Show #83 Sports Cards Boom? + 10/11 Black Box Basketball & More

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Boom or Bust – what is the trading card markets fate? While it’s hard to judge where the sports card market will go, we analyze some of the athletes that have helped cards boom in the past.

News: Panini gets MLBPA License to make baseball cards (without use of MLB logos/uniforms)
Also, some 2011 Topps Finest Cam Newton SuperFractor cards have sold for $3,000+ and his cards are BOOMING after a 400+ yard game in week 1 vrs Arizona.

Usually a jump in demand for sports cards correlates with a spike in popularity of a given player or team. We’ve seen all kinds of players come through the ranks and drive big money sales for their cards – some have lasted longer than others. Below is a list of players I think have really helped card sales in one way or another. I’ve probably left off lots of names – but these are the ones that come to mind:

Sustainable BOOM Players:
Ken Griffey Jr
Despite a career that was ‘hurt’ by injuries – his 1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card created one of the biggest sports card booms of all time.

Derek Jeter
This Yankees great has won championships and collected 3,000+ hits along the way. His cards will probably always have value.

Brett Favre
No one started more games in a row at QB than Favre – & playing for Green Bay made his cards very collectible.

Tom Brady
A limited number of rookies make his early cards very collectible – and his autographs is highly sought after.

Michael Jordan
The worlds greatest basketball player is still hot on collectors feet with his popular shoes & his cards are still highly sought after.

Kobe Bryant
The only thing Kobe hasn’t done for the Lakers is get his jersey # on the Staple Center wall, but he’ll have that honor one day.

LeBron James
Despite taking a popularity hit when he went to Miami – no basketball collector would mind finding a rare LeBron James card in their collection.

Tiger Woods
Another guy that’s taken a popularity hit in his career. However even if he doesn’t bounce back like Kobe – his memorabilia is still highly collectible.

mini BOOM Players

Aaron Rodgers – Blew up after he won a Super Bowl and if he continues his winning ways, he might move up into Favre land.

Blake Griffin – A couple of dunks on people after an entire season off took Blake’s cards to soaring highs.

Stephen Strasburg – Blew up … then blew up his arm. He came back faster than people though – but will he be a star in the MLB?

Vince Carter – After he threw a couple of dunks down in the NBA Dunk Contest, Carter’s values sky-rocketed.

Mark McGwire – He, Sammy Sosa and the rest of the MLB blew up the record books … with help.

Other Retired/HOF Boom Players

Babe Ruth – No player seems to grow in stature as the years go on like Babe … no one’s seen him play, but we’d all like one of his cards.

Mickey Mantle – One of the most popular NY Yakees of all time = collectible cards forever. Topps regularly produces Mantle cards every season.

Hank Aaron – Some people still consider him the HR king, and people pay top dollar for his autographs and cards.

Aikman & Emmitt – Both have had successful careers off the field, but Cowboys fans still remember their great playing days.

Joe Montana – In the Bay Area, there is no one with more championships or fan love than Montana

There are plenty of other factors that play into sports cards BOOMING – but most relate to how well the players are playing in games. However, sometimes just the pure money factor has a play into why people collect. Lots of collectors stacked boxes from the 80’s – 90’s thinking they would be like un-opened wax from the 1960’s and earlier. So far that investment hasn’t paid off on most products, but these collectors were trying to make money … not necessarily collect cards.
One of the reasons people buy Blake Griffin or Aaron Rodgers is because they think the cards will go up in value as time goes on…not just because they like them. So making money is a key reason why sports cards boom. If the card manufactures could do a better job at giving you the chance to make money … the more people will try. If people thought Gold Coins were going to go down in value over the last 2 years, Gold wouldn’t have doubled in value. The same idea can apply to sports cards, the more people that think the value will go up – the better chance sports cards will boom. Collectors See $ Signs
Ease of Buying/Selling. The creation on eBay (and other sites) to sell your cards really did help sports cards take off online. While many card stores have shut down, in part because of eBay, many use it as a tool to keep cash-flow going through their business. There are probably different theories here, but I actually think the more limited you can make a product (especially when it first comes out) the better it can be for sales.
Take for example any new Apple device, like an iPhone or iPad. Typically these things launch – only in select stores, and there usually a shortage of the devices when they first come out. That creates a ‘buzz’ around your product & leads every other consumer to want one too. It certainly has worked out for Apple and their shareholders recently – and a similar strategy is currently trying to be implemented in sports cards. The
On most products made by Panini America – you can only find boxes for sale at hobby stores during the first week of the release. This is intended to help hobby stores sell product at a slightly higher margin (because DA Card World and Blowout have prices that are near wholesale cost). It also helps hobby stores get a boost from a products initial launch, because if you want the cards right away – a hobby store is the only place to find them. While it remains to be seen if this strategy works – if Panini has a hot rookie like Cam Newton or even Blake Griffin come through again soon, it should lead to some strong demand at hobby stores selling the new product. Some collectors won’t mind waiting a week (or longer) to get the new cards cheaper, but like Apple, many collectors/buyers want to be the first to have them.

A sports card boom would require lots of collectors entering the market to ‘make money’ on their collection in some fashion. While it would be great to have collectors collect just for the fun of it – most sports card booms are ROI (return on investment) or Money driven. The collector that’s in this hobby for the long haul has seen their fair share of hobby booms/busts, and shouldn’t worry too much about them as long as you have fun collecting. However, to see an explosion in value for all cards we need to see great players in sports & the ability to make money via their cards.

We talk about 2010/11 Panini Elite Black Box Basketball. This stuff is like Gold Standard, it has a pretty heavy focus on veteran (non-rookie) and Hall of Fame type players. This is a product that was only available by the box at hobby stores during its first week on the market.

The pre-sale prices for most online places have it between $275 – $300 per box … but who knows where it will go once the online retailers can sell.

2010/11 Panini Elite Black Box
For now, we’ve seen some nice patches and autographs sell – including Team USA Jersey Cards. The Passing the Torch cards have logoman patches on them – but they are manufactured, so keep that in mind as you buy/trade for those cards.

– Listen To Show #83 Below –



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