Friday, January 20, 2012

2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Trading Cards Box Break Recap and Review

Every once in a while you get a box of cards that just seems off.  Our box of 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Trading Cards was weird., mostly with the collation but there are some other issues too.

Panini just signed an agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association so a Major Leaguer’s card is included in every pack. Since there are 20 packs and 25 players appear on cards, you would expect close to no doubles.  In our box we received 4 doubles and they were in back to back consecutive packs. Another collation issue was we didn’t receive a single base card within the number range of 101 to 150.  Odds dictate that this could happen, but it still seems unusual.  We would love to hear from any of you that have busted this product.  Have your experiences been the same or different?

With the addition of the new license the question becomes “Has the agreement made the cards better?”  In this case, I would have to say no.  Last year there was the possibility of pulling former big leaguer’s autos like Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson and Don Sutton, not the emphasis of this product, but a nice bonus. This year, with the license, no veteran autos. You will have to wait for Playoff Contenders for that. Honestly, this is a prospecting product and the license seems unnecessary.

Now taken as the prospecting product that collectors have come to know, it still works.  This year features more on-card autos, most of them first round draft picks in 2011.

Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball fits nicely into our premium cards category.  Each hobby box contains 20 – 5 card packs with a promise of six autograph cards per box with hot boxes containing 10 autographs. Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the box.

First from the base set

2011 1st round draft picks
Tyler Anderson, front & back, Taylor Guerrieri

 2011 supplemental 1st round draft piks
 Jeff Ames, Michael Kelly, Blake Snell

 Kevin Comer, Grayson Garvin, James Harris

 Major League Players
 Ichiro, Josh Hamilton, Jordan Walden

 Seeing Double - Pulled from 8 consecutive packs
 BrIan McCann, Curtis Granderson, Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Pineda

From the inserts

Aspirations die-cut
Sonny Gray #/200

Status die-cut
 Dwigth Smith Jr. #/100, Jordan Walden #/25

 Elite Series
 Brad Miller, Abel Baker

 Matt Purke, Sean Gilmartin

Building Blocks Dual
 Jace Peterson & Lee Orr, Aaron Westlake & Dean Green 

Building Blocks Triple
 Anthony Rendon, Brain Goodwin & Matt Purke, Danny Hultzen, Jed Bradley & Tyler Anderson 

Building Blocks Quad
 Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Levi Michael & Jake Hager

 Bubba Starling, Josh Bell, Brandon Nimmo & Dwight Smith Jr.

The Autographs

 Corey Williams #/940, Angleo Songco #/864, Granden Goetzman #/384

 Austin Hedges #/201, Alan DeRatt Status die-cut #/50, Blake Swihart Elite Series #/99

Overall Look
There is no agreement with the MLB yet, so there are no major league logos.  Some thought this would be a big problem.  In truth sometimes it works, other times, not so much.  The Ichiro is the best example, the Josh Hamilton just kind of seems goofy and the Jordan Walden is the worst of them.   For future releases, it would be great if Panini mimicked what they did handling the Winnipeg Jets cards for Pinnacle Hockey this year.  Players in post game interviews, on the red carpet, even getting off the team bus would be better than these static poses.  And I know there can’t be MLB logos, but what happened to the college logos?  The majority of them seem to have gone away.  Add to that taking the prospects, separating them from the backgrounds and putting them on foil without logos is dull.  What works here is the Elite Series cards, the die-cuts and the really nice Yearbook inserts.

Quality and Variety of Players
From a prospecting level, this is a deep checklist, which is why collectors love EEE.  With 25 Major League players on cards and 30 teams in the MLB, it feels like these cards are late add-ons that could just as easily be held back without affecting the quality of the product.

Do the Hits satisfy?
It is all autographs here and at 6 autograph hits per box with the possibility of 10 autos in a hot box, it is a nice amount of hits.  But the hits are all of prospects.  Not a problem, but, again, odd when you are featuring your agreement with the player’s association for the first time.

Will you keep coming back for more?
This is a product that works best for prospectors so multiple box purchases are understandable. 

3 out of 5

2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Trading Cards proves the theory that sometimes more is not better, but it still has potential for some good prospecting.

Review box provided by Panini

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TCSP 2012 Diamond Cuts Baseball Cut Autograph Contest

Earlier we told you about the upcoming release of Tri City Sports PL 2012 Diamond Cuts Baseball, the 2 card per box, Cut Auto, Vintage Stamp, Jumbo Game Used Encased Patches product.

At the beginning of February, TCSP will be providing us with a box of 2012 Diamond Cuts so we can take a look at the product up close.  In conjunction with this, Tri City Sports PL is running a contest.  The prize you can win is a Cut Auto limited to /5 or less. 

The way to win is by guessing the first team and starting decade of the player whose cut auto I pull from the box Tri City is sending us.  For example, if I pull a Duke Snider cut auto, the correct answer would be “Dodgers – 1940’s” as Snider played his first major league game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.  Another example would be if I pulled Babe Ruth’s cut auto, the winning answer would be “Red Sox – 1910’s” because even though he his mostly known as being with the New York Yankees, he played his first game with the Boston Red Sox in 1914.

If you win, you will not be getting the cut auto from our break, you will be getting a different one and no, I don't know which cut auto you will be getting.  All final decisions, confirmation of the winner and providing the prize will be handled by Tri City Sports PL, so if you win, you will be dealing with them directly.

I know this is kind of a shot in the dark because there is no official checklist, but here are some tips that might be helpful.

1 – If you want to go with a team that either changed cities or names in the middle of a decade, go with the most generic term for them.  If you want the Dodgers in the 1950’s please don’t call them the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I would hate it if we pulled someone from the 1950’s Brooklyn Dodgers and you lost on a technicality.  Just go with “Dodgers – 50’s.”  At the same time, city's without a league attached will not count.  For example, if you left  New York - 1950's, that could mean the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers.

2 – According to the information Tri City has provided to me, all teams and the decades are in play from 1930-1970.

So here is an outline of the rules that Tri City has passed to me.

1 - To be eligible for the prize you must be a member of the TCSP site. That means going to this site, and registering with them.

2 – Once you have registered with TCSP, leave a guess here on this post.  Make sure you include a team and a decade and indicate your registered name on the TCSP site.

3 - Entries will be accepted up until the 9:00AM PST on the day of posting of the box break.  Right now that is looking like the first or second week of February.  I will update and set a final date and time when the box arrives.

4 – All decisions on a winner will be handled by Tri City Sports PL, as will delivery of any potential prize.

5  - There is one guess per person.  Multiple guesses or altering a guess after you have posted it will be an instant disqualification.

Good luck to all. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Topps Magic Football Returns With A Difference

So here is a surprise.  Topps announced that Magic Football will make its return next week, but this time with a twist… Magic football will not only be offered as an online exclusive, but will feature an Autograph in every pack.

There will be 110 rookies in the base card set with all of the top rookies autographs including Cam Newton, AJ Green, Andy Dalton, Julio Jones, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, DeMarco Murray and more!  In addition to the lineup of 68 different autographs, there will be 1 of 1 Black Magic Parallels and Black Magic Cut Signatures.

Each $19.99 pack will include 1 Autographed Rookie Card and 10 Rookie Base Cards.  Topps Magic will be limited in production, and will be available starting January 25th via  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sneak Peek 2011-12 Panini NBA Hoops Basketball Cards.

As if it weren’t bad enough to think of the possibility of no football this year, we had to deal with the same for basketball.  In the end, it worked out as the NBA returned as a great Christmas present.  But we are still waiting on Basketball cards for 2011-12.  That wait is coming to an end too.  One of the many highly anticipated releases is an updated blast from the past, 2011-12 Panini NBA Hoops.

Set for a release date of March 14, Hobby boxes of these retro cards with contemporary updates will contain two autographs per box featuring autographs of Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Dirk Nowitzki, and will include original 1989-90 Hoops BuyBacks featuring on-card autographs.  The base set for Hoops will come in at  279-cards.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011-12 Panini Pinnacle Hockey NHL Trading Cards Box Break Recap and Review

There is one set of hockey trading cards time and time again, Pinnacle.  This year is no exception.  Noted for its outstanding photography, Pinnacle always delivers interesting cards that are a pleasure to peruse. 2011 – 12 Pinnacle Hockey NHL Trading Cards will flash you back to the 90’s but still feel very contemporary.

We classify Pinnacle Hockey as trading cards. Hobby Boxes come with 24 – 8 card packs with two autograph or memorabilia cards per box.

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

Base Set
 Joe Thornton, front and back

Here are some examples of the amazing photography from this set.

 Mike Smith, Chris Neil

 Matt Duchene, Linus Omark

 Ondrej Pavelec, Dan Boyle

 Dion Phaneuf, Michael Grabner

 Micahl Neuvirth, Miln Lucic

 Henrik Zetterberg, Tim Thomas

 NUFEX parallels
 Martin Havlat

Ice Breakers Rookie Cards
 Matt Frattin, Justin Faulk

 Zac Rinaldo, Erik Gudbranson

 Corey Crawford, David Krejci, Jamie Benn

 Pinnacle Captains - Andrew Ladd, Tough Times - Gino Odjick

 Team Pinnacle Card #6 - Sidney Crosby front, Jonathan Toews back

The Hits

 Derek Stepan Threads Relic (Not Numbered), Dustin Byfuglien Game Night Prime Patch #/30

Drew Doughty Private Signings On-Card Autograph (Not Numbered)

Overall Look
Last year’s Pinnacle was a mix of horizontal and vertical card fronts and horizontal backs.  This year all of the fronts are on the horizontal and the backs are vertical.  Some of you will remember from other card reviews done here, my preference is for consistency so I would have preferred if the backs were on the horizontal too.  It makes for better displays in 9 cardholders.  It is a minor point that vanishes because of the exceptional photography and really nice layout.  Inserts work well and a big plus for the way the Winnipeg Jets cards were handled.  No sign of the Atlanta Thrashers short of the material used for the Byfuglien card, but that was game used so it makes sense.

Quality and Variety of Players and Subsets.
250 veteran players is a nice number, 50 more than last year.  Normally the Ice Breaker rookies are a difficult chase.  This year it has been made even more difficult as the top 10 of the 40 rookies only appear on SP auto version.   The checklists for the autographs and memorabilia cards are expansive.

Do the hits hold up?
Most definitely.  Autographs and memorabilia cards are all desirable.  Thrown into the mix are Pinnacle Black cards with 14 outstanding players that are case hits and Eric Lindros Recollection Collection Autograph Cards. Autographs fall roughly every 3 out of 4 boxes.

Will you want to collect them all? 
In short, yes!  This is a great set to have with cool inserts and a great rookie chase.

4 1/2 out of 5

2011 – 12 Panini Pinnacle Hockey NHL Trading Cards provides a fun base set to collect with a chance at some super premium incentive.

Review box provided by Panini