Random Thoughts

Nothing in particular that I feel like blogging about today, so I figured I’d just hit some random topics.

First off, I find it strange that Topps moved Series 1 up by 2 weeks.  I haven’t seen a product move up on the release calendar in quite some time.  I suppose it is good since it will give us a longer window to sell off before Series 2 comes out.  It will also give everyone longer to sell the product before the season starts.  Part of me wonders if this was their intended release date all along.  Maybe they listed the initial release date 2 weeks later in case they run into production issues.  I know from when I worked at Upper Deck that it is nearly impossible to push a product up 2 weeks this late in the game.  Not to mention the fact that this is a product that requires a lot of cards being printed.  Either way, it’s at least a good sign that Topps may start hitting more of their release dates.

It seems as though 2011 will be quite a bit different than 2010 was, in regards to trading cards at least.  In 2010 we saw the beginning of the year go crazy with Topps 1, Bowman and a few others.  Topps then produced the everliving ton out of the later products.  This caused them to drop significantly in price.  Meanwhile, Panini stuff didn’t really do much all year.  Some of the football did okay, but none of it really moved too much.  And 09-10 basketball really didn’t do much as far as movement.  In addition to this, we didn’t see a lot of older products go up much.  There was a little interest here or there, but nothing major.

So far in 2011 we’ve seen a big hike in almost everything.  2005 football stuff has gone crazy with Aaron Rodgers making the Super Bowl.  2009-10 basketball has also gone crazy with Blake Griffin playing out of his mind.  A lot of the 2010 football stuff has started creeping up a bit as there just isn’t a lot of any of it out there.  There haven’t been many football products lately that have come out and gone crashing down.  We’ve even seen a little comeback from products like Topps Platinum and Crown Royale.  Maybe this is a sign of things to come.  2010-11 basketball has also sold relatively well.  Again, I think a lot of it is limited production.  I see most of the 2011 baseball stuff being pretty hard to find.  Topps is not going to overproduce like they did last year.  We may see a stinker or two, but I’m pretty confident in just about everything I’ve seen so far.

I am very interested to see how the Topps Five Star and the Panini National Treasures FB products do this year.  It will be the first time that we don’t have an Exquisite product.  Even if UD ends up making a collegiate Exquisite, it won’t have the same impact.  If the Five Star and Treasures are put together correctly, I could see them both doing very well.  One thing we learned last year was that the absence of Exquisite does make the other high end cards more sought after.  You can see this in basketball with the way the Blake Griffin RC sells.  I’ve seen them go for over $3K.  That wouldn’t be happening if he had an Exquisite Auto Patch RC too.

I haven’t seen a whole lot about the Treasures yet, but the Five Star looks fairly decent.  It looks a lot like an Exquisite product.  Hopefully both Topps and Panini do these products the right way.  The three main keys to me are nice patches, good collation and limited redemptions.  If they hit on all of those keys, we should see solid products.  I don’t think there will be a ton of either one of these out there, so that should help as well.

Totally changing gears here as I dive into the weekend of sports.  The Packers and Steelers both held off comebacks and won their respective conferences.  Both looked to be pulling away at the half, but stumbled a bit in the 2nd half.  I give the early advantage to the Steelers, but I’ll discuss this more in my Super Bowl preview later in the week.

Blake Griffin put up another huge game this weekend.  I thought he was going to get a triple double as he had 8 assists at halftime.  He had some absolutely insane dunks in the game.  The ally-opp reverse was something that not many guys could pull off.  Then his three pointer as the shot clock expired was just icing on the cake.  Golden State left him wide open about 4 feet beyond the arc and he nailed it.  He really is something special.

In other NBA news, we continue to wait on the Carmelo trade.  I think he will end up getting trading, but I just wish it would happen.  I’m kind of tired of hearing about “how close” a deal is when nothing ever happens.  I still believe he will end up a Knick.  We also saw Kevin Durant hit his first game winner.  It was quite a shot.  You should definitely check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

Not a ton of news in hockey.  I’m still awaiting the return of Sidney Crosby.  It’s sad to see the league without its best player.  Hopefully this won’t have any long term impact on Crosby.

The Australian Open has been pretty solid so far.  Nadal looks as unbeatable as ever.  Federer has shown a few signs of rust so far.  However, until someone beats him, he still has a great shot.  Andy Murray has looked remarkable as well.  On the women’s side, it’s much more wide open.  Wozniacki and Clijsters appear to be the favorites, but I could see any of the final 8 winning the whole thing.  Sadly the U.S. did not represent.  There is not a single player left.  It would be nice to see some male U.S. players spring up as Roddick just doesn’t seem to be able to make that next step.

Well, I hope everyone has a great week.  I’ll definitely post something later this week about the Super Bowl and perhaps something before.


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