2013 Topps Supreme and 2013 Crown Royale are Primed for a Big Co-Release

Two big products hit the market tomorrow – one in Topps Supreme that has become a top billing for the calendar over the last 3 years, and Crown Royale, whose Silhouettes might be some of the best Panini cards of the year. Although I think Supreme is a better singles product by far, I think the Silhouettes could come across as the best in the two sets.

Not many cards are live as of today, but they should be out en masse tomorrow:

2013 Topps Supreme Andrew Luck / John Elway Dual Auto

2013 Topps Supreme Andrew Luck / EJ Manuel Dual Auto Patch Booklet /15

2013 Topps Supreme Dan Marino Auto Jersey

2013 Panini Crown Royale Eddie Lacy Silhouette Auto Patch Silver /299

2013 Panini Crown Royale Le'Veon Bell Silhouette Auto Patch

2013 Panini Crown Royale Aaron Dobson Silhouette Auto Patch

2013 Panini Crown Royale Luke Joeckel Auto RC /25

Topps released a TON of pictures on their facebook today, many of which looked quite incredible. Although I absolutely loved the way 2012 looked, they have definitely taken a step forward indeed.

Here are some of my favorites from last year:

2012 Topps Supreme Robert Griffin III Playbook Auto Booklet

2012 Topps Supreme Andrew Luck Six Piece Auto Relic Booklet

2012 Topps Supreme Nick Foles Auto Jumbo Patch 1/1

Check out the way they look this year:

1782433_10152240700559594_2046151399_o 1973251_10152240700159594_1716489860_o 1606311_10152240699819594_1841886043_o 1973447_10152240699709594_1237398379_o 1658575_10152240697114594_1852309361_o 1799883_10152240697039594_442773793_o 1780162_10152240696884594_389032742_o 1978372_10152240696149594_239357402_o 1553351_10152240696139594_2123473476_o 1900139_10152240694454594_557872504_n 1962112_10152240693019594_1874161164_o 1921029_10152240692994594_1372851382_o 1617606_10152240692944594_307927829_o 1960856_10152240692894594_1308485170_o 1902794_10152240691544594_1481055668_n 1909330_10152240689464594_417029047_o 1559265_10152240689309594_1237241648_o (1) 1957858_10152240687839594_250012528_o 1932709_10152240687609594_448047233_o 1795302_10152240683814594_618576903_o 1911101_10152240683729594_217051257_o 1606212_10152240682649594_213315851_o 1926167_10152240682484594_1981242506_o 1622483_10152240681509594_738264420_o 1973556_10152240681284594_409577212_o 1796721_10152240700479594_124171390_o 1932574_10152240697099594_1685048_o

Tomorrow is going to be a pretty awesome day if you are a buyer, im definitely going to be chasing more than a few cards from both sets.

2014 NFL Combine – My Target List of Rookies to Chase

Right now I am starving for some Football and its only been a few weeks since the end of the season. That’s how deprived I feel, and the combine is the first opportunity to get a small dose of the upcoming 2014 season. There are already claims of an extremely deep draft, and I think there are a lot of reasons to watch in anticipation. Here are the people who made a splash this past weekend in Indianapolis. With Leaf Metal coming out this week, I would aim to buy into some of the autographs from these guys.

Johnny Manziel – QB Texas A&M

After last season, I was convinced he would end up a 2nd or 3rd round pick. After this past season, he has climbed the board significantly, and actually has an outside chance of being selected number one by Houston. That would be a VERY good thing for cards this year, as Manziel will be the top value guy in the class regardless of where he is drafted. The only nightmare scenario would be him landing in Jacksonville, which would be a complete train wreck for cards. Lets all pray that doesn’t happen.

2012 Leaf Johnny Manziel Sketch Cut Auto

Johnny Manziel Signed 8 x 10 PSA Certified

Johnny Manziel Signed Baseball With Stats and Inscriptions

Jadaveon Clowney – DE South Carolina

I am not a fan of his prospects, as I don’t think the questions about his work ethic should go unanswered for a team in the top five. He is a freakish talent, no doubt, but there are some lingering issues that could pose a threat to his overall value. Its rare I would put a defensive player on a list like this, but he is definitely worth a second look as the first sets of the year come out.

Jadaveon Clowney Signed Full Sized Helmet

Jadaveon Clowney Signed Sports Illustrated – JSA cert

Blake Bortles – QB Central Florida

Talk about coming out of nowhere, this guy could be a top 10 pick after being a nobody in 2012. He has tools to be a serviceable starter, but I don’t think anyone is willing to put any high expectations on him. A lot of people have him going as high as number 5, and some as low as number 8 to the Vikings, but he may not make it past number 3 in the first round. He wont have much value coming out, as his school isn’t a powerhouse, but he could be a nice investment opportunity if he gets the starting job.

Blake Bortles Signed NFL Football

Sammy Watkins – WR Clemson

He is a burner, and proved his speed this past weekend. He looks like he could be a combination of AJ Green and Alshon Jeffery, with speed and hands to really get up there in production. I like his game, and I think he will be a top 10 pick EASY. The problem is he could end up with a team that has no QB, which would be a bad situation for any WR prospect. Lets hope that doesn’t happen.

2011 Leaf Army All American Sammy Watkins Auto

Sammy Watkins Signed Mini Helmet – JSA Cert

Michael Sam – DE/LB Missouri

I have mentioned how much value Sam will have out of the gate because of the story surrounding his circumstances, and that is a big reason why his combine was under scrutiny. He didn’t run a blazing time, which was unfortunate, but he should still project as a 3rd -5th round guy. I think everyone should be happy when they pull his card, as it will automatically be worth something off the bat.

Michael Sam Signed Mini Helmet

Mike Evans – WR Texas A&M

Some of the main attributes of Mike Evans are more about his catch skills than his speed, but he ran quite a good time at the combine. Enough to get people excited about his prospects. Lots of teams drafting at the top of round one need a receiver, and he could be a great guy to fill some of those needs.

Mike Evans Signed Mini Helmet – Tristar Auth

Teddy Bridgewater – QB Louisville

No idea why Bridgewater didn’t do much at the combine, but he will be a top pick regardless. I think he might be a bit overrated in his NFL readiness, but no less than any of the other QBs at the top. I think I like him as a mid range starter on Sunday, and those aren’t really the guys you want to draft with the first pick. Who knows, things always have the chance of turning out weird.

2012 Leaf Executive Teddy Bridgewater Cut Auto 1/1

2011 Leaf Army All American Teddy Bridgewater Auto

I cant wait for the first of 2014 products to be released, and it looks like this class should have some star power after all.

Newest Batch of 2013 National Treasures Previews Are Amazing

Every once in a while, a preview for an upcoming product is released, and you just have to say “Wow.” When 2010 Five Star was posted, I had that type of reaction. At the time, it was shocking to me how awesome the cards looked. For today’s National Treasures preview, I had that same reaction. For a long time, National Treasures has been an inferior set to me, mainly because of design. Combine that with sticker autos for the majority of its signature content, and it was worse. Things looks to be VASTLY different for 2013 Treasures.

This isnt the first time these players have had on card autographs recently, as Topps has managed to include them frequently in Five Star and other products, and Panini has done so in Treasures last year:

2012 Topps Five Star Jerry Rice Auto Patch

2012 Topps Five Star John Elway Inscription Auto

2012 National Treasures Matt Ryan Virtuoso Auto

2012 National Treasures Emmitt Smith NFL Greatest Auto

Although this is only a small sliver of the product, it is beyond impressive so far. Topps has yet to show us anything other than solicitation pictures for Five Star, which I expect to be done on a similar level of awesomeness, but these cards are really amazing. Panini is one of the best in the business in hyping up their stuff, and to be honest, its been a complete and utter failure on the Topps side. Five Star will forever be compared to Treasures because it closes out the season, but it never compares to NT's value for a variety of dumb reasons. This year, high end products will be a HARD sell, and I dont think I have seen enough to get me excited about buying product that costs as much as these sets do. The rookie class is a disaster, and the veteran content will drive the sales. Panini is definitely trying to highlight their efforts.

Here is the thing. No one can actually say that their hype machine actually contributes to better sales, but I can guarantee it doesnt hurt them when the posts are done like this. Topps deserves all the credit in the world for the last three years of Five Star. Collectors havent given said to them because the product wasnt around when Exquisite was still going strong in 2008 and 2009. That is STUPID. Panini hasnt deserved the value in NT from 2008-2011, and yet the name on the box has granted them a reprieve. I cant even put into words how angry that makes me. For 2012, we saw a glimmer of what was possible when they actually put some work into their best set of the year:

2012 National Treasures Ben Roethlisberger Virtuoso Auto

2012 National Treasures Terry Bradshaw NFL Greatest Auto

For 2013 we are seeing an evolution of that commitment to improvement. However, its still only a tiny part of the grander product hierarchy, and that still sucks. There will be stickers in NT, there will be shitty one color jersey cards inserted at an inexcusable rate. Five Star will be on card 100% and have a larger commitment to the content than any NT set has ever had. Its sad that we reward Panini for a tiny (but incredible) grouping of cards, but dont do the same for Topps when the cards have looked awesome for 3 years running. I hope that changes this year, but Im not holding my breath.

Check out these beauties:

panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-32 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-9 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-19 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-26 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-29 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-18 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-15 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-20 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-35 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-4 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-11 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-16 panini-america-febaruary-22-nt-football-autos-25

2012 National Treasures Russell Wilson Autos Are Live!

Russell Wilson is easily the hottest name in cards right now, and rightfully so. He is the most recent Super Bowl winning QB, his cards have been held up for the most valuable set of the year, and he doesnt show any signs of slowing down. I posted earlier that Panini had done a recent signing with him, and some of the cards are arriving in the hands of collectors.

Check these out (prices are crazy, obviously):

2012 National Treasures Russell Wilson Auto Logo Patch /99

2012 National Treasures Russell Wilson Auto Logo Patch Printing Plate 1/1

2012 National Treasures Russell Wilson Auto Patch /25

Im not a fan at all of the 2012 NT RPA design, but the cards are going to be the most valuable rookie he has. Panini didnt mess around on the patch quality, as expected, so a lot of these cards are going to be ridiculous.

I am still waiting on my redemptions to come through, but I am at least a bit more excited about it now that I am seeing some of the results.

SBay Super Box Enters Relatively Uncharted Territory With $3000 Pack

Today, I got ahold of a sell sheet that really made my jaw drop. When I started to see who is responsible, my feeling of excitement turned to a feeling of skepticism. Sbay Sportscards, known for their baseball and football re-pack products, have decided to really blow out the high end crowd with boxes that cost 3000 a piece. Sbay made news most recently with their purchase of the Yasiel Puig Bowman Chrome Superfractor Auto 1/1 for use in their baseball products, and news like this should come as no surprise.

After Panini became the first licensed company to produce packs with a price tag above $1000 with Flawless, Sbay decided to dive into high end basketball on their own. Although the sell sheet features some impressive material, just about every one of their previous releases have been nothing short of a colossal disappointment.

They are advertising quite a few cards like this, of which you can see the prices:

2004 Exquisite Michael Jordan Exquisite Auto Patch

2007 Exquisite Kobe Bryant Exquisite Auto Patch

2008 Exquisite Lebron James Exquisite Auto Quad Jersey

The basketball market functions almost exclusively on super high end, which is why I get why this is their approch. However that isnt the way the SBAY products have been. Plagued with tentpole hits (like the Puig), surrounded by heaps of mid range and low end hits, the Super Boxes dont exactly have a great reputation. However, they were all pennies on the dollar compared to a product like this. Sure, there will be some incredible cards in a limited run, but for all intents and purposes, this is not meant to be busted by someone other than a group breaker. Even then, it looks like it will be quite hard to stomach. Their previous products dont instill a lot of confidence by any means.

Products from companies like Leaf and Heroes of Sport have garnered both praise and criticism for offering similar products on a smaller MSRP scale, but this is on a completely different level. At least with Heroes of Sport, you feel like you are getting a few nice items or per box, for about a third of the price. Even then the boxes are still built for group breaking. Until I see a box or two opened, I would be staying about as far away from these as I can.

Although I do give them credit for wanting to break into this type of territory, and I do think there are some incredible things on the sell sheet, they have earned themselves quite the reputation over the last few years. Not a good place to be, when you expect collectors to drop this type of money. Sure it has Michael Jordan rookies and game used items that will sell for thousands, but in a box run of 200, do you feel THAT lucky? Maybe you do.