Preview: 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball

A staple of the Topps brand is back for another season in 2013 Topps Heritage.

2013theritage5

An always popular set is back again in the Real One Autographs. This set features retired and active players and the cards are hand numbered to 64. There are also Real One Dual Autographs hand numbered to 25, and Real One Triple Autographs hand numbered to 5.

Also look out for Clubhouse Collection Relics and Autograph Relics. The Autograph Relics are hand numbered to 25 and there are Autograph Dual Relics hand numbered to 10.

Another interesting set are the Flashback Autograph Relics. This set will feature retired players from the 1964 season. Each card will be numbered to 25 or less.

2013theritage11

Each box contains 24 packs with 9 cards. In each box, it will contain 1 autograph or memorabilia card.

You can find the product at DA Card World when it releases on March 6, 2013.

You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection.

Preview: 2012 Topps Valor Football

Topps introduces a new product to their Football brand, and it’s a high-end product in 2012 Topps Valor Football.

2012tvalorfb7

The first thing collectors should look out for are the Legionary Autographs. There will be up to 40 rookies featured and each card will be numbered to 70 or less. They will also be signed on-card. There are also Valor Autographs to be pulled, and like the Legionary Autographs, they will be numbered to 70 or less.

Also look out for Centurion Autographs. These cards will feature 40 of the top veteran and retired players in the game and will be numbered to 70 or less.

There will also be a chance to pull Field Armor Patch cards. There will be up to 40 players highlighted in this set and I can just imagine the nasty patches waiting to be pulled. Maybe you will be lucky enough to pull a Shield of Honor Autograph Patch card, though. Up to 40 players that can be pulled and they will be numbered to 10 or less.

2012tvalorfb6

Each box contains 1 pack with 6 cards. In each box, it will contain 3 autographs and 1 rookie patch card.

You can find the product at DA Card World for around $180 a box when it releases on March 6, 2013

You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection.

Card Companies: It’s Not All About Rookies

I continue to open boxes and packs of cards, in every sport. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, I love collecting every one of those sports. These past couple years, with every box and pack that I open I continue to pull more and more “rookie” hit cards. The vast majority, and I mean vast, continues to be rookie autographs or memorabilia cards. Sometimes scrubs, sometimes future stars of the game. And that disappoints me.

When I got back into collecting in 2005, this wasn’t always the case. I would receive hit cards from superstars and stars on a consistent basis. Cal Ripken Jr., Deion Sanders, Roger Clemens, I was pulling hit cards of veteran players and retired stars from just about every single box. Now, it’s one out of every 4-5 boxes. And that disappoints me.

Now I haven’t posted my review of this product yet since I’m a little backed up, but I opened a box of 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used hockey a week or so ago. It was fantastic. Do you know why though? I did not pull one single rookie autograph or memorabilia card. It was that anti-rookie card box. Every box I’ve opened this season has been rookies and more rookies, but this time, I pulled a bunch of jerseys of veteran players, most All-Stars even, and autographs from Eric Staal and Jordan Eberle. And that made me happy.

It sounds weird to say, doesn’t it? I pulled a bunch of hit cards, all of players I’ve heard of, I’ve been able to watch play over the past couple of years, and know that they are staying in the NHL. It was the anti-rookie box and it made me feel good while opening it and reaping the rewards afterwards of some solid hits all around.

Now I’m not saying get rid of rookie cards or memorabilia hits. They are definitely needed in the hobby. They are cheaper for companies to attain and produce, and are sometimes the only cards you might find of someone for a few years. We saw what happened with Jeremy Lin. But does every single product need to contain all these rookie hit cards? Absolutely not. And that disappoints me.

It can be better. I think it may come to the point where boxes of cards or products need to guarantee at least one veteran autograph per box and one rookie autograph per box. I’ve said before, how much more is an autograph of someone like Logan Mankins, Jeff Saturday, or skill position players that aren’t exactly superstars, but everyone knows their names? Fantasy football is huge, most people can name almost the entire set of skill positions on a team.

Or maybe a product where we don’t have rookie autographs. Panini Classics hockey was fun because you knew that you were going to get autographs of players you’ve seen skate before, some Hall of Famers, fan favorites, it was a fun product. Topps Fan Favorites baseball, same thing! Upper Deck Past Time Pennants, there have been some great products out there that give non-rookie collectors, non-flippers, something to collect.

Me? I may be biased because I don’t collect rookies and I generally don’t buy cards to flip them. I am really picky when I purchase my own cards. I make sure I know what I’m getting into and understand the hit checklists. I watch YouTube videos and read about box breaks on forums. I know what I want, and if the product doesn’t provide me with what I want, I choose something else. Yeah, I bought Topps Strata. I knew it was all rookie autographs, but it was a fun product with the technology. I also bought SPGU hockey because of the lack of rookies and all the veteran hits I saw coming out of it. I would of bought Museum Collection if prices didn’t skyrocket (missed the boat on that one.) A product with good veteran content is now too difficult to find, maybe 1-2 products a year out of 15 products per sport. And that disappoints me.

Give me a good product with one rookie hit, a few good veteran hits, and I’ll buy it every time.

Preview: 2012 Topps Supreme Football

Another quality product from Topps is on the way, and it’s 2012 Topps Supreme Football.

2012tsupremefb5

Collector’s should keep look for autograph relic cards. There will also be dual versions to be had. Also be on the lookout for the autograph rookie cards. It will feature 35 rookies.

The cards I’m looking forward to most are the autograph QB Playbook cards. There will be 7 different book cards that features a quarterback next to his favorite play. These will be hand drawn and signed in silver (on a black card). There is no doubt these cards will look amazing in person.

Another thing to look forward to are the Nickname autograph book cards. You can find up to 30 book cards that features a players nick name. Don’t forget about the relic cards, though. There will be Rookie Quad Relics, Rookie Quad Combo Relics, Primary Piece Relics and more!

2012tsupremefb10

Each box contains 1 pack with 4 cards. In each box, it will contain 1 autograph or  memorabilia card.

You can find the product at DA Card World for around $95 a box when it releases on February 20, 2013.

You can also find the checklist on the Cardboard Connection.

Card Companies: Please Keep Things Fresh

Keeping it fresh.

That should be the motto of card companies nowadays. There are many ways the card companies are keeping it fresh. New innovations in card technology. New types of memorabilia. All are great and should continue. The only issue with these is that they come out in the same products every year. So I propose a solution.

Rotating products.

Besides the flagship product, the sell-well mid-end product and the ultra high end product, there needs to be more change in all the filler products. Every year we have Panini Limited, we have Upper Deck SPx, we have Topps Opening Day. Why can’t there be new, creative products put out to mix in with those others that are put out year after year…and then just rotate them. Put out SPx every other year, put out Limited every other year, you get what I’m saying. Replace those spots in a calendar with a new product and see what works. You can build more hype, you have more opportunity to innovate, and it creates an atmosphere that is less stale.

It’s just an idea. I hate to see product go the way of the Madden football games or just become more repetitive in nature. It seems like companies don’t want to retire certain products when they have long outstayed their welcome. This would be a good way to change that.