Friday, August 3, 2012

Giving Love To The WNBA

When it comes to the major sports, the WNBA gets very little attention, only a couple of games a year get televised and only Rittenhouse Archives is currently makes cards. Since the inception of the league 15 years ago only Pinnacle, Fleer and Rittenhouse have produced sets. Pinnacle put out two horrible sets but then Fleer took over and between 1999 and 2004 created a number of sets under the Hoops, Ultra, Dominion, Tradition and Authentix brands, when Fleer closed their door Rittenhouse took the reins and has been putting out WNBA cards since the 2005 season.

Initially Rittenhouse released product in hobby boxes, with inserts, autographs and relic cards. This was the standard until 2009 when they played with releasing sets instead of hobby boxes. In 2009 it was a set broken in to 3 series of 16 cards each, one set being released a month from July until September. In 2010 it was one set of 42 cards (36 base, 4 rookies and 2 autographs). In 2011 they went back to Hobby boxes and premium packs contained 9 cards (3 auto cards, 1 rookie and 5 base cards). In 2012 they returned to releasing complete sets and only one autograph card is available.

The 2012 WNBA Basketball set includes 110 base cards and a Nnemkadi Ogwumike autograph card (the 2012 #1 Draft Pick). This includes 96 veterans, 14 rookies and the autograph card. There will only be 500 total sets made and they run $90-100 a set.

The base cards are pretty standard for WNBA products, an action shot with the player name on a banner. The autograph is also pretty similar to some of the rookie autograph cards that we have seen come from Topps and Panini; it shows Ogwumike at the WNBA Draft in April with an on-card autograph.
Currently the 2012 US Olympics Women’s Basketball team is led by WNBA stand outs, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Diana Turasi and Candace Parker. The US team is on a 37 game win streak and looking to continue their Olympic domination, they have won the last 4 Olympic Gold Medals and hope to make it 5 straight in London.

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