Sports Collectors

The Sealed Report: 2020 Football Products, 30-Year-Old Baseball Issue Sizzle

The Sealed Report is a bi-monthly overview of the market for unopened sports packs and boxes.  Long-time industry pro Leighton Sheldon of Vintage Breaks and Just Collect will provide insight on what’s hot and what’s not, highlight recent sales of unopened product and tips on participating in one of the hobby’s hottest and most popular realms.

Football fever is high right now and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, a day that’s synonymous with the NFL, modern gridiron wax is on fire. Despite newer NFL wax on the rise, the NCAA modern products are about to be as cold as the snow that flies around Thanksgiving here in New Jersey.

I’ve also noticed a hot product in the baseball market that is TOUGH to keep in stock.

Hot Products

2020 NFL products are heating up now and, and it’s not just one product; most releases from last season are on fire.

Justin Herbert is having an excellent sophomore season.  In Sunday night’s win over the Steelers, he became the first player in NFL history with 380+ passing yards and 90+ rushing yards in one game.  The Chargers are in the hunt for a playoff spot and Herbert is among the league leaders in yardage and touchdowns.  Who is one behind him on the touchdown list? Joe Burrow –another top notch rookie QB. The Bengals are also doing well at 5-4 now that Burrow is back under center.

Eventually, Aaron Rodgers has to retire, too, right?  …right (Tom Brady, looking at you).  Jordan Love has potential and while he didn’t play that well is his only start this season, the allure is still there for a Love rookie in a 2020 product.

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A Select Hobby box (actual Hobby, not Hybrid) is about is about $1,200 on eBay now now.  National Treasures is  tending beyond $4,500. Even on lower-end, retail boxes, 2020 Prizm and Optic are hovering between $80 and $100 for the blasters.  Prices under that are a deal.

1991 Topps Desert Shield Baseball

The Sealed Report: 2020 Football Products, 30-Year-Old Baseball Issue Sizzle

This iconic set came only from wax packs and they’re getting very tough to find.  Mirroring 1991 Topps, all 792 cards in the set are the same size and nearly identical to the base set, but these cards were designed as giveaways for troops stationed in the Middle East. Each card was stamped with a gold foil Desert Shield logo. Due to the scarcity, it’s hard for unopened sellers to keep this wax in stock.

The Sealed Report: 2020 Football Products, 30-Year-Old Baseball Issue Sizzle

The key card is Chipper Jones’ rookie (#333).  Even in a PSA 8, Chipper’s Desert Shield Topps card commands $1,000.  Only 736 have been graded by PSA including qualifiers and only 31 PSA 10s are known.

The set has other Hall of Fame players to chase like Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr, and Cal Ripken. An ungraded wax pack sells for about $600 now (compared to the base packs that run about 50 cents!), but don’t count on finding a PSA-graded pack; only 6 are on the pop report.

What’s NOT Hot?

College products, in general, from the last two seasons. NCAA cards always start out hot when released as collectors look to chase the next big player, or a player from their favorite team. However, usually one to three months after the product drop, collectors and investors catch on and the values turn ICE COLD. Players in their professional uniforms always sell better.

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Look no further than 2021 Prizm Draft Picks Blaster boxes that are available right now on Target’s site for $19.99. Using your Red Card, you can get 5% off and free shipping; and the box is still on the site. The product dropped in June, has the number one pick in Trevor Lawrence on the cover, and is still readily available. 

Most times, if a retail box is still available on a site or on a shelf, it’s not valuable. You may catch a restock at the right time, but 99% of the time, retail availability means the wax is COLD.

The Sealed Report: 2020 Football Products, 30-Year-Old Baseball Issue Sizzle

Recent Auction Prices for Unopened

1975 Topps Baseball cello box  $30,000
1973 Topps 4th Series Baseball cello box  $25,200
1987-88 Fleer Basketball wax box  $19,200
1976 Topps Baseball cello box  $14,400
1975 Topps Mini wax box  $9,600
1977 Topps Baseball waxes box from sealed case ($8,400 and $8,100)
1988-89 Fleer Basketball wax box  $5,520
1980 Topps Baseball rack pack box $3,400


I once had a 1966 Topps Batman Cello box and 1968 Topps Football cello box walk in to an appraisal event we were having about 17 years ago when I worked for Leland’s! A single cello pack today of ’66 Batman graded by PSA runs about $1,000 to $1,500.  Both boxes walking in on the same day, fresh as the day they rolled out of the factory – it was an unopened dream come true!

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