So I just got back from Miami and if case you were wondering, I was part tempted to rant on about my former homeland and the humidity levels that I found. I guess my pores are more used to the constant dry of Colorado instead of the sunshine state.
But, since you did not click on this piece today to read about my swimming with dolphins, encountering a single bleeping alligator in the Everglades instead of a herd (what do you call a bunch of alligators gathered together?) or my multiple trips to Steve’s Pizza on Biscayne Boulevard for a slice of my childhood, perhaps I should focus more on matters of the cardboard. Oh yeah, my cousin also got married.
This week we saw the first 2017-18 NHL release arrive, another NFL product from Panini, shops were still plugging away at Topps Chrome if they still had any and we are one day closer to the first 17/18 NBA offering. Now if we could just get Aaron Judge to hit like he did before the All-Star game, things would be killer again.
1) Topps National Baseball Card Day – Sure this isn’t a product…or is it? On Saturday, shops were filled with baseball fans eager for their free six-card packs and the bonus card of Mike Trout with a $10+ Topps MLB pack or box purchase. As if free wasn’t enough, some lucky collectors found autographs of Judge, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Andrew Benintendi, Carlos Correa and others.
Props to Topps, the MLBPA and MLB for getting together and empowering shops to take care of their collectors and to celebrate the sport that has been on fire for not just this year, but for the last several.
2) 2017 Topps Chrome MLB – By the time Chrome was due to arrive, it required no help to sell. With the first fully professionally licensed Bellinger autographed card on top of an annually popular release that came out in both regular and jumbo versions and you have the recipe for a product that is standing out in a season where pretty much every MLB release is standing out.
We did a case break with a 12-ct regular case and it sure would have been nice to have the Dodgers or the Yankees. It started with a Seager auto /99, continued with a Judge auto and finished with a redemption card for a Bellinger. We will be doing another one soon and I’m glad that I committed to stocking a lot of it.
3) 2017 Panini Certified NFL – The 2016 version of Certified NFL started off well and since it was an early season release, the Dak autos were prevalent. Once the product got bought up by one distributor and Dak went from being a 4th rounder with a chance to the starting QB for the most collected team in the NFL, it became scarce. I only bring this up because I started off this year with a few more cases of Certified than I usually would have. So far in spite of rookies we are now getting to finally know better since preseason games have started, sales have been better than I expected them to be.
Collectors are once again drawn to the tried and proven 10 pack and four hits they have gotten used to for years. I have gone through three cases of 24 boxes and really lucked out when our case break yielded the Black 1/1 Mitchell Trubisky. Sadly I did not have the Bears, but it was a rush for sure to pull what might be the best possible card from the entire release.
4) Leaf Pop Century – Yup, I actually just typed that. This is the first year I brought in a case of Pop Century, mostly for one collector. He ended up snagging all but one box and I was impressed with what I saw. The coolest card was an Al Pacino autographed card /5 and the collector made a point of sharing that Al doesn’t really make signing on his stickers a big priority.
There are four more of those Pacino autos for the rest of you to hunt and if you can’t get the star of Heat, Scarface or so many other classics, perhaps you could instead find signed cards of Scott Ian from Anthrax, Conor McGregor, my twin in long hair and stellar beardness Mick Foley, Norman Reedus, Cal Ripken Jr, Johnny Manziel (for some sticker dump reason I’m sure), Christopher Lloyd and a card I might have to splurge on, the dual auto of John and Joan Cusack. Seriously, if any of you saw Grosse Point Blank, you would understand.
5) 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter MLB – Sure it’s been out for a few weeks. Sure it isn’t the newest kid on the block. Sure it doesn’t have Bellenger autographed cards. Sure there’s something else that could be better about it, but I went through my eighth case of it late last week and that makes me happy and my case shredder went home happy.
So there’s what’s hot at my shop. By the way, I hope one of you at least considered wondering if I got sunburn or not. I mean we go back a ways and I would like to think you cared. Wait, you didn’t care. I don’t know what to think.
That being said, looking ahead I see possible future Hot List appearances of releases like Leaf Best Of Football, Panini Immaculate Collection MLB, Panini Origins NFL, Topps Clearly Authentic MLB, Panini Contenders Draft Picks NBA, Upper Deck Premier NHL and well, anything else with the initials MLB in it. We’ll keep you posted.
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]