As I’ve mentioned in past Shop Talk installments, we really continue to make a concerted effort to buy higher-end, iconic slabbed rookie cards to have in store. We are currently focused on vintage pieces with a sprinkling of some modern rookie cards in baseball, basketball and football. We have also (slowly) skated into the hockey rink and picked up a few 1979 Topps and O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RCs and 1985 Topps and O-Pee-Chee Mario Lemieux RCs.
Just this week we picked up some mid grade 1958 Topps Jim Brown rookie cards, a beautiful 1957 Topps Bart Starr rookie card and a plethora of other vintage beauties.
We’ve been tracking a few 1965 Topps Joe Namath RCs and a few other legendary pieces to add to the shop’s ever growing slab selection.
I’ve joked with the owner in the past that we were becoming less and less of a card shop as we carry more and more non-sport-specific items from RC cars to purses and a pile of randomness in between, so this is a nice effort to get back on track and back to our roots, which is what I love most about my job.
A product and line that has sold incredibly well for us over the years are Riddell NFL mini helmets. The newest version is called Flash and it is just that- a flashy helmet. They have sold well over the past week since their release. We carry Riddell mini helmets in a wide array of styles from vintage two-bar versions and other throwbacks all the way up to current designs such as the aforementioned Flash along with Lunar, Eclipse, Chrome, Camo and seemingly fifty others. They are a staple at our store and a constant seller online. We even branched out and purchased a hefty selection of the full size replica helmets which have also started selling well for us. It’s hard to see these in person and pass up on adding your favorite team’s lid to your office or mancave.
The 2021 Panini NFL Player of the Day program started last week in our shop. That’s always an incredibly fun and fruitful promotion for us to be a part of. Sports Zone has been participating in the program for years now. We’ve already had a number of customers come in and inquire about the program and buy packs and, in turn, receive the free Player of the Day packs. And let me tell you, the Player of the Day packs are nothing to sneeze at. Many of the promotional packs that Panini offers for these programs are straight fire.
We saw some incredible stuff pulled out of the Father’s Day packs earlier this year as well as the NBA Player of the Day, so these programs are very well received and the offering is legitimate. Many of these pack sell well on the secondary market. You could find the recent Father’s Day packs selling on eBay for north of $20 apiece not so long ago.
My eyebrows were raised last week as the news of the card shop robbery in Altoona, Pennsylvania broke. Altoona is like a second home to me as my two oldest kids live there with their mother and we’re in town on a very, very regular basis for various school functions and sporting events. The robbery was covered right here on Sports Collectors Daily in multiple stories. I can’t tell you how great it was to see the perpetrator apprehended in a very timely fashion.
As we all know, instances of crime can happen anywhere and I would be lying if I said my wife didn’t have similar concerns for us here at the shop. Our fair city of Sunbury, PA, like many, has some beautiful areas and great sights, scenes and things to do but it also has some less than savory spots, too. On that similar note, we had gone some time without a real security system. It was a point of contention in our household, especially when I was doing my brief 3:00AM start time to juggle schedules at home.
I’m happy to inform you that we have a legitimate, high-end, state of the art security system that the owner had installed a few months back. It is nice to have that piece of mind for myself but most importantly, my wife. The baseball bat and pepper spray I have at the counter might help fend off a thief but it wouldn’t be of any use in identifying any perpetrator after the fact. Here’s hoping we (and anyone else for that matter) never have to deal with anything like what the folks at Juniata Cards had to deal with last week. Thank goodness everyone is safe and the situation has been resolved.