Hello fellow card maniacs,
Welcome to my monthly share of what products are rocking at Colorado’s Best Card Shop.
Along with nearly 100 other hobby shop owners, I recently attended the 2019 Industry Summit in Las Vegas. Also on hand were league and player representatives, manufacturers like Leaf, Panini, Tristar and Ultra Pro along with other hobby movers and shakers. Like most recent summits and conferences, it was rather upbeat and like every other shop seemingly, it was about how do we acquire more releases to offer to our collectors. Selling stuff these days isn’t that hard. Finding the good stuff is another matter. No, I didn’t bring large envelopes filled with cash to give to my distributors and manufacturers, but now that I think of it, I should have taken some of my blackjack winnings (yes!) and found a better home for them out there.
Beckett lined up some compelling programming and we enjoyed some time with NASCAR driver Joey Logano and former big leaguers Steve Garvey and Dave Dravecky (my favorite of the three). There was some great information sharing between shops and in a matter of months we will gather in Orlando at the Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer event with hopefully some great results from the 4th quarter thanks to our time at the Summit.
It hasn’t been all fun and games in Sin City. I have been doing some work at the shop as well. It’s playoff time in baseball; the NFL is heating up and hoops and hockey camps are open. New product releases are colliding nicely, too. Please enjoy this month’s version of What’s Hot and let’s see how well your guesses compare to what I’ve enjoyed at my shop.
Bowman Chrome is back with both of its configurations; the more standard 12 pack version with two autographed cards and the HTA style with three signed cards in each box. Personally, I am a fan of the traditional style, but I can understand where breakers and some collectors would groove on the Cliff Note version. I’ll readily admit that I am not completely familiar with the top prospects until they have had a chance to simmer for a bit, but I’m constantly impressed by my collectors who don’t even need to read the back of the player’s card to know what round they were drafted in as well as where on the top 100 charts their prospect appears.
Boxes are rolling well at $139 for the 12 pack style and $174 for the HTA in my store and while we so far are lacking an OMG future star, it has not stopped shredders from getting into the action big time.
2018 Panini Spectra came out of the gate and quickly bumped in price so when the 2019 version hit, my collectors chose not to wait to get some. In addition, Panini really stepped up with their Tom Brady inscribed cards they announced just before Spectra released (like this one that proved well worth the price of the box). Boxes still feature four autographs and six relic cards and it isn’t only Mr. Brady as some of the other 2019 rookies are starting to emerge. Daniel Jones has been playing well for the Giants and it takes me back to draft night when his pick led to boos and the sports talk shows wondering about the front office.
Spectra offers some incredibly low numbered versions of each of the singles from this release and so far, each case I have sold has offered at least one 1/1 card of some sort. Four pack boxes started close to $400 per and while they have slipped a bit, they are still over $350 at most locations.
For close to 5k, you could have landed this inscribed Tom Brady autographed card.
3) 2019/20 Upper Deck Artifacts NHL
I have been waiting for this year’s Artifacts to land since it leads to 19/20 Upper Deck Series 1 popping which can’t happen soon enough. Between local rookie carryover Cale Makar and fresh draft picks Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko hopefully skating on opening night so they can be in every new release, there has been stronger hockey rookie buzz going into a season than we have seen in the past two years.
Artifacts offers three hits per box including possible autos, relics and Bounty Arum inserts (which I don’t count as hits, but I do not make the sell sheets). In addition, the rookie redemption program is back and thanks to the aforementioned draft picks, one would be lucky to land the Devils or Rangers. Of course there are autographed versions of the redemptions which sadly won’t work with the #2 pick since Panini signed him as an exclusive player. Boxes have eight packs and have started at just under $100 per. I lined up a case break for this coming Saturday and am seeing loads of interest in it already.
One of the autographed redemptions for the #1 pick just made the seller close to $600.
For the past few years, I have looked at Luminaries as Dynasty Light. All of the cards are autographed and many also contain relic swatches. Topps made sure all looked great when they finally hit collectors’ hands by encapsulating them and so far the response has been nothing short of incredible. The checklist reads like a GM’s dream with a great mix of today’s incredible players coupled with some of the best who ever played the game. To top it off, the selection of 1/1 cut signatures would take up a wing of the HOF. One mega lucky collector will eventually land a dual signed card of Babe Ruth paired up with Derek Jeter and won’t have to worry about the first year of college for their kids.
I’d love to tell you what I currently have boxes for, but I’ve been sold out for a few weeks. They moved for close to $200 and I’d have more by now except restocking them takes close to that if you can find them at all. This Griffey sale cleared 2k.
If I had written this piece 2 weeks ago, this would have been the clear favorite since that Zion guy, and most of the rest of the NBA draft have their first autographed cards in this release. When Contenders landed, I had to place a box limit on my collectors to make sure I made it through my first weekend with boxes still available. When Monday hit, I still had a few left and so many of us were talking about the Zion that went up to 100k. Sure, it wasn’t paid for but the hype that card created got the interest of the many hoops fans out there and it wasn’t long before the first wave was all out the door.
Boxes offer six packs with one autographed card in each package. If my count is right, there are six different insert sets that Zion appears in with 1/1 versions of each somewhere out there. Popping next will be Prizm Draft followed up closely by Hoops. Monday was Denver Nuggets Media Day and that just means it won’t be long until we can enjoy some tape of Zion and the other 2019 draft picks hopefully tearing up the court and leaving some hella dunks for us to savor.
Looking ahead to October in addition to the two NBA releases I just alluded to, I’m looking forward to being able to offer boxes of Impeccable NFL, Topps Update MLB, 18/19 Flawless NBA, Prizm NFL, Triple Threads MLB and 18/19 The Cup. I see my credit card getting heavily abused and my delivery guys wondering why I’m so glad to open the door for them each time they park in front of the shop.
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].