Flashback Product of the Week: 2002-03 Upper Deck LEGO Sports

 photo kgarupperdecklego_zpsnqx4oekd.jpg

Before OYO and C3 Toys showed up, the only sports licensed minifigures on the block came from a team-up between LEGO, Upper Deck, and the NBA.  This all took place between 2002-2003.  It was a short-lived relationship, but created some unconventional items that can easily stand out in your basketball collection.

LEGO made a handful of NBA licensed building toys.  Some contain generic NBA minifigures, while others are player specific.  A majority of the player specific minifigures can be found in the NBA Collector Sets.

There are eight different NBA Collector Sets.  Each one comes packaged with (3) minifigures, (3) stands, and (3) Upper Deck cards.  They include:

  • Tim Duncan, Ray Allen, Paul Gasol #3560
  • Tony Parker, Antoine Walker, Shaquille O’Neal #3561
  • Gary Payton, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki #3562
  • Toni Kukoc, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant #3563
  • Steve Francis, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson #3564
  • Steve Nash, Jerry Stackhouse, Paul Pierce #3565
  • Jalen Rose, Kevin Garnett, Peja Stojakovic #3566
  • Allan Houston, Tracy McGrady, Chris Webber #3567

Every minifigure within the NBA Collector Set has a corresponding Upper Deck card.  You’ll find (1) gold parallel inside each pack.  Randomly inserted are autographs of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd, and Kobe Bryant.  When I mean randomly, its almost to the point where they don’t even exist.  You rarely see them.  The autographs aren’t serial numbered, but the print run on them has to be extremely low.  I sent an e-mail to Upper Deck attempting to obtain an actual print run, but all I got back was “We are not releasing print run information on those, rather letting the market determine scarcity levels.

Instead of using a regular photograph, I think Upper Deck should’ve used an animated image of the player’s LEGO minifigure.  That would’ve been something different, at least for the autographs.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Chicago Cubs Sports Crate Bringin’ the Heat Pin

 photo cubsheatsportscratepin_zpsyruimdqi.jpg

In May, collectors who purchased a Sports Crate began to receive their box full of goodies.  For each month of the MLB season, you can have a box of team-oriented items sent straight to your front door.  As of right now, only ten MLB teams are available.  You can pay $39.99 per crate or $179.99 for the whole season.

Given that the people behind Loot Crate are the same ones behind Sports Crate, I think this has a lot of fun potential.  The items inside are exclusive to Sports Crate.  Even Topps has made special cards for them.

This isn’t the first sports-themed subscription box service.  A few years ago, Collector Crate gave it a shot but quickly went out of business.  Some collectors have been a fan of The Loot Locker.  But everything inside a Loot Locker box has been around for a while and isn’t anything new.  In my opinion, you need to put some serious money behind a service like this in order for it to be successful.  Exclusive in-demand items are key.  I look forward to seeing what else they roll out.  Hopefully the Phillies are coming soon.  It would be neat if Sports Crate came to the National Sports Collectors Convention and sold special boxes.

Loot Crate is known for including pins in their boxes.  This seems to have carried over to Sports Crate too.  “Bringin’ the Heat” was the theme for May, so each box came with a team logo pin surrounded in fire.  On the back of the pin’s package it says “The original Bringin’ the Heat pin was designed by your friends at Sports Crate.  It was created to be either worn or displayed.  Since there are a limited number of these in existence be sure to take good care of it.  You never know what it will be worth someday.”  They’ve been selling for $13 on the secondary market.  I highly doubt they’ll ever increase in value, but its nice of them to give you a heads up.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2001 National Sports Collectors Convention – Cleveland Pin

 photo 01nsccpin_zpsyufhhwt5.jpg

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The National Sports Collectors Convention needs to have more show-branded merchandise.  Not just promotional cards.  Baltimore is the only location I saw them selling shirts.  I want to see more shirts, pins, hats, figurines, and bobbleheads all made specially for the National.  In 2002, Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen bobbleheads were floating around the National when it was held in Chicago.  National-themed McFarlane figures popup too, along with OYO minifigures.  They’ve lightly touched on these things in the past, but I think more innovative souvenirs could be made.

Tickets for the 38th National Sports Collectors Convention went on sale this week.  It will be held July 26-30 in Chicago.  I won’t be attending this year.  Things are looking good for Cleveland in 2018 though.  Between Cleveland, Baltimore, and Atlantic City, I enjoy the layout of the I-X Center in Cleveland the most.  By then, I might need some new Sports Card Info pins to handout.

Harrisburg Sports Card Show – February 18, 2017

It has been a long time since I’ve attended a classic shopping mall sports card show.  There has been a steady stream of them around, but none really worth going to.  On the Thursday night news during the sports segment, I overheard them state that there would be a show at the Harrisburg Mall February 17-19.  In addition to that, they also mentioned some Pittsburgh Steelers were scheduled to sign autographs.  This definitely sounded like a show worth checking out.

The Harrisburg Sports Card Show is put on by show promoter Carl Hisiro.  Autograph guests for the weekend included three Steelers – Jesse James, Stephon Tuitt, and Sean Davis.  Former Eagles wide receiver Vince Papale was also on the list to sign.  I decided to take my black/gold Penn State football and get Jesse James to autograph it.  I think it turned out really well.  By the looks of it, I bet they sold at least (200) tickets just for Jesse James.  That number might be low.  It makes perfect sense for a lot of collectors to want him given that he is a Steeler and went to Penn State.  The line moved fairly quickly as they called by ticket number.  I was #114.  While I was there, everything seemed to be running very smoothly.  It didn’t take long to get a ticket, they had merchandise you could buy to get signed, and Jesse James arrived right on time.

As for the card show portion, I’d say there were (20-25) dealers.  I didn’t see that many selling new sealed hobby boxes.  One dealer had a truckload of retail boxes though.  A good mix of vintage and new single cards could be seen.  One dealer had a few Harry Kalas bobbleheads, but I already owned them.  The one card I did inquire about was a Mike Schmidt 2001 Topps Archives Rookie Reprint Bat Relic.  There was no visible price on it, but the card was in a case with other cards listed for $10-$20.  After asking the dealer how much it cost, I found out there was a $50 price written on the back.  The lowest they would go was $40.  Well overpriced.

Overall it was a decent show.  The autograph guests are what caught my attention.  This takes me back to when I first started collecting, and met Scott Rolen at a mall show in 1996-97.

 photo IMG_3365_zpsr12g7moj.jpg

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James

 photo IMG_3359_zpsnavstzqp.jpg

 photo IMG_3360_zpshri663ss.jpg

 photo IMG_3361_zps0agiskwx.jpg

 photo IMG_3370_zpsyaztroec.jpg

 photo IMG_3366_zpsgsxi59ac.jpg

Sports Card Info Celebrates 9 Years!

 photo 9thbirthdaycandle_zps61dxwlu2.jpg

Today Sports Card Info celebrates it’s 9th birthday.  My blogging career began way back when eBay first introduced their guides.  I remember compiling a lot of information for my first eBay guide called How To Spot Fake Sports Cards That Are For Sale.  Looking back now it seems kind of generic, but it gained traction.  That led me to create my own blog.  Many blogs have come and gone in the last nine years, but I’m still around.

Thanks to everyone who visits on a regular basis.  Let us make it another great year!!!  #10 is coming in 2017!!!

2016 National – Day #3

My third and final day of the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention began at the Topps booth.  Topps moves people through fairly quickly and my wait time was well under an hour.  Out of the (5) promo packs my 2016 Bowman box got me, I pulled a Babe Ruth Gold Refractor #’ed/50.  When I first saw this promotion I was hoping to pull a Ruth.  From what I saw and heard, this specialized National Bowman Refractor Wrapper Redemption Program has been very successful.  Marty’s Sports Card Exchange was selling tons of 2016 Bowman and 2016 Topps Chrome Baseball boxes.  All of those qualified for the program.

Its best to eat lunch about an hour earlier than normal.  The food court can fill up fast around noon.  Once I finished browsing through my 2016 Bowman box I decided to eat.  Their personal pan pizza is quite good.

I decided to add a vintage bobblehead to my collection.  All of my bobbleheads are from the 2000’s and up, but I never owned an older one.  When it comes to vintage bobbleheads during the National, you want to visit this dude.  He has a few.  Within that large glass case I found some Phillies bobbleheads.  After a little negotiating, we reached a deal.  I’m bringing home a 1967 gold base Phillies bobblehead.  Its in great condition, and is the highlight of my collection.

I was able to score a free Upper Deck hat today.  While stopping in their booth to look at a Penn State autographed helmet, they saw me wearing my Topps hat.  Upper Deck wanted me to give up the Topps hat in return for the Upper Deck one.  That wasn’t going to happen.  Instead I gave the Upper Deck representative a Sports Card Info pin.  Lots of people got pins today, including Leaf’s CEO Brian Gray.

One of the last booths I stopped at was Jerzee Art.  The National isn’t always about cards, boxes, and promos.  Sometimes you’ll see innovators.  Jerzee Art is a new way to display your favorite jerseys without having to place them in a frame.  Framing can get expensive, and they plan to offer some unique alternatives.  Jerzee Art pieces look like statues you hang on the wall and place the jersey on.  They really do bring the jersey to life rather than having it lay flat in a frame.  Jerzee Art was created by Scott MacKenzie who had some prototypes on display.  He plans to have them for sale in the fall.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading home.  My sixth National was really fun.  Like I said before, once I’m home I’ll be posting what I pulled from the boxes I busted.  I might even post a picture of that vintage bobblehead I purchased.  Right now its heavily covered in bubble wrap.

Don’t forget to check out my coverage of Day #1 and Day #2 of the 2016 National.  Next year the National is in Chicago.  I won’t be attending.  Its going back to Cleveland in 2018 which I will be going to so far.

 photo IMG_3055_zpskeu6su43.jpg

 photo IMG_3054_zpshui9siho.jpg

 photo IMG_3056_zpso9zezz0f.jpg

 photo IMG_3057_zpsqkr4bo0u.jpg

 photo IMG_3069_zpsaipuuf2b.jpg

 photo IMG_3061_zpsfscksyyv.jpg

 photo IMG_3062_zpshea9108s.jpg

Babe Ruth Single Signed OAL Baseball

 photo IMG_3063_zpsxvnjse4l.jpg

Jack Nicklaus Signed 1986 Masters Tournament Worn Golf Cleats

 photo IMG_3064_zps4x9zoqx1.jpg

Fidel Castro Vintage Single-Signed Cuban Baseball

 photo IMG_3065_zpssi0vgif5.jpg

Wade Boggs waiting to sign autographs

 photo IMG_3066_zps0tnafy5l.jpg

 photo IMG_3067_zpszf7tfpzc.jpg

 photo IMG_3068_zpsh9abbwm0.jpg

2016 National – Day #2

Day #2 of the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention is in the books.  What a great show!  When the doors opened I went right over to the Topps booth to get in line so I could take part in their wrapper redemption program.  These specially designed 2016 Bowman refractors seem to be the most popular promotion this year.  Its the only promotion that looks to have the longest wait time.  Luckily I got an early spot in line and made it through in about 45 minutes.  Out of my promo packs I pulled some cool cards of great players.  There were (2) gold refractors #’ed/50, but the big “hit” was a Julio Urias autograph #’ed/30.  Before leaving the booth, I gave the Topps employee who was helping me rip through the packs a Sports Card Info pin.  He reached under the counter and handed me a Topps Pro Debut logo pin in return.  Pretty cool!  I didn’t even know Topps had those.

Upper Deck’s wrapper redemption program didn’t seem to be too busy at the time I stopped by their booth.  I decided to try a box of 2016 Goodwin Champions which got me (4) promo packs.  I’ve never pulled an autograph from an Upper Deck National pack… until today.  Out of the second pack popped out a Kevin Smith Prominent Cuts autograph with a “MALLRATS 2” inscription #’ed/25.  After I get home and organized I’ll go into more detail about what I pulled from all of these boxes.  My desk at home still has (4) unopened boxes I need to work through.  Be prepared for some box breaks coming down the road.

Memory Lane, Inc. is allowing fans to take pictures with a 1930’s Babe Ruth game used bat.  That thing is beyond awesome.  The notches on the bat are thought to have been made by Babe Ruth in order to keep track of his home runs.  The young lady working for Memory Lane, Inc. was very helpful.  They were making people wear gloves while holding the bat.  It makes perfect sense because a piece of memorabilia like that shouldn’t have people’s fingerprints all over it.  Given the amount of time it would take me to put the gloves on, it was just easier for her to hold the bat.  Thank you!

Tomorrow is my final day for attending the National this year.  I’m heading home on Saturday.  The Topps booth is #1 on my list once again.  Before leaving today, I picked up another box of 2016 Bowman.  I’d like to hand out more Sports Card Info pins, and take a look at some individual vendors.  Tons going on.

You can see my recap of Day #1 here.

 photo IMG_3042_zpsfyuwgluf.jpg

 photo IMG_3043_zps2hsjp8h3.jpg

 photo IMG_3044_zpsbrxf8aop.jpg

 photo IMG_3053_zpss7zw1kpc.jpg

 photo IMG_3051_zps7b4mvu1r.jpg

 photo IMG_3045_zpslowz7wqj.jpg

Mike Schmidt 1971 Ohio University Baseball Letterman’s Jacket

 photo IMG_3048_zpscbfpbqj8.jpg

Lots of vintage bobbleheads

 photo IMG_3047_zpszdhrbvhs.jpg

Satchell Paige 1949 Bowman RC #224 SGC Mint 9

 photo IMG_3049_zpsylx33ouh.jpg

Booth attention getter 🙂