Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball

The delays have finally come to an end.

2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro basketball is set to make its anticipated debut on September 6, 2012. With classic Fleer/Skybox designs from the 80s and 90s, it brings the feeling of nostalgia when collecting as a little kid.

With an autograph checklist that has some promise, the product looks to be a great product for autograph hunters from your favorite stars of the NBA past and rookie stars. With players in their college uniforms, it also brings a different element to basketball cards that you haven’t seen anywhere else since the original designs featured NBA logos. It may take a bit getting used to though.

But from looking at the 2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro checklist, it looks like we are seeing the same players time and time again from Upper Deck as far as their “legends” are concerned. The rookies change every year, but they aren’t really allowed to use current players…which kinda sucks.

Another issue I have is the hefty price tag. At $300 a box, it is a high end offering. A full box consists of 20 packs and 5 cards per pack. You’ll find 6 autographs in your box and only 4 inserts. I guess that adds a little value to the inserts, but we’ll see how that works out. It just feels overpriced to me. But the inserts are the inserts you loved and enjoyed as a kid if you’re around my age. Precious Metals, Jamalaya, and Intimidation Nation are all in there for you to grab.

I’m not sure if it will live up to the hype or the anticipating will be worth it, but I really hope I’m wrong for Upper Deck’s sake.

At least it shouldn’t be as bad as Signature Edition baseball.

September 2012 Sports Card Releases

Now I did terrible on previewing for the August sports card releases. I blame that of course on my wedding and honeymoon. Grad school isn’t as big of a hurdle as family coming into town and being in a few foreign countries without decent internet access. So as always, here is a list of products coming out this September including my rating of excitement.

Baseball:

2012 Topps Baseball Minor League Heritage – September 12, 2012 – $68 – 6/10

A product I still personally don’t care about makes a return featuring some of the best prospects in the game that are currently down on the farm getting ready for their call ups. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Triple Threads Baseball – September 19, 2012 – $200 – 7/10

Never really been a huge fan of the product and have been advocating a complete change over or removal of the product, but it’s coming out again for another season. Some nice cards to be had though, it’s just a matter of preference. Full preview coming soon.

Basketball:

2011-12 Upper Deck Fleer Retro Basketball – September 6, 2012 – $300 – 7/10

I’m not sure what to expect in this product from Upper Deck, but from what I’ve seen it’s a lot of old Fleer designs with rookies and legends of the game in their college uniforms.

2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball – September 14, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Getting into more of the full season of NBA products from Panini with their second release of the season, before the season even starts! Full preview coming soon.

Football:

2012 Panini Momentum Football – September 12, 2012 – $200 – 8/10

This looks like a great rookie product from Panini which features some sweet rookies, some sweet autographs, and some sweet memorabilia cards. A whole lot of hits in this product.

2012 Panini Prominence Football – September 19, 2012 – $100 – 7/10

More from the hottest rookie class in years with another Panini debut in their football brands. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Platinum Football – September 12, 2012 – $110 – 8/10

Not a bad looking product from Topps with 3 autographs per box and a ton of refractors, especially with this awesome rookie class. But Topps and foilboard? OHMAHGERD! Full preview coming soon.

2012 Upper Deck University of Alabama Football – September 25, 2012 – $46 – 6/10

Roll Tide. Upper Deck comes out with another college football team themed product after last year’s products. I wasn’t a fan then, not really a fan now. Full preview coming soon.

Hockey:

2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey – September 11, 2012 – $400 – 9/10

One of the best all around products of the year returns again as the final product of the 2011-12 hockey season from Upper Deck. Will it live up to it’s usual hype? Probably. Full preview coming soon.

2011-12 Panini Dominion Hockey – September 26, 2012 – $400 – 9/10

The competitor to The Cup is coming back for it’s sophomore season making the necessary improvements it needs and it looks fantastic. Will it finally dethrone The Cup?

Other:

2012 Upper Deck SP Authentic Golf – September 25, 2012 – ? – 8/10

Golf has made it’s return and it features some sweet autographs including the first ever autographs from Ernie Els! Full preview coming soon.

August 2012 Sports Card Releases

It’s August and heading into the dog days of summer. My August is filled and busy with tons of stuff which will cause me to miss a lot of blogging time. At least I should have all these previews out beforehand…well, I hope.

Baseball:

2012 Panini Cooperstown Baseball – August 22, 2012 – $90 – 8/10

A set dedicated to the baseball hall of famer, Cooperstown features a number of hall of famers or players with displays in the most famous little town in baseball.

2012 Panini Triple Play Baseball – August 1, 2012 – $24 – 7/10

Quite possibly the most kid friendly product in all of sports, this $1 per pack product features some fabulous comic book style artistry from some of the games top players along with some actual eye black you can use. Pretty sweet stuff.

2012 Topps Finest Baseball – August 2012 – $110 – 8/10

No preview.

2012 Topps Chrome Baseball – August 2012 – $72 – 7/10

No preview.

Basketball:

2012-13 Panini Hoops Basketball – August 17, 2012 – $68 – 8/10

Panini Hoops returns. Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball – August 29, 2012 – $96 – 8/10

Panini’s full schedule of products is back and Prestige is included. Full preview coming soon.

Football:

2012 Panini Momentum Football – August 29, 2012 – $200 – 8/10

Panini Momentum is released for it’s rookie season featuring some great looking hits and rookies in a product that should deliver some solid hits all around for those hit lovers out there.

2012 Panini Rookies & Stars Football – August 22, 2012 – $96 – 7/10

Rookies & Stars makes an upgraded return. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Finest Football – August 22, 2012 – $100 – 9/10

I really enjoyed this product last year, and this year looks to be another great year of Finest. Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Football – August 8, 2012 – $57 – 9/10

The first real football product of the year from Topps is released. Full preview coming soon.

2011 Upper Deck Exquisite Football – August 15, 2012 – $555 – 8/10

A bit overpriced this year and very late, Upper Deck releases this year of Exquisite football looking as good as ever featuring college uniforms, 3D autographs, and more.

Hockey:

2012-13 Panini Score Hockey – August 24, 2012 – $30 – 8/10

The low end highlight of the hockey season will arrive once again at $1 per pack. Full preview coming soon.

2012-13 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Hockey – August 14, 2012 – $59 – 7/10

Upper Deck’s lower end offering is back as well. Full preview coming soon.

2011-12 Panini Prime Hockey – August 17. 2012 – $200 – 9/10

A fantastic looking new product from Panini featuring some fantastic prime memorabilia and autographs. This may be one of the better higher end products coming from Panini this year.

2011-12 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey – August 7, 2012 – $97 – 8/10

Usually one of my favorite products of the season, Ultimate will return once again looking great but at a slightly higher price than usual.

Other:

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – August 14, 2012 – $74 – 9/10

The more I’m seeing of these types of products from Upper Deck, the more I’m liking them. Goodwin Champions returns as a multi sport type product from UD featuring some very cool inserts and sketch cards.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey

With a release date pushed back to August 7, 2012, Ultimate Collection is the calm before the storm that is Upper Deck The Cup hockey. Ultimate Collection is one of those single pack products that features a couple of game used and autographed cards, usually one of the favorite products by Upper Deck fans everywhere.

Every four pack/box of this product features one autographed card, one game used memorabilia card, one rookie, and one base card. Every card in your box will be numbered to less that 399. That’s really the basics of the breakdown of a box, but your rookies may also come autographed or as a patch autograph.

With Ultimate Signatures returning and the addition of 1997 Legends Signatures cards, the autograph lineup looks to be pretty decent. Despite the weaker rookie class, your darlings in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landeskog will be the hot pulls in this product for rookies. But you can’t count out the legends and popular veterans this product is sure to have included as well.

You will also find your regular old memorabilia cards as well, which begs you to maybe think, are they even worthy of being in a product that costs about $100? A hit or miss autograph and a plain game used card will be in most boxes, and that is kind of hard to swallow. You can get a general idea based off last year’s review of this product.

So not only is August 7, 2012, my wedding day, it’s also the release of a very popular product.

Card of the Day: 2005-06 Upper Deck SP Game Used SIGnificance Dan Patrick Auto

With 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball released and some hot celebrity cards being pulled, like Kate Upton, it makes me ponder about the actual use of celebrities in sports card products.

For me, I know my opinion on the topic and stick with it. If you want celebrities in your products, they better be sports related. Having one set with a mix of celebrities is really as far as it goes before I want my head to explode. Allen & Ginter is it for me. However, having a related celebrity in other products isn’t terrible.

For instance, this Dan Patrick card is a great addition to the product because he is recognizable and directly relates to sports and the sport this card was inserted in, unlike Guy Fieri or boxers.

Dan Patrick not only was a great anchorman on SportsCenter, he is now a great radio host. Having his autograph would be an honor for any sports card collector or even fan and the card looks great.