With the second month of baseball season underway, the NBA and NHL playoffs beginning to heat up and the NFL just wrapping up the draft, May could possibly be one of the more overlooked sports months. While sports fans all over are strapping down while the action is heating up, card companies are keeping up with the increased activities this coming month as well. Fifteen new products are scheduled to hit the streets in the next four weeks, including some unusual and interesting stuff thanks to Topps Chipz and a Leon Sandcastle rookie card in Score Football.
Baseball2013 Bowman Baseball—May 8th
2013 Topps Museum Collection—May 15th
2013 Topps MLB Chipz—May 29th2013 Topps Archives—May 29th
2013 Panini USA Baseball—May 29th
With the return of baseball in 2013, fans all over the country can’t wait to witness the sophomore campaigns of one of the most exciting rookie classes in recent memory. Also breaking out after successful debuts last year are Topps products Archives Baseball and Museum Collection. One of the more successful high-end products last year, Museum Collection once again returns with a heavy list of autograph signers and game used cards, while Archives Baseball, a mid-range product, brings back its familiar retro feel of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Bowman Baseball and Panini USA Baseball are being released to eagerly awaiting fan bases too, giving collectors a glimpse of a new rookie and prospect class in addition to their favorite players in a new light. Finally, MLB Chipz is one of the most unique products of the year. Instead of using the traditional format for cards, players will be featured on, essentially, poker chips. It will be interesting to see how this product is received but it would definitely be a conversation starter on poker night.
2012-13 Leaf Best of Basketball—May 10th2012-13 Panini Past and Present Basketball—May 3rd
2012-13 Panini Brilliance Basketball—May 13th2012-13 Panini Momentum Basketball—May 15th
2012-13 Panini Elite Series Basketball—May 29th
As the NBA playoffs roll into the second round, only the strongest teams remain. In similar fashion Panini and Leaf are rolling out some big products this month as well. Leaf Best of Basketball is first to hit shelves on May 10th, a high-end buyback product featuring the some of the most popular basketball cards ever produced professionally slabbed or graded alongside an original autograph card. Some of the signers include Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Jerry Sloan. The remainder of May belongs to Panini, set to release Past and Present, Brilliance and Momentum in rapid succession and Elite Series at the end of the month. Elite Series and Momentum are both high-end products featuring a promising list of autograph signers and game-used cards. Panini is really looking to make a splash with the debut of Brilliance though, a mid-range product with something for everyone from set collectors to autograph chasers. With such strong lineups, the following weeks look to be exciting one for basketball collectors
2013 Leaf Legends of the Gridiron Football—May 10th 2013 Topps Archives Football—May 15th
2013 Press Pass Showcase Football—May 22nd2013 Panini Score Football—May 13th
Having been freshly rejuvenated midway through the off season by the draft, football junkies now have something to hold them over until opening kickoff a few months away. A wide range of football products hit the streets this month, from the high-end, hit based Press Pass Showcase, which is including autographs and game used cards from stars such as Robert Griffen III and Andrew Luck, to the low-end, set focused Score Football, celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year. In between those two fall Topps Archives Football, making its debut, and Leaf Legends of the Gridiron. Topps Archives Football is modeled after last year’s popular Archives Baseball set. The retro style product features fan favorite autographs, not necessarily stars, and lots of old school inserts. Leaf Legends of the Gridiron in the meantime, is made up of cut autos from some of the biggest names ever to be associated with the game. Production is limited to ninety-nine cases at twelve boxes per case though, so once this product is gone, it’s gone.
2012-13 In the Game Ultimate Memorabilia 12th Edition hockey—May 3rd
Hockey lovers won’t have to be distracted by busting wax during the Stanley Cup playoffs in the coming weeks. In the Game Ultimate Memorabilia is the sole hockey product breaking out in May. Ultimate Memorabilia is a high-end, hit based product where each pack includes one auto, one game used and one base card, guaranteeing ten hits per box. Redwings fans have something else to be excited about, as every case contains a Steve Yzerman Anthology hot pack. While hockey products may be scarce this time of the year, Ultimate Memorabilia will be sure to be a nice companion set while enjoying the playoffs.
Last year the 2011 Rookie Premiere class was very strong with lots of guys achieving greatness. Success on the field translates to higher values in the hobby. The 2012 Stage has been set. We are all waiting to see who is going to be the guy this year. Obvious names come to mind like: Andrew Luck, RGIII, and Trent Richardson. There is 35 guys at the 2012 NFL Rookie Premiere. These 35 gents will be in every single product from now till the last product comes out in April of 2013. Last year there was over 31 licensed NFL products. This year there maybe more. Get yourself acquainted with these gentlemen because your going to be seeing there mugs in wax for along time. You don't want your auto jersey card to be the 2012 version of Bilal Powell or Jordan Todman . What I've done here is compiled some stats and formulated an opinion on who to buy,sell, and or hold. This will be a 3 part segment as I cover all the guys who participated in the premiere. Keeping check back!
I look forward to the first products that come out. 2012 Panini Prestige looks amazing. They did much better with it this year. The checklist mix of veterans to rookies is great . 2012 Bowman Signatures Football seems to be a killer as well. 5 autos per pack and the product is sold out and climbing in price.
Joe Adams WR/PR
Team: Carolina Panthers
4th rounder 104th Overall
HT 5-11 Investment Rating 5
Home-run potential with great speed. Adams will have first crack at Punt Return job. Joe's small size may prevent him from being a number one. He is similar size wise to Steve Smith who will mentor him. Carolina's receiving core is crowded with "premiere" busts such as: Edwards, Lafell, Gettis. At best i see him as a 2012 Randall Cobb. Which isnt a bad thing. He will be a low investment at the beginning of the season due to being a 4th rounder. If the price range is a low enough it may be worth the investment.
Coby Fleener TE
Team: Indianapolis Colts
2nd rounder Overall 34th
HT 6-6 Investment Rating 8
Indianapolis is Getting the band back together. I can hear the song "reunited" playing while Indy makes this pick... but truly they never really were separate. The love affair in Stanford continues in Indy. The best friend a rookie Quarterback can have is his tight end. Fleener is already being shown on early depth charts as the number one Tight End. He could have a monster season. From a collectors stand point he could achieve Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, or Aaron Hernandez status next year. Good long term investment but you wont be getting him cheap as this guy is in no way flying under the raidar. I wonder how many dual Luck/Fleener Autos there will be this year? Im buying and waiting for a big game or two.
Michael Floyd WR
Team: Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 Overall 13
HT 6-1 Investment Rating 6
College Notre Dame
Who better to learn from than the great Larry Fitzgerald. The only problem i have here is i don't see Kevin Kolb being a great Quarterback. Michael is big and physical and can make tough catches. You just need someone reliable to throw to him. The Manning sweepstakes had Card fans dreaming of 18 and after it didn't happen they chose the only option they had left in Kolb. Floyd will more than likely be the teams number two or at least third wide out on the depth chart. He will get alot of looks as Larry will more than likely be quadruple covered. If I was any defending team I'd put Eight on Larry and count alligators haha. From a collecting standpoint this could be a great long term investment. Odds say most Rookie Wide Receivers will not get 1000 yards in there first season. There has only been 5 or so in the last 15 years. Like most successful wide outs i see him on the three year plan. Cardinals players don't have a high value for autos/mem unless your Larry. I'd buy in on a few and take the chance. He will get plenty of opportunities I just don't see him ever being a top ten with Kolb. Im buying at a good deal and holding.
Lamichael James RB
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Round 2 Overall 61
HT 5-7 Investment Rating 7
If you can't beat em join em. Coach Jim Harbaugh suffered two losses to Oregon when he was head coach at Stanford. James left a good enough impression on him to get him to draft James into a already super crowded back field. The 49ers have Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Kendall Hunter, and Anthony Dixon already on the depth chart for running backs. Some may say this will be too hard for James to make an impact. Frank does not have much left in the tank. Jacobs is a one year goal line solution. I can see the future of the 49ers running game two years from now being based on Hunter and James. I can even see James being a top ten. Harbaugh is very creative with his play calls and may even get James in 10 snaps a game early on. James is a few injuries a way from being last year Demarco Murray. Demarco's cards sold very well and continued to sell even after the injury. 49ers have a big fan base and would be considered a larger market team. This translates to higher values in the card industry. Im buying and holding.
Brock Osweiler QB
Team: Denver Broncos
Round 2 Overall 54
HT 6-7 Investment Rating 9
College Arizona State
The heir to Peyton Manning in Denver. Unlike Tebow Elway has came out and said how much he likes Brock and that Brock is the QB of the future. That speaks volumes because Elway is the Obama over in Colorado. He basically hated Tebow's face and next thing you know Tebow is bunking with Sanchize. Brock will have no problem seeing over the offensive line. He can also take a hit or two. His mechanics are clean and some claim he was the biggest steal in the draft. Why I see him as a 9. The hype over RGIII, Luck, Tannenhill, and even Weeden will have collectors forgetting about Brock. Once some of the first products get released everyone will have the same Cam Newton fever with RGIII. With Osweiller you may have to wait 3-4 years for this investment to pay off but the kids upside is Tom Brady-esque. I know who I am PCing this year.
Trent Richardson RB
Team: Cleveland Browns
Round 1 Overall 3
HT 5-11 Investment Rating 5
I can hear the boos already. I have a couple reasons at having Trent at a 5. From a collecting standpoint he will have so much hype that people will overpay for his first cards. Not much room to grow there. He's very talented don't get me wrong. He's built like Steven Jackson and even comes with the dreads. Getting him out of a pack means payday. I think he's a sell candidate on the investment scale. The other reason i have him so low is that i had a chance to meet him at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas. Panini was kind enough to bring him there and have him sign for free. My partner is a big Rams fan and some mock drafts had the Rams possibly interested in getting him. I asked him about St Louis and his reply was "I don't care who picks me as long as I get paid". At the end of the day money is important to athletes don't get me wrong. I just don't think you need to portray it that way to the media and fans. It made me put him into the Chris Johnson category. Has a few good years and then lets the money get to him. Im selling hard.
Ruben Randle WR
Team: New York Giants
Round 2 Overall 63
HT 6-3 Investment Rating 6
The Giants have an eye of drafting talented wide outs. Hakeem Nicks was selected after Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree, Darius Heyward-Bey, and Jeremy Maclin in 2009. Same with Randle he fell farther than some thought. He was touted at the beginning of the combine but fell as he had a lackluster combine. Its a good thing that games aren't won at the combine. He's already predicted to be number 3 behind Cruz and Nicks. Eli Manning as we know shows no favoritism to any receiver. Get open and he will get you the ball simple as that. Like San Francisco The Giants are a large market team and they tend to pay for there rookie cards. Jerel Jernigan sold for way more all year last year just because he plays for the football Giants. Film guru Cosell claims Randle is very smooth and athletic and can line up on the outside. This translates into big plays. Big plays equal big pays in the card industry. I think he may need to mature so im buying and holding.
Check back as the rest of the rookies are put under the microscope
CBS couldnt be more wrong with there recent expose that the hobby is dead. The old way of doing the hobby is dead. This is 2012 and social media/ebay is what drives this market. See the expose here. This isnt new news to some but i wanted to use the story to segway in to the great things that are going on for this hobby in 2012. The old way of trading like in Parsippany NY (shown in expose) is dead. CBS should also point to how ebay/amazon has taken sales from certain industries. Its not a revelation that alot/most things are bought on the internet. The internet works for things that dont have to be tried on and or touched. Trading cards are easy to ship and you dont have to try them on. Trying on a trading card would be super wierd. You could make a trading card jacket like that topps guy. So show dealers have moved to ebay. This isnt a kids hobby and thats what the story shouldve been on. The "meat" of the hobby is the rediculous 1/1 patch auto that everyone dreams of you look at box breaks and checklist on line now and that's what creates excitement! I just pulled my first personal superfractor the other day and the dopimine rush was crazy. I rank the feeling up to the feeling i got when Brian Wilson got that last strike to beat the Texas Rangers and win the Giants a World Series in 2010. My girlfriend has that on video somewhere. Maybe ill share someday.
2012 Football is going to be nuts! Last year there was Cam. This year its like there are 2 guys as big as cam. Luck and RG3. RG3 is the real deal. Im thinking this guy is the messiah to the Redskins. I laughed when they traded away so much for the spot. After hearing his interview i was thoroughly impressed with his smarts. He seems to have the athleticism, smarts, and leadership ability. Suddenly the redskins are now relevant in the group break world! Andrew Luck has been touted for years. I personally think it was Harbaugh's system that helped Luck thrive. After seeing what Harbaugh did with Alex Smith last year I'm eating what Harbaugh is serving. Who's got it better than us? Not the colts . What i do think is that Luck will have this year to follow flat on his face. They brought in Fleener for familiarity. Teams will be put Luck on his back especially with no running game in Indy. If the Colts go 5-11 or better i think Luck's value on his cards are safe. This years products with first rookie cards kick off with 2012 Bowman Signatures Football and 2012 Panini Prestige Football. 2012 Bowman Signatures promised 5 autos and is already highly allocated. Our allocation got cut severely. This point in the season all these rookies are like lottery tickets. They have one good game ( ala randall cobb) and they can double/triple in value. Since they havent played there is hope for every team. Once there team gets knocked out or they havent played (injury) there value drops signifigantly. No one once to invest in Jordan Todman. 2012 Panini Prestige is coming out right after Bowman Sigs. Panini's strategy is "Rookies in there NFL Uniform" which is a big selling feature. The checklist seems stacked as they've secured all the big names. Last years prestige flopped. Partly due to the NFL lockout. Lets hope this one is a home run. It promises 2 autos and 2 mem pieces. The big 2 players will obviously carry both these products. The other rookies that will be hot will be all the other "skill postion" players: Trent Richardson, Ryan Tannenhill, Weeden, Martin, Fleener, Jenkins, Quick, Pead, Lamichael. Cant wait for the announcement of the rookie premiere because that shoot is so important to everyone who buys FB products
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The highly anticipated and allocated 2012 Topps Tribute has been released last friday. Last years success has left collectors yearning for this years high end set. Topps made a few changes but kept the concept of tribute basically the same. Encased hits! Topps saves money for you! No more do you have to run to your lcs and pick up the correct size ultra pro for your Tribute. The encased hits also have a seal on top. This may or may not add extra value to the cards down the line. A negative for those who like to finger jersey and or bat pieces. Im a fan of the encased hit. They added it in last minute. Im not sure if topps was afraid that the set was going to flop so they felt they needed to add more value or just wanted to be creative and different. Maybe product design opened alot of 2010 Plates and Patches Football? New to the product is the absence of jersey autos. Im not sure what direction they were going with this one. Each box promotes 3 mem pieces and 3 autos. Doing away with the mem autos made it easier for QC? Not sure but i was a fan of the jersey autos last year. Most cards are all on card autos so its pry easier to have them sign with out a jersey piece on the card. Topps did do an excellent job of keep redemptions to a minimum. The redemptions that are pulled in this set are guys that topps HAVE to have in this product. Hank Aaron, Eric hosmer, Matt Kemp, Yu Darvish, Ken Griffey JR, and a few more.
Early posts on forums had us worried about this product. I dont know if id say its better than last year but its close. The on card autos are awesome feature and the correlation of guys are great! Yes there are a few schlub autos but not every box can have a Aaron, or Mantle. We did 6 boxes on sunday and it was pretty solid. We had autos from: Hank Aaron, Eric Hosmer, Carl Yaz, Ernie Banks, Gary Carter, Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, Starlin Castro, and more we had Mem Pieces from Mickey Mantle, Dave Winfield, Chipper Jones, Adrian Gonzales, and more. All in all very solid 6 boxes and i reccomend this product as a buy. The prices may shoot up to the 400 dollar a box range like last year