Upper Deck Returning to Baseball

There was some big news at the Industry Summit. Panini announced an exclusive autograph deal with Stephen Strasberg. Topps is changing the way they work with customer service and distributors. And Upper Deck will be returning with a MLBPA license for 2013.

Upper Deck no longer had a MLB license soon after the 2009 season before Topps became the sole heir of MLB trading cards. But with Panini returning to baseball recently with a MLBPA license, Upper Deck has now also acquired that license and will be producing baseball cards once again, back to the foundation of their company.

Upper Deck regaining a license to produce baseball cards is a big deal. While Topps is continuing their exclusive license until 2020, Panini has slowly been making a name for themselves despite not having the ability to use logos. Another competitor in that MLBPA licensed genre is good for the industry. In fact, it will probably help improve those types of products until the MLB finally decides it can’t live with an exclusive license. Upper Deck has always been an innovator and with that new challenge of the MLBPA license, they will do what they do best, innovate. How many ways can a piece of cardboard be created without logos? What else can be done? Panini has done some great things with changes in photography and cropping, but with fresh minds working on it, can we see great things from this realm?

I think Upper Deck may be just what unlicensed sports cards needs to push the envelope even farther.

Lionel Messi For 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter

Below is my pitch for the Argentine FC Barcelona star to get his own card, and autographed card, in 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball.

Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers in the world right now. For those Americans, he is one of the best soccer players in the world right now. He just recently broke the record for most goals in a calendar year, a record held by Gerd Muller. In fact, he ended the calendar year with 91 goals, 6 more than Muller. That is impressive enough.

Football, soccer, whatever you want to call it is on the rise in the United States. It is one of the fastest growing spectator sports with Major League Soccer expanding to new markets and more people watching the EPL on the “tele” more than ever before. Who was the last international soccer star to appear in Ginter? Pele? That was 2009. (Maybe it wasn’t. But he is slated for 2013 Allen & Ginter!) Did we even see David Beckham? We’ve seen plenty American players like Hope Solo and Heather Mitts, Allen & Ginter could use a couple more soccer players instead of B list celebrities that no one ends up caring about.

The secondary market would be huge for Lionel Messi cards, especially autographs. He is a man beloved in Argentina and Spain, as well as around Europe for this talents on the pitch. It would also expose your products overseas with such a huge name. Lionel is 25 years old and just about hitting the prime of his career. He is going to continue to break records, win titles, and more awards. Although he lost the Player of the Year award to Iniesta, he did place a close second.

Topps, please bring international soccer to Allen & Ginter. If not Messi, maybe a big star like Wayne Rooney could make an appearance.

2012 Panini NFL Player of the Day: Beat The Blogger

Beginning this week will be the 2012 Panini NFL Player of the Day promotion here on Sports Card Blog. We have a ton of prizes that we are giving away, from packs of NFL Player of the Day cards, commemorative sets, autographs, fun man/girl cave items, and even a hobby box of cards.

The theme of this year’s promotion is going to be “Beat the Blogger”. I will be posting contests every Thursday once again this year, for the games slated on Sundays and Mondays. I will also be posting my own answers for the contest. If you beat me, you get one entry into the monthly and grand prizes. The person with the highest score will win the weekly prizes. Pretty simple.

Make sure you look out for special ways to get entries and look out for our giveaways we will be having on our Twitter and Facebook pages during the promotion for some extra free stuff.

All I ask in return for running this program is you click the banner and check out the official Panini Player of the Day website. There, you can find out more about the hobby shop portion of the program and get involved.

So get ready for another great season of contests and prizes. It’s a little easier this year to get involved, so let’s have some fun.

Week 1 Contest

Week 2 Contest

Week 3 Contest

Week 4 Contest

Week 5 Contest

Week 6 Contest

Week 7 Contest

Week 8 Contest

Week 9 Contest

August 2012 Sports Card Releases

It’s August and heading into the dog days of summer. My August is filled and busy with tons of stuff which will cause me to miss a lot of blogging time. At least I should have all these previews out beforehand…well, I hope.

Baseball:

2012 Panini Cooperstown Baseball – August 22, 2012 – $90 – 8/10

A set dedicated to the baseball hall of famer, Cooperstown features a number of hall of famers or players with displays in the most famous little town in baseball.

2012 Panini Triple Play Baseball – August 1, 2012 – $24 – 7/10

Quite possibly the most kid friendly product in all of sports, this $1 per pack product features some fabulous comic book style artistry from some of the games top players along with some actual eye black you can use. Pretty sweet stuff.

2012 Topps Finest Baseball – August 2012 – $110 – 8/10

No preview.

2012 Topps Chrome Baseball – August 2012 – $72 – 7/10

No preview.

Basketball:

2012-13 Panini Hoops Basketball – August 17, 2012 – $68 – 8/10

Panini Hoops returns. Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball – August 29, 2012 – $96 – 8/10

Panini’s full schedule of products is back and Prestige is included. Full preview coming soon.

Football:

2012 Panini Momentum Football – August 29, 2012 – $200 – 8/10

Panini Momentum is released for it’s rookie season featuring some great looking hits and rookies in a product that should deliver some solid hits all around for those hit lovers out there.

2012 Panini Rookies & Stars Football – August 22, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Rookies & Stars makes an upgraded return. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Finest Football – August 22, 2012 – $100 – 9/10

I really enjoyed this product last year, and this year looks to be another great year of Finest. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Football – August 8, 2012 – $57 – 9/10

The first real football product of the year from Topps is released. Full preview coming soon.

2011 Upper Deck Exquisite Football – August 15, 2012 – $555 – 8/10

A bit overpriced this year and very late, Upper Deck releases this year of Exquisite football looking as good as ever featuring college uniforms, 3D autographs, and more.

Hockey:

2012-13 Panini Score Hockey – August 24, 2012 – $30 – 8/10

The low end highlight of the hockey season will arrive once again at $1 per pack. Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Hockey – August 14, 2012 – $59 – 7/10

Upper Deck’s lower end offering is back as well. Full preview coming soon.

2011-12 Panini Prime Hockey – August 17. 2012 – $200 – 9/10

A fantastic looking new product from Panini featuring some fantastic prime memorabilia and autographs. This may be one of the better higher end products coming from Panini this year.

2011-12 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey – August 7, 2012 – $97 – 8/10

Usually one of my favorite products of the season, Ultimate will return once again looking great but at a slightly higher price than usual.

Other:

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – August 14, 2012 – $74 – 9/10

The more I’m seeing of these types of products from Upper Deck, the more I’m liking them. Goodwin Champions returns as a multi sport type product from UD featuring some very cool inserts and sketch cards.

Panini Celebrates Father’s Day 2012 in Style

Panini’s Marketing Team are kings of in-store promotions. Black Friday was a great success and they are looking to continue that success with a Father’s Day promotion full of great cards for collectors.

With Father’s Day right around the corner and just about a week away, Panini is showing off the goods on what will be included in their packs. Most of these packs can be received via wrapper redemption inside stores for buying Panini products. And they are going to be hot once again.

Covering every sport Panini does, these packs will contain autographs and memorabilia just like the packs you’ll find in your Panini boxes. But the cards are like nothing you can find in Panini products which makes this program so special. From special Pro Bowl cards, to 9/11 Tribute cards, and cards commemorating the Dallas Mavericks NBA Championship, it’s loaded with the stuff collectors really want.

You’ll find your game used cards, autographed cards, and special inserts you can’t find anywhere else.  Just check out these posts on the Panini blog. Make sure you only check out the 2012 posts for what’s going on this year.

To find out more about the promotion keep your eyes on the Knight’s Lance and right here as I will continue updating as more information is made public. It looks like it’s going to be another winner from the Panini marketing team.