window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-12381093-3'); A Cardboard Problem: January 2015

January 18, 2015

The nominations for the 2014 Bip Awards are ...

Welcome to the 2014 Bip Awards!

Below are 10 categories of voting in the first Bip Awards. I removed one of the categories from the earlier post - Best blog post. There just weren't enough entries for that to have a good poll.

The goal of The Bip Awards is to celebrate the card-collecting community on the blogosphere and social media. There are many of us who share our collections, expertise and humor every day. It has brought more collectors out and allowed those who want to return to collecting a special space to enjoy.

Blogs and social media have made collecting more enjoyable for me and others. I love reading stories, checking out those mail days and learning more about cards than I ever thought possible.

Take a few minutes and vote for your favorites. Polls will be opened until January 31 at midnight ET. The winners will be announced on Feb. 2.

(A special shout out to Topher over at Crackin' Wax for the banner)

January 9, 2015

Nominations for The 2014 Bip Awards: Excellence in blogging in social media in the trading card industry

Collecting cards is a hobby we all love an enjoy. We love sharing stories, keeping track of the latest news, and challenging companies to be better.

This year, I am hosting The 2014 Bip Awards, honoring the best of the blogging community. In addition, there are a couple of social media awards.

Starting today and running for one week, we are going to take nominations for each of the 11 categories. On Saturday, January 17, the five nominees (and 10 for Blog of the Year) will be announced. The voting will take place for the two weeks after that.

The winners will be announced on Feb. 2. And, there will be prizes.

I hope many of you take part in the awards. This is a special community and a great way to recognize those that contribute to it.

Please don't "stuff" the ballot box by getting every person you ever met to vote for your blog. If I think there is any tampering going on, I will remove that blog from consideration. It's the internet, people do crazy things to win contests. Also, try not to vote for yourself.

Please nominate blogs and social media members through the form below:


Here are the categories:

Best blog of the year
Rookie of the year (favorite new blog)
Best industry-related news source
Most generous blogger
Best non-baseball blog (sports-related)
Best non-sports blog
Best blog post (Was there one blog post that stood out to you this year?)
Best recurring subject
Blog you wish would come back
Social media: Best Twitter feed
Social media: Best Instagram account


January 7, 2015

What to do with all those extra cards? Make sports card art!

Greg Kline’s story begins the same as many collectors. As a boy, he grabbed cards of his favorite players – and anyone else he could get. He built collections that included guys such as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

Then, life got in the way, well, more like girls. Cards became less of his focus until he had children of his own. During the 1980s and 1990s, he started collecting again, but now with his sons. They accumulated cards, building cards from what is commonly called as the “junk wax” era.

Now, imagine, having thousands, maybe even millions of cards piled up from this period. It’s easy to conceive since so many collected at the same time, but here is where Greg’s story takes a different path.

After Greg suffered from two heart attacks and other serious medical issues, he found himself sitting at home with a lot of times on his hands because he was unable to work. It was time to dig out that old collection.

“That’s when I decided to cut each player out and make collage art out of them,” Greg said. “I would take a full set and cut out every player, then start putting the puzzle together. My first piece I did was for my oldest son.”

Greg has created more than a dozen pieces of artwork from his cards (although nothing from before 1981) from small collages to life-size players. His most recent completed project was a full-size depiction of legendary baseball player Babe Ruth.

From afar, the likeness to Ruth is apparent with his broad shoulders, iconic swing and recognizable smile. But take a step closer and instead you see everything that has put the piece together with more than 2,000 micro Topps baseball cards from 1991-93 -- although not the Derek Jeter rookie-year card. He’s keeping that one for himself.

“Every day is different. Some better than others,” Greg said. “One day I can do a lot and the next, I just can’t seem to find one right card.”

Next up, Greg will work on another life-size player. Although he hasn’t decided which one just yet, it will be another legend of Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams or Lou Gehrig.

Here's a look at more of Greg's work:

January 5, 2015

Wallet Card in the City

Breakdown Cards has created a game for collectors. Think of it as Flat Stanley only for collectors. You take a card, carry it around in your wallet and then take pictures with it in places you go. By the end year, you and your Wallet Card have made a fun trip around the world!!!

OK, so maybe just around the block in some cases.

The idea is fun, and I am definitely participating because what collector doesn’t already keep a card in their wallet?

I have a card that’s been sitting in my wallet for a couple of months now, a 2014 Topps Update Derek Jeter #US2. The card is there for sentimental reasons (of which I have already blogged about). I love opening my wallet every day and seeing that card. It reminds me what I what to accomplish.

It’s also a pretty good conversation piece. People ask me, ‘So what do you do at Topps?’ A simple answer is I pick the pictures that go on the fronts of cards, I proof the copy on the backs of cards and a lot of other things that are way too complicated to explain.

OR … I just pull out the card, hand it over and say, “I do that.”

So, here is my first entry into Wallet Card. Bringing Derek Jeter back home. This is where he was created. This is where the magic happens.

(Note: Yes, I’m the jerk who keeps her wallet card in a top loader, but for pictures here on out, I will take it out of the top loader so little Jeets can enjoy the sights of the new and exciting places we go.)

January 3, 2015

Is it the end of the road for Press Pass? But it feels like they just got here

Press Pass may be closing, according to a tweet from ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell. Currently, I haven’t seen confirmation of this anywhere else.
Having said that, I imagine Rovell wouldn’t put that out there if he didn’t feel comfortable about his information. Couple that with rumors over the last year, loss of personnel, and a massive decrease in the amount of product Press Pass planned to put out, it’s news that certainly seems credible.

Press Pass started in 1992. It was a game-changer – and I don’t say that lightly. Press Pass was the first company to use game-used memorabilia in its product when it included race-used tires in 1996. It was also the first company to put game-used jerseys in basketball memorabilia cards. Now, you know who to thank for all that.

But we are not going to re-hash the company’s history. We’ll leave that to others.

Instead, let’s look at some of Press Pass’ interesting cards from over the years.

Press Pass took tires from winning cards from the 1995 season, cut them into pieces and put them into cards. Each card was numbered to 500. All these years later, these cards are still popular with NASCAR fans. These cards can go for $30 or more when they hit the secondary market.

Jersey cards appeared in basketball for the first time with Press Pass. These cards were issued into packs at a rate of 1:640 in hobby and 1:720 in retail. There were just four cards in this college set with Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Ray Allen and Shareef Abdul-Rahim.

In 1997, Press Pass put out a 49-card, full-bleed photography set. It featured players in their college uniforms. The set also included a handful of coach cards. According to Beckett, card #48 Joe Paterno was pulled from the set close to release, however, a handful still made it out making it a rare collectible.

Press Pass started with football cards in 1996, but its first mega-star on cards probably came in 1998 with Peyton Manning. The company featured autographs that year with the likes of Ryan Leaf, Shaun Williams and … Peyton Manning.

Press Pass also created a special edition autograph that year of a Manning autograph that was only available at a SportsFest show in Philadelphia.

Two years later, Press Pass got another big star in the making. It had many top prospects for the 2000 NFL season – Plaxico Burress, Shaun Alexander, Ron Dayne, Jamal Lewis, Brian Urlacher – and then a guy named Tom Brady.

Press Pass lost the college license in the early 2010s. While it still made football cards with no college or NFL logos, it attempted to branch out a bit further with Yo Gabba Gabba stickers, KISS and other releases. In 2013, it announced at the Industry Summit it acquired a license to produce cards for Parks and Recs. It included autographs and wardrobe cards of all the big names such as Amy Poehler, Rob Lowe, Nick Offerman, Paul Rudd and more.

High-end NASCAR

Here is a look at what Press Pass was doing lately with NASCAR. It developed high-end products that included everything it could take from a car or a driver to include in cards. Danica Patrick is popular with trading card collectors. Her autograph cards usually sell for over $100

January 2, 2015

Shaping up the collection for 2015 - A resolution-free zone

New Years resolutions have a bad connotation with me. It seems like people say they are going to do things this year and then a week later, it’s forgotten about. You just spent a few bucks on a gym membership, and you are never going to use it after January. Well, maybe again right before spring break and just as summer approaches.

But it was a waste of money and time, and just gives you an opportunity to make the same resolution next year.

Instead, I like to have goals for each year. Not something like losing weight or being nicer (I’m just peachy, so no need for that), but things that are attainable, or, in my case, collectible.

These aren’t easy goals either. My new year goals are comprised of things I think about doing or projects that I am in the middle of doing and want to finish. So, writing it down and making myself accountable sometimes works. If you looked at my three goals from last year, you will see sometimes it doesn’t.

Here are my 2014 goals (which are mostly all collecting related).

Goal #1: Create a Derek Jeter want list
I know what I have, but what do I want? That’s a damn fine question. Because I actually don’t want every single Jeter card – nor is it really attainable – I need to make a detailed list of everything I actually want and go after it.

Here’s the thing about being a player collector. If someone owns a 1-of-1 that means my collection will never be complete. Being a completist in this day for player collectors is so difficult, so you have to figure out what exactly you want so you don’t drive yourself crazy going after every card.

In reality, my Jeter want list will include no hits (relics, autographs) and no 1-of-1. It will likely include manu-relics, but that’s still something I am figuring out. That should bring the list down significantly while still giving me an incredible amount of cards to chase.

Goal #2: Finish my Supernatural collection
After opening a case, I still needed a handful of autograph and wardrobe cards. My plan is to finish that set this year without spending a ton more money. I might have to wait it out a little bit to get some of the cards, but I am making progress with recent eBay purchases.

Goal #3: Keep A Cardboard Problem going
We had 74 posts in 2014 on ACP, which is not a lot considering in the heyday of the blog we had more than 550 posts in each 2010 and 2011. But that 74 is still way better than 2013 (0) and 2012 (3).

I’ve enjoyed writing about cards from a collector point of view again without feeling obligated to do it. I write when I want. I write when the mood strikes me. And since my writing is at the minimum these days because my career is no longer relied upon it, the itch is greater than ever.

Goal #4: Finish the first draft of my novel
This isn’t a collecting goal. In fact, my novel has nothing to do with cards or sports. However, it’s something I have been working on for a couple of years. I have 30,000 words to it and it’s time I get at least a first draft done.

Now that I got that out there, tell me your goals for 2015.