Sealed Report is a bi-monthly overview of the market for unopened sports packs and boxes. Long-time industry pro Leighton Sheldon of Vintage Breaks and Just Collect will provide insight on what’s hot and what’s not, highlight recent sales of unopened product and tips on participating in one of the hobby’s hottest and most popular realms.
A very unique wax product is HOT right now. After surveying the land at The Philly Show last weekend, a 60-year-old, non-sports product was really moving. NOT moving is a product that was nearly scorching last month after a wild NFL playoff game.
1962 Topps Civil War News cello packs. I told you the heat was on a unique product! There are 88 cards in the set, each filled with highly-detailed artwork. Not for the faint of heart, the card fronts are filled with gory pictures; they are depicting a war after all. Today, they’d be either hugely controversial or more likely, would never be made.
The backs of the cards feature newspaper-style copy about the scene depicted on the front. Each pack also includes a replicate piece of Confederate money.
A well-conditioned, raw set is valued around $600, but high-graded cards can bring in top dollar. A PSA 9 copy of the checklist is around $1,000! There are zero PSA 10 checklists on the PSA Population report. For all of the 88 cards, there are only 124 total PSA 10’s. While you’re never guaranteed a PSA 10, a card coming from a sealed cello pack is probably the best shot and that’s a big reason why these cello packs are moving.
Each cello pack comes with 12 cards and 1 piece of “currency.” In 2018, 11 sealed packs plus the box brought $1,920 at auction. In 2020, 7 packs sold for $1,440 without the box. Today, the cheapest single cello pack on eBay is $375.
2018 NFL products have noticeably dipped. It seems like just yesterday we were in awe at the shootout between the Bills and the Chiefs. Just when Josh Allen had Patrick Mahomes on the ropes, we were treated to something special that day. A game like that and a playoff run can really drive prices way up for products in the moment.
Using 2018 Donruss Optic as an example, a blaster box sold for $157.50 on January 22. That sale was the day before the Buffalo-Kansas City Divisional playoff game. The day of the game the sale price was $209.95. After the Bills lost in the playoffs and the attention focused more towards Joe Burrow rookies, the prices dipped. A 2018 Optic blaster sold for $179.95 here in March which is still up from pre-playoffs but is cooling right back down. There are blasters not selling at $189.99 today.
While a $30 dip may not seem significant, remember that a blaster box only has 6 packs and 4 cards per pack. The whole run of 2018 products has cooled. With ’18 rookie class members Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield not making the playoffs, 2018 football products are cold.
NOTABLE EBAY AUCTIONS
1980-81 Topps Basketball Box $24,851
1978 Topps Baseball Box (from a sealed case) $8,377
DID YOU KNOW?
I once owned the ONLY PSA 10 card #87 from that 1962 Topps Civil War News set. The card, The War Ends, was a card I offered for sale in 2013. To this day, it’s still the only 10 on the Pop Report. Iouldn’t mind having that one back…