Tony Reid offers his weekly dose of happenings inside Sports Zone, the Central Pennsylvania shop where he works.
Last week was another busy one, with the lead up to the holiday season, a topic you’ll probably be hearing me touch on in every piece until about mid-January. It’s becoming harder and harder to find time for Shop Talk pieces.
I’m kidding, of course. I will always make time to check in with our readers.
The Atlanta Braves wrapped up the World Series championship this week and while fans in the South were ordering tons of Braves championship memorabilia, our sales jumped too. We’re about 720 miles from Truist Park but Freddie Freeman items were flying off the shelves across the board including Imports Dragons figures, rookie cards and other memorabilia.
We even had a few requests for Jorge Soler cards from people I wouldn’t have expected to have an interest. Heck, I was even checking our Eddie Rosario stacks to see if there was anything I needed. For decades, we have been lucky enough to watch Braves games in our area and in turn the team does actually have a strong following here in Central Pennsylvania.
The new NBA season is in a full court press and we’re also seeing that in translate into the store. We are selling through some of last year’s late season releases like 2020-2021 Optic Basketball. Hobby boxes are a little steep in the $700 range in store but Megas and Blasters are both priced reasonably and are selling more often to the serious and semi-series collectors. Fans are coming in looking for Grizzlies superstar point guard Ja Morant who has been incredibly productive and exciting right out of the gate.
As I’ve mentioned past months, we are still making a concerted effort to buy iconic graded vintage rookies in all sports. We added a big one to the showcase recently with the addition of the 1965 Topps Joe Namath rookie card. It’s a gorgeous PSA 4 and other than being off centered it’s one that would fit into just about any high quality set.
Even after collecting all these years it’s still a special moment to have one of these big boys in your hand. It’s hard to not buy this and take it home to add to my own PC. With our new additions of many higher end iconic rookies, our customer base has really begun to take notice. We got a lot of raised eyebrows, comments and of course a purchase here and there. It’s hard to go wrong with good quality vintage or high quality modern cards right now.
As a part of our always diversifying inventory, we stock a wide range of pro wrestling figures from WWF to AEW and everything in between. The individual figures have always sold incredibly well for us in store and online over the years. They are just another in a long line of products and lines that are becoming increasingly difficult to get from our vendors and distributors. The wrestling fan base is as passionate as any. I would have never believed that before working here but we sold opened and used figures as well as we sell brand new ones, which blew my mind initially. You’d might have to see it to believe it, but it’s true– Hulkamania is still running wild, brother. Make sure you are saying your prayers and eating your vitamins.
We’ve seen a number of new releases this week and as I’m typing this I’m looking at Topps Archives Baseball, Panini Prizm Racing and a few other products that just walked in the back door.
Collectors always appreciate variety and having a variety of boxes from different sports we can offer in the store and online has been important to the shop’s success.
It’s a busy, sometimes trying but always exciting time of the year. We are looking forward to having a great few months to round out the year. We just booked our annual holiday party this week for late December, so I will be sure to save you a spot at my table.