Sheldon’s 2015 Topps MLS Mini Art Gallery

Monty Sheldon is an artistic machine!  As it turns out, he also worked on a 15-card mini “Basics of Soccer” set for 2015 Topps MLS.  Printed versions can be found throughout the product, but they also included the 1/1 mini hand-painted cards as well.  Congrats to anyone that pulls one of these from a pack.

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Brad Utterstrom Offers A Glimpse Of His 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Art

In addition to Monty Sheldon, artist Brad Utterstrom also contributed his talents to this year’s Gypsy Queen.  Brad made (15) different 1/1 art patch cards.  Five of them can be seen below, and the rest will be on display here shortly.  Between Brad Utterstrom and Monty Sheldon, there are 40 total 1/1 art/patch cards to be found.  Consider yourself very lucky to pull any one of them.  These guys did a fantastic job.

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Monty Sheldon Showcases His 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Art

Monty Sheldon is at it again!  Check out some of the artwork he worked on for the 2015 edition of Topps Gypsy Queen.  This year he made (25) art/patch cards each numbered one-of-one.  These are some of the top tier cards to look for when breaking open your boxes.  Any one of these cards could easily be the centerpiece of your collection.

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In addition to the art/patch cards, Monty Sheldon also worked on a (15) mini card set called “Basics of Base Ball”.  Each card in the set details a fundamental aspect of the game.  The printed versions should come 1:24 packs (one a box).  The original painted one-of-one “Basics of Base Ball” mini cards will also be inserted into packs of 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen.  Those can be seen below, and will be much harder to pull.

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2015 UD Inscriptions – Its Topps Chrome Without The Meaningless Base Cards

Over the last year or so, I’ve become very picky when it comes to opening boxes.  There are certain products I like, but I have to enjoy them from a distance because I don’t want the excess base cards that come along with it.  Let me get one thing clear.  I DON’T like base cards.  They’re meaningless, take up space, and will never be worth anything because they made so many.  The money that is put into printing base cards should be used for something else.  Late last year, I cleaned up my room by throwing away boxes of base cards that have been building up over time.  If I can’t sell it, use it as a contest, or display it on my shelf, that product really isn’t for me.  The only exception to this new rule of mine is if I’m attending the National.  There I will bend the rule a little in order to participate in the promo programs.

One of those products I’ve been watching from a distance is Topps Chrome.  Especially the football version.  Baseball Topps Chrome shouldn’t even exist, and doesn’t carry the impact football does.  I never bought a box of Topps Chrome Football because of all the pointless base.  It looks great, but it just comes with too much stuff I don’t need.

Next month Upper Deck will introduce a new pre-draft product called 2015 Upper Deck Inscriptions.  Each box will have (4) autographs and NO base cards.  Look for a lot of inscriptions with this product.  Three of the cards are considered Silver level autographs, and the fourth is the parallel.  Parallels include Red #’ed/149, Black #’ed/25, and Gold #’ed/10.  To me, this product looks like Topps Chrome but without all the base.  Its actually more of a competitor to Leaf Metal Draft, but it has college logos.  I’m sorry to say that this is probably one of the last CLC licensed products Upper Deck will issue.  Panini is slowly taking over college stuff, in addition to everything else.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, 2015 Upper Deck Inscriptions looks pretty darn good.  Like I said before, I’m picky on what and how often I open products.  There is such little innovation nowadays, product similarity is at and all time high.  This is suppose to be out on March 11, so I might buy a box online or wait until I go to a show near the end of next month.  The box price is around $130.00.

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Preview: Museum Collection’s Canvas Collection Artist Originals Autographs

Its very difficult to impress collectors today.  Things are almost as if they’re at a standstill when it comes to innovation within the hobby.  We just see so much of the same stuff over and over again.  Every now and then we see little glimpses of something really worth talking about.

Museum Collection has been a big hit with collectors.  2014 Topps Museum Collection Football is scheduled to be released in February.  Topps plans to bring back a lot of the stuff that collectors enjoyed last year, plus they’ll be throwing in some new items.  One of those new items are the Canvas Collection Artist Originals Autographs.  James Henry Smith is the artist who made these little beauties.  There are ten cards in this set, each numbered 1/1, and will be signed by the athlete.  Leaf has made some athlete signed sketch cards in the past, but nothing quite as good looking as these.  This is our first look at them, and as you can tell they haven’t been signed yet.  If you’re not lucky in pulling one of the cards pictured below, Museum Collection does have it’s share of other original art pieces.

The autograph area seems a bit boxy, but I can only think it was made like that so the artist knew where to stop.

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Golf Collectors Feast Your Eyes On 2014 Upper Deck Exquisite Golf

The very high-end brand from Upper Deck known as Exquisite has covered basketball, baseball, football, hockey, and now golf.  Feast your eyes on these awesome looking, museum quality cards that I’m sure will make fantastic centerpieces to anyone’s golf collection.  On-card autographs, shadowboxes, multi-colored swatches, and booklets just scratch the surface as to what this product has in store.  I highly doubt that there is a single bad box.  That unfortunately does come with a cost.  And in the case of Exquisite Golf its a significant one.  Boxes are currently pre-selling  online for almost $700.00.  I know there are a lot of hardcore golf collectors out there, but whether or not they want to spend that much on a box is another question.  Upper Deck will be giving away a few boxes during the National this year.

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Black Boxes Are Ready To Rock

Press Pass is ready!  Upper Deck is ready!  And by the looks of it Panini is getting ready as well.  When it comes to making promos and giveaways, Panini really takes the cake.  Their legendary Black Boxes are one of the main attractions during the annual Industry Summit.  This year will not be any different.  Attendees will find a shamrock-shaped Rated Rookie logo T-shirt inside their welcome bag.  Five random collectors will be awarded a Black Box early on Monday if you’re caught wearing this T-shirt.

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Upon completion of Panini’s presentation on Tuesday, the rest of the Black Boxes will be distributed.  Whats in a Black Box you ask?  Every Black Box will contain a special Industry Summit exclusive autograph or relic.  Collectors will also find Industry Summit exclusive 2013 Select Football Green Prizm parallels.  Each of these parallels will be limited to 15 copies.  Promos made for specific events such as the Industry Summit that can be integrated within an already established card set like Select are a fantastic idea.

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No word yet from Topps on what their Industry Summit promos will look like.  It wouldn’t surprise me if it has something to do with 2014 Topps Heritage that comes out very shortly.  But that’s just a guess.

2014 Press Pass Gameday Gallery Preview

Gameday Gallery doesn’t mess around and gets straight to the point.  Each 1-pack box contains five cards that are all hard-signed.  The base autographs stick out to me the most this year given that they’re horizontal and have a large white area for the signature.  These might be some of the nicest pre-draft/unlicensed football cards that Press Pass has issued in years.  Plus I like the artistic filter they use on the photographs to give them that painted look.  Press Pass has been using that technique with Gameday Gallery for awhile now, but the 2014 cards look the best.  The autographs aren’t boxed in.

You can look for 2014 Gameday Gallery in early April.

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Press Pass Shows Off 2014 Industry Summit Promos

Given that the 2014 Industry Summit is held in mid-March, it makes perfect sense for Press Pass’s promos to be pre-draft football related.  For those lucky collectors who plan on attending, check out some of the promos Press Pass plans to distribute.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they threw in a few autographed versions too like they have in the past.

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ITG Attempting To Bridge The Gap Between Sticker and On-Card Autographs

Ah!  The classic battle between sticker and on-card autographs.  It will go down as one of the biggest debates among collectors for centuries.  Both sides have their positives and negatives.  On-card autographs may be more eye appealing, but you may have to send away for it via redemption and who knows when or if you’ll ever see it.  Sticker autographs might not look quite as nice, but its better to have something in hand versus sitting back and waiting for it to show up.  Finding a happy medium hasn’t been easy.

In The Game is taking another stab at baseball with Past, Present, and Future slated to be released in late March.  At the present time, not too much is known about the product’s configuration, but Dr. Price does give collectors a little glimpse of what you’ll be able to pull.

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With Past, Present, and Future, Dr. Price is trying to settle the whole sticker vs. on-card autograph battle.  When looking at these pictures, the autographs seem to be on giant clear stickers.  In reality that’s not the case.  The signatures are directly on the card.  It looks as if In The Game is getting the signers to autograph a portion of the card (about the size of a sticker) and then inserting that missing piece into the rest of the card.  Works just like a puzzle.  They kinda remind me of a camouflaged cut signature.

Collectors have sorta seen this done before.  Upper Deck tried this with 2005 UD Exquisite Football, but the signed pieces don’t blend into the rest of the card like ITG’s do.  Its refreshing to see someone at least trying to bridge the gap between sticker and on-card autographs.

I wonder if anyone has ever gotten players to sign blank stock and then designed the card around the signature?