December 2011 Sports Card Releases

Here we go, Christmas time is upon us and we have a bevy of products releasing just in time for Christmas and the new year. As always, the rating is my excitement level for each product and how hyped up I am. Links go to my previews of each product, no link means I haven’t had a chance to preview it yet.

Baseball:

2011 Donruss Limited Cuts baseball -$200 – December 28, 2011 – 8/10

Panini makes it’s move into the high end cut autograph scene with this cut-auto product. Just looking at the preview makes me drool at the possibilities as this product looks solid. Can this beat out Legendary Cuts?

2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition baseball -$100 – December 28, 2011 – 7/10

I’m not a prospector. But I know prospectors love this product as a nice compliment to others out there. But with the new MLBPA license with Panini, that makes me a little more excited to see what can be in a box like this.

2011 Bowman Sterling baseball – $260 – December 21, 2011 – 6/10

Again, I’m not much of a prospector so this doesn’t excite me. But it should excite all the people who love prospects and rookies enough to spend the cash to get a box like this. It’s just not my type of product.

Football:

2011 Panini Gridiron Gear football – $102 – December 9, 2011 – 8/10

This is one of my more favorite football products of the season. The design is usually well done and it has some cool rookie pull out cards. This year has a couple of nice additions as well.

2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic football -$107 – December 13, 2011 – 8/10

This product looks pretty solid as it always is. The patch autos are top of the line as far as rookies go, even though UD now only has a NCAA license. After looking at the preview, I’m just a little concerned with a couple of things as my preview states.

2011 Panini Gold Standard football – $200 – December 14, 2011 – 9/10

I loved Gold Standard basketball. It divided many collectors, but I loved it. Seeing it brought to football is a great move. With the addition of diamonds to some cards, this may be a collector’s best friend.

2011 Bowman Sterling football – $260 – December 14, 2011 – 8/10

This product excites me because of the great rookie class and also the possibility for veteran autographs in this product. I like a little mix of just about everyone and this product does that. If only it wasn’t so much cash!

2011 Upper Deck College Football Legends football – $107 – December 20, 2011 – 8/10

This looks to be one of the best NCAA football products that Upper Deck has had the opportunity to put out since the NCAA license was put into place. Definitely could be a great product, lets hope it is.

2011 Panini Limited football – $100 – December 21, 2011 – 7/10

With a few little tweaks, they are changing around a few things from prior releases in the Limited brand. It looks to pack a solid punch though with a few nice hits, but as often with this product, very hit or miss.

2011 Panini Plates & Patches football – $150 – December 28, 2011 – 8/10

Last season was solid and this season appears to have more plates and patches then last year. Let’s hope this year’s product is a step in the right so we can see whether this product has the legs to go on a few more years.

Hockey:

2011-12 Panini Pinnacle hockey – $72 – December 13, 2011 – 7/10

I wasn’t big on last year’s Pinnacle. I just couldn’t get into it and I didn’t care for the design or much anything else. This year looks like they retooled mostly everything and it looks like a much better product.

2011-12 Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey – $89 – December 20, 2011 – 6/10

I’ve said for a few years now in my hobby circles that this product needs to be shut down and replaced by something that everyone misses (UD Ice, UD Black, etc.) with agreement by most. But it still must sell for UD to keep producing it and it’s a solid product, just gets repetitive year after year.

2011-12 Panini Limited hockey – $95 – December 21, 2011 – 7/10

See that preview for Limited football? Insert that one down here. I like some of the new additions to this product and it adds a little bit more of value, however, it’s still extremely hit or miss. Last year was plagued with redemption issues as well, so we’re hoping for a change.

Basketball:

None.

Other:

2011 Upper Deck World of Sports – $72 – December 6, 2011 – 6/10

A step up over last year’s offering…which isn’t hard to do. I know what UD is trying to do so I’m really hoping they succeed this time around with this product. I’m just not optimistic after what I opened last year.

What Box To Break?

Well I was hoping to bring a nice surprise retail break today of Gypsy Queen since everyone else is doing it, but Fred Meyer did not have any Gypsy Queen to be had. Sorry, I’m not going to drive a half-hour to try Target or go get shot at my Wal-Mart 20 minutes away. So with no Gypsies or Queens to be had, I pocketed the money to wait. There was a plethora of 2010 blasters available at my disposal, but nothing I really wanted. Oh, and NO HOCKEY! Why do I have to live in a state without any hockey love. Our WHL team is in the finals and they can’t even fill the lower bowl at the Rose Garden. So, my attempt to bring Gypsy Queen has failed.

So that leaves me with pretending I had cards to open. I was stuck looking at previews of products soon to come out. Sure, I have a little money in my PayPal account but it’ll take forever to get a hobby box here. Plus, I WAS going to save the majority of it for a couple boxes of 2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate hockey but it was delayed…again, like every other Upper Deck product. I think it was pushed another month to June 24th. Same thing happened when I wanted to buy The Cup last year. I had the money available and they kept pushing it back. I ended up spending the money on something else.

Okay, I’m done ranting on that.

But a good thing did happen today. After I got home from failing to find some GQ, I looked in my mailbox and received a package from Panini. In March, I had opened a box of Certified hockey up in Edmonton and did not receive the correct number of hits. I’ve never requested a replacement before as I figured it was just luck of the draw but this time I did. I sent in all the information and my replacement was received today. It was this:

2010-11 Certified Certified Champion Jordan Staal Auto #/50

Not bad for a replacement, wish it was his brother Eric though. It’s definitely better then nothing and I thank Panini for sending me the hit I was missing in my box.

Speaking of boxes, I really want to open some boxes. I want to open one hobby box from each sport and review it here, preferably using each of the major card companies. So I need ideas. I also wouldn’t mind just one from each card company so we can see what each one brings to the table.

I would like at least one Topps, one Panini, and one Upper Deck. If I have anything extra I could try some ITG too. What should I review? Let me know your thoughts.