Does it matter if you have a league license to produce trading cards? Panini America may be proving the answer is no as long as you pack your packs full of historic relics and autographs. If sales and interest are any indication 2012 Panini National Treasures Baseball may be an early contender for product of the year despite not having any team or league logos on its cards.
A popular product in football and to a lesser extent, basketball, National Treasures is heavy on deceased Hall of Famers but also contains a supply of autographed cards from current era stars like Mike Trout. Currently selling for around $400-$450 per box/pack, the product contains eight cards. That's a minimum of $50 per card but the big gamble has paid off at times.
Released a little over a week ago, numerous hits from National Treasures hit eBay and have been bringing strong returns for those lucky enough to pull the right cards.
Each pack contains a booklet card, a minimum of one on-card autograph and six other cards containing autographs or memorabilia.
The 1/1 bat knob cards have proven to be hot because of the checklist, although baseball historians and vintage memorabilia collectors may turn squeamish at the thought of bats carrying the names of Joe Jackson, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Honus Wagner having been chopped up.
Among the National Treasures sales already recorded on eBay:
- Lou Gehrig bat knob listed for $4,999 and sold for best offer
- Joe DiMaggio jersey button listed at $2,999 and sold for best offer
- Lou Gehrig prime patch listed at $1,999 sold for best offer
- Nap Lajoie cut autograph/bat book $1,599 (sold Tuesday)
- Mike Trout on card auto patch numbered to 10 $908
Here's a look at the current 'most watched' 2012 Panini National Treasures cards on eBay: