October is one of the most exciting months for sports card collectors. Between the NBA season tipping off, the MLB playoffs, and the NFL season hitting its full stride, there is a lot of action between the three most popular sports for collectors.
Here are the Cardlines picks for releases to watch in October. But please note: the release schedules are very fluid and move frequently. These dates are not guaranteed.
National Treasures is the most well-known high-end brand, even if the cards aren’t quite as expensive as Flawless. National Treasures RPAs are some of the most sought-after cards every year, and the National Treasures 1/1 rookies are the cards making headlines with the million-dollar-plus selling prices.
That said, this is National Treasures Collegiate, which features all the players in their NCAA uniforms. While these cards are still valuable, they will immediately be trumped by NFL National Treasures as soon as it releases. The boxes include 1 pack of 8 cards and are preordering for $600. In each pack, you can look for 7 autograph or memorabilia cards and 1 base/parallel.
As the WNBA grows in popularity, so does the demand for the Prizm WNBA boxes. Don’t get it wrong – this product is only a fraction as popular as the NBA Prizm, but there is a devoted fanbase who loves ripping this stuff.
Whether they’re WNBA fans or girl-dads who love collecting and getting their daughters into the hobby, collectors are embracing the Prizm WNBA product. This year’s release clocks in at $200 and has the standard Prizm makeup: 12 packs of 12 cards. Look for 2 autographs, 24 prizms, and 10 inserts per box.
It’s a product that focuses on the history of Topps and its relationship with America’s Pastime with a 300-card checklist that recreates designs from 1963, 1978, and 1987. The hobby boxes cost $120, so they’re not an expensive rip, and they come with 24 packs of 8 cards. Look for 2 on-card autos in every box.
Sterling is riding the same wave of MLB excitement as Archives, but it’s more of a high-end, legacy product. Each box contains just 30 total cards – 5 packs of 6 – and they feature Topp’s chromium technology to create “some of the most astonishingly clean chrome cards for the game’s top prospects and rookies once again.”
There are 50 prospect and 50 rookie cards to hunt, and 5 chrome autographs to be found in each $300 box.
Select Draft Picks might be a “big release,” but it’s one I’d highly encourage you to skip. The $200 boxes will flood the market with an influx of “prospect” cards in their college uniforms, but none of them age well.
Even if you pull a base card of the future rookie of the year, it’ll probably be worth $4 after the initial hype wears off and the NFL jersey cards come out. Afterr that, they become worth approximately 10% of what the big brother NFL product is worth (a quick eBay search will back this up). Therefore, these $200 boxes include 3 autographs, 3 silver prizms, 6 parallels, and long-term regrets.
Spectra is a confounding product. It’s high-end and optichrome, but not nearly as popular as Select, Optic or Prizm. Perhaps it’s because it’s a limited print and no retail offerings: each hobby box only has 4 packs of 4 cards.
Each pack contains 1 Autograph and 1 Parallel from the unique checklist: Silver, Celestial, Interstellar, Meta, Gold, Universal Die-Cut, Marble and the One-of-a-Kind Nebula. This product also has a variety of SSP Inserts in the popular Color Blast set, along with brand new Solar Eclipse and Diamond Anniversary inserts.
It has high-end potential, but collectors refuse to get excited about Spectra the same way they do for similar products.
Looking for an attractive, minimal design? Panini Black is one of the best. It’s a product that’s been around for a decade now, and for good reason: it looks great and delivers some nice pulls. With a pre-order price of $350, these boxes of 1 pack with 5 cards per pack are some of the most expensive price-per-card that we’ll see in 2022.
Each box contains 1 Rookie Patch Autograph, 1 Additional Autograph, 1 Memorabilia, 1 Parallel, and 1 Base. With a weaker rookie class, you’re taking a big risk, but Black’s still a premium product that could pay off.
Select 2021-22 Basketball brings the massively popular opti-chrome product back for its 9th year. With 12 packs of 5 cards each, Select hasn’t changed in delivery – or even expectations – much. The checklist looks very similar to last year’s, but that’s not a bad thing for one of the most popular products in collecting. These boxes are preordering for $900 and have 3 autos/memorabilia.
Select has three different tiers of rarity: Concourse, Premier, and Courtside. Each Hobby box also contains 12 Prizms which could be Silver, Scope, Tri-Color, Light-Blue (#’d/299), Red (#’d/199), White (#’d/149), Neon Green (#’d/75), Tri-Dye (#’d/25), Gold (#’d/10), Green (#’d/5), Black (one of one), or Zebra.
With a deep rookie class and the historical popularity of this product, Select might be the biggest draw of the month.