Hello fellow card peeps,
I’m somewhere near 36,000 feet paying $8 for Southwest Airlines wifi to allow me to cook up this hot list as I return from sunny Miami where it was warm, but not hot. I went there for my cousin’s wedding and the hitching fortunately went off without a hitch.
We’re entering an interesting time of the year in hobby shops, with baseball just concluding, football hitting its stride and basketball along with hockey starting to showcase some of their rookies. Jack Hughes is playing solid minutes on an unimpressive team and is up to 9 points. Zion Williamson is still selling but still sitting. 2018/19 NBA releases have been on fire with the now second year players like Luka and Trae becoming household names. 2019 football has been struggling for the most part, but there has been renewed interest in 2018 releases thanks to Lamar Jackson who is quickly making us wonder why Baker Mayfield went to so much higher.
As I’m looking at the products that have been on fire lately, I’m more surprised about the ones that haven’t exactly blown up instead of those that have. Staples like Triple Threads MLB, Topps Update, and Dynasty, Upper Deck Series 1 NHL, Hoops and others have been selling well (in some instances well enough to appear on here) but not as well as I anticipated. Shops find out about checklists exactly when you do, so trying anticipate how much to order is more based upon ensuring we are given a healthy allocation on future releases as much as it is to effectively stock our stores.
So…. let’s see what’s been rolling while I was in the 305.
1) 2018/19 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey
This release has always performed well and thanks to a few breakers and some others, we have been moving through our cases well. Sadly I don’t have any success photos to share, but thanks to interest in Elias Pettersson’s rookie cards and the other goodness that we have gotten accustomed to, hockey shredders have been drawn to busting boxes and cases of the most expensive NHL release of the season.
Prices on The Cup are right about where one would expect within a month of release and I’m one six box case away from having moved all I ordered. I might sit on it if nobody steps up quickly and I’m OK with that.
2) 2019 Topps Update Baseball
Now I know I mentioned before that it wasn’t exactly flying, but it is not exactly sitting around either. I moved six cases of the jumbo version right upon release and the regular boxes are now hitting their stride as a more affordable option. Just like the series 1 and 2 boxes, Update is a 24-ct box with more cards per pack and one hit per regular box and three hits per jumbo box.
Of course there’s a great selection of rookies to go with the short prints and variations that can really push this product. It might take some time for some of the rookies to really emerge and hopefully push it to where it has gone in years past. Both standard versions of Updates are well above cost both as wholesale and at the retail level. Personally, I’d suggest snagging a box or a case and sitting on it for a but. Thanks to Mike Trout in 2011, Updates has been a strong release with very solid returns in most years.
3) 2019 Panini Prizm Football
Panini Prizm almost made the above list of underperforming, but still selling well list but it has really picked up recently at the shop as a mid-range release with three autographs per box. There are 12 different rainbow parallels to pursue including the black 1/1s that I wish popped from my boxes more. Pops to whomever at Panini came up with the Color Blast inserts which arrive 1:10 cases as a way to add pop to a product that is missing some of the annual rookie explosions.
In addition to all the rookie autos, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Rodgers and others appear just to give you some higher end potential. Prizm is still well above cost as well at the wholesale and retail level, but I expect more from it over time. I mean that is unless none of the 2019 rookies turn into viable investment options. I have helped collectors with a healthy amount, but still have cases left to help you all with.
4) 2019 Leaf Best Of Baseball
This product arrived last Friday and my repackaged product collectors just love it. The SRP is in the $200 range this year and that has not kept my collectors away from it in the least. It is always great to see so many sweet buyback singles hit from it and while I am usually lucky to acquire two or more cases of it to start, I know full well it won’t stick around the shop for too long.
Once again, Brian Gray if you feel like doing a buying a trip in Colorado, I’ve got your hook up at one of my shows and if you ever felt like giving me a few hundred thousand dollars to make this release for you, I’m more than handle putting another one of these together for you.
5) 19/20 Panini Hoops Basketball
Welcome to the first NBA release with the 2019 rookies appearing in their pro uniforms. Most of you have already realized that Zion is a Pelicans player and now you can actually see him repping his new team. My favorite part of this set are the Art Signature Cards. Much like Color Blast inserts in Prizm, props to the creator of these and some of the singles and double signed ones bear some attention.
Zion, JA and RJ all appear as single signed cards along with pairings with each other and Kobe Bryant. The regular signed cards have oodles of rookies along with veterans like Magic Johnson, Kevin Durant, Charles Barkley, Dwayne Wade and others. Boxes are still available in the $125-130 range from the big boys, but it seems like many card shops and small sellers are into selling them for less than $100 per.
Usually at this point, I focus on what’s on deck but this time I wat to highlight some promotions that your local card shop will be able to offer you. The first are the Topps Bowman Holiday packs the middle of this month (11/15) where you get free packs by purchasing a minimum dollar amount of Topps packs or boxes.
Next up is Panini Black Friday with a great assortment of products included. Some we have seen and others are due to arrive soon. There are bonus packs that are football specific and others that offer a mixture of baseball, basketball, racing and soccer cards. For the first time I can remember (and just how I like it) this promotion will begin the day before Thanksgiving. Yes, you can hit your LCS and spend turkey day busting packs and boxes while watching football.
Also before the clock turns to 12 this year, National Hobby Shop Day is back on 12/7 with shops being able to offer up prizes they earned from buying products through GTS Distribution. I’ve read of additional support from most of the manufacturers with loads of free product, bonus packs, eBay bucks and more. Is your local shop participating? You can find out here (the list may be expanded as more shops sign up over the next couple of weeks).
I think the next time we meet, I’d expect What’s Hot to include upcoming releases of Immaculate NFL, Playbook NFL, Certified NBA, Absolute NBA, Bowman Draft MLB and perhaps, just perhaps we MIGHT see 19/20 Panini Prizm NBA somewhere on the list.
As always, make it to your LCS for any of these releases and support them this holiday season. Heck, you might want to make up a wish list and share it with your entire family to ensure you’ll have some ripping to do over the holidays. Thanks for giving this a read and feel free to shoot me you own hot lists by leaving a comment on the SC Daily Facebook page, Twitter or via email.
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].