So you all know, it’s 1:40AM here and for you devotees of The Walking Dead, I just got done watching the episode with Eastman. So here I go with my walking staff and I hope you enjoy a rundown of the hobby’s hottest products (at least in my shop).
Since we talked last (and it’s really more of a one-sided conversation other than on Facebook) I enjoyed the Industry Summit in Hawaii. It is always incredible being able to look across the room and see the folks who make this industry happen.
I felt like I was in high school when I saw Dr. Beckett holding his lunch and looking for a place to sit. Why he chose to sit next to me after I pointed to an empty chair is beyond me and then there I was sitting at the “cool table”. Then there was the moment at the Beckett party when Kit Young, the creator of the Summit 30 years ago walked up and said hello to me. Years ago I had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Young at my store when he was doing a cross-country buying trip and for him to remember me from that was awesome.
Of course there were meetings with manufacturers, crossing off snorkeling at Hanauma Bay from my bucket list, overpriced dinners with incredible friends, late night drinks (which is tough to do because the bars in Hawaii apparently close at 11 or so for some insane reason) and some incredible idea sharing. Hopefully those who attended got more than just a Panini Black Box, some cool promo cards from Topps and all the other swag that the Summit is known for.
But enough of my trip to paradise, let’s talk cardboard…
Coming in at number one on the Hot List is 2015 Topps Definitive Collection Football. We ran out of it two days after it released, but for couple of days it was really impressive. Looking back at it, I have to equate it to after you break up with someone only to find out that they were really the one you should have been with the whole time. Yeah, it’s now 2AM and I am close to losing it I guess. Here’s some video of this post-season product being opened in the shop.
For those of you who have been under a rock, Panini has gotten the exclusive for making NFL cards and sadly Topps is down to their last downs. When I ordered Definitive close to six months ago, I had to take into consideration how well Topps did with higher end releases like Five Star and then add several hundred dollars to that cost per box. I took a chance and purchased 3 cases and I am beyond glad that I did.
Each box offers eight cards and there is nothing along the lines of commons in here. Topps pulled out all the stops with loads of 1/1’s, a rookie, a checklist of past and present greats that rivals anything made since 1997 Upper Deck Legends, helmet cards, nameplates and enough to justify the now north of $800 per box retail price. Click here for another break.
After Definitive I can assure you that I am looking forward to Topps Diamond football all the more and please tell me, Topps, that there is no way that you are leaving Definitive Baseball off the calendar for 2016.
1) 2016 Topps Heritage MLB – I always forget that the rush of collectors to snag Heritage each year upon release is as strong if not stronger than it is for Topps 1. We have sold case after case to collectors who have taken on the annual challenge to complete their master sets with all 75 short prints from the set based upon 1967 Topps.
2) 2015 Panini Luxe NFL – Making its first pigskin appearance after rocking the rim with basketball for several years, Panini has done a solid job with this high-end release. I always love it when boxes indicate you’ll get four cards but gives up five instead and many Luxe boxes already have. They’ve also surrendered some very nice relic cards.
The metal frame cards everyone is talking about might be seeded a bit heavy for one of the last cool and innovative things to hit the market, but can you really get too much of a good thing? The down side is some of them are coming out scratched but overall, Luxe has been well received in my shop. Watch a break here.
3) 15/16 Upper Deck 2 NHL – It seems like Upper Deck can do no wrong this year with hockey releases aside from Full Force. The Eichel Young Guns rookie is not quite where Connor’s is pricing, but it still has plenty of legs and McDavid is well represented within the set.
4) 2016 Topps Series 1 MLB – Now while Heritage might be the flavor of the week, Topps 1 is still the flavor of the past month. We are still seeing a strong response to jumbo and even regular boxes and the Topps Spring Fever promotion was a great way to get collectors back into my store and other shops a few weeks after Topps 1 broke. Nice to see the sustained interest through spring training.
5) 2015-16 Panini Gold Standard NBA – For those of you longtime readers, you might be dropping your drinks about now with the inclusion of a NBA release on my list. It is not because the Nuggets are duplicating the success of the Broncos, but we are seeing a much higher interest level in NBA releases this year and Gold Standard seems to be another one in the line of basketball products that are pleasantly surprising me. Now we are still not seeing Upper Deck NBA type of sales, but it is always encouraging to have to call my distributors again to bring in more boxes of basketball cards.
Ok, it’s 2:28 now. ESPN’s Sportscenter does not get better with multiple viewings and I should probably leave you now. Thanks for giving this a read and please head over to the Sports Collectors Daily Facebook page so you can offer your own thoughts on what’s popular and perhaps even guess what will be written about a few weeks from now.
Until then, may your packs be free of redemption cards and filled with the flavor of the week players.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. Normally, 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]