We’re in what many collectors believe Is the coolest part of the sports year. Sure I’m writing this just after the Cubs took down the Indians in game 6, but for this short stretch all four sports are being played. Right now, Francisco Lindor, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber are on fire. Auston Matthews is a household name (to hockey fans at least) thanks to his opening night four-goal performance. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are killing it on arguably the most collectible team out there. The NBA is suffering a bit without Ben Simmons, but Joel Embiid is making collectors look back through their older singles at least.
It’s always nice when collectors from each of the sports have a reason to stop in to the shop and the last month has been particularly busy mostly due to the NFL season and the importance it has on the hobby.
So, what has been selling so well? Let’s have the reveal –
1) 2016 Panini Prizm Jumbo NFL – Prizm has been an interesting release from Panini for the past few years. Aside from 2012, it typically does well out of the gate and drops faster than the second week box office totals of a Sylvester Stalone movie.
This year’s Prizm Draft Jumbos boxes are selling well for us, but as significantly different prices then when it first arrived. So when it came time to order the regular edition, I did so lightly. Panini did step up and offered 2 free Kickoff bonus packs with each box purchase and I started off with 2 cases. I’m glad I did since the first one sold out on release day and the second one sold out as a case break.
While the break and sort took forever, it was highlighted by a Dak Camo autograph /25. We also had 2 parallels /5 and another 2 parallels /10 from our case. A number of collectors have shared that they were looking for boxes since they saw so many Dak autos popping out of breaks. Our third case hit Tuesday morning and I do not see it being long for the shop.
2) 16/17 Upper Deck Artifacts NHL – I also started with 2 cases of Artifacts and they were moving ok until opening night arrived. As you read above, Matthews definitely added some interest in what was generally perceived to be a weaker rookie class than the 15/16 season offered. Since then, we have rolled the first 2 cases and have put a decent dent into our third. Until Upper Deck Series 1 arrives, these boxes and the UD World Cup packs are the only way to snag his cards. Granted the Artifacts singles are redemptions, collectors have grown to look forward to snagging these early opportunities at the current year rookies.
3) 2016 Topps Gold Label MLB – After a nearly long enough break for Gold Label to be old enough to drive in most states, it is back with a pretty cool revamping. Each box contains 7 packs with one yielding the now famous Topps Metal Framed Autograph that made Museum Collection so highly sought after. I hope that Topps does not kill the collecting golden goose by making these 1 per $60 box, but in spite of a slightly less attractive autograph checklist, we are well past our fourth case.
Sure there are gems like the now popular Andres Gallarraga, Bryce Harper, Bo Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr, Corey Seager, Don Mattingly, and Ken Griffey Jr. For player collectors, here is a chance to get Framed autographs of players that would not cut it in Museum like Lucas Giolito, Miguel Sano, Raul Mondesi, Hector Olivera and others who you might not be geeked about pulling. At least here they are one per box instead of one per case.
4) 2016 Panini Impeccable NFL – Few things make a shop owner feel less confident than a $500+ SRP first year release. After 2016 Topps The Mint MLB earlier this year, you have to understand how tough it is for a store to go deep on a product that does not have a good track record. I started off with 3, 3 box cases and was a bit concerned when they hit. At this point I wish I had gone deeper since it looks like Panini not only made a nice looking release, but made sure to add some good value to most of the boxes.
Each case offers a silver /15 or less or 1/1 gold NFL logo card. Now these are an actual troy ounce of silver or gold, not just for looks. There are no scrubs in the checklist which offers a solid sampling of rookies, veterans and HOFers. There is no settling with players like Goff, Wentz, Elliott, Elway, Emmitt, Barry, Bo, Unitas, Rice and even defensive stars Von, Urlacher, Watt, Woodson and Ray Lewis.
5) 2016-17 Panini Contenders Draft Picks NBA – Unlike its NFL brother which arrives shortly after the draft, Contenders NBA sadly does not arrive at stores until the regular season tips off. While Mr. Simmons doesn’t appear as a singer, he at least has base and insert cards. Boxes offer 5 autographs and each pack has 5 insert cards making for an interesting break.
Sure there will be a load of “who did I just pull” players with 74 rookies who signed for this release, but at least the top rooks like Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray, Buddy Hield, Denzel Valentine and Malik Beasley took the time to ink some singles. It isn’t all first year signers as Andrew Wiggins, Shaq, Magic, Carmelo, Wade, Durant, Irving, Draymond also put some pens to cards.
While we are not through our third case of Contenders yet, it was encouraging to roll through our first boxes relatively quickly. With more on the way, it is a good sight to see things start off well for our most challenging sport to offer.
Well, that is what has been moving well at the shop. I am getting ready already for Panini Black Friday 2016 and will be focused on those boxes and cases for the next bit. Looking ahead, I would anticipate seeing Panini Prime Cuts MLB, Prizm NBA, UD1 NHL and Immaculate NFL on the next edition of What’s Hot. Hopefully we have seen the last of the delays of 15/16 The Cup and that will be tearing it up soon as well.
Thanks for giving this a read and please feel free to share your thoughts on what you have been breaking on the Sports Collectors Daily Facebook page.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. His column focuses on what products are selling best in hobby shops. He’s got thousands of cards for sale on COMC.com under the ID cardmn5150. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at [email protected]