Hello fellow card maniacs!
The last edition of What’s Hot was a video version we shot a month ago at the National. I’ve had a month to recover from the show and we’re quickly approaching the Industry Summit in Las Vegas this September. Man, I’m glad my wife lets me go to all these cool hobby events. For those of you who did not see my video testimonial from attending John Broggi’s annual spectacular, please enjoy my thoughts upon returning. Yes, I did it in one take and no animals were injured in the filming of this clip.
It was great to go, see and be seen, deal and be dealt with. The dinners were incredible and the hobby company could not have been better. There are some incredibly patient people I have gotten to be friends with over the years and I am fortunate to count them as true friends. Suffice to say, I’ll be putting The National on my radar for years to come.
Since the beginning of the month, we have had a multitude of new material to offer and what is a month without sharing the top 5 most popular products at my shop?
1) 2019 Bowman Sterling MLB
Not to foreshadow too much, but Bowman Sterling might just have placed itself well for a 2019 Mikey Award for Comeback Product Of The Year. Completely reconfigured since its last release in 2014, Sterling offers 1 autograph per pack and 5 packs per box. If my memory serves me correctly, the 2014 version had 6 packs and 3 autos per pack. Collectors do not seem to mind the fewer packs and hits apparently since it FLEW out of my shop almost as quickly as it landed. Clearly absence makes the heart grow fonder and the last five years have been very kind to anything named Bowman.
There are oodles of different parallels with the standard color options and printing plates as the cherry on top. There’s loads of rookie autos, prospect sigs and some name veterans thrown in for good measure and if you know of any lying around, you just drop me a line please.
2) 18/19 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection NHL
Sure, we are many weeks away from anyone skating and most of the NHL talk involves Jack Hughes and a player that Panini chose to play keep away with, but my puckheads welcomed the annual return of Ultimate Collection with open arms. Boxes offer 1 Rookie Autograph or Auto Relic, 2 additional Autographs or Relics and 1 Base, Parallel or Introductions card.
The big hits for Ultimate are the 1/1 NHL Logo Shield relics. Sadly none of my collectors reported pulling any of these long-standing singles and I’m not sure that will change sadly since like Bowman Sterling, I am on the hunt for more boxes and cases.
3) 2019 Panini Origins NFL
In any of the last few years, Origins would have been on top of the What’s Hot charts upon release and while it is moving well this year, it is suffering from the lack of big name football rookies to push it. Collectors are digging the art based cards and the standard 3 hits that they have gotten accustomed to seeing annually from Origins. Also getting attention are the 6 player signed cards, dual patch signatures and the 1/1 black Nike swoosh relics.
This is one product I don’t mind sitting on since it has a tremendous history of performing well after it releases and I’m not sure we have seen all there is to see based on some preseason performances from the 2019 rookie crop.
4) 2019 Topps Tribute MLB
Many shop owners and collectors believe that Tribute is resting on its laurels from when it started in the early 2000s, but it seems to once again have found a home with collectors. Boxes are delivering 3 autographed cards and 3 relics as well and are just shy of $300 per box in my shop.
There are autographs possible from Mike Trout, Ken Griffey Jr, Ronald Acuna Jr., Aaron Judge, Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and more. I recently hosted Colorado Rockies starting catcher Tony Wolters for an autograph session and we made busting a box part of his autograph session. Check out his excitement when he pulled an autograph of one of the players mentioned above.
5) 2019 Topps Chrome MLB
Yup, Topps scored a triple play this month with their MLB releases. Regular boxes offer 2 autographed singles and jumbo boxes still have 5 signatures per box. Chrome is the only release on this list that hit before The National and it is a testament to how much shredders love it that it still is charting. It doesn’t hurt that it offers rookie year autographs from young stars like Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Eloy Jimenez, Fernando Tatis Jr, Kyle Tucker, Will Smith, Michael Kopech and more.
It isn’t all rookie autographs in Chrome with vets like Ichiro, Mike Piazza, Alex Rodriguez, Rickey Henderson, Albert Pujols, Ivan Rodriguez and others picking up their pens as well. Please enjoy this box break we recorded with long-time Colorado Rockies announcer Drew Goodman.
Looking ahead to September, I not only see the return of the NFL regular season, I also anticipate popular products like Bowman Chrome MLB, Panini Contenders Draft NBA, Topps Luminaries MLB, Panini Spectra NFL, National Treasures MLB and perhaps a surprise product or two making the list.
As always, thanks for giving this a read and more importantly for supporting your LCS. Sure, I’m biased, but it really does mean a lot when you all do.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. His column normally 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].