t bring the huge value you might find from someone like Nail or some of the top offensive players in the past few years like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Taylor Hall. There might be a few sleepers in there somewhere, but this year’s offensive talent is just below average.

Hockey cards seem to have been in an upswing and I hope this weak NHL draft doesn’t take away from that momentum.

Football is going to be EXTREMELY popular this year amongst card collectors with the amazing rookie class coming in and all the hype surrounding them, the same can be said for basketball and this year in baseball.

2012 Topps Tier One Bat Knobs Selling for Ridiculous Numbers

Now I knew that the 2012 Topps Tier One bat knobs were going to sell well. I mean, the checklist is great and they are one of the harder to find memorabilia pieces out there. Plus, they are numbered to just one.

But I didn’t realize they would sell for the ridiculous amounts they are selling for. Some of the recent sales have ginormous numbers (from our friends at Cardboard Connection):

- George Brett: $799

- Gary Carter: $999

- Willie McCovey: $669

- Carlos Gonzalez & Justin Upton: $399 each

- Andrew McCutchen: $499

And apparently one of the holy grails in the bat knob checklist has been pulled as well with the Mickey Mantle reportedly found as well. I can’t imagine where a Mickey Mantle bat knob would fall. $1500 maybe?  Easily four digits there. (Edit: With the Maris approaching $1500 at auction currently, I might have to revise that statement to somewhere between $2-3 grand. Wow.)

These bat knobs were a great addition by Topps and make some fantastic chase cards. Kudos to who thought it would be a great improvement to the product because it really is a great addition to the set. How will they top it next year though?

 

First Ever BGS Mail Day

If you remember a few weeks back I spoke about the benefits and negatives of grading your cards. Well I went ahead and graded a few of my cards for the first time and thought I would share the results.

My reason behind grading these cards were mainly for selling purposes. As you can see, a couple of hot rookie autographs graded 9+ will add a little bit of value to the card compared to selling it “raw”.

The other is for display purposes. Owning a card from 1909 is interesting. I tell people about it and they ask if it’s worth anything. Well, as you can see, a 1.5 for a grade isn’t going to help it any. However, it will make a great display piece and conversational piece for my collection. The labels that show the date and the name of the player add a nice dimension to the display and the card is forever protected in that condition inside the holder.

Grading cards definitely has it’s benefits in this situation.

Why Topps? A Complaint on 2012 Bowman Signatures

This is a case where “FIRSTIES” has gone completely wrong.

2012 Bowman Signatures is the first licensed product of the 2012 NFL football season. And it hardly looks like it’s a licensed product.

With Topps wanting to put the first product of the season out in order to cash in on the hype of this year’s rookie class, they were unable to provided photos (or even photoshopped images) of rookies in their new NFL uniforms. The result is a lackluster design where the player’s jerseys are just a single color with no NFL logos.

While some of the cards look halfway decent, like the helmet cards, the rest of the rookie content is extremely hard to look at. And the price of this product makes it that much harder to look at after you end up buying a box for close to $200.

This is definitely a historic fail on the part of Topps, which I’m sure won’t be happening next year.

With Panini stepping up their game in the design department, who would of thought that the first Topps product wouldn’t look half as good as Panini’s first product of the season, Prestige?

Has Contenders Matched SP Authentic For Best Hockey Rookies?

While I am still working on my review for 2011-12 Panini Contenders hockey, one thing was made abundantly clear during the preview of this product. Panini is in it for the long haul in hockey and are doing everything they can to woo collectors.

Upper Deck’s SP Authentic brand has long been known as some of the best rookie autographs and rookie autograph patches of the season, besides their The Cup cards. Collectors have loved them and haven’t strayed from anything Panini put out last season.

Last season, Panini debuted Contenders hockey. One of my remarks about the product was that it could possibly match Upper Deck’s SP Authentic…eventually. Well collectors weren’t too keen on the product last year with some of the issues in collation and without patch autographs. But Panini listened and has totally upgraded this product. Again, my review isn’t out yet, but even from just looking at the preview you can see the changes Panini made to better compete with the opposition.

With NHL Ink being similar to Sign of the Times, Calder Contenders being similar to Future Watch, and the Calder Contenders rookie patch autographs being similar to Upper Deck’s rookie patch autographs, do we have a new fight for supremacy on our hands for hockey collectors?

Check out my review of 2011-12 Panini Contenders tomorrow to see what Panini has in store this year.