Contributor: John Dudley
I love the Christmas season. I especially love when the Christmas spirit invades products I like because I am an absolute sucker for holiday-themed items and will buy any snack food with the words ‘Christmas’ or ‘Holiday’ slapped on the packaging. I’m an equal sucker for holiday-themed card products. I unequivocally love them all. This has been an exceptionally wonderful holiday season for me with the release of what I think might be the best holiday hobby product ever.
It’s not just me. 2022 Topps Holiday has been a surprising hit with collectors. It really should not be that much of a shock as the product is priced great ($24.99 for a Mega Box) with each box yielding a relic, and approximately two holiday-themed SPs along with five Metallic snowflake cards on average. Collectors have caught the holiday spirit with boxes selling briskly at around $40 on eBay.
I would caution that this level of demand is entirely seasonal and remind folks that Topps always prints a lot of this product. Older versions of Topps Holiday are often readily available for $50 and under on Black Friday so be warned that those buying 2022 at $40-$45 are likely buying at its high point for the next few years. Those SPs that move quickly now always end up selling for $2-$5 even for stars. On the other hand, it is an awesome timely Christmas gift and even at $40 provides a ton of fun.
While I think this year’s Topps Holiday is an almost Platonic ideal of a holiday set (great design, checklist, inserts, and price), there are other interesting holiday-themed sets and cards out there. Here are a few worth checking out. There are plenty of others but this should give you a good idea of the variety out there.
Five Other Holiday Products to Chase
2007 Topps Santa Set- This set features 18 Santa-filled Topps cards using some of their best designs. 16 cards highlight Santa’s career and different versions of the big guy. One other includes a relic and the highlight is a Santa certified autograph card. Sets go for $35-$55 and graded singles have sold for $50 to $100 recently. It’s the only place currently to find Santa’s 1952 Topps rookie to pair with your Mickey Mantle.
Donruss Rookie Holiday Sweaters– This set adds the intrigue of rookie cards to the holidays. Look out for patches that include eye-catching parts of the patterns from the sweaters. Donruss released these in special retail blasters the past two years and hopefully, we’ll see them again soon. These are a festive and cheap way to get unique rookies of some of the best players from the past two years. Even the top QBs from 2020 will only set you back $10-$20.
2021 Topps Living John Cena #93- The wrestler/actor is rocking the Santa suit for this oddball issue. It can be found for under $5 but makes a cool stocking stuffer for the wrasslin’ fan in your life (or yourself). Fine, I bought one for myself. No judging here. Glass houses and all that.
Panini Black Friday- This underlooked multi-sport product dips a toe into the holiday waters but couldn’t commit. It doesn’t help that Panini has seemingly abandoned it to the scrap heap. It also doesn’t help that most of the cards have little to do with the holiday theme. Fortunately, there are some gems in it. I especially like the player-worn Santa Hat cards as fun rookie cards.
Upper Deck- Upper Deck has a few festive offerings from the late 90s/early 00s. Many of these were given to employees as bonuses meaning many are not aware of them. The top one to find is a Kobe Bryant Santa Suit card that sells for $70-$130. My favorite though is the 1998 Kris Kringle game used promo card as it is from the earliest days of game-used products and hits the nostalgia button fairly hard.
Holiday products are love-it-or-leave-it types of products (see also Allen and his pal Ginter). I’m definitely in the love-it camp, but I know it is an irrational love so won’t recommend them unless they seem like something you might love too. Now I’m off to go hunting for more 2022 Topps Holiday at Walmart as soon as this pesky tornado siren stops (I decided to leave this line in but wanted you all to know I am fine and safe).