Hello, fellow card maniacs!
Welcome to the December installment of What’s Hot In The Shop, at least one particular shop in Colorado. Mine to be specific 🙂
Looking back at November, we enjoyed a trifecta of manufacturer support programs like Upper Deck Singles Day, the Topps Holiday Pack giveaway and Panini’s Black Friday. Most recently, shops enjoyed National Hobby Shop Day offered by GTS with support from the above mentioned manufacturers, Ultra-Pro, Cryptozoic, eBay and Leaf. It was almost too much, but we made it work somehow. Looking down the homestretch of 2019, we are running out of new releases to offer. But fortunately, we are seeing some major interest in current year releases as well as some prior year releases.
18/19 NBA releases have performed better than anyone could have hoped for thanks to Luka and Trae.
Thanks to Lamar Jackson, 2018 NFL products are enjoying the same honeymoon that 2017 boxes did in 2018 with the Mahomes factor.
NHL sales are…well pretty flat with the current year can’t miss prospects staying below most collector’s radar and even with Cale Makar scoring at a record pace, my deep commitment to this year’s releases look like long-term commitments.
MLB is turning into what the NFL turned into years ago, a sport with no offseason for speculators and prospectors who envision every prospect as the next can’t miss player.
After a year of rookies with glimpses of success like Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones and Gardner Minshew, perhaps Drew Lock will be the one who gets collectors to get over the apprehension of 2019 NFL.
So, there have to be five products that are crushing it better than the rest. Let’s see…
Sure there are seemingly 24 versions of Prizm but nobody seems to care as I’m running through hobby, retail, fast break, and blasters with ease and am already looking forward to when the cello packs last next. It feels like every color and animal skin type are possible from packs as parallels. Seeing what massive jumps the 18/19 has enjoyed since the season began seems to have transformed a “must break” product into a “stop what you’re doing and break some NOW” product.
It was fun pulling the shop’s first Zion Silver Prizm live for one of my collectors on a personal box break. In spite of seemingly more Prizm than ever made before, it has not impacted the secondary values as much as I would have expected. Boxes seem to be softening a small bit in price, but between Zion coming back (soon I hope) and some OMG prices being realized on singles, #prizmday is a real thing.
Once again, BDP is back with both Jumbos offering 3 autographs per and Super Jumbos yielding five signed cards per box. Of course just like Prizm, there are oodles of different parallels and color is where is it at once again led by the ever elusive 1/1 Superfractors which even if you pull the lowest pick possible, still has a giant fan base. Also, like Prizm starting well above SRP hasn’t stopped interest in Bowman Draft from flying off my shelves and into the hands of prospectors. Many of my buyers have shared that they are buying boxes to sit on, on top of the ones they bought to break. Now to hope they remember to offer them back to me in a year or two.
3) 2019 Panini Obsidian NFL
Remember last year when 2018 Playbook NFL came out and did big things because there were autographed Tom Brady cards possible? Well, this year Panini did not add TB12 to Playbook, but they sure did include him with Obsidian as well. As it turns out, parallels aplenty are not limited just to MLB and NBA releases as Obsidian offers 7 versions of the 200 base cards and five styles of the autographed RPAs. It isn’t Brady or bust for autographs as Aaron Rodgers, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Patrick Mahomes, Brett Favre and others join an impressive selection of rookie autos.
Since we are months away from National Treasures, high-end NFL fans are eagerly enjoying Immaculate with five hits per box and just one base card. Some of the possible WOW cards include Dual NFL Shields, Brand Logos, Laundry Tags, Team Logos and Rookie Reserves with five swatches included. Hopefully by the time you read this, current flavor of the week rookie Drew Lock will be approaching 3-0 since taking over the Broncos QB spot. After a year of rookies with glimpses of success like Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones and Garner Minshew, perhaps Lock will be the one who gets collectors to get over the apprehension of 2019 NFL. Boxes are right where they started at close to $400 per box and it looks like quite a few of my collectors were good boys this year as they will be under a few trees.
Sure TTT hit in October, but my shredders are still into the boxes and even the 9ct and 18ct cases. Boxes are back with the standard two-pack box yielding one autographed relic and one unautographed relic. The product arrived late enough to offer signatures from Fernando Tatis Jr, Vladimir Guerrero, Pete Alonso, Eloy Jiminez, Carter Kieboom (I love this name), Austin Riley and other 2019 rookies. Back once again are the creative spelled autographed relics with the perfect combination of crazy amounts of swatches along with some unique phrases. It isn’t just rookies as many established and retired players fill the set. Check out the possible autos of Aaron Judge, Chipper Jones, Clayton Kershaw, David Ortiz, Ichiro, Kris Bryant, Nolan Ryan, Hank Aaron and others appear in the different sets. Boxes started at around $199 and have maintained their values. Typically by the mid-point for the next season boxes are rather scarce, at least 2-3 of these prospects have emerged as studs on the diamond.
So there you have it, the last What’s Hot of the year. I hope you enjoyed all my efforts this year and fear not, we still have one more article to enjoy before 2020: The Mikey Awards. It is my annual attempt at humor with all the good, bad and ugly things that happened this year. I’ll start putting it together so you can either savor it like a fine wine around Christmas or disagree completely, print it out and use it to stay warm with.
Either way, thanks for giving this a read. Make sure you have sports cards from your local card shop printed out and shared on your wish lists and get ready to enjoy either some of these products or perhaps something you like a little more.
See you all in a few weeks and I hope you were good enough to get what you wanted for the holidays, but bad enough to have had fun!
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. His column normally 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]