Usually I put together my What’s Hot pieces between midnight at 2 AM with a full complement of Sportscenter or low-budget horror movies from the 1980s to serve as background music.
This effort had the benefit of Game 5 between the Blue Jays and the Rangers (specifically the 53 minute 7th inning if you must know). It made me appreciate the difference between this year and most years for card store owners.
Usually, we enjoy a strong season of MLB sales until the combination of back to school purchases and football sales take over. It is as this point that we regret ordering late season Topps releases on their website at 2 AM with the favorable memories of that day’s sales.
With the exception of specific releases like 2011 Topps Updates & Highlights and a few others, most post-September MLB purchases only do well when we finally sell out and then get back in at the ‘much less than direct’ rate.
Not this time.
We have already broken our record for same season 18-ct case sales of Topps Triple Threads MLB, collectors seem to be drawn to the new packaging style of Topps Five Star and our first day sales of Topps High Tek make me wish that I had brought in more than just four cases to start things off.
Since the Rockies were eliminated in June it seems, my store unofficially adopted the Cubs. It did not hurt that Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell and several others on the roster are so talented while being young enough probably not get a drink without having to show their IDs. Their cards are hot sellers, even a two-day drive from Wrigley Field.
Now, NFL sales have not been disappointing in the least. We have filled up the dumpster by our store with loads of empty cases from box sales and– equally important–our football case breaks are filling up every time. Now for Marcus Mariota to regain his first week stats, Jameis Winston his second, Amari Cooper his third and for Todd Gurley to just keep on keeping on.
2015/16 Upper Deck Artifacts NHL is not on our shelves at the time I am writing this, but will be by the time you read it. Not since 13/14 with Nathan MacKinnon have I made a point of checking scores and rookie performances before I head to bed like I have this year with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.
I know by now you are impatiently waiting to be told what is the hottest thing out there and right now, the cop-out answer is… pretty much everything.
Since my editor will not ever let that fly, please allow me to throw you a curve and go with 2014/15 Upper Deck The Cup NHL. While it did not start out of the gate with the same WOW factor of 13/14 The Cup and people are already seriously asking for 15/16, we have moved four of our six-box cases and quite a few of their smaller brother, the three count.
So far our collectors have pulled two of the incredibly hard to get rookies numbered to 99 and while we have not seen any of the 1/1 dual NHL Shield cards, the brand new Exquisite singles have more than lived up to advance billing.
My guess is that Artifacts will take out some of the steam from 14/15 The Cup and it would be nice if some of the rookies had breakout second seasons to keep cases flying, but since I just went out this week and ordered 11/12, 12/13 and 13/14 The Cup, it is one of those releases that always inspires collectors to step up.
Here’s what else is at the top of the Hot List:
1) 2015 Topps Triple Threads MLB – As you already saw, these gems are on fire and if I had $1 for each case I have sold, I could afford my typical Starbucks purchase of a large (I will never say “Venti”) Caramel Apple Spice.
2) 2014 Bowman Draft Picks & Propsects – Yes, I know this is not a new release and Kyle Schwarber has signed cards in 2015, but the allure of this release is remarkable. One day I will crack the code and figure out how many regular cases were made so I can learn exactly how many thousands of square miles of trees from the Amazon went into making it.
3) 2015 Leaf Best Of Baseball – Our third case is in the mail and it cannot get here fast enough. Once again I will share that in my next life, I want to come back as the designated buyer for this and every other Best Of release that Leaf offers.
4) 2015 Donruss Soccer – Donruss picks up right where the World Cup Prizm left off, only it offers one autographed card in each box instead of the unofficial 1:2 that Prizm gave us.
5) 2015 Panini Gridiron Kings NFL – Well welcome back Gridiron Kings! Our case break sold out incredibly quickly and we have been moving it verrrrrrryyyyy well by the box. Perhaps you should come back again in 2016?
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]