Is Topps Returning To Basketball? – Sure Looks Like It

Athletes and celebrities showing off cards on social media that they recently signed for upcoming products isn’t anything new.  But one image has been floating around the internet this week which has a lot of collectors talking.

Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyler Herro posted a video which shows three stacks of cards he signed.  What has people all in a buzz is that they seem to be Topps cards.  Topps Chrome to be exact.

Topps hasn’t produced a basketball product since 2009-10.  Panini currently has an exclusive NBA and CLC license.  These cards obviously don’t have any licensed team names and/or logos.

By the looks of it, Topps is working on an unlicensed basketball draft picks Topps Chrome set that features autographs.  With all of the hype around Zion Williamson, Topps seems to have decided to get back into the basketball card business.

Its very possible that a company like Topps could sign Zion Williamson to an exclusive autograph agreement even though they currently don’t have an NBA and/or CLC license.  Upper Deck has done this with Ben Simmons and Michael Jordan in the past.

When the Topps Industry Conference was held earlier this year, rumors were flying around that Panini is deathly afraid that something like this might happen with Zion Williamson.  It doesn’t look good when the exclusive NBA licensed card manufacturer (Panini) can’t strike a deal with the #1 draft pick.

We don’t have any specific details yet.  These cards could be distributed in a number of ways.

COME TO TOPPS ZION!!!

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Onyx & Futera Team-Up For New High-End Baseball Set

What’s this?  Two card companies coming together to bring collectors a single product?  What year is it?  How long have I been asleep?  Is left now right?  Is up now down?  Is McDonald’s now serving Whoppers?  What parallel dimension have we stepped into?

Its unheard of to see two manufacturers collaborating on one product.  In an age where exclusive licenses are a regular thing, team-ups like this just don’t happen.

Onyx Authenticated and Futera plan to break that mold this summer with Onyx/Futera Unique 2019 Baseball Prospects & Legends.  While the details are still scarce, here’s what we know about it so far.

Judging by the picture, its going to be a very limited release and quite high-end.  Unlike most other manufacturers, Onyx Authenticated and Futera don’t issue one product after another all year long.  That especially goes for Futera.  I’ve talked about Futera on here a number of times, and have compared them to the Lamborghini or Ferrari manufacturer of the sports card industry.  On numerous occasions, I’ve mentioned their Code For Collectors and Memorabilia Colour Grading services are something U.S. collectors would enjoy taking advantage of.  It looks like that might be coming true.

While the checklist has yet to be announced, both prospects and veterans seem to be in the mix.  I reached out to my contact at Futera to see if I could squeeze out some more info.  I was told “What I can share at this stage is that the collection under discussion would have a format of similarity to our Futera UNIQUE 2018 release including on-card Autographs, Game-used Memorabilia, ‘1 of 1’s, and some sets featuring 24ct gold-plated elements.”  Futera UNIQUE 2018 came with (4) packs per box, with each pack containing a hit.  A box cost $300.

I’m really excited to see how these cards turn out.  Futera and Onyx Authenticated each have created some insanely cool looking cards.  I was lucky enough to open a pack of 2016 Futera Liverpool Unique Collection and pulled a Gerry Byrne Mythicals Matchday Program #’ed/7 – contains a piece of program from the 1965 FA Cup Final between Liverpool FC and Leeds United at Wembley Stadium; 24ct gold-plated frame relic.  Recently, I opened a box of 2019 Onyx Authenticated Vintage Collection Baseball which yielded some fun stuff.

Between the two, I think we should get ready for an awesome baseball product.  No.  There won’t be any team names or logos.  But given what each company has created in the past, I’ve got a good feeling we’re in for something special.

Right now they’re shooting for a late July release.  Just in time for the National Sports Collectors Convention.

Michael Jordan’s Hanes Basketball Card Commercial

Its great to see sports cards included in a nationwide television commercial.  I’m betting many people have thrown these packs out not realizing they have a small chance at a Michael Jordan autograph.  I saw this on T.V. for the first time yesterday.

Who’s Going To Win The 2019 MLB World Series? – Introducing Topps Now Future Cards

Official Topps press release from the awesome Susan Lulgjuraj.

“The Topps Company, the exclusive trading card partner of Major League Baseball, is offering an innovative way to collect cards.  Topps is excited to announce TOPPS NOW Future cards for the 2019 Major League Baseball season, giving baseball fans a chance to win rare and valuable prizes that only Topps can offer.

Topps is combining a fantasy sports element with trading cards by giving fans a chance to win by getting the 2019 World Series champion Future card.

Starting Tuesday 3/26, TOPPS NOW Future packs, which contain three random cards, will be on sale for $12 each.  The cards will feature players from all 30 teams.  Scratch the back of the card to reveal a code and enter it on Topps.com.  If the team represented on the card wins the 2019 World Series, you win the prize indicated on the back of the card.

“This is an exciting way to follow your team all the way to the World Series,” said David Leiner, Topps Global General Manager of Sports & Entertainment.  “These exclusive cards can’t be found anywhere but on Topps.com.  TOPPS NOW continues to push the envelope with its innovations year-after-year.”

The limited-edition packs are only available while supplies last and the World Series packs won’t be offered again this season.  Prizes can range from special rare card sets to autographed trading cards from a player on the World Series winning team.  TOPPS NOW Future packs for other events are planned throughout the season.

Head to Topps.com to get these exclusive cards for a chance to win.  For a full list of rules, visit – Topps.com.

Sports Card Info’s thoughts

Just like the Home Run Challenge cards, I think this is a very cool idea.  Anytime you can win stuff based on a team/player’s performance makes watching the games even more exciting.  Once these TOPPS NOW Future cards are in the hands of collectors, you know that many will hit the secondary market.  As teams perform well and/or go into a slump, it will be fun to watch the prices fluctuate.  The prizes Topps plans to offer are going to be highly sought after.

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Marquis of Lorne – 140th Anniversary of The Original Trading Card

Every single day all over the world packs and boxes of trading cards are opened.  Its a hobby enjoyed by many.  To some it can be an addiction.  The idea of what could be in that next pack or box can be too tempting to ignore.  If it weren’t for the tobacco industry and their pack inserted cards, there is a good chance this hobby of ours wouldn’t exist.

What is the first pack-inserted tobacco card?

The gentleman who has the honor of being on the first pack-inserted tobacco card is John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell.  Good luck fitting that name on a jersey.  This dude was into a little bit of everything.  He was well traveled, well educated, and even married Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.  Titles he held included being the 9th Duke of Argyll, and Marquis of Lorne.

Between 1878-1883 the Marquis of Lorne was serving as the 4th Governor General of Canada.  Quite impressive considering he was a British nobleman.  The Thos. H. Hall cigarette manufacturer of New York at this time decided to include a tobacco card of him in their Marquis of Lorne brand of cigarettes in 1879.  Unfortunately this brand didn’t sell well, and it quickly flamed out.  Very few cards survived.  It measures 3.125″ x 1.625″, the exact size of the cigarette packet.  The American Card Catalog officially classifies it as N519.

As of this writing, only four examples are known to exist.  One is in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Another is in the British Museum in London.  The other two are in private collections.

Only one of the four known examples has popped up for sale.  The same card has been sold twice.  In 1994 it sold for $11,500, and then again in 2009 for $15,275.  I believe it would be worth even more if it were of a sports figure.

I can’t stress how important this tiny piece of cardboard is to the hobby.  Prior to the 1879 N519 Marquis of Lorne card, advertisements such as this were handed out over the counter.  Not inside cigarette packs.  Despite the Marquis of Lorne cigarette brand not making it, the idea of cardboard inserts did.

You probably wouldn’t be opening that box or pack if this card wouldn’t have been printed.  Everything pretty much snowballed from this single card.  Starting in 1880, many more tobacco inserts followed.

Batman Turns 80 – Here’s His Rookie Card

Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman made his debut to the world in Detective Comics issue #27.  The date on the cover states “May 1939”, but it was actually released in March of that year.

2019 marks Batman’s 80th anniversary.  For the last 80 years Batman has been fighting one evil-doer after another in order to keep Gotham City safe.  Despite being introduced to fans in 1939, it took until 1966 for Batman to receive what I like to call his “rookie card”.

Thanks to the success of the Adam West and Burt Ward Batman television series, fans saw multiple card sets released in 1966.  Topps issued five different sets all based on the campy Batman show.  The first is the 1966 Topps Batman Black Bat set.  It consists of 55-cards, and the artwork is done by Norman Saunders.  Saunders is best known for working on the 1962 Topps Mars Attacks set.  Card #1 simply features “The Batman”.  They call it the Black Bat set because the picture’s caption is inside a black bat.  Other sets released that same year include the Blue BatRed BatThe Riddler Back, and The Bat Laffs.  Like most vintage cards, condition is everything.  The value of this card can range anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands based in it’s condition.

Batman will always remain one of my favorite superheros.  I was first introduced to him while watching reruns of the old show from the 1960’s.  Then I discovered Tim Burton’s Batman starring Michael Keaton.  That movie is ingrained into my mind.  I prefer my Batman to be much more serious than campy.  Growing up, I had tons of action figures.  The first one I remember getting was of Batman from the 1989 Toy Biz DC Heroes line.

Today’s fans know Batman as a very serious character.  Thanks to comics such as Batman: Year One, The Killing Joke, and The Dark Knight Returns, those days of camp are fairly over.  Tim Burton’s films also helped, along with Batman: The Animated Series.

I wish this card had a more serious tone to it.  This image reminds me of what I look like on the opening night of the National Sports Collectors Convention.  Batman just looks way too happy.

On a side note, wouldn’t it be neat to see Michael Keaton return as Batman?  It could be a follow-up to Batman Returns.  Even though Batman Returns had two sequels – Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, other than Michael Gough playing Alfred Pennyworth you don’t see a lot of connections to the original two films.  Going back like this worked for the Halloween franchise last year.  With all of the reboots and restarts DC Comics films are currently going through, its not that far of a stretch for it to happen.

In case you were wondering, Robin’s “rookie card” is #2 in the Black Bat set.  Lots of famous characters from Batman’s Rogues Gallery have rookie cards in here.

Bryce Harper In A Phillies Uniform – Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces Has That Too!

Here we go Phillies fans!!!  Bryce Harper is officially coming to Philadelphia.  After months of speculation and countless rumors, its finally happening.  The deal is worth $330 million over 13 years.  I think he’s going to be an excellent addition to the Phillies roster.  Not only will the team benefit from him, but the local economy as well.  Its all about merchandising!!!

Bryce Harper is one of the key players on the checklist for Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces.  Knowing that he’d probably be with a new team this year, artist Monty Sheldon held off so at least one of Harper’s baseballs would feature him in his new uniform.  Just like he did with Manny Machado.

Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces is scheduled to be released this spring.  (150) game-used, hand-painted, and autographed baseballs.  (3) different baseballs per player within the main set.

Checkout my latest write-up on this product with an updated sales sheet.