Card of the Day: 1991 Wild Card College Football Premier Edition Case Card Redemption

2021 Wild Card Alumination Football Blaster Box Break

Another impulse buy from Walmart.

Wild Card is one of those manufacturers from the early 90’s who was around for about as long as Pro Set and Action Packed. Thanks to their multi-tiered Stripe cards collectors were introduced to the hobby’s first parallels. Today some of those rare Stripe parallels of popular players can sell for big money. Even the long expired redemption cards.

2021 saw the return of the Wild Card brand. Their new products range from affordable retail blasters all the way to high-end sets. All licensed by the IPL (Independent Player Licensed).

A retail blaster box of 2021 Wild Card Alumination Football contains (32) cards. You should receive (4) parallels per box. Retail exclusive cards include Ocular (50+ parallels), Splintered (8 parallels), Light Show (6 parallels), and Starbright (8 parallels). Blasters are the only place you’ll find the Blue Groovin’ inserts. 1:20 boxes contain a Red Pack. Red Packs can contain exclusive low-numbered parallels.

Here is what I pulled:

Parallels:

  • Trey Lance Ocular Purple #OC-6
  • Travis Etienne Ocular Red #OC-9
  • Rashod Bateman Splintered Blue #SP-17
  • Penei Sewell Light Show Purple #LS-29
Error – Front says “QB”, but he is a RB

Base:

  • Trevor Lawrence #ABC-1
  • Jayson Oweh #ABC-31
  • (2) Justin Fields #ABC-2
  • (2) Javonte Williams #ABC-40
  • (2) Amon-Ra St. Brown #ABC-68
  • (2) Greg Rousseau #ABC-19
  • Ian Book #ABC-51
  • Chuba Hubbard #ABC-24
  • Tylan Wallace #ABC-69
  • Ernest Jones #ABC-50
  • Joe Tryon #ABC-62
  • Azeez Ojulari #ABC-43
  • Jevon Holland #ABC-42
  • Robert Rochell #ABC-60
  • Trey Sermon #ABC-41
  • Michael Carter #ABC-37
  • Hunter Long #ABC-30
  • Amari Rodgers #ABC-45
  • Elijah Mitchell #ABC-53
  • Tyson Campbell #ABC-63
  • Terrace Marshall Jr. #ABC-13
  • Patrick Surtain II #ABC-14
  • Sam Ehlinger #ABC-26
  • Dayo Odeyingbo #ABC-36

2021 Leaf Pro Set College Football Blaster Box Break

It has been years since I opened a box of Pro Set cards. When I got into collecting in the mid to late 90’s Pro Set was already out of business. But that didn’t stop me from buying older packs.

Pro Set was originally founded by Ludwell Denny in 1988. Between 1988 and 1994 they made licensed cards for the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, and PGA Tour. Their parody “Flopps” set was an attempt at getting into MLB cards in 1992, but that didn’t get very far. Other sports and entertainment properties followed. After 1994 Pro Set went bankrupt.

Leaf Trading Cards announced in February 2021 that they had acquired the Pro Set trademark. Since then the Pro Set name has made a comeback on a variety of products.

This was another impulse buy at Walmart. A 2021 Leaf Pro Set College Football Blaster Box comes with (2) autographs and a 10-card set.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos:

  • Agiye Hall
  • George Karlaftis

10-Card Set:

  • Bryce Young #1
  • C.J. Stroud #2
  • Carson Strong #3
  • D.J. Uiagalelei #4
  • Isaiah Spiller #5
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux #6
  • Malik Willis #7
  • Matt Corral #8
  • Quinn Ewers #9
  • Spencer Rattler #10

Card of the Day: Graeme Bond 1980 Scanlens Rugby League Football #13

Under The Tree: EA Sports NCAA Football 14

While doing some research for this post I came to realize something. I should have kept my video games sealed. Games I once had and originally cost $50 now sell for thousands. Then again, if I and everyone else had done that they probably wouldn’t have gone up in price.

Sports related video games aren’t the most in-demand when it comes to video game collecting. That’s not to say there aren’t any hidden gems out in the wild. Certain sports games command insane prices, but its not the genre collectors flock to right away.

A current diamond in the rough is EA Sports NCAA Football 14. Released on July 9, 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, this is the last game in their NCAA Football series. The main reasons for this are legal issues based on the game using player likenesses, and the players not being compensated for them. NCAA players getting paid for their likeness remains an ongoing debate. Because of this, no sequels have been made. As of this writing, it doesn’t look like a new game is coming anytime soon.

Denard Robinson on the cover.

Even though the game is out of print, college football fans continue to play it. Fans can edit the team rosters to a certain extent in order to reflect up-to-date players. Watching people play this game on Twitch has become very popular too.

Completely sealed copies easily sell for over $200. I would expect the price to drop if a new version of the game was ever released.

Product Highlight: 1991 Star Pics Football

For the short time that Star Pics was around they made quite an impact.  Star Pics, Inc. produced card sets for football, basketball, hockey, and various entertainment properties from 1990 to about 1992.  During this time in the hobby overproduction was in full swing, and cards limited into the thousands were considered rare.  Many of the key Star Pics signed cards continue to sell well today.  This is something that many flash in the pan card manufacturers would have killed for.

One of the most memorable Star Pics release has to be their football set from 1991.  Their 1991 football set consists of (112) cards.  Boxes and card borders are covered in footballs.  There are so many footballs in one area it reminds me of those magic eye pictures.  If you stare long enough at the footballs, you’ll probably start to see some hidden image.  The card that gets the most attention from the base set is Brett Favre #65.

Star Pics issued their 1991 football product in factory sets.  Randomly inserted within their factory sets were autographed cards.  The autographs look just like the base, except they have a signature on the front or back, and contain a gold authenticity sticker.  Stars such as Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Brett Favre, and Troy Aikman all have autographs.  It should be noted that the Star Pics autographs have been victims of counterfeits.  Since the autographs look exactly like the base cards, it wouldn’t be that difficult to take a base card of Brett Favre, forge his signature, and place an authenticity sticker on it which has been removed from a legit autograph of a less valuable player.

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:

Preview: 2020 Futera Unique World Football (Live Images)

Futera is a card manufacturer that more collectors in the United States should become familiar with.  Last year they teamed-up with Onyx Authenticated to bring collectors 2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Baseball Prospects & Legends.  A collaboration such as this is almost unheard of in today’s hobby.  For many U.S.-based collectors this was their first introduction to the type of cards Futera creates.  I tried a pack and pulled a Julio Pablo Martinez 24ct Gold-Plated Metal Framed Phenoms Auto #’ed/9.  Unless he turns into the next Mike Trout, this card will remain in my personal collection just because of how well it was made.

I can’t talk about Futera without bringing up their Code for Collectors and Memorabilia Color Grading Services.  Code for Collectors allows you to see all of the details that went into making your specific card – photo of the card, date signed, materials used in making the card, etc…  Color Grading Services will tell you how many cards from certain sets have 1-color, 2-color, 3-color, etc… relics in them.  U.S. collectors would love to have services such as these.  They certainly help with identifying altered cards.

European football (soccer) is what Futera is really known for today.  2020 Futera Unique World Football is their next product set to release.  (4) packs come in a box, with a hit in every pack.  Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Virgil Van Dijk, Antoine Griezmann, Sadio Mane, Pele, and Diego Maradona are just some of the key players you’ll find.

Sales Sheet

Checklist

Until now the only images we’ve seen have been the mock-ups made for the sales sheet.  Sports Card Info was recently given a glimpse inside this product, and received actual photos of the cards to share.  No mock-ups here.  These are the real deal.  Enjoy!

Spontaneous Explosions, Fire Pits, & Bribes – THIS… IS… MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL!!!

An apocalypse is no excuse for that football game to go unfinished.  That’s what the people at Electronic Arts thought when they decided to release Mutant League Football for the Sega Genesis in 1993.

As you can tell from the box art, this is not your typical lifelike football simulation.  Radiation has caused humans to mutate, and the dead are rising from the grave.  The reason for the post-apocalyptic environment hasn’t officially been explained.  According to the instruction manual, the reasons were lost do to an alien invasion, spin control, a sloppy filing system setup by a temp, and/or BBQ sauce.  The investigation continues to this very day.

Playing fields can be made of rubber, toxic waste, ice, and rock.  You’ll find many hazards on these fields that you certainly won’t find on any normal gridiron.  Hazards include fire pits, landmines, and you can even fly off into outer space.  If members of your team hit any of these hazards they can easily lose health or even die.  If they die while carrying the ball, don’t look for any sympathy.  The opposing team will just pickup the ball as if it were a normal fumble.  Each team has what they call Nasty Audibles.  These involve using items such as jet packs, electric shocks, invisibility, and even exploding footballs to intentionally hurt players on the other team.  You can even attack the quarterback with the intent to kill.  If you eliminate enough players, the opposing team has to forfeit.  One of the most popular things you can do is bribe the referee.  You can do this twice per game.  A bribed referee will make fake calls.  This doesn’t last very long.  As soon as the first fake call is made, the other team usually kills that ref.

With all of this violence and additional features, I bet your thinking this game probably sucks when it comes to playing real football.  That’s not the case at all.  Its hard to find a game that has a good balance of comical violence, yet retains that excellent football game play.

Inside specially marked copies of the game you’ll find two trading cards.  Its cool to see cards included within a video game.  There were a few spin-offs.  They made Mutant League Hockey, and there was a Mutant League Basketball game in the works but it never saw the light of day.

Lyle Alzado would’ve done well in this league if it had existed in the real world.

If you play this game on full-season mode and end up winning the championship, the losing team spontaneously explodes.

Running for two seasons an animated cartoon was even inspired by these video games.  Along with the show came a series of crazy action figures.

Between 2017 and 2018 Mutant League Football received a revival for the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

Card of the Day: Harold “Red” Grange 1988 Swell Football Greats #42