If you read the title of today’s (semi) weekly effort, you probably would think I was going to give another rah-rah job for the newest Bowman MLB release. While you would be partially right, we are going through 2015 Bowman regular and jumbo boxes and cases of MLB like crazy; 2015 is quickly turning into the season of the prospect card.
In most years, baseball sales are usually pushed by the inevitable rookie that came out of nowhere, the can’t-miss top pick that gets called up early (and usually disappoints) and, if we are really lucky — Japan, Cuba or South Korea will allow us to borrow/steal one of their bigger names to help us sell through the 42 or so releases that we got in 2014.
This brings us to 2015, where it seems that every single team has brought up the second coming of every baseball rock star; fortunately, more often than not, they are delivering. Sure, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are doing their annual assault on innocent baseballs, but the list of mega-rookies is rivaling the 1996-97 NBA, 2005-06 NHL and 2012 NFL product years.
Roll the names of these players off your tongue: Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell, Byron Buxton, Jorge Soler, Carlos Rodon, Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Joc Pederson, Blake Swihart, Miguel Sano, Archie Bradley, Eddie Butler, Lance McCullers Jr. and a player whose name rivals mine in terms of interesting, Kyle Schwarber. In a typical year if we had Bryant and Schwarber alone we would party like it was 2001 with Albert Pujols and Ichiro, but this year we are literally falling over ourselves with all sorts of rookie goodness.
As a result, my orders of 2014 Bowman Chrome MLB regular and jumbos are well into the 60+ case range since January. I took pride in helping numerous distributors sell through their remaining cases as the quest for the 2013 Bowman Chrome Bryant signed cards was in full swing.
One evening, I helped one breaker move three of his signed copies with one phone call, with the highlight being seeing an orange signed copy move for enough to guarantee a killer weekend in Las Vegas. These boxes were moving for $100 last Halloween and currently are far scarier as they approach the $200 mark.
A close second would be 2014 Bowman Platinum regular and Asian edition. Since they also had the Bryant Chrome copies, we moved enough cases in total to weigh down a full UPS truck. At one point I was concerned that the folks who empty the Dumpster in my shopping center would take a closer look at how often I was responsible for filling them up and adjust my bill accordingly. Since the new year, these gems have gone from the low $60s on the wholesale level to close to the Benjamin mark.
Also causing my UPS driver considerable pain is the current MPP (Most Popular Product): all three versions of 2014 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects. I only wish they had made regular, jumbo, super jumbo and super mega jumbo to top things off, as we have been offing cases about as fast as Joey Chestnut can down hot dogs.
Already popular a few months ago, Schwarber has the regular product rapidly approaching factory cost after sinking hard.
We actually chose two cases of 2015 Bowman Inception as this week’s case break, and the response to the chances to pull signed cards of Schwarber, Bryant, Correa, Pederson and many others has been incredibly strong, to say the least. We have moved more than a dozen cases including another two tonight; by Saturday I hope to help with the demise of another four cases.
Another recent garbage can filler has been cases of 2014 Bowman Sterling. While it quickly went well under the $210+ factory cost, we have been selling the heck out of all we can get lately. While it is not always healthy to see releases drop by one-third like this one did on the wholesale market, it is sure a lot easier to push these bad boys out at the sub $200 range that it was at $259 on their first day. If anyone from Topps is reading this, feel free to bring back the one box topper per box that are sorely missed. Most importantly, please keep the 18 autographs per box coming, and since I’m making requests, it would be nice to see the autographed relic cards return.
While we are moving less of the assorted 2013 Bowman releases, it has been encouraging to see collectors get excited about something without Bryant leading the way. Plain and simple, this makes me want to buy a beer for everyone involved with allowing Bowman releases to offer prospects well before their actual rookie season. I mean how cool is it to see a player be able to light up more than one year’s worth of releases at one time?
So here we are in August with a 2012 NFL rookie vibe with releases like Topps Chrome, Panini Immaculate, Bowman Chrome, Topps Triple Threads, Topps Heritage High Number, Topps Supreme, Topps Five Star, Topps High Tek, Topps Update, Topps Heritage ’51 Collection, Topps Dynasty, Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects, Topps Strata and the more than welcome return of Bowman’s Best still to come. Something tells me that I’m not going to have to work too hard on coming up with the future hot lists.
So, what else is selling besides anything named Bowman?
2015 Topps Allen & Ginter — Once again collectors are being drawn to the annual eclectic signature list, some of the funkiest relic selection and yup, rip cards.
2015 Panini Clear Vision NFL — Wow, this is really tough. Something not named Bowman. …Wait, I have it! Collectors are trying to figure out this new release. In spite of only having one hit per box, we went through a case in days.
2015 Topps MLB Factory Sets — Fine, I do not ever remember having a factory set on a hot list before, but with one Kris Bryant rookie per box, our annual one visit per year collectors are not waiting too long to make their pilgrimage.
2014-15 SP Authentic NHL — Yup, we are still selling hockey products as the temperature is rising and the MLB trade deadline is upon us.
2015 Topps Finest MLB — Even though restocking so much over cost is painful, it is more than worth doing still as box busters are still emptying my shelf as quickly as I can stock it.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. Normally, 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].