Friday, January 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI Playoff Schedule And The Last 2011 Panini NFL Sticker

We began the journey 17 weeks ago to complete the 72 page 2011 Panini NFL Sticker Album with all 494 stickers.  Back in June of 2011, when the fate of the 2011 NFL Season was undecided, when it looked like there would be no football because of the lockout, this is what we said.

“We have no idea if there will be an NFL season this year, but we will have Football here at the blog.   At a rate of about 4 pages a week we will do our best to fill an album and share our progress with you.”

Things worked out for the best, football resumed and now the 2011 NFL regular season is over.  But we still made good on our promise.   During the past 17 weeks we have placed 493 stickers in our album leaving us with just this one.

Super Bowl XLVI

This sticker completes our last two pages.

NFL 2010 Playoffs

This completes our 2011 Panini NFL Sticker album and coverage.  If you missed your favorite team, there are links to see the completed pages at the bottom of this post.

Now looking forward, here is the NFL playoff schedule. 

In the Wild-card Round

On Saturday, January 7th

In the AFC, the Cincinnati Bengals will take on the Texans in Houston at 4:30 PM EST on NBC.
In the NFC, the Detroit Lions with go up against the Saints in New Orleans at 8:00 PM EST on NBC.

On Sunday, January 8th

In the NFC, the Atlanta Falcon will be the visitors against the New York Giants at 1:00 PM EST on FOX.
In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers will try to stop the Broncos in Denver at 4:30 PM EST on CBS.

In the Divisional Round

The winners of the NFC Wild-card games will face either The San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, January 14th at 4:30 PM EST on FOX or the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 15th at 4:30 PM EST on FOX.

The winners of the AFC Wild-card games will face either The New England Patriots on Saturday, January 14th at 8:00 PM EST on CBS or the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, January 15th at 1:00 PM EST on CBS.

In the Conference Championship Round

The final four teams will face off on Sunday, January 22nd with the AFC game at 3:00 PM EST on CBS and the NFC game at 6:30 PM EST on FOX

Super Bowl XLVI

This year’s Super Bowl will take place in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5th at 6:30PM EST on NBC

Now, here are links to see the completed team pages.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 Topps American Pie Trading Cards Hobby Box Break Recap and Review

Imagine a set that is made up of base cards, each one just as desirable as the next, insert cards that mix humor with nostalgia and hit cards that go from celebrity to sublime.   You’ve just imagined 2011 Topps American Pie Trading Cards, a set that makes you remember why you collected cards in the first place.

Topps American Pie falls under our classification of trading cards.  Hobby Boxes contain 24 – 8 card packs and feature 3 memorabilia cards.

Here is a look at some of the cards we pulled from our hobby box.

Base Set
 World War II Ends, front & back

 Firs Scrabble Boards, The Beatles Play Shea Stadium, Saturday Night Fever Released

The Miracle On Ice - The USA Hockey Team, DVD Introduced, Kanye Interrupts Taylor Swift

 Base Card Parallels
Diners Club Is First Credit Card, Gary Cooper, First Burger King

Seinfeld Premieres, Unabomber Arrested, Martha Stewart Indicted

Grady The Cow Spotlight Parallel #/76

Hirsute History
 The Soul Patch, The Bob

 Sideburns, The Fauxhawk

Hollywood Walk of Fame
 Chuck Berry, Charlie Chaplin

 Christopher Reeve, George Carlin

 Vincent Price, Richard Pryor

 Johnny Cash, Mister Rodgers

Fads & Fashions
 3D Movies, Telephone-Booth Stuffing, Go-Go Boots

 Pet Rocks, Big Hair, The Atkins Diet

The Hits
 1979 Topps Star Trek The Motion Picture Buyback Card, Vulcan Starship, front & back 

 Tia Carrere Memorabilia Card, Butch Patrick Memorabilia Card

 Walt Disney American Pie Coin Collection with a 1966 Quarter #/25

Overall Look
The design is really working here.  With thematic attention paid to the different decades and good write-ups on the backs of the cards, this base set looks great.  The Inserts and Memorabilia cards are just as smart looking.

Quality and Variety of checklist.
There is good coverage of key events throughout the decades in the fields of entertainment, political history, pop culture, sports and technology. Topps did a nice job with their selection of stars from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but an even better selection of the stars included on the memorabilia and auto cards providing just the right amount of ‘pop culture kitsch” needed for a set like this. The buyback cards are iconic and the heavier hits like the coin cards and the specialty cards like the Statue of Liberty foundation relic cards are great bonuses.

Do the hits hold up?
The hits fit perfectly with the tone of this set with Hollywood Sign Letter patch cards and Hollywood Walk of Fame Patch cards. The same holds true for the coin and stamp cards. There are some impressive hits to pull like cut autos and auto/relics but even an “Eddie Munster” relic card is satisfying.

Will you want to collect them all? 
Most likely the older you are, the more you will appreciate these cards, but regardless of age, collectors will want them all.

5 out of 5

2011 Topps American Pie Trading Cards are completely fun to look at and collect.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tri City Sports PL 2012 Diamond Cuts Baseball About To Release

Tri City Sports PL is just about to release it's newest product, 2012 Diamond Cuts Baseball.  Limited to 900 boxes distributed in 30 cases of 30 boxes each, the boxes will contain 2 cards that could be any of the following.

Cut Autos limited to 5 or less.
Fan Favorite Cut Autos that are 1/1s
Authentic Vintage Stamps limited to 50 or less
Jumbo Game-Used Patched limited to 4 or less
Golden Ticket Redemptions

Each card will come encased in a TCSP Pouch that Tri City Sports PL says will render it incapable of being counterfeited.

For more information on Diamond Cuts you can check out the Tri City Sports PL site for details using this link.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Topps Teams Up With The US Olympic Committee To Produce Team USA Cards

It was announced today that the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Topps as the exclusive trading card producer of Team USA cards for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Topps will release the first of it’s Team USA cards in the spring of 2012, leaving plenty of time to get them before the London Games. The collection will feature the country's top Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls, including Allyson Felix (track & field), Missy Franklin (swimming), Lolo Jones (track & field), Tatyana McFadden (Para track & field), Michael Phelps (swimming), Jerome Singleton (Para track & field), Hope Solo (soccer) and Jordyn Wieber (gymnastics).

There will be 100 gold-medal hopeful cards - 40 of which feature authentic athlete-autographed special versions. The release will also celebrate past Team USA medalists, the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and their diverse sports and venues, and will include randomly inserted cards embedded with Olympic pins, patches and replica medals.

A portion of each purchase will go directly to supporting the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams.

2011 Topps USA Baseball Hobby Edition Complete Set Box Break Recap and Review

USA Baseball was founded in 1978 to oversee amateur baseball and organize our country's national teams.  Topps was there in the beginning to cover USA Baseball.  Here is an example.
Most of you know this is Mark McGwire’s 1985 Topps card, a card that played a significant role during the hobby’s boom in the late 80’s and is still sought after today.

While you can find USA Baseball cards in products like Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects, to really delve into the different team's players you must turn to the sets specifically dedicated to USA Baseball.  This year the hobby edition of 2011 Topps USA Baseball Box Set is excellent, fully covering three of USA Baseball’s National teams, Collegiate, 18U and 16U.

It’s obvious that this set falls under our boxed set classification for the purposes of this review.  Besides the 61 card base set, the box promises to deliver 7 Autographs and 3 Relic cards but we did a little better than that.

Here are some of the cards from our box.

 From The Collegiate National Team
 Deven Marrero, front and back

 Josh Elander, Michael Lorenzen

 Marcus Stroman, Michael Wacha

From the 18U National Team
 Albert Almora, Gavin Cecchini

 Walker Weickel, Addison Russell

 From the 16U National Team
 Keegan Thompson, Bryson Brigman

 Austin Meadows, Zach Collins

The Hits
 Zach Collins Triple Relic #/240, Carson Kelly Triple Relic #/240

 Corey Knebel Red Triple Relic #/25

 Clate Schmidt Triple Auto Relic #/214, Brady Rodgers Triple Auto Relic #/214

 Jeremy Martinez Auto, Mark Appel Auto
 Troy Conyers Auto, Tyler Naquin Auto

 Cole Irvin Red Auto #/99, Matt Vogel Gold Auto #/25

Overall look
The design here is straightforward and attractive.  No stats here.  Just write-ups on the back but that makes sense considering the amount of games these teams play.  Regular card autos are on-card done in blue, red & green ink and gold paint.  While I am not a fan of paint pens on regular cards, the gold auto I received was very clean.   Doing these with a thin pen helps a lot. 

Does the checklist of players feel complete?
Pretty much the full rosters for all three teams are here so that is as complete as one could expect.

Are there any bonus cards included?
Yes, the hits.  Very nicely done with a good distribution of players from the three teams. Anyone who makes a USA Baseball team has to be a top player, but a nice percentage of the hits here were of the standouts amongst them.

Boxed Set vs. Set Building
No set building option here.

 5 out of 5

2011 Topps USA Baseball Hobby Edition Box Set should be a part of your yearly Baseball card purchases, especially if you are into prospecting.

Review box provided by Topps