While many collectors are beating down our doors for anything with Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Joc Pederson, Chris Heston and others, I have been more than pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response to 2014-15 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey since it released in late June.
Sure the Avalanche were out of the playoff run essentially by the All-Star game and naming a rookie from the current year almost requires a Canadian passport, but as a tribute to how hard-core puckheads are about their sport, SPA is selling well enough that you would think they somehow snuck Connor McDavid into the set.
Fear not, we are blowing through loads of Topps Series 2, Stadium Club, Archives and anything else with the above mentioned Cubs infielder, but we plowed through three cases of SPA in its first week and when we offered a case break this Monday, we moved over 20 of the team spots before we closed that night.
SP is back again with its now standard three autographs per box, multiple autographed rookie patch autographs in each case and the eternally popular Future Watch numbered rookie cards. What is new (and awesome) are the Upper Deck Update cards. Seriously, whoever thought of these needs a weekend vacation at the Hotel Del Coronado. Yes there are Exclusives /100 and High Gloss parallels /10. It is safe to say that the Andrew Hammond Young Guns might be the best in the 10 card rookie set and just makes the 14/15 set so much more complete.
Even though Upper Deck has the NHL exclusive, they are not exactly holding back on the big names for their autographed card sets. SPA might be for you in case you are interested in opening a product with possible signatures of Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Bobby Orr, Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Alexander Ovechkin, Nathan MacKinnon, Martin Brodeur, Teemu Selanne, Jonathan Toews (BTW, thanks UD, for including all these great names so I can fill up this much room in my piece without actually working), Jaromir Jagr, Rick Nash… and I have not even mentioned a current year rookie.
The Sign Of The Times set is back with single, dual /25, triple /15, quad /10 and even six player /5 signed cards. Many of the above players appear in this set along with stars like (yup, it’s fill in some blank time again) Jeremy Roenick, Guy Lafleur, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Jon Tavares and more.
Upper Deck also pays homage to the first stand-alone SP set, the 94/95 release with a 100 card retro base set, 40 card autographed veteran version and 13 card rookie autographed card set.
Part of me is happy that we are now one set closer to the 15/16 season’s products. Also part of me is more than pleasantly surprised that the lines have been this long for a release highlighted by rookies like Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Drouin and Johnny Gaudreau.
What else is moving at Colorado’s Best Card Shop?
1) 2015 Bowman Inception MLB – Sure it has been released for less than 12 hours, but we went through multiple cases of the first day of release and these days, that is good enough for me.
2) 2015 Topps 2 MLB – For those of you who did not load up on Topps 2 jumbo boxes, they are wholesaling for about $30 over cost. I cannot tell you whether that is attribute to Mr. Bryant, the amount ordered, the amount made or the price of tea in China, but it does not seem like prices will be softening anytime soon.
3) 2015 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – Yup, I will admit it. I ordered lightly on this release and I am kicking myself. I have no idea what it is about a set with mostly retired athletes drawn well enough to give most people an 80% chance of guessing who the athlete is without any help that drives people crazy, but that is apparently what happened this year.
4) 2015 Topps Stadium Club MLB – Apparently all Topps had to do to salvage this brand from my post college collecting years was remove one autograph from last year, ditch the mini boxes and yeah, that Bryant guy probably did not hurt either.
5) 2015 Bowman NFL – What? Did you really think we could go a month without having a football release on the Hot List? It is simple math – 4 autographs a box + Winston + Mariota = sales.
So what will be on the next What’s Hot list? How will our SPA NHL break go? What will happen at The National without me? All these questions and more will be answered the next time I sit down at my computer and watch some more horrible 1980s movies. Until then, may all your boxes be filled with first rounders and all the people who buy your cards on eBay not lie about empty envelopes.
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].