Preview: 2011 Topps Platinum Football

2011 Topps Platinum is coming back again, but this time, I’m not too impressed.

I really like what Topps has done with most of their other products. Some Photoshop work here and there to make the rookies look like they are actually pictured in NFL jerseys. Or even used some photos from the Rookie Premiere with their team jersey on. But from what the sell sheet looks like, it will just be college team photos with the logos edited out. Nothing on the sell sheet mentions any other changes to the photos like the others have, so I am assuming this is how the cards will be delivered. That is disappointing.

While I enjoy most of the designs with die-cut parallels, rookie jumbo patches, and the rookie on-card autographs, I still can’t get past the images of the players on the cards. It’s just a personal thing for me, if you have access to the licensing of NFL logos and players wearing those NFL logos, why aren’t you using them?

You will get 3 hits per box. 2 being on card rookie refractor autographs and another being an autographed refractor patch card. Plus you will get one rookie refractor card per pack. So again, a ton of rookies. As always, there will be a ton of refractor versions as well. You can find green, blue, white, gold, superfractor, and printing plates.

Replacing your on card autographs may be dual, triple, or hexagraph cards. That’s 2, 3, or 6 autographs on one card.

The regular autographed patch cards are kind of disappointing as far as the checklist goes. There are only a few veterans on that list compared to a ton of rookies. I know more rookies means a less price for a product but the lack of veterans really takes away from some of the people who may buy this product. This seems to be reoccurring thing with Topps recently and I don’t like it too much.

You will find 20 packs per box and 5 cards per pack according to DACW.

This product should hit store on September 7, 2011 for a price around $86 dollars or so.

Here’s a checklist so you can see what I’m talking about.

Preview: 2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Football

You want hits? You want a ton of unique memorabilia pieces and some sweet autographs from some of the top rookies and veterans of the game? 2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football brings it once again this year with fresh designs and some amazing patch cards.

There are 4 packs per box with 4 cards per pack. So this is definitely a hit per pack product in the higher end category for all you mojo chasers out there. Each box will yield 2 autographs numbered to 299 or less and 2 memorabilia cards numbered to 100 or less. You will also find 2 inserts/parallels and 2 rookies per box along with those.

What I like about a product loaded with hits like this is the fact they aren’t extremely over done. What I mean by that is the serial numbers aren’t extremely high on everything. Some products you might be able to find memorabilia numbered to like 500 or rookie autographed patches to numbers like 599. But Absolute Memorabilia keeps numbers low, but does usually have a number of subsets.

But some of those subsets are amazing. Shield autographs, brand logo autographs, and some awesome jumbo patch autographs that are a giant chunk of patches from these jerseys. As always, you’ll be able to find these types of cards from players like Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, and all the way up to current veterans like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. Don’t forget your Hall of Famers as well like Troy Aikman and Jerry Rice. This product is loaded with just about something for everybody. The rookie autographs are all on-card and they are from the 36 players who attended the Rookie Premiere, so that will add some extra value compared to the past few years.

And for those set builders there are 100 base cards to try and get your hands on and 100 rookies numbered to 499 or less so this is a very difficult set to put together.

This product should hit stores on September 21, 2011 at a price point around $150.

Make sure you check out this Knight’s Lance post from Panini for some more awesome images from this set.

How about some absolutely phenomenal patches?

Want to see the first box broken on video?

The 2011 Absolute Memorabilia checklist is now available!

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Black Diamond Hockey

With 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup less than a week away now, we look forward to the next season of hockey products. One of the favorites for finding new rookies is 2011-12 Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey. I know everyone loves rookies and Upper Deck really is giving 2011-12 Black Diamond collectors some treats in the rookie department this time around.

The newest case hit from Upper Deck in this product is Lustrous Rookies. If anyone remembers the “lustrous” sets from UD Black, this pays great homage to one of the best sets I’ve seen. I own some Lustrous Materials from UD Black and just love the design and the clear view through the card. The fact Upper Deck is bringing back a subset of near the same design is exciting to me.

Continuing with rookies, you can find 1 Ice Premieres rookie per box and as usual you can find 3 Triple Diamond rookies and 1 Quad Diamond rookie per box. You may also find a parallel of these as well in Ruby, Gold, or Platinum. As far as veterans go, you can find 6 Double Diamonds, 3 Triple Diamonds, and 4 Ice Veterans.

These box breaks are always filled with different versions and parallels. With 5 cards per pack and 24 packs per box, you are almost pulling one parallel or different version per pack of cards.

Another new card this season is the Championship Rings set, which is obviously going to be a favorite by me. An acetate-rainbow based card, featuring a giant ring on the card with a player from a championship team. Yes, I love acetate cards and Upper Deck really does acetate cards great justice with every acetate set they make and I love it. These can be found 1 every 3 boxes so they are limited.

Finally, you can find the usual Hardware Heroes, Gemography, and Black Diamond jerseys. A new twist with the Black Diamond jerseys is you can put the cards together to complete the background design of the card. I’d imagine if you found a booklet card display, you could put each card on each side and have a nice piece to look at, despite it not being hinged.

2011-12 Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey hits stores in December 2011, right in the thick of hockey 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: 2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic Football

Your favorite rookies and veterans are back for another season in their college uniforms for 2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic football! Some of the hottest rookie cards on the planet come from this product with the SP Authentic autographed patches. Although these are in their college uniforms and not what they once were in terms of how people collect them, they still hold great value if you’re looking for some of the top rookie cards of your favorite players.

2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic comes out with a 100 card base set including 100 1998 styled SP Future Watch cards. You can also find SP Autographed Patches, SPx Rookie Autographed Jersey cards, and SP Signature Threads Autographed Jersey. And I must say, with last year’s SP Authentic football looking kind of boring in the insert department, these look a lot better than last year, especially if you’re lucky enough to pull a SPx pack because those cards look phenomenal.

Each box will yield 3 hits including one SP Autographed Patch card. You may also find 4 SPx packs per case featuring an SPx Autographed Jersey in every one of these packs. This adds a cool little addition to the SP Authentic brand by including some SPx styled cards. There will also be at least one SP Autographed Jersey per case. Your other hits normally consist of plain signatures. You may also find dual, triple, or even quad autographs from some of the games legends, veterans, and rookies from players like Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Mark Ingram, Cam Newton, and more!

You can find this product on shelves February 7, 2012, at around $115 per box.