Card of the Day: Mrs. Claus 1992 Pro Line Portraits Spirit Wives #1992

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Card of the Day: Don West 2008 TRISTAR TNA Cross The Line #23

Is Goal Line Art Officially Over?

Did anyone realize that Goal Line Art didn’t release a “Class of 2017” set last year?  With the Pro Football Hall of Fame getting ready to announce the 2018 class it got me wondering, is Goal Line Art officially over?  A statement on their website reads “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to continue this series for the “Class of 2017″.  If anything changes or additional information becomes available, it will be posted on this site.”

Between 1989 and 2016 Goal Line Art released an annual set featuring members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  From 1989 to 1994 sets focused on past Hall of Famers.  Starting in 1995 and up to 2016 they were based on that specific year’s induction class.  Although they only produced one set per year, you have to admit these 4″ x 6″ artistic masterpieces have always been eye appealing.  Artist Gary Thomas painted all of them.  If you’ve ever attended an induction ceremony they are ideal for getting autographed.

So what happened?  That’s a good question.  I contacted them and received the same message they posted on their website.  Nothing more.  A few ideas do come to mind though.

Gary Thomas has been doing artwork for the Hall of Fame since the early 60’s.  Perhaps his age and health became an issue.  I reached out to him and got no response.

In April 2016 Panini’s NFL exclusive went into play.  Maybe that had something to do with it.  Goal Line Art released their “Class of 2016” set in June of that year.  Even though Panini’s exclusive was already in play they may have been allowed to squeeze out one more set.

I’d like to think that this was a one year fluke, but I’ve got a feeling it has to do with licensing.  That’s a shame.  Goal Line Art had a good 27 year run, and a loyal following.  You can still purchase past sets.  But it doesn’t look like they’ll be issuing anything new for awhile.  Nobody is talking.

Card of the Day: Dennis Green 1992 Pro Line Portraits #417

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Goal Line Art: 2016 Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class

Members of the 2016 Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class have received the Goal Line Art treatment.  Artist Gary Thomas has once again worked his magic.  These paintings are extremely well done and look great.

As it has been the case since 1989, a 4″ x 6″ card set has been made based on these original pieces of artwork.  The 2016 set has just been released, and can be purchased here.  Sets usually sell for $30.00.  This year’s HOF inductees include Edward DeBartolo, Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler, and Dick Stanfel.

If you’re heading to the Hall Of Fame this summer for the Enshrinement Ceremony, I’d take one of these sets along.  You might be able to get some autographed, and these look cool signed.  Plus, they’re a little easier to carry around versus a football, helmet, or jersey.

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How Can Panini Make Their New NASCAR Line Work?

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NASCAR collectors have gone over a year without any type of new trading card product.  Press Pass went out of business a few days into 2015, and that’s the last we heard of anything.  Over the last year when asked whether or not we’d see cards anytime soon, NASCAR would come back with a generic response but never really answered the question.  During the 2016 Industry Summit that question was finally answered.  Panini will be giving NASCAR a shot on a very limited basis.

It doesn’t surprise me that Panini is the one who will be making NASCAR cards.  D.J. Kazmierczak who once was the head of Press Pass, now is the VP of Sales/Product Development at Panini.  Plus they have all that sticker money from their big daddy over in Italy.  NASCAR driver Chris Buescher kinda left the cat out of the bag before Panini’s announcement when he posted a bunch of sticker autographs he just finished signing on his Instagram account.

You can tell that Panini is really testing the waters with this new deal.  They only plan to release four NASCAR products this year.  The brands include PrizmCertifiedNational Treasures, and a new product called Torque.

Panini is known for churning out one product after another.  Lots of cookie cutter stuff.  Releasing four products per year is how they should treat some other sports.  Trust me.  If NASCAR works for them, Panini will turn the printing machines on high.  I think initially it will be interesting to see what NASCAR looks like on these brands.  Over time, Panini will probably get repetitive though just like they do with everything else.  Collectors are so use to the designs Press Pass used, almost anything is going to look different to them now.  I hope Panini doesn’t make a mess of things with the NASCAR brand.  Starting off with sticker autographs isn’t the best sign.  Especially when Press Pass had so much on-card autograph content.  People that collect NASCAR have yet to really see any sketch cards or shadowboxes.  Too bad Panini isn’t known for either.  There are a lot of popular elements which have been used in other sports card products for years that haven’t been seen in NASCAR sets yet.  Including some of those things would make for a unique NASCAR product.  The key here is to do something different that NASCAR fans haven’t seen before.  Treating NASCAR like everything else they make will just end in disaster.  Perhaps getting into something digital would be the way to go.

Topps, Upper Deck, and Leaf I bet could’ve made some great looking NASCAR products.  Panini was the last company I really wanted to see NASCAR with.  But I knew it would be the first company to give it a try after Press Pass went under.

I haven’t opened a Panini product in almost two years.  Even though it didn’t qualify for any of their wrapper redemption programs, I decided to try a box of 2014 Elite Football during the National Sports Collectors Convention.  Panini should have some of their new NASCAR products ready for the National this year.  They would be smart to have them qualify for their promotions too.

Card of the Day: Leeland McElroy 1996 Pro Line Intense RC #61

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