With Portfolio Hockey serving as the star attraction for my main Tear-Iffic Tuesday, posting I have decided to do a quick Wednesday Wrap-Up for the rest of the products scheduled for release this week. It is definitely a busy week, with 9 products currently slated to be released. Everything from soccer to Star Wars is about to drop, so let’s get to it.
Wednesday Wrap-Up: Donruss Soccer
Let’s be honest here, I’m your typical North American, which means my knowledge of European soccer leagues is laughable. Non the less I can appreciate what Donruss has done by creating a soccer themed product. Focusing almost exclusively on the major European clubs, Donruss Soccer promises one autograph or Canvas/Mosaic parallel per hobby box. Given that these two parallels are numbered /49 and 15 respectively, I’d consider this a decent return on a $67usd hobby box.
Donruss’ large base set features 200 of the world’s premiere stars and 30 rookies. These of course come in a variety of parallels that will keep collectors searching. The major draw for fans though will certainly be the healthy variety of autographs that Donruss has made available. The main set, appropriately titled “The Beautiful Games Autographs” offers up 54 cards and a nice selection of numbered parallels. Names such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luis Suarez should be recognizable, even to novices such as myself. Additionally fans have been excited to hear that Diego Maradona has also signed for the product, from what I am hearing this may be a rarity from the FC Barcelona player.
The solo autographs set is followed up by sets of two, three, and four player autograph cards. These serve to highlight the teamwork aspect of the sport and should be popular with the fans of the individual clubs.
As is the case with most trading card products, inserts make up the remainder of the hits for Donruss’ product. The 35th Anniversary Edition cards flash back to the company’s original design with a 10 card tribute set. Other inserts in the product include Accomplishments, Dominators, Picture Perfect, and Production Line. All parallels come with a full complement of parallel sets that will keep fans jumping.
Looking for the Donruss Soccer Checklist? It’s here —-> http://www.checklistcenter.com/2016-17-donruss-soccer-full-checklist/
Wednesday Wrap-Up: 2016 Panini Gala Football
Moving from one version of football to another, we find Panini’s latest kick at the pig skin. Panini Gala Football shouldn’t be confused with the basketball product of the same name, but they do mirror each other in look and format. For me football falls into much the same category as well…football (soccer) in that I know very little about it. This is probably why Gala is getting included in the Wednesday Wrap-Up and not a featured article.
For me, one of the most striking things about Gala Football is the structuring of the base set. Each hobby box contains a single base card, as well as 4 autos/relics. For this reason Panini has managed to make the base set extremely limited. The primary set, the veterans, are numbered out of only 49, while the rookie class (#146-200), are numbered to only 8! I personally have never seen such short printed base cards that weren’t parallels. It’s an interesting concept that could increase the collectability of the 200 card set.
As I already pointed out, besides the numbered base card, a hobby box contains 4 autos or relics. This means that both must be able to stand out and give the consumer a satisfying experience. At $230usd per hobby box this could be a tall order. From what I can see none of the autograph cards are numbered higher than /99, which clearly is a plus, as it increases the overall collectability of the cards. With sets such as Action Autographs, and Silver Screen Rookie Signatures, I’d expect that some very nice cards are available. Additionally Panini seems to have controlled themselves on the parallel department, limiting themselves to no more than 3 per set.
Relic cards are always going to be a mixed bag type of hit. If you manage to pull a 1/1 patch or tag than you are in the money and singing from the rooftops. Unfortunately, more often than not mem cards lead to single color jersey swatches that no one truly wants. Hopefully for the football fans out there, Panini will have stepped up there game and made sure to rock the relics. With low print runs, sets such as Coming Attractions, and Double Feature will hopefully not disappoint.
Living and collecting on a limited budget, I always shy away from high end cards. The large investment for only a few cards scares me, even though I know that the value will hold better. That being said, if I were a football fan Gala would be a product that I might be willing to take a shot at. Hard autos, short print mem, and limited base are a recipe for a good return.
Football Fans Should Checkout Breakninja for all their Checklist Needs http://www.breakninja.com/football_box_break_group_checklists.html
Wednesday Wrap-Up: 2015-16 Panini Preferred Basketball
Unlike soccer and football, which are sports I simply haven’t ever been into, I genuinely dislike basketball. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you, I just don’t like it, probably some repressed connections to gym class or something like that. That being said I will still take a shot at Panini Preferred for the Wednesday Wrap-Up.
At the time of writing, Panini only just released the checklist for Preferred Basketball, so details will be sketchy. This seems to be a product that combines several products into one box, much like Rookie Anthology does, only on a higher end scale. Each box promises 2 autograph cards and 2 mem booklets. At a box cost in the $220usd range I hope these cards are worth it.
From what information I can find the main meat of the product seems to be Crown Royale Silhouettes. This is probably a good move by Panini, as these cards have always been collectable, regardless of the sport. These come in both the regular and rookie versions and will likely be one of the highlights of the product. Other autograph sets include the Preferred and Unparalleled series, as well as the die-cut Crown Royale autos. Overall this seems like a good bunch of options.
Mem cards in Preferred (non Silhouette ones) seem to focus primarily on the booklet format that Panini has always liked. Some of the included sets are the 2015 NBA Finals Memorabilia Booklets, and the Stat Line Memorabilia Booklets, which have a tag parallel. Also it is said the product includes some tri-fold Vs One on One Memorabilia Booklets, which will feature two players each.
With having just seen the final checklist I hesitate to pass judgement on Preferred Basketball, but to me it looks good. The right combination of mem and autos, with the addition of previously successful sets means that Panini will probably do alright with it.
Breakninja also does Basketball! http://www.breakninja.com/basketball_box_break_group_checklists.html
Wednesday Wrap-Up: Baseball
It is a big week for baseball collectors with 3 individual card products hitting the shelves. These range from super low-end to ultra high-end so I will deal with them individually. Normally I would give each one their own preview article, but there just isn’t time so they will have to settle for a Wednesday Wrap-Up (that’s a thing now, I just decided).
2016 Panini Immaculate Baseball
First up to bat in this week’s baseball releases is Panini Immaculate. This mid-high end product features 1 base card and 5 auto/mem cards per hobby box. Taking a heavy focus on the 2016 MLB rookie class Immaculate offers, for the first time, hard signed rookie autographs. These are most clearly evident in the Rookie Autograph Patch set, which being #/99, promises sweet looking mem and one of this year’s best rookie signatures.
Fans searching for veteran autographs needn’t worry either, as Immaculate Autographs and Immaculate Inks provide a full spectrum of veteran autographs. Players such as David Ortiz, Andre Dawson, and Chipper Jones are just a sampling of the names featured throughout the several “Immaculate” sets. These cards are a great chance to grab some retired stars or today’s big names.
Panini has also included a vast wealth of mem cards in the product, the best of which, again, fall under the Immaculate brand. Fans can search for pieces of cleats, hats, patches, jersey swatches, and bats throughout the product. This vast array of mem ranges from current young players all the way to the Grand Bambino himself. These are the type of relic cards that fans dream about owning, well done Panini, well done. This is definitely a product worth checking out.
2016 Topps Bunt Baseball
Next up in the Wednesday Wrap-Up baseball section is Topps Bunt. This is unlike any other product that I have ever seen. Bunt Baseball takes its cue from the popular mobile phone app of the same name. The app offers fans the collecting experience in digital form. It releases new cards on a daily basis and includes a daily free pack, along with the option to purchase cards. The mass popularity of the app (100,000+ Android downloads) had led Topps to create a physical form of these cards. These will be extremely affordable cards, with hobby boxes as low as $29usd, and will still offer a direct connection to the digital platform.
The base set for Bunt offers 200 cards with several parallel sets, including hobby exclusive 1/1 printing plates. However the main focus for the product is its inserts. These range from the outer space themed Light Force to the Stadium Heritage series which features big stars in their home team park. Amazingly enough, considering the price, Bunt also manages to offer autograph chances. These cards bridge the digital and physical worlds, with the Title Town series offering up 3 players cards with an included code to unlock a digital card. Additionally, Signature Series Autographs are live in packs, with the digital versions only being available through online contests using the Topps Bunt app.
Ensuring that the physical and digital version of the product stay linked, are the series of redemption cards. Known as Bunt Loot cards these redemptions are each redeemable for a 10 card digital pack, each of which will include one insert and one Topaz base parallel. Other digital pulls from physical packs include the Platinum base, Mystery Rookies, Young Stars, and Rampage cards (collect this set for an app boost). With each hobby box including 18 inserts and 12 Bunt Loot cards, this is the ideal kid friendly product and strives to offer the best of both worlds.
2016 Topps The Mint Baseball
Moving from the ultimate low end product to the ultra high end we find The Mint Baseball, which makes its debut this week. This high priced ($900usd per hobby box) product promises 5 hard signed autographs per box. This means that every card on the list has been signed by the players in question, and the majority of them have been numbered as well. Fans will be able to get a combination of both rookies and veterans in this amazing looking product. Names like Ortiz, Pujols, and Trout are common throughout the sets, meaning it will be hard to miss on these cards.
While the product is clearly focused on the autographs, memorabilia cards also appear to combine relics and autographs. Autographed Patch cards and Iconic Jerseys both make an appearance. As an extra bonus Topps has randomly inserted the Franklin Batting Glove Book cards into some boxes as an extra hit, adding to the 5 guaranteed auto cards.
Fans of more unique cards will be happy to see the Gem 10 Autographs set, which has added 3 unique autos to the product. Legendary announcer Vin Scully has signed as himself, while Sylvester Stallone makes an appearance as Rocky Balboa, and Tim Robbins brings to life the famous Nuke LaLoosh character from Bull Durham movie.
My personal favorite set from Mint Baseball has to be the Gold Engraving Autographs. These black card stock cards are serial numbered and signed in gold ink. With Green /10, and Red 1/1 parallels these cards will be highly re-sellable. Names such as Andre Dawson, Hank Aaron, and Nolan Ryan are just some of the big chase cards for the set. High end collectors will love this product.
For all your Baseball Checklist Needs http://www.breakninja.com/baseball_box_break_group_checklists.html
Wednesday Wrap-Up: 2016 Cryptozoic Walking Dead Season 4 Part 2
Walking Dead fans can finally rejoice. The much delayed second part of season 4s trading card series has finally arrived. Originally scheduled to be released months ago, the folks at Cryptozoic have kept fans wondering if they had been Zombified. The product features a variety of different sets that are sure to please fans of the hit AMC television series.
Walking Dead base cards follow the usual Cryptozoic layout, offering fans a mixture of base, autographs, relics, and inserts. Base cards offer up a selection of scenes from the show itself focusing on individual episodes in order to maintain the show’s timeline. With several parallels to chose from this 72 card set should keep fans happy.
Fans of individual characters have a few different sets to chase down. The Autographs set offers 26 cards, plus many parallels, for fans to chose from. Offering up actor autos for memorable characters such as Rick grimes, Eugene Porter, and Tara Chambler, this set will likely be the most popular of the series. The Characters insert will be another to watch as fans rush to get headshots of their favorite stars. The same will be true of sketch cards, which offer up artistic renditions of characters for fans to collect.
Two sets of relic cards also show up in the product, offering fans pieces of wardrobe and props from the show. Wine bottles, ammo boxes, and shirt pieces all make for unique collectibles for the shows mega fans. This type of product appeals to both collectors and TV fans and should do very well.
The Checklist for Walking Dead will appear here shortly —> http://www.checklistcenter.com/the-walking-dead-checklist/
Wednesday Wrap-Up: 2016 Topps Star Wars The Force Awakens Chrome
Ok, so this one isn’t really a Wednesday Wrap-Up since it releases on Friday, but we’ll check it out none the less. The new Star Wars movies have revived the series and introduced a whole new generation of fans to the powers of the force. While purists will undoubtedly cling to the original trilogy, we must accept that the series has developed and will continue to grow. The original 3 movies spawned an unprecedented collectors market, and Topps is all too willing to add to it. The Force Awakens Chrome offers up autos, relics, and inserts to keep the collecting market alive.
As much as fans may be tempted to buy retail packs to save money, I cannot stress enough how critical it is to buy hobby!. Hobby have exclusive parallels, the Medallion Relics cards, and Daisy Ridley’s autograph. That’s right fanboys, Rey is a hobby exclusive character, so you’re gonna have to pay up if you want her auto. Don’t worry too much though a hobby box is reasonably priced at $85usd. Plus you have the chance at other autos such as Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford. Dual, and triple autographed cards are also available.
Relics cards are limited to the hobby exclusive medallion cards, and the Target exclusive patch cards. Medallion cards feature an image of certain characters, such as Rey, Finn, or BB-8, alongside a specially made medallion. These should be fun for the younger fans to collect. The same idea carries over to the patch cards, which can only be found in boxes purchased at Target (sorry Canada). These cards contain manufactured Star Wars themed patches and should be fun keepsake.
The remainder of the product is made up of inserts such as Power of The First Order, Behind the Scenes, and Sketch Cards. Each hobby box contains 144 cards, of which one will be a “hit”. Hits are considered to be autos, sketches, relics, or printing plates. This is a fun family friendly product that should help bridge fans of both the original and new movies (I’ll ignore the Jar-Jar era).
The Checklist for TFA Chrome is here —> http://www.checklistcenter.com/star-wars-the-force-awakens-checklist/
Wrapping Up the Wednesday Wrap-Up
Well we’ve reached the end of this weeks release calendar, it certainly was busy. Looking ahead to next week we will be seeing Panini Origins Football, Topps Apex MLS Soccer, and Rittenhouse WNBA Basketball, as well as any other products that get added to the list. Until then I wish you happy tearing and hope to see you all next week.