Wednesday, September 30, 2009

National Treasures Sneak Peek


Well it appears that Panini is ready to play ball and work on card autos into the mix as today another sneak peak was deliverred via their Twitter feed. This is a look at National Treasures. I hope the released on-offs aren't a publicity stunt designed to deceive collectors that their products are moving to an on card format only to find a mix tiled towards stickers. This does look pretty tight though you have to admit.

Topps National Chicle Preview Gallery

I can't remember a year in which so many art themed trading cards were produced across all sports. Today via their Twitter feed, Topps released preview images of National Chicle Football. The artwork looks similar in some respects to Sportkings. What are your thoughts?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Social Media, Technology and The Hobby

Recent conversation on Twitter and a great post today at Sports Locker got me thinking about the ever evolving world we live in, our Hobby passions, technology and how they relate.

With the near extinction of brick and mortar hobby shops, collectors have needed to turn elsewhere to find their connection points with other like-minded individuals in the pursuit of trades, information, commentary, mindless bantering and playful trash-talking. All of these used to be staples at my local hobby shop until they closed their doors a few years ago.

Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, and message boards have provided an outlet for these connections and while nothing will truly replace face-to-face interaction, I can honestly say that I have made more meaningful connections since embracing the online collecting community than I did in years of frequenting my local hobby retailer.

Since utilizing Twitter, I have changed my opinion of its function as a true social networking tool. Intitially, as a blogger, I realized it was a viable broadcasting tool and also a convenient way to aggregate web content of interest to me. However, in the last few months, I have engaged in many real-time conversations, with a 2-way exchange of dialogue you can't necessarily get elsewhere.

For me, the culmination of social networking via the blogsphere came at The National in Cleveland in early July where I was able to meet and connect with Dave of Fielder's Choice and James of Sports Locker. In addition, I recently met Steve of White Sox Cards at a local ESPN event. These meetings, in all likelihood, would not have been made were it not for the blogsphere and Twitter.

Steve of the now retired Sports Card File, Chris of Freedom Cardboard, Mario of Wax Heaven, and Adam of Sports Cards Uncensored, and myself recently had a very lively exchange of thoughts and dialogue related to the nature of social networking and some of the inherent negative coverage online commentary seems to focus on at times, related to The Hobby.

Where am I going with all of this? I don't know really. I guess the idea of an eventual App on my Blackberry about the hobby I love got me thinking about how different the hobby landscape is now that technology has become such a huge part of it.

eBay, SportsBuy, CheckOutMyCards
Online Auction Houses
Online Merchants
Message Boards and Forums
Blogs
eNewsletters
Facebook
Flickr, Picasso, Slide
Twitter
Apps

If you transplanted yourself back in time, to say 1972, would you even know HOW to collect?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Future McFarlane SportsPicks To Contain Game Used Material?

Late Friday, McFarlane released details of a significant shift in their SportPicks product line from a marketing and collectibility standpoint. In an effort to add further value to the chase elements of their product, McFarlane is debuting the Collector Level program. Several tiers exist within the program, each with a different production run which will be serial numbered on the figure itself. McFarlane plans to incorporate game used material and possibly autographs into the product mix. The program is still in it's developmental stages. A list of FAQ's is available on the Spawn.com website, two of which are:

What's the Collector Level™ program about? We are expanding our current Classic Chase and Super Chase figure releases into a consistent marketing program by developing the Collector Level™. McFarlane Toys will produce special Level figures for the Collector Level™ program. There are six Levels in the program; Bronze, Silver, Gold, Premier, All-Star and MVP. Each Level matches to a limited production range. Nearly, every standard figure in a series will have an alternative figure; either a Collector Level™ or Classic Chase figure.

What's special about the Collector Level™ figure? The Collector Level™ figures are limited in production. Each Collector Level™ figure will vary from the standard figure by having alternate uniforms, base variations, trophies, awards, accessories, possibly authentic player signatures, original or replica sports memorabilia or even pieces of actual uniforms or equipment. Each Level figure will be sequentially numbered on the base, includes the players' last name and the series name for authenticity. Each Level will have a production range minimum and maximum quantity matched to the specific Collector Level™.

In addition to the Collector Level program that will roll out with 2010 products, another significant change has been made to the SportsPicks packaging, namely an all clamshell design. This is significant because as any figure collector knows, the collectibility and future value is heavily dependent on package condition. However, McFarlane's, like must figure, display best when freed from their plastic tomb. The clamshell packaging will although for easy access for display without hurting the packaging if the collector decides to sell. This is a VERY welcome addition. Cooperstown 7, is when these changes should begin to hit. You can read the complete press release with other FAQ's here.
What do you think of these changes?

GM's and Collectors Eye Cuban Defector Aroldis Chapman

If you play for the Cuban National Team and throw a 100+ mph heater, MLB GM's take notice. It seems every couple of years a young phenom matching that description manages to escape the oppressive regime in Cuba for a chance to play in the Bigs. Defecting today isn't like it was at the height of the Cold War, however, the word, and act, still carries significant meaning and despite our freedom here in the States, it's easy to forget the hardship many people endure to come here for a chance to realize their dreams.

Aroldis Chapman has been designated by MLB as a unrestricted free agents and the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox have all expressed an interest in the flame thrower. His bio in Wikepedi shows a resolute a determined spirt who has been called "one of the worl'd 3 best pitchers not in the majors." Chapman failed at an attempt to defect in the spring of 2008. Following the defection attempt, he was brought to Havana to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro, who gave him a conditional reprieve, suspending him for the remainder of the National Series season and also keeping him off Cuba's national team for the Beijing Olympics, but allowing him to return to the National Series and play in the World Baseball Classic.

Chapman remained determined to defect, waiting for the best moment to arrive. He successfully defected from Cuba while in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where the Cuban national team was participating in the World Port Tournament on July 1, 2009, by walking out the front door of the team hotel and getting into a car driven by an acquaintance.

Chapman already has several rookie cards on the market, all from Topps including Bowman and Bowman Chrome. You can find a complete list of current offereings on eBay, here.

A Great Time of the Year!!

After enduring what has been a brutal last 6-weeks of baseball in Chicago, and with no compelling division races to tune in to nationally, I am SO ready for MLB Playoffs to start.

Couple that with the NFL season being in full swing and some highly touted rookies performing above expectation (Percy Harvin, Mark Sanchez immediatly come to mind) and tht NFC North proving to be a nail-biter all year, with the Vikings, Bears, and Packers, all jockeying for supremacy, and the 2009-10 campaign is shaping up to be great.

However, most importantly to this blogger is that the puck drops this week in the NHL!! Eager for the season to officially start hockey collectors will unfortunately have to wait for the first mid-range product to release. Upper Deck 2009-10 Artifacts is scheduled to release on 10/27

Per Box Highlights:

(3) Game-Used Memorabilia Cards and (1) Autographed card per box (on average)!

Key rookies: John Tavares, James Van Riemsdyk, Cody Hodgson, PK Subban

Get 2 RC's and 1 Rookie Redempton card per box

Pack out configuration: 4 cards per pack, 10 packs per box

Presell Price: $81

For those of you that can't wait, you can pick up Victory of Fleer Ultra. I actually like the Fleer Ultra brand and would like to Upper Deck utilize this for baseball. As for the Series 1 flagship release, November 10th is the date to get your hands on one of the Hobby's most coveted RC lineups int he form of Young Guns.

Per Box Highlights:

Rookie Cards
Young Guns – inserted 1:4


UD Game Jerseys – inserted 1:12

Pack out configuration: 8 cards per pack, 24 packs per box

Presell Price: $62

I am really hoping the young Blackhawks can capitalize on the moment from last year and their playoff series wins. However, I do believe they are going to miss Marty Havlat more than they realize. As Scotty Bowman and company lead the organization for the first full season, hopes and expectations are high.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blogosphere to the Rescue?!?

Yesterday in attempting to MOVE some images to CD, freeing space on an external hard drive, I lost a 10 year sports card image gallery archive that I use as a reference library.

My exacts actions were to:

1) Highlight folder
2) Edit- MOVE to E: (CD/DVD Drive)
3) Write files to CD

The folder is on the CD but it is empty AND the source folder is empty. Nothing was in the Recycle Bin and a system search for one of the sub folders AND a specific jpeg, resulted in nothing being found.

In looking at both my HP System Recovery and Windows XP Recovery tools, I can't seem to find an option to simply restore the external hard drive without restoring the whole system which I don't want to do.

Any ideas guys?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sportkings Redux, College Style- Introducing Press Pass Fusion

Capitalizing on the success of Sportkings multi-sport over the last few years, Press Pass is scheduled to deliver their own attempt at a multi-sport product combining; baseball, basketball, football, MMA, NASCAR, and Olympics into a single product called Fusion. Beckett Sucks was provided an exclusive first look late Friday but I did manage to track down some details and an image elsewhere.





Press Pass appears to have a pretty deep photo vault and some of the cards will showcase never before seen images. All autos will be on card which has become a standard for PressPass. The exclusive collegiate license doesn't take affect until April of 2010 so the company is obviously looking to cash in before that time.

The Details: (Presell at DACardworld and Blowout Cards $61.99)

Approximate Release Date: 11/14/2009

Highlights: Look to pull (2) Race/Game-Used Memorabilia or Autographed cards per box

Configuration: 8 packs per box, 5 cards per pack

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 9/19-9/25

youtubeCreator's Corner, an all-in-one-resource for video-makers, is live: http://bit.ly/4BdW2j Tutorial vids, badges for your site & more from bit.ly

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FCBsportscardsSome things for IP autograph seekers to remember. http://bit.ly/2OAewP from Facebook

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SI_24SevenSI's Cheerleader of the Week: Danielle Hilliard from Univ of Western Ontario- http://bit.ly/tNS36. Full gallery and interview on SI.com from CoTweet

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PlanetXbox360Best news out of TGS 2009 so far is that Splinter Cell Conviction coming February 2010, w/ all-new trailer: http://tiny.cc/GmDWJ from web

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Microsoft_XboxXbox 360 LIVE Update today. No new features or changes. This update is preparation for additional system enhancements later this fall. from web

IGNcomErik went to Japan and got a Splinter Cell preview, trailer, and release date for ya: http://xbox360.ign.com/arti... from web

PlanetXbox360Eidos reveals "Prey in the Darkness" as free DLC for Batman: Arkham Asylum, it's available tomorrow: http://tiny.cc/cxSm3 from web

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IGNcomEliza Dushku talks to IGN TV about Dollhouse Season 2, including Summer Glau joining the show and more. http://bit.ly/2As02m @ericign from web

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IGNcomJim Here: Second DLC Pack for Batman: Arkham Asylum Revealed http://ps3.ign.com/articles... from web

IGNcomJim Here: Netflix Wants to be on PS3, Wii Eventually http://ps3.ign.com/articles... from web

sportscardsNew Article Published:: Blowout Cards Weighs in on the Kanye West's Recent MTV Debacle http://bit.ly/4hkS8p from Twitter Tools

sportscardsNew Article Published:: Baseball Cards Are Art Too: The Met Houses Historic Collection http://bit.ly/wA0M1 from Twitter Tools

SI_24SevenThe Coffee Break Photo Gallery: Athletes Who Couldn't Stay Retired - http://bit.ly/207l28 from CoTweet

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IGNcomIGN picks some of the greatest Superman/Batman team-ups... and battles. http://comics.ign.com/artic... from web

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espnRenault avoids serious penalty in crash scandal - http://tinyurl.com/nppudb from API

SI_24SevenThe Coffee Break Photo Gallery: Best images from the Mayweather/Marquez fight - http://bit.ly/16zLQk from CoTweet

BLOWOUTCARDSMystery 'Gollum' creature found in Panama. Nothing to do with cards but Just odd. http://tinyurl.com/nog49j from web

Ve3troGamersGate Announces Batman: Arkham Asylum Gift Promotion http://tinyurl.com/nlohzo #gaming gaming from twitterfeed

SportsCollectorPhenoms Boosting Hockey Card Market: TV ratings may not raise eyebrows in the states, but the NHL card market is.. http://bit.ly/HuztJ from twitterfeed

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