Just In: 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup…It’s Coming!

I know I have been lacking in the Upper Deck news. However, they just aren’t putting out a lot of products with only one fully professional license. But this news is great for hockey collectors as arguably Upper Deck’s best product, and most high end, finally has some information on this year’s product.

With one of the best rookie classes since the class that brought us Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, this year’s product should not only fly off the shelves, may be a great product to invest in. I’m going to say this only once, if you aren’t into stock or into gold, this may be one of the product you want to throw a couple grand in and just sit on the cases. If I had the money, I would do it.

A new edition to this product and I believe hockey products in general is the booklet cards. They look sorta like this:

While I’ve never been a HUGE fan of booklet cards, these look like solid additions to the product. That P.K. Subban autographed rookie gear booklet on the left looks great and would make a great addition to any collection. That is probably one of my favorite rookie subsets and would almost rather pull that than a regular rookie patch. Imagine displaying that bad boy.

It will also mark the return of Limited Logos autographed patches, Property Of game used stick nameplates, Team Canada hockey autographs from stars of the past and present, and the ever popular shield autographs.

But 2011 Upper Deck The Cup comes with more awesome new goodness.

On stick autographs! (Slapshoterific!)

Base card autographed laundry tags! (Made in Canada!)

And dual cuts! (Let’s hope they aren’t as bad looking and cut up as Legendary Cuts was!)

All we really have is pictures and a retail price of $380 for one pack with 5 cards in it. And it releases sometime in August. I’m sure there is more to come. Learn more from Upper Deck’s announcement post on their blog.

A little birdie who has his own blog called the Topps Archives told me I need more pictures in my posts because reading lots of text hurts his head. I hope this post is colorful enough for him. I think I’ll add more pictures from now on though, good idea?

And here is my 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup haiku:

My eyes shed great tears,
When I see The Cup released,
I must open it.

Let’s hope I can come up with the Benjamins to have a head to head breaking battle with 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup vs. 2010-11 Panini Dominion. It would be the battle of the century.

More information on this product when it is announced!

Preview: 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars Football

This is the last product I have to preview for July 2011 releases and we are going out with 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars football. Panini attempts to put the “rookies” back in Rookies & Stars football this year. But we will see how that works out for them with this product. Let’s hope there is enough “stars” as well to keep things interesting and worth the price of admission.

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars football releases with 24 packs with 8 cards per back. Each pack is $4 which makes this product…some quick internet math tells me that a box would cost around $96. You will find 4 total autograph or material cards with at least 1 of them being an autograph. 24 rookies, 4 parallels, 1 Rookie Revolution, 1 Studio rookie, and 2 other inserts or parallels. So I’m guessing this is a 1 rookie per pack product this year.

The first thing I always notice is something I don’t like about the product and of course I found one right away. People who have been reading this blog for awhile now know of my hatred for manufactured patches. Well Panini Rookies & Stars carries several variations of this manufactured patch goodness. Okay Panini, I get it. Manufactured patches aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. So I have a proposition. Hear me out, this is something that will make these manufactured patches more bearable. Stop having the athlete sign cloth. It looks incredibly tacky. If you want to keep the manufactured patches, that is fine. Embed them in the card as you would a regular patch but have the athlete sign a sticker or the card itself. Seriously, I would rather have a sticker autograph than an athlete sign a piece of cloth. 100% of the time. Take out the American flag, embed just that part in the card and add an autograph to the card itself. I know you have seen Upper Deck Black flag patches and autographs. That is the best way to do manufactured patches in my opinion. I can’t stand the signing of cloth that isn’t even game/event worn. Okay…I’m done with that rant.

Besides the manufactured patches, everything else looks to be on par what you would expect from Rookies & Stars. With a billion rookies and some sweet veteran cards you are in for a treat. If you’re a rookie collector or prospector this is another product for you with the tons of rookies and consequently probably a billion rookie autographs.

As for me, I like veterans. With some great autographs and material cards for veterans I really enjoy the look of some of these subsets, Prime Cuts being my favorite. There is a subset called Statistical Standouts with some random statistic on the front and an autographed patch version for veterans. While I’m not a huge fan of the concept as I feel it is over done, it looks nice too. Panini seems to be doing a great job in the subset and insert department. The Donruss Studio brand of old makes a slight return as an insert as well with Studio Rookies featuring posed photography. I love the back of these cards almost more than the front. They have their backs to the camera showing off the name on the back of their jerseys. Panini has a great blog post about this Studio Rookies insert set with a ton of pictures.

Finally, as far as base cards go, I love the design of this year’s base cards. Panini did a great job with action shots where the whole player isn’t cut out and you can see some of the field before it fades to a white background. It looks pretty slick to me. Everything looks pretty slick, but something needs to be done about those manufactured patches.

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars will release on July 27th, 2011 at a dealer near you.

Let’s see a picture of those Prime Cuts I love so much. Since Panini doesn’t pay to host their blog, I’m just going to hot link this photo. This is for you Jim Irsay!

Want more? Check out the Panini Peek of 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars football on their official blog.

Want a 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars checklist too?

Want to see more awesome cards from this set?

Panini Unwrapped: Opening 2011 Rookies & Stars!

This concludes all July 2011 sports trading card releases. Phew! I wonder what August will have in store for us?

Preview: 2011 Topps Lineage Baseball

I’m running out of products to preview. Don’t worry, that is a good thing. That just means this blog is becoming a great source of information on all the products that will be arriving at your hobby shop real soon, exactly what my plans were when I started it. But right now, we have the brand new 2011 Topps Lineage baseball to preview.

First, we know it’s all about the baseball lineage. The front of the packing even looks like Mickey Mantle and Joe Mauer are holding hands. Two great number 7s. I’m sure Joe Mauer has always wanted to hold hands with the Mick and finally he gets his chance other then digging up his grave. But I’m sure you want to know what is actually inside the box…got that information.

You will find at least two autographs per box of this product with at least one being on card. Since this set will pay homage to it’s older sets, hence the name Lineage, by having some of these autographs on reprints of their famous 1952 Topps design. You will find stars of that set with these new autographed reprint versions. Players like Yogi Berra, Ralph Branca and Monte Irvin will grace these reprint autographs. While you will still find the younger stars like Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, and Hammerin’ Hank Aaron on reprints of other famous Topps card sets. Finally, you will find some future legends on the 1952 card design as well with autographs. I’m guessing they will have Topps perennial players like Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols as some of the top hits.

Oh, and since it’s Topps 60th birthday, the celebration autographs will also be randomly inserted like it has been through most products this year.

Next there will be 1 relic per box. Some of these will be printed on reprints of the 1964 Topps Giants series if you’re old enough to remember these. I’m not old enough as my father was barely born at this time, but I definitely know about this series. These will be numbered low with jersey and bat relics and will be a box loader only. Again, I love the return of the box topper and it should be in every product. You can also find 1975 mini relics as well as more 60th Anniversary relics and jumbo relics with patch versions.

Finally, we have everything else. These past couple years have been the return of the inserts and this product has a ton of them with parallels. Anyone remember 1968 Topps 3D? That one I’m not familiar with but that concept will return as an insert set using life-like 3D technology and inserted 2 per box. Their words, not mine. You will also find 2 stickers per box based off of the 1972 cloth stickers set. Hablas espanol? You will find 2 Venezuelan Spanish versions of the base cards per box as well. These next two insert sets are my favorite. The first is the rookies on vintage 1980s style designed cards. I grew up grabbing these cards from my friends so it is definitely a great nostalgia trip. The second is the 1964 Topps stand ups that will be reprinted or have current stars on that design. You can bet your bottom dollar I will find the Red Sox versions and have them standing around my man cave. But look at all those inserts! They will be everywhere, don’t worry they won’t be taking up your precious base.

You will find 8 base cards per pack printed on several different Topps designs over the years. There will be an All-Time Rookie Cup set of rookies in the base set as well highlighting the greatest rookies ever. With these cards you will be able to find mini versions, printing plates, canary diamond parallels, diamond anniversary parallels, and platinum diamond parallels.

Releasing August 3rd, 2011, this product looks to be full of awesome legends and even more awesome current players. You will find 24 packs in a box and apparently 8 cards per pack. Apparently 8 cards in a pack even though it says there are 8 base in a pack. I’m guessing there will be 6 base per pack and the others will be inserts or parallels. You will find this product at around $100 for a box.

One last thing to mention. If you’ve been trying to get the 60th Anniversary ring in the Topps Diamond Giveaway…well there is now another way to get it. Randomly inserted in hobby boxes of Topps Lineage is a redemption to receive a ring. All of you who have been buying up Series I and Series II to collect the rings and can’t find that Mantle to finish your collection? You have another redeeming chance.

Let’s change this up a bit and feature a card almost certainly everyone had at one point or another, without the autograph, this Nolan Ryan which can be found in these boxes.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Parkhurst Champions Hockey

I am still in a hockey mood. The NHL Draft was last week and my two favorite teams picked up vital pieces to their organizations that they need to succeed. The Oilers picked up the number one pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and a solid defenseman in the first round and my Hurricanes also picked up a much needed defenseman. I’m excited for the future of both of my favorite franchises.

But this product isn’t about the rookies. It’s about what those rookies may become someday. Legends. Lemeiux, Gretzky, Orr, Howe….they were all rookies at one time but evolved into some of the greatest players to ever put their metal on ice.

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions is going to bring you the legends of the winter like no other hockey product has before. With 20 packs a box and 5 cards a pack you are going to find some great cards. One of those cards is going to be a Champs mini. I know many people in the hockey collecting community missed Champs this past year, so Upper Deck is reviving it as a subset in this product. Remember how the last Champs product you could pull fossils and other artifacts? It’s back with Parkhurst Champions.

The main selling point of this product though is the autographs. You will find 2 autographs per box, unless you pull an artifact or fossil which would then make it one autograph a box. 100% on card autographs too on these beautifully designed cards. With base parallel autographs, wire-to-wire autographs of the players in original black and white newspaper photography, Rendition autographs with an artistic style photo, and Champs mini autographs this product is going to be loaded with beautiful autographs.

You can also find those inserts in standard non-autographed versions as well and they look sharp.

An average box break will have 2 great hits with at least one being an autograph, 5 wire photo cards, 2-3 Rendition inserts, and 20 Champs mini cards. A case will have at least one of the following: fossil/artifact, a Champs red ink auto numbered to 5, Parkhurst Masterpiece sketch, Renditions autograph, or Wire Photo multi-signed card.

2011-12 Upper Deck Parkhurst Hockey looks to be one of the best collections of hockey legends I’ve seen in quite some time. Look for this product arriving sometime in the Fall of 2011.

I’m going to beg Upper Deck for a checklist as this product looks amazing. Just look at this Super Mario base parallel autograph.

Preview: 2011 Bowman Platinum Baseball

…and the Bryce Harper chase continues. Harpermania continues with the release of 2011 Bowman Platinum baseball on July 27th, 2011. Bowman Platinum is personally my favorite of all the Bowman brands Topps puts out each year, even more than Bowman Chrome. Why you ask? Autographed relics and the insertion of some veteran autographs. See, I’m not a huge rookie collector or rookie person so I like products with some chances for veteran autographs as well and Bowman Platinum provides this for me and collectors like me.

With on card autographs and use of the Chrome technology, this makes 2011 Bowman Platinum one of the best looking sets of the baseball season. You will find 2 Chrome technology autographs per box in the regular and all of the different refractor versions that you can pull. Green, blue, gold, red, and super refractors can be found as well as printing plates. There is a checklist of 41 minor league stars to fill these autographs out, including the Messiah himself, Bryce Harper. These cards look sharp with chrome technology and on card autographs.

At one per pack you will also find refractor prospect cards with a nice 100 card checklist. Don’t worry, I will have a link to the checklist at the end of the article. Speaking of refractors, you can also find two regular refractors per box in all the colors I mentioned above plus the X-Fractor. Plus you will have your base parallels found at about 7 per box.

My favorite addition in Bowman Platinum the past couple years is the autographed relic. This autographed relic contains either regular jersey cards or prime patch cards. The patch autographs are numbered 25 or less in their refractor versions. The other refractors numbered higher are just the regular jersey cards. These don’t appear to be on card autographs though, but would definitely look better being on card.

Case hits in this product are multiple autographed cards. Dual autographed relics, dual autographs, triple autographs, and hexagraph autographed book cards with either a manufactured patch or just 6 six autographs. Finally, the 60th Anniversary autographs will be randomly found in this product as well continuing on previous Topps releases in celebration of their 60th anniversary.

In all you will find 24 packs in a box with 5 cards per pack for a little over $100. The design of this product is very solid although it looks kind of similar to last year with very small differences in the base design. Still, it’s Harpermania and these will be snatched up quick to try and pull a Harper autograph. I hope the delay in this product will bring a Harper autographed relic, kind of like Strasburg last year.

But enough about Harper. He’s an image from my favorite National League team, the Atlanta Braves.

I promised a 2011 Bowman Platinum checklist too, didn’t I?