It is starting to look like 2012 NFL action in the Rocky Mountain region. Plain and simple, there is nothing that inspires visits and sales like drafting a QB in the first round. Apparently Paxton Lynch is not only keeping Jerry Jones up at night, but he’s causing some serious sales in Colorado.
When he was drafted by the Broncos last Thursday night, I had packs and boxes of 2016 Leaf Metal football, 2016 Leaf Ultimate, 2016 Panini Contenders Draft Edition and 2016 Score jumbos. By the time I closed Sunday night, I was down to four packs of Score and Monday morning was spent eagerly restocking every single 2016 pigskin release.
So beyond Lynch, which is admittedly a local phenomenon, here are the hottest sports card boxes at the moment:
1) 2016 Topps Museum Collection MLB – This is where owning a sports card store can be incredibly trying. Topps Museum Collection has an incredible history of not only delivering well, especially by the case ,so when the ordering window opened about seven months ago, I maxed out with five cases. I don’t want to share the exact cost of each 12 count case, but it kind of rhymes with nineteen fundred dollars. Multiply that by five and short of owning beachfront property in LA, I can cover multiple months of your mortgage for that kind of commitment.
Topps Museum hit on April 13 and as of last Wednesday, I still had 4 1/2 cases of it keeping whatever was under it free and clear of dust. That morning, one of my MLB enthusiasts rolled in and grabbed a case of it since there was no new Panini Immaculate MLB in stock yet. That same night/morning, I met my biggest MLB shredder at the store at midnight. Four hours and 51 minutes later, the other three factory sealed cases were demolished along with six cases of 2014 Bowman Platinum Asian, a case of 2015 Bowman Chrome jumbos, a long-lost case of 2002 Diamond Collection and some other boxes that were to his liking. I am not usually in the shop at 5 AM, but for the right person, I will clearly make an exception.
Here is one of the three cases and I wish I had shot video of the other two since they were even better.
2) 2016 Panini UEFA Prizm Soccer – My store was one of many offered the chance to host a pre-release party of this product and anytime I can offer my collectors the chance to get product early with free prizes as a kicker, that’s a heck yeah! Once again, Panini Prizm offers an autographed card every other box or so. Those boxes that do not have a signature have a parallel limited to 20 or less. We saw a great number of cards /20 as well as some /10, /5 and even one 1/1 in the three cases.
Sure I endured the awkward moment of collectors holding up signed cards and asking me if they were any good. I should probably share that I know as much about UEFA soccer players as I do professional bass fishermen, but with a little smart phone help, we were able to figure things out.
While I do not expect to go through the several hundred boxes that I did of 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup, it has not even released and I am at 36 boxes with 24 more due on Wednesday 5/4. Yes, soccer sells.
3) 2015-16 Upper Deck Contours NHL – Let’s see. One autograph or relic card in every pack. Possible Connor McDavid autographed or relic cards. Chances to pull signatures of hockey fans like Kevin Smith (We had one pulled at the shop, I tweeted it, Upper Deck retweeted it and Kevin Smith liked it. Yes, for one second. One beautiful second I controlled Kevin Smith) , Bret “The Hitman” Hart, CM Punk, Larry King (who once called my house looking for my mom. Yes, really.), Kevin Harvick (Meh), Jason Priestly (Double meh) and Rachel Nichols.
In this year of Connormania it is really nice to see a one hit per pack NHL release in the $25 range. Boxes are flying incredibly well. Beyond initial release, I see this one staying popular long term. Sadly the Connor cards have been few and far between, but there has been no shortage of customers looking to take their turn at our boxes.
4) 2015 Leaf Q Mixed Sport – Yes, I know it is 2016, but when you own a sports card company you can roll back time like Superman did when he circled the world to save Lois Lane.
I brought in only one case of Leaf Q and am REALLLLLLY regretting it. Nobody was really looking for it when it hit, but our first case went over so well, that when I posted the video on YouTube, suddenly everyone wanted it.
Each box contains 5 cards and since they are all signed, signed with a piece of jersey or contain a Babe Ruth relic swatch, there’s little not to like. Leaf Q wisely shortened the player checklist to only superstars and with only 399 cases to go around, I might be one and done.
The roster of signers includes some gotta have singles like Chevy Chase as Fletch, Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday, Ton Brady, Larry Bird, AI, Mario Lemieux, Bo Jackson, Brett Favre, Hulk Hogan (who if he collects on his lawsuit might not have to sign cards for a while), Pele, Patrick Roy, Magic Johnson and Leaf regulars like Cal Ripken Jr, Dennis Rodman, Jack Eichel and Pete Rose.
I am assigning bonus points for the possible dual autographed card of Rose and former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti. It is a rare card that not only inspires collectors to want it more than any other possible Rose single while at the same time inspires the remains of Bart to roll over repeatedly.
5) 2015 Panini Flawless NFL – Fine, it’s not really that hot these days, but the other day my store hosted Super Bowl champion WR Cody Latimer from the Denver Broncos. Two different collectors were inspired to break open boxes of Flawless and Cody was all about checking out what thousand dollar plus boxes looked like. It is extra cool when an athlete gets into cards and is wowed by how cool they look these days.
I hope you enjoyed the last clips of Cody and some kids enjoying busting some four figure boxes and I will do my best to top that before our next installment.
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].