It’s never a boring time at the shop these days which means that we are still in the middle of perhaps the most insane time I have ever seen. I am still seeing unparalleled anticipation for new products and this week might have been the perfect example of what I am talking about. I am sure it will not surprise you to see 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen and 2017 Panini National Treasures NFL on my Hot List and I am glad I waited to put this piece together.
We are at a point where getting product is the key to success and I would hate to be a new store that was trying to locate releases to stock their stores. Not every shop is able to order directly from the manufacturers. I am part of a group for sports card store owners and it is tough to see some of the challenges newer or shops without a good buying history are experiencing in getting product. I hope your LCS is able to not only have products on the first day but the week after as well.
Here’s a look at the hottest of the hot products right now.
1) 2017 Panini National Treasures NFL – It was such a welcome surprise to be able to bring in over 10 cases of NT because more than any other high-end NFL release, collectors will scrimp and save to be able to belly up to the bar for these close to $500 boxes and our higher-end shredders cannot wait to roll through cases.
My dozen cases landed on Wednesday and if I did not squirrel away a case for a Saturday division break, I would be long gone of it. I have spent so much time posting pictures on Twitter and going live on Facebook with collectors who are breaking it in the shop or those who want me to do personal box breaks for them. I know I am slightly exaggerating, but I feel like Panini made a point of sending my store every Patrick Mahomes 1/1 card and they have looked sweet!
2) 2017 Panini Contenders Optic NFL – Clearly the marriage of Contenders and Optic has been a healthy one. For decades, Contenders has been a massive release that would make people stop what they were doing when it released to run over to snag some. In more recent time Optic has emerged as a proper replacement for Chrome to collectors who long for that previous Topps brand. While I am old, it has me thinking of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups where it is two great tastes that taste great together. Fine, go to YouTube and find one of the older commercials and enjoy my grainy appearing childhood.
Collectors who were drawn by the Contenders name are being rewarded with two autographed cards. Sure there are veterans, but with so many rookies who made dramatic impacts this year, today I went through the last of my initial 100 boxes.
3) 2018 Topps Heritage MLB – Gone are the days of Shohei Ohtani red Heritage autographs selling for $4806, but the most recent sale of $1,659.99 is still enough to inspire consistent sales for Heritage collectors. I still have a little bit of my direct purchase in stock, but it has remained a steady mover as people are still working on completing their sets and going after the one autograph or relic that is still enough to inspire constant box sales.
4) 2018 Donruss MLB – I will admit it that I expected two cases to be enough to last me a while and yes, I was wrong and a far pricier case should be landing by the time you read this. Boxes were hyped to offer three autographed or relic cards per and a good number of my boxes yielded four with some having five. It is always fun to look at a collector who got more than they were supposed to pull and invite them to send them back because they got more than they were guaranteed to get.
I know Panini has only the MLBPA license and so you won’t see logos or team nicknames but I happen to be a fan of Donruss. I love how Panini has incorporated many of the popular insert sets like Dominators, Elite Series, Long Ball Leaders, Passing The Torch and more. Now I am wondering if I should have snagged a second case recently before I had to pay more to get it next time.
5) 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen MLBhttps://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/2018-topps-gypsy-queen-preview/ – I was a little concerned last year then Topps took out the two relic cards per box of Gypsy Queen and kept in the two autographed cards. Clearly I did not take into account Aaron Judgemania and well, no matter how much of the 2017 product I brought in would have been enough. Well, 2018 has started out incredibly strong and even though I started off with six cases, something tells me that by Monday I will be paying going rate to restock my shop again.
Back are the cool box toppers and enough different retro-style inserts to have me looking for Michael J Fox on the tube when I got home from work. I did a few personal box breaks today and enjoyed the on-card autographs, individually numbered parallels and cardboard feel that made me long for some 30 second good pieces of flat, chalky gum.
Looking ahead I see quite a few products that I wish I had in stock already. The 2018 NFL releases cannot get here fast enough and I ordered more 2018 Leaf football products than I can remember committing to well…ever. Next week offers 2018 Topps Tribute MLB which because it was delayed should offer Ohtani and his 27.0 ERA (and still highly sought after autographed cards). 17/18 Optic and National Treasures NBA should join the group of “Man I Wish My Distributors Could Have Gotten Me More” releases. Based on calls, the 2018 Panini World Cup Stickers might make the Hot List (not a surprise to anyone who remembers 2014) and you know darn well 2018 Bowman MLB will be on there for one if not several months.
I know I sound like Bob Barker at the end of an episode of The Price Is Right, but do not forget to visit your local card shops to support them. The Panini NBA Player Of The Day contest is going on and many of us are giving away free packs with the chance at cool weekly prizes as well as autographed pieces for our grand prize winners.
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].