Author Archives: admin

New Look, New Artists

To go with our website’s new look, we’re happy to reveal the exhibiting artists for the upcoming 63rd Philly Non-Sports Card Show. For the Fall show, we’ve got 5 “new-to-Philly” artists along with a veteran artist who was last seen at the Philly Show three years ago.

Artists at the Philly Non-Sports Card Show

Our guest page gives the rundown on all six artists: Stefanie Battalene, Jason Brower, Jason Crosby, John Haun, Frank Kadar, and Ed Repka. Together, these artists have worked on all major non-sport licenses, and many of the smaller licenses too. Not only that but the six artists have been under the employ of just about every trading card company out there as well.

We hope many of you will be able to make the show and say hello to these outstanding artists.

Philly #60 Show Report

Janet and Jody at the 60th Philly Show (photo by Cliff Tooker)

by Roxanne Toser

Sometimes you plan and look forward to something for a long time and then it’s disappointing. Nothing could be further from the truth regarding the 60thright after Philly #59 which was seven months ago and all of our hard work paid off. Our shows are not just shows but events.

Friday set-up went very smoothly and putting together the promos packs, etc. was made possible with the help of Bob Hulsart from New Jersey, Graham Head and Kevin Worboys from the U.K., Bill DeFranzo, Sandra Haley and Maxine Preston from the New England states, Janet Foreman, Cliff and Carol Tooker, Tony Fetter and Larry Brody our Harrisburg helpers, Scott Thomas from Chicago and our sweet, sweet daughter-in-law Jody from Virginia. Bill brought cupcakes and cookies in honor of Maxine’s birthday. We truly value their help and couldn’t possibly get ready without them.

As a thank you to our helpers and a thank you to the show attendees and dealers staying at the host hotel Hilton Garden Inn and the hotel next door Staybridge Suites, and also to kick off the 60th celebration, Non-Sport Update sponsored a pizza party at the Hilton. This was very enjoyable and gave all who attended a chance to socialize.

By 10:00 am Saturday morning, there was a long, long line waiting to get into the show. Approximate attendance for the two-day show was close to 500—about what we expected. Dealers were kept busy most of the day and there was something there for everyone. All seemed to be in a festive mood and it was a great atmosphere. There were promos galore, both Saturday and Sunday. This time Bill provided Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins and coffee. The 10:00 to 5:00 show flew by.

At 6:00 pm, there was a 60th show anniversary dinner at Buca di Beppo, a terrific restaurant close to the Hilton and Staybridge. Jody, Harris and I went early to the restaurant for last minute preparations. From the minute we walked in the door, the staff bent over backwards to help us. Did we want something to drink? What could they help us with? They were wonderful and the five-course dinner was scrumptious. One of the highlights was the metal badges we provided for everyone. They were done by Faerie Metal Photography (Jacob and Julie Stem). Each one had the attendee’s name and are a great collectible and remembrance. We were so fortunate to have Diamond sponsorship from Cryptozoic and Breygent, Silver sponsorship from Topps and NSU and free dinners for the artists from Rittenhouse. Because of this, attendees paid only $25 for a close to $40 dinner.

There are 3,000 pictures at Buca so for fun, we put up around 10 pictures of various dealers who have done the Philly shows. Five of the pictures were dealers who did the very first show in April of 1984. Attendees were given a slip of paper and told to look around at the pictures and list the names of the five dealers. No one got this right (some got four of the five). The correct answers were Bob Ragonese, Al Wexler, Maryann Wolfe, A.J. Rutkowski and Roxanne & Marlin Toser.

Everyone attending the dinner received a goodie bag of promo cards exclusive to the dinner (which will make them quite limited). Included were three Upper Deck playable game cards, a Sons of Anarchy metal card from Cryptozoic, and a very special 60th Philly Show metal card with original artwork by George Wright from NSU (limited to 150—check out the available t-shirt with this artwork available on our site). Also included were three of four Breygent Marketing promo cards (once again, exclusive to the dinner). Included were Grimm (two different), Bates Motel, and Witchblade.

Of course having just had a wonderful dinner did not stop the gang from meeting at Red Robin (on the parking lot of the Hilton) later in the evening. Breygent gave out even more promos, this time, a special set exclusive to the Red Robin.

Sunday morning is Card Talk time for Card Talk members at the Hilton. Donuts, coffee, and bagels are provided by NSU. Since it was the 60th show and the Tosers have attended all 60 shows, we were on the panel. After mentioning the names of dealers who have passed away—including Phyllis Reighter wife of Frank both of whom were original promoters of the show—each of us spoke about some of our special show memories. We then asked the attendees to relate some of their memories. The meeting ended with various prizes from the manufacturers.

Before ending this, I need to mention the wonderful group of artists at the show. They were Rhiannon Owens, Sean Pence, Elaine and Tony Perna, George Vega, Jay Lynch (almost forgot to mention the great metal card with Jay Lynch artwork available for sale at the show and on our website), and Carolyn Edwards all the way from the U.K. Thanks to our faithful dealers and a variety of new ones plus a thank you to all the show attendees. If you were unable to attend show #60, be sure to attend show #61 on October 18 and 19.

Philly Non-Sports Card Show #57 Show Report

Cryptozoic Entertainment's Miranda Anderson at the 57th Philly Non-Sports Card Show

by Roxanne Toser

It’s always fun to write about the Philly Show because the Philly Show is a lot of fun. This particular show was even more fun than usual because some of us decided to wear alien gear in honor of the 50th anniversary of Mars Attacks (the theme of the show). It wasn’t easy to find anything because the Halloween shops, etc. seemed to have costumes for everything except aliens. eBay was helpful so the Tosers managed to come dressed in costumes. There are many pictures on our blog nsu-magazine.com found in two sets (Saturday photos, Sunday photos).

The attendance was great. Not quite as many people as we had for the spring show but the attendance is always better at the spring show. This time there were about 500. There was a very long line of people waiting to get in on Saturday and the first 25 were given a Halloween grab bag of Mars Attacks tattoos and a Mars Attacks button. Ditto for the first 25 on Sunday.

We worked very hard to get Mars Attacks prizes from the licensees to be given away during the show. A lot of people walked away happy with prizes such as the Mars Attacks books from Abrams, Funko vinyl figures and bobbin’ heads, an uncut Mars Attacks Heritage sheet and an uncut Star Wars Galactic Files sheet from Topps, a Mars Attacks Heritage sketch card from collector Bob Hulsart, a gold Mars Attacks comic book from the 1990s from Bill DeFranzo, codes from GelaSkins to order phone or iPad covers, a Battlestar Galactica Cylon Centurion model from Moebius Models, a Vote Giclee print by Zina Saunders, Mars Attacks Heritage retail box and binder, Attack from Space retail box and binder, and a signed Wacky Packages Comic from ShopTopps. The grand prize was a 56 issue Mars Attacks Comics Deluxe Box set from IDW Publishing. Besides the prizes, there were approximately 46 different promos including those in the paid admission packs and at manufacturer and artist tables.

There really is something for everyone who is a non-sport card collector at the Philly show. You will find cards from the late 1800s and the very newest cards. There are many related collectibles as well. You will find both non-graded and graded cards, singles, sets, boxes, cases, uncut sheets, etc. It really pays to save your money for the twice a year show. The next show will be May 4 and 5, with a Star Wars theme. When we realized the date we selected was May 4 (may the force or 4th be with you), we knew this was a very important Star Wars date so it was easy to pick this as the theme.

Collectors came from far and wide. Frédéric Szymkiewiez from France made his second trip to the show. There were collectors from Canada, attendees from 16 different states and table holders from California and Georgia. We might mention Missouri and Florida, too. A popular part of the show is the artists. This time, we had Doug Cowan, Sara Richard, Brian Kong, Ed Repka, Lark Sudol and Ted Dastick, Jr. These artists were set-up in what we consider our “artist’s alley.” Laura Inglis, and Chrissy Spallone (representing Monsterwax) were also available to do sketches. We started a new tradition at the last fall show—having the artists decorate pumpkins—and everyone else voting for their favorite pumpkin. Sara Richard won and received a $50 Amazon gift card. It was a very close contest. You can see all of the pumpkins on our blog.

The Hilton Garden Inn (host hotel) supplies a shuttle to take guests to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem. A group took advantage of this. Later in the evening, a large groups meets up at Red Robin, which is located on the grounds of the Hilton. This has definitely become a tradition and knowing this, Tom Breyer from Breygent Marketing gave all attendees a card drawn by Jim Kyle which said Red Robin on the back. This was really special.

On Sunday morning, the Card Talk meeting took place at the Hilton. Adam Levine from Topps was the guest speaker and told us all about what is planned for the future of Mars Attacks. He was very interesting and informative. About 60 people attended and everyone in the room received a prize.See you in the spring.

Philly Non-Sports Card Show #56 Show Report

Sorting-the-Promos

by Roxanne Toser

This was absolutely the best show since we began holding it in Allentown, PA in November of 2007. It’s hard to believe this was our 10th show. We work very hard trying to make the shows interesting in order to draw more people. Everything seemed to work this time and our efforts paid off. More than 600 people attended the two-day April 21 & 22 show.

Here are some of the reasons why the show was such a huge success. Twin Galaxies, score keepers for the video game world, contacted us about setting up at the show with their new Video Games Trading Card set. In this set, there are pictures of celebrity video game players, official record holding gamers, commemorative cards and history of the games. The set grows all the time and Harris and I were even awarded a blow-up of a card (#228) added to the set in our honor for having Twin Galaxies at the show. When the local Allentown paper (The Morning Call) found out such celebrities as Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies, and Billy Mitchell, perfect Pac-Man gamer—both of whom were in the documentary film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters were going to be at the show, they wrote a great article and listed everything happening at the show. This was in the Friday edition of the paper and brought in many new people. There were two actual floor model video machines in the room for anyone who wished to play the games.

On Sunday, Mary Riley and Billie Jo Powers, two beautiful Bench Warmer models were there to sign free autographs for attendees. There was a constant line for the autographs. Brian Wallos, Bench Warmer CEO provided six promos for the admission promo packs, two cards for the models to autograph and a dealer-only promo which was a quad-signed card. This was more than generous and certainly appreciated. Another manufacturer who deserves a special thank you for providing promo cards is Tom Breyer of Breygent Marketing—I believe he had 21 different.

Others who provided prizes and/or promos were Rittenhouse Archives, Cryptozoic Entertainment (all the way from California), Frank Eachus Publishing, Twin Galaxies, SideKick, Topps, shopTopps.com, Famous Fabrics, 258 West Authentic Signatures, 5FINITY, Bad Axe Studios, Bags Unlimited, Press Pass, Versicolor Productions and Cult Stuff. We are thankful for their generosity. Various collectors also gave us items for prizes at the show and at Card Talk. This shows a genuine love of the hobby. The staff of NSU surprised Marlin and I with a special Philly promo in honor of the special birthdays we are celebrating this year—I believe he’s 39 and I’m 34 (lol).

Frank Eachus Publishing debuted their new set of Tattoo Art Trading Cards. The set was very popular and we have a feeling there will be more series to come. Lots of people with “tats” these days. And speaking of artwork, we had an outstanding artist lineup. The artists were Axebone, Rhiannon Owens, Sean Pence, Veronica O’Connell, Elaine Perna , Tony Perna and David Gross. If this wasn’t enough, Meghan Hetrick and Laura Inglis were also available to do sketches. George Wright was selling Wacky Packages and also had some of his artwork.

There was a documentary of Twin Galaxies being filmed during the two days. A writer from Beckett Publications was there and an Allentown ABC affiliate TV station filmed on Sunday. One thing we haven’t seen for a long time is young people at the show. There was a good number and I personally thanked parents for bringing them to the show.

The Card Talk (NSU’s online forum) gathering  on Sunday morning at the Hilton hosted a standing-room only crowd. There was an artist Q&A panel and the artists did a great job entertaining and informing everyone. You can see the panel below.

It will be hard to surpass this show but we have a couple of great things planned. On June 10, there will be the first-ever Pop Art Con in honor of the artists who help make the sets beautiful.  The show will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fort Washington, PA (near Philly-$109 + tax rate includes two breakfasts). Cryptozoic will sponsor a Saturday night buffet dinner for artists and preregistered attendees for the Sunday show. There will be more information about how to register on our site soon. Hotel reservations can be made now by calling 215-646-4637 and using the Group Code POP. There will be several dealers selling the latest cards, several manufacturers and Cryptozoic’s art director who will look at portfolios to find artists for their future sets.

Begin planning now to attend the October 20 & 21 Philly Non-Sports Show at the Merchants Square Mall. The theme will be Mars Attacks!!! Lots of great prizes and lots of fun. Please don’t say it’s too far to travel. We had three U.K. collectors and a collector from France at this show.