The Super Bowl. That’s only one major landmark for an exciting February of sports, and this year’s sports card releases will be just as exciting as ever. And what about February sports card releases? They are pretty exciting too.
We’ll look at the most noteworthy releases in the upcoming month and discuss why you should (or should not) consider investing in them. While there might not be as many releases this month as the previous, many of them are very important.
But note: all these release dates are estimates. So will supply chain issues. So there’s a good chance that these dates are not final.
While the name might be a bit on-the-nose, Rookies and Stars has been delivering pretty cool cards for a long time. This product has the colorful Crusade insert, one of the best-looking inserts every year, and each box has 2 autographs, 2 memorabilia, 5 numbered parallels, 12 rookies, and 6 opti-chrome inserts. So for $325 you can pick up one of these boxes and try to pull your favorite rookies… and you might pull some stars, too.
Donruss Elite is another long-running brand that has dipped in and out of basketball appearances (I think of it more as a football brand). It came back last year and returns in 2021/22 with cards like Status, Aspirations, and Passing the Torch inserts and autographs. While the name might suggest it’s an improved version of Donruss, I’d suggest it’s a more cluttered version of Donruss with less direction. The rookies are nowhere near as Iconic as the “Rated Rookie” set from Donruss Basketball, and the cards won’t age as well, either. But thankfully, the box is priced accordingly. You can pick up a hobby box for $480 and expect to find 2 autographs, 8 inserts, 8 parallels, and 2 base rookies. While there might be an extra auto in Elite, still considering paying a bit more for a box of traditional Donruss instead.
Immaculate is one of the most high-end brands you can chase for soccer fans. Immaculate Soccer delivers just one pack of seven cards per box, but each box comes with 5 autographs or memorabilia cards. This set advertises an autograph checklist of “current players that features the best of the best, including Ansu Fati and Cristiano Ronaldo!” In addition, you can look for retired stars Robin van Persie and David Beckham! Immaculate keeps the signature booklet card sets running with Signature Moves Autograph Booklets; Signature Moves Jersey Autograph Booklets, Autograph Booklets, and Patch Autograph Booklets. And the memorabilia cards are big-hit potential, too, with everything from laundry tags to boots mixed in the set. While there’s no pricing yet, previous years suggest a price of around $1,500 – $2,000. That makes this high-risk, high-reward.
A $135 hobby box? If that’s not a selling point enough on its own, here are the reasons to get excited about Topps Baseball Series 1. First, Topps Cards are classic, and the series 1 set can house many long-term value cards. Second, Topps describes the checklist as “a celebration of all things baseball, collectors will find cards highlighting the greats of the game from today and tomorrow, alongside legendary superstars.” On top of that, it promises to be a fun rip. Each box contains 24 packs and 1 autograph or relic card, so you have plenty of packs to open and explore.
Iconic. Perhaps no other word describes the Contenders football set better. If this tells you anything, Tom Brady has a contenders rookie autograph. In other words, the cards – and even their design – haven’t changed much in over twenty years. That consistency is one of the keys to the popularity of this release. This year’s hobby boxes will cost about $600 and feature the standard rookie ticket autograph set in addition to Hobby-exclusive Rookie Clear Ticket, SSP Rookie Clear Ticket Mosaic, and the brand new Rookie Ticket RPS Reverse! Each box contains 18 packs of 6 cards, and it’s a very autograph-driven product. Look for 5 autos per box, one of which will be on-card. You can also expect to find 1 parallel per box, possibly including the popular Cracked Ice.
It’s a disservice to call this product a gimmick – it’s just a unique product with a smaller market than most. It’s pretty difficult to describe, but here’s my best go at it: this is a product that contains sports figures, pop culture figures, game show contestants, and even animals (you read that right), in the same box. You can open a pack and pull a LeBron James, Jeopardy! Champ, and coral reef card. It’s an experience like no other, and that’s both good and bad. While this is a fun trip, I highly encourage you to watch some box breaks before spending a lot of money. These cards don’t retain their value, for the most part, so do it for the enjoyment more than hopes of making a big buck.
SP Authentic Golf is one of the most significant golf releases every year (if not the most important), and if you’re a golf collector, this is the product for you. It features many of the current top-ranked men’s and women’s golfers, such as Justin Thomas, Danielle Kang, Bryson DeChambeau, Lexi Thompson, and Collin Morikawa. It also pays homage to legendary names such as Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Juli Inkster. The 18 pack boxes contain 4 cards per pack, and each box contains at least 2 autos and a Spectrum FX Bounty card. Of course, these are stunning autos and patch cards, too. SP Authentic has always had an elegant look and feel.
Donruss 2021-22 basketball is similar to Hoops and a better version in almost every way. These boxes hold the Iconic Rated Rookie Cards, and you get a lot of them in every box. Odds are, you’ll probably pull at least one paper rookie of whoever you’re chasing. That’s because these boxes have 10 packs of 30 cards each. In addition, the boxes have 1 autograph and 1 memorabilia card, each with 60 inserts/parallels, and some of Donruss’s dazzling parallels can sell for a considerable amount if they’re low-numbered enough. These boxes are listed for $550 right now.
February has releases for every major sport and some that are not so major. It includes perhaps the most important baseball release of the year and some other big ones. So, there will be plenty to chase and rip after the Super Bowl.