As many of you know, I live in Colorado which is home among other things, to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The reason I bring this up is because in 2001, Pollstar kinda gave up and instead of putting it up to a vote about what is the Best Outdoor Concert Venue, they just renamed the award after Red Rocks and gave other places a chance to get recognized.
As I sat down to write this, I pretty much thought that way about pretty much every 2017 Topps MLB release. Remember how much love I showed to 2016 NFL releases several months ago? Well we could multiply that by two for ’17 baseball and I am not sure that would cover it.
You guys are doing everything possible to keep selling me out of MLB products and I’m doing everything possible to keep them in stock. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/uOUzuyAOBO
— Michael F (@MikesStadiumSC) July 10, 2017
It seems that each release tends to just increase the appetite of collectors and with Cody Bellinger about join Aaron Judge as part of each remaining Topps product, it might be time to use a 3 or a 4 as a multiplier. It helps that we’re in the midst of a great season.
I can’t ignore new products from other sports that may be out of season because some are selling well and because this isn’t the 2017 Baseball Hot List. Or is it…
1) 2017 Topps Museum MLB – Since hitting the scene in 2012, Museum has evolved about as much as the alligator. Topps, please do not take that as an insult, because when it’s this good, why mess with it? With the same, proven four-pack format with one hit in each pack, Museum has been flying off my shelves since the moment it landed.
Unlike so many other 2017 releases, it is holding its price instead of rocketing up. Since it started at $200 – $220 at most stores, I’m sure that is being appreciated, but something tells me that’s about to change at my store since once again I’m about to find myself out of it even though I brought in two more cases just a week ago.
2) 2017 Panini Elite NFL – With Elite offering the first pro uniform singles of the most recent draft class and with Panini announcing a sellout before it released, Elite did not have much of a choice but to be killer. I still have my boxes at $119, but I see that bumping soon since my restock price is now right at triple figures and NFL training camps are about to open, allowing the newest rookies to hopefully become more familiar to collectors.
3) 2017 Bowman MLB – Sure, Bowman was one of the first of the current season releases to go crazier than Sonny the Cockoo bird over Cocoa Puffs. Fortunately I went over the top when I ordered it and between that and what I snagged from distributors; I still have a box or two up my sleeve. It’s just that like so many other current year releases, I just wish I had longer sleeves.
On Sunday, I had one of the Orange Refractor parallels of Nick Senzel pulled in the shop and before that collector had left the property, it had rolled for close to four figures. In spite of only one autograph in each regular box, they are quickly approaching the 2.5x normal shelf price with no signs of slowing down.
4) 16/17 Ultimate Collection NHL – When Upper Deck shared with those of us in attendance in January at their event in Arizona that they were going to drop the price of Ultimate Collection while taking the hits per box from five to three, I thought I might sell more since the entry level point would be more attractive. I did not take into account how there would be so many rookies that were inspiring interest and that boxes would still bump as much as they have. Yes, a complete year of product success isn’t just limited to Topps. I am taking delight in doing so well with NHL releases before the 17/18 class that might get kneecapped by Leaf starts to roll off the presses.
5) 2017 Topps Tier One MLB – Yeah, big surprise, another 2017 MLB release made the list. When Tier One hit, I figured it would roll well, but like Topps Museum Collection it seems as though price is no object. With the chance of pulling 1/1 bat barrel and 1/1 bat knob cards of some of the best out there, the line of collectors of Tier One has been impressive. This one stands out since a number of our collectors have pursued it by the case, not just by the box. It is not like each case offers a 1/1 card, but a few of our shredders wanted all 12 boxes from a case to themselves.
Just this week, one of our coolest pulls from this release, a Frank Thomas 1/1 bat barrel card sold for about as much as the Nick Senzel single. I don’t mind this problem, but choosing the “card of the week” at my shop has been tougher than any year in recent memory.
Shop owners I chat with agree we are in the middle of what might be the best year we can remember. Between the interest in MLB, NFL and NHL offerings from the past year, it is literally the perfect storm. Now if Panini can just make 17/18 NBA sales help us forget the 16/17 Ben Simmons year off from signing cards fiasco, we might enjoy the rare grand slam of success. Since most sports card store owners are not happy unless we are complaining, I’ll gladly take a year of my brothers and sisters musing over how much more it costs to restock current year releases over how many current year products are not moving.
Now to just look forward to the next few weeks with products like Stadium Club MLB, Donruss Optic MLB, Allen & Ginter (with a yet to be announced card of a pretty cool entertainer that I helped get included), Upper Deck Premier NHL and Panini Certified NFL hitting shops–and possibly ending up on here on The Hot List.
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 [email protected]