October 2012 Sports Card Releases

It’s October. The end of baseball season. The start of basketball and, well maybe, hockey. Football rages on as well as the products. And me as well, as my birthday falls in October and is one of the favorite days of the year for baseball collectors…can you guess which day? Anyway, products will be updated as I write the previews, so previews are coming soon.

BASEBALL:

2012 Topps Update Baseball – October 3, 2012 – $60 – 6/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Bowman Chrome Baseball – October 17, 2012 – $68 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Cooperstown Baseball – October 24, 2012 – $90 – 8/10

Panini’s ventures into baseball return with Cooperstown baseball, a product based around Hall of Famers and those with special displays in the Hall. Featuring some sweet autographs from legends in the Baseball Hall, you’re bound to find something you like if you’re a historian of the game.

BASKETBALL:

2011-12 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball – October 16, 2012 – $870 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Panini Threads Basketball – October 24, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

FOOTBALL:

2012 Upper Deck University of Alabama Football – October 2, 2012 – $45 – 6/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Certified Football – October 17, 2012 – $100 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Gridiron Football – October 24, 2012 – $110 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

HOCKEY:

2012-13 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey – October 2, 2012 – $96 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 In The Game Forever Rivals Hockey – October 13, 2012 – $100 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

SPECIAL:

Cryptozoic Big Bang Theory Season 3 and 4 Trading Cards – October 26, 2012 – $75 – 10/10

Bazinga.

Review: 2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball

With a full season prepared to launch after last year’s strike shortened season, this year returns to the standard of basketball card collecting that collectors were hoping for last season. With Prestige basketball number 2 on the list for this season, Panini has prepared a season full of rookies from the past two years and a season to think about where they’d like to go this year for sports cards.

Prestige is here and with it comes the first real taste of what will be going on this year. With 3 autographs and one memorabilia card per box, Prestige is one of the first products to feature quite a few rookie autographs and some of the early season’s better hits. Let’s see how it stacked up.

Design:

The basics of the design are actually nice, but the execution wasn’t very enjoyable. I like the player focused photos with the team color background over the action going on behind the player. It focuses on the player, color coordination, and it fits in perfectly. First, I can’t seem to understand the giant white line that goes across the bottom of the card. If it’s part of the design, why? It serves absolutely zero purpose. The second real issue I have is the going back and forth between vertically and horizontally oriented. This makes the actual pack opening experience annoying. Trying to go back and forth reading and looking at the cards is something that’s just not enjoyable. I like everything, except inserts, generally the same. I don’t mind a couple positioned differently, but when it’s 3-4 A PACK like that…as I said, it’s an annoying opening experience.

Checklist:

Speaking of checklists, why has Panini done away with adding them to the products? Anyway, I usually harp on the number of rookies in a set but it looks like this may be a problem this year with the double rookie class of cards. There are 100 rookies in this set and all of your favorite stars of the NBA and a few legends for those old school collectors. With 75 rookie autographs, you have just about anyone you would want to find. The veteran/legend checklist for autographs is kind of small though for such a big set. I guess they had to get those rookie autographs in.

Value:

My biggest issue is there are just so many rookie autographs in this product compared to the veterans or legends. Good thing it’s a strong rookie class in general, even if combined with the rookie class from last year which was kind of weak. I’d like to see more veteran content in this product besides the relic cards. It’s tough to balance things out, I just find this product to be very unbalanced in that regard. For just about $100 a box, it’s not terrible getting four hits in a box either with 3 being autographs. You have opportunity to hit some hot autographs which of course will be valuable anyways. I’d just prefer better opportunity for some veteran autographs.

Overall:

Overall, this is a decent product from Panini. The design could use some work as it has me questioning a few things. For once, the design of the product actually had me annoyed at going through cards in the packs. It just felt unorganized. But it did have some highlights with the inserts and the basic design. The checklist was full of rookies and veterans, but rookies really stealing the show in base cards and hits. This is almost like a purely rookie product just because of the number of rookie cards you can find in this product, which hurts value a bit if you strike out with a bunch of low end rookies. But as is with rookies, you can hit it huge too. I just want to find more veteran content in the hits department. I also want to mention the damage from a few cards as well, including the Jordan Williams autograph, that bottom right corner ding is pretty bad.

As always, thanks to Panini for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, or Facebook pages.

For a full checklist of 2012-13 Panini Prestige basketball, check out the product information page on Cardboard Connection.

Now, for the hits:

Preview: 2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball

Releasing today is the second product of the 2012-13 Panini basketball season in Panini Prestige basketball. With a full season of basketball for fans and collectors to enjoy, this year will have a great combination of cards of rookies and second year players that is second to none in recent sports card history. Not since the last NHL lockout has sports cards had such a deep rookie class of cards.

And 2012-13 Prestige is there to showcase those players and your favorite veterans along the way. With three autographs and one memorabilia card per box, Panini is bringing the ink with the rookies as well. You’ll also be finding one rookie card per pack with 100 rookie cards to be found in the set from this season and last.

The highlights of the autographs those are both the rookie autographs as well as a couple of subsets. Old School Autographs and Distinctive Ink cards feature nice and clean on card autographs of some of your favorite players of today and the past. And of course, you’ll have your Panini exclusive athletes as well like Kobe, Durant, Wall, and Irving.

You’ll also find a few surprises in Prestige this year as well. With a bonus 5 card Kobe Anthology pack, you can work on your set of Kobe cards that you started when you opened Hoops. After that, you’ll find a sweepstakes entry for your chance to win a trip to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

With Prestige releasing today for just under $100 and the huge list of solid rookies from the last two years, it’s going to be hot to get your hands on. For more information and a complete checklist, check out the Cardboard Connection product information page.

 

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball

The delays have finally come to an end.

2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro basketball is set to make its anticipated debut on September 6, 2012. With classic Fleer/Skybox designs from the 80s and 90s, it brings the feeling of nostalgia when collecting as a little kid.

With an autograph checklist that has some promise, the product looks to be a great product for autograph hunters from your favorite stars of the NBA past and rookie stars. With players in their college uniforms, it also brings a different element to basketball cards that you haven’t seen anywhere else since the original designs featured NBA logos. It may take a bit getting used to though.

But from looking at the 2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro checklist, it looks like we are seeing the same players time and time again from Upper Deck as far as their “legends” are concerned. The rookies change every year, but they aren’t really allowed to use current players…which kinda sucks.

Another issue I have is the hefty price tag. At $300 a box, it is a high end offering. A full box consists of 20 packs and 5 cards per pack. You’ll find 6 autographs in your box and only 4 inserts. I guess that adds a little value to the inserts, but we’ll see how that works out. It just feels overpriced to me. But the inserts are the inserts you loved and enjoyed as a kid if you’re around my age. Precious Metals, Jamalaya, and Intimidation Nation are all in there for you to grab.

I’m not sure if it will live up to the hype or the anticipating will be worth it, but I really hope I’m wrong for Upper Deck’s sake.

At least it shouldn’t be as bad as Signature Edition baseball.

September 2012 Sports Card Releases

Now I did terrible on previewing for the August sports card releases. I blame that of course on my wedding and honeymoon. Grad school isn’t as big of a hurdle as family coming into town and being in a few foreign countries without decent internet access. So as always, here is a list of products coming out this September including my rating of excitement.

Baseball:

2012 Topps Baseball Minor League Heritage – September 12, 2012 – $68 – 6/10

A product I still personally don’t care about makes a return featuring some of the best prospects in the game that are currently down on the farm getting ready for their call ups. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Triple Threads Baseball – September 19, 2012 – $200 – 7/10

Never really been a huge fan of the product and have been advocating a complete change over or removal of the product, but it’s coming out again for another season. Some nice cards to be had though, it’s just a matter of preference. Full preview coming soon.

Basketball:

2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball – September 6, 2012 – $300 – 7/10

I’m not sure what to expect in this product from Upper Deck, but from what I’ve seen it’s a lot of old Fleer designs with rookies and legends of the game in their college uniforms.

2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball – September 14, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Getting into more of the full season of NBA products from Panini with their second release of the season, before the season even starts! Full preview coming soon.

Football:

2012 Panini Momentum Football – September 12, 2012 – $200 – 8/10

This looks like a great rookie product from Panini which features some sweet rookies, some sweet autographs, and some sweet memorabilia cards. A whole lot of hits in this product.

2012 Panini Prominence Football – September 19, 2012 – $100 – 7/10

More from the hottest rookie class in years with another Panini debut in their football brands. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Platinum Football – September 12, 2012 – $110 – 8/10

Not a bad looking product from Topps with 3 autographs per box and a ton of refractors, especially with this awesome rookie class. But Topps and foilboard? OHMAHGERD! Full preview coming soon.

2012 Upper Deck University of Alabama Football – September 25, 2012 – $46 – 6/10

Roll Tide. Upper Deck comes out with another college football team themed product after last year’s products. I wasn’t a fan then, not really a fan now. Full preview coming soon.

Hockey:

2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey – September 11, 2012 – $400 – 9/10

One of the best all around products of the year returns again as the final product of the 2011-12 hockey season from Upper Deck. Will it live up to it’s usual hype? Probably. Full preview coming soon.

2011-12 Panini Dominion Hockey – September 26, 2012 – $400 – 9/10

The competitor to The Cup is coming back for it’s sophomore season making the necessary improvements it needs and it looks fantastic. Will it finally dethrone The Cup?

Other:

2012 Upper Deck SP Authentic Golf – September 25, 2012 – ? – 8/10

Golf has made it’s return and it features some sweet autographs including the first ever autographs from Ernie Els! Full preview coming soon.