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.

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Ready or Not: Michael Sam Will Be A Hobby Focus for 2014

I think there was a big reaction to Michael Sam’s coming out, mainly because for some stupid reason, being gay is still something worth talking about. He is likely going to see time on the NFL field, making him the first of his generation, but that’s not all. Let’s be honest people, regardless of how you feel about it, homosexuality isn’t a big deal in 2014, which is exactly the way it should be. No one should care about the way individuals live their personal life in this fashion, especially when it comes to sports. Gay people should be able to participate fully, and not only that, they should face the same ups and downs that every other athlete endures.

All opinions aside, its likely Michael Sam will be a big deal regardless of my feelings about the notoriety of the story. Autograph hounds have already started posting their wares, and they are getting GOOD money for their stuff:

Michael Sam Signed Mini Helmet

Michael Sam Signed 8×10

Michael Sam Signed Poster

Michael Sam Signed Chrome Full Sized Helmet

As if on cue, the cards companies are scrambling early to get him signed, and so far both Topps and Press Pass have talked about him being a part of their 2014 sets. That’s good, because he should be. Im guessing he ends up being a 3rd round pick, and that makes him autograph worthy in many of the sets that focus on content from late round picks.

Being that he will be the first openly gay NFL draft pick, it does create a bit of fame that some would equate to someone like Jackie Robinson. I know its hard to put both players on the same level, as the world is FAAAR more accepting of Sam than they were of Robinson, but homosexuality in sports is still a barrier worth breaking. As many will talk about, being gay isn’t visible on the outside, unlike Robinson’s skin ALWAYS being dark. There are no doubt gay players in the NFL already, but they have decided against being public for the time being. There were NO black players in MLB when Robinson came through.

Here is the bottom line. Collectors will want Michael Sam cards as long as he is a player in the NFL. He may not even be that good, and his cards will still be valuable. Fame does that, and bible thumpers will have to deal with it. Im glad about that, because he deserves every chance he will get. Be prepared for him to be possibly invited to the rookie premiere, among other focuses in the card industry, and that isn’t a bad thing. The bad part is, his sexual orientation is the only reason for that to happen, and that seems forced. Either way, I shouldn’t be complaining because he will bring extra value to packs.

Eventually Michael Sam’s career will not be a big deal, because being gay isn’t a big deal anymore. Its part of our culture now (as it should be), and that’s okay with me. Lets just hope that he doesn’t become the next Tim Tebow, who is pretty much the same type of walking circus, but at the other end of the spectrum. We all know how that worked out.

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2014 Bowman Victory Autos Are Live For Big Winners

Contest giveaways or freebie giveaways have always been a cool program as long as they are done correctly. Topps has done quite a few of these types of things over the years, including some pretty popular contest giveaways in football and baseball pertaining to games online. Today, we are seeing some of the collectors who took the Bowman Prospect Challenge seriously are getting their due, in spades.

Check these out:

2014 Bowman Victory Byron Buxton Auto /10

2014 Bowman Victory Miguel Sano Auto /10

2014 Bowman Victory Austin Meadows Auto /10

2014 Bowman Victory Jose Fernandez Auto /10

This set of cards has been pretty impressive, looking identical to the Bowman Black set, but with a gold background. Now that Topps has fulfilled the winners with their haul, some of them have been pretty impressive. One guy on blowout won over 100 different autographs, which has to be a big deal to any collector out there.

No doubt about it, there are some big names in the set, with some top notch on card autos across the board. That is pretty fucking awesome. Considering that the challenge was relatively easy to participate in, I think it’s a great idea to see how they actually are coming through with so many autos. There are only 10 complete sets from what it looks like, so these cards are EXCEEDINGLY rare.

Im a fan of these, as the ones we got in football were stickers – but still quite cool. This takes that prize level to another world. I love it.

More National Treasures and Crown Royale Previews!

Let me start this off as saying I am all for on card autos in every single product, and National Treasures is really looking good in that respect. It was already a stellar product last year, which speaks to the product’s improvement. With the exception of the ridiculous “Hats Off” set, every card they have previewed looks pretty awesome. Now that we are getting some of the completed cards as part of the previews, I think everyone is going to be quite excited at the final product.

Notable Nickname Autos

I love this idea. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. Its been around for a while, but not in football as much. Im not crazy about the fact that these cards are vertical instead of horizontal, because you see what happens when someone really writes out a cool inscription. However, when you see that Russell Wilson didn’t sign any inscription, Im curious to see what the rest of the cards will look like.

When it comes to inscriptions, I don’t think its going to touch what we have seen out of Five Star, but these are still REALLY cool.

Check out some of the other nickname inscriptions in sets past:

2007 National Treasures Notable Nicknames – Mark “Super” Duper

2012 National Treasures Notable Nicknames – Kyrie “Uncle Drew” Irving

2012 National Treasures Notable Nicknames – Pete “Hit King” Rose

Here are some of the new ones:

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Colossal Patch Autos

The Earl Campbell in this preview is awesome. Its clean, its simple, and it is really well put together. I cannot wait for the rest of the cards in this set, as it is clear that it will be a major focus of NT this year. As I have mentioned before, they are modeled after last year’s edition:

2012 National Treasures Colossal Doug Martin Auto Relic

2012 National Treasures Colossal Robert Griffin III Auto Relic

I hope that there are not a significant amount of redemptions, as that would kill the appeal of many of these cards. However, if they get all the big names to sign, its likely going to ignite a feeding frenzy for all the player collectors looking to get their guy.

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National Treasures Auto Jumbo Patch Booklets

Man, these cards were some of the best of the product last year, and I am glad to see them back for another go around. They are really some clean and pretty cards for everyone that likes the booklet style.

Here are last year’s:

2012 National Treasures Andrew Luck Booklet Auto Patch

2012 National Treasures Brock Osweiler NFL Logo Auto Booklet 1/1

Here are some of the new previews:

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Crown Royale Silhouettes

I cant say enough good things about this set, and from what we have seen, the cards are looking really nice. They are so vastly improved over 2012, that it might as well be night and day for these. Check out how bad they were last year:

2012 Crown Royale Andrew Luck Auto Patch Silhouette

2012 Crown Royale Ryan Tannehill Auto Patch Silhouette

The super neon foil embellishments really add a nice touch, haha.

I will be chasing all my targets here, and I am hoping and praying they wont be redemptions. To see that there may also be a veteran contingent of hard signed examples, im impressed.

More previews:

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Hats Off Auto Cap Patches

I cant even put into words how much I hate these cards. They are poorly laid out with the swatch window being set so high on the card surface, thus making the auto look out of place.

Ugh.

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