It’s been an interesting month and specifically the last few days around the shop and within the hobby (but when is it not?).
The good news – My shop has partnered with Denver Card Shows for the first large show to hit the Mile High City in well over a decade. As you may have read on SC Daily, we are hosting a 200+ table gathering at the National Western Complex in Denver. Inspired by my trip to The National two years ago and seeing the incredible responses to card shows in other larger markets, we felt it was time to offer up a massive event compared to the shows my fair city has seen in recent years.
I’m looking forward to sleepless nights (not that I sleep a ton already), seeing a load of hobby friends should they happen to put it on their travel schedules and helping offer Denver the large type of show we are seeing so regularly in other cities. Hopefully it will be the first of many shows of this size that come down the pike in our area.
Going with that, I’m booked to attend the Dallas Card Show next week and should you be there, it would be nice to say hello if we happen to meet up. I’ll be the 6′ 4″ guy with a snazzy new haircut with glasses from the mid 90’s with the Colorado accent (wait, Coloradans don’t have an accent) 🙂
The interesting news – Target has adjusted their policies and is ending in-store sales of most sports and Pokemon trading cards to consumers. My first thought is sadness for collectors who have been willing to invest the time to camp out or line up early for those buying opportunities. Yes, a card shop owner is genuinely sad that sales won’t be happening at Target. For years, I enjoyed seeing (but not buying) sports cards being so close to the registers at Target. It’s the point of entry for many new collectors, young and old.
Personally, I would like to see shops be able to carry those retail products IF they continue to offer them at SRP to collectors. Imagine the insanity that would happen if that was to occur. Actually, thinking it through, I’m not sure that would be the absolute best thing, but it would be interesting if manufacturers allowed hobby shops to order a greater amount of retail offerings than we had been able to carry previously.
Of course there have been a load of well received new releases to come across the shop’s front door and how about we spend a bit of time what we’re here for: talking about What’s Hot.
1) 2020 Panini Chronicles NFL
I could fill this section with a complete rundown of all the many Panini releases that come together to make this product. From a collector’s standpoint, it is cool to see many somewhat forgotten releases joined with updates to some early products. The ones that seem to be generating the most hype are Prizm to no surprise. There are loads of parallels from this release and many of the other offerings similarly offer low numbered parallels.
Hobby boxes (around $600-$650 online) offer 2 autographs and also a jersey card. While the focus is of course on the 2020 rookie crop, some incredible veterans like Russell Wilson, Jerry Rice, Drew Brees, Emmitt Smith, Steve Young, Charles Woodson and others grace the signed checklist as well. I started boxes out at $450 per and recently sold out at $599. I currently have a few of the H2 boxes which are similar in content aside from the guaranteed hits per box.
2) 2021 Bowman MLB
For those who either own hobby shops or who collect tomorrow’s stars today, #bowmanday is a real thing. There is something about this combination chrome and paper prospect and rookie laden release that over time has somehow eclipsed #topps1day in terms of initial madness. I always have a blast learning who collectors are putting their faith and monies into. It is a little weird doing pack and box breaks and waiting for my viewers to share who needs a sleeve and who I should blast past.
At the hobby level, there are 2 types of 2021 Bowman boxes to pick from; hobby boxes have 24 packs with 1 autograph and jumbo boxes offer 12 packs with 3 signed cards. This year is holding true to most years where the jumbo release, even at a higher price is outselling the regular boxes. I started regular boxes at $289 and might be adjusting that down a bit soon and jumbo boxes were $589 with a similar slight. adjustment happening soon.
3) 2020 Topps Chrome Formula 1
A year ago when many of us attended the last major hobby event, the 2020 Topps Conference we were told that in order to purchase Topps MLB releases, that supporting non traditional Topps releases was going to be necessary. There was some initial moaning and groaning, but releases like Chrome Formula 1 have not only taken some of the sting out of having to do so, in many instances, they are adjusting how shops and collectors are approaching ordering in total.
My knowledge or Formula 1 is well…unimpressive but my sales of this release is anything but. I’ve recently learned that Formula 1 is the second biggest sport in the world behind soccer and I’m elated that my Topps ordering through my distributors was strong enough to help me purchase a few of these boxes as well. Autographs appear to land 1:2 boxes and I’ve quickly learned to hold Lewis Hamilton in the same regard as Mike Trout, LeBron James, Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby. Boxes started out at my shop at $399 and I happened to sell out of them today at $499.
4) 20/21 Upper Deck SP Game Used NHL
This even popular release is back with loads of possible autographs, relics and sadly still banner relic cards. I get how using banners is an affordable and relatively cool way for Upper Deck to fill this release with hits, but can we please let this one go? Getting past that, boxes offer 4 combined hits per and even the base cards are incredibly well received. The big deal in SPGU are the Draft Day Marks with the current rookie crop getting the autographed letterman treatment.
I’ve always found these to be undervalued compared to other rookies in other sets and offer collectors a relatively affordable option to collect their favorite prospects. I initially offered boxes at $129 and if I had them now, would be closer to $199 per based on my restock pricing.
5) 2021 Panini Prizm UFC
There was a ton of hype of Panini’s first release since they secured the UFC exclusive from Topps and the initial sales have done nothing to prove that was misdirected. Boxes offer 2 Autographs, 22 Prizms and 12 Inserts per.
Looking through the checklist, there’s a mix of signatures from both current fighters as well as those who made the sport what it is today. Back are the infinite levels of parallels with seemingly every color under the rainbow. It isn’t only about the autos as popular inserts such as Color Blast and Fireworks are joined by Fearless, Instant Impact and Knockout Artists sets. Boxes started out on release day at $899 per and I sold out of boxes a few days ago at $1199.
So there you have it, big things are happening soon in Colorado, the steady stream of retail offerings will be potentially adjusted and we have perhaps our most varied Tops 5 selection ever. Thanks for giving this a read and perhaps I will be able to properly welcome you to Colorado’s biggest card show in the months to come.
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. You can email him at [email protected]
Check out past editions of What’s Hot here.