September 2011 Trading Card Releases

September is right around the corner just in time for some great sports card releases. From the high end to the low end, September is packed full of products. As always, the rating is based on how excited I am for the product. So let’s get it started:

Baseball:

2011 Topps Chrome baseball – September 7, 2011 – $65 – 7/10

A pretty decently cheap price for the same cards as Series I and II but with Chrome technology and 2 autographs a box. Nothing earth shattering here though, I’d rather wait until Finest comes out.

2011 Topps Heritage Minor League baseball – September 21, 2011 – $66 – 5/10

OMG BRYCE HARPER AUTOGRAPHED CARDS!

Basketball:

2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic basketball – September 28, 2011 – $118 – 7/10

Upper Deck brings the college court back again with this year’s SP Authentic basketball. With new exclusives to their basketball products, this looks to be a solid product by Upper Deck, and if the lockout continues, could hold more value over the long term if Panini decides to not make any products this season.

2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box basketball – September 14, 2011 – $250 – 9/10

Panini’s newest high end basketball product comes out hot and ready to go. A great looking set that reminds me of the old Upper Deck Black, Panini Elite Black Box looks great with beautiful hard autographs from all of the game’s top stars. This is another great original product from Panini.

Football:

2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football – September 14, 2011 – $155 – 8/10

A 1 hit per pack product that brings you some of the nicest patches and autographs of the season with the new on-card rookie autographs. As always, a hit with football collectors and this year should be the same once again.

2011 Panini Timeless Treasures football – September 14, 2011 – $91 – 9/10

I really like the look and quality of Timeless Treasures this year. Bringing the old and new players together in this product is great and some of the designs are top notch. I’m happy to see this product brought to the gridiron and I think Panini did the product great justice.

2011 Topps Platinum football – September 7, 2011 – $88 – 7/10

I am kind of disappointed by the looks of things and I really hope that I missed something on the sell sheet. I don’t like the college jerseys with the logos edited out and that is killing me on this product. Add in some checklist issues with very little veterans and tons of rookies and I’m not real excited about this product.

2011 Topps Prime football – September 28, 2011 – $86 – 8/10

An underrated product last season, it returns with some solid hits and a pretty nice design overall. A great product to hold you over if you are waiting on Topps Supreme.

2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic football – September 13, 2011 – $112 – 8/10

I really like this product except for one thing. Those autographed patches may look absolutely horrible with the retro design. I hope it was just the mock up in the sell sheet because the more I looked at it the more I didn’t like it. Maybe they will look better in person. But I still think this will be an above average product.

2011 Upper Deck University of Oklahoma football – September 20, 2011 – $45 – 5/10

Hockey:

2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey – September 14, 2011 – $380 – 9/10

Finally, the long wait comes to an end. The first high end product from Panini in the hockey arena is finally going to be showcased to the public after a delay by the NHLPA. Will this be The Cup Killer?

2011-12 Upper Deck Artifacts hockey – September 20, 2011 – $92 – 8/10

One of Upper Deck’s first all out hockey products of the new season is back and looks just as good as it has ever been. A great looking design as always, new players on new teams, new rookies and rookie redemptions, and some sweet patches and autographs in this hit per pack product.

That’s what we got for September 2011 sports card releases. I will be updating this page as I do more previews as it looks like I have a ton of previewing to do that I’ve missed. So stay tuned for lots of previews!

How Much Gold is in Panini Gold Standard?

I was scouring the internet tonight in search of some collectors thoughts on some products. I do this quite a lot just to see what is currently the trends in the hobby and where they are going. I like seeing what collectors like and what they don’t like, their opinions, and of course checking out their box breaks.

But tonight I found something different. The question was posed, how much gold is actually in 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard basketball cards? I found a collector who actually went “Gold Mining” on a Gold Stars insert card that is embedded with real gold. A gold embedded Shane Battier card numbered to 8 gets the brunt end of a knife and a collector who really wants some gold.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsSq7QqpUto]

With all respect to Shane Battier, it’s only Shane Battier. With the current price of gold reaching an all-time high for an ounce the other day, how could you blame him?

But at least we now know the answer of how much gold is in 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard basketball. As expected, it’s not a large amount, but it is a cool idea that collectors are eating up. Topps is even getting into the gold craze next year with 2012 Topps baseball. I wonder if he will destroy an Adam Dunn gold card next season?

Preview: 2011 Panini Gridiron Gear Football

One of my favorite football products since it’s inception, Panini is bringing back Gridiron Gear football for the 2011 season and I couldn’t be happier about it after seeing the recent Panini Peek of this product with a ton of great photos of what the cards will look like in this year’s product, some of which I will feature here.

The famous Gridiron Gems rookie pull out autographs are back again as usual and are a little bit easier to attain then in year’s past. These cards are built so you can pull the piece of player worn jersey out from the card and can view the autograph a little better that is signed directly on the cloth. One of the coolest concepts to use player worn memorabilia I’ve seen, these are always a hit in this product.

Each box of 2011 Panini Gridiron Gear consists of 18 packs with 2 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards per box along with 18 rookies and 9 inserts or parallels. Some of the autographs you can pull are NFL Gridiron Signatures which features a replica full size football field signed by the player that is embedded into the card. These are definitely cool concepts as I had the pleasure of pulling a similar style card this past year in 2010-11 Crown Royale hockey. There are also NFL Pro Gridiron Signatures which features embedded rubber helmets and signatures from only legends of the game. These are similar to the rookie autographs found in Panini Prestige this past year I do believe. There is also a Plates & Patches subset with a game worn patch and nameplate patch from the jersey as well as an autograph which are numbered to 10 or less. There are definitely a lot of great autograph subsets this year to collect.

I am loving the autograph subsets and can’t wait to grab some of these when this product comes out in November. Make sure you check out the Panini Peek of 2011 Gridiron Gear football for more awesome images from this product. Again, this is one of my personal favorite products in the football arena over the past few years so I am especially hyped about this product and I think it’s one of Panini’s better football products out there. But how can you complain with these beauties?

Preview: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey Subsets

 

With 2010-11 Panini Dominion and 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup arriving soon, I thought it would be fun to go over some of the subsets from each product with a little comment on each. Of course, there will be pictures too! With these two juggernauts going head to head at the end of the month, it’s only natural to want to compare the two. So up first, we have some of the subsets from 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey.

Rookie Auto Patch:

Oh Taylor Hall, how I have avoided you in every product I’ve opened this year is remarkable. My last chance is Dominion and I would love to pull this autograph patch from a box. Very nice clean area for an on-card signature and a nice big window for a sweet patch. This is a very pretty card that any collector would love to pull from any rookie.

Bonded in Silver Dual Signatures:

This looks a lot like the 2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite design but with a Stanley Cup in the middle. While I think it could look better, the lettering really stands out and the dual on-card autographs look good. I’d just prefer something we haven’t really seen before.

Strapping Lads:

I can’t help but laugh when I read the title of this subset. Strapping Lads. Ah yes…Sidney is a strapping young lad now isn’t he? But this is all about game used fight straps and the little buttons look pretty sweet on the card. I also enjoy the design here with the lettering on the left. Original designs for the product are always good!

Franchise Legends:

Oh Panini, why such a small piece of jersey in this high end product?

Had It, Stamped It:

While the title may be a little corny, the cards definitely are not. Look at those name plates from their sticks…so beautiful looking and a pleasure for anyone to pull.

Pen Pals:

I’m not liking the name here either, but the cards still look good again. I prefer something like “Linemates” or something along those lines when using dual autographs like this.

Got Your Number:

I’m not sure about the design on this card, but the idea of having similar players with the same number is intriguing at least.

And there are tons more! Including NHL Shield patches, more stick cards, a Hartford Whalers subset, and even signed tape used on the player’s sticks! There is even more then that too, this is just a little taste of what can be found when the product goes live in the first couple weeks of September.

Just check out my official preview of Dominion for some more links to see some more awesome cards in this set.

Coming up soon is some images coming from 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup!

Countdown: 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup vs. Panini Dominion

It’s the old versus the new. The veteran versus the rookie. The champ versus the newcomer. It’s less than 2 weeks away from the release of 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup hockey and less than a month away from the release of 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey. The countdown is huge and everyone is waiting for this last hockey product of the year from the two hockey trading card companies. What kinds of punches will each company throw?

Well a lot of punches have already been thrown on the Twitter scene. The Panini America twitter has been using the hashtag #TheCupKiller while showing off some sweet pictures of some of the sweet cards that will be in the product. The Upper Deck twitter has been hot as well showing off some sweet patch 1 of 1s of some of the game’s top players and some awesome rookie patch autographs. But which product is going to be the king?

The Cup is released 2 weeks earlier so Upper Deck is going to have a slight edge as those who really want both are going to be getting their boxes of Upper Deck product earlier. Panini originally tried going head to head with a release the next day, but that was shot down by the NHLPA. So collectors will have to wait 2 weeks until Dominion hits the shelves.

So far, the concepts and designs look good on both sides. Upper Deck always includes some of the most beautiful patch cards you have ever seen in this high end offering. While we haven’t seen this type of product from Panini in the hockey arena yet, I would expect them to match Upper Deck with the patches as that is something that fans from every sport admire. Both companies are offering stamped game used sticks with the player’s name on them which is a great piece for all hockey and player collectors.

Something Panini is offering that has never been seen before is autographed tape from the player’s sticks. That is a great concept and idea that is new to hockey cards and something collectors are anxious to see. So the “new concept” edge has to go to Panini in this regard. The Cup seems to have the same types of hits as in years past, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Collectors love The Cup the way it is, so there is nothing wrong with very little changes to a proven hit product. Panini is trying to make a name for themselves in the very high end hockey arena with collectors, so they are doing everything in their power to show off their capabilities.

Price points are about the same but it’s still a large chunk of change if you want to get both. I’m going to be trying to get my hands on a box of each for a head to head style of review which should reach epic proportions. Imagine this: two boxes sitting on my desk, opening each at the same time, showing off base cards one by one, then on to the hits comparing the intricacies of each product as I run down each card. I can see the beauty that would unfold on camera with my jaw dropped pretty much the whole time.

I, for one, am excited for this new offering from Panini and this already top of the class product from Upper Deck. Will it be The Cup Killer as Panini has been advertising? Or will it fall victim to the veteran and have to go back to the drawing board next year? 2 weeks time for The Cup to be in your possession, and 4 weeks for Dominion to make it’s debut.

It’s a great time to be a hockey collector with these two products going head to head.