Panini’s 2018 Illusions Football Autograph COA Mistake Continues To Screw Unknowing Collectors

In 2018 Sports Card Info helped to shed some light on this issue.  Even though not much has changed since the initial story broke, I believe its important to remind people that this continues to be a MAJOR problem in the hobby.  Especially when a collector was recently screwed out of $400.

On February 28, 2020 a Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends Autograph sold for $393.  Too bad the autograph is a complete fake.  Panini made the huge mistake of printing the message “THE AUTOGRAPH IS GUARANTEED BY PANINI AMERICA, INC.” on the back of a bunch of cards from 2018 Illusions that were never intended to be signed.  But yet these unsigned cards with the autograph COA on the back somehow found their way into the product.  We’ve seen this error popup on the Living LegendsIllusionists, and Mystique inserts.

Panini allowing cards to ship out with their autograph COA yet lacking the actual signature itself opens the door to all types of fraud.  And that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.  Loser scammers will sign the athlete’s signature themselves, and then attempt to pass it off as the real thing.  Because that COA is printed on the back people will believe its authentic.

As you can clearly see the autograph here is on-card.  MAJOR RED FLAG as the authentic cards use stickers.  Another indicator is the absence of a serial number.  It should be #’ed/10 or 1.

Panini simply stamped their autograph COA on too many cards here.  Some were meant for legitimate pack-inserted autographs.  Others received the autograph COA by mistake, and are just basic unsigned inserts.

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (front)

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (back)

This is what an authentic example should look like:

Tombstone Pizza’s 1995 Super-Pro Series Could’ve Landed You An Autograph

Happy National Pizza Day!

Food manufacturers have included sports cards with their products for decades.  It still happens today, but not quite as often.  At one time sports cards were offered with potato chips to dog food.

The folks at Tombstone Pizza created a few different sets throughout the 90s.  In 1995, I remember pulling a Frank Thomas card from one of their specially-marked frozen pizza boxes.  The 1995 Tombstone Super-Pro Series Baseball set consists of (30) cards.  (15) players from the National League, and (15) players from the American League.  Inside each Tombstone Pizza box you would find (1) card.  Randomly inserted autographs could also be pulled.  Some lucky pizza lovers opened their box and found an autograph card of George Brett, Johnny Bench, or Bob Gibson.  Tombstone included 6,000 total autographs.  That’s 2,000 autographs a piece.  In order to get the certificate of authenticity you needed to send away for it.  You could also send away for a complete set with (5) proofs-of-purchase.

Zoet 2018/19 Topps UEFA Champions League Museum Collection Auto/Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Jeroen Zoet 2018/19 Topps UEFA Champions League Museum Collection Museum Autograph/Relic Gold Parallel #’ed/50.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • U.S. residents only.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

PSA “Loses” Customer’s Connor McDavid 2017 Upper Deck Buyback Autograph

The hobby media has been beating up grading companies recently, and for good reasons.  Whether its guaranteed grades based on your volume submission, to looking the other way when it comes to altered cards.  It hasn’t been a good year for graders.  Just check out all the garbage that’s been going on.  And the hole just keeps getting deeper.

I woke up this morning to see a tweet on Twitter from a Dave Guido.  In it, he talks about how a friend of his recently submitted a Connor McDavid 2017 Upper Deck Buyback Autograph to PSA for grading.  On June 19, 2019 this e-mail began to fly around:

That’s correct.  PSA openly admits to losing the card.  They offered a $499 credit on the account or a check for the same amount.  If you’re wondering why the declared value was only $499, its so his friend could take advantage of a specific grading pricing structure.  There is no excuse for losing that card.  Did they even lose it at all?  That card is worth well over $499.  For all we know PSA saw an opening to basically buy a card for $499 while fully aware that they could sell it for a lot more.  I’d like to see this footage they’re talking about.  Unfortunately, that footage will probably never see the light of day.  It’ll get locked up with the Bigfoot, UFO, Elvis, and JFK tapes.

FYI – I wouldn’t deal with any grading companies today.  If you have to, I’d suggest declaring the card’s actual value just in case they decide to pull something like this.

Padres ’04 Upper Deck Etchings Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

2004 Upper Deck Etchings was a fun product that I had a lot of luck with.  I remember opening a few boxes and pulled an Alex Rodriguez/Derek Jeter Bat Relic, and Mark Prior autograph.  That’s when a Mark Prior signature actually meant something.

Anyone remember Rusty Tucker?  That’s ok.  Me neither.  He was drafted by the Padres in the 21st round of the 2001 draft.  Not much has been heard of him since 2008.

This contest is for a Rusty Tucker 2004 Upper Deck Etchings – Future Etchings Rookie Autograph #’ed/700.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

Q&A – What Can You Tell Me About This Danny DeVito Autograph?

Question:  I know this isn’t a sports card, but what can you tell me about this Danny DeVito autograph?

Answer:  Cool card!  In 1992, Danny DeVito portrayed the Penguin in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns.  As a child, this was one of the movies I watched all the time.  For a film that was marketed towards kids, its quite dark.  That scene near the end where Penguin slowly walks out of the water bleeding to death sparked the attention of many parents.  I thought it was awesome.  Things like that are one of the reasons why the studio decided to go in a different direction for the next two films.  Batman Forever and Batman & Robin were fun to watch as a kid, but I can’t watch them today.  In my opinion, Batman and Batman Returns still hold up for me now.

Topps created a few different sets to go along with Batman Returns.  One of them being a Stadium Club set.  The unsigned version of this card originated from the Stadium Club set, but not the card containing Danny DeVito’s signature.

In 1993, Topps issued two sets based on Batman: The Animated Series.  They were split up between Series 1 and Series 2.  Despite not having anything to do with the cartoon, Topps randomly inserted these Danny DeVito autographs into Series 2 packs.  2,000 copies of his Batman Returns base card were signed.

I wish this card had some type of notation, foil stamp, or serial number printed on it.  Even though Danny DeVito has a complex signature, an unsigned base card and silver pen are all a scammer would need to attempt at making a counterfeit.  I think they’re a hard sell because of that fact.  An asking price for an example deemed authentic can be up to $250.  Its a great example of an early buyback autograph.

Oswald Cobblepot!

Marlins ’18 Topps Triple Threads Auto Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Justin Bour 2018 Topps Triple Threads Autograph Single Jumbo Relic #’ed/99.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, December 7, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!