Well, another month has come and gone, and the September Set-Up is upon us. This promises to be an exciting month, with the World Cup of Hockey, the stretch race for the MLB Playoffs, NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup, and the start of the NFL regular season. All of these big time events need some bigtime product releases, so let’s take a few moments and run through the month ahead. Please note that all of these release dates are tentative and they could change at any moment, additionally products may be added or removed from the official calendar as companies prepare their products.
September Set-Up: Week 1 – September 7th
This first week of September offers up some premier products across three sports. Baseball, hockey, and football all get their due, and are the perfect start to out September Set-Up.
The first product out this month is Bowman Chrome Baseball. Always a favorite of collectors, this year’s edition has undergone a major overhaul in it’s format. This year’s hobby boxes are being issued as dual mini-boxes that offer up two autos between them. Meanwhile the vending box format has returned and this format promises three autos per box, as well as numerous prospective player inserts. Hobby boxes will offer 5 cards per back, and 6 packs per mini-box, with each master box holding 2 minis this is a total of 12 packs per hobby box. Cases will contain 12 of these masters each. Vending boxes will contain 80 cards each and each case will have 12 of these boxes.
Highlights of the product this year will include a 100 card base set, with several refractor parallels to accompany it. Prospect cards will be a big seller with each hobby box containing 2, and each vending box containing 33. These cards celebrate the up and comers, and are the driving force of Bowman Chrome. Autographed sets are the big hits of the product, with no less than 4 different young stars sets being included, all of which are hard signed. Exclusive to Bowman Chrome hobby boxes is the Arizona Fall League subset. The AFL set includes jumbo mem pieces for fans to collect. Look for an in-depth preview of Bowman Chrome in the coming days.
Considered to be on the lower-end of Upper Deck’s hockey products, O-Pee-Chee continues to bring to mind the classic days of collecting. Large base sets and no guarantee of an actual “hit” bring to mind the OPC sets of the 70s and 80s, and give the product a retro feel.
The base set for O-Pee-Chee is a massive affair. Totaling 660 cards this set is composed of 550 base cards and 110 short-print variety cards. Short-prints include League Leaders, Marquee Rookies, Season Highlights, and Team Checklists. Additionally the base set will be available in three separate parallel sets.
Although OPC focuses on its base set, hits do exist, be they ever so rare. Two sets of autographs have been created for the product, the O-Pee-Chee Signatures set fall at 1:192 packs and number 2 per case. Team Canada Signatures are 1:384 packs and are the case hit for OPC. The other hits will be coming in the form of the long popular O-Pee-Chee Patches. These manufactured patches come in several forms and have long been a favorite of fans to collect. Forms vary from base version through All-Star logos, to vintage logos, and even mascot patches.
Two insert sets are also appearing in OPC, with the O-Pee-Chee V Series C offering the third round of pre-war style cars that measure 2.5″x2.5″. New to the product this year are the playing cards insert, which feature a full 52 card set of playing cards adorned with NHL players. Cards 2 through King fall 1:9 packs, while Aces are a 1:200 pack rare pull. Check back tomorrow for a full Tear-iffic Tuesday rundown of O-Pee-Chee hockey.
Panini Absolute Football
The first football product to release this month, Panini Absolute promises to be a hit-heavy product. Long considered to be a relic heavy product, Absolute has upped their autograph game this year. Each hobby box promises to include two relics cards and a total of three autographs. Offering a fairly basic base set Absolute splits the 10 card offering into current players, as well as short-printed rookies and veterans.
Counting all of the parallels, there are no less than 10 different autographs sets for fans to chase in this year’s product. These autos make fair use of both legends and rookies, offering something for all types of football collectors to chase. On the mem front, fans can expect cards that include relics such as footballs, gloves, helmets, jerseys, pants, and shows. These will be split across several sets and offer nice selection for those who live by Absolute’s relic based history.
Absolute, of course, offers up some traditional insert sets in all of its boxes and packs. However hobby pack buyers can expect to find die-cut versions of these inserts. Additionally hobby boxes offer a chance at the rare case hit Glass insert. This seems to be a great way to kick-off the new NFL season.
September Set-Up: Week 2 – September 14th
Week 2 of our September Set-Up features 5 release across 4 sports, including the first basketball and soccer products of the month.
Panini Immaculate Basketball
Tipping the scales at a whopping $600USD per hobby box Immaculate Basketball is truly one of Panini’s higher end products. With 6 cards per pack, and 1 pack per box, collectors must demand their money’s worth out of this one. With 5 of the 6 cards being hits, this has become a must have for high-end basketball collectors.
The big target cards in this product are undoubtedly the Rookie Patch Autographs, which give collectors the chance at a big time card for the up and coming stars of the game. Even more desirable will be the 1/1 Logoman parallel, which will likely resell extremely high, given the proper market. Patch autos are not limited to rookies and young stars, but to vets as well. Premium Patch autos will give collectors of veterans and legends something to hunt for as well. Additionally Panini offers up a Dual, Trio, and Quad auto only card that give multiple players their spot in the limelight.
For those searching for relics only, Immaculate offers up a nice selection of sets. Nameplate Nobility cards feature full game used jersey letters, while Sneak Peek, Sole of the Game, and Sneaker Swatches all offer up game used shoe pieces. Exclusive to the product is the Christmas Day set, which gives collectors relics used on December 25th, 2015. Immaculate has also included 1 base card per pack, but the focus is clearly the hits. Look for more information on this product later this month.
Panini Immaculate Collegiate Football
An extension of Panini’s high-end Immaculate brand name, this product shines the spotlight on American College Football. Using the same 5 hits, 1 base format as immaculate Basketball, this product is a little bit easier on the wallet, coming in at about $375USD per hobby box.
Autograph sets for the product include the main Autographs set, along with 1/1 Platinum parallel, the Immaculate Ink set, which honours Hall of Fame college and pro players, and the Sports Variation Autograph Memorabilia, which draws baseball and basketball, as well as football. Also dropping are the Immaculate Numbers autos which are numbered to a player’s jersey number and features a design based on said number. Premium Patches Autographs add a large relic swatch to accompany the hard signed rookie autos.
Exclusively relic based cards are also included in the product and offer up some unique sets. The RPS Rookie Caps set features a large piece of event worn hat. While Immaculate Quads combines 4 players from one school, and also comes in a 1/1 Brand Logo variety. Other relic based cards include Helmet Team Logos, Immaculate Chin Straps, Cleats, Gloves, Jersey Numbers, Tags, and Team Logos. This all adds up to a wide variety of hits. I look forward to the final checklist for this one.
Panini Spectra Football
America does love its football, and with the start of the regular season comes a whole host of new products. For this one, fans can expect hobby boxes to contain a total of 16 cards, 11 of which are hits, along with 3 Prizm parallels. At an average price of $275USD, this looks at preliminary glances to be a decent bang for your buck product.
Spectra Football makes premium rookie content their priority, and delivers with a variety of sets. The main crop of rookie auto sets are the rare Rookie Patch Autographs, the Aspiring Patch Autographs, and the Radiant Rookie Patch Signatures. All three of these sets have multiple 1/1 parallels, including Tags, Nike Swoosh, and Team Logos. As second RPA set, the Rookie Dual Patch Autographs offer two rookies on one card. These are extremely short printed and include the Black Light parallel, which uses white acrylic ink and are numbered /5.
Veteran and current players are also represented in Spectra, but not to the same degree. These players are represented by the Vested Veterans and Illustrious Legends sets. Illustrious Legends promises to be extra popular given it offers up hard signed legend autos.
In addition to all the autos, the bulk of the product is made up of relic cards. Sets such as Catalysts, Epic Legends Materials, and Rising Rookies Materials all bring collectors closer to the stars by offering up game-used relics to collect. A further examination of these sets will only be possible with the final checklist.
Topps Apex MLS Major League Soccer
As a sport that is growing in popularity in North America, soccer is looking to capture more and more of the trading card market. While this set was originally slated for release last month, delays have pushed it to week two of our September Set-Up. While the MLS is nowhere near as popular as its European forefathers, it has a wide open market and Topps looks to grab their fair share. Very affordably priced at $43USD per hobby box, this is the perfect product for young fans.
Fans can expect to see two autos, and a Crest Jumbo Relic in each box. As is usually the case with lower priced products, all autographs are on stickers, and the main set closely resembles the main base set. This also lead to a Dual Autographs set, with both sets having a full comportment of parallels to collect. The 2016 All-Star Autographs are expected to draw fans of big names, as it features the signatures of the league’s All-Star Team, which faced European legendary team Arsenal this past July.
Case hit cards are destined to be the Match Day Die-Cut Auto Relics, which come with jumbo relic and sticker autograph. Red and Purple parallels are also available for this set. The Crest Jumbo Relics drop one per Master Hobby Box and will feature several parallels, including Red Patch, Red Collar, Purple Shield/Team/ADIDAS, and the full set of printing plates.
As this is a lower end product, Apex MLS will also contain a good deal of inserts, but I will take a closer look at these come the actual release date.
Topps Triple Threads Baseball
The last of the week two products is Topps’ longest running premium baseball product. The massively popular product maintains its signature look, which has become synonymous with the TTT brand. Each $175USD hobby box will offer up two autos and two relics. Additionally TTT continues the Bull Durham theme that Topps has adopted this year.
TTT features a strong and well paralleled base set that features veterans and retired players alike. This set aside the focus of TTT, like most products, is the rookie class. Boasting a hard signed Autographed Rookies set, TTT looks to grab the attention of collectors looking for a more premium type of product. Meanwhile the Base Rookie & Future Phenoms Autograph Relics set will feature a trio of relics for a young player and will mix sticker and hard autos, depending on the player.
Player specific die-cut relics will accompany a sticker auto in the Topps Triple Threads Autograph Relics set. Triple player autos will be available in the form of Auto Relic Combos, and both sets will have a full array of parallels to chose from. The Unity Autograph Jumbo Relics set acts as the signed counter-part to the Unity Jumbo Relics set, while Jumbo/Letter Plus Autographed Relics are among the rarest of hits. Cut Above and Dual Cut Above Autographs are also extremely rare hits.
The name Triple Threads gives Topps a lot to live up to and they do so with several sets. The Relics and Relics Legends are the primary sets, but they are no alone. Joining them are sets such as All-Star Patches, Jumbo Patches, Jumbo Sleeve Team Patches, Laundry Tags, and Majestic Logo Patches. Super short-printed relics include 1/1 Bat Knobs, Bat Nameplates, Jumbo Letter/Number/Logos, and Jumbo Patch Combos.
10 player booklet relics offer up a different approach to the product in the form of the Deca Threads Relic Combos set, which also has an autograph variety. Deca Threads Auto Relics is similar, but instead offers 10 mem pieces from a single player. The entire set appears to be quite interesting and I look forward to previewing it further.
Wanna See the Checklists for these Products? Watch Breakninja for Their Release!