Preview Update: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey Brass Bonanza Found

I asked Tracy Hackler of Panini for an image of what the Hartford Whalers Brass Bonanza set would look like so I could see what I will be searching the ends of the earth for. He got back to me he that he would find something for me.

In the mean time, I’ve done my own detective work. This is PROBABLY what Tracy would of sent me anyway. Maybe I can convince him to send me an image of a card not seen yet.

But I unveil you this:

Oh it was so tiny. Now it’s blurry because I had to make it bigger. But at least this will give you an idea of what to look for all you Whaler fans out there.

It looks like Shanny is confirmed.

My personal checklist would be:

Gordie Howe (UD exclusive, sadly), Brendan Shanahan, Ron Francis, Bobby Hull, Kevin Dineen, Geoff Sanderson, Pat Verbeek, Dave Babych, Ulf Samuelsson, Dave Keon, Sean Burke and Mike Liut

I would add Andrew Cassels just for the fact he has the most career goals…knocked in with his face. Check out his first goal with his face and his second goal with his face.

Anyone else going to go for the full set of Bonanza Brass? I can’t wait for July to come.

Preview: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey

I wanted to keep my blog down to one post per day. This one has to be the exception.

Panini has finally put out their preview for 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey.

This is going to be Panini’s effort in direct competition to Upper Deck The Cup and ITG Superlative. Will it contain the goods to dethrone them? So far, I think it may have a chance.

At $350 a box, this product is going to be up there. Your 350 clams will give you 8 cards per box with at least 6 of them being autographs or memorabilia. You will be guaranteed that 3 of them will be autographed. Oh, and by the way, every autographed card is hard-signed. No sticker autographs here. That’s what I’m talking about.

You want to know what’s included in this set?

  • Kindred Cuts, a 1/1 cut signature of some of hockey’s greats.
  • Peerless Patches, a dual or quad booklet featuring patches of some of hockey’s best players of today and the past.
  • Engravatures, cards embedded with real silver that are etched with former Stanley Cup winners, just like Lord Stanley’s Cup.
  • Nifty 50, hard signed autographs of single season 50 goal scorers.
  • Tape to Tape, a very interesting set featuring autographs of stars on embedded pieces of hockey tape from their sticks.
  • Brass Bonanza, saving the best for last. Can you hear that tune yet? I can. A tribute insert set featuring autographs from the legends of the Hartford Whalers.

Now I don’t get very excited often for boxes of cards. But when I hear there is going to be an insert set in tribute to the Hartford Whalers, that gets my attention and excitement. It just brings me back to the days of sitting in my grandfather’s den with the Whalers game on TV, watching the likes of Ron Francis and Kevin Dineen while putting together a puzzle. I wasn’t aware at my young age what the organization was going through and the fact it would leave me without a professional hockey team years later. Flash forward to 2009 when the NHL finally got the rights back to the Whalers name and logo. I knew someday, somewhere the Whalers would return in cardboard form. Okay, back to reality.

Going over the designs shown for the cards I see some very cool concepts with a lot of larger then average swatches. I also noticed that unlike some other Panini products, the over-sized swatches don’t overtake the main focus of the card, the players. I give credit where it’s deserved and these cards look nice. Looking especially nice is the Showcase Showdown insert, which looks fantastic and is pictured below. Sadly, Panini did not post anything featuring the Hartford Whalers and their Brass Bonanza set. I think I’m going to have to bug Tracy Hackler for that.

But overall, despite my overwhelming crush on the Whalers insert set, I believe this set may have what it takes to seriously contend for the high end Cup. Low numbered cards, great autographs, and new ideas may set this apart.

Panini America’s NHL brand manager Al Muir stated, “This is for the high-end hobbyists, the whales.” The “whales” is right.

Pucky is back.

Want more Dominion preview goodness?

(SCB Note: Do you want to see a 2011 Panini Dominion checklist?)

Last Look: About to start packing out Dominion!

Semi-Preview: 2011 Topps Football (with new annoucement!)

2011 Topps football just got an upgrade.

In a hobby jumbo box there was going to be the standard 2 autographs and 1 relic per box, but they have upgraded it to feature 2 autographs and 1 rookie patch relic per box. Topps has seen the market and what consumers are wanting more of…and that is patches.

Collectors love patches. Even the one color patches usually bring out more joy then a 2 color regular jersey. A multi-color or multi-break patch brings out the same adjective every time it is pulled. Sick. Logo patches? Sick. Emblem patches? Sick. Now 2011 Topps football will bring you sickness in just about every box!

Topps has posted its announcement.

Now here’s the part where I get sick.

God I dislike Cam Newton. Not only did he do terribly unethical things in college that weren’t proven (but we all know he did them), he defeated my Ducks for the National Championship. Now the Ducks can’t even claim the championship when the title gets vacated.

At least the design is pleasing to the eyes, I just wish it wasn’t “Event Worn”. I need to cross out Cam Newton and put in someone better. How about Julius Thomas from Portland State University? The kid is from the school I graduated from in 2010 and will probably be the most productive NFL player from our university. Adam Hayward of my Tampa Bay Buccaneers probably holds that distinction. Okay, off those tangents…

Some of the new features of 2011 Topps football are rookie letter patches, on-patch autographs and Game Day jumbo relics and relic autographs. Also is a ton of new Super Bowl sets that may or may not blow your socks off, including redemptions for replica Super Bowl rings. 2011 Topps football looks to be loaded with interesting new sets for you to collect. This is looking like a fun product to bust.

Topps 2011 football is set to release July 28, 2011.

Preview: Panini Contenders Hockey

It seems like this is turning into a hockey blog, huh? Sorry to all you fans out there of other sports but this is the time of the year for some awesome hockey products. Baseball and football products are just getting started while basketball is in a lull. The next product I want to discuss is Panini Contenders hockey. That’s right, I said it…Contenders hockey. Panini has crossed over the brand that brings great rookie cards from football over to hockey in what seems like a seamless way.

Contenders is going to bring you what you want rookie collectors, 4 autographs per box with at least 3 of them being hard signed Rookie Ticket autographs. Also included, like football, will be the 14 karat solid gold trading cards. Imagine a Taylor Hall solid gold rookie 1 of 1. Now imagine the joy of pulling it. Although the idea is gimmicky, I love good gimmicks.

New to the set is Leather Larceny which features a leathery card stock featuring some of the best goalies in the league. I’m not sure how this will feel or look, but I am always a fan of something different. Leather, acetate, solid gold, Panini has filled this set with different types of cards. Personally, I like something a little different. Providing the designs are nice, this product might be one of the best to try and put a set together for you set collectors out there and look good in your collection at the same time. Actually I’m really hoping the designs are excellent in this product as I haven’t been impressed with anything since Crown Royale.

The only problem I have is that this will be arriving sometime in May. So is Panini Zenith. We have been bombarded this season with a ton of hockey products and honestly, I think that is a bad thing. Overproduction is a problem with all these sets this year being brought out, especially at some of the prices we’ve been seeing.

But as far as this set goes, I can see it being one of the best sets of the season. It would definitely be one of, if not the best in it’s price range if it goes off successful. All I know is I will definitely want to be opening this when it comes out. Let’s just hope I can hold on to the money in my PayPal account that’s just burning a hole. Panini Peek: 2010-11 Contenders hockey is some official Panini information for you guys. Oh and Before Packout: 2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey Rookie Ticket Reveal too.

Here is an example of this year’s rookie ticket. Thankfully, I was able to find one of one of my favorite teams (Carolina and Edmonton) so I am happy to post it.

Preview: 2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate Hockey

This is one of my favorite products year after year from Upper Deck. This year looks like it will be just as amazing as other years. You may think I may be an Upper Deck fanboy or just like hating on other products after reading this preview but I will tell you one thing, this product just looks amazing. For the record, I haven’t been around long enough to show my praise for Panini Crown Royale hockey being one of the best products of the season. Just throwing that in there to show that I don’t have a Upper Deck bias.

Ultimate hockey brings you the same every year. Every box has 5 cards and sells for around $80-$100 depending on where you are looking. It will contain at least 1 rookie, 1 game used, and 1 autograph. The autograph or game used may also be a rookie extending your luck to pull some of the great rookies this year. Also included are Upper Deck staples like Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Orr.

As with all high end products, there is risk involved but with how great the rookies are this year and the types of veterans they put in this product, I think it will be more hit than miss. This product will contain the popular 1 of 1 autographed NHL shields, sick patches, and oversized game used cards. Everything will be hard signed as well. For once, I don’t see any manufactured patches in a high end product (take note Panini). If there is anything I don’t like about it is that it has been delayed, a common occurrence with Upper Deck lately. According to Dave and Adam’s Card World it is scheduled for May 25, 2011.

I mean who wouldn’t want to pull this…or something like it:

That is going to be the holy grail of Ultimate pulls this year. But you can’t go wrong with a Skinner, Eberle, Paajarvi, Stepan, Seguin, etc. The rookies this year are talented which makes this product one of the hottest of the year. If you need some high end to hold you until The Cup, this is it.