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!

Today’s Interesting Blog Post: All About Cards

It usually takes a lot to get me to write something about what someone else has written. You may remember the last time I did it was the epic set of 2011 Topps Series II Monopoly baseball cards. This was a huge buzz around the blogosphere and even my post got a few people to go out to Wal-Mart and search for the elusive boxes. I do apologize for you wasting your precious gas money on that. But this time, you stay home.

One of my favorite sites to check out reviews of products and compare them to my own is All About Cards. I think he is a great reviewer of products and we often have the same ideas when it comes to the products we are reviewing. I mean, I am a huge self promoter but I really do like visiting his site for reviews. But the other day he posted a post so thought provoking, I have to share it with everyone.

Who Are the 2011 Topps Gypsy Queens?

I mean, this post is actually quite interesting. It really makes you think and look at cards just a little bit differently when you see something completely different. The level of detail and the keen eye it took to figure this out was actually pretty good in my opinion. If you don’t read that post, you are really missing out.

And I do enough self promotion around here so make sure you check out his blog for some extra review goodness of the latest cards to hit them streets. I approve of his reviewing and if I approve of it, it has to be good. My word has to mean something nowadays?

Preview: 2011 Topps Finest Football

2011 Topps Finest football, a staple in the Topps family of products, has returned and is looking much improved over the past few seasons of product. With a completely different look, new die-cut rookies, and some sweet patches included this year, 2011 Topps Finest football looks like an early hit with all collectors.

Every master box will contain 1 numbered rookie autographed patch, 1 autographed jumbo relic, 2 atomic die-cut rookie cards, and 2 Finest Moments insert cards. The great thing is that all rookies will be featured in NFL uniforms, as like Topps Inception, they will be edited onto the players to create a nicer look.

Each rookie autographed patch is numbered and comes in 5 different parallels up to a superfractor 1 of 1. These include 35 top rookies from this year’s draft who also appear in the base set. 20 of these rookies are featured in jumbo patch autographed cards numbered to just 5. There will also be at least 1 variation of these rookie autographs per case. You can also find those 35 rookies plus a select list of 15 veterans in the jumbo relic autographs as well available in 4 different parallels. You can also find dual and triple autographed relics as well.

You can find even more rookie autographs in the Finest Moments subset as well as other veterans of the game. So this appears to also be a very rookie heavy product.

But what should be a hit amongst collectors is the rookie die-cut atomic refractors. These rookies are die-cut beautifully and can even be found in an autographed version if you are lucky enough to find a superfractor. These cards look absolutely beautiful and I love the die-cut design being brought back by alot of companies. Finally, you should find 2 Finest Moments inserts as well, common with Topps Finest over the years.

Oh yeah, there is also 5 base cards per pack as well. But no one REALLY cares about those anymore. But they look great with 8 different parallels. You will find 12 packs per master box so that breaks down a good number of these beautiful cards.

This product is set to arrive on August 30, 2011, for a price at about $90.

Review: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter

It’s hard to believe but this is my first baseball card review. I love baseball cards and I love baseball. The first cards I ever collected were baseball cards. The first boxes of cards that got me back into the hobby in 2005 were baseball cards. I own more baseball cards then anything else. But I’m happy that 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter is my first baseball review because I have always loved Allen & Ginter since Topps brought it back from the dead in 2006.

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter has brought back the success of previous years in one of the most interesting and beloved sets of the year. From baseball players to famous beards and ships, Allen & Ginter is your source of both America’s past time and oddball cards that you can’t find anywhere else. With tons of minis and different types of short prints, it is a set collectors dream. With a large checklist of both sports and non-sports it is just a sports fan’s dream as well.

Base:

Inserts:

Relics:

Rip Card!!!

Design:

Sometimes practically the same design year after year is a good thing. When you’re going for the nostalgic, old school type set and basing your cards off that set, you still have to pay homage to the past. The sketches of the player with the splash of color in the background is what it has always been and that is classic. No frills or anything fancy here, just solid art work on these cards all around. I’ve always loved what they do with the relics as well and that is to put them in a larger frame that usually has like palm trees or something on it in nice colors. Every autographed card is hard signed and rip cards are fun and easy to rip. Nothing new, but sometimes new isn’t always better. Oh, and the Ascent of Man inserts are absolutely GORGEOUS.

Checklist:

I find this product extremely hard to review as far as the checklist goes. You have all the baseball players you need in this product. There are a number of SPs which is great and Ginter backs and Bazooka backs and black parallels. It’s fun to pull the parallels. The famous beards cards was pretty funny and I love the old school famous ships. Some of the people they chose from the world of entertainment, especially in the autographs area is the hard part though. There are some huge name on there, but also names which make you scratch your head. I might as well sign some cards for Topps if they are letting people like Chuck Woolery or the King of Cornhole. Which begs me to ask Topps to let me have some autographs in Ginter next year. I bet my cards would sell better on the secondary market then Jo Frost because I know what collectors like. My inscriptions would be epic. Just saying. Think Olbermann and Hayhurst combined.

Value:

The autograph ratio compared to relics this year is crazy and collation was terrible. If you are going to decrease the number of autographs then drop the price of the box as that is where things get expensive. The relics while nice, are just the same thing as every other product in baseball and Allen & Ginter in the past. Small relics that won’t fetch much on secondary market unless it’s a top celebrity like Shawn Michaels or Manny Pacquiao. The insert ratio of the major hits inside rip cards has been terrible as well. The product has been out a week and no one has seen a mini autograph or really any wood parallels or sketches yet. I know they are 1/1s and the reds are numbered very low but where are they? Maybe people just aren’t ripping the rip cards?

Overall:

Again, it’s hard to review something so beloved and at the same time such a wide range of different types of cards you can pull. The design is nothing new, but keeping it old is what the product is and you can’t change that for anything. The checklist is both jaw dropping and head scratching at the same time. Again, I’m going to make my play into the market next year as an Allen & Ginter signer because I think mine would be more interesting then half of the people chosen to sign this year. Not many people would know who I am, but I would make it collectible. Seriously, who wants Jo Frost or even knew who Jo Frost was and collected sports cards? Not really the target market. The collation problems and the lack of autographs while maintaining a higher price is kind of a disappointment as well. But there is nothing we can do about that. This product is often sold by the case because of how much people love it.

So here’s a pretty video of me opening my box of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter and you can see my reactions as I pull cards. This box will also be used for my 2011 Gint-A-Cuffs submission and hopefully I beat a couple other bloggers out there. But I will post more about my score when the scoring rubric is released.

Videos coming up shortly, uploading to the YouTube. You get to see me try and pronounce Penultimacy with my slight stutter. Not a pretty sight.

NFL Lockout To End This Week

With several articles pointing to the end of the NFL lockout this week, I am excited. Not only are teams and players going to be heading straight to training camp and getting ready for a great season of NFL action, card companies will finally be able to get pictures of players in their jerseys, with correct uniform numbers, and not taken at the Rookie Premiere.

No more pictures at the combine.

No more pictures at the Rookie Premiere:

No more staged photos with 00 on their chest:

It’s finally going to start heading back into the direction we all love. Action shots of hard nosed football at it’ s finest. That’s another reason to love the end of the NFL lockout.