To say it is a bit of a slow week for the Hot List, is well an understatement. Numerous reasons for that – baseball season is over, so although new products come out, the price change that we are looking for really isn’t happening. Speaking of not happening, well that describes basketball season thus far, although it appears that NBA players are finally making their pilgrimages back from the flag football fields, or Europe or wherever they disappeared to, so that should be nice. College Basketball is in full swing and whoops, we have nada to collector there, thank you McDonald’s All-American game, not! College football – we have already seen Malcolm Brown, Sammy Watkins and other Leaf Army autos move up nicely but none the less, still not a lot of fodder to collect. Yes, we still have the NFL but it is easier for pops to happen early in the season and a bit tougher as the season progresses.
All this to say that our typically formula of (this week’s prices – last week’s prices)/(last week’s prices) really isn’t yielding ten satisfactory results to make this an interesting, digestible list for you the reader.
So for this week, we shall stray a bit into the “what’s selling well on eBay territory.” It’s a scary land to enter – hot lists like those you used to see in magazines that exclaimed “hey, guess what, Albert Pujols is hot! Justin Verlander, also hot, LeBron Exquisites are rare and people still like PSA 10s of old Topps cards, voila! Hot List” We aren’t going that far, don’t worry.
1. Aaron Rodgers High End 2005 Rookies
Comments: Well, this can’t make you feel comfortable at the outset regarding a list that states the obvious but the obvious is hot and the obvious is getting hotter. At this point in time to make sure I don’t sound like female Packers fan let me assure you that I’m talking about Aaron Rodgers cards and nothing else. We profiled how hot his Topps Chrome Refractors had gotten a few weeks ago, they are indeed still selling for an absurd $200. This week, we talk about the real high end cards, like the Exquisite pictured above, which sold for near $3K. I have a bachelors in economics but you don’t need that to understand that in the case of Aaron Rodgers high-end rookies, demand far outstrips supply and thus the price point rises dramatically. When FCB did the National in Chicago last summer Rodgers was one of the most frequently asked about players and I can only imagine how many people were asking for Rodgers cards at the Sun-Times show in Chicago 3 months later.
2. Charles Woodson 2011 Certified Autos
Comments: Seriously, I don’t have a thing for the Packers, I really don’t. However, collectors do have a thing for the Packers and so do NFL fans. What’s interesting about Woodson being on this list of course, is that he’s a defensive player in the NFL. Regardless of what defensive position it is, defense and cards don’t exactly = hobby hotness. However, there are a few (if you recall Troy Polamalu autos previously made this list) and Charles Woodson is in that “game changer on a huge hobby team” kind of class. The auto pictured above, the first to sell from this product sold for over $300.
3. Panini Black Friday Rare Cards
Comments: These Black Friday packs came duct taped to the side of a can of pepper spray. I kid, I kid. The whole pack promotion thing though is something Panini has down. I was thoroughly impressed with the buzz and pub they generated at the National by having pack redemptions and they’ve done done it again on Black Friday. There’s one big key to these pack redemptions – they have good cards in there. That’s a really big deal. Redeeming used wrappers for a pack of poo nets you, well, some smelly fingers. In this case, you had Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl GU Balls, Cam Newton Autos, Kobe Autos and autos of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins above. Cheers Panini.
4. Laurent Robinson Rookie Autos
Comments: I’m from Illinois and I know good and well that Illinois State isn’t exactly in the business of producing athletes that make it at the next level, in almost any sport. It’s just not what they do. However, after watching a Cowboys game about a month ago I noticed Laurent Robinson and the noticed that he was from Illinois State – shocking. So guess what, his cards were SUPER cheap early on and now sell for a lot more, some Exquisites sold for $40 and I’m betting at release they were somewhat less than that…
5. Tyler Thornburg 2011 Bowman Draft Retail Autos
Comments: In spite of all the chatter about Hobby Boxes and cases that you will hear on a message board like this, Topps still sells a ton of its product through retail outlets like Wal Mart. Therefore it makes sense for Topps to introduce cards and items into those retail sets that will generate buzz and help move the product. Topps Chrome FB retail was a HUGE hit this year with parallels of guys like Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green that had people busting. Retail BDP although not as big of hit is yielding hits like Tyler Thornburg Autos which are selling for $15 or more than most of the hobby chrome auto CL
6. DeMarco Murray High End Rookie Autos
Comments: DeMarco like Aaron Rodgers is a repeat Hot List guy. He’s also a guy that seems to keep getting hotter and hotter, he’s also on a guy on a big name team as it pertains to hobby marketability and he’s on a team that is winning these days. DeMarco’s rare rookies are absolutely scorching – the red auto /5 pictured above sold raw for $1200 and a gold auto /10 sold for nearly $800 which is absolute insanity.
7. Leaf Valiant Ichiro Autos
Comments: Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Leaf Valiant singles aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire from a sales perspective. There are a lot of guys selling for a single bid of $.99. This really isn’t that much different from Elite, Sterling and a handful of other sets but no one likes to see that happening. However, one person this is not happening with, Ichiro. One of his “base version” green autos just sold for $700 again and this kind of a product providing you with this kind of opportunity for a hit is still simply phenomenal. It doesn’t happen elsewhere. 40 case busters of BDP are lucky to have one card sell for that kind of coin and a hit like Ichiro is clearly a great point of differentiation.
An additional thought, or three.
Well, the these cards sell well list appears to have ran out of gas at about 7, so I have a couple more items for you relating to hobby hotness.
First – one of the things that really blew me away during my time at the Nationals in August was how many people said “oh, you’re the guy that writes the Hot List.” That’s not meant to be a prideful statement but rather a statement of surprise regarding how many people read it routinely. That being said, it is one of the few routine articles/blogs we have here on FCB and as a guy who 3 years ago thought blogging would be a piece of cake, well, let me tell you, it really is somewhat harder and more time consuming than you might think. All that said, if you ever read this blog thinking “you know, I could contribute something,” or hey, “I’ve got an idea.” FCB has a place for you and if your content is good enough, FCB has some money for you. If you are interested in becoming a writer, or possibly becoming a writer for FCB, respond below and we’ll chat.
Second – although I don’t think there were really specific cards to be called out, lots of Bowman Chrome Draft singles held steady or even rose slightly from last week. Prices I was buying at last week in many cases weren’t attainable this week. You do have to wonder if there is a large group of people who have said “I’m holding off a week till buying since I got burned buying early last time” then all jump in at once and create the same dynamic in later weeks. Either way, the strength of secondary market prices for singles a few weeks into release is truly one of the reasons people love BDP.
Three – speaking of BDP, we all know and acknowledge that it is still the prospect product, however, one aspect remains troubling to me. Prior to 2009, the base C/L and the Auto C/L contained different players – great example is 2007 BDP – base C/L – Heyward, Bumgarner, Moustakas, LaPorta, Price and so on, Auto CL – Burgess, Alderson and a few other names, honestly, it was a weak Auto CL. However, because the base CL didn’t have auto duplication the busting value of this product both from a rip and flip perspective and from a secondary market perspective was enormous. Non-Auto refractors like LaPorta, Heyward, Price, Moose and others sold for $15 or more. I sold a David Price Gold for nearly $300 and a Deolis Guerrera Gold for over $200 (apologies to whoever bought that). 20 ct lots of Jason Heyward routinely sold for nearly $100 with other 20 ct lots not far behind. It was cool because there was so much value in every box that you didn’t have to worry about hitting the right auto or else you’d get skunked, that was the uniqueness of BDP. Sad to say, that dynamic is now gone. I ran a search on eBay for 20 ct Chrome Lots of draft and the highest seller out of over 2,000 lots was Dylan Bundy for $40 or $2 a piece. Yes, its certainly better to have a Bundy base card, as opposed to a base card of a 38th round draft pick but it is absolutely worse than the base sets of 2006 BDP and 2007 BDP and that’s sad.
Until next week…