Preview: 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

After a pretty successful product last season, Upper Deck is bringing back the Goodwin Champions product again this year with some really interesting new additions. Last year, collectors were captivated by bugs, animal patches, and hand painted portraits of former US Presidents on trading cards.

This year, things are changed up a bit. You will still have your “casual” shots of current and former athletes which may appear kind of strange, but the hits in the product this year may make you have to pick up your jaw from the floor.

Entomology returns for it’s final year with rare and colorful insects inserted into a nice little shadow box. You all should know the deal on these as they’ve been around for a few years now. Museum Relics returns as well, but this time it has a real theme. The theme is “Civil War” and shadowboxes will be created for US Civil War relics including money, insignias, and buttons from the Civil War. The Presidential portraits will be replaced with 50 hand painted cards featuring the original 1888 Goodwin Champions set. Another great addition is “It Came From Outer Space!” which features meteorite and space debris pieces.

Other than the cool relics inserted, you will find hard signed autographs as well. Combined with the above, you will have 3 hits per box. A great addition to any product is the 5×7 box topper, which Upper Deck provides as well. On a case level, there will be one dual memorabilia short print, five Animal Patch cards, and one hand painted 1888 Goodwin Champions card or It Came From Outer Space relic, or Civil War or Entomology relic.

While this product may not be for everyone, it’s definitely something different that many collectors will enjoy once again this year when it releases on August 14, 2012.

You can read more about 2012 Goodwin Champions on the official Upper Deck blog.

Preview: 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

First off, please God, we can only hope this is not as bad as World of Sports. I want to get into the whole multi-sport thing, but World of Sports wasn’t Upper Deck’s best effort. You can check the review tab for my personal box break and review of that product.

Anyway, this product is filed under baseball on most website, but you can find a ton of autos from a large cross spectrum of sports in this product. The best part about this product is that every card is hard signed. Finally companies are starting to give what the collectors want and that is hard signed autographs. This product will have 20 packs with 5 cards per pack. The base set is 150 cards so it will take 2 boxes to make a complete set.

Every box will contain a total of three of the following: Hard signed autographs, Memorabilia, Embroidered patch cards (more manu-patches! ew), or a 1 of 1 printing plate. Every pack will have a mini, a short print, or an insert inside it so you will get your insert fixes. Also, this marks the return of the 5×7 box topper in all the boxes. Personally, I think all boxes should have some sort of box topper and this is a great addition.

Included as relics in this product are several intriguing possibilities. World leaders from the past and present, inspirational people, and landmarks from around the world. Did I mention the bugs are back? Yes, Entomology is making a comeback with all new bugs and beetles and all that stuff if you are into it. They were a hit last time, but personally I would squish them. I’ve never been a fan of non sports in my sports cards. I can understand the occasional Americana relic in certain sets, but bugs? Not my piece of the pie. Although animals involved in sports are different. There will be Kentucky Derby winner relics in this product as well which I don’t mind.

Although this is not officially licensed in any sort of way, the design of the cards is nice and it looks like the checklist is full of stars from the sporting world. Most of the cards have the player in a casual, non-competitive setting which I’m not crazy about, but I don’t hate it either. It’s definitely different but hopefully in a good way. But I don’t think it will be hard to do better then World of Sports.

Right now it’s set to come out the first week of July 2011. The price point is around $70 for a full hobby box.