Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball

The delays have finally come to an end.

2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro basketball is set to make its anticipated debut on September 6, 2012. With classic Fleer/Skybox designs from the 80s and 90s, it brings the feeling of nostalgia when collecting as a little kid.

With an autograph checklist that has some promise, the product looks to be a great product for autograph hunters from your favorite stars of the NBA past and rookie stars. With players in their college uniforms, it also brings a different element to basketball cards that you haven’t seen anywhere else since the original designs featured NBA logos. It may take a bit getting used to though.

But from looking at the 2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro checklist, it looks like we are seeing the same players time and time again from Upper Deck as far as their “legends” are concerned. The rookies change every year, but they aren’t really allowed to use current players…which kinda sucks.

Another issue I have is the hefty price tag. At $300 a box, it is a high end offering. A full box consists of 20 packs and 5 cards per pack. You’ll find 6 autographs in your box and only 4 inserts. I guess that adds a little value to the inserts, but we’ll see how that works out. It just feels overpriced to me. But the inserts are the inserts you loved and enjoyed as a kid if you’re around my age. Precious Metals, Jamalaya, and Intimidation Nation are all in there for you to grab.

I’m not sure if it will live up to the hype or the anticipating will be worth it, but I really hope I’m wrong for Upper Deck’s sake.

At least it shouldn’t be as bad as Signature Edition baseball.

Preview: 2011 Leaf Metal Draft Baseball

As much as I don’t care for prospecting, it has become a huge thing for baseball collectors looking to make a quick buck – or lose it all. With it gaining steam every season and the media making a big deal of these up and coming names, Leaf is right there bringing you some on-card autographs of some of the most highly sought prospects out there.

There are over 80 different prospect autographs you can pull from this product with big prospecting names like Anthony Rendon, Manny Machado, Bubba Starling, and Trevor Bauer. While I can not tell you a thing about any of these prospects, the prices for these autographs alone speak volumes on what scouts and collectors alike think of these players.

The interesting addition this year is the possibility to find autographs of Ichiro Suzuki in this product. Ichiro has signed an exclusive deal with Leaf for autographs of this Japanese superstar to appear in Leaf products. I can’t imagine the money Brian Gray, owner of Leaf, threw at Ichiro but it will be worth it for collectors to find his first autographs in a product in 6 years.

You will find 6 autographs per box. There are parallels of each card as well numbered to 99, 25, and 1 so if you hit a prospect autograph of one of the parallels, especially the highly touted prospects, it should bring in some extra cash for the prospectors.

While I thought this product wasn’t to release until next week, it looks like it released a little earlier than I thought, so I apologize. But you can find this product now for around $85.