I feel like we’ve been doing a lot of eBay educating this week as many people are bringing in sports cards to sell us. I assume these folks are looking to free up some cash for holiday shopping. I’ve shown a number of people this week the fancy trick on the eBay app where you can take a picture of a card using the camera icon in the search bar. That, when used correctly, will bring up all of the active listings of the card you snapped a picture of to give you a very good idea of what your card is selling for in real time.
I noted this feature to shop owner Jason last week and he was unaware. I thought that was common knowledge but if the owner of our shop didn’t know then maybe it’s not as commonly known as I thought. eBay hasn’t really publicized it much, but it does seem to be a useful tool, especially for those whose hobby knowledge isn’t encyclopedic.
I was out of the shop most of the day Friday for a personal matter and by the time I made it in Saturday morning we had already sold through our allotment of 2023 Donruss Football hobby boxes. Collectors couldn’t wait to get their hands on the flagship line and nab C.J. Stroud RCs in his Texans uniform. We got the product in Friday afternoon and I shipped the very last one we had in the store out first thing Saturday morning. Online, they’re available for $260-$280 per box with one autograph and one memorabilia card included.
I was happy to see the newest wave of McFarlane football figures make their way to the shop last week. I was always a big fan of the McFarlane Sports Picks and pretty much everything that company produced over the years, so I was excited to see the current crop of football superstars be immortalized by one of the greatest toy makers to ever do it. These aren’t action figures or toys, they are highly detailed works of art.
The figure that really stands out is the new Barry Sanders Legacy Series issue. A rarer chase piece highlights the statue that was built in his honor outside of Ford Field in Detroit. The figure looks as spectacular as the real thing.
Here in Pennsylvania, the Jalen Hurts piece has also sold really well for us right out of the gate.
The figures come with a really nice base and high res graphic for the backdrop. These definitely ain’t your uncle’s old Starting Lineups.
One interesting point is the fact that the boxes and packaging that the figures come in are rather large which forced us to order new boxes to package and ship them in from Uline, which is where we order all of our shipping boxes. No disrespect to the companies that have filled the sports figure space over the past few years, including Imports dragon, but the detail of the McFarlane says just truly a higher level
We sell a good amount of product from a company called Party Animal. The company produces and fills an entirely different segment of sports figures and collectibles market that also sell incredibly well for us, especially over the holiday season and that category had definitely picked up this past week. There are many times where we put these guys in stock, refresh our Shipstation page a few minutes later and we have sold out of these figures.
As the holiday season is upon us, we’ve always made the decision to dabble a little bit more in standard toys than we do during the other 11 months of the year. We started carrying classic board games of some of the all time greats from Clue to Sorry to Connect 4 and more. Those long running titles have been selling really well for us, too. Every holiday season we do our due diligence and try to be more of a toy store by tracking down the Tickle Me Elmo of the year, the current year’s version of the Beanie Baby or whatever happens to be the hot, buzzworthy toy with the kiddos that particular holiday season. It helps the bottom line and we hope it also enhances our reputation as a true “hobby” shop. Sometimes those products are big hits and other times it’s a three pitch strike out and we walk back to the dugout and put them on clearance in January.
We are really going down the rabbit hole this year as we’ve picked up some Magic Mixes, Shopkins, Gootoobz, Spot It games, Jenga, Klask, and more. I just love hearing the names of some of these products and seeing them when they show up at the store. A few of them might even end up under out tree for Miss Isabella.
You can’t be all work all the time and I can report that the playoff picture for our Sports Zone Fantasy Football league is taking shape. I’ve been fighting my way through various injuries and I should make the cut to be in the hotly contest playoff pool. Within our league, we do the eliminator on ESPN. This past week, I was the last man standing for the year, so I will take that minor victory and hopefully that momentum into the playoffs.