Big Bucks For “Buster” Boxing

42-to-1.  Those were the odds James “Buster” Douglas was given to beat Mike Tyson on February 11, 1990 in Tokyo.  Only one casino gave the odds as most others thought Tyson was a guaranteed winner.  Douglas pulled together a Han Solo “Never tell me the odds.” attitude, and ended up beating Tyson.  It was an upset the boxing world didn’t see coming.  For a little over eight months, Douglas held the heavyweight championship title before losing it to Evander Holyfield.

Considering he’s a boxer, collectors have plenty of options when it comes to his cards.  About (74) cards make up the James “Buster” Douglas checklist.  They start in 1991, and go all the way to 2016.  Thanks to products such as 2009 Upper Deck Prominent Cuts2010 Ringside Boxing Round 12011 Ringside Boxing Round 22013 Leaf Sports Heroes2013 Leaf Pop Century, and 2016 Leaf Pop Century, he has many autographs and relics available.

Some of his cards command quite the price.  Especially if Mike Tyson is on there with him.  One of the more expensive items you could add to your James “Buster” Douglas collection isn’t even a card at all.  Its a video game for the SEGA Master System.  Going into the fight as an underdog, and defeating Mike Tyson comes with it’s share of perks.  SEGA quickly signed him to a deal, and pictured him on the front of James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing.

Personally, I’m not familiar with the Master System.  At that time I had a Nintendo Entertainment System, and SEGA’s newer system the Genesis.  Released in 1990, James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing came out an entire year after the Genesis had already been out.  This game came out when demand for Master System games was on the decline.  Very few copies were produced and/or sold.  By then, SEGA fans wanted Genesis games.

Owning a copy of James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing for the Master System will cost you more than a lot of his cards combined.  Complete copies sell for $600+.  A Genesis version does exist, but is barely worth anything.

Sports video games traditionally tank in price over the years.  Its difficult for that genre to hold value.  Whenever I come across one that hasn’t tanked, I enjoy learning about it.

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Baseball

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Yep.  I’m off the reservation with this one.  By now you can clearly see this is not a box of baseball cards.  When Nintendo introduced the NES to the United States in 1985, Baseball was one of the first games you could play on it.  Despite not having an MLB license, Nintendo brought in actual Major League Baseball players to show off the game during the test market launch.  Many accredit Baseball as one of the main reasons why the NES was so successful, given the sport’s overall appeal.

Compared to baseball video games today, Baseball for the NES is basic.  Although there was no license, the initials of the teams are suppose to represent real teams from the Japanese Central League or American Major League.  Retro gaming is popular today.  NES collectors are willing to spend well into the hundreds of dollars for sealed games such as this.  Out of the box and used copies can easily be found for under $10.

While attending the National a few years ago, I remember seeing an autographed photo of Mike Tyson.  It wasn’t just any photograph though.  This was a screenshot from the NES game Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!!  That really caught my attention.

I would like to see more screenshots from classic sports video games worked into the sports memorabilia market.  Finding them in packs of cards would be even better.  Autographed cards featuring pixelated versions of your favorite players from the games you use to play would probably be a hit with collectors.  Heck, they don’t even need to be autographed.

Let us take this a step further.  What if you made a great play in a sports-based video game today, and could instantly order a trading card containing a shot of that play?  That would be sick.  Especially if they could get the athletes to sign them.  Perhaps even letting room on the card for the gamer to sign too.

We’ve seen cards and action figures come packaged with games, but I believe things could get even cooler.

Card Annoyances: Pro-Index Card Storage System

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When I first started collecting 15+ years ago, I tried all kinds of different ways to store my cards.  First it was shoe boxes, then plastic boxes made for cards, and finally I landed on what I use today, standard white cardboard boxes.  But somewhere in between all of that I gave ProGard’s Pro-Index Card Storage System a try.

The idea is quite simple.  It’s basically a box that allows you to easily flip through your cards.  After placing the card in the specially made holder, you can snap the card into the bottom of the box.  The holder is on a hinge that rotates and makes it easier to move.  From my experience, these holders can be a pain to get closed as they are suppose to snap together.  If you don’t do it correctly, after you press the holder into the hinge it can easily pop back open.  Another drawback is that the holders only hold standard sized cards.  Anything thicker just won’t fit.

My box came with a collectible coin.  I have no idea why.  In the end, the ProGard Pro-Index Card Storage System just isn’t the easiest way to store your cards.  Nothing will ever beat and album or cardboard box filled with top loaders.  I don’t think having a storage box that requires you to use special holders is a good idea.  I still have cards sitting in my Pro-Index Card Storage System box.  I haven’t added anything into it in years.  It reminds me of a tiny time capsule that was made back the 90’s.

2011 Industry Summit Thoughts

In my mind the 2011 Industry Summit seems to be getting a lot more attention this year than usual.  Panini seems to be stirring up the most attention with its new distribution system, HD video trading cards, and their popular Black Boxes.  Black Boxes are cool, HD trading cards are way cool, but I’m not a fan of the new distribution system.  It focuses on minimum pricing and a week long delay for non-card shop retailers.  This system is suppose to drive more collectors to brick and mortar shops, because online dealers won’t be able to sell new wax until it has been out for a week in the hobby shops, and they won’t be able to drop the price level past a certain amount.  To make a long story short, after this system has been in place for a few years, don’t be surprised if you see 5 year old Panini products selling for close to what they were when they originally came out.  There isn’t a real need to complain, because I don’t think this system will last.  Its just a small blip on the hobby radar.

I’m really interested to see a working model of Panini’s HD video cards.  I doubt that it could get anymore authentic then watching a video on the card of the player signing the card.  I just hope collectors will be able to replace the batteries when they run out.  Or maybe they’ll be powered by the pure power of the hobby 🙂

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According to Sports Card Radio, Leaf is suppose to be creating a tri-fold booklet that contains cut signatures of John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, and a car seat relic from the actual car JFK was shot in.  Sounds kinda creepy, but also kinda cool.

On April 12th, Upper Deck plans to unveil “Evolution” that is suppose to change the hobby.  I’m not sure whats its about, but I bet it deals with on-card video too.  Perhaps it will involve some type of interactive card.  Lots of exciting stuff going on!