Thursday, February 3, 2011

Product Previews: Upper Deck, Topps, ITG, Panini

There are a ton of new products scheduled to be released over the next few months in all four of the North American major sports. It seems that every company is gearing up for a huge 2011, and that means good things for collectors. Here are a few of the products I'm interested in for the early 2011 hobby season:

- 2011 IN THE GAME HEROES & PROSPECTS BASE., Approx. Release Date 2/24/11:
I'm not someone who collects a ton of baseball prospect cards other than the NY Yankees. Call me a fair weather baseball collector, but I have to draw the line somewhere. The line mine as well be after all four sports, thousands of players and hundreds of sets I collect. Although I only collect Yankee prospects, In The Games' (ITG) 2011 Hereos & Prospects Series 1 Baseball has me intrigued. ITG puts out some very decent hockey products that feature killer relics. Wow, that sentence is a bit scary. Hope ITG doesn't put out any killer relics of me after this preview. The 5 card boxes will feature 5 relic or auto'd hits for $82.00 a box. Not too shabby for the jersey or auto hunter. There are also some relic and cut signature cards of baseball legends like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Hank Aaron. This is a very interesting product for the baseball collector.

- 2010 Upper Deck SP Authentic Football, Approx. Release Date 2/22/11:
UD's Authentic Football is a nice looking collegiate product. All the names are there from rookies to legends. For a nostalgia guy like me, UD SP Football offers collectors the chance to look back on the good times of their alma mater. It's not the cheapest product at $96.95 per box, but you do get 3 auto's in each of those boxes. The big question is, will these be on-card or sticker auto's. Should be a very nice product that I'll definitely keep an I out for singles on the Bay.

- 2011 UPPER DECK SP AUTHENTIC BASKETBALL, Approx. Release Date 2/25/11:
Although Upper Deck lost it's MLB, NBA and NFL licenses, it's still turning out product after product. I, like many collectors, was disappointed that UD wasn't going to be able to produce cards featuring my favorite professional teams. Fortunately for collectors, UD has been able to turnout a few nice products despite the setbacks. That sentiment is true of 2011 UD SP Authentic Basketball. The big draw to UD basketball products is Jordan and LeBron, and UD has certainly exploited that advantage. Sp Authentic will follow the UD master plan by offering a Jordan or LeBron auto and an additional "case hit" from players like Jordan, LeBron, Larry Bird, Dr. J, Derrick Rose, Bill Russell, DeMarcus Cousins and Magic Johnson in every 12 box master case. That's two "case hits" in every master case. The master cases will be broken up into two 6 box inner cases that will each contain a "case hit". That's a pretty cool idea, if you can afford the $590.00 inner case price tag or the $1,150 master case price tag.

Each SP Authentic single box will contain 24 packs with 5 cards per pack and either 2 Letter Autographed cards or 2 auto'd cards and an additional Michael Jordan Supreme Court Floor Card. The Supreme Court Jordan cards feature an oversized piece of UNC basketball court piece that Jordan himself played on. There are also a number of interesting inserts like Die-Cut F/X Hologram cards. This is a product with tons of potential.

- 2011 TOPPS SERIES 2 BASEBALL, Approx. Release Date 6/08/11:
Topps seemingly puts out a hundred baseball products a year, so It's tough to narrow it down to one or two products. However, Series 2 looks like a fun product at a price point every collector can afford. At $59.95 a hobby box, you get tons of inserts, parallels, 1 auto and 2 relic cards. The early media releases I've seen of this Series 2 Baseball look nice.

It's still a few months until spring training and the release of this product, but it's never too early to get excited. I'm certainly going to pickup a pack or two of this and hope for the best. The best for me would be something like a Brett Gardner jersey card. He's my favorite current Yankee.

- 2011 Panini Classics Basketball, Approx. Release Date 3/23/11:
Panini's 2011 Classics Basketball is all about living up to 2010 Classics Basketball. Last years product was one of my favorite basketball releases, so I'm excited to see what Panini has in store for this years release. With on-card rookie auto's and a heavy focus on hoops legends, Classics does has me salivating. I'm liking the info I've seen so far on A Knight's Lance, but I'd like to see a few more images of the base cards and inserts.

Each box will contain 2 auto'd and 2 memorabilia cards per hobby box. Classics will also feature a Classics Moment insert set chronicling some of the biggest moments in NBA history. That definitely sounds promising! This looks like a nice product that is sure to feature some of the best rookie auto'd cards of 2011 as they will be on-card signatures.

Stay tuned for another Product Preview post next week that will feature several upcoming basketball and hockey releases. Until then, which upcoming products are you most excited for?


  1. I love ITG's stuff and I'm glad they are getting into other sports. Maybe a basketball release?

  2. @ TJ, I hear ya. ITG is def solid. I would like to see what they could do with hoops!!!