Preview: Panini Gold Standard Basketball

Panini Gold Standard basketball is the next high end product to come out from Panini will be released on May 25, 2011. This isn’t your regular high end product though, this one is trying to set the golden standard amongst high end products with real gold in your cards. That’s right, 14 karats of solid gold will be found in some of these cards. Inside you will find 3 autographs, 2 memorabilia, 3 inserts, and 3 base. All of which are numbered and some may contain real gold.

Marketing idea? Yes. Good marketing idea? I’ve seen worse. I remember Topps Treasury basketball having rip cards that you could rip and pull out real American currency. I think there may have been one more product made by Topps that featured currency as well, but I can’t remember what it was. It must not have been that good. Panini Gold Standard is one product that will be remembered.

Whether or not it will be remembered for good or bad is still up in the air. From what I’ve seen on the sell sheet I’m not impressed with some of the designs and something that really grinds my gears is the manufactured patch autographs. I can’t think of anyone who enjoys pulling those and that is something that will prevent me from buying a product. 2010-11 Limited hockey? I would of loved to get it, but pulling a manufactured patch autograph as one of my hits is not something I enjoy. Finally, I really hope there isn’t any sticker autographs in this product. At a $200 price tag for a box, I hope it’s like National Treasures where everything is hard signed.

However, I do love a few things. I love the Golden Tickets where you can win some cool stuff like a meet and greet with Kobe Bryant. It may seem weird, but I definitely am interested in the 14 karat gold pieces. What card actually puts something worth money in their cards? Well besides the nickels in Topps Heritage. I would also like to see 14 karat gold cards like found in recent Panini football cards. What better product to put those in?

In all, this product will definitely have it’s niche crowd going out to buy it as well as those high end collectors. The fact that a card has 14k gold pieces in some of the cards is definitely a selling point as it’s something that hasn’t been done (unless you count Topps diamonds). And the autograph checklist of possible pulls looks great. But will it live up to all the hype? Will it be one and done or live a long career as a high end product? When you go to your local hobby shop and you see that gold bar packaging on the shelf, you will definitely want to see what is inside.

Panini has posted an abundance of links featuring this product in their blog to get you hyped. You can see if it’s worth the hype with these links:

Panini Peek: 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

Mining & Pining: An Early Exploration of 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

More Precious Metal Previews from 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

There’s Gold in Them Thar Cards! Seriously. More News on 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

As of July 12, 2011, there is even more finished product on display here!

The first box off the presses opened by Panini!

See that sweet packaging below.

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Releases Today – Missing Hits!

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball released today exciting baseball collectors and especially those that love the 100 year old designs trading cards brought back in the day. Topps Gypsy Queen comes with a guarantee of 2 autographs and 2 relics per box and comes at a price tag just north of $100. I’ve heard rumors that DA Card World has sold out of this product so the demand is very high and prices should be expected to rise because of that.

Topps has come out with some solid baseball products this year, especially Topps Tribute which has been a stud of a product. Seriously, I have seen cases of this product ripped and really haven’t seen one terrible box. Prices have jumped over $100 since the release because of that. But Topps Gypsy Queen is doing something I haven’t seen a company do in a long time, short what seems to be every single box at least one hit.

It seems as though every box of Gypsy Queen is missing an autographed hit. A friend of mine opened 5 boxes of this product. Box 1 was missing an autograph. Box 2 was missing an autograph. Box 3 was missing both autographs. Box 4 was missing an autograph. Box 5 was missing an autograph. You can see that this isn’t merely a problem amongst a few boxes in the product, this appears to be a widespread problem.

Topps has responded quickly to this problem promising anyone who sends their UPC code in will receive their missing autograph. I don’t know which is worse, being shorted a hit in your box and then having to send in your UPC code or receiving a bunch of redemptions. Here is a link to the statement by Topps with information on how to receive your missing autographed hit.

Let’s hope Topps Quality Assurance gets ripped for this and takes the extra steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again, especially on a product that is selling this well.

What do you think of Gypsy Queen baseball?

Panini Releases Preview of 2010-11 All Goalies Hockey

Since I am in a hockey mood still, today Panini America released a little teaser preview of 2010-11 All Goalies Hockey. This product will only come as a boxed set featuring 100 base cards, 5 parallels, and 1 memorabilia card. It features today’s goalies as well as legends such as Patrick Roy, Felix Potvin, and Curtis Joseph. This seems like a page directly taken from In The Game’s Between the Pipes series which is a constant hit amongst hardcore hockey collectors.

A set featuring just goaltenders has always been an intriguing proposition for collectors. This is like a product by Topps that features just pitchers in one product. I have always been a fan of the game as a whole, all players play equal parts on the team, but hockey may be a little different. Goaltenders are probably the most important piece to a successful hockey team. Do you think Carolina would of been in the playoff race if they didn’t have Cam Ward in goal? They gave up the most shots in the league, over 2000 actually, and still had a chance to make the playoffs. If a lesser goaltender were in goal, they may have been much closer to the cellar of the Eastern Conference despite having an above average offense this year.

I believe Panini may be putting this boxed set out as a feeler. I think if this set does well with collectors, next year you can expect a full fledged hobby box product from Panini featuring goaltenders, more similar to Between the Pipes.

If you are a fan of masked men who are the defenders of the goal, this product is right down your slot. Let’s just hope this is a goal and not one of those sprawling saves Dominik Hasek used to do. You can get your glove on this product scheduled for June 8, 2011. Okay, I promise no more hockey puns in this “post”.

Link to Panini’s announcement here: Panini Peek: 2010-11 All-Goalies