Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Podcast #65 & 2010/11 Panini Certified Hockey Box Break Contest

A little over a year & half has past since I setup the Sports Card Radio Fan Forum. 223 Members - 8,300 Posts and counting - its been a fun experience. The past two weeks have been extra exciting thanks to Panini America providing a box of 2010 Panini Absolute Football & now 2010/11 Panini Certified Hockey for the fans of Sports Card Radio to check out.

People Entered Here: Sports Card Radio Panini Certified Hockey Giveaway

Our Podcast is in its second year - and Sports Card Show #65 is our newest release. We talk about 2010 Just Minors Jersey Baseball + 2010/11 Score Hockey + 2010 Panini Crown Royale Football. Lots of great sets are on the Release Date Calendar - so expect more podcasts to come.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Holiday Spending Spree On PreSale Boxes (Wish)

After taking a look at the upcoming products on the Release Date Calendar - I was thinking to myself how wonderful it would be to have a few thousand to spend on some boxes. Sure would heat up the winter even though its never too cold where I live.

For This Month - October - Here is what I would buy:
2010 Topps Chrome Football
2010 Topps Update & Highlights Baseball
2010 Just Minors Jersey Baseball
2010/11 Panini Limited Basketball

I love Just Minors Jersey baseball where you get an entire jersey signed - pretty cool idea - and they have been doing it for a while. Wish the 'bigger' companies would do something like that. I think Update & Highlights Baseball will be very cool this year - and a fun break if you bust boxes. I might actually open some packs of Limited Basketball and Topps Chrome Football if I can find them in town.

November would really be a large tab - some cool stuff this month.
2010 Upper Deck SPx Football
2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball
2010 Topps Triple Threads Football
2010/11 Panini Rookies & Stars Basketball
2010 Topps Unrivaled Football 
2010/11 Panini Threads Basketball
2010 Press Pass Five Star Racing

I've got to say. I watch Daytona every year and I know who Dale Jr and Jeff Gordon are ... but that's about it ... that being said I'd love to pop some Press Pass 5 Star Racing - looks cool. Lots of good football sets this month - if some key RC's play well going into this month - expect to pay big $$ for some of these sets.

December - Got to save some money for gifts, but I'll pretend the bankroll is unlimited.
2010 Topps UFC Knockout
2010 Topps Prime Football
2010/11 Panini Timeless Treasures Basketball
2010/11 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball
2010 Upper Deck World of Sports

December ends up being a cool month for some 'other' sports - like UFC Knockout is a nice looking premium UFC set. World of Sports has Tiger Woods, Micheal Jordan and many other athletes. I love basketball - and I think SP Authentic and Panini Timeless Treasures will be good bball products at the end of the year.

There are lots more sets than this ... these are just what I would choose. Topps Sterling and Bowman Sterling Baseball (among others) come out too - but I've never really got into baseball as much as football & basketball cards. If you've got a big budget, I would expect you will have lots of fun spending it in the coming months. If you are like me and have a small budget for cards - there will be lots of single cards flooding the market during/after this great run of releases, so there will be plenty to go after. Should be a fun winter for collectors ---- and best of luck to those that really do try their luck at a few of these boxes!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Panini's NBA Basketball Exclusive - Act 2

Well, its been about a year now since Panini was granted an exclusive reign over NBA licensed basketball trading cards and its time for year number 2 to get on its way.

Basketball cards never really got off the ground in 2009, and I would argue that it took Panini until after the regular season was over to come out with products that really caught the collectors eye. Crown Royale, Timeless Treasures, Court Kings, Hall of Fame, and National Treasures all came out essentially after everyone knew that Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, and Tyreke Evans were the only RC's worth anything. We'll see about Blake Griffin - but he really hurt the company early in the season because he was the RC case hit most of the time.

Given that it was Panini's '1st year' making NBA cards in 09/10 we saw a lot of Football carry-over designs and set makeups. 2010/11 looks to be the same ... but every company does this now. The autograph and jersey card player pool was and still is - extremely small. You get the feeling that Antawn Jamison and Baron Davis change jerseys a lot. More seasoned collectors complained of the over-saturation of sticker autos - however it seems Panini has responded - as more cards will feature on card signatures in 10/11 brands.

Panini did have some breakthroughs with athletes that must not have liked Upper Deck & Topps much. We've seen more Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and Robert Horry autographs than I remember seeing in the past. The use of cut autographs was utilized in a few sets, but I'd like to see a Wilt Chamberlain, Reggie Lewis, Len Bias and Drazen Petrovic down the road.

The exclusive deals across all sports have been interesting to follow. Surely its helped sell every product in baseball ... except maybe 2010 Chicle and a few others. We've seen huge prices for non-autographed Bowman SuperFractors - which will be essentially be re-printed later on this year for 2010 Bowman Chrome, and even Bowman Draft Picks. I don't think we see this type of craziness if Upper Deck, Panini and others have #1/1's and Autographs of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper floating around at the same time Bowman came out in May. Its obviously apparent that Baseball has far more collectors than basketball - and that affects prices more than anything. That being said, I honestly don't think that any 2010 baseball prospect is going to have the career that Tyreke Evans is going to have in the NBA ... but baseball collectors are sure more willing to 'gamble' on a prospect than basketball collectors.

Honestly its a tough market in basketball cards. With LeBron James & Michael Jordan still at Upper Deck - its tough to go all in collecting basketball cards when two of the most valuable players of all time can't sign for you. Its almost like opening a 'searched' box of 1952 Topps with all the Mickey Mantle's and HOF pulled out ... sure you'll get some sweet cards ... but never the prized pull. LeBron James is far more polarized in popularity now, but any collector would gladly spend $100 on a box with a LeBron autograph inside.

Exclusive deals were designed to make collecting less confusing and help keep the supply of cards in check over the course of a year. With only 12 active guys on an NBA roster - and even less of them actually getting playing time and publicity - its already a thin market for basketball cards to begin with. Considering you still see plenty of 09/10 Basketball Product for sale (usually at a discount - ie: 09/10 Court Kings) its obvious that the supply is still too high for demand. If Panini wants year #2 to be a good one - I would suggest making less of each product so you end up keeping hobby dealers happy. Product that doesn't move is like that ugly bright green sweater at Macy's that never sells despite being 75% off ... and Panini has several product that fit this category. Unfortunately the NBA doesn't do much other than promote LeBron and Kobe - so such is life for an NBA licensee and basketball collectors alike.