Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball

Yes, you heard that right. 2011-12 Exquisite basketball from Upper Deck will be released this season, and in just 8 days. Unbelievable, you think. Well it’s true, and we have all the details for you passionate hardwood collectors out there.

Releasing on October 16, 2012, a day before my birthday (wink-wink Upper Deck), the high end favorite makes its return debut. Featuring 5 autographs per box, including one rookie autograph numbered to 199, this product packs a ton of ink into a small 6 pack box.

One of my favorite parts of the product is that at least one of the autographs is an Upper Deck Black autographed card. Upper Deck Black was one of those brands that just about every collector enjoyed, and it’s returning for a limited time in this product. Another cool thing, is like the football version, you’ll be able to find the Exquisite dimensions cards which add a very cool 3D look to the autographed cards.

Exquisite is definitely back in a big way, however, I’m not seeing any actual used memorabilia in this product, so that kinda bugs me a bit.

At $870 a box, it’s a HUGE gamble for a product that hasn’t been along in years, but has a great name behind it. If you open it, I wish you the best of luck.

Check out more about 2012 Exquisite basketball on Cardboard Connection.

Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey

One of the first complete hockey products of the season is ready to come out tomorrow, despite the NHL lockout continuing on. By complete, I mean there are rookies (although usually redemptions), game used, and autographed cards. Artifacts isn’t really a set builders set like the early season releases and features the hits.

Each box of Artifacts comes with one autograph and three game used memorabilia cards. These memorabilia cards will have at least one with multiple players and one that features some sort of prime memorabilia. You’ll also find two rookie cards and one rookie redemption. The main draws of the product are often it’s widely known design, rookie redemptions, and some awesome memorabilia cards.

Each box of Artifacts has 10 packs with four cards per pack, where you can find cards like the ones listed above. As usual, you’ll find your Tundra Tandems, Frozen Artifacts, and other game used cards. But this year you’ll also find Team Canada and Goalies insert sets that feature some sweet memorabilia pieces as well.

Artifacts has been around a long time and makes a great product to hype up the next NHL season. Only problem is, we might not have an NHL season nor do we know how many products may actually come out if the strike continues. Either way, Artifacts still looks to be a solid buy once again.

Again, the product streets tomorrow, October 2, 2012, for around $100 a pop.

For more information, check out the product information page on Cardboard Connection.

October 2012 Sports Card Releases

It’s October. The end of baseball season. The start of basketball and, well maybe, hockey. Football rages on as well as the products. And me as well, as my birthday falls in October and is one of the favorite days of the year for baseball collectors…can you guess which day? Anyway, products will be updated as I write the previews, so previews are coming soon.

BASEBALL:

2012 Topps Update Baseball – October 3, 2012 – $60 – 6/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Bowman Chrome Baseball – October 17, 2012 – $68 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Cooperstown Baseball – October 24, 2012 – $90 – 8/10

Panini’s ventures into baseball return with Cooperstown baseball, a product based around Hall of Famers and those with special displays in the Hall. Featuring some sweet autographs from legends in the Baseball Hall, you’re bound to find something you like if you’re a historian of the game.

BASKETBALL:

2011-12 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball – October 16, 2012 – $870 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Panini Threads Basketball – October 24, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

FOOTBALL:

2012 Upper Deck University of Alabama Football – October 2, 2012 – $45 – 6/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Certified Football – October 17, 2012 – $100 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Gridiron Football – October 24, 2012 – $110 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

HOCKEY:

2012-13 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey – October 2, 2012 – $96 – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 In The Game Forever Rivals Hockey – October 13, 2012 – $100 – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

SPECIAL:

Cryptozoic Big Bang Theory Season 3 and 4 Trading Cards – October 26, 2012 – $75 – 10/10

Bazinga.

Upper Deck Evolution Video Trading Cards in 11-12 The Cup Hockey

As a surprise from Upper Deck, 2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup hockey features their newest versions of their Evolution video trading cards, featuring some of the hottest rookies in the game today.

Each card takes the form of a redemption, with a player randomly being assigned to the holder of the redemption. These redemptions are then sent to the collectors with the player unknown until the collector opens their package. It’s interesting as it makes you feel like you are opening a pack all over again, really hoping to pull a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Gabriel Landeskog.

Now one of the big questions from collectors, with Upper Deck’s rival providing limited signatures on their video cards, is whether these cards will contain some ink from the player on them. Well, sadly, the answer is no. But I recently emailed super UD guru in Marketing Chris Carlin to ask why they decided against autographs. I’ll let his response speak for itself.

In our quest to innovate, we are trying to develop different types of trading cards that do not rely on the same old drivers that make them collectible like memorabilia and signatures. By creating innovative new content we are hopeful to inspire collectors to hunt different types of cards where original content is the main driver. That is the goal with Evolution at this time.

I, personally, applaud Upper Deck’s stance on this issue. It really is about time to change the dynamics of card collecting a bit. With game used memorabilia pieces and autographs driving the current market, the industry could use a kick in its ass to find some new content that will inspire and create hype for a product.

At the same time, as a collector, I really wish these cards had autographs on them. I mean, at this point, where else can you find a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins video card…let alone one with an actual autograph on it? I will never stop loving autographs, so I really wish they would have included them on these inserts.

What are your thoughts on the omission of autographs? Do you agree with Upper Deck or would you rather have some signatures on those video cards?

Read more about the cards on Upper Deck’s official blog.

 

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey

The Cup is coming.

We are less than one week away from one of the hottest releases of the season in hockey. The ultra high-end The Cup hockey is back for the craziest of hockey collectors. The one pack per tin product is always a hit and features some of the most valuable cards of the collecting season.

As is common with the product, you will find 5 card per pack/tin of The Cup. Some of the more valuable pulls are the rookie patch autographs which you find one per box. Upper Deck has stepped it up this year with an additional patch autograph in the product from either another rookie or a veteran. The final hit is another autograph, memorabilia, or rare paralleled card. To round out the box, you’ll have 2 base cards as well.

But it’s not just about the rookies. It’s also about the sweet veteran cards as well. With the Limited Logos insert set, you can find some of the greatest patches anywhere or patch autographs from some of the top talent in the game. Also popular is the Draft Board autographs which are back again, possibly for the final season due to who gets use of the memorabilia. You’ll also continue to find Scripted Swatches, autographed on-patch cards, and a fan favorite as it brings a ton of cash on the secondary market, NHL Shield cards.

The product is just loaded with everything that hockey collectors love, rookies, sweet patches autographs, legends, superstars, and book cards. The high price may scare some collectors away, but the die hard collectors know how great the product is time after time and love the rush.

The Cup is released on September 11, 2012, and should run you around $400 for a box if prices haven’t moved since last season.

For more information and a checklist when it’s available, check out the product details on Cardboard Connection.