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Old 09-24-2009, 11:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What makes the upcoming Topps WWE set unique?

What makes the upcoming Topps WWE set unique?


It’s been nearly a year since Topps released its last World Wrestling Entertainment card set and once this newest product arrives in October it will be one of the most unique WWE sets that Topps has released.

Why?

Well, it’s certainly not the inclusion of WWE Legends, which Topps has worked into its sets every year since its first release in 2005 — Topps Heritage – and it’s not the basic checklist, which includes what one would expect from a wrestling set, though this one is improved with its focus on use of images from WrestleMania 25.

Instead, there are four moves that may make this set stand out to more non-wrestling collectors and those who buy looking for the thrill of a slightly bigger-ticket card.

The first move — autographed ring mat cards (seen above) — is one that the wrestling world hasn’t seen since Fleer’s pricey Off the Mat cards from 2002. These cards will be signed on event-used ring canvas from the Judgment Day pay-per-view and should be among the most popular cards around once released, depending on how easily they are pulled. (Odds have not been announced.)

The preliminary checklist for those cards includes: Edge, Randy Orton, Christian, Rey Mysterio while John Cena was Topps’ preview image. Not a bad crop of autographs at all. With such a set, though, even the worst autographs will be in higher demand than a typical sticker signature.






The second move — using the 2009 Topps baseball design — isn’t one that will blow any investment-type collectors away. But it’s the first Topps WWE set to not use a Heritage or completely unique design. Using a popular baseball design might draw some fans in that wouldn’t normally buy — based solely on the appeal of something they might already like. It’s a simple move that could pay off for Topps in that valuable time was saved not developing a new design. (It also puts the WWE set in line with its other sports releases, though it’s firmly an entertainment product. Vince McMahon would be proud.)





The third move — dual autograph cards – is also something that could draw non-wrestling collectors in once they see the demand and prices paid for these cards, particularly if they aren’t easy pulls. WWE has made a substantial push over the last two years toward younger talent, many of whom are second- or third-generation wrestlers. The preliminary checklist (which could have grown) for the set includes Dual Legacy autographs as a hobby exclusive including cards of:

1 Bob Orton & Randy Orton
2 “The Million-dollar Man” Ted Dibiase & Ted DiBiase Jr.
3 Dusty Rhodes & Cody Rhodes
4 Carlito Colon & Primo Colon

Topps has never made any multiple-autograph WWE cards and tapping the WWE Legends base here will draw fans in from the past — Dusty Rhodes, for example, is easily one of the five most influential minds in wrestling history and he’s only ever had one other certified autograph (2004 Pacific TNA).

It also doesn’t hurt that three of the current stars — Orton, Rhodes and DiBiase, aka The Legacy — have been a part of the main event picture for more than a year.





The fourth move — attention to details previously untapped — is one that true diehard wrestling fans will appreciate. Artwork from WWE stars such as “The King” Jerry Lawler will be included in the set — the preliminary checklist included sketch cards by WWE talent — and card backs will be written by good ol’ J.R., Jim Ross, the definitive voice of the WWE for more than a decade.

Lawler, who is running for mayor in Memphis, Tenn., is quite an accomplished artist on top of being a wrestling legend who has battled everyone from Andy Kaufman to John Cena.

The Orlando Sentinel ran a comic strip he drew promoting the WWE each week for a month leading up to WrestleMania XXIV (above; see them all in larger detail here) and his work has become a staple in WWE’s annual WrestleMania weekend event, WrestleManiaArt. His sketch cards should be impressive.

Topps WWE 2009 is set to arrive on Oct. 12 … are you ready?

-Chris Olds at beckett.com
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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they really should have given it it's own design . instead of just going with the same design as baseball
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