Thursday, June 12, 2008

Topps/CMG Sue UD Over 2008 SP Legendary Cuts

By Kevin Haake

On Monday, Topps and CMG Worldwide Inc., filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Indianapolis court against chief rival Upper Deck. The five-page suit cites that the California-based company wrongfully used images and player names of 16 baseball legends – including Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Rogers Hornsby, Thurman Munson, George Sisler and Johnny Mize – who were exclusively licensed by Topps in an April 2008 agreement.

Under the guidelines of Topps' deal with CMG Worldwide, the company was granted "The exclusive right and license . . . to use the property in connection with the cards [trading cards] as outlined below: Property's name, likeness and/or statistical data on and in connection with the manufacture, production, marketing, distribution and sale of all trading card products including but not limited to base cards, relic cards featuring authentic cut signatures and/or pieces of game-used equipment such as bats, caps, etc., event/milestone cards, advertising and/or promotional cards, game cards, digital/electronic cards and stickers."

The suit states Upper Deck lost the right to use the respective players' information after its original 2005 contract with CMG expired and Topps and CMG came to a new exclusive deal. In the complaint, Topps stated it "would not have entered into these agreements without having the rights to the legends' intellectual property on an exclusive basis."

Upper Deck's Chris Carlin released the following statement earlier today: "Upper Deck has not been served by either CMG or Topps with a summons or complaint, nor has it had an opportunity to fully review the allegations contained therein. Nonetheless, based upon the information available to it, Upper Deck believes that the lawsuit is factually and legally inaccurate. Upper Deck will vigorously defend itself, and pursue all remedies available to it pursuant to the law, in this matter."

The Topps/CMG suit seeks unspecified monetary damages while requesting a court ordered temporary restraining order barring Upper Deck and its distributors from releasing 2008 SP Legendary Cuts a product that was scheduled to go live today.

"When the news broke this spring that CMG had reached an agreement with Topps, we wondered aloud what it would mean for Upper Deck's legends-themed products," says Beckett Media Senior Market Analyst Brian Fleischer. "Specifically, we were curious as to what it would mean for SP Legendary Cuts, arguably Upper Deck's most popular brand. If the product is indeed pulled from store shelves it would leave a serious vacancy in the hobby. Traditionally, SP Legendary Cuts is one of the most anticipated releases of the year."

Historically, the vast majority of cut signature cards released into the marketplace each year hail from Upper Deck's SP Legendary Cuts.

"Obviously, if the product is recalled, cut signature collectors are going to have a much harder time adding to their collections," Fleischer adds. "As of right now, we know that there are 2008 SP Legendary Cuts singles currently available on the market. If the product is recalled by court order, it will, without a doubt, affect the value of those cards that have already made their way to market."

Kirkman’s Invincible Teen Turns 50 in Landmark Issue from Image

Robert Kirkman’s Eisner Award-nominated tale about the son of the Earth’s greatest hero hits a milestone with Image Comics’ Invincible #50 , arriving in stores today!

Kirkman’s Invincible Teen Turns 50 in Landmark Issue from Image

In this double-sized issue, writer-creator Kirkman is throwing a knockdown, drag-out party for his young hero. Inside, Mark Grayson finally takes on his Global Defense Agency boss, Cecil Stedman. Illustrated by series veterans Ryan Ottley, Cory Walker & Bill Crabtree, their long-awaited confrontation will have Invincible fans on their feet. Plus, Stedman’s origin tale, a brand-new Science Dog back-up story and a cover by Ottley & Val Staples make this one of the biggest Invincible events since the series premiered five years ago!

Fans of the Invincible series and anyone who enjoys Kirkman’s work on such titles as The Walking Dead and Battle Pope.

Wedding-Crashing Criminal Team Debuts in DC’s Justice League of America HC Vol. 3: Injustice League

The JLA attempts to recover from a sucker-punch delivered by a new threat consisting of the DC Universe’s greatest villains in the Justice League of America HC Volume 3: The Injustice League.

A wedding is supposed to be a happy day, especially if it’s one for a couple like Green Arrow and Black Canary. Unfortunately, Lex Luthor, The Joker, Gorilla Grodd, Cheetah, Poison Ivy, Doctor Light and a slew of other villains have decided to crash the party. Following an unprecedented attack on the JLA, this newly formed Injustice League manage to take Wonder Woman and other heroes captive. But what’s the Justice League prepared to do about it? The two Leagues collide, and in the end the JLA may ultimately lose one of its own before the fight is done. Collecting the JLA Wedding Special #1 and Justice League of America #13-#16, this HC presents the work of writers Dwayne McDuffie & Alan Burnett and artists Ed Benes, Sandra Hope, Mike McKone, Andy Lanning, Joe Benitez & Victor Llamas and boasts a cover from Ian Churchill.

With so many fan-favorite heroes taking on some of the DCU’s greatest villains in one hardcover, the 144-page, full-color Justice League of America HC Volume 3: The Injustice League should top the wish lists of current fans that enjoy DC’s team-up series or the individual heroes.

Classic Strips Collected in IDW Publishing’s Complete Little Orphan Annie HC Vol. 1!

IDW Publishing revisits the earliest stories featuring one of the most memorable comic strip characters in American history with the Complete Little Orphan Annie HC Volume 1.

Classic Strips Collected in IDW Publishing’s Complete Little Orphan Annie HC Vol. 1!

Edited by Dean Mullaney with a biographical essay by Jeet Heer and over 1,000 of Harold Gray’s daily comic strips – ranging from the first strip published in August 1924 through October 1927 – this HC presents nine stories of the spunky red-headed orphan always able to get out of a jam.

Fans of classic American comic strips won’t want to pass up the opportunity to reread the stories that cemented Annie as a fan-favorite character and eventually a cultural icon, so place your reorders for the 368-page, full-color The Complete Little Orphan Annie HC Volume 1 today!

Super-Heroes Team-Up Against Supernatural Threat in Image/Top Cow’s The Magdalena/Daredevil

Top Cow Productions brings its holy warrior and Marvel Comics’ Man Without Fear together for Image Comics/Top Cow’s The Magdalena/Daredevil, a can’t-miss one-shot shipping this week.

Super-Heroes Team-Up Against Supernatural Threat in Image/Top Cow’s The Magdalena/Daredevil

Writer/artist Phil Hester and artist Ande Parks unite a defender of the Catholic Church and the defender of Hell’s Kitchen for the first time, a meeting capped off by a cover by Hester & Stjepan Sejic. Patience has fought alongside a variety of allies to save the world from evil in the past, but she’s never encountered a tenacious boxer’s son named Matt Murdock. Each hero has fought their share of supernatural villains, but will their combined powers be enough to stop a vengeful demon from settling an ancient score with the Church?

Bringing together two heroes from two very different universes, the 32-page, full-color The Magdalena/Daredevil should appeal to fans of either hero, super-hero crossovers or the contributing creators.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jackie vs. U.S. in Image/Top Cow’s The Darkness #3

ackie Estacado finds that even paradise can take its toll in Image Comics/Top Cow Productions’ The Darkness #3, now in stock and ready to ship from Diamond!

The bearer of The Darkness, Jackie’s first meeting with Dr. Kirchner was one hard to forget. Now fans will find out exactly what happened during that first run in. As if that weren’t enough to impress consumers, Jackie, a one-man army in his own right, must take on the U.S. Government and its army in a battle that will test the combative limits of The Darkness – if there are any.

Written by Phil Hester and illustrated by Michael Broussard, the 32-page, full-color The Darkness #3 is made all the more appealing with two great covers – Cover A from Dale Keown and Cover B from Stjepan Sejic! In addition, to accommodate those fans that may have missed the onset of The Darkness, be sure to also place reorders for The Darkness #1.

Jackie vs. U.S. in Image/Top Cow’s The Darkness #3 Jackie vs. U.S. in Image/Top Cow’s The Darkness #3

With this new series plopping Jackie into an exciting environment packing danger & mystery with the turn of every page, no reader that has picked up the previous two issues or enjoyed The Darkness’ appearances in other Top Cow series should pass up on this new chapter, so place your orders for it today and see the in-stock list for more great Darkness products!

Vigilante Justice Served in Marvel’s Punisher War Journal Vol. 3 HC

Frank Castle’s war on crime continues with the reintroduction of a classic, brutal and bloodthirsty character in Marvel Comics’ Punisher War Journal Volume 3: Hunter Hunted Premiere HC, which is available now!

Rising star writer Matt Fraction and artists Ariel Olivetti, Cory Walker, Scott Wegener & Howard Chaykin continue Castle’s diary of destruction in this new volume that collects Punisher War Journal #12-#17. When a bank job goes horribly wrong, the Rhino is forced to go to ground to avoid the cops and the Punisher. But as Castle looks to settle the score with an old foe, Kraven the Hunter is stalking the same prey, building himself the ultimate menagerie – a living, breathing super-human zoo! Thankfully, Spider-Man is along for the ride as the lone voice of reason. Plus, with World War Hulk in full swing, New York is shut off from the outside world with no one left to protect those left behind… except Frank Castle! While Mung the Inconceivable rampages through Manhattan, Frank and Clarke help a small band of refugees hold back his relentless onslaught.

Vigilante Justice Served in Marvel’s Punisher War Journal Vol. 3 HC

Available for immediate delivery, the 152-page, full-color Punisher War Journal Volume 3: Hunter Hunted Premiere HC and related collections are easily marketed to Punisher lovers; secure quantities now for explosive profits!

DC/Vertigo’s Faker TP a True Hit

Eisner Award nominees Mike Carey and Jock turn a time of self-discovery into a very different quest for identity in DC Comics/Vertigo’s Faker TP, which is in stock and ready for delivery from Collector's World Store!

Faker begins with a wild party of college freshman preparing for their second semester. But when the party ends, one reveler, Jessie, discovers that her best friend has become an “un-person” with no identity in the school’s computers or among their once-mutual circle of friends. Against a time and place where people routinely begin to discover and craft their own identities, Jessie tries to unravel the mystery behind her friend’s “disappearance,” uncovering cruelty and deception while struggling with her own dark, suppressed memories.

DC/Vertigo’s Faker TP a True Hit

A must-have for fans of Carey’s writing for Hellblazer, Crossing Midnight, God Save the Queen or Jock’s art on The Losers, the 160-page, full-color Faker TP is available for immediate delivery, so secure your copies today!

It's Awesome Baby...Newest Hall of Famer Signs With Donruss

Arlington, TX - Official at Donruss announced today that the newest member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Dick Vitale, has signed his very first autograph agreement with the company. Donruss recently completed the signing with the enthusiastic Vitale, known for his catch phrases and high-energy commentary for ESPN.

"It's amazing that in the competitive basketball market you can still find someone this popular that hasn't had a certified autograph card," said Marketing Director Scott Prusha. "This is another FIRST for the industry and another way we are creatively providing content that nobody else has to make the Americana and Elite Extra Edition Series the most popular in the industry."

Dick Vitale will make his debut in Donruss Americana II, set to release this summer. He is also set to make an appearance in the popular collegiate themed product, Donruss Elite Extra Edition. Vitale signed stickers as well as several of his catch-phrase notations on cuts including: "Its Awesome Baby" , "Dickie V" , "Mr. College Basketball" and "Dipsy Doo Dunkeroo".

Vitale's career started in the coaching ranks, first for the University of Detroit and then for the NBA's Detroit Pistons. After being released from his duties with the Pistons, he decided to take a job at a little known television station ESPN, at least until another coaching job became available. We all know where ESPN went and the 2008-09 seasons will be Vitale's 30th with the juggernaut.

Donruss continues to roll-out the announcements for these ground breaking programs. From firsts like Martina Navratilova and Mixed Martial Arts cards, to President George Bush. The Americana series includes names such as Hollywood legends Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe, as well as pop-culture icons William Shatner, Burt Reynolds, John Travolta and Ashley Judd.

Donruss Americana series II will release in July and Celebrity Cuts will reach hobby shops in mid-April. For more information visit

Donruss Celebrity Cuts - New Release!!

ARLINGTON - Since Donruss announced the release of Celebrity Cuts, the industry has been on pins-and-needles anxiously awaiting details and information on the release. Who has signed? What new pieces of memorabilia has Donruss acquired? What creative insert will they come-up with that will be the next buzz? These are all questions the hobby has been asking as Donruss gets ready to release their second entertainment program in the past six months.

The wait is over and Donruss Celebrity Cuts will be live this week. Celebrity Cuts is the premium version of Donruss Americana, the monumental release that sold out the week it went on live.

Each pack of Celebrity Cuts has TWO Autograph or Memorabilia cards, three commons or parallels and one insert.
"We are extremely excited that the wait is over (for Celebrity Cuts)," said Donruss Brand Manager Ben Ecklar. "Nothing like this has ever been seen in the entertainment industry. The inserts Donruss has created over the years that have redefined the sports card industry will be making their debut here by some of the most recognizable Hollywood names in our history."

Donruss has confirmed several BIG names will be staring in the program including: George and Barbara Bush, Kathie Lee Gifford, Christina Applegate, Jerry Lewis, Mark Hamill and Quentin Tarantino. Returning for the sequel are Ashley Judd, Burt Reynolds, Buzz Aldrin, John Travolta, Ron Howard and Williams Shatner.

"We will announce a few other big names next week," adds Ecklar.
Commons Cards
Every card will be individually numbered, with the 100 card base set serial-numbered to just 499.
Multi-swatch cards featuring die-cuts from Hollywood Legends such as:
Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Jackie Gleason, James Dean, Jimmy Stewart, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen and more.

Movie Stars Featuring signed parchments with inscriptions:
Ashley Judd, Burt Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, Jerry Lewis, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and more.

H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D and O-S-C-A-R signed letters by:
Burt Reynolds, Christina Applegate, Debbie Reynolds, Ernest Borgnine, Leonard Nimoy, Mickey Rooney, Ricardo Montalban, Ron Howard, William Shatner and more.

ReCollection Collection Cards:
Including original from the 1967 Leaf Star Trek set signed by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (including dual signed versions) and Dallas, Dukes of Hazard and the Andy Griffith Show. Each ReCollection Collection card is serial numbered to 10 or less.

Multiple signed cards featuring dual, triple and quad signed cards:
Combine autographs from multiple celebrities on one card. The entire Bundy family from "Married with Children" as well as Star Wars stars Billy Dee Williams/Carrie Fisher/David Prowse/Mark Hamill and George Takei/Leonard Nimoy/Walter Koenig/Williams Shatner.

Cut Signatures:
The Celebrity Cuts subset, after which this set is named, feature cut signatures of the stars of yesteryear. Autographs from Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon, Mary Pickford, Bette Davis, Vivein Leigh, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, Loretta Yong and Gary Cooper. Combo Cuts containing two celebrity autographs such as George Burns/Gracie Allen, Charles Bronson/Yul Brynner and Bud Abbott/Lou Costello.

2008 Donruss Americana Celebrity Cuts officially releases April 25th and retails for $150.00 per collectors box.
For more information Donruss Americana Celebrity Cuts (including case hits), visit:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Image Explores Seedy Underbelly with Nixon’s Pals GN

Fan-favorite writer Joe Casey looks at the hidden underbelly of the Los Angeles super-villain scene with Image Comics’ Nixon’s Pals GN, which is in stock and ready to ship from Diamond!

Casey teams with illustrator Chris Burnham to introduce fans to Nixon Cooper, a parole officer for some of Los AngelesCounty’s best and brightest super-villains. This colorful cast of parolees is hanging on by their fingernails in the morally bereft underbelly of L.A. But who has it worse: the criminals struggling – and failing – to walk the straight and narrow, or Nixon himself, doing his best to keep up with these people? The 120-page, black-and-white graphic novel presents a crime story unlike any fans have seen before and comes loaded with extra features.

A must-have for fans of Casey or those readers interested in a ground-level look at super-heroics, the Nixon’s Pals GN is available for immediate reorder so place your orders today!

Image Explores Seedy Underbelly with Nixon’s Pals GN

Pigeons from Hell Flies High at Dark Horse

Horror master Joe R. Lansdale brings one of author Robert E. Howard’s darkest and most widely read stories to Dark Horse Comics’ horror line with Pigeons from Hell #1 , the terrifying start of a four-issue limited series which is available for reorder now from Diamond!

Illustrated by comic newcomer Nathan Fox with Dave Stewart, Pigeons from Hell combines the timelessness of a Howard story with the talents of contemporary prose and comic best seller Lansdale. The story takes readers to a damned house in the Deep South... a house with a sinister past that’s said to cast a deadly shadow upon all who enter, a house where enormous flocks of pigeons are seen flying out of it with every sunset. Are they simply birds, or damned souls in flight from the depths of Hell?

The 32-page, full-color issue should inspire the many readers of both authors to investigate this chilling project based on a tale that’s been called “one of the finest horror stories of the 20th century” by Stephen King, so place your orders today and make sure your shelves are stocked!

Heroes Face Bleak Future in WildStorm: Armageddon TP

It could be the end of the world as they know it unless heroes of the WildStorm Universe find a way to stop it in DC Comics/WildStorm’s WildStorm: Armageddon TP , which is now in stock and ready to ship from Diamond!

An event that incorporated Midnighter, Tranquility, Stormwatch: P.H.D., Gen 13, Wetworks and Wildcats, the six-issue Armageddon event from writer Christos N. Gage and artists Neil Googe, Talent Caldwell & several others is offered in this Earth-shaking TP. Six WildStorm heroes are granted a post-apocalyptic vision, prompting the question: now that they’ve seen the results, can they stop the cause?

Featuring some of the most popular heroes from the WildStorm Universe and impacting the future of DC’s innovative imprint as a whole, this 144-page, full-color TP should be highly sought by many avid WildStorm readers, so place your reorders for it now!

Heroes Face Bleak Future in WildStorm: Armageddon TP

Bonds 762 Home Run Ball Sells For

The record-setting Barry Bonds 762 home run ball was sold Saturday in an online auction at for $376,612, including buyer's premium, to a collector who elected to remain anonymous.

Bonds' sent a 99-mph fast ball thrown by Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenezt into the Coors Field bleachers, and the record books, on Sept. 5, 2007. Boulder resident Jameson Sutton, 24, retrieved the ball from a three-man scuffle and placed 762 in a safety deposit box until coming forward on March 13. At the time, Sutton did not believe he had Bonds' final home run ball, expecting the slugger would hit another home run in the last three weeks of the 2007 season and thinking Bonds might play in 2008. Due to a serious illness in the family, Sutton decided to sell the ball with SCP Auctions.

"I am happy with my decision to sell the 762 ball and wish the new owner the best," Sutton said. "I'm especially proud to help my family pay some of the medical costs due to my father's illness."

Sutton and his family have created an LLC to handle proceeds of the sale of the ball, 50-50 with his parents. Money his parents receive will help defray the costs of Sutton's stepfather's battle with cancer.

SCP Auctions is no stranger to Bonds' memorabilia, having sold home run balls No. 755 and 756 for $186,750 and $752,467, respectively, on Sept. 15, 2007. In August 2006, Bonds' 715th home run ball, making him second on the all-time home run list surpassing Babe Ruth, sold for $220,100 at auction.

McNair Retires. What Next for Ravens?

By Dan Hitt

One of the most popular Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Houston Oilers players of all time retired this week. Steve McNair will be remembered most by fans as the guy who took the new version (the Titans) of the old Oilers to the Super Bowl for the first time and came within a yard or two of sending the game into OT.

He'll likely be remembered by collectors, though, as a small-college player who actually lived up to the draft-day hype to justify the early collector, and investor, speculation in his cards.

But with McNair stepping aside, who will replace the veteran at the helm for the Ravens? Who should collectors set their card-loving sights on now? The short answer may appear to be Troy Smith, since he's the young future star in waiting. After all, collectors have seen enough of Kyle Boller, right? Even the most novice fans realize he's not the future at starter, so Smith must be the guy. We need to start buying him up like crazy, right?

Hold your horses. There is plenty of speculation that the McNair retirement throws the Ravens right into the middle of the pursuit for Matt Ryan or some other top QB in the draft. Or the Ravens could give strong consideration to a veteran QB if draft day doesn't produce an answer.

Either way, we'll find that out in about a week. Until then, we strongly suggest holding off on going full steam toward Troy Smith cards until the dust settles.

UD Inks Sizemore, Kemp and Bynum

You win some, you lose some. Days after losing a number of baseball legends, Upper Deck demonstrated its leadership in the field of modern stars by signing exclusive deals with MLB standouts Grady Sizemore and Matt Kemp and NBA up-and-comer Andrew Bynum. Terms of each deal are different, but they all provide autograph collectors with ample opportunity to secure authentic signatures in upcoming products.

"These three athletes represent another coup by Upper Deck in terms of seeking out and securing some of the most collectible athletes in their respective sports," said Tim Muret, Upper Deck's vice president of Sports Cards and Memorabilia.

Sizemore, Cleveland's starting center fielder, is a terrific talent who collected 174 hits including 24 home runs last season as he helped the Tribe get to within one win of the 2007 World Series. He also earned his first Rawlings Gold Glove award in 2007 after posting a .995 fielding average. UDA's contract calls for Sizemore to sign a wide assortment of baseball items including authentic game model Indians jerseys (home white, away gray and alternate blue) for $429.99 each, framed jerseys for $629.99, framed 16" x 20" photos for $349.99, bats at $274.99, batting helmets for $249.99, and mini-helmets, baseballs and 16" x 20" photos, $199.99. Products should be available in June.

Kemp, the Dodgers up-and-coming outfielder, collected 100 hits in just 98 games last season as he hit a robust .342 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI. His exclusive contract with UDA calls for him to sign the following lineup of baseball keepsakes: authentic Majestic Dodgers white home jerseys, $279.99; framed jerseys, $479.99; Rawlings Big Stick bats, $179.99; regulation-sized Dodger batting helmets, $159.99; inscribed baseballs, $129; regular baseballs, $99.99; and Dodger Stadium "At-Bat" 11" x 16.5" photos, $89.99. Kemp's products have been signed and will be available shortly.

Bynum, the Lakers' third-year center, averaged 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds in 35 games this season. His efforts helped his team claim the Western Conference's Pacific Division crown with a 57-25 mark. He will sign Lakers jerseys for $399.99, Spalding basketballs for $299.99, and framed and unframed 8" x 10" and 16" x 20" photos for prices ranging from $169.99 to $299.99. His unframed products will be available in early May.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Universe-Altering Epic Collected in DC’s Infinite Crisis TP

The limited series that shook the foundations of the DC Universe in 2005 and 2006 is now collected in DC Comics’ Infinite Crisis TP , an amazing softcover available now from Collector's World Store!

Written by Geoff Johns with art by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Jerry Ordway, Ivan Reis, Andy Lanning and others, the seven-issue series changed the way fans looked at the DCU and paved the way for the best selling weekly titles 52 and Countdown. Inside, OMAC robots are rampaging, magic is dying, villains are uniting and a war is raging in space. In the middle of it all, Earth's three greatest heroes – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – stand divided. During the DCU's darkest hour, heroes long thought dead return to right the universe at any cost. This exhaustive volume will also reprint every cover and variant produced for the limited series, plus annotations, character designs, script excerpts, unused scenes and much more to tantalize consumers.

Perfect for fans of one of DC’s most critically and commercially successful limited series in recent memory, the 264-page, full-color Infinite Crisis TP is in stock and ready for immediate delivery so secure your copies now!

Boom! Studios, EA Mythic Give Away Beta Entries for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

When BOOM! Studios' new comic, Warhammer: Condemned by Fire #1, hits stands this April, game fans everywhere will have a chance at gaining entry into the beta test of the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game from EA Mythic, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning!

Each copy of Warhammer: Condemned by Fire #1 contains a scratch-off which reveals a code giving readers a 1-in-5 chance of entry into the Warhammer Online beta test. Please Note: While one copy out of every five at random will have a valid code to the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning beta test, there is no statistical guarantee that assures consumers one code for every five copies purchased.

"As a crossover promotion, this is an excellent chance to expose Warhammer Online fans to the ongoing narrative of the comic book," said BOOM! Director of Marketing and Sales Chip Mosher. "It also positions Direct Market retailers with a hot, interesting product to generate new traffic for their stores with a comic that can snag new readers who might come for the promotion and stay for the story."

EA Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, also known as War, is the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on Games Workshop's Warhammer fantasy world. Slated for release in 2008, the game features innovative Realm vs. Realm combat that immerses players in a world of perpetual conflict.

"We're thrilled to offer this kind of cross-promotion to our readers and I know they are going to love War. Having spent time playing the game during its beta test, I know it's the best of the best," said BOOM! Co-founder Ross Richie.

Warhammer: Condemned by Fire is a five-issue mini-series that directly follows BOOM!'s successful Warhammer: Forge of War mini-series, both of which are set in the Warhammer fantasy world. Reuniting the Forge of War team of fan-favorite writers Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton with phenomenal art by Rahsan Ekadal, Condemned by Fire concentrates on the exploits of Witch Hunter Magnus Gault. This tireless foe of Chaos roams the Empire seeking to stop the spread of dark magic and witchery of all kinds.

To meet demand, Warhammer: Condemned by Fire #1 will be overshipped to retailers. In addition, Diamond is offering a special incentive on Warhammer: Condemned by Fire #1 of 3% extra discount!

Warhammer already ranks as one of the fantasy world’s most popular franchises and is sure to reach even more fans thanks to the new series and online gaming incentive! Retailers, make sure your customers are in on all the four-color and online action by placing your orders today

Image Brings Dead Space to Frightening Life

Antony Johnston & Ben Templesmith take to the stars for Dead Space #1 , the first of a horrific, action-packed six-issue Image Comics limited series that serves as a prequel to the upcoming Electronic Arts video game!

Set in the desolate void of deep space on a lonely mining colony, Dead Space follows what happens when the miners’ excavations unleash a terrifying extraterrestrial life force with an unquenchable hunger for destruction. The ensuing no-holds-barred battle for the miners’ survival results in relentless violence and hideous carnage on a grand scale that gives new meaning to the term “gut-wrenching,” and should whet the appetites of gamers and comic fans who love stories loaded with a non-stop bombardment of bullets, bombs, and blood.

Perfect for fans of the upcoming video game or those readers who enjoy the creators’ many other works, the 32-page, full-color Dead Space #1 is available for order now, so confirm quantities today!

Goddard Begins Monster Story Arc with Dark Horse’s Buffy #12

The screenwriter of the recent blockbuster Cloverfield and writer/producer for ABC’s fan-favorite Lost, Drew Goddard, takes up the reins on one of Dark Horse’s best-selling series and immediately puts Joss Whedon’s heroine in harms way in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12 .

Presenting the previously unfilmed “Season Eight” of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BTVS) TV program, this series continues the adventures of Buffy Summers, picking up many months after the seventh season’s explosive conclusion. Goddard made his scriptwriting debut on TV’s seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and returns to Whedon’s franchise with issue #12, joined by artist Georges Jeanty. Goddard begins his four-issue “Wolves at the Gate” storyline here, sending Buffy, Dawn and the rest of the vampire-hunting team to Tokyo to battle nocturnal bloodsuckers with particularly bizarre powers.

As if Goddard’s assumption of writing duties in #12 wasn’t enough, a variant Jeanty cover, shipping in a 1:4 ratio, should provide loyal Buffy readers with added enticement!

With Goddard coming off a smash film project and continuing to thrill viewers with Lost, his return to the mythos that launched his career with the 40-page, full-color Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12 should attract an even greater amount of fans than normal to Whedon’s imaginative series, and retailers should place their reorders now to match demand for this red-hot issue!

New DC HC Asks Who is Wonder Woman?

Acclaimed writer Allan Heinberg explores the myth of the Amazon Princess in DC Comics’ Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman? HC , which is available for order now from Collector's World Store.

One year after the execution of Maxwell Lord and the events of Infinite Crisis, the DC Universe is still struggling to come to terms with its most powerful heroine. In Who is Wonder Woman?, Heinberg honors the character's distinguished history while planting her firmly in the present. Featuring an all-new supporting cast, a brand-new mission and a renewed sense of wonder, the new edition finds Diana missing, leaving former sidekick Donna Troy to take up the mantle of Wonder Woman! But when Diana returns under her former alias of Diana Prince, she is tasked by the Department of Metahuman Affairs to save Donna Troy. Will she retake the role of Wonder Woman? The book features interior artwork by Terry & Rachel Dodson and Gary Frank & Jon Sibal, and boasts a gorgeous cover by the Dodsons.

Easily marketed to fans of the DCU’s top female hero or those readers who enjoyed Heinberg’s work on the TV hit Grey’s Anatomy or Marvel Comics’ Young Avengers, the 144-page, full-color Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman? HC is available for reorder now!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Alexander The Great Nets $2K

The following story appeared on on February 25, 2008

There are many myths surrounding the origins of baseball.

Many people believe that Abner Doubleday invented baseball one day in 1839 while in Cooperstown, New York.

That "myth" is definitely not true.

In reality, baseball evolved out of several different "bat and ball" games such as English Rounders, Cricket, and American Town Ball that had been around for centuries.

But there is one man who deserves the credit for establishing the fundamental rules of the sport and for organizing the first baseball game ... Alexander Cartwright.

Cartwright, a member of the Town Ball team the New York Knickerbockers, drew up clear rules designed to convert Town Ball into a more elaborate sport that Cartwright called Base Ball.

Cartwright's historical contributions to baseball have made his unimaginably scarce autographs key targets of both manufacturers and collectors.

Since 2003, Cartwright has had just two cut signature cards introduced into the marketplace via Upper Deck's SP Legendary Cuts brand. A third Cartwright cut signature recently surfaced courtesy of Donruss' Playoff National Treasures product, and recently sold for over $2,200 in an online auction.

The card was the first Cartwright cut signature sale that Beckett Baseball had tracked since 2004. According to Senior Price Guide editor Grant Sandground,

"We've tracked two previous sales of Cartwright cut signature cards. The first card, 2003 SP Legendary Cuts Autographs, was consigned through Sotheby's and sold via eBay in June 2005 for $6,500. The second card, 2004 SP Legendary Cuts Historical Cuts, failed to meet reserve when the bidding stalled at $5,600 in October, 2005. The same owner placed the card back up for sale on eBay in late February, 2006 and the card failed to draw an opening bid at the asking price of $6,600."

Considering the final hammer price for the most recent Cartwright cut signature offering was down 60 percent from previously established highs, the winning bidder walked away with one phenomenal, and historically significant, deal.

-- Kevin Haake

Homer Joins Toy2R Simpsons DIY Qee Family

Designer Toy collectors who enjoy Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Qee figures can
now “D’oh”-It-Yourself with Toy2R’s Homer Simpson DIY 3” Qee Figure

Now regarded as an American entertainment institution, The Simpsons has
entertained millions of viewers with their TV and film misadventures
for nearly two decades. The franchise’s popularity has helped Toy2R
introduce a large market to Designer Toys with its successful line of
Bart Simpson DIY Vinyl Qee figures, which scored a big hit with fans of
both customizable Qees and the long-lived Simpson clan. The new, white
vinyl figure of Springfield’s favorite father packs equally crowd-
pleasing potential with a blank surface that can be decorated with
pencils, markers or paint. This makes it possible for collectors to re-
create one of the many faces of Homer that have amused millions of TV
and movie viewers or conjure their own unique toys, making this DIY Qee
appealing to anyone with a love of The Simpsons and a creative streak.
The Homer Simpson DIY 3” Qee Figure is set to ship on June 4.


In the war for a Galaxy Far, Far Away, there are many factions vying for control – the Empire, the Rebel Alliance, the OldRepublic, the Trade Federation, the Confederation. But there are groups that fall outside the control of governmental organizations, and WizKids' new Star Wars PocketModels: Scum and Villainy expansion adds those groups to the game!

Some, like Jabba the Hutt, are after pleasure and profit. Others, like Booster Terrik, are merely traders. Now their ships – Jabba's sail barge, Booster's Errant Venture – and others, like Boba Fett's Slave-One, have been added to WizKids' best-selling PocketModels game. With new gameplay and new ships to play with, these new factions can turn the tide of battle – or leave gamers in the lurch when they forsake the galaxy for profit!

The war to control the Star Wars universe heats up in May. When you add the Star Wars PocketModels: Scum and Villainy expansion to your gameplay, which side will you support? Or will you go your own way?


"Son of a biscuit!" Who doesn't know that phrase, the familiar catchphrase of SouthPark's Butters? Or "Timmy!" Which seems to be the only thing wheelchair-bound Timmy can say. What about Cartman's (in)famous "Screw you guys!" Or "I love you, Satan," the words of Saddam Hussein to his beloved. These humorous catchphrases – some of which have been amusing fans for a decade – are spoken by Funko's SouthPark Talking Bobbleheads!

The familiar South Park characters Cartman, Butters, and Timmy are each sold separately, and the Saddam Hussein comes in a 2-Pack with his lover Satan. These bobbleheads will make for an impressive display in an office, a dormroom, or a family room, and are released just in time for South Park's tenth anniversary on Comedy Central.

This figure is scheduled to come out in June.

Upper Deck Entertainment Goes Big With New World of Warcraft® Miniatures Game

Deluxe World of Warcraft® Miniatures Game
Scheduled for Release in Fall ’08

Nürnberg, Germany (February 7, 2008)—Following the huge success of the World of Warcraft® Trading Card Game (TCG), Upper Deck Entertainment today unveiled the World of Warcraft® Miniatures Game at the 59th Annual Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair. The deluxe-quality and highly detailed pre-painted plastic miniatures will be available in hobby and retail outlets this fall and can be previewed today at

The World of Warcraft® Miniatures Game will feature intricate 3-D renditions of iconic characters from Blizzard Entertainment®’s hugely popular World of Warcraft® massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) . The World of Warcraft® Miniatures will showcase superior artistry and industry-leading material quality, continuing UDE’s tradition of setting new market standards of excellence. To ensure its first collectible pre-painted plastic miniatures embody exceptional quality, UDE has recruited some of the industry’s most talented sculptors from all over the world, including Jacques-Alexandre Gillois (France), Juan Navarro Perez (Spain), Stefan Niehues (Germany) and Steve Saunders (USA).

“We are very excited to be entering the collectible miniatures category, and there is no better property for the hobby market than World of Warcraft,” said Justin Gary, Product Manager and Lead Game Designer for the World of Warcraft® Miniatures. “We worked closely with Blizzard Entertainment to ensure that the miniatures and gameplay were true to the online experience. It is always Upper Deck’s goal to set a new standard of quality when entering a market, and we have done it again with the World of Warcraft® Miniatures.”

Each deluxe pre-painted miniature will showcase a detailed version of an iconic World of Warcraft® character and be mounted on a uniquely engineered removable base, allowing each figure to serve as both a game piece and a collectible. In the spirit of the action and adventure of Blizzard Entertainment’s MMORPG, the World of Warcraft® Miniatures Game will offer standalone raid and dungeon scenarios, letting players battle either individually or cooperatively against other teams of players or the game itself.

UDE will also launch a robust Organized Play structure for the new World of Warcraft® Miniatures Game, including everything from hobby and in-store tournament programs to Darkmoon Faire events and National and World Championship tournaments.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wild Card on the Loose as Upper Deck Goes Political

The Hillary Clinton baseball card pulled from Upper Deck’s ‘Presidential Predictors’ series. The satirical cards depict presidential candidates in famous moments from baseball history.
Move over Obama.

As the candidates battle it out for delegate share, the Carlsbad-based Upper Deck Co. accidentally released a Hillary Clinton parody baseball card that has become a financial home run for some lucky collectors.

All of the Clinton cards — a characterization that matched her with Morganna the Kissing Bandit, a very buxom woman notorious for charging onto baseball fields and planting kisses on players — were supposed to have been manually pulled from the “Presidential Predictor” set, says Upper Deck’s director of sports marketing, Kerri Stockholm.

Realizing at the last minute that it could be perceived as offensive, executives of the sports and entertainment company decided to pull it. But that meant manually removing the cards from machines and loaded packs as they were being prepared for shipment, Stockholm says.

The candidate cards were inserted at a rate of one in every eight packs, so the task of finding all of the Hillary Clinton cards was virtually impossible. Some slipped through and were selling on eBay with bids in the $209 to $1,800 range at midday on Feb. 22.

The cards, including parodies of Al Gore, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, John McCain, John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani, were produced as part of Upper Deck’s 2008 Series One Baseball release to boost sales. They went on the market on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Upper Deck does not reveal sales or production numbers.

“This set was developed as a way to make the product relevant to a wider audience,” Stockholm added.

The Clinton card could likely become very relevant to a small audience.
Stockholm says Upper Deck plans to issue another Hillary Clinton card at the end of May. The company has not yet settled on the final design.

— Connie Lewis

Source: San Diego Business Journal

Bif Bang Pow! Signs Licensing Deal With SHOWTIME(R)

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Showtime Networks Inc. has announced that it has awarded a licensing contract for their critically acclaimed original drama, Dexter, to manufacturer Bif Bang Pow!

The series follows Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), an incredibly likeable forensics expert for the Miami Metro Police Department, who moonlights as a serial killer with a penchant for inflicting his own unusual brand of justice -- he kills people who truly deserve it.

The network, working with its licensing agency, 360ep, has signed with Bif Bang Pow! to manufacture and distribute bobble heads and other figures for Dexter. "I'm an ardent SHOWTIME enthusiast and a huge fan of Dexter since its beginning in Season 1. Dexter falls right in line with what Bif Bang Pow! is trying to achieve," said Jason Lenzi, CEO of Bif Bang Pow! "Dexter is a smart, hip series that always keeps you glued to the edge of your seat. It's an exciting show and we plan to create equally exciting collectibles to complement it."

Bif Bang Pow! will produce a variety of Dexter collectibles, starting with bobble heads and action figures. The first items to come available should reach market this fall. Watch for future announcements regarding these winning new releases.

About Showtime Networks

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(R) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL(R) XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(R) HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL(R) ON DEMAND. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV(R).

About Bif Bang Pow!

Bif Bang Pow! ( founder Jason Lenzi is a seasoned television producer and the ultimate fan of cultish pop culture. So when he created his company in 2005, he took the fan's perspective. His idea was to bring items to the marketplace that he himself would want to own. Cultivated from TV, movies, books, comics, music, and more, Bif Bang Pow!'s mission is to provide high-quality action figures, toys, and collectibles to the massive cult audience (and kids of all ages) that wishes these toys were already in their collection. Bif Bang Pow! is a unit of JLA Direct, LLC.

About 360ep

360ep was founded by Bill Jemas and former members of the senior management team that guided Marvel Enterprises from a struggling comic book publisher into one of the biggest licensing and publishing turn-around stories of the past decade. 360ep's Entertainment Division brings together the vast experience and expertise of successful entertainment and licensing executives with some of the top writers and artists from the comic book world. 360ep's Licensing Division represents dozens of brands in their licensing activities, including AOL, Showtime Networks, the International Fight League and Smokey Bear. In addition to its representation of household brand names, the Licensing Division works with a variety of manufacturing clients, including a top-tier developer of handheld videogames and one of the country's leading home decor manufacturers. For more information please visit For more information, contact: Jason Lenzi Bif Bang Pow! 1-877-243-2264 x803

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit

SOURCE Bif Bang Pow!

2008 Heritage SPs and Black Back Variations

Topps is confirming that the all-new 2008 Topps Heritage does include short-printed cards every 1:3 in packs.

In addition, there are several base cards that feature a black back variation where the card number box is black instead of green (mimics the original 1959 set).

Following are the checklists for the Short Prints and the Black Back Variations.

Short Prints
#11 Luke Scott, Baltimore Orioles
#231 Kevin Gregg, Florida Marlins
#315 Jacque Jones, Detroit Tigers
#381Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians
#409 Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
#426 Kyle Lohse, Philadelphia Phillies
#427 Doug Davis, Arizona Diamondbacks
#428 Ian Snell/Matt Capps/Tom Gorzelanny/Paul Maholm, Pittsburgh Pirates
#429 Miguel Batista, Seattle Mariners
#430 Chien-Ming Wang, New York Yankees
#431 Jeff Salazar, Arionza Diamondbacks
#432 Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
#433 Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
#434 Scott Kazmir, Tampa Bay Rays
#435 Adam Dunn, Cincinnati Reds
#436 Ryan Freel, Cincinnati Reds
#437 Jhonny Peralta, Cleveland Indians
#438 Kazuo Matsui, Houston Astros
#441 Emil Brown, Kansas City Royals
#442 Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers
#443 Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres
#444 Scott Rolen, Toronto Blue Jays
#445 Kason Gabbard, Texas Rangers
#446 Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
#447 Felipe Lopez, Washington Nationals
#448 Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins
#449 Willy Taveras, Colorado Rockies
#450 Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
#451 Josh Anderson, Atlanta Braves
#452 Chris Young/Justin Upton/Eric Byrnes, Arizona Diamondbacks
#453 Braden Looper, St. Louis Cardinals
#454 Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers
#455 Brian Giles, San Diego Padres
#456 Corey Patterson, Baltimore Orioles
#457 Los Angeles Dodgers
#458 Sean Casey, Detroit Tigers
#459 Pedro Feliz, San Francisco Giants
#461 Chone Figgins, Angels
#462 Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies
#463 Tony Pena, Kansas City Royals
#464 Marcus Giles, San Diego Padres
#465 Augie Ojeda, Arizona Diamondbacks
#466 Micah Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks
#467 Ryan Theriot, Chicago Cubs
#468 Shawn Green, New York Mets
#469 Frank Thomas, Toronto Blue Jays
#470 Lenny DiNardo, Oakland Athletics
#471 Jose Bautista, Pittsburgh Pirates
#472 Manny Corpas, Colorado Rockies
#473 Kevin Millwood, Texas Rangers
#474 Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox
#475 Jose Contreras, Chicago White Sox
#477 Julio Lugo, Boston Red Sox
#479 Tony LaRussa, St. Louis Cardinals
#480 Jim Leyland, Detroit Tigers
#481 Derrek Lee, Chicaco Cubs
#482 Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
#483 Orlando Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks
#484 Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles
#485 Miguel Cabrera, Florida Marlins
#486 Mike Lowell, Boston Red Sox
#487 J.J. Hardy, Milwaukee Brewers
#488 Carlos Guillen, Detroit Tigers
#489 Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati Reds
#490 Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
#491 Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs
#492 Ichiro, Seattle Mariners
#493 Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies
#494 Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers
#495 Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves
#496 Victor Martinez, Cleveland Indians
#497 Brad Penny, Los Angeles Dodgers
#498 Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox
#499 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
#500 Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Black Back Variations
#2 Placido Polanco, Detroit Tigers
#3 Eric Byrnes, Arizona Diamondbacks
#5 Javier Vazquez, Chicago White Sox
#7 Joey Gathright, Kansas City Royals
#8 Philadelphia Phillies
#9 Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers
#12 Curt Schilling, Boston Red Sox
#13 Billy Wagner, New York Mets
#14 Gary Matthews, Angels
#16 Ichiro, Seattle Mariners
#18 Dontrelle Willis, Detroit Tigers
#21 Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
#22 Brian Fuentes, Colorado Rockies
#23 Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
#24 Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
#28 Ivan Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
#34 Magglio Ordonez/Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers
#35 Adam LaRoche, Pittsburgh Pirates
#40 Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves
#41 Kelvim Escobar, Angels
#42 Jason Jennings, Houston Astros
#45 Chris Ray, Baltimore Orioles
#49 Bill Hall, Milwaukee Brewers
#52 Omar Vizquel, San Francisco Giants
#54 Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks
#57 Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies
#58 Paul Lo Duca, New York Mets
#60 Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees
#61 Brendan Harris, Minnesota Twins
#62 Chris Young, San Diego Padres
#65 Jason Giambi, New York Yankees
#67 Rich Hill, Chicago Cubs
#69 San Francisco Giants
#71 Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres
#78 Josh Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
#79 Mark Loretta, Houston Astros
#81 Torii Hunter, Angels
#82 Carlos Beltran, New York Mets
#83 Jason Isringhausen, St. Louis Cardinals
#84 Brad Penny, Los Angeles Dodgers
#90 Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees
#91 Matt Garza, Tampa Bay Rays
#92 Phil Hughes, New York Yankees
#94 Chicago White Sox
#98 Jon Garland, Angels
#102 Moises Alou, New York Mets
#116 Wladimir Balentien, Seattle Mariners
#117 Daric Barton, Oakland Athletics
#122 Ross Detwiler, Washington Nationals
#126 Dan Giese, San Francisco Giants
#127 Alberto Gonzalez, New York Yankees
#129 Luke Hochevar, Kansas City Royals
#130 Chin-Lung Hu, Los Angeles Dodgers
#135 Mitch Stetter, Milwaukee Brewers
#150 Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
#155 Johnny Damon, New York Yankees
#173 Ronny Paulino, Pittsburgh Pirates
#174 Mike Cameron, San Diego Padres
#175 Jeff Weaver, Seattle Mariners
#176 Preston Wilson, St. Louis Cardinals
#177 Robinson Tejeda, Texas Rangers
#178 Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays
#179 Austin Kearns, Washington Nationals
#180 Jorge Posada, New York Yankees
#185 Brad Hawpe, Colorado Rockies
#186 Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers
#187 Carlos Silva, Minnesota Twins
#195 Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox
#196 Jose Valverde, Arizona Diamondbacks
#197 Derrek Lee, Chicago Cubs
#198 Jerry Owens, Chicago White Sox
#210 J.J. Putz, Seattle Mariners
#211 Mike Sweeney, Kansas City Royals
#224 David Wright, New York Mets
#225 Pedro Martinez, New York Mets
#226 Rich Harden, Oakland Athletics
#227 Shane Victorino, Philadelphia Phillies
#228 Andrew Miller, Florida Marlins
#262 Chad Billingsley/Derek Lowe/Brad Penny, Los Angeles Dodgers
#263 Melky Cabrera, New York Yankees
#264 Shannon Stewart, Oakland Athletics
#265 Aaron Rowand, Philadelphia Phillies
#266 Matt Morris, Pittsburgh Pirates
#267 Xavier Nady, Pittsburgh Pirates
#283 Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
#284 Luis Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
#285 Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles Dodgers
#286 Tony Gwynn, Milwaukee Brewers
#291 Matt Chico/Jason Bergmann, Washington Nationals
#301 Ronnie Belliard, Washington Nationals
#321 Randy Winn, San Francisco Giants
#322 Richie Sexson, Seattle Mariners
#323 Juan Encarnacion, St. Louis Cardinals
#324 Rick Ankiel, St. Louis Cardinals
#325 Dan Wheeler, Tampa Bay Rays
#330 Ty Wigginton, Houston Astros
#332 Howie Kendrick, Angels
#333 Kevin Kouzmanoff, San Diego Padres
#334 Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies
#335 Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
#336 Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
#337 Lyle Overbay, Toronto Blue Jays
#338 Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
#347 Chuck James, Atlanta Braves
#350 Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies
#360 Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers
#370 Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
#371 Pedro Martinez, New York Mets
#372 Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
#415 Freddy Sanchez, Pittsburgh Pirates

UD Cuts Remaining 07-08 NBA Production Runs

Upper Deck plans to reduce the production run on all NBA card product releases for the remainder of the 2007-08 season in an effort to "further stimulate the NBA trading card," according to a press release.

According to Upper Deck, hobby shop owners across the country have been reporting slow sales on most NBA sports card releases this year. For hobby shops that purchase direct from Upper Deck, no allocations will be guaranteed for the remainder of the season and NBA product will only be available on a first come, first serve basis.

"The cuts actually started with 2007-08 SP Authentic Basketball and they have been pretty significant," shared Chris Kollmeyer, Upper Deck brand manager for basketball. "The cuts are difficult to take from a financial standpoint, but allow us to make improvements to the brands in ways collectors appreciate. For example, 2007-08 UD Black Basketball will now have two true ‘A' level autographs per 10-box case on average. Collectors can look for autograph cards of legends like Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving along with Upper Deck exclusive superstar spokesmen like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan to fall in that mix. This is the type of enhancement the production cuts allow us to make to improve the brand and ultimately the market."

Two of Upper Deck's higher-end products are being cut significantly in an effort to increase the overall value and collectibility of the sets. The release of 2007-08 UD Premier Basketball, scheduled to be released on April 2, will be limited to just 499 cases. The release of 2007-08 NBA SP Rookie Threads, scheduled to be released on April 18, will be limited to just 599 cases. Furthermore, the cases will each be sequentially numbered on the outside to prove there were only a finite amount of them produced.

"The economy in general is another reason why the trading card market has struggled as of late," said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck hobby marketing manager. "These cuts afford many sports fans the opportunity to invest in their passion as most market experts believe the NBA trading card market will rebound and collectors will come back to this rookie class. When it does recover, we anticipate the limited supply available on Upper Deck products will act as another catalyst to improve values on products from 2007-08 season."

From The Scoop: The Seventh Dwarf

From the February 22 issue of Gemstone Publishing's The Scoop:

With its debut on December 21, 1937, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became the first full-length animated feature film and until Gone With the Wind was released, it was the highest grossing film of all time. In addition to its financial and critical success, the enduring value of Disney’s beloved masterpiece is evident through its impact on the animation industry, children, and adults who retain a piece of their childhood.

Creating such an incredible film was not an easy task, even for Walt Disney. He worked diligently to adapt the centuries-old fairy tale into a cartoon. Disney based his version on the tale from the Grimm brothers, though the story of Snow White was known in many places all over the world well before the Grimm brothers produced their adaptation. In their version, the seven dwarfs who care for the princess have no names. It was Disney’s talented team of animators who gave each of the dwarfs their names and individual personalities, including different looks, characteristics and voices.

Defining the characters of Grumpy, Doc, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, and Happy came easily enough, but for a long time during production, that last dwarf was simply called “Seventh.” That is, until animator Ward Kimball came across a vaudeville actor named Eddie Collins and observed one of his performances. Kimball used Collins’ pantomimes as the basis for the character that would later be named Dopey. It was one of the first times that live-action footage was recorded for an animated film, a technique that is still often used today. After Dopey’s look and movements were developed, production team members scrambled to find the perfect voice for him, but Disney decided that Dopey would simply not speak, and that would be what was special about him.

Many people love the “left-over” dwarf best out of the seven because they first watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when they were children, and they were able to identify with Dopey’s child-like curiosities and characteristics. Luckily, Dopey and Disney lovers alike now have the chance to relive some of the magic, with Geppi’s Entertainment’s Spring Toy Sale at Morphy Auctions. By bidding on lot 542, you will have the chance to own a set of Walt Disney Wind-Up Character Toys, including Dopey, Minnie Mouse, and Ferdinand the Bull. All three of these antique toys still function properly, and Dopey is especially adorable with his movable blue eyes.