Things are kind of spooky in some hobby shops on this Halloween. Stores should be dancing in the streets with this being the only week of the year when all four sports are in play (unless the Red Sox and Cardinals somehow go to game 12), but in talking to some other shop owners and seeing what secondary pricing is doing, there are still some hot products, but seemingly more tricks than treats.
We have seen the annual deluge of releases including late season baseball products that would have been killer if they arrived when all 30 teams were playing instead of just two. The first of the 2013/14 NBA releases hit with a whimper (let’s face it, if you were planning on paying your rent with Hoops, then I would hate to see how small your place is). 2013 NFL releases for the most part sadly continue to hit with all the impact of a feather dropped from 30 feet onto a pillow. The NHL releases we have seen so far are lacking the brand new rookies other than Artifacts which offers redemptions for the newest skaters to hit the ice.
Sorry guys, I know that usually I deliver all the sunshine possible for a sports card store owner and my store at least is still killing it, but I’m seeing so many products that usually deliver rapid returns from collectors now floundering instead. Between an awesome autograph signing with Denver Bronco Trindon Holliday over the weekend, some sold-out case breaks and the Broncos and Colorado Avalanche being a combined 17-2 the collectors at my store have been nothing but incredible.
I know that usually I am ranting about some releases that the UPS guy dropped off within the last week, but for the sake of other shops, I would like to instead focus on what is on the on deck circle for a change.
Looking ahead, there should be some strong sellers up the pike. Both 13/14 Upper Deck 1 and Panini Select NHL will offer the first eagerly anticipated cards of the most recent draft picks. Seriously, if I could turn every single in my store into Nathan MacKinnon cards, I would jump at the chance like Brandon Meriweather being able to hit an exposed wide receiver without a referee in sight.
Leaf Memories MLB will be back for a second season and if it is even half as popular as their 2012 offering, then collectors will be well rewarded with autographs numbered to 5 or 1 and possible autographs of the next Cuban sensation, Jose Abreu, will be live in packs.
Panini Immaculate NBA will pick up some of the Flawless scraps. After the success of their $1,500.00+ briefcase encased product, perhaps Panini has turned the corner and will be able to produce high end release not named National Treasures.
Also due in November is Topps Chrome NFL. While Geno and EJ are not yet going to make anyone quickly forget about Andrew, Russell, Robert or even Ryan, their Superfractors and autographed Superfractors should have shredders searching through loads of boxes until those 1/1’s hit eBay.
Sorry if I have come across like Debbie Downer on a bender after going losing it all in Vegas, but every once in a while I have to stop and call it as it is. Some recent releases like 12/13 The Cup NHL, 13/14 Artifacts NHL, 2013 Topps Finest and 2013 Topps Triple Threads MLB have been running in and out of the door like Halloween candy at Costco on the 31st. We just need a few more of those full size treats across the board.
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]