Tony Reid’s weekly Shop Talk segment focuses on the goings-on at the hobby shop he helps manage in Central PA.
For a sports fan like me, a good portion of this week’s Shop Talk theme is out of my wheel house. In the shop, last week’s trends early on were quite the opposite. It wasn’t all about home runs, slam dunks and touchdowns, it was more about revving engines, political artifacts and super powered anime characters as we were more busy with non-sports items and non-mainstream sports related transactions than we were with traditional sports cards. It’s part of a broadening of the entire market.
The unbelievably hot Topps 2020 Dynasty F1 product was released last week. We had initially requested over 200 boxes from various vendors over the past few weeks. The owner of the shop is far more of a ‘car guy’ and motor sports fan than I am, so he had a feeling it was going to be huge. Well, when the dust settled, we ended up with a grand total of two boxes in total from all of our sources (see last week’s Shop Talk piece).
Apparently, the market is starving for motor sports products because these boxes were immediately going for north of $1,500 online. Each box offers one, single premium autograph relic card and they are hotter than an engine revving at 180 mph on lap number 100 of a big race.
Yet another product we don’t generally carry that has done really well for us right out of the gate is the 2020 POTUS card product. The 2020 “A Word from the President of the United States” release by sportscards.com is a really interesting product. Each box offers either a handwritten word from a cut document by a United States President or a full cut signature of a US President. Each pack also offers an “event used” memorabilia piece, if you will. They range from hand touched documents to swatches from garments and everything in between.
If you like historical products, it’s pretty hard to top. We had numerous customers come in and purchase packs with some of the buyers kind enough to open the boxes at the shop (an option we always love). Some of the cooler hits we saw were a Richard Nixon hand written word and a George W. Bush handheld document. We’ve already made a substantial reorder on this product.
And keeping with the non sports running theme, the only thing as hot or hotter than sports cards right now are Pokémon cards. As mentioned earlier, I’m a big sports guy and I will be the first to admit that I have very little knowledge when it comes to non-sports and gaming cards. I don’t know a Charizard from a Shining Charizard but here we are. I definitely defer to our owner on this product. We had five people waiting to get in the door Thursday morning as we had a nice restock of Pokémon boxes, packs, tins and trainer sets. We are seeing people we’ve never seen before on an almost daily basis buying an inquiring about Pokémon cards.
With all the non-sports talk I wouldn’t want our readers to think that we didn’t have a nice week and sports card sales. 2020 Optic football has been selling really well for us in hobby and hybrid form since its release. We’ve had a number of boxes and packs opened in front of us with mixed results. One of our better customers, Noah, opened and entire box and was left quite disappointed as he didn’t receive the guaranteed auto.
Weekend sales helped finish our week out sports strong as we had one of our biggest Pittsburgh Steelers customers come in and nearly buy us out of Steelers autographs in Saturday. He picked up a nice JuJu Smith-Schuster RPA, a nice James Conner RPA, and a Benny Snell rookie autograph, among others. Our shop is located pretty much right between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, so we get the best of both worlds as far as rabid Pennsylvania sports fans- whether it be Steelers or Eagles football, Pirates or Phillies baseball or Sixers basketball.
When I say the week ended sports strong I really mean it. A few of our better customers Russell and the aforementioned Noah were in Saturday afternoon. Russell decided to go with a 2020 Prizm football Mega Box. I generally like to offer the customer the choice of picking the box off the shelf but Russell, as it turned out, had me pick for him. He was pretty happy with my selection by just the second pack as it contained an Neon Green Pulsar Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Auto.
Noah came in a few minutes after Russell and decided on our other version of the 2020 Prizm Football mega box. I must have had the hot hand as he wanted me to pick his box as well. The autograph in Noah’s box was nothing to write home about but he hit a base Tagovailoa RC and a base Justin Herbert RC in the same mega box. It’s hard to do any better than that on back to back boxes.
So the week ended strong with a pretty busy Saturday. Our online sales are still thriving and in store traffic is still near an all time high. It’s a great time to be a part of this great hobby.
Here’s hoping everyone has a great week. I will check in again soon.