Monday, June 28, 2010

Poll Results: Topps Shipping Charges

It really amazes me how much flak eBay sellers take for their shipping and handling charges. I've read bloggers I respect saying that anything over $2 for a card is robbery. In fact, eFee (eBay) allows a seller to charge actual shipping and a "reasonable" handling charge without defining what "reasonable" equates to. So why is it that so many collectors gripe over an individual sellers S/H fees but are more than willing to pay for Topps, seemingly, overly inflated prices.

Case in point #1. To have 10 of my CYMTA, from the Topps Million website, sent to me, would cost $7.69.

In actuality, 10 cards in penny sleeves and toploaders, packaged in a bubble mailer, weighs about 10 oz which coming from Duryea, PA would cost $3.10 including delivery confirmation.

Case in point #2. To have just (1) eTopps card shipped to me would cost $4.25.

In actuality, the eTopps card, which comes in an uncirculated case similar to an Ultra Pro magnet holder shipped in a bubble mailer would weigh approximately 4oz. and cost $1.73.

If I charged that amount, in either case, for "handling", how many collectors would consider that "reasonable" by eBay standards? The consequences for charging more between 100-150% of the actual shipping charge would include;

- Receiving a warning from eBay prior to listing the item notifying me of the exorbitant price I was charging.

- I would, most likely, receive negative feedback from the seller.

- Damage my seller rating.

- Be chastised on message boards.

- Have a space reserved for me in hell.

So why is it OK for Topps?
The poll was pretty evenly split, which actually surprised me. I just find it an interesting subject to shed light on. Obviously, this is far from anything that could remotely be called scientific, but maybe it helps put things into perspective from an eBay seller's point of view who you think is charging $1 too much.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 6/19 - 6/26

Great content from around the web- The Hobby, sports, video, photography, movies, music, technology, hotties, comic books, video games,and more.

This week's highlight:

NHL and NBA Drafts

World Cup

Strasburg and Bowman Mania Continue

E3 Aftermath

and more!

SportsCollector Autographed baseball info:

SportsCollector Article on Michael Jordan sports cards:

sportsology Sports News NOW- NHL Draft Day Two

sportsology Sports News NOW- 2010 NHL Draft Results

WaxWombat New, on the Wax Wombat! blog: American Nitpicker (or something).

gccomics Some GCC feedback about digital comics vs real comics-->

GettyImagesEdit 60 Years Since The Korean War Started - See our archival imagery --

BrkingSports 2010 NBA Draft Results: Power-Ranking Each Team's New Starting Five via

FCBsportscards The FCB hot list is out. Jon Singleton, Grant Green, oh and some guy named Strasburg

GeekWeekOnline Peter Jackson To Direct HOBBIT Movies

BrkingSports Real Life Heat: Top 5 (Legit) Backstage Brawls in WWE History via

IGN Sexy, lethal gals? Color us interested. Learn more about the new fall TV series #Nikita I

LIFE Never-Seen: LIFE in the Korean War

EASPORTSNHL Real-time physics and other new features earns NHL 11 GameInformer's Best Sports Game of E3 Award!

PlanetXbox360 Another of our post-show articles has gone live, top 5 ways Microsoft dropped the ball during E3:

blowoutcards Upper Deck Announces Wrapper Redemption Plans for 31st National

CBR Total Immersion Puts You in the Action with New 'Iron Man 2' Augmented Reality Application

LIFE 'Transformers 3': The New Girl

GettyImagesEdit See images from the 2010 NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas! -

chrisolds2009 BGS discusses Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor:

UpperDeckHockey Get to know Upper Deck's new President! We are excited about the future!

FCBsportscards Here is a preivew of Razor's new MMA product scheduled for September.

LIFE Sexy World Cup Fans

blowoutcards Remember to watch these 5 players at the MLB Futures Game

SportsCollector #scdaily: Knowledge to Help Your eBay Sales

SportsCollector #scdaily: Save on Shipping: Some Options to Consider for Sellers

BrkingSports 2010 NBA Free Agency Rumors: Ranking The Top 50 Free Agents via

blowoutcards National announces free autograph guests...

PlanetXbox360 Our review of Transformers: War for Cybertron just went up and the game did great, in stores today:

LIFE Landing in Hell: Army Medevac Today

darrenrovell1 The video of 11-year-old tennis star Maria Shishkina that led to Under Armour signing her

blowoutcards New Product release Calander Updated with many changes...

GeekTyrant ELVIRA MISTRESS OF THE DARK Is Returning to TV!

trishstratuscom Our temporary store is open for business! Order your autographed copy of The Wrestler now and get FREE shipping!

BrkingSports Heyman On Lee, Yankees, Harper via

cheaperthandirt New Blog Post Long Term Gun Storage

stalegum Check this video out -- Hitler gets pissed at @toppscards.

BrkingSports The 10 Funniest MMA Fighter Photos on the Internet via

toppscards If you missed it Friday and are interested, the ESPN First Take interview with the Strasburg Superfractor buyer:

SteinerSports Check out Brandon Jacobs in a Q&A session in our warehouse live now!

EASPORTSNHL EA SPORTS welcomes Jonathan Toews to the family as the cover athlete for NHL 11!

UpperDeckHockey A Chicago store seeing a bump in business:,winnetka-hawks-061710-s1.article

LIFE Famous, Dead, Lost, Never Found

mickiejamesdiva But 1st... Just made the front page of's entertainment section! =) check it out

NHLBlackhawks Photos from NHL11 featuring cover boy Toews - - and a trailer -

GeekTyrant Marvel To Start Making Short Live-Action Films

leverageontnt Fans on Twitter, this video's for you:

PlanetXbox360 We go "Behind the Game" with Transformers: War for Cybertron (in-stores tomorrow) from Activision:

AuctionBytes Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors (Any volunteers?) AuctionBytes Blog

Auctionreport New blog post: Strasburg Mania Not A Hobby Catastrophe

bbgeeks Boost your working BlackBerry Memory with Memory Booster

blowoutcards BA: Prospect Hot Sheet

thebellatwins RT @WWE: PHOTOS: Divas 365: Bellas car wash photos

ESPNChiHawks Blackhawks blog: Bowman has some tough choices ahead

GettyImagesEdit See images of the race & the winners of the Red Bull Air Race in New York! -

xbox_news New Xbox 360 S Arcade Confirmed for $199. Kinect Bundles Are Also Coming Soon - Redmond Pie .

xbox_news Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death Fix - Repair It Yourself Guide - 4press (blog)

xbox_news Rock Band Official Wireless Guitar [Xbox 360] - Zergwatch - Sydney Morning Herald (blog)Rock Band Official Wireless ...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Card Corner Club Facebook Fan Page

While many of you are "Friends" of Card Corner Club, we recently set up an official Fan Page which is where Doug and I will be promoting a lot of the contests and giveaways we have planned. Yesterday he gave away a Fleer Greats of the Game 3x5 Box Topper of a Gil Hodges Oversized Swatch card. So we'd like you to be a "Fan" of the page as well but for someone stupid ass reason, Facebook changed Page Fans, to Likers (so stupid). Anyway, go ahead and "Like" us anyway please. Thanks!!

Video Box Break Highlights- 2010 SP Authentic Hockey

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Graded Card Conspiracy and a Twitter Conversation

Well as you all know by now, the Stephen Strasburg Superfractor that has received so much hype has come back from grading with a grade of 9.5 despite it obvious flaws. Flaws so obvious that the grader from BGS lists several of them in the first few seconds of this video. The grader excuses these flaws by saying they are within "range" for the grade received. I'm sorry, but I am just not buying it and I am not alone as the comments on their own post attest to.

I have long said I hold no personal animosity towards anyone individually at Beckett and was pleasantly surprised to engage in a cordial yet opinionated debate about the subject with Chris Olds on Twitter. The conversation is detailed below.

This is Chris' statement that got the conversation started:

I didn't look closely at the card other than holding it in the video. I can't say for sure. I don't work for BGS. However, I will say that centering is just one of the four pieces in the equation.

Since you don't work for BGS, quit walking the company line and call a spade a spade! That whole thing was a cheap PR stunt.

Sounds like you're back to your line. My back is doing better this week than last, BTW. (I wished him a Get Well last week. I have back issues also.)

I'm glad to hear that. I'm not the only one being critical though Chris.

Feel free to leave your comments online and send them to BGS.

Tell me, in what way would that card getting that grade be a publicity stunt? I want to hear YOUR take, sir.

I'm curious as the owner never indicated to anyone here that he was intending to re-sell. Oddly, he launched it while it was at BGS & that really doesn't make much sense at all. (But to each his own.)

The mainstream media covered the story, now he is flipping it, if it makes a profit, part of that, right or wrong will be attributed to the cards graded condition, which upon any subsequent follow-up would surely be mentioned in the story.

CO:I didn't like the fact that he decided to sell so soon, either. However, Beckett has no control over what anyone does. And, again, he launched the auction while the card was at BGS -- which is a real head-scratcher.

No its not a head scratcher. It's quite possible the grade was determined and communicated before it was even in hand.

Funny you say that. The card's grade has yet to be mentioned in a story at all. (Only mentioned in the video post.)

Well as the main stream media goes, the card is still for sale, thus no real story yet.

But, again, feel free to comment on the card on the blog or and send BGS your thoughts, comments, etc. That's all I can tell you since BGS is a different division of the company. It's their deal, not mine. I decided to do the video so they could talk about the card being graded. Anything more than that, I'd direct to them.

CO: Honestly, I'd bet that the large outlets don't even follow it beyond this sale. It's already been talked about a lot -- and the 100K "auction" will be the one to grab headlines next -- even though I think it's drawing bad bids left and right.

I know you don't Chris and that's why I have no personal angst against you in the matter, AT ALL. You asked my "Opinion" and that's all it is. The whole thing is just fishy. Glad we could have a conversation about it though.

Hey, I know Chris has to walk the Beckett (Sucks) line but I do thank him for at least engaging in a conversation.

State of the Hobby: For Fun Or Profit?

A comment by @LongFlyBall on Twitter this week in regards to the, at the time, bid of $37K+ on the Stephen Strasburg Red 1/1 Auto, got me thinking about this subject.

"I swear, if this stupid card even approaches the price of the original T-206 set up for auction I am quitting the hobby. "

Seeing that just 2 days later the card is over six figures, I honestly hope that this auction ends up being bogus as the seller made a HUGE mistake not setting it up fro pre-approve bidders only Because whether it was said in jest or fact, the above statement does make for interesting conjecture. While I might not go that far, I can certainly sympathize with the sentiment.

The question posed in the title is more rhetorical in nature and don't have to be mutually exclusive. Don't we all all flip cards on eFee (eBay), that we don't want to get cash for cards we do want? I imagine if you are a collector that hasn't purchased 2010 Bowman, trying to score a Strasburg or Harper simply to sell as quickly as possible, that you would be in the minority.

Many of us have dreamed about how to turn our beloved hobby into a means of providing a full time income and/or hitting that "money" pull. Truth be told, it is extremely, extremely difficult to accomplish either of these and despite the odds of pulling, a legitimate, 6-figure card, you can make the argument that it would be easier to accomplish that, then to make a living buying/selling sports cards.

Sometimes it seems we as collectors get caught up in the money side of things and lose sight of why we collect in the first place. I am as guilty as anyone. I see people being able to afford more product than myself, constantly buying and selling, scoring the occasional major sale, flipping prospects for good money and want a piece of the action for myself. In my case, the ongoing Vintage Consignment(s) are fun, but also a lot of work and sometimes after a long day of work, fixing dinner, playing with the kids, etc, I just want to veg on the couch and watch Pawn Stars rather than sort, scan, and list cards on eFee.

As with anything in life, balance is important and when it comes to a "hobby" as addictive as ours, it is extremely important. That's why I love the self-created graphic accompanying this post. If you are ultimately in it (The Hobby) for money, more often than not, you will end up very disappointed. Remember, have fun, find balance, collect what you like.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gary Bettman is an Ignorant Little Midget . . . .

. . . and I'd like to kick him right in his little twat. He just doesn't get it. He oversees the fastest, most exciting game in sports filled with young marketable talent and wouldn't know how to promote or schedule the league accordingly it if you gave him freakin' cliff notes and a crib sheet.

Start with the schedule. Why do the Original Six teams not play each other every year? Don't give me to develop division rivalry crap! You think Blackhawks fans really want to play Columbus and Nashville 6x EACH in the regular season at the behest of the NY Rangers, Boston Bruins, etc?!?!? Hell NO!!! The NBA have it figured out. Each team plays the teams in their conference 4x and they play the the teams in the opposing conference 2x each for a home and away game. This allows you to market superstars, traditional rivalries and match-ups. If you are a Blackhawks fan and want to get a little payback for Alexander Ovechkin's hit on Brian Campbell, too bad. Unless you want to drive to DC next year. Want to see the Original Six come through the Madhouse on Madison? Screw you! Ain't gonna happen.

The Stanley Cup regular season rematch of the Flyers and Hawks, a game that should see Chris Pronger and someone drop the gloves should be a showcase event. When do you schedule it Buttman? January 23rd which just so happens to coincide with NFL Championship weekend you dumb ass!!

I still can't get over the fact that you purposely put 2 Stanley Cup games on non-network TV, denying thousands of people the opportunity to watch gamers 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Are you f#&^*ing high?!

Finally, your Stanley Cup Champions start their schedule on the road. WTF is that?!?!

Gary Buttman . . . you suck!

The Lack of TRUE 3rd-party Authentication is Currently the 900lb Elephant in The Hobby.

As discussed numerous times on this blog, and SCU, most recently today, the lack of oversight when it comes to card grading, autograph and memorabilia authentication are topics that 99% of collectors seem willing to deny at the worst and at the very least ignore. No collector wants to believe that their card might receive a lesser grade based on the lack of volume they submit for grading but in all likelihood, this happens with regular certainty.

In addition, no collector wants to believe that a prized game used jersey patch card may be nothing more than bulk jersey material purchased from China. The fact is you honestly just don’t know. I want to believe that my game used cards are genuine, that my autographs were actually signed by the depicted athlete and not a friend, wife or secretary. Conversely, collectors and organizations that submit cards in quantity for grading don’t have to worry about the fact that the cards were graded on their own merit and not the size of the check or credit card payment they made to have the grading performed. Why? Because the grade on the slab is definitive and final.

We live in a collecting universe dominated by an industry designed to make money and at almost any cost. Is anyone really surprised the Strasburg card received such a high grade. The only reason it didn’t grade a 10 is because the manufactured publicity of the card would have turned negative with a vocal outcry of “Foul!!!” The conflicts of interest inherent to the card grading company business model are well documented, by myself, and others. Gellman did a great job of laying out the facts in his post today and I agree with him 100%.

But what is the answer? Major League Baseball employees one of the Big 3 Accounting and Audit firms to authenticate all game used items. However, once it leaves their or the player’s possession, what happens? Would you be in favor of some form of regulatory oversight of The Hobby? Is The Industry capable of self-policing itself? I don’t have the answer but there has to be one . . . . doesn’t there?

Pimping Strasburg

Well I was one of the lucky (I guess) winners of Stephen Strasburg's eTopps IPO. Limited to 1,999 copies (making it not sooo limited) I am blatantly plugging my current eBay listing for some quick cash. You know how I feel about eTopps but given the current state of Strasburg-mania, I figured I'd give it one more try. If you are dying to have one of these, and who wouldn't (sic), and missed out on the IPO, I got your hook-up here.

Hartland LLC To Pay Tribute To White Sox Great Billy Pierce

The iconic Hartland company, manufacturer of limited edition figures, dating back decades, is currently taking pre-orders for their new 2010 release of Billy Pierce. The signing date for autographed copies has come and gone but with a production run of only 100, there is still time to order the non-auto version.

Billy Pierce, a southpaw, played 18 years in The Bigs, the majority of those years (1949-1960) with the Chicago White Sox. He retired with a career record of 211-169 with a 3.27 ERA. A 7x All-Star, Pierce was part of the starting rotation that regularly battled the New York Yankees led by staff ace, Whitey Ford.

I have always been a big fan of the Hartland company not necessarily because of the quality of the figures. In all honesty, McFarlanes look more realistic. However, the two companies couldn't be farther apart as far as a business model is concerned. While Todd McFarlane has done his but with production runs to insure that SportsPicks didn't became just another figure casualty in the vein of Starting Line-ups, Hartland takes limited production to a whole new level. In so doing, they have insured the future collectibility of their product and this has contributed to realized auction prices that old SLU collector's would drool over.

In addition to legendary players from the MLB, Hartland has produced a line of statues featuring players from the famed Negro Leagues that have proven to be extremely popular. You can find out more about Hartland statues at

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poll Results and Analysis- Trading Card Mfgs and Collectibility

A week ago I ran a poll which asked the simply question; "Do Trading Card Manufacturers Have a Responsibility to Maintain the Collectibility of Their Products?" The results were much more even than I would have anticipated:

I was honestly surprised by the way the results turned out as 26 people (54%) of respondents didn't feel the card companies owe, us, the consumers, the customer, and their target market anything to insure the future value of our purchases. If this small sample actually reflects collector sentiment on a larger scale, why the fascination with book value, true secondary market value, the question of of how much something is worth and so on?

Now understand, I can make an argument for both sides of this. While it would be nice, and far too altruistic, to believe that given the amount of money people have spent on 2010 Bowman as of late, that Topps would help secure those market values, at least to some degree, by limiting the amount of Stephen Strasburg content in their remaining product schedule.

On the other hand, The Topps Company, is a business. They make a commodity and are in business to generate as much revenue and profit as possible and at the end of the day if the commodity they produce manages to attain some level of collectibility based on the hype and initial performance of a young phenom pitcher than so be it. In addition, it is fully their right and fiscal responsibility to actually capitalize on a player's market demand by using him to sell as much product as physically possible. That is why I voted "No". That was my logical, right brain response, but in all honesty, my heart would vote "Yes".

So regardless of which way you voted, what was your reasoning?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 6/12 - 6/19

Great content from around the web- The Hobby, sports, video, photography, movies, music, technology, hotties, comic books, video games,and more.

This week's highlight:

E3 Convention

Strasburg and Bowman Mania Continue

Seller Tools For eBay

and more!

GeekTyrant Fan-Made BATMAN Film - CITY OF SCARS

reallisamarie Holy Moly!!! Check out this You Tube video. Thank you very much.

Marvel Get ready to uncover The Mandarin with @mattfraction in Invincible Iron Man Annual #1:

raczilla Hit the EA SPORTS YouTube page for a number of videos from our E3 booth.

FCBsportscards If this were a year ago, that razor / chrome article would be the hottest thing going

blowoutcards New Product Information Page for 2010 Razor Pop Century !

LIFE Chicago: My Kind of Town

IGN E3 booth babes: a tradition unlike any other #E3IGN

SportsCollector #scdaily: Fewer Products=Better Market?

SportsCollector #scdaily: 30 Useful Tools for eBay Buyers, Sellers

IGN The Xbox Slim will never see the red rings of death. Ever. #E3IGN

GeekWeekOnline The Breakfast Club Porn Parody trailer is slightly NSFW.

cheaperthandirt New Blog Post Choke Tubes Explained: Ever wondered the difference between a Modified and...

UpperDeckHockey Would you immediately break up with your significant other if they did this to you?

ESPNChicago Chicago Wolves remain in West after American Hockey League re-alignment

FCBsportscards Specials from @atlsportscards posted on FCB some memorable products in there.

boltbrowser RIM's #Blackberry Roadmap for 2010

IDWPublishing Watch a video preview of some of our newest and future releases:

CheckOutMyCards 10 bids already in our first ever silent auction

PlanetXbox360 One of our writers explains exactly how Kinect connected with him during the E3 press conference:

IGN Everything you need to know about Civilization V. #E3IGN

SportsCardRadio 2010 TriStar Hidden Treasures Football Mini Helmet Series 4 -

chrisolds2009 Beckett Baseball's exclusive interview with the Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor buyer:

NHLBlackhawks Did you miss the Hawks' appearance with @JayLeno last night? The video from their visit is now up on

xbox_news An ESPN Channel to Stream Through Xbox 360 Console - New York Times

xbox_news Photo Gallery: Sexy New Xbox 360, Unboxed and Unwrapped - Wired News

PlanetXbox360 Project Natal is Officially Renamed to Kinect - First Images and Trailer:

PlanetXbox360 EA Sports Releases NCAA Football 11 Demo onto Xbox LIVE:

foxnews Is this the find that saves Afghanistan? U.S. discovers $1 trillion in Afghan mineral deposits

SportsCollector #scdaily: Editor's Blog: News & Notes from Around the Hobby

IGN Microsoft handed out "interactive ponchos" at the Kinect event. #e3IGN

IGN Project Natal has a new name

EASPORTSNHL Check out the NHL 11 footage that appeared on last night's GameTrailersTV E3 All-Access show

GeekTyrant New Trailer for HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Product Bonanza, Plan Accordingly

The next 2 weeks promises to be lively on The Hobby front as a slew of highly anticipated product hit the market. It seems to have been awhile that there was a sustained release of products so budget accordingly. Here's the run down:

2009/10 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey
Release Date: 6/16/2010
SRP: $105.95

Box Break:
3 Signatures Total
1 Autographed Future Watch (minimum)
2 SP Holo F/X cards
3 SP Essentials

2010 Donruss Elite Football Hobby
Release Date: 6/14/2010

SRP: $114.95
Box Break:
4 Memorabilia or Autograph Cards (at least one autograph)
4 Rookies
1 Parallel
1 Zoning Commission, 1 Prime Targets, 1 Stars, 1 Elite Series, 1 Chain Reaction, 1 NFL Shield, 1 Team Logo, 2 Others.

2010 CCC Ringside Round One TKO Boxing
Release Date: 6/18/2010

Box Break:
1 Autograph and 1 Memorabilia Card Per 2 Boxes
Mecca Turkey Red Inserts 1-2 in every box

2009/10 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey
Release Date: 6/29/2010

SRP: $184
Box Break:
1 Autographed Rookie & Memorabilia cards per box

2010 Upper Deck NCAA Sweet Spot Football
Box Release: 6/29/2010

SRP: $100
Box Break:
6 Autograph or Memorabilia Cards per box on average

2009/10 Panini Court Kings Basketball
Release Date: 6/30/2010

SRP: $95.95
Box Break:
4 Autograph or Memorabilia cards (at least one autograph)
3 commons #'d to 325
1 bronze parallel
1 5x7 Box Topper #'d to 225

2010 Score Football
Release Date: 6/30/2010

SRP: $29.95
Box Break:
36 Rookies
36 Glossy
4 Parallels
2 Scorecard
1 Gold Zone
6 Hot Rookies
4 The Franchise
6 All-Pros
4 NFL Players

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball
Release Date: 6/30/2010

SRP $105.95
Box Break:
Each Hobby Box contains a combination of any THREE of the following cards:
Cut Signature
Printing Plate
Every box also contains one Box Loader.

* Prices are from DA Cardworld

A Memo To @UpperDeckHockey- You Are Missing A Golden Opportunity

Stanley Cup Fever has swept over Chicago and doesn't show signs of slowing down, particularly with the cities two baseball teams sucking wind. In case you hadn't heard, 2 MILLION people packed the streets of downtown to honor our beloved Blackhawks.

So, one question. Where is the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Box Set?

An Original Six team just won their first Cup in 49 years. How quickly can you turn this around? This is what I envision. . . .

Packaging Configuration: Blaster Box

Pack-out Configuration: 47 Total Cards

Price: $19.99

25 Man Roster
16 Playoff Games
Rocky Wirtz (Owner)
Joel Quenneville (Coach)
The Cup
The Parade
Con Smyth Winner (Jonathan Toews)
Team Photo w/ The Cup oversized 3x5

Distribution: NHL and Chicago Blackhawks Websites and Retail- Wal-Mart, Target, Jewel Foodstores, Walgreens, Shell and BP Gas Stations, 7-11

Not only would die-hard Blackhawks collectors want this but you also have the opportunity to use this as a bridge for fans and introduce them to the hobby. 2 million people attended the parade, so let's see; If you captured even 5% of those in attendance that's 100,000 units sold, which equates to gross revenue of $1,999,000. Let alone Hawks fans living out of state, die hard hockey fans, gift purchasers. This could easily generate close to $3M.

So what do you say guys? Strike while the iron's hot, right?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

** FREE ** Packs of 2010 Topps Series 2

Every once in awhile, you'll run across a brick and mortar hobby shop or online retailer that "gets it". With an education, career, and background in marketing, coupled with my passion for The Hobby, I really appreciate the rare retailer that understands the importance of marketing, promotion, while establishing and maintaining a loyal customer base.
One such retailer I have been using recently is
Sports Card Kids. A couple months ago I randomly won a Hobby box of 2010 Bowman Heritage in their monthly drawing. Today I received this email from the owner, Jeremy.

"With the close of our most recent contests this morning, SportsCardKids is proud to announce that we've now given away over 100 free cards/packs/boxes since going live in February!

To mark this milestone, SportsCardKids will be giving away 2 free hobby packs of 2010 Topps Series 2 Baseball to any member who places an order of $10 or more from now through June 30. As always, these orders will also qualify the member for the giveaways at the end of the month, as well.

To take advantage of this offer, simply place your order of $10 or more on before July 1. The packs will automatically be shipped with your order."

How is that for cool? Unlike sooo many places that make you spend $50 bucks or more to get any sort of perk, all you have to do is drop a dime and you'll get 2 packs and be entered into a drawing for one of 4 monthly giveaways, one of which is always a Hobby box.

I know this might seem like a cheap plug (even though I am not getting anything for passing along this tip) but I really like the way Jeremy does business, albeit he doesn't have the largest singles inventory, yet, but if you are a team and/or player collector, I'm sure you'll find $10 worth of stuff you can use. I encourage you to give 'em a try and tell 'em The VOTC sent you ;).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is Topps Getting Ready to "Over Do It"?

The anonymous comment in response to the poll below, represents an fundamental misunderstanding of the topic at hand. While most trading card products have some collectible value, and some certainly much more than others, the question posed in the poll pertains to the feeding frenzy that Topps has themselves worked into a lather about, regarding the unprecedented success of this year's Bowman, capitalizing on the realized hype of the sensation that is Stephen Strasburg.

Secondary market values for unopened product, even retail versions, are through the roof. Base and Chrome singles for Strasburg are commanding, on average, $20 and $30-$35, respectively. The excitement surrounding this product for collectors hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and either flip for quick profit or invest for log-term gain is rare in The Hobby anymore.

So what does all this have to do with the poll question and title of this post? As a trading card manufacturer, Topps sole purpose is to operate a business entity that turns a profit, understandably. But do they also have a responsibility, given the product they choose to manufacture (sports cards), have a responsibility to preserve the future value of their product, particularly when the success of that product is driven primarily by one player?

Knowing that Topps is planning to include Strasburg in every pending release, won't this negatively effect the value of Strasburg's base and Chrome Bowman cards? Isn't the fact that base cards have largely become irrelevant in The Hobby been part of the biggest problem? So here we have a product that is bucking that self-created trend and instead of limiting Strasburg's cards to maintain that level of collectibility, The Hobby is poised to instead be inundated with a plethora of Strasburg cards.

Do Trading Card Manufacturers Have a Responsibility to Maintain the Collectibility of their Products?

Friday, June 11, 2010

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 6/5 - 6/11

Great content from around the web- The Hobby, sports, video, photography, movies, music, technology, hotties, comic books, video games,and more.

This week's highlight:

- One Goal, Mission Accomplished. 2010 Stanley Cup Champions

- World Cup Fever

- Stephen Strasburg

NHLBlackhawks "Join Together" in reliving the Hawks' remarkable run through the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs... Debuted today at parade:

GawkerTV Wally Backman and the Most Intense Baseball Freakout Ever

GettyImagesEdit Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade! --

xbox_news Transformers: War for Cybertron demo falls to Xbox 360 Live - Punch Jump (blog)

JasonThibault The 18 Best Batman Panels Ever -

BleacherReport The 5 best World Cup ads of 2010:

SBJSBD ESPN launching 3D network today in time for World Cup coverage.

SI_24Seven California teen on solo sail found alive and well - A 16-year-old sailor on a round-the-world journey was...

CBR Comics A.M. - The Comics Internet in 2 Minutes

foxchicago Blackhawks parade route and information

GettyImagesEdit See the action highlights & celebration during the Stanley Cup Finals - Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers --

CSNChicago Watch it again online! CSN's Hawks' playoff montage is sensational.

CSNChicago #Hawks parade & rally honoring Stanley Cup Champions begins Friday, 6/11 @ 10:30 am

NHLBlackhawks Your 2010 Stanley Cup Champions.

NHLBlackhawks Captain Cup?

LIFESportsNews LIFE With Bobby Hull

BreakingNews Newly disclosed letter show wartime pope begged allies not to bomb Rome

LIFE Sexy Bollywood Stars

foxnews Less than zero: Chinese electric car 'exhales' oxygen back into the atmosphere

blowoutcards Free Strasburg 14 K Video...all the highlights...

LIFE Soccer Stars: Wives & Girlfriends

xbox_news Hulu Likely Coming to iPad and Xbox - -

bbgeeks An advanced solution for fixing a BlackBerry you can't recover:

Auctionreport New blog post: PSA/DNA Introduces Protective Holders For Photos

PlanetXbox360 Call of Duty: The War Collection is Now Available for $59.99:

sportscardinfo Press Pass 2010 National VIP Set #NSCC

SI_24Seven Today's Best @SI_Video: Why Bryce Harper went No. 1 in the @MLB Draft-

BaseballHall Don't miss an unforgettable #halloffame Weekend with the Induction of Dawson, Harvey & Herzog, July 23-26

blowoutcards Does it really matter at this point if Pete Rose's bat was corked?

darrenrovell1 Strasburg's debut worth a projected $1.5M today for the Nationals. Here's the math

Auctionreport New blog post: “Collectors Corner” – What's Unique To A Collector

MinorLeagues A look at the top 10 players drafted tonight, check back later for more:

amazonmp3 Good $5 Album: Rage Against the Machine. Suggested if you like rage, but not the machine.

CBR EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: "Joker's Asylum: Harley Quinn"

SBJSBD Sports marketing veteran and regular @sbjsbd columnist Bill Sutton is now on Twitter. You can follow him at @Sutton_Impact.

LIFESportsNews Motor Racing's Gorgeous Grid Girls

BaseballAmerica Draft Blog: Final Top 50 Before The Draft: Here's is a final update on our Top 50 overall prospects before the dra...

mental_floss Quiz: Million Dollar Questions (12 final questions from 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?') -->
SportsCollector #scdaily: Blog: Most Iconic Baseball Cards

iamjoecollector A taste of the Joe Collecter Masterpieces Patch Collection

SportsCollector Building an autographed baseball collection:
SportsCollector T206 baseball card article:

mslayel Ok I'm out I'm going Twitter overload Have a great one love love Random pic

PlanetXbox360 THQ Reveals the First Red Faction: Armageddon Trailer, Screens, and Details:

trishstratuscom I uploaded a YouTube video -- WWE Day of Reckoning 2 - Trish Stratus ringwalk

The NHL Commerical Congratulating the Chicago Blackhawks

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stanley Cup Finals- WGN Radio Call- More Dramatic Than NBC

Sharing the Experience

The below video is a live recording of the scoreboard video intro played at Blackhawks home games. It is a culmination of the two videos from the previous post which are the high definition recordings from

One Goal- Mission Accomplished

The 2010 Stanley Cup Champions- MY Chicago Blackhawks!!!

Words can not begin to describe the range of emotions I felt tonight. I have been a Chicago Blackhawks fan for a very, very long time. I suffered through seeing a once proud and revered franchise turned into the laughing stock of not only the NHL but the sports world in general. The revival of this organization to its rightful glory as a storied Original 6 franchise became complete tonight with Patrick Kane's overtime goal in Game 6, on the road, in Philadelphia.

The fact that I was able to attend home games and interact with the players in the locker room was icing on the cake and an experience I will never, ever, forget. I'd like to publicly thank my partners at and, Doug Cataldo and Russ Cohen and our contacts at the NHL for this once in a lifetime experience.

It has been 49 years since the Hawks last won the Stanley Cup, 1961, led by HOF legends Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull. In that period of time another Original Six team the Montreal Canadiens have won The Cup, get this 12 TIMES, the Edmonton Oilers, 5 times, the New York Islanders,Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Redwings and the Pittsburgh Penguins 4 times each. Even the Hawk's Stanley Cup opponents, the Philadelphia Flyers, have won it twice since then. It is said to be the hardest trophy in all of sports to win, and MY team, the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks are finally, in my lifetime, Stanley Cup Champions.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Obligatory Stephen Strasburg Post

Congratulations Kid. Impressive performance. Now can we all get over it. The media is anointing this guy as the reincarnation of Cy Young. I get it. He has (insert cliche) wicked stuff, nasty, stuff, deadly, curve, velocity and movement, yadda, yadda. Regardless, there is NOOOOOOOOO WAYYYY in hell the idiot who dropped the equivalent on a new car for the Superfractor is going to profit in any way shape or form from that card. Dumping tons of money on 2010 Bowman in the hopes of pulling even a base Chrome card that you can "flip" for $30-$40 may be tempting but as the saying goes, buyer beware. As far as percentages go, Strasburg has a higher likelihood of having a career more closely resembling this guy . . . .

. . . rather than this guy . . .

That said, I wish the kid the best of luck. The hype is good for The Hobby.

Draft Results Part 2

6. Barret Loux, RHP
Texas A&M, Jr.
No cards currently.

7. Matt Harvey, RHP
North Carolina, Jr.
2006 Bowman Aflac, 2007 USA Baseball

8. Delino DeShields Jr, CF Woodward Academy (Ga.), Sr. No cards currently.

9. Karsten Whitson, RHP
Chipley HS (Fla.), Sr.
2009 USA Baseball, 2009 Bowman Aflac, 2010 Bowman

10. Michael Choice, CF
University of Texas - Arlington, Sr.
2009 USA Baseball, 2009 UD Signature Stars

As you can see, all but 2 of the top 10 draft picks have cards available. Of those 8, all but 1 of them are available in the new 2010 Bowman. In addition, many of these players also have cards in last year's Signature Stars. An overlooked and extremely affordable product in comparison to what 2010 Bowman is currently commanding. Several of these players also have cards in Team USA Box Sets, if you can find them.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MLB Draft 2010- What Collectors Need to Know

The MLB Draft used to come and go with little fanfare. The information age has changed all that as fans, collectors and organizations look to the country's most gifted representatives of a new generation of ball players for insight into their teams future. Once an event that warranted little more than a quick recap buried in the sports section, is now a televised event. The hype surrounding some of these, as of yet, unproven players is extraordinary as evidenced by the spectacle created by the long awaited debut of last year's #1 overall pick, Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg's recent cardboard exploits are no secret to collectors. The combined timing of the release of 2010 Bowman, Strasburg's MLB debut (today, 7:05 EST vs Pirates), the MLB Draft and the hype surrounding another #1 pick by the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper, has prospecting type collectors in near delirium.

A quick look at last night's results for the Top 10 picks in the 2010 MLB Entry Draft and some of their available cardboard are below and a complete analysis, including MLB scouting report can be found here.

1. Bryce Harper, C/OF
College of Southern Nevada, Fr.
2008 USA Baseball, 2009 Bowman Aflac, 2009 USA Baseball, 2010 Bowman

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP
The Woodlands HS (Texas), Sr.
2009 USA Baseball, 2009 UD Signature Stars, 2009 Bowman Aflac, 2010 Bowman

3. Manny Machado, SS
Brito Miami Private School (Fla.), Sr.
2009 USA Baseball, 2009 UD Signature Stars, 2010 Bowman
Current Ebay Listings

4. Christian Colon, SS
Cal State - Fullerton, Jr.
2007 USA Baseball, 2008 UD Sweet Spot, 2008 SP Authentic, 2008 USA Baseball, 2009 USA Baseball, 2010 Bowman
Current Ebay Listings

5. Drew Pomeranz, LHP
Ole Miss, Jr.
2009 USA Baseball, 2009 UD Signature Stars, 2010 Bowman

PART 2 Tomorrow

6. Barret Loux, RHP
Texas A&M, Jr.

7. Matt Harvey, RHP
North Carolina, Jr.

8. Delino DeShields, CF
Woodward Academy (Ga.), Sr.

9. Karsten Whitson, RHP
Chipley HS (Fla.), Sr.

10. Michael Choice, CF
University of Texas - Arlington, Sr.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Trading Card Companies to Offer On Demand Production

This is the next major news headline I want to read coming from The Hobby. Unfortunately, it isn't reality . . . yet. With strict guidelines provided by the various licensing leagues on the number of trading card products that can be produced, long gone are the days of having an over-abundance of products to choose from. While a necessary evil for the long term and overall health of The Hobby, the short term consequences for collectors is a serious lack of product variety. I actually miss the years from 2000-2005 when I could choose from products like Greats of the Game, Fan Favorites, Archives, Heritage, Hall of Fame, Elite, Classic, Legends, etc.

In addition to the number of brands that can be produced, there are stringent guidelines on what players can or cannot be included in a product and to what degree regarding quantity of specific players. No longer can a company produce a retired only player product. For myself this is a major downfall of the new licensing rules as these were the products I was most attracted to.

In addition, as a collector of specific teams, and players, I tire of opening product just to dump most of it for pennies on the dollar and spend more time and money looking for individual items on the secondary market. As a manufacturer, why not eliminate the middle man and create an additional revenue stream that competes against the secondary market? What is prohibiting the companies from providing a way to purchase directly from them?

These are some of the things I think many collectors would covet and buy enmasse;

Relic team sets. Not just a plain base card team set but a team set of the entire 25 man roster with each card having an embedded jersey swatch or bat piece.

Autograph team sets. Same idea as above.

Player specific prime cards. Customized trading cards allowing the collector to choose from various templates. For example- 2-color swatch, 3-color patch, 3-color patch auto, quad piece with patch, home/away, bat, etc.

On-demand. Sky's the limit. Customized trading card with attributes specified by the buyer. Fielding pose, glove leather-black, autographed on card.

I would be more than willing to take the money I would spend on a random crap shoot and put it towards or spend its equivalent on a card, or cards, of my favorite players and teams. I understand the potential costs involved in such a project and would understand the need to charge a realistic premium and in the case of a 100% customized card having to wait awhile for its production. However, with the case of the templated cards, the manufacturers could produce 100 of each design, serial numbered and produced at the same time as the corresponding product and when they are sold out, they are gone.

I know it's probably a pipe dream but the idea has been successfully done to a similar degree by In The Game. The logistics, capacity and technology are there to make it happen. By capturing money a collector would normally spend on eBay, the trading card company taps into additional revenue and provides a service to collectors that would keep them coming back for more with each product release regardless of the product being produced.

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 5/27 - 6/4

Great content from around the web- Sports, TV, The Hobby, music, movies, technology, photography, video games, video, comedy, comic books, video games and more!!

This Week's Highlights

A tour of MEARS authentication.

Meagan Fox Dethroned

Update on XBOX's live motion game play- Project Natal.

Stanley Cup Finals Coverage.

New Google Mobile features.

trishstratuscom I uploaded a YouTube video -- WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 - Trish Stratus ringwalk

GettyImagesEdit Stanley Cup Finals - Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four:

mental_floss Check Your Attics & Basements! 5 Hot Wheels/Matchbox Cars Worth Crazy Money -->

SI_24Seven Best Sports Quotes of the Week-

cheaperthandirt Forum Recap Obama Would Have Prosecuted Chicago Man For Defending Himself With Handgun - FBI...

GettyImagesEdit Happy Birthday to Beautiful Angelina Jolie! See striking portraits of her from our Contour Premium Portrait Collection-

CBR PREVIEW: "Death of Dracula" #1

foxnews Is the government taking over the news? FTC's "reinvention" of journalism riles critics

SBJSBD NHL Commish Gary Bettman spars with CBC's Ron MacLean in interview during Stanley Cup Final broadcast.

blowoutcards @toppscards The 2010 Bowman Chrome Jason Heyward Superfractor Auto1 of 1 was pulled from one of our jumbo cases !

GeekTyrant First Promo Trailer for Stephen King's HAVEN TV Series

xbox_news Project Natal Xbox 360: Release Date for Pre-Orders - Product Reviews (blog)

myhouseofcards YouTube - Perfect Game Could Be Worth Millions for Roy Halladay: Video

BreakingNews Cosmic impact creates flash of light on Jupiter, caught on video – Cosmic Log

sportscardhaven Post a scan of your Favorite Ken Griffey Jr. Card to be entered into a random to win a nice card from the SCH Prize...

SBJSBD Bud Selig issues statement re: the call that ruined last night's perfect game.

versustv RT @VersusNHL: Stanley Cup Promotion: you could win an autographed puck! Click the link for the details!

SBJSBD NBA Testing New Social Media Outlets During Celtics-Lakers.

NRANews UN small arms treaty: How big is the threat? (Part 1) -

boltbrowser Kazaa+Skype Founders Launch Twitter-Like Music Service Rdio

SportsCardRadio Release Date Calendar for June 2010: Collectors get to take a breath, but not for long after a great month of May ...

SportsCollector #scdaily: Inside the New MEARS Research and Auction Center

SportsCardRadio Sports Card Radio Fan E-Mail/Article: Huge Vintage Card Score at NY Flea Market. -

chrisolds2009 RT @MLB: Here is the video of controversial call:

GeekTyrant Minority Report User Interface Brought to Life

SportsCardRadio The Sports Card Show Podcast #54 New Site Sponsors + Prospects On The Brink

IGN Could this be what Project Natal looks like?

FCBsportscards Search Tapa Talk in your marketplace RT @jmc280zx: @FCBsportscards any chance of getting an App for BlackBerries???

GoogleMobile Google Maps for BlackBerry Gets Biking Directions, Sharing, and New Search Results

blowoutcards New Product Information Page Posted for 2010 Panini Michael Jackson Trading Cards

FollowAndretti Vote for @DanicaPatrick for the @SPIKEtv's Guys Choice "Hot Shot" award

trishstratuscom I uploaded a YouTube video -- Promo - Trish and Lita on the cover of Raw Magazine

NHLBlackhawks Check out our photo gallery of the Blackhawks' first two days in Philly, including shots from today's morning skate:

BleacherReport RT @danielwolfnfl: Easily the coolest thing in MLB for bloggers right now. Hopefully the NFL will follow suit.

thebellatwins Check out the new Bella shoot: Bathroom Beauties: Besos!

CardBandits Hey guys, if you're not on our Twitter list, let me know

UpperDeckSports Interesting news Michael Jordan fans:

GettyImagesEdit MARVEL at Madame Tussauds' New Super Heroes

CBR World Record Frank Miller Daredevil Original Cover Art Brings $101,575 to Lead $3.2+ Million Heritage Comics Auction

GettyImagesEdit Click here to see our competitive sports coverage - organized by your favorite events all around the world!

GeekWeekOnline Google Chrome OS To Debut This Fall

GeekWeekOnline DC UNIVERSE ONLINE Gets November Release Date

GeekTyrant Update on THE CROW Reboot - Story, Setting and Casting

GeekTyrant Victoria's Secret Congratulates Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for her Role in TRANSFORMERS 3 with this Video

CSNChicago Got #Blackhawks and #StanleyCup fever? Enter to win an authentic #Toews jersey here:

FollowAndretti Sure, the next #Indy500 is a whole year away... but you can see this year's photos now!

GoDaddy RT @IndyCarNation: New blog post. IndyCar talks social media, Go Daddy and upcoming projects.

GawkerTV Cat Takes On Snake in Epic Battle Royale

GeekTyrant Peter Jackson Would Direct THE HOBBIT Films... If He Can Work it Out

sportsnetworker My Top 10 Mobile Sports Apps: It’s an exciting time to be a sports fan. The NHL and NBA Playoffs are appro...

NHLBlackhawks If you couldn't make it to the UC, or if you just want to experience it again, the playoff "Hit The Ice" video is live:

darrenrovell1 The NBA's embarrassing parity -- 8 champions in 30 years

GettyImagesEdit US Civil War: Battles, Sites, And Maps --

GettyImagesEdit US Civil War: Faces Of The Conflict --

GettyImagesEdit US Civil War: Portraits Of Soldiers --

SportsCardRadio Free Box Break Article Submission Contest Online Trading Card Websites -

SportsCardRadio Free Box Break Article Submission Contest: - Spring Training 101 - A TTM Autograph Collector's Dream -

GettyImagesEdit 75 Years Ago American Baseball Legend Babe Ruth Played His Last Game - Take a look back at his career --

trishstratuscom Find us on Facebook at

GettyImagesEdit Pink performs on the first night of her all-new 'Funhouse Summer Carnival' tour- including acrobatics! --

espn Turkish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton wins F1 race after Red Bull duo spins -

GeekTyrant Geek Art: Optimus Prime and Christopher Walken Drawn Only Using Bic Pens

NRANews FBI Data Again Shows More Guns = Less Crime: Anyone needing proof that fanaticism for gun control hasn't waned on ...

hockeycardshow Prob. late to the dance but I'm LOVING this "No Words" Stanley Cup ad from the #NHL

SI_24Seven A junior criminology major & lover of America's Next Top Model, Maryland's Jessie is SI's Cheerleader of the Week -

versustv RT @VersusNHL Pick The Stanley Cup Winner or, the Conn Smythe Winner and you could win a autographed puck!

RipkenBaseball Cal is partnering with Cheerios this summer to remind you to love your heart! Learn more on our Facebook page!!

CBR DC Comics Announces War Comic One-Shots

AuctionBytes PayPal Postage Error Costs eBay Sellers Big Bucks #AuctionBytesNews

versustv Sign up for the Make It Happen Sweepstakes! Grand Prize: Trip for 2 to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and more!

LIFE Totally Clutch Athletes

LIFESportsNews Electrifying Through-the-Leg Shots

AWESOMECARDSHOP Please support your local Hobby Sports card shops!! There are fewer than 400 left in the U.S.! Use to be over 4000+...

SportsCollector #scdaily: "I Sold it on eBay....and You're Paying to Ship it"