Star Wars has made its mark in sports merchandising (gallery)

We all know that Friday is a big day in the film world with the arrival of the next Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.

It’s a behemoth we’ve seen teased on TV and online for months — and even longer in the toy aisles — and now that we’re days away from its release there’s even more to potentially be seen and heard about the latest chapter in the legendary franchise. But, like spoilers, I’ve tried my best to avoid most of it — all of the merchandising and marketing that can include everything from food to car commercials and then all that stuff in the toy aisle.

So, maybe it’s just my situation — it’s a black hole of sorts I don’t want sucked into because there’s just too much I’d potentially want but ultimately don’t really need — but when I saw that there was a massive amount of sports-related Star Wars items in one online location I didn’t expect?

Well, that’s why we’re here …

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Justin Verlander signs exclusive autograph deal with TRISTAR

TRISTAR has a new ace.

The Houston-based autograph and memorabilia company revealed its newest exclusive player on Monday night and it’s Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander. 

He’s not been a big signer for companies — or for certified autograph cards — in some time. The last time he had any substantial volume of signed cards was in 2012 and those cards were mostly still low-volume. You have to go back to 2007 when roughly a third of his certified autograph cards were made to find a decent amount of cardboard.

All that, combined with a dominating run to a World Series, drew him to TRISTAR’s stable to help satisfy the growing demand for his ink.

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It’s a global game, so Blowout Cards will be at Shanghai Ruika Carnival

One thing that collectors may not see in their day-to-day hobby habits is the growing international interest in sports cards and other collectibles made here in America.

But it’s all growing and the global game of sports cards — as well as global interest in gaming — is as strong as ever and that means that members of the Blowout Cards team will be traveling the globe this week.

Where to? Shanghai, China, for the Shanghai Ruika Carnival.

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Panini America plans Black Friday and Cyber Monday promo packs

The details for Panini America‘s plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday promo pack programs are here.

The first of the two shopping promos begins on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving, which is the biggest shopping day of the year throughout all of the commerce world.

The Black Friday release will include a 75-card NFL set with 25 rookies numbered to just 399 copies. There also will be a 25-card Panini Collection insert with parallels for these sets numbered to 50, 25, 10 and 1/1 versions.

There also will be a 75-card set combining all of the other sports in the Panini portfolio — a set that will also have rookies and the same parallels spotlighting stars of the NBA, MLB, NASCAR and other possibilities.

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Topps readies extra cardboard for holiday season shop promotion

There’s some extra cardboard coming to card shops for the holiday season.

Topps revealed on Friday its 2017 Topps Holiday promotion, which will include three-card packs of a new set complete with holiday touches and December superstars alongside possible autographed cards.

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Comic Book Certification Service has a new owner — Beckett Media

Comic Book Certification Service has a new owner.

It’s Beckett Media and CBCS will join the Beckett brands alongside Beckett Grading Services and Beckett Authentication Services.

“The entire CBCS/Beckett team is committed to growing the hobby, both in North America and internationally,” said Jeromy Murray, Beckett’s VP for grading and authentication. “We can’t wait to begin connecting with comics collectors and retailers at shows, conferences and hobby shops world-wide.”

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Nike crafts game-used shoe from two Super Bowl LI footballs

Look away, Atlanta Falcons fans.

Nike revealed a new shoe on Thursday — the only one made — that takes us all back to Super Bowl LI. How? It’s made out of game-used footballs from the New England Patriots’ historic comeback win.

It’s a single Nike Air Force Low SB51 Comeback and it’s going to be auctioned for charity.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Oct. 17)

The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are a few threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Big pulls, big possibilities in MLB and “the world’s greatest forger.”

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Panini America’s ‘First Off The Line’ arrives packing some extra green

The first of the First Off The Line products from Panini America is here.

What’s First Off The Line? It’s a new program where a small fraction of the print run for a product arrives early with an extra inside the boxes carrying the program’s notation.

The first product for this experiment of sorts sold out quickly via Panini and it’s 2016-17 Panini Immaculate Collection, and it includes green in every box.

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Aaron Rodgers signs autograph exclusive with Steiner Sports


The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback has a new home — at least for autographs.

Steiner Sports revealed on Tuesday that it has signed Super Bowl champion and two-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers to an exclusive deal for autographed memorabilia.

He joins a roster of new signees that includes the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius and a football roster that previously included Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Lou Holtz and Archie Manning among others.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Sept. 17)

The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are a few threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Showing off hockey, NHL card rumors, big baseball pulls and … clearing out a store for hot new wax.

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New York Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres joins Topps Authentics team

New York Yankees fans will have a new place to land autographs of their future star infielder Gleyber Torres.

He’s joined the Topps Authentics team, Topps’ autographed memorabilia division, where his pieces will now be found on an exclusive basis.

“I’m happy to be part of this big family,” said Torres in a prepared statement. “I’m happy to be here and [for] everything Topps has done for me.”

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Mayweather vs. McGregor battle lives on in new digital magazine

The big fight has come and gone along with the TV highlights and Twitter replays, but the spectacle that was Saturday night’s showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor lives on once again.

Today marks the arrival of a digital magazine — The Super Fight Issue — from the Beckett On-Demand line.

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MLB Players Weekend gets Topps Now sets — with possible bonuses

MLB Players Weekend is nearly upon us and it’s a chance for MLB to loosen things up on the uniform front with new colorful looks for its teams complete with nicknames on players’ jerseys just for fun (and marketing/merchandising, of course).

The spectacle of this one also will have cardboard and the first to come will be 2017 Topps Now MLB Players Weekend team sets that will focus on five players per squad from the games. There also will be performance bonuses that potentially translate into extra cards.

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Next Topps Make Your Pro Debut winner will suit up for Fresno Tacos

Topps will make sure a collector suits up for one of Minor League Baseball’s tastiest franchises next year.

The company announced on Thursday that its Make Your Pro Debut contest that allows a collector to join a team for a day will take its talents to Fresno, Calif., where the winner will don the uniform of the Fresno Grizzlies’ promotional alter ego — the Fresno Tacos — next April on Taco Tuesday.

The contest’s scratch-off code cards will be found in hobby boxes of 2017 Topps Heritage Minor League, which arrives next month. Winning code holders will be asked questions and then Topps will choose a winner based off of those answers.

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New Panini program offers extras, early arrival for direct orders

A new Panini America program will give buyers from its website early arrivals as well as exclusive parallels.

The “Panini 1st Off The Line” program will include a small volume of extras and cards will arrive between 24 and 48 hours before the traditional release date if buyers use the company’s website.

The experiment begins with 2016-17 Immaculate Collection basketball, which will include an Emerald parallel (/5) when it ships in advance of the Sept. 27 release date.

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Jim Stefano joins Goldin Auctions

Goldin Auctions has a new director of marketing and business development — and he comes from the trading card portion of the industry.

Jim Stefano will take on the role, according to Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin.

Stefano had spend the last four years as the senior director of product development at Panini America in Dallas, Texas. He previously worked seven years at Fleer/Skybox as its VP of product development and before that with Score Board and TRISTAR Productions.

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Fanatics Authentic signs Yankees rookie Aaron Judge to exclusive deal

The Fanatics Authentic Team now has a new member.

It’s New York Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge and he’ll be joining a team that already includes reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant and Los Angeles Dodgers rookie slugger Cody Bellinger. It doesn’t mean he won’t be signing for fans or baseball card companies — they just now know the place he signs for directly when they can’t land him at the ballpark or in a pack.

“I love signing for fans, especially Yankee fans, they are the best in the world,’’ Judge told the New York Post. “Now that I’m with Fanatics, I’ll really be able to get my autograph out. They got some pretty cool pictures of me, I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to getting those out.’’

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Today is Topps National Baseball Card Day — details & gallery here

Topps National Baseball Card Day is this Saturday — and it’s a day to make some memories. That’s exactly what collector/blogger Ben Aguirre Jr. got when he took his kids, Alexa (age 7) and Antonio (age 5) to South Bay Sports Cards in Sunnyvale, Calif., last year.

Today’s the day — it’s Topps National Baseball Card Day.

Now is your chance at some free baseball cards that you won’t find anywhere else other than at your local card shop. That’s because today is an annual event that helps draw new fans into the hobby and gives veteran collectors some new stuff to check out.

There are six-card packs of NBCD baseball cards available free with a visit to a participating store, while a $10 purchase will yield a Mike Trout bonus card. The full checklist for this promotion can be seen here — spoiler — and it includes Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper and Carlos Correa autographs in some packs. (Topps also will be using the hashtag #ToppsBaseballCardDay on social media for those who go and want to show off their new baseball cards, too.)

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Topps National Baseball Card Day is way for shops to draw new faces — and for fans to make new memories

Topps National Baseball Card Day is this Saturday — and it’s a day to make some memories. That’s exactly what collector/blogger Ben Aguirre Jr. got when he took his kids, Alexa (age 7) and Antonio (age 5) to South Bay Sports Cards in Sunnyvale, Calif., last year.

Mark your calendars, baseball fans — this Saturday is your chance at some free baseball cards that you won’t find anywhere that day other than at your local card shop.

That’s because that day is Topps National Baseball Card Day, an annual event that helps draw new fans into the hobby and gives veteran collectors some new stuff to check out all in one place for free.

There will be six-card packs of NBCD baseball cards available free with a visit to a participating store, while a $10 purchase will yield a Mike Trout bonus card. (The full checklist for this promotion can be seen here — spoiler — and it includes Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper and Carlos Correa autographs in some packs.) Topps also will be using the hashtag #ToppsBaseballCardDay on social media for those who go and want to show off their new baseball cards, too.

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Scenes from the Show … The National Day 5 (ongoing gallery)

Via @Goldberg … Not sure if I’ve EVER taken a photo with 2 crazier dudes!!! 

National Sports Collectors Convention marches on inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center as we finish things up today. That comes after a big Day 4 (gallery here) and the Panini VIP Party, Day 3 (massive gallery here)Day 2 (massive gallery here) as well as the preview night (gallery here).

Now it’s time for Day 5 — the finale — with the last lineup of signers and plenty of action on the floor of a show that, by many accounts, has been busier than normal this year. You’ll never know what big items you’ll see and there will be items you’d never imagine finding because, well, you probably didn’t know they existed.

Keep reading for more and to see a gallery that will grow throughout the day as the doors open shortly.

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Scenes from the Show … The National Day 4 + Panini VIP Party (ongoing gallery updates all day)

Via @PaniniAmerica: Lonzo Ball has entered the Green Room at @PaniniAmerica #PaniniVIP Party!

National Sports Collectors Convention marches on inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center as we hit the weekend. Day 3 (massive gallery here)Day 2 (massive gallery here) as well as the preview night (gallery here) have come and gone but today should be a doozie

Now it’s time for Day 4 with the biggest lineup of signers and plenty of action on the floor of a show that, by many accounts, is busier than normal this year — and we’ll know for sure today as Saturdays are the peak. You’ll never know what big items you’ll see and there will be items you’d never imagine finding because, well, you probably didn’t know they existed.

Keep reading for more and to see a gallery that will grow throughout the day as the doors open shortly.

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Scenes from the Show … The National Day 3 (ongoing gallery)

National Sports Collectors Convention marches on inside the Donald  E. Stephens Convention Center as Day 2 (massive gallery here) as well as the preview night (gallery here) have come and gone.

Now it’s time for Day 3 with a massive slate of signers and plenty of action on the floor of a show that, by many accounts, is busier than normal. You’ll never know what big items you’ll see and there will be items you’d never imagine finding because, well, you probably didn’t know they existed.

Keep reading for more and to see a gallery that will grow throughout the day as the doors open shortly.

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Topps & New Era team up once again for card-cap crossover promo

Topps and New Era are bringing the cards to the caps.

Two baseball card sets — 2017 Topps and 1987 Topps — get some of their design touches added to caps in a new line from New Era that will be available in some MLB ballparks and other stores beginning next week. All teams will be had in caps that have their visors branded using memorable elements from the card sets as well as a Topps logo on the side.

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Scenes from the Show … Before The National begins (and more)

The BlowoutCards.com booth — awaiting the National Sports Collectors Convention crowds.

The calm before the storm is here.

On-floor preparation for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention is nearing its finale as the booths fill up inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. What you see here is the view of what will become Booth No. 854, the home of BlowoutCards.com for the show, which begins Wednesday evening and runs through Sunday evening.

But that’s not the only early scene seen so far …

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (July 25)

The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are a few threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Big pulls, 2017 Allen & Ginter, storage tips — and real fake news hits the hobby.

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Panini America documents latest Dak Prescott signing session in wake of Prizm autopen problems

After resolving an apparent autopen problem with a small number of Panini Prizm cards, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott sat down with Panini America this week for a new project.

Signing a bunch of his football cards.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (July 14)

The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are a few threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Panini Rewards bonus for Dak autopen holders, new breaks, worst trades, The Walking Dead, WWE breaks, the National & more.

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Panini America addresses Dak Prescott autopen issue — and gives Dallas Cowboys QB an extension

A big deal has turned into a new deal.

Panini America officials have met with Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to discuss his autopenned cards in 2016 Panini Prizm and the parties walked away with a solution to replace the mechanically reproduced autographs as well as a new long-term autograph deal.

Keep reading for the full statement from Panini.

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PSA plans free custom slabbed cards & three game-used bat giveaways at this year’s NSCC

PSA has a couple of fan-friendly things to consider at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention if you’re headed to Chicago.

If you visit the company’s booth, you can enter for a shot at winning one of three game-used bats, pose for a photo with the bat you prefer for your own baseball card, and have it placed into a PSA slab — free.

“The National Sports Collectors Convention is like the Super Bowl of the hobby, and each year we challenge ourselves to go bigger and better,” said PSA President Joe Orlando. “So, this year we’re giving away Frank Thomas, Derek Jeter and Kris Bryant signed bats, all game-used and totaling over $10,000 in value. Each bat is graded a PSA/DNA GU 10. And that’s just the beginning of what will be available at the PSA booth.”

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National Baseball Card Day is back — and it’s set for Aug. 12

National Baseball Card Day is back.

Topps’ hobby shop event is set for Aug. 12 and participating stores in the United States and Canada that Saturday will have free six-card packs available for visitors.

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PSA announces new label enhancements for its graded cards

Newly graded cards from PSA will arrive with a new look to their flips inside the slabs.

A new “lighthouse logo” is the centerpiece with it reflecting light and also connecting to the red trim of the paper insert is joined by “fugitive ink” in the background.

So why the change?

“As the market grows, it is imperative that we continue to look for ways to improve our services and the quality of our products,” said a statement from the company. “This includes enhancing the security features on the holders and labels used during our authentication/grading process. The newly-incorporated security features represent the single largest leap forward during our 26-year history. The new PSA label not only offers vastly superior technology and capabilities; it has also received a stylistic makeover as we look to take our leading brand well into the future.”

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Leaf signs top NHL prospect Nico Hischier to exclusive autograph deal

A future NHL star’s autographed hockey cards will only be found in one place in future years thanks to a new deal announced on Friday.

It’s Nico Hischier and he’ll only be signing for Leaf Trading Cards. 

“Working with Nico, along with Allain and Jordan from RSG Hockey, has been an exciting and rewarding process,” said Leaf CEO Brian Gray. “To see an agency thinking outside the box and aggressively marketing their athletes is refreshing in a traditional sport like hockey. Nico is now part of that movement in the hockey world.”

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Damian Lillard signs exclusive auto & memorabilia deal with Panini

Panini America’s NBA team has a new player.

Damian Lillard signed a multi-year exclusive deal for autographed trading cards and memorabilia with the company and it was revealed on Monday.

“Damian is absolutely one of the most popular and exciting players in the NBA today and his star is on the rise,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “He’s a bona fide superstar and a perfect fit to join the exclusive fraternity of Panini Authentic exclusive athletes. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him blossom since entering the NBA. Now we get the opportunity to work closely with him to the benefit of his countless fans and collectors.”

Lillard’s first signed cards will appear in 2016-17 National Treasures, which arrives this week, and autographed memorabilia can be had via alongside other exclusives Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Blake Griffin.

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