Exclusive OYO Minifigures For The 35th National

We’re exactly one week away from the opening of the 35th National Sports Collectors Convention, and the promos are still pouring out.

My top three favorite innovations the hobby has seen in recent years include Topps BUNT, Sports Card Album, and OYO Sportstoys.  For a second straight year, OYO Sportstoys will have specially made minifigures for National attendees.  This year there will be two different minifigures to chase.

Never Enough Cards/Sports Evolution Marketing booth #1132 will be handling this promotion.  Each day of the show they will hand out 125 minifigures to the first 75 kids and 50 adults.  OYO has said that the National football minifigures are limited to 200 and the baseball to 400.

Between Thursday and Sunday of the National from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. OYO will have 45 minute building sessions.  Fans can build a field set or Zamboni.  Ten spots will be open per session.  OYO will provide all of the building kits and there will be tons of giveaways including OYO minifigures.  Parents of interested children may register their child, ages 6 and up in advance by sending an email to OYONationalPromo@aol.com to reserve a spot.  Parents should send an email including the child’s name, day and time they would like to participate, and a contact phone number.  You can also reserve a spot by stopping by the booth.

Never Enough Cards/Sports Evolution Marketing will also have brick building displays they’ve created for the show too.

On a side note, it looks like OYO is also starting to make minifigures for Little League now.

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Exclusive Roberto Clemente Card From Steel City Collectibles For National Attendees

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One of the top things to do while attending the National Sports Collectors Convention is bust boxes.  There are always plenty of dealers ready to provide you with your box breaking fix.  Among the dealers you’ll find is Steel City Collectibles out of McKeesport, PA.  And guess what?  They have a promo for this year’s National.  While supplies last, anyone who purchases a box from the Steel City Collectibles booth will receive a Roberto Clemente Beckett Sports Card Monthly cover card.  This card looks just like the cover to an issue of BSCM, and is a National exclusive.  Limited quantities will be available.

Card of the Day: Charlie Brown 2014 Topps All-Star Game FanFest Exclusive #WR-CB

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Card of the Day: Hulk Hogan 2013 Upper Deck Precious Metal Gems Purple Employee Exclusive

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OYO Sportstoys Creates Exclusive Minifigure For The 34th National

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OYO Sportstoys has been busy.  During the All-Star FanFest they unveiled their new Field Sets and blind packs.  Now they’re moving on to the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention.  If you’re attending The National, be sure to stop by booth #670.  Each day they will be giving away 100 (50 kids and 50 adults) Special Edition OYO minifigures that commemorate this year’s NSCC.

In addition, Thursday-Sunday between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., OYO will run one-half hour sessions for kids to build an OYO field.  There are 12 spots available per day.  OYO is providing 12 field sets and each participant will be invited to build and play with the field sets and OYO players.  All participants will also receive a bag of “goodies” from Never Enough Cards including sports card sets, packs and other items.  Extra OYO figures will be given out as prizes.  Kids may register in advance by sending an email to  OYONationalPromo@aol.com  to reserve a spot.  Parents should send an email including the child’s name, day and time they would like to participate and a contact phone number.

I couldn’t be happier to hear news like this.  Having your favorite sports figures turned into a minifigure that is completely compatible with other popular building products such as LEGOs is just awesome.  It doesn’t matter who you are, because I’m guessing that a majority of people played with toys like this when they were kids.  Being able to connect what you enjoy now to something from your childhood is great, and that’s exactly what these minifigures do.

One day I would like to see these minifigures reach the level of collectability that some of the LEGO issued ones have.  Just take a look at some of the insane prices the Comic-Con superhero minifigures are selling for.  As of right now, OYO Sportstoys makes minifigures for a wide array of baseball and football players.  Plus they make minifigures for all types of events such as the Super Bowl, Spring Training, and NFL Draft.  What I would like to see from them in the future are more limited editions and minifigure variations.

What’s up next for OYO fans?  Earlier this week OYO released this image which can only indicate they’re working on hockey minifigures next.

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Card of the Day: Henrik Zetterberg 2002-2003 Pacific Exclusive RC Auto

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Behind The Art Card: Interview With Sport Kings Lead Portrait Painter Jared Kelley

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This is an exclusive first look at Sport Kings Series E that will be released later this year.  This Rocky Marciano painting is just one of many that Jared Kelley created for Sport Kings Series E.
Jared Kelley is considered one of the most influential artists within the trading card industry.  He is currently the Lead Portrait Painter for Sport Kings, LLC and is the man behind many of those Upper Deck Goodwin Masterpieces containing beautiful hand painted portraits of the nation’s Presidents.    Collectors have really reacted to his work, and I think its safe to say he will be involved within the hobby for many years to come.  Mr. Kelley was nice enough to take the time out of his busy schedule and answer a few questions about his artwork and his involvement within the trading card industry.  I hope you will enjoy!
  • What is it about portraiture that you find so interesting?
I like the challenge the most! I don’t know if every artist is like me, but I have always been entertained with puzzles; crosswords, sudoku, Rubik’s Cube, chess, riddles, etc. Portraits provide me with the same level of entertainment, if not more so. When an artist paints a portrait, he doesn’t start by painting an “eye”. He starts by painting a shape. Every inch of the model is composed of nothing more than shapes. The bone structure, the shadows, the folds in the clothing, are all simple geometric equations that are noticed and solved in the artist’s perception. Many people are surprised to know how well they CAN paint when they are taught to think in terms of shapes, and not objects. It’s a great puzzle that the artist pieces together and this is what I find so fulfilling. Very similar to the sense of accomplishment most men experience when they’ve finished assembling a bookshelf from Ikea and notice that they only ended up with 3 critical pieces of hardware that were overlooked and no more.
  • When capturing an individual’s portrait, what do you find to be the most difficult part of the painting process?

When you understand that a portrait is essentially a puzzle with varying numbers of pieces, then no painting is difficult because it’s a “portrait” per se. The difficulty for me is more in determining how many “pieces” the puzzle will require to be complete. This is always a case by case situation and can be affected by deadlines, time constraints, ability to focus on any given day, and of course the person posing. All of these elements can affect the production of a portrait. If a portrait seems “difficult” on any given day, I find that an added measure of shear determination is the best remedy. The work’s gotta get done; no excuses!

  • If you would have had instructors proficient in portraiture, how do you think your work might differ from what it is today?
I work in acrylic for a few reasons. First, when I was a younger newlywed and just starting out in life, my work space was essentially an apartment broom closet. For that reason, the smell of oils and solvents wasn’t very appealing to have in the home, so I started to lean heavily towards acrylics because of their non-toxicity and solvent free clean-up. If I had the opportunity, I would have loved to have had instruction on traditional portraiture using oils. Though acrylics have come along way since their advent in the 50’s, nothing replaces the body of an oil paint. I would have loved to learn the uses of the various oil mediums and the best techniques for layer applications, none of which was taught to me in college. Bummer.
  • Since becoming involved in the trading card industry, what has been your favorite miniature sports art project that you have worked on? Why?
Without a doubt, unequivocally, the Sport Kings Series E set that I am currently doing. I started painting my first sketch cards back in late 2010 for Upper Deck. Since that time, my comfort level for working in small scale has greatly increased. Also, as with everything in life, I’ve learned by experience what works better when creating these little masterpieces. Since I signed on with Sport Kings Gum, LLC (www.sportkingsgum.com) I have employed new techniques that have taken these latest cards to a higher level of excellence. The Sport Kings series will be well worth the high dollar amounts that each painting will surely sell for at auction. I love adding little “extras” to the cards to help increase the rarity factor for the collectors. For example, in the Upper Deck Goodwin Masterpiece paintings, some of the backgrounds were different than others and, in the case of the George Washington cards, there were singular pieces of glitter embedded into the eyes of Washington so that the card sparkled slightly when the collector held it. Of course, collectors have noticed that I choose to gold leaf the edged of my favorite cards. This tradition will be maintained in the Sport Kings paintings, which will feature gold edges on every portrait since no painting will have multiple copies offered. Just 1 of 1’s. There will be plenty of additional “extras” amid the cards in this set. I’m very hyped to see the market’s reaction to such a great set of cards.
  • Is there anything special you have to keep in mind when working on a project for a trading card manufacturer?
Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!!! Since each project entails its own set of circumstances, and given the fact that I am still very fresh to the sketch card scene, the biggest learning curve for me is simply calculating the time needed for completion. There’s no real science to determining the time you’ll need to hand paint such a large number of cards. When you’re trying to figure it out it can feel like throwing a dart at a board while you wear a blindfold and praying that you hit the bull’s-eye. Obviously you’re going to have to adapt to circumstances as you embark on the project. For me, I would estimate that a card takes 3-4 hours each to go from blank stock (nothing but graphics on the back and bottom front) to finished product. Now, multiply those hours by 500 and you’ll start to appreciate the effort that goes into such a high caliber product.
  • What upcoming projects within the trading card industry are you currently working on and look forward to seeing hit collectors’ hands?  Why?
I plan to work on the subsequent “Series” editions for Sport Kings. I was strongly drawn to Sport Kings preservation of and loyalty to artwork in their products. They are a growing force in the trading card world and I hope to stay onboard their ship for years to come. The degree of excellence to which Dr. Brian Price (Owner/CEO) aims for all of his products, including the In The Game and Famous Fabrics sets (www.itgtradingcards.com), (www.famousfabrics.com), is what I admire most and hope to emulate in my work. When a collector pays $3000 for one of my cards I want that collector to feel confident that he/she just secured a quality product which will only increase in value as time rolls on.
  • Looking back, what are some of the more memorable pieces of work that you have done?  Why?
I am a huge American History buff and love patriotic themes. The chance to paint the Founding Fathers for the Upper Deck set was a thrill! I have to say, however, my favorite sketch card painting thus far has to be the trophy Washington Card, which Famous Fabrics will be giving away to the first collector to acquire all 96 cards in the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue set just released in late February. The biggest difference in that piece is the story being told in the background. By far, it’s the most detailed background I’ve painted on a card to date, though some of the Series E cards will have similarly active backdrops.
  • Are you a collector?  If so, what do you collect?
I don’t collect anything besides plaque in the arteries and scorn from my two cats. This has been part of the excitement for me upon my introduction to the hobby. Apart from the cool experience of painting on a trading card, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some really awesome collectors who have turned into good friends. I’ve been so touched by the warm fanfare given to my work in the hobby, that I have even featured the names of supporters in several of the Series E portraits. It’s my way of expressing my appreciation for the collectors. I will admit to “breaking” my first two boxes of cards when the Goodwin Masterpieces came out. I’m sure I’ll be doing the same with each new release from Sport Kings. Who knows, I may become a full fledged collector yet! In the end, I love what I do!

Card of the Day: Ty Wigginton 2001 Bowman’s Best Exclusive RC Auto

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Exclusive Gallery: 2010 Gridiron Gems Autographs

Take a look at some of the Gridiron Gems that can be found in the new 2010 Gridiron Gear Football.  Panini has released 35 early images that can only be found on a select number of blogs.  I would like to thank Panini for including Sports Card Info within that small group.  Check them out!

For even more images, check out the following blogs:

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Card of the Day: Cal Ripken, Jr 2010 OBAK National Exclusive #N8

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