So I was sitting at my keyboard Tuesday night after enjoying a rousing episode of Z-Nation and two baseball playoff games, wondering what product I’d put at the top of the hot list and it hit me. While we’re still selling cards well at the shop, we are in a bit of a hobby black hole these days and the reasons are fairly easy to see.
MLB – Every release that arrived after Topps Finest did on 8/13 has performed about as well as the Tigers bullpen. Floundering products include Topps Chrome 8/27, Triple Threads 9/10, Bowman Chrome 9/26 and the newest victim to join the unimpressive list, Stadium Club 10/1.
I feel it is important to include the dates since it shows my theory of any MLB offering that hits around the start of the NFL season or after is about as good an investment for hobby shops as more 2013 football releases. Looking at a popular online dealer’s website, each of these releases is available below cost and that includes the ever popular jumbo boxes that we all die for. Baseball might be the national pastime, but football rules the school when it comes to cards.
NFL – I know, I just stopped short of kneeling before the all-powerful league, but even football sales aren’t exactly where most shops would want them to be. When the rookie QB that has played the most games this season is Derek Carr (and I’ll be kind while leaving out the Raiders’ record) then it is safe to say that things aren’t where we anticipated them being on draft night.
Blake Bortles has shown some skills, but Jacksonville isn’t exactly where hobby stars come from. Teddy Bridgewater has done OK until being sidelined, but without a certain running back to help focus collectors attention on the great state of MN, the Vikings are a notch or two down from being the infrequent hobby darlings they have been from time to time. Continuing to complicate things, as joked about above, is the continued lack of interest in 2013 NFL releases. It’s as though 1992 and 2002 were upon us again and while I can buy last year’s boxes for less, the line to purchase them is way too short.
NHL – This has been one of the few bright spots in my shop as of late. Thanks to last year’s #1 pick, Nathan MacKinnon, we are still seeing lots of Ultimate Collection, SP Authentic and the competitively priced Panini releases walking out the door. Of course when The Cup hits in a few weeks, shops will all see a 1 to 2 day bump at their registers. National Treasures exceeded my expectations, but with restocking prices where they are, I’m going to hold off on bringing in more until the BMOC release from Upper Deck walks in and out.
NBA – We are in a holding pattern with seemingly nobody wanting any of the 2013-14 releases out there and I can’t wait to see the response to 14/15 Hoops next Wednesday and Totally Certified on 11/12. We are getting some strong talk about the upcoming year’s releases and it would be nice to have a NBA season where my store can move more than 50 boxes or so.
Sorry if I’m not my usual chipper self this week and looking ahead there are some products with loads of buzz about them. Believe me; few things would make me happier than to wax poetically over the newest and hottest flavor of the week. Until then, happy shredding and pull well.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO where they’ve got a brand spanking new look to their website. Normally, his column focuses 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]