Some collectors go to the National Convention for one reason, and one reason alone. Although its completely the wrong reason, its going to happen. The giveaways draw people in, especially now that the card companies have developed exclusive sets for the show. The reason I say its the wrong reason to attend is not because the cards arent cool, its because of all the other reasons to attend. Giveaways are just the cherry on top. Either way, I digress.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of the most popular baseball sets of the year, Topps has designed an exclusive set of die cut Allen & Ginter cards. The cards are a combination of baseball and football players, including some of the top NFL rookies like Winston and Mariota.
Here are some of the cards:
In the past, Topps’ giveaways have been less about the packs themselves, and more about a straightforward smaller set, but this year, its much different. The set is bigger (100 cards), there are low numbered parallels, and nicer autographs as well. Instead of giving away one card per day like they have in the past, Topps is offering sealed packs for boxes opened at their booth. As far as I can see, you can pretty much bring over whatever current product to get the packs. MUUUUUUUUCH different than Panini, who has a specific list of products that you must break. Ill get to that in a second.
They are also doing some cool Gypsy Queen exclusives for Bryant and Buxton, which look awesome, and like the Ginter parallels, it looks like they have low numbered versions available.
Topps has done a set of Allen and Ginter at the NSCC for as long as I can remember, which has usually included a mix of players from many different sports. I find the cards extremely attractive for that reason, as Football never really makes the licensed cross over like it does for the NSCC.
The cards have sold very well for the first days of the show, going to be interesting how they continue to sell as the show gets busier and more packs are opened.
For reasons explained many times prior, Panini has to create a huge program for the NSCC each year. Although it creates a fanfare unlike any other manufacturer on the floor, many collectors fail to see the true motives behind why it exists. Go read through my previous posts on Panini giveaway programs to understand the reasoning behind the program’s existence, as its clear that this was not done by choice originally.
This year, Panini’s program is a combination of NCAA licensed cards and league licensed cards. They have a large base set, combined with relic and autograph content as they have in previous years. Some of the more interesting examples are baseball cards featuring players like Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston, both of which were drafted for their proficiency in the sport.
Here are some examples:
2015 Panini National Convention Todd Gurley Towel Patch – I have always hated these. Why towels?
Although the design isnt as strong as it has been in previous years, the program looks like it has a good mix of cards. You can also buy packs if you want – although I would advise against paying more for thick packs despite relics. Thin packs might be longer odds on the autos, but there have been decoys inserted in other giveaways, and many of the relics are shit. Most of the stuff will be forgotten in a matter of weeks, so dont go paying 40 dollars for a relic or thick pack that will be 5 bucks after the show. Just wait. I promise.
There will also be two versions of the program that will not be available to the general public, including a special version for VIPs, and another for Group Breakers. These other versions will have much more high quality cards, which may include rip off Superfractors like last year’s did. The access to the packs is severely diminished, so the cards tend to be worth more.
Upper Deck Giveaways
Despite losing another league license this year Upper Deck’s promos still offer a lot to be chased. Their Prominent Cuts set is back, with likely the last of its NCAA cards ever to be produced, including autographs from their main exclusive signers and more. The autographs are REALLY tough pulls, but if you can walk away with Gretzky, Jordan, Lebron or Tiger, it might pay for your plane ticket and hotel. I do have to give them a ton of credit for getting them signed on card. WOW.
Here are some of Upper Deck’s cards:
The design is nice looking, and it makes me long for the days when Upper Deck had both MLB and NFL cards to giveaway at the show. Its been a long time.
As they have done in the past, Leaf has a lot of giveaways for the show, including some really nice autographs from Legends of Sport. They have a big base set, as well as parallels and autographs from what it looks like, which are always impressive to see in their giant booth.
Here are some examples:
Leaf’s recent acquisition of In the Game and other companies under the same banner has gone over well for them, and I would guess that new alignment will be on display.
Overall, these giveaways are all about volume and luck. However, as mentioned before, dont go out of your way to buy something you dont want or dont need just to get access to the packs. If something is being offered for packs or boxes you would open normally, go wild. You can get some nice stuff.