So as I am writing this, it is a fun time to own a card store in Colorado. The Broncos are 2-0, the Rockies are strong playoff contenders, most of the heralded 2018 NFL rookies have avoided major injuries and we are getting closer by the day to NBA and NHL getting going again. Heck, even my college team, the University of Colorado is 3-0. Granted, win #3 came from beating the University Of New Hampshire and if you had money on that, you might be a degenerate gambler.
Man, this is a fun time to own a card store and hopefully things will continue to maintain, if not improve. Yes I am an optimist with realistic tendencies. But why do I feel this way? Seemingly about every release has collectors clamoring for them and looking ahead, there are some products with massive potential.
But we are not here to talk about the future, we are here to cherish the recent past successes at my LCS and others. Here’s the current hot list:
These boxes are back with their plastic singles and four hard signed autographed cards in each box. After seeing a bunch of boxes busted and doing any number of personal box breaks for my customers, it seems like there are loads of rookie base cards of well-known players and those four signed singles which feature players that require some advanced knowledge of top minor league players.
That’s Bowman and collectors are more than OK with it.
— Michael F (@MikesStadiumSC) September 12, 2018
It seems buyers don’t miss out before this product possibly rises. The single pack boxes are flying off the shelf and even cases are moving fast. Beyond those still relatively unknown prospects are some other pretty good autograph pulls like Gleyber Torres, that Ohtani guy, Ozzie Albies, Rhys Hoskins, Hunter Greene and Ronald Acuña.
With a daunting price tag of around $300 for four autographs and seven relic cards, this four pack product is back with plenty of rookie and veteran player autographs. One that I am waiting to see is the “reverse box” with seven autographed and four relic cards. I enjoy being able to offer this release by the pack instead of the one pack boxes that seem to be all the rage. It gives collectors the opportunity to get in on the action with $75 instead of the three-bill range.
All the popular rookies from 2018 are joined by signatures from vets like J.J. Watt, Steve Young, Bo Jackson, Aaron Rodgers, Roger Staubach, John Elway, Drew Brees, Terrell Davis, Troy Aikman and loads more.
This year Panini switched away from the 24 pack style release and designed Contenders Draft to more closely resemble their football counterpart with six packs and one autograph in every pack. Collectors seem to be enjoying their first crack at the 2018 rookies, even though it remains to be seen whether this draft is as good as last year’s. Currently, boxes are more than $20 over cost at the wholesale level and if you can find a box at $120, would you please tell me about them?
Just like Spectra NBA, there are some solid vets to go along with this year’s rookie crop. The newly signed Charles Barkley has autos here along with guys like Dwayne Wade, Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving and many others, past and present.
I know, non-sport releases appear on here about 2x a year and it takes more than your usual release to knock down something from one of the four big sports. Four pack boxes of this product offer at least two autographs along with two other hits.
One of my box buyers popped back in today with the hope that I was able to track down more for him and he explained that Topps didn’t hold back on the auto checklist which includes Samuel L. Jackson, Harrison Ford (who is welcome to sign in ANY SW release, Adam Driver, Hayden Christensen, Billie Dee Williams and plenty more obscure players that my level of geek does not grasp.
Since landing back in August, Origins has continued to sell. The usual configuration of one relic, one auto and one signed relic card is long familiar to collectors; even those who remember the very similar Topps Inception brand. On the local level, my collectors are digging the four Denver Broncos who attended the Rookie Premier photo session since this product is so tied into it.
One of my collectors snagged one of the hard to find autographed booklets with six rookie autographs on it and it led to even more Origins getting busted. We threw together a case break last week with it and it filled quickly, which I expected based on previous years successes.
I’m writing this the day after Topps Heritage High Number baseball hit and I suspect that if I were writing this in a few days, it might have cracked the top 5 with all of the great rookies and a very solid autograph checklist that, at least early on, seems to be delivering.
Looking ahead I see some annual monsters about to land like Bowman Chrome baseball, Artifacts hockey, Leaf Best Of Baseball, Panini Impeccable NBA, Topps Five Star MLB, Topps Triple Threads and Panini Prizm football. There are plenty of reasons to stock each based on their history and, hopefully, some more eye-popping play from the newest rookies.
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].