Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Vintage Consignment- Part 6 (Fleer Laughlins)

Fleer's foray into baseball cards began in the 1959 when Fleer was able to sign Ted Williams away from Topps in what was truly the first player exclusive licensing deal. The resulting coup led to the Fleer Ted Williams set. Fleer returned in 1960 and 1961 with the now famous Greats of the Game sets depicting some of the greatest players of all time. In 1963, Fleer mysteriously released and then abandoned a 66 card set of current players.

Skip ahead to 1970-1972. Fleer commissioned artist R.G. Laughlin to produce a World Series set that released in 1970 and was then replicated in 1971. Interesting to note, that both sets bear the copyright of 1968 causing confusion to many collectors through the years.

In 1972 Fleer released a Famous Feats set in an oversized format measuring 2-1/2" x 4" and again being penned by Mr Laughlin.

Below from from left to right are sample from 1970, 1971, and 1972. Interesting to note in comparing the 1970 and '71 World Series cards is the incorporation of the MLB logo into the 1971 design.

In total, I found (7) 1970's, (15) 1971's and (1) 1972.

To learn more about Fleer's Laughlin series, this is a great article by Alan Kleinberger at Sports Collectors Digest.

The Vintage Consignment- Part 5 (1961-1964)

Sometimes it best to let the picture speak for itself. You know what they say,
"A picture is worth a thousand words."



Top Row (left to right) -
1961 Bill Mazeroski, 1962 Juan Marichal, 1962 Robert Clemente
Middle Row (left to right) -
1964 Roberto Clemente, 1964 Whitey Ford, 1964 Juan Marichal
Bottom Row (left to right) -
1964 Tommy John RC, 1964 Willie Stargell

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The New Season Of Auction Report’s Internet Radio Show For 2010 Starts Monday January 4th | Auction Report

The New Season Of Auction Report’s Internet Radio Show For 2010 Starts Monday January 4th Auction Report: "Don’t Miss Out on Auction Report’s first radio program for 2010, premiering Monday, January 4th at 10:30 am CST. Each day, you will be able to tune in and listen to industry experts and collectors from around the country talk about the sports collectible industry, there collections, and other news about collectibles. Starting next week our featured guests will include, Rich Albersheim, Dan Wulkan, JP Cohen, Josh Wulkan, and Brian Drent. Click here for our complete radio show program schedule. You can listen live by going to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/auctionreport and if you want to call in and ask questions you can do so by calling (347) 324-5323. Archived of the radio show will be available on our web site following each show."

Movie Review: Diminished Capacity- More Than a Hobby Related Film


Last year, a critically acclaimed entry at the world famous Sundance Film Festival, put The Hobby center stage in a film called Diminished Capacity. Starring Alan Alda and Matthew Broderick, the film depicts the relationship between Cooper (Matthew Broderick) and his Uncle Rollie (Alan Alda) who both find themselves at cross-roads in their respective lives. Suffering from memory loss himself, Cooper has enough where-with-all to help his Uncle who is suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer's disease secure his financial future. Upon discovering that his Uncle is in possession of the (fictiously) rare T-206 Frank Schulte baseball card, they hatch a plan to travel back to Cooper's transplanted home of Chicago, to sell the card at a sports card collector's show.

Now there is a T-206 Frank Schulte in that famous set. In fact there are two. Card #'s 420 (Front View) and 421(Back View). However, neither are as rare as they are depicted to be in the movie, in fact the one pictured here is for sale on eBay as I write this. Schulte was a member of the last Chicago Cubs team to win the World Series in 1908. The film itself pokes fun at Cub's fans as Alan Alda's character (a die-hard Cardinals fan) refers to them as crazy, which is a comical statement coming from a man who is teetering on the insanity line himself.
The film itself is well written, having been adapted from a novel of the same name by Sherwood Kiraly. Alda delivers a memorable role that suits his personality and acting style very well. Broderick plays the straight-laced side kick to perfection and while the director was obviously trying to create a chemistry and kinship between the two, I felt like that aspect of the film never reached it's full potential.
There are definitely some comical moments, that provide needed levity, particularly at the card show where an alter ego of Alan "Mr. Mint" Rosen straight out of bizarro world attempts to deceive the the rightful owners of the card its true worth. Two other memorable lines are delivered by Dylan Baker who plays a local dealer and fanatic Cubs lifer and can be seen in the theatrical trailer below. I love movies and baseball cards which made seeing this movie a no-brainer. I recommend it as a good film and would give it 4 out of 5 stars.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Redemption Song

I'm probably preaching to the choir but one of the things I do after I redeem a card online is write down the date on the back of the card, I keep them in one spot in my desk. I usually forget they are even there until the card being redeemed arrives in my mailbox, or my memory is jogged. This week I received (3) rookie card redemptions; (2) from Topps Finest and (1) from Topps flagship.

The dates might be hard to read but going from left to right is what the card is and the date it was redeemed and received:

Topps Finest Rookie Card #2 Refractor Tommy Hanson

Date Redeemed: 5/10/09 Received: 12/21

Topps Finest Rookie Card #6 Kyle Banks

Date Redeemed: 5/10/09 Received: 12/29/09

Topps Red Hot Rookie #5 Nolan Reimold

Date Redeemed: 6/4/09 Received: 12/22/09

So, six and a half and seven and a half months for 3 non-autograph redemptions. Seriously, what is that all about? And don't give me they have to wait to the end of the season to determine who they are going to be. Bottom line is that redemptions, in any form, for any reason, still suck.

While we are on the topic, I'm still waiting for a redemption for Upper Deck who apparently has abandoned their 45-day turn-around policy. I redeemed a 2009 Heroes Football Legendary Heroes Paintings Auto Gold #ed to 25 of Randall Cunningham. A sweet card to say the least if it actually existed. Cunningham has been notorious for not returning autographs in a timely manner and I am surprised he is actually included in a company's checklist without stickers in hand. In this case the auto is supposed to be on-card which compounds the problem even further. That was on June 26th. A little over a week ago I put in a request for a substitute so we'll see what they send.

Product Preview and Image Gallery- 2010 Topps Pro Debut Baseball

Scheduled Release Date: Week of March 15th 2010
Pack-out Configuration- 18 packs per box, 8 cards per pack
Base Set: 220 Cards

Per Box Highlights- 2 autographs, 1 relic card (#'ed to 99 or less), 8 numbered parallels

To see the complete sell sheet, checklist and image gallery, go here.
Now, I have a question for you. Why wouldn't you just include the Aflac Auto as an insert instead of using it as a cut? That is sooo stupid.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Vintage Consignment- Part 3 (To Grade or Not to Grade)

There is a time and a place for everything and that includes card grading which can serve a specific purpose, particulalry with vintage and rookie cards. However, this, isn't one of them. As has been discussed on this blog and others, grading is a business, not a service, and not every card of value needs to be graded.

When it comes to the selling of vintage cards, (and when I use the term vintage, I am referring to cards prior to 1974) grading can be the difference between hundreds and even thousands of dollars. High-end set collectors who compete in the PSA Set Registry, for example, can turn a low series, common, into a highly coveted commodity, commanding top dollar.

The average or mean condition of the cards in this vintage lot range from VG to VG/EX. However, some of the cards including some key RC's have a chance of grading EX to EX/MT. When it comes to vintage grading, the only source I would even consider is PSA. And no, it's not because Beckett Sucks and their grading service creates all sorts of conflicts of interest, but I digress. Quite simply, PSA , more often than not, carries more weight in realized value on the secondary market when it comes to vintage cards.

A look at the grading standards utilized by PSA shows the following:

EX-MT 6: Excellent-Mint.
A PSA EX-MT 6 card may have visible surface wear or a printing defect which does not detract from its overall appeal. A very light scratch may be detected only upon close inspection. Corners may have slightly graduated fraying. Picture focus may be slightly out-of-register. Card may show some loss of original gloss, may have minor wax stain on reverse, may exhibit very slight notching on edges and may also show some off-whiteness on borders. Centering must be 80/20 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.

EX 5: Excellent.
Excellent On PSA EX-5 cards, very minor rounding of the corners is becoming evident. Surface wear or printing defects are more visible. There may be minor chipping on edges. Loss of original gloss will be more apparent. Focus of picture may be slightly out-of-register. Several light scratches may be visible upon close inspection, but do not detract from the appeal of the card. Card may show some off-whiteness of borders. Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.

VG-EX 4: Very Good-Excellent.
A PSA VG-EX 4 card's corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. The card may have light scuffing or light scratches. Some original gloss will be retained. Borders may be slightly off-white. A light crease may be visible. Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.

VG 3: Very Good.
A PSA VG 3 card reveals some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. Focus may be somewhat off-register and edges may exhibit noticeable wear. Much, but not all, of the card's original gloss will be lost. Borders may be somewhat yellowed and/or discolored. A crease may be visible. Printing defects are possible. Slight stain may show on obverse and wax staining on reverse may be more prominent. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back
.

Now, I have found several cards that I am debating on recommending the owner pony up the money for grading and here is an example . . .


A scan can only convey so much, and that is one of the precise reasons as a buyer, graded cards are so appealing. Because in all honesty, this card isn't in as good a condition as it appears in this picture. However, I do think that having it graded would increase it's selling price.
Referring back to the PSA standards and using a OC (off-center) qualifier, I would expect this card to receive a a grade of PSA 5 OC as under magnification I can see edge wear on the left side, slight fraying of corners, surface wear, but no creases.
At the end of the day though, grading is such a crap shoot on many levels. Not only due to the highly subjective nature of the grading process itself, but because of the fickle secondary market that seems based on timing. Take a look at recently completed auctions of this card to see what I mean. From a PSA 9 going for $3,450 on December 24th to a PSA 9 OC going for only $83.89 2 weeks ago.
Now this card won't come close to a "9", but a comparable example to this card might be that a PSA 6 sold for for $119 but non-graded cards, self described in the same condition (EX) sold in the $30 range.
With a $15 per card grading fee, AND 2 way S/H, you have to be pretty darn sure that your card will grade within a half point of what you think it will and in so doing will sell for more than that combined amount to make it worth the while.
So with all that said, with this particular card, what would YOU do?

The Vintage Consignment- Part 4 (Oddballs & Inserts)

When it comes to vintage cards, the late 60's and early '70's saw a wide variety of inserts and oddball sets. In going through the vintage consignment, I found several examples.

1) 1970 Topps Booklets- These booklets consist of a 6 page mini-comic book. There are 24 booklets in the set but unfortunately of the (16) I found, (5) were doubles. I only found (1) of the big 5 which include Willie, Mays, Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose, Ernie Banks and Bob Gibson. The Gibson I found has some sort of marker stain on two edges.














2) 1970 Topps Posters- Measuring roughly a square 8"x 8" the poster again came with a checklist of 24 but didn't duplicate the booklets and delivered even more stars including Roberto Clemente, Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, Johnnie Bench and more. Unfortunately the best I found of the (3) total was this Frank Howard.



















3) 1970 Topps Scratch-Offs- A simple game card on the reverse of a 4-color picture card depicting the player on the front. Finding these unscratched is very, very difficult and the (3) I found were no exception. Again, consisting of 24 cards with little if any duplication from the previous 2 inserts. Each insert type was most likely released in the different series to encourage kids to keep buying packs in order to find their favorite player, even if that favorite's base card had been released in a previous series. Major stars in this checklist include Carl Yastrzemski, Tom Seaver, Hank Aaron, and Harmon Killebrew to name a few. The (3) I found were Tony Perez, Willie Stargell, and Harmon Killebrew.













4) 1969 Topps Deckle Edged- Measuring 2-1/4" x 3-1/4" they take their name from their unique edges which are cut with a scallop effect. The checklist of 33 cards and again features some of the biggest names in the game including this one of Carl Yastrzemski which of the (5) I found was the best in addition to a Juan Marichel.


The Vintage Consignment- Part 2

Well so far, thanks to the long weekend with Christmas and all, I have managed to turn this . .


into this . . .


A couple of observations. You can really tell a lot about a person with careful examination of their collection.

1) Many of us have started collecting and then stopped for a wide variety of reasons. Looking at this collection you can see the rise, peak and decline of my co-workers childhood interest in collecting baseball cards. The left-most column contains cards from the 60's with the bulk of the row containing cards from 1969 as depicted by a relatively nice Tom Seaver card. Moving left to right their is an entire row for 1970 and 1971. The fourth row is comprised of 1972 and 1973 with the '72's accounting for 2/3rds of it. The final row is primarily dominated by 1974's and some 1975's. The back most part of the last row contains the equivalent of a pack from each year 1976-1979. Clearly in looking at this box you can see the peak of interest was 1970-1972. Being 8 years my senior he would have been 8 to 10 years old which makes perfect sense.

2) Favorite team. Much like a favorite stuffed animal that is figuratively, "loved to death" with missing eyes, matted fur, and stains, similar signs exist on baseball cards of a child's favorite team. In this case both Chicago teams are well loved with a preference towards the Cubs in particular as clearly seen by the pinholes, paper tears (from being taped to something- wall, locker, notebook, door?) creases and corner wear from being shoved into ones pockets.


3) Even back in the 60's kids hated getting cards of players in last year's uniforms. The number of cards I found with the team name crossed out and replaced with Cubs or White Sox is comical.

4) Checklists served a legitimate purpose. Highly coveted, they were the only way to make sure you had card of your entire team. It's not like you could go to Topps website and print out the checklist. Most of the ones you find from that era, and this collection is no exception, are well marked. That is why clean, unchecked samples command good money as they are numbered as part of the set itself.

I'll show scans of some of the other key cards found in a later post but also in a top loader in the above picture is a 1970 Thurman Munson RC, I also found (1) more '69 Reggie Jackson RC, lots of good condition cards of Pete Rose including 1970,71,72,73, and 74, a nice 1975 Robin Yount RC, a '69 Nolan Ryan and more goodies.

Now onto sorting cards from the other 3 sports. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 12/18 - 12/25

Great content from around the web- Musuc, TV, weird, hotties, photography, news, movies, comic books, video games, technology, The Hobby, and more.

gawkertv The Best Saturday Night Live Christmas Skits of All Time http://gawker.tv/5433952//gallery/ #tv #snl
about 10 hours ago from gawker.tv
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LIFE 35 Biggest Celebrity Stories of '09 http://su.pr/2p6QgH
about 20 hours ago from Su.pr
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PlanetXbox360 We look at the top 10 things Xbox 360 owners want for Christmas 2009, including one PS3 exclusive: http://bit.ly/5Yto7A
3:25 PM Dec 24th from TweetDeck
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GeekTyrant Producer Gives Hints On Upcoming DC Films, Including JUSTICE LEAGUE http://bit.ly/4mSXnX
2:32 PM Dec 24th from web
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GeekTyrant 2009 Movie Recap Video: 1 Year 342 Movies 12 months of production 7 minutes http://bit.ly/8Mn7Np
10:02 PM Dec 23rd from Tweetie
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SI_24Seven All-Decade Package: @si_photos 10 Best New Stadiums - http://su.pr/1CIBDN #ADP
5:15 PM Dec 23rd from CoTweet
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GeekTyrant WWII Horror Comic NIGHT AND FOG Gets Optioned for Film http://bit.ly/5khrc5
12:18 PM Dec 23rd from web
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gawkertv The Most Painful Figure Skating Falls http://gawker.tv/5433015/ #sports #fail
10:20 AM Dec 23rd from gawker.tv
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SportsCollector 20 Topps "Refocusing" on Kids, Less Clutter: Topps is hoping its new games hook kids on the brand, while redu.. http://bit.ly/4uJ1gI
5:56 AM Dec 23rd from twitterfeed
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nranews More guns, less crime: FBI reports crime rates continue to decline http://digg.com/u1IU4r
10:18 PM Dec 22nd from Seesmic
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GeekTyrant New ALIENS VS. PREDATOR Video Game Trailer http://bit.ly/5kZM57
9:29 PM Dec 22nd from web
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FCBsportscards Baseball America's Ben Badler gives us a list of prospects to look for in 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft. http://bit.ly/6EyosN
7:23 PM Dec 22nd from Facebook
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mental_floss 6 Animals That Prove Mother Nature Has a Sense of Humor -- http://bit.ly/4sOaBX
11:37 AM Dec 22nd from web
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boltbrowser Did Yelp walk away from Google's $500m offer as previously reported, or did #Google drop the deal? http://is.gd/5xt7C via@fiercemobile
10:37 AM Dec 22nd from Seesmic
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IGNcom Wrestling Wrap Up: Bret Hart returns to WWE! The Slammy Awards! Plus, TNA Final Resolution Results! http://go.ign.com/6HkeA9 @Fowler_IGN
9:33 PM Dec 21st from web
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SI_24Seven Brodeur sets all-time shutout record vs. Penguins http://bit.ly/7Drfkr
9:25 PM Dec 21st from API
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gawkertv Access Hollywood's Brittany Murphy Coverage: A Tragedy in Four Acts http://gawker.tv/5431727/ #tv #accesshollywood
9:20 PM Dec 21st from gawker.tv
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GeekTyrant Must Watch Fantastically Frightening Holiday Short Film, ALMA http://bit.ly/4rUwqD
6:35 PM Dec 21st from web
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CardInformant Rich's Ramblings - CBA and cards http://tinyurl.com/y8zd4p5
6:25 PM Dec 21st from web
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IGNcom NEWS FLASH: Batman: Arkham Asylum's Detective Mode needs to go: http://go.ign.com/5kxidt <3>

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Vintage Consignment- Part 1

On occasion, my "expertise" regarding sports cards is fruitful in more than one way. Knowing I am heavily involved in The Hobby, a co-worker about 8-9 years my senior, asked if I could help him with his childhood card collection. He has held onto it for years hoping someday his son might take interest. At this point he hasn't and wanted to free up closet space and in his words, "get what he could for them without getting ripped off by a dealer or retail shop." Not having the time or knowledge to deal with eBay I offered to sort and inventory what he had, and handle the listing, shipping etc of the cards in exchange for a percent of total sales.

He brought me in a sample assortment to make sure what he had was worth the trouble. After seeing that the majority of the cards were from 1965-1975, I gladly accepted the agreement. Actually it was going through the provided "sample" and finding a VG/EX 1969 Reggie Jackson RC that I just had to know what else was there.

Kids really did put cards in their bike spokes, and he was one of them. Had this collection of cards been stored properly they would be worth a lot more than what they will yield, but this is a classic win-win scenario in that he gets some cash, I get some cash, he frees up closet space, and I have a ton of material to write about. I have just begun sorting through this mess . . .


That, originated from, this mess . . .



. . . and I thought you'd like to see some of the better cards I have found so far . . . .

Yes boys and girls ,that is one of (4) Reggie Jackson 1969 RC's, a 1969 Mickey Mantle, a 1967 Eddie Matthews and Robert Clemente, and a 1962 Roberto Clemente. Pretty cool eh?

Stay tuned to what else I find, look for ALL of these cards, available soon, on my eBay widget in the sidebar, and for other stories related to this cool project.



Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Closer Look at the Chicago Blackhawks- Patrick Kane


Combined with the aforementioned Jonathan Toews from a previous post, Patrick Kane serves as the additional cornerstone to the Blackhawks young core of star players. Drafted as the #1 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, many an opponent have been outsmarted by Kane. What he lacks in size he makes up for in speed and stick handling and is equally adept at putting the puck in the net as he is looking to distribute it to one of his linemates.
His Wikipedia entry shows, "At the age of fourteen, Patrick Kane relocated to Michigan where he lived with former NHL player, Pat Verbeek, having been convinced to play for the Honeybaked AAA hockey club in Detroit. The club is a part of the Midwest Elite Hockey League. Kane's career with Honeybaked lasted for 3 years. The London Knights drafted Kane in the 5th round of the 2004 Ontario Hockey League Midget Draft, but Kane did not choose to play for the Knights until the 2006–07 season. Instead, Kane played for the United States U-18 National Team Development Program (NTDP) where he led the team in scoring with 102 points during the 2005–06 season. Kane's junior career started off with a bang. Playing on a line with Sergei Kostitsyn and Sam Gagner, he amassed 145 points for the OHL scoring title and combined with Gagner and Kostitsyn for 394 points."
On the rookie card front, again the staple would have to be the 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Gun RC pictured above. Another card seeing a current secondary market value indicative of a "buyer's market" now is the time to pick up a Kane RC for around $25 ungraded. Like the Toews RC this is another card that has tremendous upside when the Hawks eventually win The Cup. An increase of 300% is not out of the question.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Easy For You To Say Topps

Watch this short interview with Adam Zucker, head of international business development for Topps and come back to get my thoughts and share yours. Go ahead, I'll wait.



It's real easy to say the market was too crowded now that you are the only one allowed to produce MLB licensed trading cards. I agree with his argument to some extent with regards to the retail market but to make a blanket statement about The Hobby as a whole, to me, comes off as highly arrogant.

Retail is the primary distribution channel that will first attract a child to the sports trading card market and if you look at the shelves of Wal-Mart or Target, there is a lot of product. However, part of the confusion comes from the merchandising display of the product to begin with. While store managers and employees do their best to keep the shelves organized, inevitably, shortly after opening, those shelves are in disarray. And forget the pack searchers, I am primarily talking about Blasters. What needs to be done to correct this is to have partitioned spaced, physically divided by sport.

Also, if you notice, the TCG category is equally crowded between WOW, Magic, Pokemon and the various entertainment related, non-sports trading cards so to lay blame to an overcrowded and confusing market is an excuse and not the problem. The real problems as have been discussed many times on this blog run far deeper than "over saturation" or product selection. Their is a significant demand for a kids money and time, and in all honesty, tiny pieces of cardboard can't compete against a Facebook, XBOX, MTV, ESPN culture. Kids today are too savvy to be placated with "kid-friendly" products and actually resent the condescending marketing tactics that treat them like kids.

Why the hell would a kid want to play any version of Topps Attax, when they can play a video game? Motion controlled devices like the Wii or later this year XBOX's Nano are a gaming experience that Topps cannot begin to compete with with a TCG. If Topps is banking on trading card games and kids to help lift the trading card market they are in for a big surprise and utter failure.

So what is their solution besides re-positioning the category to misguidedly appealing to children? They are turning their attention on the international market to pawn their crap on the rest of the world. Zucker sites Topps licensing deals with various European soccer leagues, and a desire to enter the Asian and South American markets. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't one of the reasons the sport of soccer is immensely popular outside the US, is that the equipment needed to play the game is very inexpensive in relation to football, hockey or basketball? That leads me to believe that there isn't a whole lot of discretionary income in Indonesian 3rd world countries for such a trivial product as trading cards. Whatever, good luck with you marketing expenditures and product development in Fiji and Timbuktu.

How sad and infuriating that Zucker is spending company dollars to go to Indonesia on a business development discovery trip when REAL collectors like you and I have to put up with a continued lack of innovation, citing cost factors as being prohibitive to implementing the many, many ideas the blogsphere has developed and implored the trading card manufacturers to employ or at the very least experiment with.

WE, YOU AND I, the collector have become irrelevant because Topps knows that they can spoon feed us the same gruel year after year and some people will buy it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Plenty of Room on This Bandwagon

The resurgence of one of the most important franchises in the NHL, that of the Chicago Blackhawks, provides plenty of opportunity for collectors and speculators to acquire and cash in on rookie cards from this relatively young corps of emerging Hobby superstars. If you want to get in, it's not to late and trust me when I say that this team will contend for, and win, the esteemed Stanley Cup in the next few years.

Periodically I'll help interested parties identify the teams' stars, their rookie cards and current market value as well as my speculation on where those cards could go after the Blackhawks eventually win The Cup.

Hockey collectors differ from all other sports in a very significant way. While many do follow the same mold of traditional team oriented collecting, the hockey fan and collector has such an appreciation for the game that collecting the league's best players becomes a priority, regardless of what team they play for. Secondly, while a player's value will always be highest in the city he plays for, where that player comes from also carries highly competitive secondary market value tendencies. This can mean that a player such as Patrick Kane from Buffalo will not only have value to collectors in his home city but also the teams he played for in the Ontario Hockey League en route to the NHL. Combine all those factors with players of European decent and you add another geographic area where a player's card prices will be impacted.

Today we focus on The Captain, Jonathan Toews, the youngest player to wear the coveted "C" moniker on his sweater in team history. His Wikipedia entry states the following,

"Toews was selected first overall in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft by the Tri-City Americans, but chose instead to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota. Prior to joining the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, he played 2004–05 at Shattuck-St. Mary's, a boarding school in Faribault, Minnesota. He scored 110 points in 64 games in his only season with the team.

Toews played two seasons at North Dakota, compiling 85 points (40 goals, 45 assists), a plus-38 rating and a 56.7% faceoff winning percentage in 76 games. He helped the Fighting Sioux reach the NCAA
Frozen Four in both 2006 and '07. Toews' registered 39 points as a freshman and earned Rookie of the Week honours twice. He helped North Dakota capture the Broadmoor Cup as WCHA champions and also was named West Regional MVP after tallying five points.[3]
Going into the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Toews was ranked third overall by NHL Central Scouting[3] and was chosen third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.

In 2007–08, he opted out of the final two years of college hockey to debut with the Blackhawks after signing a 3-year, entry level contract on May 16, 2007. He scored his first NHL goal on his first shot in his first game on October 10 against the San Jose Sharks. He then recorded the second-longest point-scoring streak to start an NHL career, registering a point in each of his first 10 games (5 goals, 5 assists)."

On the collectibles front he has many rookie cards but the staple for any hockey collector is his 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Guns RC (pictured above). A non-serial numbered, non-auto, non-relic card that is a "true RC". Prices vary wildly depending on whether the card is graded or not. A raw copy can currently be had in the price range of $30 based on a look at recently completed secondary market sales.
However, this card has tremendous potential and could increase in value 300-400% when the Hawks eventually win The Cup. Typically, this card has seen trading in the $60 range, but with the team's recent play and early season predictions to contend for Lord Stanley's Cup as early as this Spring, many people have opted to sell now creating a bit of a glut. However, this will not last. Trust me. Now is definitely the time to buy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jakks Pacific Delivers a KO to McFarlane . . .


. . . by landing the exclusive action figure license for the UFC. Released in October, the figures garnered little attention in the traditional collectible figures crowd. However, that appears to be changing as the success of the Topps trading card brand, the growing popularity of MMA, and the realistic detail have combined to turn these "toys" into a collectors item.

While the MMA is still very much a niche market it is quickly gaining traffic and market share on both professional boxing and the WWE with fans and collectors alike. Taking a page out of the McFarlane playbook, Jakks Pacific has incorporated chase figures into the products formula and prices on the secondary market ala eFee (eBay), reflect the popularity of this still relatively "new" sport.
The figures feature a patented technology called Ultra Flex™ , allowing for extreme degrees of articulation. Series 1 features such favorites as Chuck Liddel, Anderson Silva, and Michael Bisping to name a few. Current retail price is $12.99 IF, and I mean a big IF, you can find them in stock. Many a Wal-Mart and Toy 'R Us employee reports being approached as they are about to stock the shelves and customers purchasing entire unopened cases.
Of course no novice to toy production, Jakks Pacific produces an accessory line for the UFC, complete with Championship Belts and of course The Octagon. You can find out more about them at Jakks Pacific.

Who Won the Tobacco Wars of '09?


For me, this question is a no-brainer. Of the three, highly anticipated tobacco era themed releases of 2009, Goodwin Champions delivers the best overall value and design. In fact, looking at side-by-side comparisons of the base cards for the three sets, as depicted above with Albert Pujols, I would contend that there isn't even an argument to be made for the other two designs by Topps.

2009 closes another chapter in The Hobby. Kind of like a season ending cliff-hanger where you have an inkling of what's going to happen next, but can't be entirely sure until you see it with your own eyes. That's the way I feel about 2010 baseball cards. Regardless of sport, Upper Deck has shown time and time again that they own the high-end market AND that their design teams, while flawed in their own ways from time to time, routinely outperform their competitors, most noticeably Topps.

Topps is being returned to rule the monopoly they held in the market for over 30 years and I for one, have little faith in them delivering a truly must have product next year. Remember, this is the company in 2009 that gave us Unique-ly Awful, Ticket to the Dumpster and lackluster releases of Allen & Ginter and T-206. With a 100th anniversary on the line for a brand that created the most recognized pre-war tobacco card in the famed Honus Wagner, Topps packed out another typical-esque product with little in the way of creativity or innovation.

The company that has made famous, products and card design, with a "been there, done that" flair, is the company you will HAVE TO rely on for your Hobby jones.

I myself am already going through withdraw. Painful, scary, psychedelic, I am going to f*&$@ng freak-out, withdrawl.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 12/11-12/18

Great content from around the web, The Hobby, sports memorabilia, sports, movies, music, eBay, sports business, auctions, High-end memorabilia, comic books, TV, entertainment, comedy, technology, gadgets, news, odd and more!!

FCBsportscards
Like the early loaded checklist of 2009 Panini Elite extra? Check this thread out to win a free box when it ships. http://bit.ly/7NOAKK from Facebook
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GeekTyrant
Must Watch: JAck Bauer Interrogates Santa Claus and ends up on the Naughty List http://tr.im/I0zO from web
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SportsCollector
New Cable Show Will Feature Rare Card Find: Accidental Fortune will show us those who've done what the rest of us d... http://bit.ly/6NVbk6 from twitterfeed
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Auctionreport
New blog post: Comical Things We Have To Deal With At PSA and PSA/DNA from Twitter Tools
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SportsCollector
20 More eBay Changes Coming?: 2010 could bring changes to eBay, including the option to allow users to link m.. http://bit.ly/5I4cuV from twitterfeed
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LIFE
2009 Sports Photos of the Year: http://bit.ly/5TueqB from twitterfeed
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sk88z
Top 10 Sports Villains of the Decade http://shrinkify.com/1ii1 from web
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CBR
Dynamite Goes Digital with iTunes http://bit.ly/70J8GY from twitterfeed
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SportsCollector
Upper Deck Will Sponsor Winter Classic: The Upper Deck Company will be one of the major sponsors for what's become ... http://bit.ly/5MDZGq from twitterfeed
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SportsCollector
Collectibles and Taxes: What You Should Know: If you're buying and selling collectibles a regular basis, knowing s... http://bit.ly/66WraH from twitterfeed
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SportsCollector
Topps' Baseball Exclusive Part of Strategy?: Did Topps' new ownership group have a grand plan in mind for changing ... http://bit.ly/6YZRlV from twitterfeed
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PlanetXbox360
We take a look at special edition video games and debate whether they are worth the extra cost or not: http://tiny.cc/h9Ewg from web
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WorthPoint
RT @ComicBookdotcom: ... WorthPoint: The Comic Speculator is a blog written by WorthPoint Comic Book “Wo... http://bit.ly/80dx06 from TweetDeck
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PlanetXbox360
Splinter Cell: Conviction Cooperative Gameplay Video Posted http://bit.ly/5VVT2K from twitterfeed
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Auctionreport
New blog post: An Interview With Baseball Memorabilia Collector And Appraiser Mike Gutierrez from Twitter Tools
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CBR
"Iron Man 2" Trailer Revealed! http://bit.ly/4u5XEN from twitterfeed
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GeekTyrant
A Bunch of Images from Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND http://tr.im/HPTt from web
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IGNcom
Bret Hart joins the WWE! Can Hart vs. DX counter the Hulk Hogan/TNA Impact? http://go.ign.com/68GX2H @Fowler_IGN from web
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BLOWOUTCARDS
Sun Times Show Box Breaks with so great commentary...http://tinyurl.com/yglba43 from web
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espn
Tiger Woods voted athlete of the decade by members of The Associated Press - http://tinyurl.com/yfs35o6 from API
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xbox_news
Microsoft launches Games on Demand on PC - TechRadar UK http://bit.ly/7cnVrC from twitterfeed
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SportsCollector
Hobby Changes Have Happened Fast: A born again collector who is now a consignment director for a major auction hous... http://bit.ly/7K70sO from twitterfeed
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IGNcom
Kneelift! Jeff Hardy busted! Hogan to TNA! Daffney! GDYC! It's IGN's 2009 Wrestling Year in Review! http://go.ign.com/7vGvWy @Fowler_IGN from web
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PlanetXbox360
EA Gives IW Respect for Modern Warfare 2 "Airport" Scene http://bit.ly/5TGIh0 from twitterfeed
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SI_24Seven
RT @SI_Swimsuit: Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2002 Isabeli Fontana in Swimsuit by Chiarugi - http://su.pr/87bAC3 from CoTweet
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gawkertv
The First Annual WWE Slammys was a Magical, Racist Evening http://gawker.tv/5427239//gallery/ #tv #wwe from gawker.tv
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scfnews
Get thousands of free autographs using the SCF Through the Mail Database! http://www.sportscardforum.com/ttm.php from web
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gawkertv
The Top 100 Videos of 2009 in Less Than 3 Minutes http://gawker.tv/5426852/ #original #compilations from gawker.tv
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gawkertv
When Stairs Attack: Worst Staircase Falls Ever http://gawker.tv/5426227/ #fail #original from gawker.tv
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gawkertv
News Anchor Can't Stop Laughing While Reporting Gruesome Murder http://gawker.tv/5426956/ #tv #news from gawker.tv
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bbgeeks
Want an easier way to discover apps in AppWorld? Mplayit is doing some cool things http://bit.ly/5x9ywi from TweetDeck
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BLOWOUTCARDS
"Blowout Blogs" is Taking OFF ! We can now post you as a Official Blogger on TWITTER for Thousands of collectors to view.Email us to see how from web
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xbox_news
lockerz is a site where you earn points 4 doing stuff,with these points you can buy gold accounts and xbox games! for a invite@ us any add from HootSuite
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SportsCollector
Utilizing Wasted Space to Store Your Collection: Too much memorabilia? Cards crushing your bookshelves? Watch one... http://bit.ly/4W0SQ8 from twitterfeed
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CBR
Celebrating 25 years of the Cartoon Art Museum http://bit.ly/6PgROt from twitterfeed
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youtube
Release Notes: Find Facebook friends & Yahoo contacts, total video views, new moderation options in Groups & more: http://bit.ly/4Fl19C from bit.ly
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eBay
Video: Compare in-store pricing with eBay listings on the go, using our mobile app http://bit.ly/6kCuvE. You may find surprising results! from CoTweet
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IGNcom
Never watched the Caprica (Battlestar prequel) pilot on DVD? Here's your chance to see it for free http://go.ign.com/5n1tlg @ericign from web
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CBR
Iron Man 2, Kick-Ass, Clash of the Titans: Dec 14th Comic Reel http://bit.ly/5ONyHy from twitterfeed
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darrenrovell1
Tiger's endorsement deal breakdown. What is each company considering? http://bit.ly/6F4z8x from web
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PlanetXbox360
Next Game in True Crime Franchise Revealed - New Trailer http://bit.ly/7Jb8wZ from twitterfeed
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gawkertv
Snooki, Socked: The Footage MTV (Suddenly) Doesn't Want You to See http://gawker.tv/5425484/ #mtv #tv from gawker.tv
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LIFE
LIFE EXCLUSIVE - Check out our choices for the 2009 Best Photos of the Year. It's sure to delight, inspire, and humble- http://bit.ly/85XIIZ from web
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PlanetXbox360
We look at the top 10 Xbox 360 games of the next twelve months; 2010 looks to be a fantastic year: http://bit.ly/6U2n2a from TweetDeck
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xbox_news
Xbox 360 Arcade Console, COD:MW2 and 12-month Xbox Live Gold Subscription for ... - Techie Buzz http://bit.ly/7csZqh from twitterfeed
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PlanetXbox360
Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 Announced - First Trailer is Epic http://bit.ly/8y46A5 from twitterfeed
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PlanetXbox360
The new Medal of Honor looks pretty impressive as does Halo: Reach; overall 2010 looks to be a totally epic year of gaming... from Tweetie
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GeekTyrant
SAW VII Gets Its Release Date http://geektyrant.com/2009/12/saw-vii-gets-its-release-date/ from web
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SportsCollector
Old Major League Ballparks Focus of New Site: Grab a piece of baseball's past with a visit to a new website that's ... http://bit.ly/6o176R from twitterfeed
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tonyhawk
Views from last night's Thrasher SOTY party: sweet ramp and street champ http://twitpic.com/t8k0f http://twitpic.com/t8k0h from Tweetie
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GeekTyrant
RED DAWN Remake Script Review http://geektyrant.com/2009/12/red-dawn-remake-script-review/ from web
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youtube
Big news in 2009? Auto-tuning, of course. A memorable countdown spoof from a master of the genre: http://bit.ly/7AcJD from CoTweet
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SportsCollector
Just saw this on Amazon: 'The Baseball (Memorabilia) Time Capsule - A Journey Through the ...' by (VHS Tape) for $4.95 http://bit.ly/6CLSVo from web
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SportsCollector
20 Most Popular Sports Autographs: Autograph prices for superstars seem to be down a little bit this year. It.. http://bit.ly/69Nscp from twitterfeed
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PlanetXbox360
Spike TV's Video Game Awards to Feature Lots of Celebrities http://bit.ly/6UxO89 from twitterfeed
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SportsCollector
Great piece on Tiger Woods by Bill Simmons: http://ping.fm/Nnto4 from Ping.fm