Contributor: John Dudley
May is already here and that means it is time to see what this month has in store for us hobbyists. It’s not the biggest of months, but there are some exciting products, especially if you like soccer. It’s also a month that is pretty uneven in that most of the releases are at the end of the month.
Week of 5/1
What I’m excited about: Not Much
It’s a slow start to the month unless you are big into Pokemon. Leaf does have a new product in Multigraphics Basketball which focuses on multiple-signed cards. It has a strong checklist, but collectors have not warmed up to Leaf’s previous sticker-heavy issues. The product does have on-card Bill Russell autos which is awesome and a step in the right direction for the hobby’s upstart producer.
Week of 5/8
What I’m excited about: 2022 Panini Optic Football, 2022-23 Panini Optic Basketball
Optic is a great product with a strong following. Having both basketball and football releasing together should hopefully bring some neat opportunities for combo breaks. Both of these might get overlooked as collectors are looking toward next season’s products, but that would be a shame as Optic cards are some of the nicest in the hobby and always key rookies.
Week of 5/15
What I’m excited about: 2022-23 Panini Select FIFA, Upper Deck Marvel Eternals, 2023 Panini Revolution WWE
Like Optic, Select is a key brand, and this week brings us a major soccer product. In the pop culture sector, Marvel’s Eternals was the movie no one asked for and now it is getting the cardboard treatment. It is a pretty standard Marvel Upper Deck issue with the autos being the big chase. The movie does have some diehard fans, so I’d imagine there will be a small, but passionate, group on the lookout for these. Finally, WWE gets the Revolution treatment which means cool shiny cards at an affordable price.
Week of 5/22
What I’m excited about: 2023 Panini Immaculate Soccer, 2021/22 Panini Flawless Basketball
Things start to pick up towards the end of the month in a big way with two super-premium sets. Immaculate Soccer continues the strong month for soccer, but Flawless Basketball has become an absolute social media event. Expect bounties and tons of videos of crazy breaks within days of release. We’ll see if Drake drops in for this one.
Week of 5/29
What I’m excited about: 2023 Topps Heritage Baseball, 2023 Topps Tribute Baseball, 2022 Panini Select Football
This is the big week. Every sport gets a strong product and things run the gamut from lower end to super premium. There are other strong releases other than the three I’m highlighting with Upper Deck Marvel’s Loki and Panini Three and Two Baseball. Really though, I’m just excited to finally get some more 2023 Topps baseball products.
That said, Topps Heritage is a fan favorite that has sadly fallen on hard times. Simply put, they’ve watered the product down too much and alienated the core group of set builders that return to the product yearly like the swallows of Capistrano. It still has all the things that collectors love with a vintage design, variations, SPs, and awesome autos, but the odds of pulling anything decent in a box, heck even a case, are not good. As the gap between the average value per box and box prices widened, collectors walked away. 2022 Heritage High Numbers is readily available at $60-$65 a box down from presales of $125 even with the great J.Rod chase. 2023 Heritage is $90 to $95 a box, but unless they’ve slashed the print run, I’d bet that this will follow the same path and be available much cheaper later this year.
Topps Tribute Baseball is the first premium product of the 2023 year. It normally gets overlooked, but with the paucity of 2023 baseball releases, I can see this year’s set getting more love than normal. If baseball isn’t your thing, Select Football is always a fun product.
Maybe May isn’t as weak as I first thought. It certainly ends with two strong weeks. It’s also probably good that the first few weeks are light as the collectorate is still gobbling up 2023 Bowman. What are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you haven’t checked out the insanely useful Card Shop Live app, what are you waiting for? It’s great for breaks, personal rips, singles, and hobby info. The breakers are all heavily vetted so no shenanigans here.
Leave a Reply