Saturday, March 24, 2012

2011-12 Panini Preferred Basketball NBA Trading Cards Box Break Recap and Review

4 cards, all hits, 3 autos, 1 booklet card, $200.

Normally we don’t bring up price for several reasons.  1 – prices change over time.  2 – the question of value can be subjective.  For some $4 a pack is expensive, for others $200 a box is nothing.  But with 2011-12 Panini Preferred Basketball we felt it necessary to bring up price to emphasis the level of the “high risk, high reward” nature of this box.  

Now lets move to the bulk of the review, the cards.  There are four styles of autograph cards you can pull.  The Panini Preferred Signatures that are standard cards with autographs, Panini Choice Awards styled after the old Cramer’s Choice Award triangular die cuts, the impressive Crown Royale Silhouettes and the Crown Royal die cut signature cards.  There is also a 6 to 8 swatch booklet card in every box.

Preferred is unquestionably in our ultra premium cards category.  Each box contains 4 cards, three autographs and one booklet card.

Here are the cards we pulled from our box.

 Ekpe Udoh Preferred Signatures #/49, Darryl Dawkins Preferred Signatures #/74

 Brandon Jennings Sihlouette Material/Auto #/49

Preferred 7 swatch booklet "Assists" Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Derrick Rose, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul & Rajon Rondo

Overall Look
We have already established how great the Silhouettes are and the die cut award and Royale cards are also good looking.  Normally I don’t have an issue with sticker autos and I understand the production process enough to know how going all on-card for a product is difficult, but at $50 a card, the non-recessed or framed sticker autos are definitely not Preferred, a real shame in a product that otherwise is outstanding.

Quality and Variety of Players
Because of the lockout, there are no rookie cards in this product, which enhances the checklist for me personally.  I prefer my high end products to be mainly proven players with established appeal.  I am aware that hot rookies can drive a product and bring big money for those who flip cards, but it increases the risk for anyone who is holding onto these cards long term as the value can spiral downward rather quickly. 

Thrill Seeking Fulfillment and Experience
The thrill is there for this product with plenty of chances to hit big cards.

Buyers Remorse or Speculator's Delight
If you are only planning of flipping these cards you might have a difficult time recouping your money unless you buy in bulk to spread the risk which could lead to buyers remorse.  But for those who collect and hold, if you understand the high risk nature of Preferred, there is a good chance you will walk away happy.

4 out of 5

2011-12 Panini Preferred Basketball has plenty to offer collectors with high upside potential.

Review box provided by Panini

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The 2012 Topps Prime 9 Redemption Card For Week 7 is Ernie Banks

The Topps Prime 9 Redemption for Week 1 was Willie Mays, Week 2 was Babe Ruth, Week 3 was Hank Aaron, Week 4 was Reggie Jackson, Week 5 was Mickey Mantle and Week 6 was Alex Rodriguez. Week 7 has arrived so if you have one of these...’s time to go visit your HTA Local Hobby Shop and redeem those cards.  Here is what you will get.
An Ernie Banks Prime 9 Home Run Legends Chrome Refractor.  You have the week to get to your participating LCS and redeem those cards.  And don’t forget to fill out the back of your redemption card to be entered into a sweepstakes.  You could win a trip to the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby.

Check in next week to find out who is on the card for Week 8.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Complete 2012 Topps Heritage Baseball Visual Checklist – 1963 Error Mimic Cards SSP

So far we have done a visual checklist for color swap variations along with image swap variations and, most recently, JFK Story inserts.  Today we tackle the Super Short Print 1963 Error Mimic Cards.  These are based on the printing errors found in the 1963 Topps Baseball Set.  These cards are not numbered and there are no stated odds for pulling them so there is no way of knowing how many exist.

Several days ago we revealed the first of these error cards to hit eBay, the Dan Haren error card.

Card number 231 – Dan Haren
Based on the 1963 card of Eli Grba which featured a photo of Ryne Duren but the correct insert photo, card number 231 features a photo of Mark Trumbo and the correct insert photo of Dan Haren.

Card number 15 – Darwin Barney
Based on the 1963 card of Ken Hubbs that had no fielding position on the front, card number 15 features Darwin Barney mimics this error.

Card number 29 – Peacock, Mesoraco, De Fratus, Savery &
Card number 54 – Gaub, Reed, Chambers, Betances 
 Based on the same numbered 1963 Rookie cards that were mistakenly titled “1962 Rookie Stars” instead of “1963 Rookie Stars”, cards number 29 (on the left) and 54 (on the right) feature this same mistake title instead of the correct title, “2012 Rookie Stars.”

Card number 113 – Kerry Wood
 Based on the 1963 card of Don Landrum which featured Ron Santo in the main and insert photos, card number 113 features a photos of Aramis Ramirez instead of Kerry Wood.

Card number 341 – Ryan Madson
There are two versions of error cards for this one.  Both are based on the 1963 cards of Jack Baldschun that had a white slash across his body in the insert photo in one instance and a rather crude repair of the white slash in the other.  For 2012, these cards, both number 341, feature Ryan Madson.  The one on the left closely mimics the white slash error while the one on the right is more of homage to the crude repair.

Card number 380 – Carlos Pena
This card is based on the 1963 card of Ernie Banks and features Carlos Pena. Both the 1963 and the 2012 card contains the same error, with the heading just above the stats reading “COMPLETE MAJOR AND MINOR LEAGUE BATTING RECORD” and the absence of any minor league stats.  But, technically, each card is an error for different reasons.  With the 1963 card, the error is stating  “MINOR LEAGUE “ because Banks bypassed the minors, going straight from the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro leagues to the Cubs squad. That is why no minor league stats appear on Banks’ card.  With the 2012 card, Carlos Pena did play in the minors so the error here is leaving off his minor league stats. 

Card number 454 – Julio Teheran
This is an exact match of the error found on the 1963 card of Art Fowler. As you can see from the Carlos Pena card on the backs the word “Topps” and the card number are printed onto a white box.  This is the way is for all the cards except this error card number 454 which has Julio Teheran’s card number and “Topps” printed on the same orange background as the rest of the card.

Card number 483 – Mike Stanton
You might call this next card a Mirror Mimic.  Based on the 1963 card, number 483, of Jim Owens, the 2012 card features Mike Stanton.  Jim Owens was a pitcher and on his card the stats abbreviation for wins is the letter “R” instead of “W”.  Mike Stanton is an outfielder therefore the error could not be exactly mimicked so Topps went ahead and used the letter “W” for the stats abbreviation for runs instead of “R”.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Complete 2012 Topps Heritage Baseball Visual Checklist – JFK Story Inserts

We have done a visual checklist for the color swap variations found in 2012 Topps Heritage Baseball and, most recently, a visual checklist for the image swap cards.  Today we will do one for the JFK Story inserts. There are 3 categories of cards, JFK Story insert SP, JFK Story Stamp cards and JFK Story Mint Coin cards.  The insert cards are not number so there is no way of knowing how many exist.  The stamp cards are numbered to 63.  There are no stated odds but according to our math, the odds should be approximately 1;2,825.  The mint cards only appear as redemptions good for one of the 47 total cards embedded with a Kennedy Silver Dollar, one silver dollar for each year of production, 1964 to the present.  Each coin card is a 1/1.  There are no stated retail odds but the stated hobby odds are 1:26,500.  Here is a look at these cards. 

JFK Story Inserts
 Card number 142 - Kennedy At Cambridge
 143 - A Profile In Courage, 144 - Senate's Shining Star, 145 - Jack & Jackie
 146 - The 35th President, 147 - A Call To Serve, 148 - Back From The Brink

JFK Story Stamp Cards
 JFK 1 - "Our problems are man-made"
 JFK 2 - "Liberty without learning"   JFK 3 - "There are risks and costs"
 JFK 4 - "The American, by nature, is optimistic."    JFK 5 - "For in the final analysis"
 JFK 6 - "If a society cannot help"   JFK 7 - "Ask not what your country can do for you"

JFK Story Mint Coin Card
As soon as Topps sends these out, we will have a photo of the actual card.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Complete 2012 Topps Heritage Baseball Visual Checklist - Image Swap Variation SP

Yesterday we did a visual checklist for the color swap variations found in 2012 Topps Heritage Baseball.  Today we cover the other type of swap cards, the image swap cards. It should be noted that this type of variation did not occur anywhere in the 1963 Topps Baseball Set.  There are 25 total cards that got the image swap treatment. There are no stated odds for pulling these cards and they are not numbered so there is no way of knowing exactly how many of these exist.  These are extremely easy to spot as you can see from this first example.

On the left is the regular base card #44 of Justin Verlander.  The card on the right is the image swap variation SP.  As you can see the insert photo has been switched with the main player photo, and vice versa. From this point on, we will only display the SP version.

52 - Dustin Pedroia, 56 - Cliff Lee, 91 - Roy Halladay

106 - Tim Lincecum, 183 - Mark Teixeira, 186 - Joe Mauer

193 - Starlin Castro, 197 - Ian Kennedy, 200 - Curtis Granderson

246 - Felix Hernandez, 276 - Ryan Braun, 279 - Matt Kemp

289 - Mariano Rivera, 348 - Miguel Cabrera, 415 - Chris Carpenter

453 - Troy Tulowitzki, 468 - Nelson Cruz, 476 - Prince Fielder

481 - Justin Upton, 483 - Mike Stanton, 486 - Josh Hamilton

489 - Jose Bautista, 494 - Ryan Zimmerman, 497 - Jered Weaver