This installment was a little harder to choose the hottest new release than usual. I mean typically there is one product that is kicking a little more backside than the others so I will break the tie the only way I can: with the one made the collectors in my shop happier.
We’ve got a strong runner-up but the biggest smiles have come from 2015-16 Upper Deck Trilogy NHL. Sure every hockey release other than Full Force has led the way right from the first box rip, and Trilogy is no exception. Even though Connor McDavid has not faced any competition since Clavicle-gate, each time we see one pulled, the shop has to stop and take notice.
Trilogy seems to be like Artifacts on steroids as each pack offers something worth closer attention and we had a case that was nothing short of Connortastic during a recent break. Each of the eight packs in a box offer a hit whether it is a numbered card, rookie autograph, premium autograph or relic card.
Back again are the autographed puck cards which probably deserve more consideration for the Mikey Awards than they receive. We lucked out and actually had one of the dual signed Connor McDavid and Wayne Gretzky puck cards hit in our first case. Let’s just say we had no problem choosing what our Card Of The Week was.
We broke another the same night for a collector to pick up and while it did not have all the hits of the #1 pick like the first one did, it was well received.
Taking a look at the veteran autographs, it’s nice to see that even though UD has the exclusive on NHL cards that they still make sure to include quite a few names. I mean who would not want to find singles of skaters like Bobby Orr, Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Steve Yzerman, that Gretzky guy, Alexander Ovechkin, Patrick Roy, Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic and many more.
Coming in a close second this month was perennial favorite Playoff Contenders Football. I have to chuckle each time it hits and eBay is filled with “SP?” and “SSP?” for seemingly every listing until the folks from Texas let us in on who was actually short-printed (which they did early Monday: 2015-contenders-fb-sp-ssp-list).
Once again Panini put forth their 24 pack per box concoction with five (and often six) mostly rookie autographed cards per box and collectors are breaking box after box and case after case at my card shop.
We have seen our fair share of big hits from it including an autograph /10 from a player who was a few decades removed from actually being a rookie.
Sure all the big names like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper, Tyler Lockett and more made the cut, but it is always fun to hope for the next Tom Brady to emerge a few years from now so you can salvage him from your $5 autographed card boxes and make a mortgage payment.
I have to admit that I was a bit surprised when one of our early boxes delivered a Sean Payton autograph, but he is not alone from the coaching ranks. Also included are signed cards of Chip Kelly, Dan Quinn, Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians. Sadly it does not appear that there are any Chuck Strong versions. Clearly someone dropped the ball with this one since those would have been off the charts.
This year’s Legendary Contenders signed card set /10, Gold autos /4 and 1/1 Holo Gold autographs include some of the best ever. Barry Sanders, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Brett Favre, Thurman Thomas, Lawrence Taylor, Eric Dickerson, Dan Marino, Steve Young and Emmitt Smith all pocketed some extra bucks and more importantly made some boxes that much better with their autographed cards.
Looking for more current stars? No problem. The MVP Contenders set offers a great variety of Pro-Bowlers. Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt, Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Matt Ryan, DeMarco Murray and Cam Newton look great on cardboard as well as commercials for insurance, pizza and Uggs.
Rounding out the Top 5 hottest products are –
3) Panini Select Soccer Yup, once again I should have closed out my IRA and sunk the whole lump sum into cases of soccer cards. We had this Messi auto /5 come out of the case we brought in.
4) 2015 Bowman’s Best Baseball – This returning gem offers just enough autographs of rookies we have heard of, prospects we will hopefully hear from and parallels we came to love a decade plus ago to keep flying. Kris Bryant auto? Check!
5) 2015 Panini National Treasures Baseball – My shredders are still being drawn to the most expensive MLB offering of the year with its mix of stars and long passed player relic cards. Our first box yielded all these gems including a Thurman Munson 1/1 button card.
So there you go. I hope your boxes of the above releases were stellar and that your next breaks are even better.
By the way, I just booked my flight today to head to Hawaii for the annual Industry Summit. In case you care to read any of the surprises that get shared on the island this coming February 21-23, please feel free to follow me on Twitter and you can friend us on Facebook. I will be sharing tasty tidbits as they become available and there’s always something happening at the shop that’s worth reading about.