Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009 Topps Updates And Highlights info.....

Topps announced product information and released preview images for its 2009 Updates & Highlights baseball set on Thursday.

The product is scheduled to arrive in October with 180 traded players and 55 rookies on the checklist as well as Sketch Cards and All-Star Game Relics.

Also returning will be Legends of the Game as well as Turkey Red, Career Bests and World Baseball Classic inserts (with as many as three jersey swatches on some Relics) along with a new addition — Stadium Stamp Cards.

Each hobby box will include one autograph or Relic as well as a Rookie Chrome Refractor box-topper. Each HTA jumbo box will include two Relics and one autograph.

Click here for pictures:

Pretty soon I would expect some information on 2009 Topps Heritage update!!

Craig in Texas

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hair raising pull - HONEST! (As in Honest Abe...)

Could imagine opening a pack of cards and pulling this from a pack???


Unfortunately for me, I was not the one that did. However, looking at this card has made me begin to wonder the future of these so called "hair" cards. With the release of 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter, I am beginning to wonder if the influx of more hair cards (Bigfoot, the horse Archie Bunker, and others) which are mainly gimmick cards will destroy the value of these types of cards in the future. I know the purpose of creating these types of gimmick cards such as the Loch Ness Monster, Unicorn, the Invisible Man, etc. is to create some buzz but come on Topps! It does not cost anything to make these! Think of the money that Topps is saving by not having to pay for Hall of Fame autographs! The same thing occurred with 2009 Topps Heritage. The buzz was created behind 7 super short printed cards. I would love for the return of quality autographs such as Willie Mays and Hank Aaron!!

What does everyone else think???

I would be curious to know!

Craig in Texas

Friday, July 10, 2009

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter: Case Review....

Well, I went ahead and opened my case of 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter. After first noticing the base cards, the thing that sticks out to me the most is the look of each card appears sharper than in year's past. The card stock seems brighter and whiter giving a nice clean, crisp look. The concept of the mini cards is pretty much the same as year's past: regular minis, A & G back minis, black bordered minis, no-numbered minis, and Bazooka minis. 1 of 1 wood minis are also randomly inserted but I was not lucky enough to receive one of those. The no-numbered minis this year are hand numbered to 50 which is a nice improvement. However, hand-numbering makes it easy for devious people to change 1's to 4's, 6's to 8's, and so on. Therefore, when buying secondhandedly, buyer beware! The Bazooka minis look a lot sharper in color and really stand out -- hand numbered to 25. There is also an unannounced insert set called Inventions of the Future. This is very similar to the Snakes insert which was unannounced in a prior release. There is also an insert set called Creatures of Legend, Myth, and Terror which are the most colorful minis that A&G has ever produced! A couple other mini insert sets of interest are National Heroes and World's Biggest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks & Bamboozles. And then there is my favorite which is why I always buy more hobby product than retail -- the RIP card!! Collectors lucky enough to pull a RIP card have a decision to make. They can rip the card open to reveal the mini card inside which can be an exclusive high number mini card, an autograph card, or a 1/1 painting. Or, the collector can leave it unopened. This is very similar to those people who own old wax packs. People may choose to open them or leave them in their unopened state. In my RIP card, I went ahead and opened mine and pulled a high number mini card of Felix Hernandez. Right after doing so, Felix beat my Texas Rangers 3-1 so I was not too happy but I know I will be able to either to sell this or trade it to some King Felix fan out there. One thing I really like about Ginter is the unknown. You never know what interesting cards you might find! Last year, I remember getting a mini boxing relic card featuring a swatch of a boxer's glove. This year is no exception! I pulled a relic card of Bryan Berg with part of a playing card. I also got a relic card of a champion sailor with a piece of her rashguard. Then there are the autographs! I received 6 in my case. They are: Scott Olson, Justin Masterson, Conor Jackson, Jeff Francoeur and champion sheep shearer Loren Opstedahl, and champion swimmer Lynne Cox. My favorite hit in the box was actually getting a N43 box topper of Alex Rodriguez. This N43 has a game used jersey piece with pinstripe numbered 09/25. It is also up for trade towards some vintage cards I need but it will most likely end up on EBay. I heard about Ginter code cards but unforunately for me I did not receive a single one in my case!! I am sure it is a production error of some kind but a bit irritating nonetheless. How am I supposed to solve the Ginter Code if I do not have any Ginter code cards??? The insert set Baseball Highlights looks very similar to Upper Deck Masterpiece inserts and look outstanding. Much better than the funny looking Dick Perez inserts in a prior release. National Pride insert set is a 75 card set and that has nice color as well and a great player selection. The base set itself is 350 cards and after cracking open my case, I believe the only shortprints are numbered 301-350. I was able to make two complete sets. Overall, I give this year's Allen & Ginter an 8.5 out of 10. (As a reference point, I gave 2009 Topps Heritage a 4 out of 10.) Once you are done opening a box of this product you will want to go back for another one -- it is that good!

For the Allen & Ginter checklist, click here:

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter Checklist


The Ginter Code Parallel 1:12 Expected 24 Received: 0 (production error??)
Baseball Highlights Sketches 1:6 Expected 48 Received 48
Short Print Parallel 1:13 Expected 22 Received 21
A&G Ad Back Parallel 1:5 Expected 57 Received 58
A&G Ad Back Short Print Parallel 1:65 Expected 4 Received 5
Black Bordered Parallel 1:10 Expected 28 Received 29
Black Bordered Short Print Parallel 1:130 Expected 2 Received 3
No Number Parallel 1:95 Expected 3 Received 2
Bazooka Ad Back Parallel 1:191 Expected 2 Received 1
Wood Parallel 1:2780 Expected 0 Received 0
National Heroes 1:12 Expected 24 Received 23
Creatures of Legend, Myth, & Terror 1:48 Expected 6 Received 6
World's Biggest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks, & Bamboozles 1:12 Expected 24 Rec'd 24
RIP CARD 1:257 Expected 1 Received 1
Framed Mini Printing Plates 1:608 Expected 0 Received 0
Framed Mini Cloth Cards 1:278 Expected 1 Received 2
Framed Autograph Group A 1:2730 Expected 0 Received 0
Framed Autograph Group B 1:51 Expected 5 Received 6
Framed Red Autograph 1:1801 Expected 0 Received 0
Allen & Ginter Cut Signature 1:186000 Expected 0 Received 0
Framed Relic Group A 1:100, Group B 1:215, Group C 1:39, Group D 1:17 Expected 26 Received 29
Framed DNA Relic 1:186000 Expected 0 Received 0


Cabinet Boxloaders: 6
N43 Boxloaders: 5
N43 Boxloader Relic: 1


Inventions of the Future 1:case?? Received 1


Rip Card Mini Exclusive #392 Felix Hernandez

Please feel free to comment here! Thanks!

Craig in Texas

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ready to jump in the pool? 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter is HERE!!

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter is now live! I heard there are several Michael Phelps autographs available in this product! The design of the cards have changed from prior releases but still gives that nostalgic look. I am really looking forward to busting some boxes next week. Here is a great card just released (not mine):

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter is LIVE!!!

Check it out! I would like to hear comments on whether you think this product will be a hit or a dud this year!

Craig in Texas