While I’m not from Edmonton, as a card shop owner and a fan, I do root for teams that have incredibly popular young players on them. As I’m writing this, the Oilers have just been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Did I wallow in pity? No. Did I grab a 12 pack of Molson beer and drown my sorrows as many Connor McDavid fans did? Nah. I chose to retreat to the basement and share what is hot in my store. Yes, I am the weirdest person I know, but I like it.
We are currently in my second favorite time of the year where MLB is in full swing, the NBA and aforementioned NHL playoffs are ruling the school and since the NFL Is a year round sport, it is never too far from the front pages.
Before I get to what’s hot in regard to products, I need to share that the Colorado Rockies are 22-13 and only 1 game behind the Astros for most wins in baseball. What is more surprising than their record is that they are doing it with pitching! Fine, I’ll get past my homer rant and get to the real reason you’re here, boxes of cards.
So, here’s what my collectors are buying as we approach mid-May.
1) 2017 Bowman MLB – When I submitted my order for 2017 Bowman over 6 months ago, I HOPED there would be a deluge of prospects that my collectors would be hungering for. Suffice to say they have been feasting since Bowman landed. I used to think that my favorite release day each year was when Topps 1 hit, but I think I might have to revise that since the calls for the new Bowman rivaled those of a rock station giving away free Metallica tickets to their stadium shows this summer.
I’m down to a wee bit left of my five regular cases and my five cases of jumbos lasted way too short…or not long enough depending on whether you’re asking me or my collectors who now have to pay a b it more for them since I’ve had to find other sources and for my re-stocks.
2) 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen MLB – Gypsy Queen remains on the Hot List for a second time. I’m still a bit surprised that collectors are still going ga-ga for it. There are two fewer jersey cards this year, the per-pack minis is no longer a guarantee and the box topper minis were also removed. It makes me think of the parallel universe where New Coke took off instead of dying a quick death like it did in this dimension. Like Bowman jumbos, I’ve had to restock GQ at unpleasant pricing and while it is not flying like it did upon release, it Is still grabbing the attention of my collectors who love the retro style, the two autographs that are coming out of each box and the many variations.
3) 2017 Panini Contenders Draft/Panini Elite Draft NFL – I do not usually pair up products this way, but with one having five packs and one having six with an autograph in each pack, I’ll make an exception. Both were selling incredibly well before the NFL Draft and with all the popular position players who went higher than projected, both of these have maintained their dominance at the cash register. While collectors have not forgotten about the 2016 rookie class, there are some who have high hopes for the ’17 group. Let’s just hope it isn’t the train wreck known as the 2013 draft class.
4) 2016-17 Panini National Treasures NBA – If this were a movie commercial, it might sound like this: “In a year…where the number one pick doesn’t play…AND signs an exclusive autograph contract with someone who no longer makes NBA trading cards…and the rest of the rookie class has all the name appeal of Alien 4…how is this product so well received?” A lot of my collectors avoided committing to boxes or cases after seeing online breaks, but ask me if I have any left and I’ll tell you that you missed out on my two cases. The product seems to be creeping up on the wholesale charts and should any of the rookies blow up, it might be another monster year for NT.
5) ANYTHING NAMED BOWMAN MLB FROM THE PAST 4 YEARS – Every once in a while I lament not taking every dollar out of my IRA account and loading up on a product, but in this case it is about not buying an entire product line. Bowman is so popular that the once left for dead 2014 Bowman Draft is even popular. 2015 and 2016 Bowman’s Best have more up arrows than Apple Stock. Bowman Sterling is harder to find than Bigfoot or Nessie. When you factor in all the Chrome releases I have adopted a first ever strategy of not using price tags for my restocks since my usual mark-up strategies have left me paying more for boxes or cases than I had them available for. You know that feeling of walking into a Best Buy or other store and seeing something so horribly mis-priced that you almost feel badly for the shop? Yup, I have seen that face on a number of my collectors as they asked for all the Bowman boxes I have as I smack my forehead like I could have had a V-8. Don’t get me wrong, I made money on each box, but leaving stickers off my Bowman restocks might be a trend that lasts all summer.
S0 there you have it, the most updated What’s Hot list from your favorite Colorado card store owner. As a reward for reading down this far, I would like one of you to win the Carlos Correa autograph I snagged from a box of 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen. If you’d like to have a chance to win, find the Sports Collectors Daily Facebook post that includes the link to this column. Then share your own What’s Hot list in the comment section and whoever has the most likes on their comment by midnight MST on 5/20 will get this card. Yup, make a post, beg your friends to give it a like, promise them Correa visitation rights on the weekend, but whoever wins the popularity contest gets to take it home.
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]