Preview: 2011 Topps Finest Baseball

When Topps announced information regarding Topps Finest baseball recently, a lot of the hobby community seemed very excited for the possibilities this year. Far gone are the manufactured patches of the past few years and included are autographed on card rookies. It seems like Topps has listened to the die hard collectors out there and have made positive changes. For that, we thank you.

As always this will be a two mini box to one master box product. Each mini box will have one rookie autograph in it. One of those rookie autographs will be a rookie autograph with dual relics. Since there are other veteran autographs from the Finest Moments subset and the 60th Anniversary subset I am guessing you may find as many as three or four autographs per master box. Don’t hold me to that, but I’ve seen it in years past. Also returning are the large number of parallels. There will be 14 different parallels for each base card, which will give player collector’s a fit trying to find each card of their player. Thankfully, the parallels don’t look to be just border color changes and will be seen across the whole card. The aesthetics of the card really look that much better then just a different border color as you might see in Bowman.

New this year are rookie jumbo patch cards featuring 26 rookies with nice jumbo patches. These will be hard to find with the easiest parallel to get will be numbered to 10. These will also feature SuperFractors which should be awesome to pull. Also new, is the new inserts which are seeded 1 per mini box. Finest Freshmen featuring rookies, Finest Foundations featuring veterans, and Finest Moments featuring the best moments of a player’s career. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, the 60th Anniversary autographed cards will be running in this product also celebrating Topps 60th birthday.

Finally, your case hit this year will be a Finest Moments autographed relic card featuring some of the top players in the game. Roy Halladay, Carl Crawford, and Joe Mauer are featured on the sell sheet of this product.

This product will be 5 cards per pack with a 100 card base set. There will be 12 packs per master box. The parallels of the base set include refractors from the past as well as a Die-Cut Mosaic numbered to 10, and a Canary Diamond numbered 1/1 celebrating Topps 60 years, totaling 14 different versions. You want to know who’s on the checklist? I can give you 2011 Topps Finest Baseball Checklist.

I believe this is set to arrive in September 2011, so you have plenty of time to get your money saved. This looks to be the best Finest product in years.

Here’s a pretty patch card to keep you occupied.

Review: 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football

Hey there football fans, this time I’ve brought you a Topps football product. A kind of higher end product in the sports card collecting world. 2010 Topps Triple Threads football. With the lack of 2011 products out yet with decent hits, I decided to go back to last year and get a product that is either hit or miss.

2010 Topps Triple Threads is full of possibilities. You get two packs of cards in a box with a guarantee of at least one autographed triple relic card. The other is either another autograph or some sort of relic card with at least three relic pieces. There are a ton of rookies you can pull from your 2010 rookie class as well as a nice selection of veterans available. The great part is that everything is serial numbered! Let’s dig into what was pulled from my box.

Base (all numbered out of 1350):

Parallels:

Hits:

Design:

The design of the base and parallels is very nice. I like the simple design that doesn’t try and do too much. It has the type of photography you expect from Topps with the players in nice action shots during the game. I like what they did with their parallels as well. A lot of other Topps products only change the border in their parallels, which I don’t care for. But Triple Threads has a different color scheme for the whole card in their parallels which is the way to do parallels. The colors aren’t too extravagant either or overpowering. The hits are very nice and glossy, definitely makes it look more like a premium product. The only real gripe I have with the design of the hits is the small pictures of the players on the card. I understand if you pull a 24 piece booklet like I did the pictures are going to be smaller, but there has to be a better way to show off the player inside the booklet.

Checklist:

The checklist is large and varied. I have to say that this is a very rookie heavy product. The majority of hits you will receive are rookies. But of course, there is the possibility for some of the great rookies for the year as well as Hall of Fame players and current superstars, but those are few and far between all the rookies loaded in this product. I’ve seen a lot of box breaks of this product online, which is the reason I decided to review this. I think there is just too many rookies for a product like this, and that leads me to value…

Value:

I’m not very sure the value is there. First off, where are the patches? With this product being as expensive as it is per pack, why don’t I see any patches? If the price is going to be that high for this box, I would expect the rookies to be patches and the cards without autographs to be patches as well (except for huge piece booklets). Game used is going the way of junk wax, nobody wants just plain pieces anymore. I can see the want for huge booklets like the one I pulled, but if I had pulled just 3 single color jerseys of some low end rookie, I would not have been happy at all. I would of been satisfied if they were patches, regardless of the player. Speaking of patches, I would of liked to have seen my rookie autograph patched as well. Again, with such a high price point, there needs to be value or the smarter collectors will stay away. If you’re going to pay over $50 per pack, there had better be a patch in there.

Overall:

Overall, despite my rants on value, I actually really like the product and think it has the potential to be that much better. The simple design is great and the hits really make it look like a premium product. The checklist is there, but I would add more current players to even out the hits a bit as I feel there are too many rookies in this product and it seems too rookie heavy. Finally, there needs to be more value put in these boxes. If I am going to spend my money on a product that is $50+ a pack, I want to see some patches. I don’t want to see single colored game used pieces like I pulled. The booklet I am okay with the chosen relics, but the rookies need to be a little bit more. This product needs a tiny upgrade to really make it a great product. For now, it’s just average. Step up the game Topps, I know you can do better.

As always, I have done a little video break of this product and the video is located here, it seems the blue and orange theme really worked, just no Tebow:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_-8aenRRAM]

Review: 2010-11 Panini Contenders Hockey

2010-11 Panini Contenders, after delay, is finally here.

2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey marks the first time that Contenders has ventured over into the hockey area. Overall, I would call it a success. With every rookie autograph signed on-card, this is going to be Panini’s best product for rookie autographs for years to come.

Panini Contenders comes with 4 autographs in a hobby box, at least 3 of them are those hard signed rookie autographs. There is no game used relics in this product as it is strictly an autograph only product, which I enjoy. Game used relics have become too common in this hobby. A lot of people like to see some, especially patches, but I don’t think this product would be any better with game used relics. It’s great the way it is.

Base:

Some of the cool inserts:

Autographs:

Design:

The base design of this set is fabulous. As I stated in my review video, I love the ticket design on base cards. It’s nothing revolutionary by no means and has been used by several companies for years. But it looks clean and it works. Another great aspect is the room for on card autographs. On card autographs are the way to go with the rookie autographs and I would like to have seen the whole set as on card autographs but this is a step in the right direction. I’m not a huge fan of the foilboard insert sets (except the base parallel) but the cards look solid and would look okay with sticker autographs. I want to say I love the acetate Behind the Glass insert set and the Leather Larceny set is something new as well. Both insert sets are great. If I could recommend something else, I would make the frame on the Winter Classic insert set smaller to really show the great photography those cards bring to the table. Overall, it deserves a high grade.

Checklist:

I think the checklist is solid. A large amount of rookies are found in this product as well as the 100 card base set featuring the stars of all your favorite teams. I like a smaller base set as it makes completing a set a little easier for those who may only be able to afford one box of a product. I only missed 2 cards to complete the 100 card base set in my box, which is a good sign. I did have 5 dupes, but that is understandable with a smaller set. I didn’t have any collation issues that other have been reporting so I can’t hold that against them in my review of this one box. I think the Legendary Ticket set may be a little too big since you only get about 1 of those a box. I like inserts and this set is loaded with them. You have your hard hitters in Behind the Glass, your stars with the Award Contenders, and more rookies with your Rookie Contenders. Plus, who doesn’t want a little goalie set to support the men who have pucks shot at them? Overall, there is something for everybody.

Value:

The value of this box is obviously hit or miss. But I’ve seen a lot more misses then hits. You get four autographs a box which is nice. I would put this product on par with what Upper Deck brings with SP Authentic. However, this box is $30-$40 more then that product. I think this product is over priced for what it is. If they throw in an extra autograph of one of the insert sets I would think the price was about right, but with a product containing at least 3 rookies, sometimes 4, I think the value should be a little bit lower as you may not hit an established player. I understand that some of these rookie tickets will be short printed as well, but not knowing that when the product is released doesn’t help the value. I also believe that all inserts should be serial numbered, but they will still probably fall into the same range as price is concerned on the secondary market. Drop the price down a bit, put it on par with SP Authentic, and the value will be perfect for this product.

Overall:

Finally a product that is on par with SP Authentic. You may not be able to pull any autographed patches in this product, but the autographs are a plenty and the insert sets are definitely better then SP Authentic. The design is solid, although has been used for a long time. It works though, which is a positive. The checklist is chock full of stars, rookies, and retired players so I think just about everyone will be happy with the possibilities they could pull. I love the 14 karat gold card promotion, although I didn’t get one this time around. There are only 20 but they are definitely great chase cards. This is a great start for Panini using the Contenders brand. I really hope they decide to keep this in their product run for the next season as it was a lot of fun to break, just lower the price a tad or add another autograph.

Here is the video break so you can see everything. Make sure to subscribe to our channel.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dAE6nPcZ0M]

2011 Bowman Baseball Checklist is Here!

Hey all of you baseball prospectors out there or those in love with the rookie card. The 2011 Bowman baseball checklist is now live thanks to the wonderful people at Topps. It’s your first glimpse into who will be inside 2011 Bowman baseball this year.

Topps has posted its 2011 Bowman Baseball checklist.

Me? I’m not a prospector so I don’t care who is in the product unless it’s a player on my team, the Boston Red Sox. Yes, another Red Sox fan/collector here. At least I was born and raised in New England and had my first Sox jersey as an infant.

The only prospecting I do is if I pull someone’s autograph. For instance, I’ve been sitting on Josh Johnson RC Auto /299 since the day I pulled it. It’s funny how I couldn’t move it at the time I pulled it in 2006, I guess that just helps me out. I’ll sell it when he throws a no-hitter this year or wins NL Cy Young. That’s the extent of my prospecting.

So all you prospecting fanatics out there, this post is for you. Go get your Bryce Harper cards or whoever the hot rookie is in that product. May the mojo be with you over the long term because if it’s not, you wasted a ton of money on 1000 chrome cards of one guy.

I hope your Strasburgs are recovering well from Tommy John surgery.

UPDATE: Bryce Harper has been added as a Chrome autograph as well as a Prospect autograph.