Preview: 2011 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts Baseball

Upper Deck lost it’s baseball license you say?

What would you say to an octo-cut-autograph of the 1927 Murderer’s Row Yankees squad? How about an All-Time Great Home Run quad cut of Ruth, Mays, Aaron, and Bonds?

Sound good to you? For 2011 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts baseball, those cards could be in your collection or make you some sweet cash if you want to go that route.

Legendary Cuts this year features all cut autographs from a variety of subsets.

The Legendary Cuts subset is 200 cards featuring 91 Hall of Famers numbered to 35 or below. You could pull a Ruth, Clemente, Wagner, or Jackie Robinson.

The Legendary Black Cuts is a 400 card subset that focuses on the greatest franchises of all time. 75 possible Yankees players in this subset. Although I’m not a Yankee fan, there better be a ton of Red Sox in there too if you are talking about greatest franchises.

Finally, the hardest to get subset is Legendary Exquisite Cuts which is a 100 card set featuring the hardest to get autographs numbered to 5 or less. This includes all the major hits like President’s, First Couples, and all those All-Time great cuts that you could pull.

Now I’m sure you want to know what you are getting in a box. Well, without the license you are taking a hit on what you are getting in a box. Gone are the days of multiple packs or one big pack of cards featuring a ton of players and then you get your hits. Upper Deck has taken a page out of the Leaf/Razor playbook and have made this product simple.

1 card per pack

1 pack per box

As I stated earlier, there will be one cut per box. So your card is going to be a cut autograph. I have a feeling it is either going to be one extreme or the other. It’s either going to be a great value with a ton of nice hits or it’s going to be extremely hit or miss. But at least when you open up your box you will not find any redemptions. That’s right, this product is packing out with ZERO redemptions. I guess there shouldn’t be any redemptions if the majority of the people in the product are dead, but it’s nice nonetheless. Plus they finished up production earlier then expected so this will be in stores on June 2, 2011 for between $200-$250.

For those who are into historic autographs or want to take their chances on something huge, this product will be right up your alley. If not, I would stay away because there really isn’t anything other then historic autographs and this is probably a product in which you won’t want to build the set because of the price.

Note: We at Sports Card Blog have been able to secure the 2011 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts Checklist.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey

Upper Deck Artifacts hockey is the first hockey product of the new season. Featuring all your stars of the previous seasons and some of your newest rookies, Artifacts is what hockey collectors get excited for, it means hockey season is right around the corner.

This year’s rookie that everyone will want to get their hands on is Cody Hodgson of the Vancouver Canucks. Upper Deck has that covered in 2011-12 Artifacts. A box of Artifacts this time around will contain at least 3 multi-swatch memorabilia cards. At least one of them will be a dual/triple player card. One of the new memorabilia cards in Artifacts this year is a fight strap card containing the fight strap of a player’s jersey. Also, finally, making it into products more often is pieces of a game used stick. It seems that stick cards have only been reserved for the higher end of all brands but it’s nice to see them a little more often. Returning is the great patches from last year, so don’t forget about those.

The box will also contain 2 rookie cards and 1 rookie redemption. Yes, you hear the word redemption and you think of terrible things. But with the NHL rules on rookie cards, they must step foot on the ice, it gives the company a chance to get more rookies out with their initial product. Again, it might take awhile, but the rookies will be made and they will show up in your mailbox.

Finally, as far as hits go, there will be one autographed card inserted in a box. This year though, they have added some autographed memorabilia hits to the foray so it adds a little bit of value to the possible hits.

The base set will be 100 cards and you will find one base parallel numbered to 100 per box. There will also be two Legends or Stars insert sets included as well.

At 4 cards per pack and 10 packs per box it will take a few boxes to complete a set.

I have to say that the design hasn’t changed much from the past couple of years so if you’re looking for something different then it’s not going to come. The Auto-facts design for autographed cards look a little sharper this year, so I’m impressed with that. But one thing I would like to see is to incorporate some of the designs from UD Ice into this product. A lot of their Artifacts designs have some sort of wintery feel to them and I think the acetate designs from Ice would make a great insert or memorabilia set inside Artifacts. Just an idea.

This product is set to release in September and although I don’t have a price for it, I can expect it to be about the same price as last year, around $80 to $90.

Preview: 2011 Topps Finest Baseball

When Topps announced information regarding Topps Finest baseball recently, a lot of the hobby community seemed very excited for the possibilities this year. Far gone are the manufactured patches of the past few years and included are autographed on card rookies. It seems like Topps has listened to the die hard collectors out there and have made positive changes. For that, we thank you.

As always this will be a two mini box to one master box product. Each mini box will have one rookie autograph in it. One of those rookie autographs will be a rookie autograph with dual relics. Since there are other veteran autographs from the Finest Moments subset and the 60th Anniversary subset I am guessing you may find as many as three or four autographs per master box. Don’t hold me to that, but I’ve seen it in years past. Also returning are the large number of parallels. There will be 14 different parallels for each base card, which will give player collector’s a fit trying to find each card of their player. Thankfully, the parallels don’t look to be just border color changes and will be seen across the whole card. The aesthetics of the card really look that much better then just a different border color as you might see in Bowman.

New this year are rookie jumbo patch cards featuring 26 rookies with nice jumbo patches. These will be hard to find with the easiest parallel to get will be numbered to 10. These will also feature SuperFractors which should be awesome to pull. Also new, is the new inserts which are seeded 1 per mini box. Finest Freshmen featuring rookies, Finest Foundations featuring veterans, and Finest Moments featuring the best moments of a player’s career. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, the 60th Anniversary autographed cards will be running in this product also celebrating Topps 60th birthday.

Finally, your case hit this year will be a Finest Moments autographed relic card featuring some of the top players in the game. Roy Halladay, Carl Crawford, and Joe Mauer are featured on the sell sheet of this product.

This product will be 5 cards per pack with a 100 card base set. There will be 12 packs per master box. The parallels of the base set include refractors from the past as well as a Die-Cut Mosaic numbered to 10, and a Canary Diamond numbered 1/1 celebrating Topps 60 years, totaling 14 different versions. You want to know who’s on the checklist? I can give you 2011 Topps Finest Baseball Checklist.

I believe this is set to arrive in September 2011, so you have plenty of time to get your money saved. This looks to be the best Finest product in years.

Here’s a pretty patch card to keep you occupied.

Preview: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter

It’s back.

Probably a Topps fan favorite since it’s return in 2006, Allen & Ginter returns again for a 5th year. Allen & Ginter is a favorite amongst sports card collectors not only in baseball, but collectors of all sports appreciate the design and quality of Allen & Ginter. This year, Topps labels this as “The Autograph Checklist Allen & Ginter Collectors Have Been Waiting For!” And actually, with the quality products that Topps has put out this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were absolutely true.

Autographs from the sports and Americana realm are found throughout this product year after year. Not only can you pull autographs from today’s top baseball stars, there have been autographs of top athletes in other sports, Americana icons, and cut signatures of the famous who are deceased. Headlining the non-baseball autographs this year is Manny Pacquiao who will make an appearance in this year’s product. The autograph checklist looks pretty solid to me so I am definitely excited for the possibilities in this product.

Every year there is a different set of inserts to collect and this year is no different. It gives collectors something new every season. This year features endangered species, the famous counterparts or assistants that many people may not know of get their due, mysterious figures, famous flora, and geniuses amongst others. This set is chocked full of inserts that fall at a rate of one per pack. My favorite is probably the box loader. As I’ve mentioned in other previews, I think a box loader is needed in every product. One of Allen & Ginter’s box loader possibilities is a relic card in the shape of a state in the United States, but when put together will fit a giant map. These are numbered to 50, so it will be difficult to get that set together.

Also returning is the Ginter Code, a code formed in the creation of the set for you to try and figure out. The first to answer the code wins a prize, in the past it has been your own Allen & Ginter card for the next year. Also, returning is the famous Rip Card! Rip it or Keep It? Inside could be an autographed mini, uncirculated mini, wood mini 1/1, or a sketch 1/1.

The base set is a big 350 cards featuring baseball rookies, veterans, sports stars, and historic figures. As always, you can find mini of the base as well with several different variations. Game used framed relics are also found as is standard.

Each hobby box will contain any combination of 3 of the following: Autographed card, relic card, cut signature, rip card, printing plate, or book card. Also, each box will have one box topper.

Topps Allen & Ginter is looking as good as ever this year and will be a hit amongst collectors once again. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a box. I just spent a bunch on these reviews recently, plus one more tomorrow, so we’ll see what we can do.

Don’t forget to check out the 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Checklist.

Preview: 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

First off, please God, we can only hope this is not as bad as World of Sports. I want to get into the whole multi-sport thing, but World of Sports wasn’t Upper Deck’s best effort. You can check the review tab for my personal box break and review of that product.

Anyway, this product is filed under baseball on most website, but you can find a ton of autos from a large cross spectrum of sports in this product. The best part about this product is that every card is hard signed. Finally companies are starting to give what the collectors want and that is hard signed autographs. This product will have 20 packs with 5 cards per pack. The base set is 150 cards so it will take 2 boxes to make a complete set.

Every box will contain a total of three of the following: Hard signed autographs, Memorabilia, Embroidered patch cards (more manu-patches! ew), or a 1 of 1 printing plate. Every pack will have a mini, a short print, or an insert inside it so you will get your insert fixes. Also, this marks the return of the 5×7 box topper in all the boxes. Personally, I think all boxes should have some sort of box topper and this is a great addition.

Included as relics in this product are several intriguing possibilities. World leaders from the past and present, inspirational people, and landmarks from around the world. Did I mention the bugs are back? Yes, Entomology is making a comeback with all new bugs and beetles and all that stuff if you are into it. They were a hit last time, but personally I would squish them. I’ve never been a fan of non sports in my sports cards. I can understand the occasional Americana relic in certain sets, but bugs? Not my piece of the pie. Although animals involved in sports are different. There will be Kentucky Derby winner relics in this product as well which I don’t mind.

Although this is not officially licensed in any sort of way, the design of the cards is nice and it looks like the checklist is full of stars from the sporting world. Most of the cards have the player in a casual, non-competitive setting which I’m not crazy about, but I don’t hate it either. It’s definitely different but hopefully in a good way. But I don’t think it will be hard to do better then World of Sports.

Right now it’s set to come out the first week of July 2011. The price point is around $70 for a full hobby box.