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.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey

With a release date pushed back to August 7, 2012, Ultimate Collection is the calm before the storm that is Upper Deck The Cup hockey. Ultimate Collection is one of those single pack products that features a couple of game used and autographed cards, usually one of the favorite products by Upper Deck fans everywhere.

Every four pack/box of this product features one autographed card, one game used memorabilia card, one rookie, and one base card. Every card in your box will be numbered to less that 399. That’s really the basics of the breakdown of a box, but your rookies may also come autographed or as a patch autograph.

With Ultimate Signatures returning and the addition of 1997 Legends Signatures cards, the autograph lineup looks to be pretty decent. Despite the weaker rookie class, your darlings in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landeskog will be the hot pulls in this product for rookies. But you can’t count out the legends and popular veterans this product is sure to have included as well.

You will also find your regular old memorabilia cards as well, which begs you to maybe think, are they even worthy of being in a product that costs about $100? A hit or miss autograph and a plain game used card will be in most boxes, and that is kind of hard to swallow. You can get a general idea based off last year’s review of this product.

So not only is August 7, 2012, my wedding day, it’s also the release of a very popular product.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey

One of the favorites among hockey collectors is set to release tomorrow in 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic hockey. Featuring some of the games best retired, veteran, and rookies in the league, SP Authentic always has quite the following amongst collectors. With an autograph heavy lineup for hits and the ever popular rookie patch autographs, it returns for hopefully another successful season.

While it is releasing late, Upper Deck has done their best to get the most content that it can in the product to make sure there are as little redemptions as possible. Speaking of hits, there should be about 3 autographs in your box. You will have a mix of Future Watch autographs, Sign of the Times, and Chirography autographed cards. Of course, the hottest are the rookie autos of players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landeskog.

Each box will contain 24 packs per box with 5 cards per pack. Some of the cool additions this year include Signature Stoppers featuring some of the best goalies in autographed form and Rookie Extended Series which showcases more of the first year players.

Other than that, it’s really your typical SP Authentic product from the past with this being the 15th installment of this product.

Hockey fans, make sure you hit the hobby stores on July 11, 2012, for your shot at this product. It looks like it has risen in price a bit around $110, but I’m sure that won’t matter to many hockey collectors.

July 2012 Sports Card Releases

July is here. What’s coming out in July? Well a whole bunch of fun stuff…looks like I have a bunch of previews coming in the next couple weeks!

Baseball:

2012 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition Baseball – July 3, 2012 – $255 – 5/10

At the point of this post, the rumors are true and I can’t get excited about a product without images.

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball – July 11, 2012 – $85 – 9/10

One of the favorites of everyone in the card collecting community, A&G returns for another season of fun with collecting. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball – July 25, 2012 – $87 – 7/10

Another Bowman product that isn’t as good as Chrome. Really, that’s what everyone is just waiting for at this point…but this should hold you over.

Basketball:

2011-12 Panini Limited Basketball – July 7, 2012 – $100 – 8/10

One of the last basketball products of the season is coming up and it looks to be a doozy. I must say Panini has really brought it in the basketball arena this season with the shortened product season.

2011-12 Panini Gold Standard Basketball – July 18, 2012 – $200 – 8/10

Loved this product last year, expecting big things once again this year.

2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball – July 31, 2012 – $300 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

Football:

2012 Topps Inception Football – July 11, 2012 – $94 – 9/10

One of the hits of last season, this rookie product features some of the best designs of the season with usual on card autographs. Let’s just hope they are all in their NFL uniforms for this one. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Score Football – July 18, 2012 – $36 – 9/10

One of the best values of the year in football returns with this dollar per pack product with a ton of rookies and veterans…and still your chance to hit some autographs! Full preview soon.

2012 Panini Elite Football – July 25, 2012 – $120 – 8/10

A revamped product with some awesome looking cards this year, I’m excited to see what the improved Panini design team can do after the initial success of Prestige.

Hockey:

2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey – July 12, 2012 – $112 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

2011-12 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey – July 31, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

Other:

2012 Upper Deck MLS Soccer – July 10, 2012 – $95 – 7/10

While it’s nice they have the regular set, I think the price is set a little bit high for what’s in the product. (3 mem/1 auto) Full preview coming soon.

2012 Upper Deck SP Authentic Golf – July 24, 2012 – $112 – 6/10

While I’m not a golf collector, this product looks decent, especially with Tiger hot on the links and Ernie Els signing his first autographs for a product.

Review: 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology Hockey

Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian readers out there. And when you think of Canada there is only one thing that comes to mind…Santa! No, no, I mean hockey. The greatest thing Canada has given to the world of sport is our review for the day. 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology hockey is kind of a mish-mash product that features designs from several products as well as it’s own design. The reasoning is that there were several cards from other products that either weren’t returned in time for pack out or maybe the rookies didn’t get any ice time with the big club until after pack out. This allows Panini the opportunity to use some of the favorite designs for collectors and have them feature some of their favorite players and rookies. Sound good? It is. Let’s see the review.

Design:

Favorite designs of the year? Check. Great designs from the past? Double check. Great new design for the base cards? Triple check. Seriously, while this is a mish-mash of products thrown into this one product, they definitely picked some of the best designs of the year. Crown Royale, Luxury Suite, Pinnacle, and the new Rookie Anthology design..how can this be not good? We all know the other designs so I’ll get into the Rookie Anthology design. A crisp and clean design, it features a white background with the player really popping off the card. Add in some foil highlights and a slightly thicker card stock and this has the look and feel of a premium product. At first glance and feel I felt like I was opening Ultimate Collection by their competitor, but then saw the beauty of these cards. It was really a fantastic job by the design team on this product.

Checklist:

The checklist is a lot of rookies that made their debut later in the season at the most, with a few of the top rookies sprinkled in with some veterans. This checklist is based off of the rookie class, so it’s not going to be terribly good. But you can’t fault Panini for that too much. They could of loaded it up with more RNH, Landeskog, etc., but they chose to highlight more of the newer rookies. The addition of some veteran hits helped ease the pain a bit, but it seems to be lacking some rookie talent. Again, more of an issue with the actual talent instead of the checklist. It’s been that way all season.

Value:

The value is there, but the checklist isn’t making this a huge must get product. The addition of veteran hits and the box topper really helped this product a bit. I think someone on the team saw something lacking and wanted to amp it up a bit, and that idea really helped.  Having 5 hits in a $100 product is pretty decent as well compared to the usual 3-4 hits in most products at that price point. The memorabilia/autos are very nice and helps add in some value as well, but the plain game used jerseys are kind of dull. I really liked the stick additions once again the Luxury Suite design.  It’s a crazy product with some crazy results, but there are some big hits to be had as well.

Overall:

Overall, rounding up, it’s a very good product in a line of recent solid products from the company. The designs are fantastic and are really what make this product very good from the get go. The idea behind the product to get those newer rookies out there and some of the cards that weren’t returned in time for pack out was a great idea to reduce the load on redemptions as well as create something new for the collectors. This mish-mash style worked well in basketball with the shortened season and I think Panini proved it can work well in other sports as well. While the checklist isn’t the great, they’ve upped the hits to kind of make up for it in terms of value and that always helps in a $100 product. With a few veteran cards scattered amongst the set, Rookie Anthology is a great idea and addition from Panini.

Thanks again to the people at Panini for providing this box for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

And here’s the haul…