The Story of My Best Pull to Date

It was Black Friday 2010 and I was searching for some sports card deals online. There are always huge deals to be had by the big sports card sellers and I knew that I could find something for my collection as I hadn’t broken any boxes in awhile. Blowout Cards’ site was running too slow for me with all their added traffic so I went over to Dave & Adam’s Card World for a split second and saw a case of 2009 Upper Deck Exquisite Football on sale for super cheap.

I broke out the credit card and bought the case. I knew I couldn’t afford it myself so I wanted to run a group break with some friends or somewhere online. The case arrived and I worked on filling up a group break. No one wanted to join my group break as the site I was currently trying to run the break on I wasn’t a big member at so they weren’t sure I could be trusted.

After a month, the break didn’t fill so I decided to have some fun and open it myself and just sell everything. The first tin I opened unveiled the greatest hit of my life. It wasn’t a thousand dollar card, but it was about half of that and I was super excited, even though it was a redemption.

This is the card I pulled – a 2009 Upper Deck Exquisite Quad Autograph of Roger Staubach, Dan Marino, John Elway, and Steve Young numbered to just 10 copies made. I was in awe of this card. My fiance was in the bathroom next to me while I opened the tin on our bed and I screamed out to her “Oh my God!” and I grabbed my computer to put the redemption in.

I was about to leave for a cruise the next day so I brought the two other tins with me on the cruise. While neither of the two other tins provided anything huge, I did enter a contest with Upper Deck for the best box break and opened up one of the tins on the cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea on video.

The best part of that box break video? It won the contest with Upper Deck. The best part about winning that contest? Those two box breaks were the first reviews and a couple of the first posts here on Sports Card Blog.

Not only did 2009 Upper Deck Exquisite football yield my best hit to date, it also helped establish this blog site.

Oh, and I did sell almost every card from that break and made my money back plus the cards I didn’t sell yet.

Review: 2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Football

One of the higher end staples from Panini is back on the table this year with some nice improvements to the quality of the product. This year, all the 36 rookies who attended the Rookie Premier have on-card autographs in this product which results in some great looking cards. But how will the rest of the product hold up?

We have been given a box to review once again by Panini and we will check out some the great hits that you can pull from this product. And by great, I mean great, because we ended up pulling a great looking card below.

Base:

Inserts:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Not shown: Greg McElroy Rookie Spectrum Auto GOLD (Redemption)

Design:

The overall base design is very solid in foil with a great action shot and a great layout for name and position. To me, it seems like they got confused and put the team logo where the brand logo should be. But that’s not a big deal at all. Even the Spectrum layouts are solid as well. The inserts are very…”Panini-like” as they have the same feel as other products. Player off-centered, team logo where memorabilia goes, and then the other information. It’s been that way as far back as I can remember since I got back into the hobby in 2005 so no change there. I’m not a huge fan of the design of the RPM cards, I mean look at that Steven Ridley card. That Patriots logo is HUGE! I’m guessing that’s where an autograph would go if it was an autographed version? Just not a fan. But that Ingram looks great with everything filled up (as well as the Tony Gonzalez patch).

Checklist:

A great bunch of rookies that you will find in every product, but the paralleled RPM materials help make the rookies pulled that much better. The jumbo patch autograph really added the needed value to the box and having future Hall of Famers like Tony Gonzalez on the checklist is a solid addition. You can pull just about anything from this product, but you’ll more than likely hit mostly rookies, which can be good or terrible. But they make the rookies well worth it if you hit a nice card like that Ingram. But again, this product suffers from too large of a base set of veterans and rookies and needs to be cut down a bit.

Value:

I really didn’t hit any plain jerseys in this box which is a great start to a product that costs over $150 for four packs of cards and a hit per pack product. The RPM you could consider a plain jersey, but you’re bound to find them in every product like this. The other hits were great with the Tony Gonzalez two color patch, the Mark Ingram jumbo patch autograph, and even a solid rookie autograph redemption. I still have faith in Greg McElroy. I’ve seen a lot of great boxes of this product, more then a lot of products out there by any manufacturer and more “good boxes” then “bad boxes”.

Overall:

Overall, Absolute is a fun break at a hit per pack but it’s also an expensive break. If I bought one pack and got that Steven Ridley as my hit, I wouldn’t be a happy camper. This is definitely best bought by the box. The design is solid and I think they did a good job with the traditional Absolute foil on the base and inserts. The design on the hits are okay but that doesn’t matter as much when you get some solid hits like this box provided. The checklist is too large for this type of product for the base veteran and rookie set, but the hit checklist is pretty solid and the rookie on-card autographs are great. I mean, the Ingram wouldn’t look half as good if that was a sticker. The product is going to be hit or miss, but it looks like there are more hits and then misses this time around from the number of box breaks I’ve seen which is a good thing.

Again, I’d love to thank Panini for providing this box for me to review. You can visit their official site or their official blog to find out more information on great cards like the ones pulled above.

Review: 2011 Panini Crown Royale Football

Crown Royale is back in it’s second season in a return from the dead right before Halloween and it looks just as good, if not better than last year. With a hit per pack and averaging at least 2 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards per box, it has the possibility to yield some great hits including some legendary swatches and some awesome Rookie Silhouette prime material autographs.

Well let’s see what is in our box given to us for review from the wonderful people at Panini America, shall we?

Base:

Inserts:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Design:

I’m a sucker for die-cuts. I always have been a sucker for die-cuts. The only thing that I am more of a sucker of is very shiny die-cuts. But these look fantastic. I’ve always loved the design and the great colors that come along with the cards around the crown area which matches the team colors. The shiny borders look good too. Panini is getting better at designing their inserts to where you are starting to not be able to see boxes where memorabilia goes as those get kind of annoying after awhile. The only real complaint is that I’m getting tired of seeing white boxes where the autographed stickers go. I understand you need the autograph to be legible, but can’t you incorporate something into the design like just fading out the deep colors towards the bottom of the card where you put the sticker? Maybe a little round area faded design for the auto cards instead of box (ala Inception)? Surely the design team can do something other than a white box.

Checklist:

In my honest opinion, it’s too large for the amount of cards you get in a box and a pack at the price point it’s at. And by that I mean the base set and the base rookies. How on earth is anyone supposed to put together a set of these cards? The base set is huge. I love the insert sets and especially the great on-card checklist for the Rookie Silhouettes, but I think the base set needs to be cut down a bit. Maybe 100 total cards? 75 veterans and 25 rookies? Even 125 would be better than the current amount of 200.

 Value:

At $25 per pack, this is really hit or miss. But as a box, you might hit it big and get something worth the box itself. It’s tough as there are plain jerseys in here, which is obviously needed, but there are also some REALLY nice possibilities for hits. This sort of feels like Absolute Memorabilia Jr. So I’m kind of not sure how to rate this for value. Two autos and two memorabilia per box, which is better than most boxes at the price, but less total cards. I think there needs to be maybe one more single case hit kind of like the Net Fusion cards to make something for people to chase besides the Rookie Silhouettes. Finally, I’d also like to see the inserts numbered. I mean this is a product where you have to number the inserts. I really want to give this a 3.5 because of its hit or miss nature by pack (and my case by box, just look at sale values), but I always round up for the benefit of the doubt.

Overall:

Overall, I still absolutely love Crown Royale. I love the die-cut design, the colors, and the great Rookie Silhouettes cards. It’s an extremely fun product to open, but I find the huge checklist of base cards kind of disappointing as it takes a lot to try and put a base set together of those awesome looking cards. Back to the Silhouettes, I love that all the autographs are all on-card as it just makes them look that much better. We just need to work on those white boxes…please? Otherwise, it won’t kill your pocket, but you should definitely purchase this by the box and not by the pack. I like the addition of a case hit, but maybe one more type of limited case hit that would shine and be a welcome addition.

Oh, and for those who might want to complain about the Net Fusion manufactured net cards, they count as an insert, not as one of your hits. So you can either like them or not and you don’t have to worry because they aren’t taking the place of any of your mojo.

Again, I’d like to thank Panini for providing this box for review. Make sure you visit their website and blog for more information about products like this.

Video is coming up soon!

November 2011 Sports Card Releases

As we roll in towards the end of the year, we are winding towards the end of the baseball card releases but really start to get into the meat and potatoes of football and hockey releases. We would have some basketball, but with the lockout still in effect, we may not have much of a basketball product line to check out this year. As always, the rating is my personal excitement level based off of sell-sheets and other information.

Baseball:

2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Baseball – $63 – November 23, 2011 – 6/10

Your last chance for a Bryce Harper rookie autographs along with some of the top prospects in the game. I’m not a big prospector so it doesn’t excite me much, but the new relic additions should excite most people.

2011 Topps Tier One Baseball – $85 – November 9, 2011 – 8/10

Topps Tier One is a new product that has recently changed up a checklist that may help include more value. Let’s hope the value is there as this looks like it could be a solid product for collectors, even though there are non-baseball autographs in the checklist.

Football:

2011 Panini Certified Football – $94 – November 9, 2011 – 8/10

I’ve always been a fan of the Certified brand, especially the new take on it in basketball, and this is no different. On-card rookie autographs and a great veteran mix should make this an exciting product this year.

2011 Panini Crown Royale Football – $94 – November 2, 2011 – 9/10

And I’m an even bigger fan of the rehash of Crown Royale. The rookie patch autographs are dynamic and great hits along with a solid design based on the old. Love this product in all sports and this product excites me.

2011 Topps Triple Threads Football – $177 – November 30, 2011 – 8/10

With extra hits this year, will that make this product less of a gamble and add more value? Or will collectors not care for some of the plain jerseys added? We will see soon enough!

2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic Football – $111 – November 12, 2011 – 8/10

While I’m not huge on some of the retro designs, Upper Deck does a good job keeping this product in the mix with the NCAA licensing and some great hits year after year.

Hockey:

 2011-12 ITG Ultimate Memorabilia 11th Edition Hockey – $625 – November 10, 2011 – 9/10

Full of awesome memorabilia and autographs, ITG does a great job utilizing a solid checklist with awesome swatches of memorabilia and autographs at a very premium price. I recommend buying this by the pack if you can’t afford the loftly price tag!

2011-12 Panini Certified Hockey – $94 – November 16, 2011 – 9/10

The first real rookies and autographed rookies of the season from players who have just hit the ice.

2011-12 Panini Pinnacle Hockey – $72 – November 23, 2011 – 7/10

Pinnacle is improved and looks good this year. With newly included case hits and 3 memorabilia cards and 1 auto per box, this is slightly lower-mid end product where you might find something nice.

2011-12 Upper Deck Series I Hockey – $67 – November 8, 2011 – 8/10

The Young Guns are back! The hottest base rookie cards of the year are out early and often again this year and everyone should be excited with another great rookie crop! Link goes to the checklist preview!

Basketball:

None. So, so sad.

Other:

2011 Upper Deck World of Sports – $75 – November 15, 2011 – 6/10

Preview: 2011 Panini Playoff Contenders Football

The perennial favorite amongst rookie autograph collectors is back again by Panini with a new rookie autograph design and some new inserts that will keep it amongst the top rookie products of the season.

Each box of 2011 Contenders football will contain 2 on-card rookie autographs which will be a Rookie Ticket auto or a Rookie Ink autograph. There will also be two additional autographs, which could be more rookies or it could be a solid list of veterans and stars. Oh, and everyone remembers the hype of the Golden Rookie Ticket 1/1s from last year made of pure gold, but this year Panini will have 52 Black Gold Rookie Ticket 1/1s to change it up a little bit. Personally, I love white gold but maybe we’ll see that next year. The best part of course is that we don’t know which autographs are the short prints until after the product is released!

But back to the signatures. Contenders is going to be loaded with rookie signatures but also some great hits from the veterans and stars. With the rookies, there is a 236 card parallel 1/1 set with autographs from the top 36 rookies of the season. There will also be printing plates autographed by the rookies as well. All of those will be on-card autographs which is fabulous for the rookie collectors.

Away from the rookies, there will be Signs of Greatness autographs from some of the up and coming stars of the league and my favorite, NFL Ink Quad Signatures featuring some great quad signatures from some of the great teams and superstars of the league. How about a quad autograph of Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, and Clay Mathews? Or Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant? These quad signatures should be very nice additions to the product.

You can see a ton of these cards at the official Panini Peek gallery of this product. Or you can check out the design of these rookie autographs over on the Panini World Premiere post.

This product will be released in early January 2012, with a price similar to last year of around $140.