A new year is here and while the first part of January won’t be the biggest or deepest list of sports card releases on the calendar, there will be some fresh material to rip. There will also be a baseball prospect release, a high-end basketball product, along with football, hockey (maybe) and high-end soccer.
Here’s a quick roundup of what’s coming from licensed manufacturers Topps, Panini America and Upper Deck:
2020 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball
If you like autographs of baseball prospects, Elite Extra is probably one of your favorites. Panini packs eight of them into a five pack hobby box, along with two memorabilia cards and two Opti-Chrome cards. The base cards are all serial numbered to 999 and there are 15 different parallel versions.
The set includes cards of 2020 draft picks as well as international players including a set of guys from the Dominican Prospect League who could be playing anywhere in a couple of years.
At around $125 per hobby box, there’s a lot to like here even without pro logos.
2020-21 Upper Deck Allure Hockey
(UPDATE 1/4/21: This product has been moved to a TBD release date in February).
Upper Deck is currently scheduled to push out three hockey card products in the week before the start of the delayed NHL regular season, starting with Allure, which returns Jan. 6 after making its debut last season. But….the company promises som “updated release information” this week, so it’s likely there will be some changes.
Allure isn’t an autograph heavy release, with only one per box but there’s a big bunch of inserts, parallels and jersey cards in addition to the base cards. One big draw are eight short-printed rookie cards per pack.
Hobby boxes are relatively modes in price.
2020-21 Upper Deck Synergy Hockey
Upper Deck calls Synergy “a technology-driven product that features a variety of substrates and colors in every box.” Each box has eight packs with three cards per pack. Autographs fall at a rate of about eight in every ten boxes with some of the top autos falling in the all-metal “Cast for Greatness” subset. Otherwise, look for each box to hold:
- 8 Base Parallels
- 3 Synergy FX Inserts
- 4 Inserts (Exceptional Stars, Young Stars and/or Futures)
- 3 Inserts (Constant Threats, Roaring 20s and/or Perennial All-Stars)
2019-20 Panini Eminence Basketball
The ’20-21 season is underway, but there’s one more ’19-20 product still to be released and it’s a new one aimed at those who like the super high-end stuff. Each single-pack box of Eminence has ten cards, nine of which are autographed. Every card will be numbered to 10 or less and any memorabilia will be game-used. Each card will come in a magnetic holder.
The SRP is $15,000 per box.
2020 Immaculate Soccer
Making its return, Immaculate Soccer will include players from both Clubs and National Teams.
Each single-pack, seven card box will have a mix of five autographs and memorabilia cards along with two base cards.
Romelu Lukaku and João Félix join an autograph checklist of current players that already features the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Retired players on the autograph list include the likes of the late Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer, and Thierry Henry, as well as the first traditional Panini autograph cards of David Beckham.
Shoe-related inserts such as Boot Signatures, Sneak Peek, and the all-new Laces cards are part of the mix.
Boxes are on eBay for around $2,000.
2020 Panini Playbook Football
No base cards here, just a lot of autographs, relics and dual and tri-fold cards. Look for on-card Rookie Playbook Jersey Autograph, sequentially numbered to 299 or less.
Boxes carry one pack with a booklet and three autograph or memorabilia cards with current prices settling in at about $350.
2020-21 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey (Update: Moved to 1/20)
Originally scheduled for release last September, it’ll now coincide with the start of the ’20-21 NHL season.
2020-21 Upper Deck Artifacts will contain eight packs in a hobby box, with four cards per pack. Like last year’s set, a hobby box will yield three autographs, memorabilia or Aurum cards. There’s a bounty program and a lot of moving parts with regard to parallels, autographs and base cards, so check out our preview for details.
To see past new release roundups click here.