Preview: 2011 Tristar Obak Baseball

With the 100th Anniversary of Obak baseball cards this year, Tristar is prepped and primed for another season with 2011 Tristar Obak baseball. With possibly Tristar’s best lineup of cards in recent memory, this product looks to be the best unlicensed product of the season and even looks better than several licensed products.

This product features 6 cards per pack and 24 cards per box with 24 boxes per case. There will be only 75 cases of this product produced which means, after some internet math, there will only be 1800 boxes of this product released.

Inside each box is where all the goodness appears. There will be 11 hits per box inside this product, so there will be a ton of great stuff inside for you to pull. But I use the term “hits” very loosely. At least 4 of the hits will be autographs with 1 cut signature card per box. The cut signatures can range anywhere from Mantle, Aaron, and DiMaggio to probably very much lesser known players. But the possibilities look great on that front. All autographs will be numbered to 100 or less and features both legends of the game and future stars like Ken Griffey Jr. and Manny Banuelos.

2 other “hits” will be paralleled cards numbered to 25 or less. There will be 1 T212 mini card numbered to 75 or less for the next “hit” with some versions being autographed. There will also be 3 short print cards considered “hits” and the last “hit” will be 1 T4 limited edition cabinet card numbered to 80 or less.

I love the vintage design of the base cards in this product as well, despite not being able to use any official baseball logos.

Overall, this looks like a fun product to open as the possibilities for good hits are there, but as always with Tristar it appears to be very hit or miss.

You can view the 2011 Tristar Obak baseball sell sheet here as I couldn’t find any photos of the cards to display. This product is available right now at the National Sports Collectors Convention or will be available in stores on August 10, 2011.

 

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Victory Hockey

2011-12 Upper Deck Victory hockey is out now. I’m a little late on my preview, been busy with other projects, but it is here now. This is the low-end offering from Upper Deck as far as their hockey selection goes. You can find this product anywhere from hobby shops to your local dollar stores, which is where I bought my last packs of Upper Deck Victory a year or two ago.

With that being said, there isn’t much being offered in this product, but there is a little more then last year’s product. There are 36 packs per box and 6 cards per pack of this first hockey product of the season. The regular set consists of 200 base cards and 50 rookies. You can find parallels of all these cards in a black version only now it appears from the sell sheet. I don’t see anything about gold parallels like past years. I’m not a huge fan of the base design, but the inserts I mention below look slick.

There are a few inserts this year as well, including the new MVP rookies, found 2 a box. These cards feature a slick black background with the rookie in the center with the former Upper Deck MVP symbol on the front. I think the inserts look pretty good for a low end set. You can also find regular MVP cards, Stars of the Game, and Game Breakers insert cards at a little more better rate in a box.

And basically, that is it in this box. Not any chance for any autographs or any game used cards. So when I say low-end, this is really lower end.

Upper Deck, can’t you do something like Panini Score and maybe throw in a couple of autographs per case? Just a thought to get some of those top rookies autographs out a little bit earlier.

Preview: 2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects “Hits” Series 2 Baseball

In The Game returns with an update to it’s popular baseball product that was released earlier in the year. For not having an official license, In The Game does the best job of putting together solid products over and over again in hockey and is bringing that skill to baseball for the second time. I’m impressed with Dr. Price.

Each one pack box will contain 5 hits. That’s right, every card in the box is a hit for your collecting pleasure. As the title of the product says, you will find heroes and prospects. The heroes list is extremely impressive. You can pull players like George Brett, Hank Aaron, and Roberto Clemente. Each 12 box case will contain at least one 1/1 card and at least 6 heroes in total. But it’s not all about the heroes, there is some of baseball’s top prospects as well. With names like Josh Sale, Manny Banuelos, and Manny Machado, the prospects are top of the line.

Some of the great heroes cards you can pull are Heroes Cuts. These are 1/1 cards featuring some of the heroes in this set with cut autographs from checks. Ever want your chance at a Hank Aaron autograph? Well this will be inserted into the product.

You can also find some sweet barrels from bats and something In The Game does better than every other company, you can find some awesome patches like this Nolan Ryan.

As I said earlier, it’s not all about the heroes. The prospects are large and in charge of this product.

I’m having a hard time grabbing some pictures of the prospects, so you can check the ITG website for the official 2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects Hits Series 2 checklist. Man that’s a long product name.

Did I mention you could find autographs from past presents on baseball leather too? Obama, both Bush Presidents, and Slick Willy Clinton all have autographs you can pull.

You can find this product out on August 3, 2011 for about $85 per box. You’ll get 5 hits so it looks to be some great value possible from this product.

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!

Preview: 2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box Basketball

Black Box you say? Isn’t that a little box given to people who attend special card conferences and usually contain only the highest of high end players and cards? Don’t those usually sell on the secondary market for huge amounts of money that only Paul Allen may be able to afford? He’s the owner of the Trail Blazers and a former Microsoft head man in case you didn’t know that name. Well today, Panini announced the future release of this product next month with a stunning gallery of cards.

Well this is almost that product. Think about a box of Exquisite…probably on steroids, or at least some heavy duty vitamins. Better yet, combine Upper Deck Black with Exquisite and add in those steroids or “vitamins” or “the clear” whatever you want to call it. This product could be that epic.

At 7 cards per box and 1 pack inside that box we hope for epic hits and of course some solid design. It actually looks like a combination of everything their NBA players could put together in one great product. Every box will contain 3 autographs, 2 memorabilia cards, and 2 inserts. All those autographs and memorabilia cards? They are numbered to 149 or less. Those inserts? All 99 or less. This is the premium product for the premium collector.

Someone cue some AC/DC.

Inside you may find some of the first NBA Booklet cards numbered to 25 or less. How about Champions cards featuring a 5-auto card of the 1969 Boston Celtics or the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers teams numbered to just 10? Do you love Kevin Durant? Who doesn’t? A 10 card insert set called Thunderstruck featuring on-card autographs of Kevin Durant numbered to 10 each will also be featured. There will also be Elite Series Signatures with NBA autographs numbered to just 49 or less, Crusade with autographs, memorabilia, or autographed memorabilia pieces numbered to 149 or less, and other great insert sets signed on card as well.

With the design of some of these cards, my jaw has hit the floor with some of the most beautiful Panini cards to date.

August 31st is the date to get your paws on probably the hottest product of the year. No price has been released yet, but I’m expecting close to $400 for this product.

Seriously, these on card autographs blow my mind.

So does this 10 on-card autographed Kevin Durant subset.

More on card goodness in store for Black Box Elite basketball.