Sunday, November 21, 2010

Your Numbered, 1-of-5, Triple Patch, Auto Isn't . . . .

really just one of five. You know that right? See, chances are your card has a parallel version within the product and had a similarly numbered card last year as well. In addition, there was one the year before, and the year before that as well. That same triple patch auto numbered one of five bounty you so covet, adore, and/or want probably has another card just like it in another brand of the same year as well.

The proliferation of autograph cards has come to the point where it parallels the over production of the junk wax era of the late 80's, the game used jersey saturation of the late 90's and early 2000's. The sheer number of autographs being signed by legendary Hall of Famers across all sports is so staggering that every newly released sports trading card product devalues the price of those autographs.

With the rate of frequency that players like Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, Dan Marino, Gordie Howe and players of their equal, sign autographs, and assuming they all live another 20 years minimum (excluding Gordie Howe but it honestly wouldn't surprise me either) the laws of supply and demand will with have snowballed, rendering their autographs virtually worthless in stature to their athletic accomplishments.

We saw something similar recently happen with Shoeless Joe Jackson game used cards. Once the only bat card in existence of the shamed former White Sox player, the 2001 SP Legendary Cuts card commanded upwards of $500-$600. Fast forward seven years later when Donruss released Sports Legends in 2008 with their very own Shoeless Joe game used card and prices for both cards have yet to return to those values.

In both circumstances, autographs or rare game used cards, their are obviously other forces at play including a lengthy and deep recession. I understand that card companies are in business to make a profit and have no moral obligation or fiduciary responsibility to conduct business in a manner that preserves secondary market value. Unfortunately at the same time, we as collectors have reached a point in The Hobby where, collectively, we have little interest in the cards themselves other than the hits. It's a problem the card companies created and we perpetuated and the only winners are the manufacturers. For the most part, what we collect today will never hold its market value, let alone appreciate.

That goes for autographs of iconic and revered Hall of Famers who continue to sign sticker, after sticker, after sticker flooding an already saturated market. Don't believe me? Take a good, hard, objective look at the trends you see on completed auctions on eBay. Hundreds and hundreds of cards undervalued.

A sad state of The Hobby that will only get worse.

Collect what you like and not what you think will be valuable, because in the end, 90% of what's in your treasured "collection" isn't going to be worth squat.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bored To Tears With The Hobby

Man do I miss Upper Deck and Fleer. I think it is fair enough to say at this point that the exclusive licensing "experiment" is an utter fail. Giving Topps the keys to the baseball trading card market with no competition what so ever has set The Hobby back 30 years with an ever increasing amount of mediocrity.

While Upper Deck clearly mailed it in with the last year's worth of product releases in baseball, they were still superior in quality design, checklist depth, and value then anything Topps has produced year to date. As for Fleer, they might have gimmicked themselves out of business, but I really appreciated their willingness to take risks and produce cards out of the norm like Double Header and Hardball.

While I in no way support the shady management of the Upper Deck Company that led to their recent fall from grace, I think the evidence is clear that The Hobby is a better place with them than without.

Donruss may have changed their name but it is clearly obvious they still have trailer loads of foilboard to get rid of. I swear, Anne Powell back in the day must have bought enough of this stuff to cover every square inch of the earth several times over. It seems like just yesterday the blogsphere was abuzz with their pending demise. Look at them now. Who would have thought that in such a short time that UD and Donruss' position in the market would be so drastically flip flopped.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Product Review: 2010-11 Score Hockey

When it comes to entry-level products geared to young collectors or those on a budget, the hockey card market has been underserved over the last several years. Panini’s entry into hockey has afforded them the opportunity to fill that void. No brand is more ideally suited for this than Score.

A Personal Request Regarding Score Hockey

I need the help of my readers and other bloggers to complete a master Chicago Blackhawks team set from this year's Score Hockey.

The following are the cards I need and any help would be great. Thanks in advance.

6 Cristobal Huet
16 Jonathan Toews
30 Marian Hossa

31 Patrick Kane
32 Jonathan Toews
54 Dustin Byfuglien
59 Ben Eager
126 Marian Hossa

127 Patrick Sharp
128 Patrick Kane
129 Jonathan Toews
132 Viktor Stalberg
133 Jack Skille
134 Brent Seabrook
135 Duncan Keith
136 Niklas Hjalmarsson
137 Jordan Hendry
138 Brian Campbell
139 Tomas Kopecky
140 Marty Turco
410 Antti Niemi

7 Jonathan Toews

21 Antti Niemi

Playoff Heroes
9 Antti Niemi
17 Marian Hossa
19 Dustin Byfuglien

24 Patrick Kane
25 Jonathan Toews

Sudden Death
2 Jonathan Toews

Snow Globe
4 Patrick Kane

10 Antti Niemi

Saturday, November 6, 2010

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 10/31 - 11/5

This week's highlights include:

Hotties: Cheerleaders, The Playboy Mansion Halloween Party, SI Hot Clicks and more.

The Hobby: An ever flowing stream of content from Panini, Honus Wagner and Divine intervention, auction news a belated wrapper redemption program and more.

Video Games: Star Wars augmented reality, COD Black Ops, first Kinect reviews, violent video game law goes to Supreme Court, EA cancels NBA Elite and more

Sports: MLB Free Agency, 20 most dramatic athletes, and more

Check it out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Product Review: Limited Basketball and Crown Royale Football

When a collector spends $80-$85 on a box of trading cards, they are expecting some degree of value in return. Such was not the case with either of my boxes. Does it mean that they are bad products? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that the product is hit and miss and while high-end box-busters and collectors may be used to that level of risk, your traditional, mid-range collector will have to think twice before shelling out their hard earned cash for either of these products expecting a decent return.

Read the rest

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Greatest Cut Signature Card Ever . . . If It's Real

Details have been revealed regarding the upcoming release of 2010 Sports Icons Cut Signature Edition by Leaf. Talking with Brian Gray at this year's National, he shared with me that he had just acquired one of the only known signatures of the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson.

At the time I specifically questioned him on the fact that Shoeless Joe never learned to read or write with most examples having been signed by his wife. He said the signature was authenticated by PSA. Most signatures submitted to PSA/DNA are compared to exemplars on file in their library or other known sources.

My question is, if this is truly a one of a kind signature, how would you be able to authenticate it having nothing to compare it to?

I hope it is legit. As a Shoeless Joe collector, I would love nothing more to believe that this card is legit and to have made it the focal point of an entire set is very cool. In addition to the cut signature card, 15 different Joe Jackson insert cards have been created falling at a rate of 1 per box. A special promotion has been created to reward the lucky collector with the cut signature card at the 2011 NSCC. The following is an excerpt from the sell sheet.

"We are pleased to announce our FOUR LEAF CLOVER promotion which will award the greatest prize ever pack inserted into a trading card product: A 2010 LEAF SHOELESS JOE JACKSON CUT SIGNATURE CARD (ESTIMATED VALUE AT $70,000-100,000!)There will be FOUR of these FOUR LEAF CLOVER cards created. Three will be inserted in the packs and the fourth will go to the collector who presents for our review the MOST COMPLETE set of 2010 Leaf Sports Icons Update. One of these 4 lucky collectors will walk away from the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention with this rare JOE JACKSON CUT SIGNATURE CARD! The other three lucky collectors will each win a FREE SEALED CASE OF OUR 2011 LEAF SPORTS ICONS CUT SIGNATURE product"

See here for more details on the product shipping December 7th.