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.”
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.
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.”
Panini America will continue to be the home for NBA cards.
The companies’ exclusive trading card licensing deal that began in 2009 has been extended for an undisclosed number of years.
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.”
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.
Emmitt Smith‘s memorabilia cards found in boxes of 2016 Panini Flawless football cards arriving today will include an added piece of authentication and information unique to his cards thanks to a new partnership between Panini and his company, PROVA Group.
Each card will have a SmarTag that will tell the owner what jersey the piece came from as part of a database linked to a smartphone app.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may be the most-electrifying man in sports entertainment, but his new line of Under Armour training shoes are giving him a run for his money.
They’re dubbed the Rock Delta and the first wave of the shoes is sold out from the company after just one day.
Because of this, the company now has a second wave available on pre-order set to arrive in mid-August and for now there’s a pretty strong market for the shoes on eBay.
Topps Now was a game-changer last season for baseball cards and it’s been a big enough hit that “Fred” and friends now have an intern.
You might know him.
There will be a new player in comic book auctions soon.
Runnemede, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions — the collectible industry’s fastest-growing auction house with $25 million in sales last year — is launching a comic division and is seeking a knowledgeable and motivated individual with industry experience to be its consignment director and category manager.
It was a busy one on The Buzz this past week. Here are 10 stories worth a look if you missed out. Check ’em out & hit the subscribe button at right if you want email updates.
Upcoming release from Topps puts emphasis — and ink — on key cards of today’s stars. Get the details >> First Buzz: 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition
Keep reading for more …
The Stars and Stripes are staying put.
USA Baseball‘s baseball card licensing deal with Panini America will continue as the two entities announced on Wednesday a long-term extension of its agreement that began back in 2012.
As a new part of the deal, Panini logos will be incorporated into the USA team’s on-field uniforms while also continuing to appear on its USA baseball cards.
“Over the past five years Panini America has done an unprecedented job fostering the USA Baseball brand in the trading card category,” said David Perkins, the organization’s chief operating officer. “We are thrilled to extend our partnership and we are excited to work with them on new programs leading our pastime’s future to new heights.”
It started as a hobby to bring cards that didn’t exist to life — and now it can help bring your legends’ cards into existence.
Tanner Jones is a dedicated Jose Canseco collector who lamented the fact that for years his retired but controversial slugger hadn’t been found on all of the new, creative cards being made — and often not with all of his MLB teams. So he started making cards of his own — and then one day a year ago the idea of his Custom Cuts kits was born.
“I have had so many people ask me ‘How do you do it?’ and I’ve seen the desirability of making your own creations go up significantly,” Jones said. “After thinking about it for a while, I thought to myself people are already acclimated to the thought of cut autos why not cut pictures as well? I played around with the template idea quite a while ago, and then back-burnered it until a few months ago.”
For now, there are just two types of kits available — and they allow buyers a start on making their own cards using their own images or documents, while some have used them to re-purpose components of damaged cards into new creations.
McDonald’s launches its new sizes of Big Mac sandwiches today and as part of that celebration it is releasing 10,000 serial-numbered bottles of its Special Sauce to the public.
They’re free — but they’re only found at selected locations for a limited time on a first-come, first-served basis … if a visitor knows the password. The only other way to get your hands on one? Check out giveaways on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Some states have just one or two locations — meanwhile Houston, Texas, has five — while some states have none at all. That means there will be a market on eBay — simple supply and demand — and there’s already one there with a bid.
How much is the bottle? You have to see it to believe it.
Update: And that could be low. There’s also one completed sale so far.
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What’s Buzzing Today: Big pulls, the Topps Transcendent party and the worst players in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Younger collectors may not know it, but there was a time when Topps published comic books and magazines
And that time is back with the first issue of Garbage Pail Kids issue No. 1 — “The Worst of 2016” — which is being sold only initially via Topps.com. The books are $19.99 with a pair of stickers (Grim Jim and Nervous Rex) also included. A discount is available for those buying five copies of the book. It will be printed to order just like its other recent online GPK releases, according to the company’s site.
Buy a (pricey) box of baseball cards, meet the reigning National League MVP.
Topps revealed on Friday that Kris Bryant of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs will be the special guest at a private event next month — an event specially for those who buy a box of 2016 Topps Transcendent Collection baseball cards. They are the priciest box of cards ever made at more than $26,000 a box and include an invitation to the event.
Daily fantasy sports sites seem to come and go but two of the biggest and most-dominating players in the field will soon be teammates.
After months of rumors and talks, DraftKings and FanDuel will be merging, according to a message sent to DraftKings members on Friday.
“Today, we are excited to inform you that DraftKings and FanDuel have reached a merger agreement,” read the message. “At DraftKings, we have always worked hard to bring the thrill of fantasy sports competition to you, in order to fulfill our goal of making your experience as a sports fan better than you ever imagined. With this merger, we hope to further accelerate our investments in product innovation, promotions, and a high-quality customer experience.”
Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Washington’s Marquese Chriss have signed exclusive autograph card and memorabilia deals with Panini America, according to an announcement from the company on Thursday afternoon.
Both are likely top-10 picks in tonight’s NBA Draft.
“There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the 2016 NBA Draft Class and these two players are a big reason why,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “As we look to the start of a new NBA trading card season and the importance every new rookie crop plays in our success, we can’t wait to get started.”
Panini America is getting into the real-time trading card wave with a new program revealed on Friday that will launch with the Copa America Centenario soccer tournament this weekend.
Panini Instant will give collectors 24 hours to order cards reflecting key 0r memorable moments in the sports world.
There will be standard cards, which will be serial-numbered to the ordered amount, as well as parallels numbered to 25, five and even a 1/1 copy. The first Instant card(s) will be available tomorrow at iCollectPanini.com between noon and 1 p.m. CST.
Topps has cancelled its planned Warcraft film trading card set, according to a statement released by the company.
“Unfortunately due to unforeseen delays in production we are being forced to cancel the release of ’16 Topps Warcraft,” the company said. “At the present time, there are no plans to release this product in the future.”
Ray Hamilton is a member of the Washington Redskins, but for the last few weeks he joined the Panini America team as part of the NFLPA Externship Program.
He’s one of 26 players working for various companies as part of the program but the only one who joined Panini. As part of the gig he recently starred in an episode of Panini Unwrapped with Tracy Hackler.
Panini America took the stage for its annual corporate address at the Industry Summit on Tuesday. Here are the basic talking points from the session…
Mark Warsop has confirmed NASCAR cards are coming from the company this year. Four products are planned — Prizm, Torque, Certified and National Treasures. … FIFA Flawless cards will be coming as well. … The company noted a substantial increase in NBA sales this year. … Panini Roundtable program will have Hobby Shop of the Month honors tat will lead to Hobby Shop of Year award, too. Prizes and auto guests for top shops. … Also planning product sneak peeks — early rips — in some instances. … Donruss Optic, an Optichrome version of Donruss, will be part of the upcoming portfolios.
Topps‘ presentation at this year’s Industry Summit included a few nuggets of info … here are the most-notable items.
National Baseball Card Day will return this year. … Topps Supreme baseball (above) will not be made this year. … Topps Mint baseball will be a new addition to the lineup. … Japanese star Kenta Maeda’s autographs will be coming soon. … Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft will have new builds when they arrive. … No physical football card releases are being planned. … Topps is still pursuing an autograph deal with Star Wars star Daisy Ridley. … A high-end 65th Anniversary baseball product is in the works.
Leaf Trading Cards’ presentation later in the afternoon included a rundown of the dozen hockey brands, eight package memorabilia brands and four football brands it intends to release this year. … And Leaf has landed a non-sports big one — it has signed Star Wars star Daisy Ridley to an autograph deal. Her autographs will appear in Pop Century.
Panini America‘s session is set for Tuesday afternoon.
Upper Deck released the following statement this week to address some dealers or collectors’ concerns about its e-Pack program that launched earlier this year.
“Our goal with the program has always been to grow the hobby, and based on responses from fans participating in regions devoid of hobby shops, it appears to be working. The plan for 2015-16 NHL Upper Deck Series 2, and likely most releases going forward that have the e-Pack platform tied to them, is to provide our brick-and-mortar retailers with a window before e-Pack starts. Therefore, the earliest 2015-16 NHL Upper Deck Series 2 will be available on the e-Pack platform will be March 17. We will continue to monitor the market however to determine the best time for launch, but it will not happen before that date.
One week ago, Upper Deck revealed its e-Pack program of digital hockey cards that can be instantly sold online if eligible.
It’s a dramatic move for cards in the digital realm — and it’s been a move that has benefitted its partner in the program, COMC.com, which provides the platform for collectors to sell their real cardboard.
Kevin Durant will remain a part of the Panini America team for an extended and exclusive amount of time after signing a new deal with the company that was announced on Monday.
The Oklahoma City Thunder star will be a global spokesman for the company’s trading cards and its Panini Authentic memorabilia line — an exclusive deal that applies with cards, autographs, marketing and business development.
“Kevin Durant is one of the most recognizable professional athletes in the world but he transcends the game of basketball,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO, in a prepared release. “The way he carries himself on and off the court is as inspirational to us as it is to millions of fans throughout the world. We’re proud to be entering this new exclusive relationship with Kevin and the Panini family and look forward to a bright future with him. He’s meant so much to our company, our products and our brand and we’re excited to expand that relationship through both Kevin’s business sense and his fanbase.”
One of the hobby’s most chattered-about deals is now official.
Panini America and the NFL have signed a multi-year exclusive deal for trading cards and stickers that will begin before next year’s NFL Draft. Combined with a previous exclusive with the NFLPA that was announced in August 2014, Panini will be the only company that will make fully licensed football cards beginning next year.
Mike Berkus, the executive director and a founder of the National Sports Collectors Convention, lost a battle with cancer on Friday night. He was 69.
A University of Minnesota alum and native of St. Paul, Minn., who lived in Villa Park, Calif., Berkus was among a group who decided back in 1979 that there needed to be an annual convention for sports collectors. It all started with the idea of getting back to something simple — an idea that it’s still about to this day.
“This is time travel, this is where you go back to a happy time in your life,” he said in an interview with CSN Chicago, “to a time where your whole world was peeling the wax apart, putting the gum in your mouth and seeing you who got.”
Fans of Funko Pop! figures may not see a change in their seemingly always-arriving collectibles, but there was a change in ownership for the Everett, Wash.-based company that makes them earlier this month.
Funko, which was founded in 1998, was acquired by ACON Investments for an undisclosed sum. Its CEO, Brian Mariotti, and management team will continue to lead operations.
“We are excited to be partnering with Brian and the entire Funko team,” said Ken Brotman, Founding Partner of ACON, in a prepared statement. “Funko has established itself as a fore-runner in the pop culture space and we look forward to building value in a business that is very well positioned for continued growth.”