Key Rookie Cards of Apollo 11’s Crew

Within 66 years we went from the Wright brothers first flight to landing on the moon.  That’s some incredible innovation right there.  Did you know a couple of relics from the Wright brothers flyer were aboard Apollo 11 and made it to the surface of the moon?  Relics like that would make an excellent addition to Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions cards.  It probably won’t happen though as those relics are safely kept on display at the Smithsonian.  I wonder what cards containing pieces of the Wright brothers plane would sell for on the secondary market?  Its safe to say quite a bit considering how big of an event in history that is.  The relics aren’t very big either, so very few cards could be made.

On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  2019 marks the 50th anniversary of this historic event.  Many men and women played important parts in order for that mission to be a success.  Three key individuals from the Apollo 11 mission are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.  When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveled down to the lunar surface, Michael Collins remained in the Command Module “Columbia”.

Thousands, if not millions of years from now the Apollo 11 mission will continued to be talked about.  Its the first time mankind stepped onto a surface not of this Earth.  Truly an astonishing achievement.

Thanks to Topps, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins each have rookie cards.  These cards can be found in the 1969 Topps Man on the Moon set.  Its important to note that this set was reissued in 1970.  The 1969 set consists of (55) cards.  The 1970 reissue has the same (55) cards plus an additional (45) cards bringing the total to (99) cards.  Telling the difference between the 1969 and 1970 set is fairly easy.  All of the cards from the 1970 reissue set are numbered “1 of 99”, “2 of 99”, “3 of 99”, etc…  Whereas the original 1969 set has them numbered “1A”, “2A”, “3A”, etc…

Complete sets in exceptional condition will require some deep pockets.  In general though singles can be obtained for a relatively low price.

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2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball Preview

Two card manufacturers working together on a single product is certainly not something that happens very often.  Especially during a time when exclusives are all the rage, and everyone is out for themselves.  Onyx Authenticated and Futera have done what seems to be the impossible.  Working simultaneously, both companies are happy to introduce 2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball.

No.  There aren’t any team names and/or logos.  But given the quality of these cards, I truly believe that doesn’t matter one bit.  Futera mainly focuses on European soccer now, but I’ve always thought their cards looked extremely well done.  I didn’t think seeing a baseball product come from them was a possibility until now.  Onyx’s baseball products aren’t too shabby either.  Their Vintage Collection is a blast to open.

2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Prospects & Legends Baseball is a limited, high-end release.  Only (75) cases will be produced.  Each pack contains an autograph or autograph/relic.  Baseball fans will get to take advantage of Futera’s Colour Grading and Code For Collectors features.  These are two services which allow you to see how rare that relic card might be, and the process that went into making that specific card.  Its a level of documentation that every card manufacturer should adhere to.  Services such as these really helps to cut down on counterfeits.

Be sure to checkout the official sales sheet and checklist.  You’ll find its filled with prospects and Hall of Famers.  I wouldn’t mind pulling that Babe Ruth cut signature.  My favorite cards are the 24ct Gold-Plated Framed cards.

(4) packs come in a single box.  Each pack will cost around $97.  That’s about $400 for the entire box.  As of this writing, August 23rd is the launch date.

2018/19 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer SP Photo Variation Guide

2018/19 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer contains (5) SP Photo Variations.  That’s not a lot compared to other sets.  These are quite difficult to pull, and each one has a Superfractor parallel #’ed 1/1.

Lionel Messi #1, Christian Pulišić #23, Harry Kane #48, Antoine Griezmann #84, and Cristiano Ronaldo #100 are the only SP Photo Variations.  While each of them has a base card in the main set, their SP Photo Variation is harder to find.  CMP codes for SP Photo Variations end in #223, whereas base cards end in #203.

Here’s what the SP Photo Variations look like:

The Shadow (1994 film) Celebrates It’s 25th Anniversary

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

What’s the problem?  Isn’t this movie jogging any memories?  That’s alright.  Many people have forgotten about this one.

The Shadow is a superhero created by Walter B. Gibson in 1931.  He’s actually older than both Batman and Superman.  When placed side-by-side you can clearly tell that The Shadow was used as a heavy influence on the creation of Batman.

In 1994, Universal Pictures gave The Shadow his very own feature film simply titled – The Shadow.  It starred Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston a.k.a The Shadow.  Other supporting characters in the film were played by John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller, Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen, Jonathan Winters, and Tim Curry.

The film follows wealthy playboy Lamont Cranston over in Tibet shortly after World War I.  He decides to stay in Tibet, change his name to Yin-Ko, and sets himself up as a drug warlord.  While running his empire, he is kidnapped by servants who work for Tulku.  Tulku knows Cranston’s true identity, and shows off his otherworldly powers.  Cranston is offered a chance to change his life and be an agent of good.  The offer is refused, and he stays under Tulku’s watch for the next seven years.  In that time, Cranston undergoes massive amounts of physical training, learns how to hypnotize others, read minds, and warp the perception of others so he cannot be seen, besides his shadow.  Once the seven years were up, Cranston moved back to New York and resumed his old life.  At night though, he fights the criminal underworld as the vigilante called The Shadow.

Every superhero needs a villain.  That’s where Shiwan Khan comes in.  He’s a former student of Tulku, and a descendant of Genghis Khan.  Of course Khan wants to fulfill the destiny of his ancestor, and dominate the world.  I won’t spoil how it ends.

Released on July 1, The Shadow was planned to be a big summer blockbuster.  Unfortunately it faced tough competition among other movies like The Lion King and The Mask.  It never made it passed #2 at the box office.  It started off strongly, but quickly lost momentum.  Since it’s release on VHS and DVD, The Shadow has gained quite the cult following among fans.

Universal Pictures had plans for The Shadow to be the start of a new franchise.  Once it didn’t make enough money, that went out the window.  Despite that, merchandise for The Shadow was all over the place.  I distinctly remember owning four action figures.

Guess what else The Shadow had?  You got it.  Trading cards.  Topps created a 90-card set for this movie.  A majority of the set consists of photos from the film.  These cards have a very Stadium Club-like look to them.  Other than The Shadow logo in the corner and two green lines going across the bottom, the main focus is on the photographs.

In addition to the movie photo cards, there are (10) Shadow Legend art inserts.  (4) Topps Finest inserts are by far the most difficult cards to pull.

Not a whole lot of value can be found here.  It was mass produced, and even the “rare” cards aren’t in demand.  Alec Baldwin autographs should’ve been included.

I was eight when The Shadow came out.  At the time I wasn’t old enough to see it in the theater.  I had to wait for it on VHS.  The toys stick in my memory more than the actual movie itself.  The hype for it was unbelievable.  I think I watched it a few times, and moved on.

The Shadow drew me in because he reminded me so much of my favorite superhero Batman.  It wasn’t until years later that I discovered Batman was actually inspired by him.

2019 Leaf In The Game Used Sports Set To Arrive In Time For The National

Earlier this week I was excited to announce that Leaf In The Game Used Sports is making it’s return in 2019.  Like I mentioned in my previous post, the 2018 version of this product was just loaded with one low-numbered hit after another.  I never had a bad box.

Leaf has released the official sales sheet for 2019 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  As is the case with a lot of sales sheets, some of these autographs and patches could change between now and the time it actually comes out.

The configuration looks similar to last year – (12) boxes per case, and (5) hits per box.  July 31, 2019 is the set release date.  I’m sure it will be one of the eligible products that you can use for Leaf’s wrapper redemption program during the National Sports Collector’s Convention.

Leaf In The Game Used Sports Returns For 2019

Good luck trying to find a sealed box of 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  Its almost impossible.  Released on August 1, 2018 (the first day of the National), this product was a huge hit at the show.  If you couldn’t make it to Cleveland, various dealers carried it.  But their stock didn’t last very long.  Its been months since I’ve seen a sealed box surface.

What made this product so popular?  Boxes are loaded with low-numbered hits.  Five to be exact.  At an initial cost of $160-$165 per box, collectors quickly realized they were getting quite the deal.  Most boxes were solid, and delivered value that was equal to the box price.  Lots of times the value was much more.  Not mass-produced.  Low case production.  I think Leaf configured it this way because they knew it would draw people in.  As collectors began to catch on, the price of a single box began to grow.  The last time I saw a box listed for sale it cost $269.  I was lucky to get my hands on three boxes last year.  You can see what I pulled here and here.

I’m happy to announce that Leaf plans to bring back In The Game Used Sports for 2019.  While we don’t have a release date, box/case price, configuration details, and/or print run yet, Leaf did let a few images slip out.  These pictures are of cards from their “The Chosen Few” collection.  Randomly inserted are redemptions for some heavy-duty high-end cards.  If you pull one, Leaf will allow you to pick a card from their “The Chosen Few” inventory.  Obviously the sooner one is pulled, the more selection you will have.  More details to come.

Cobb, Cochrane, & Crawford Are Among The National’s Earliest Promos

Back in February I blogged about an 8-card set that highlights the early years of the National Sports Collectors Convention.  That set is from the 5th NSCC which took place in 1984 at the Aspen Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey.  At the time of that writing it was the earliest promotional set for the NSCC that I had ever seen.  Today that all changes.

A 32-card set recently popped-up on eBay, and seems to be from the 2nd National Sports Collectors Convention.  In 1981, the second NSCC was held in Detroit, Michigan at the Plymouth Hilton.  This simple 32-card set includes a nice selection of all-time great players from the Detroit Tigers.  Notable names include Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Hank Greenberg, Sam Crawford, and Charlie Gehringer.  The backs are all blank.

I can’t say how exactly these cards were distributed.  Back then they didn’t have the elaborate promotional programs like they do today.  Dealers may have only gotten them.  I say that because you don’t see these cards very often.  Then again, they could’ve been handed out at the door to everyone that walked in.  Either way, its an awesome historical set from what has turned into the best sports card and memorabilia show on the planet.

The 40th National Sports Collectors Convention will take place in Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center 7/31-8/4.