The past few weeks have brought out some very well received releases including Topps Tier One MLB, Panini Prime NHL, Panini Innovation NBA and Rookies & Stars NFL. Each seems to be selling well and for altogether completely different reasons.
Tier One is riding high thanks to three hits per pack and chances at autographs from Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Rickey Henderson, Nolan Ryan, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and many more. Also drawing a load of interest is the return of the 1/1 bat knobs. Let’s face it these are some of the coolest pulls out there and it is no surprise that they are selling for obscene numbers, like this Jimmie Foxx.
Panini Prime Hockey is once again throwing in some of the sickest possible relic cards and doing a great job of making up for not being able to include current year rookies. This product is worth its own article just so I should showcase more of the mega-gems that Panini produced.
With five autographs or relics in each pack (check out the Brodeur Prime Authentics 1-1 tag) and the only Dominion cards from the 12/13 season as a bonus pack (see this Dominion Ovechkin Prime Laces), this release more than justifies its north of $200 price tag.
Panini Innovation was once perceived by my collectors to be another well after the season NBA release that might have done well enough. That all changed when Panini announced JUST prior to release that Innovation would contain the first licensed autographs of NBA ROY Damian Lillard.
I have to offer props to Panini for being a much better secret keeper than I might have been. Personally, I would have gone the route of full-page ads in Beckett, letting Tracy Hackler go crazy on their blog or having sky writers attack every city one by one to generate some hype. Then again, I happen to love it when a manufacturer throws a curve ball like only Roy Halladay can and elevates a release at the very last minute. (HINT HNT OTHER MANUFACTURERS)
What was once going to be another nail in the 12/13 NBA release calendar coffin has now turned into a must-have box for breakers. Don’t get me wrong, there are autographs from some of the Hoops collecting elite like Kyrie Irving, Kobe Bryant, Anfernee Hardaway, Grant Hill, Magic Johnson and many more. I can’t wait to see what this autographed gem of Damian moves for.
Last, but not least is Panini Rookies & Stars NFL. R&S holds to its tried and true packaging with 4 autographs or relic cards and one rookie in each of the 24 packs. R&S brings back the wildly popular Crusade inserts and with 1/1 versions thrown in for good measure it is nice to have collectors looking for something that is not autographed or filled with a piece of player worn relic.
I know I didn’t go as deep as I usually do on each of these releases, but I had to spend some of my hard earned COMC funds on some Peyton Manning Bronco cards, since I have this strange feeling that he might be popular at my store for the next few months. On a side note, Topps Platinum NFL will be hitting this weekend and something tells me that collectors in Colorado won’t be able to help themselves.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. 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]