Yes, I can appreciate the irony of asking what’s hot in the middle of July, but we’ve had several new releases over the last month and it is time to share what’s moving out the door the fastest. I like to think we’re a pretty good barometer but feel free to ask your local shop what’s moving and let me know via the email address at the bottom. Here’s our top 5:
1) 2015/16 SP Authentic NHL – No, it is not the most recent release, but from the moment this 20+ year old product hit the door, it’s been flyyyyyyyying. Connor McDavid and his rookie friends are making boxes and cases of SPA disappear as though David Blaine had something to do with it. It did not hurt that we pulled one of the 100 Connor RPA singles during a case break at the shop. Let’s just say that selling out the next case break pretty much required only one announcement.
With three autographs per box and 2-3 RPA singles per case, it is a tried and true method.
2) 2016 Topps Stadium Club MLB – This product returned with two autographs per box like last year. With possible signed cards from Carlos Correa, Clayton Kershaw, Cal Ripken Jr, Greg Maddux, Kris Bryant, Ken Griffey Jr, Mark McGwire, Mike Trout and Sandy Koufax, it is no wonder that my three cases are a thing of the past.
Of course I have some bias, but the first live rookie cards of Trevor Story are in Stadium Club and whoever chose the photo did more than an incredible job. If they’re still giving out ‘Best Looking Card of the Year’, this has to be it. If he turns out to be an icon (yes, I know that’s a tall order), this one has 1989 Griffey potential.
3) 2016 Panini Elite NFL – Back after a year away from the game, the folks at Panini put Elite on a hit diet with only three autos or relics in a box vs the four that the 2014 boxes offered. Perhaps it is the year without or how good the 2016 release is, but nobody seems to be complaining. Elite offers the first cards of the new rookie class in their professional uniforms and in Denver with Paxton Lynch, that seems to mean a lot.
In addition to a very strong rookie autograph list, players like Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Ben Roethlisberger, Todd Gurley, Eric Dickerson and others delivered some signed cards.
Much like the second SPA NHL break, when we shared that we were putting one of these out there, selling all 32 spots was not exactly a challenge. Elite has delivered as one of the top early season football products.
4) 2015/16 Upper Deck Champ’s NHL – Champ’s just arrived on Friday and just like Elite, collectors are showing that they more than missed it after being away for a while. Boxes offer one autograph and two relic cards and even though they have the exclusive on licensed hockey releases, it is not like UD did not go after some big names for the autograph set. Potential veteran and retired greats who have signed for Champ’s include Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Steve Yzerman, Bobby Orr, Mark Messier, Peter Forsberg, Teemu Selanne, Patrick Roy, Jonathan Toews, Jaromir Jagr, Alexander Ovechkin and more.
We pushed out over a case in the first 24 hours. Sadly we did not see any of the quirky/distinctive insert sets that Champ’s is known for. Yup, you can pull antique fishing weights, framed tobacco cards, antique goose call and antique fishing float cards. I hope to one day make it to the design meetings for Champ’s before I die so I can see the thought processes in action for what to include.
5) 2015/16 Panini Black Gold NBA – Clearly my confidence in Panini and their NBA offerings is not as strong as it should be. I started with two cases of Black Gold and one collector took care of those right away. Sadly I could not get them to open them in the shop, but when you drop what it takes to get two cases, it is really hard to make them break it. Each of the eight boxes in a case offer four autographs or relics, all limited to 199 or less.
Keeping up my trend of not listing rookie autographs today, the possible veteran autographs include Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins (well, he is kind of a veteran), Dikembe Mutombo, Kobe Bryant, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, David Robinson, Dr J, Penny, Shaq and enough other players to fill up a wing of the HOF.
Looking ahead, July could still heat up with Allen & Ginter, Panini Noir NBA, Panini Certified NFL and more all ready to hit your local hobby shop.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. His column focuses on what products are selling best in hobby shops. He’s got thousands of cards for sale on COMC.com under the ID cardmn5150. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.