by Mike Fruitman
Most card stores this time of the year are used to getting requests for Durant, Kobe, D-Wade and whoever is heating up the ice in the NHL playoffs. Currently, a lot of hobby buzz is being reserved for athletes such as Michael Phelps, Sue Bird, Bruce Jenner and other Olympians.
Last week, Topps released 2012 Topps U.S. Olympic Team and Olympic Hopefuls to solid response. I have to admit, it has been a bit of a change in pace seeing cards of swimmers, gymnasts and track & field superstars instead of point guards, goalies and recent NFL draft picks. While we are months away from the summer games, it is encouraging to see packs and boxes moving so well.
Topps has done an admirable job of taking advantage of much of what makes the Olympics so collectible. Of course the autograph part of the set will be much of what people focus on, but the commemorative pins, patches, stamps and medals should garner quite a bit of attention.
In case you were wondering how the singles from this set would perform, we have already seen autographs from Alex Morgan, Shawn Johnson, Amanda Beard and others clear the $100 mark on Ebay with Phelps autos being offered for as much as $599.99.
In addition to current and recent Olympians, the product also offers a chance at cut signatures from some of the biggest names in history. With a roster of cuts from athletes including Al Oerter, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, Bob Beamon and others, Topps certainly made sure there was some content for high-end singles chasers.
Since opening in 1992, shops have never had a chance to offer a product like this to collectors while the games were being played. This summer it will be very interesting to see whether this product will still be selling like gold during the London games.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. 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]