Hello everyone and I hope you survived the holiday season well and that you were good enough to have gotten all the cool gifts you wanted, but bad enough to have had fun in 2014.
As I shared recently, December was an interesting month with the deluge of releases that hit hobby shops. Fortunately collectors at my store really stepped up and we have gotten through most of what UPS and Fed Ex dropped off. We have even dipped our toes back into the restock waters, since buying back into products has been nothing short of fun for stores whose credit cards did not get cracked harder than Denver’s Super Bowl hopes. Come on, you know that you have been taking advantage of some cardboard deals that are not usually out there.
Last week, 2014 Panini Contenders NFL hit and for the first time in many years, I did not do a little happy dance as I clicked send on my release email to everyone on my email list. By the way, should you like a friendly reminder when new releases arrive, please feel free to email me at [email protected] and share what sports you enjoy. Even if you are not up the street, we will be glad to share what you can find at your LCS.
It must be a tribute to how strong the Contenders name has become because not only did we roll through our first case before the weekend, but we also sold out of our case break last Saturday. These days, selling out of a case of NFL products in the first week for most hobby shops usually involves luck, an inebriated customer or a collecting whale coming out of the woodwork.
I think Contenders returns a little stronger that is was in the past. Sure boxes offer at least 5 autographs, but this year it is rewarding box breakers with not one, but two on-card signatures. Also there to reward shredders are the now famous Cracked Ice tickets with just 22 of each card available.
Usually I am not a fan of dual autographed cards since so many times one of the pair drags down the card, but that is not the case with this dual signed card of Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins.
Sure cards out of 22 get some attention from breakers, but at the end of the day, the real number that drives the hobby is the number 1. Once again, Panini delivers Golden Tickets that Willy Wonka could only dream of producing.
Breaking boxes to find the Collin Kaepernick Golden Ticket? You can stop now since it has been pulled–and sold.
Looking ahead to the end of the 2014 NFL release calendar, I am hopeful that many of the remaining releases will enjoy the same shelf success that Contenders enjoyed. Then again, I am still hopeful that 2013 NFL will come back onto the hot list.
You hear that Eddie Lacy?
Rounding out the hot five are –
2) 2014 Bowman Draft Picks Super Jumbo boxes. Collectors are digging the boxes loaded with 5 autographs that are thicker than the encyclopedias from my childhood. Yes, I just dated myself.
3) 2014 Panini Absolute NFL – I cannot explain why I am rolling through these faster than Foo Fighter tickets the day they go on sale, but if the next half-dozen I ordered today do not get here by the weekend, I will be on the lookout for collectors walking up with torches and pitchforks.
4) 2014 Topps Stadium Club MLB – No, you are not reading an article from the fall of 2014. We are blowing through boxes now that I can offer them for less than factory cost. Hey, there are three autographs in a box and most current sub $70 boxes only offer one. On an ironic note I just ordered 2015 Topps Stadium Club MLB today. Not to ruin the movie for you, but 2015 will be priced more affordably since it will deliver two autographs instead of the current three.
5) 2014 Upper Deck SP Authentic NFL – Much like Contenders, this long-running brand still has the ability to captivate shredders with a mix of autographs and the forever popular rookie autographed patches.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO where they’ve got a brand spanking new look to their website. 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]