Mid-summer means plenty of new releases. Baseball, the early football issues, some final basketball and hockey products from the 2013-14 season before a new season arrives in a couple of months and even some stuff that includes a little of everything. Here, without further adieu, is What’s Hot in the Shop right now.
1) 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter MLB - Once again collectors have been drawn to this release that is back for its ninth year. While the unannounced 1/1 box toppers might be gone, shredders have been excited about the single and dual rip cards, mini metal cards, dual autographed relic booklet cards and more.
My favorite part of this set is the non MLB player autographs and relics. I already snagged a Kevin Smith relic card and while I'm not gunning for everything on this list, any number of people are looking for the signed cards of Larry King, Michael Eisner, Snoop Lion, Chuck Todd, The Iron Sheik (I'm getting that one somehow) and even possible 1/1 cut signatures of Bette Davis, John Landis, Fats Domino, Henry Mancini and more.
Fear not, there's a great autograph selection of all the MLB players one would hope for. The signatures include Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw, Jose Abreu, Johnny Bench, Mark McGwire, Mike Trout, Bo Jackson and enough other players to field a few All-Star teams.
2) 2014 Upper Deck Goodwin - It seems kind of fitting to have these two back to back on this list since they are practically cousins. Much like Ginter, so much of the buzz about this release involves the non-traditional autographs relics and autographed cards. Signers include Bo Jackson (man that guy is good with a pen), Oscar De La Hoya, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Jerry Rice, John Elway, Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn and more.
I'm certainly hoping to see another 1/1 Hand Painted Art Of The Ages card like we had come out last year. While the last thing I want in my collection is a German Soldier ID Tag from the Museum Collection Relics, I'm sure someone is looking for it.
The Origin Of Species manufactured patch animal cards are back again and I'm sure that Nicole Wagner from Wayne's Sports Cards in Edmonton is once again up for the challenge to complete the set. With 6 different levels and some inserted at a rate of 1:8,656 I hope that they are selling a lot of hockey cards up north so she can pay for them all.
The element cards return and if I'm correct, this would be the rookie card of Tungsten.
3) 2014 Panini Prestige NFL - I know it is weird for it to take all the way to third place for a football product arrival to appear, but Prestige has emerged (in my store at least) as the most popular 2014 gridiron set of the early season. Collectors seem to be embracing the new configuration of 3 autographs and 1 relic card in each box. The 24 pack configuration with one rookie in each pack also seems to be helping pack and box sales.
Prestige offers all the rookie autographs that collectors are gunning for, starting with the one and the only Johnny Manziel (man if I have to do shots each time I mention him this football season, I might need a new liver), Teddy Bridgewater, AJ McCarron, Sammy Watkins and all the others. What separates Prestige from the other early season 2014 products are the rookie jumbo patches. While they are just jerseys, I have seen a great many of them so far and they look like they belong in a higher-end release.
4) 2014 Bowman Inception MLB - Inception returns for its second year with five cards per pack and again, they are all signed. With this year's list of impressive rookies more closely resembling the amount we see from football, it's no surprise that I sold my three cases out on the first day. Because it is a Bowman release, Topps is able to include both rookies and prospects that have not made the majors or had not at the time of its design.
All the biggies are in here like Jose Abreu, Kris Bryant, Oscar Taveras, Byron Buxton, Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray, and Jorge Soler. George Springer and additional rookies. If we could see a rookie and prospect class like this one in each season, I would welcome order forms from Topps like manna from heaven.
It's not just the players, but the single autographed patches, dual autographed patches, triple autographed patches, octojillion autographed patches (got you with that one), autographed letter books and autographed logo patches have this product well above cost on the wholesale side.
5) 2013/14 Upper Deck SP Authentic NHL - Being in Colorado, seemingly every single NHL release that hit after the first games were played have been solid gold. Nathan MacKinnon has inspired both massive sales in and out of the mile-high state and with SP Authentic collectors are for the first time in a while, looking for redemption cards since Nathan didn't get his cards back in time to be live.
UD tinkered a bit with the pack count, bringing it down from 24 to 20, but the boxes I have seen opened have been loaded with 3 autographed in each one and enough inserts to provide the basis for a decent bonfire.
The autographed patch selection is not just limited to rookies with superstars like Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Martin Brodeur, Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and other HOFers thrown in for good measure.
UD pays homage to the 93/94 SP set with a base set of inserts and autographed versions of some guys you might have heard of like Bobby Orr, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Peter Forsberg, Evgeni Malkin and more.
There you have it. The top 5 selling products at my shop, Mike's Stadium Sportscards. What will be on the list next month? I might have some idea, but wait about 30 days and I'll be sure to share again.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. Normally, his column focuses on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. 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 [email protected]