I would like to start off by apologizing for mistakenly suggesting last time that the Industry Summit might be held in January 2018 instead of when it typically was. The dates aren’t actually finalized yet but I created some undue stress for one of my favorite hobby peeps and that’s the last thing anyone needs. I try to get things right when I share them on here and I will do better to confirm the information that I share with you all.
I can’t say that I am going to start each Hot List with what’s going on in the hobby, but I want to thank Upper Deck and specifically Chris Carlin for stepping up to offer a Heroic Inspirations trading card for one of my favorite younger collectors, Trevor Kling.
Trevor grew up with my son and is battling brain cancer for the second time. He has shown more bravery and strength than any 14-year-old ever should have while never complaining once in spite of no longer being able to bowl or play baseball and all the incredibly savage and sucky parts of fighting this disgusting disease. In October, I will be offering those Upper Deck cards of Trevor for free with a donation that will directly go to offsetting the medical expenses the Kling family has incurred.
I will be sharing more information when I have it and while I make my money selling cards of star players, autographed cards and vintage singles, none of those will ever be as cool as this one I am looking forward to sharing.
So, let’s go back to our regularly scheduled programming. As we reach the end of the third quarter of the calendar year, it’s still a solid market. Here’s what’s selling best right now:
1) 2017 Topps Triple Threads MLB – What do you get when you take one of the most popular products of the year and add a rookie crop I would sell my soul for? Yup, you get the hottest current release.
It doesn’t hurt that they added Derek Jeter and Floyd Mayweather autographs (both of which got pulled at my card shop neener, neener, neener).
In spite of boxes being in the typical $200 range collectors aren’t just buying boxes, they are buying nine and ten-count cases.
2) 17/18 Upper Deck Artifacts NHL – Artifacts arrived the day that I was writing this piece and I am already encouraged by how well it is being received. While we already have 17/18 products like OPC and MVP, Artifacts is one of the first annual releases that offer some insight to how well the season will go.
Boxes still have eight packs and three hits per, plus the rookie redemption card we have grown to love and while so many people were concerned about the rookie crop, my first day sales were enough to move it up to the coveted second spot.
3) 2017 Panini XR NFL – I have to admit I was a little concerned about XR when it was solicited. Typically, Panini named products after previously released insert sets or words that begin with the letter “I” so XR was a wee bit different.
With two packs and three hits, you’ll find a rookie autographed jersey, a second autograph and a rookie jumbo relic or triple swatch relic card in each box along with four parallel cards, four base, two rookies and one insert. What seems to be a product that is created for breakers seems to be working well enough at the shop level.
4) 2017 Panini Spectra NFL – Spectra is back with four high-end packs loaded up with four autographed singles and seven relic cards in each box. This was a release that collectors not only knew about, but were really looking for. It’s bolstered by a rookie crop that each week seemingly multiplies like Kardashians are these days.
It is not just rookies as there are autographs from stars like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Marcus Mariota, Steve Largent, Matthew Stafford, Randy Moss, Troy Aikman and more. Also incredibly interesting is the return of the Hall Of Fame Signatures set with all-time greats like Howie Long, Jim Brown, Art Shell and Chris Hanburger– who I only bring up because I had one of them pulled at my shop.
5) 2017 Topps Gold Label MLB – Back for a second year with one framed autographed card in each five-card pack, collectors are digging a late season MLB release that doesn’t go for as much as the newest pair of Jordan sneakers. Boxes are in the $55-$60 range and if anyone from Topps is reading this, feel free to turn it into a single jumbo pack in 2017. Sure it would take away from some of the pack opening experience, but the framed signed cards are so popular that one jumbo pack would be more than enough.
This year the possible autographs include Alex Bregman, Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Code Bellenger, Clayton Kershaw, Derek Jeter, Hank Aaron, Ichiro, Kris Bryant, Mark McGwire, Mike Trout, Sandy Koufax and other stars. The relic cards appear one per case and rather than turn this into just a giant checklist fest, let’s just say they are worth pulling.
Now if I had typed this out a couple of days from now, I might have been able to place 2017 Bowman Chrome at spot 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and been right on. While it will not even contain signatures of Aaron Judge, I have had collectors asking for both versions, the regular flavor with 12 packs and the newfangled HTA version with none of those annoying base, parallel, prospect or insert cards, just three autographed cards. Chrome will arrive Friday.
Looking ahead, I expect to see the following products catching fire once released: 2017 Panini Impeccable NFL, 2017 Panini Phoenix NFL, 2017 Topps Diamond Icons MLB, 2017 Topps Update MLB and 2017 Bowman High Tek MLB. Just so you know distributors are saying they were cut on Bowman High Tek so what would have been a nice first-year release might be that much hotter and probably harder to find.
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]