What’s Hot? What is not hot is more like it.
NFL sales are going like gang busters, MLB products with all the hottest rookies and the playoffs upon us are going strong, NHL sales could be a bit better, but we are still seeing interest in late season releases and collectors are clamoring for the two NBA releases that should be hitting our shelves in the next two weeks.
Well, something has to be number one so why not make it –
1) 2016 Topps Triple Threads MLB – There are some products that appear and then there are some that people wait for. Triple Threads is certainly one of the latter where there is literally a countdown until arrival. This year took a little longer as somehow the boxes were not wrapped. Yup, just think of how much fun it would be to walk into your LCS and trust that all of the heavier or thicker packs had not been plucked. So it took an extra week or so for wrapping to take place and cases to be delivered to shop owners, but that has not stopped the push for product.
We started with three cases and about to go restocking. We were able to sell through a 9-ct case break and saw not one, but two of the autographed relic 1/1 printing plate cards. Once again, boxes have two packs with each pack typically yielding an autographed relic and an un-autographed relic card, two individually numbered base set parallels and a few base cards as well.
2) 15/16 Upper Deck Premier NHL – With only one more 15/16 NHL release on the horizon that rhymes with “The Rup” we are sadly close to the end of Connor McDavid rookie cards. While there are still plenty of releases on my shelves, it is still feeling like the end of the 2012 NFL product train. Premier has had a strong start out of the gate with boxes clearing the $300 range and seemingly plenty of breakers.
Boxes offer five hits with at least one RPA. With this price tag, Upper Deck has thrown in more than it’s share of possible 1/1 sets like Platinum Blue Spectrum Autographs, Platinum Blue Stars Autograph Patches, Silver Spectrum Inked Script Autographs, Gold Spectrum Premier Rookie Materials Patches and many, many more exclusive singles. While The Cup hits on 10/26, there will still probably be people looking for Premier.
3) 2016 Panini Infinity NFL – Now that we are finally at the point where not only all the new NFL releases have the players in the NFL uniforms, but also at the point where even casual collectors are learning the names of those rookies from more than which round they were drafted, each NFL release is a little more sought after, even ones that we have never seen before. Infinity kind of fits into that category since it offers three autos or relics, 1 insert or parallel and 2 base cards much the way that Leaf Limited or Panini Limited did. That having been said, I wonder why they did not just call it Limited? I mean it already had a following, name recognition and a decent track record aside from 2013 when seemingly nothing was well received. I guess that is why I own a card store and do not work for a manufacturer. Well, that and an aversion to anything resembling a dress code, jumping “how high” and doing TPS reports (whatever they are).
Infinity stands out with rookie autographed cards on metal with Chrome, Gold and 1/1 Copper versions. Aside from rookie signatures, Infinity packs a strong selection of retired player autos from guys like Favre, Staubach, Tittle, Bosworth, Csonka, Dickerson, Bailey, Brown and Warner to keep collectors interested.
4) 2016 Topps Heritage Minor League MiLB – While I do not usually go deep with minor league releases, the last few years have shown increased interest in such releases with stronger than usual rookie crops. When I got the order form for the 2016 Heritage Minors, I saw something I liked that made going for a full case worth a try. This year Topps took boxes down from 24 packs per box to 18. While 18 might be a magical number to residents in Colorado thanks to a certain retired QB, what it meant to me was that I could now offer boxes for less than $50. While it means that there is one less autographed card per box, it has worked to perfection with collectors who did not usually try it, now giving it a go and those who liked it, now stepping up and trying multiple boxes.
Topps went back to the 1967 Topps design and there is still an autograph and relic card in each box. Just like it’s big brother Topps MLB Heritage, there is great added value with short prints and variations. I’ll be straight with you in that while we are through our first case, I did not pay too much attention to what got pulled, but I can tell you that shredders seem to be liking what they are pulling and I am on the hunt for more.
5) 2016 Panini Spectra NFL – Sure it has been out for longer than anything else on this list, but it just keeps on keeping on. Apparently like boxes with 11 autographs or relics, loads of low-numbered, sweet looking football cards with an above average track record. It does not hurt that we have seen some monster pulls and there are not a lot of other high-end NFL releases that they are competing against yet.
So, that is what is selling well in my card store. Once this is posted to the SC Daily Facebook page, feel free to share what recent offerings have gotten your interest. As for what might be popping onto the next installment, I’m leaning towards however much 15/16 The Cup NHL I can get from UD as well as my distributors, Topps Update MLB, 16/17 Panini Contenders Draft Picks NBA since Ben Simmons being hurt won’t negatively affect it too much, 16/17 Upper Deck Artifacts NHL, Topps Five Star MLB and for non-sports fans, possibly even Topps Walking Dead Season 5.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. 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].