The three big players
Three main companies dominate the sports card industry.
Panini, Topps and Upper Deck.
Everyone has monopolies in different sports.
This is due to exclusive contracts with leagues and/or player associations.
Let's take a look at the history of each of them.
Year of foundation: 1961
Owns the rights to: Donruss
Main sports: basketball, football, soccer, baseball (unlicensed), hockey (unlicensed)
Panini is the largest brand in the sports card industry. While it was Topps in the past, Panini has taken the mantle in recent years.
It owns the exclusive contracts in basketball & football.
Topps once dominated these markets.
Now they don't even produce cards in it anymore.
Year of foundation: 1938
Owns the rights to: Allen & Ginter & Bowman
Main sport: baseball
Topps was the king of sports cards until Panini showed up.
In fact, they had a monopoly on the industry.
From the 50's to the 80's topps produced manyclassic cards.
Things we imagine when someone talks about sports cards.
Like the classic '52 coat
Topps is only in the baseball market today.
And while it's doing well, it still competes with Panini as they make unlicensed cards.
Year of foundation: 1988
Owns the rights to: O-Pee-Chee & Fleer
Main sport: ice hockey
Upper Deck got off to a flying start in the industry when they released the classic 89 baseball set.
With luck and clever branding, they'll have a lot of impact after adding Ken Griffey Jr. to the set as card 1.
It's the most iconic Upper Deck baseball card.
Over time, it has shifted more and more towards ice hockey.
And now it's the only sport in which it produces cards.
Panini dominates the basketball market.
They have a lot of brands out there that people are crazy about.
Paper, chrome, and autograph cards or beginners can all bring in thousands of dollars.
Especially when it comes to classification according to psa or bgs.
Pick the right newcomer from a national treasure chest and you can expect a 6-digit payday.
Indeed there was$500,000 bounty on a Zion Rookie map.
Sick patches and awesome designs on card cars make this product so desirable.
Prizm is the best product you can find in retail (if you can beat the fins)
The cards in the set have a great design and offer a lot of parallels and cars to draw.
Prizm rookies typically outperform all retail basketball brands.
It is Panini's flagship product.
Donruss Optic tends to be one of the best brands for panini and basketball in general.
Like Prizm, it features a lot of parallels and autograph cards.
The big difference, however, is that it's more of a Donruss brand than a flagship panini brand
I tend to enjoy selected maps.
Like optic and prizm, they are a set of chrome cards.
While the resale value isn't there like with Prizm, the cards feature autographs and parallels.
And these coveted cards still cost a lot of money.
Other Top Brands
While Panini makes some amazing cards, many baseball collectors avoid them.
I collect both, but some collectors avoid unlicensed products.
With that in mind, for baseball, I will only mention Topps products.
One of the most expensive brands is Sapphire.
Part of that is the Phil Pulls hype
And the fact that the cards are beautiful
They are expensive boxes and singles resale is high.
Chrome-Updateis a set of cards exclusive to Target.
They snatched fins and resold them on eBay and Facebook at high prices.
Finding these packs at retail price is nearly impossible.
Consider the fact that there are usually valuable beginners
How in Set 2018 with Acuna & Soto
There is no doubt that the price of Chrome updates will continue to increase.
The Chrome cards are getting a little more demand than the Topps flagship cards.
The recent proliferation of chrome throughout the hobby has increased the desire to collect chrome.
Whether rookies, parallel or autograph cards.
Chrome-based rookie cards now offer more than the flagship brand.
Topps Standard Series 1, 2 and Update
The default Topps rookie is the safest bet when buying rookies or parallels of a player.
Many collectors only want to buy cards from the main brand.
And as Topps continues to make more cards, I see this trend increasing.
Bowman chrome cards may generate some demand, but it's not the same as Topps chrome.
The only exception is if you can find a 1st archer card.
Topps Chrome has no prospects on its checklist, while Bowman is full of them.
This is the Topps version of National Treasures.
Insane booklets, patches, two cars that are on the map.
The cards in the product are always expensive.
Other Top Brands
- Triple threads
- Five stars
Panini dominates the football market. While Topps have produced a lot of cards in the past, they are no longer licensed to do so.
So, in this section, we will only talk about Panini soccer cards.
The top football brands follow the trends in basketball.
So knowing the basics of one market carries over to the other.
Like basketball, expect a huge payday if you hit the right card during a National Treasure break.
Collectors and investors are crazy about the rookie patch autographs (RPA).
They often give out 5 to 6 numbers to their favorite players.
Prizm is Panini's flagship chrome brand. So it makes sense that the same rules of basketball would apply to soccer.
With autographs, colored refractors and the top rookies, Prizm is a coveted brand.
The resale market confirms this.
The highest soccer rookies in recent years are Prizm.
Optic is pretty close to Prizm in desirability.
But it faces the same problem as Bowman Chrome.
It's not the #1 brand of chrome for the company.
People prefer to spend big money on Prizm.
Another chrome brand like Optic and Prizm.
Select offers many parallels and cars.
Other Top Brands
- Crown Royale
For hockey cards, Upper Deck is the brand of choice.
They dominate the market and have no competition from Panini or Topps.
This is Upper Deck's national treasure.
Expect sick patches, autographs on cards, and more.
As with topps in baseball, the standard upper deck cards are usually good money.
Collectors go crazy for Young Gun Rookies.
And in recent years the prices have continued to rise.
O-Pee-Chee has had an interesting run as a brand.
It evolved from independent to topps and now Upper Deck.
It's not as coveted as The Cup or the standard upper deck cards.
But it's an old brand that collectors still buy.
Other Top Brands
- Ultimate collection
- Black Diamond
- SP Authentic
Panini owns the most coveted leagues in the football market.
This makes his cards much more valuable than Topps.
Here are what both currently have the rights to.
Topps: Bundesliga, Champions League, Europa League
Panini: Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, European Championship, World Cup
Over time I can see Topps or Panini fighting for full control of the sport.
So far the market has decided that Prizm is the top choice for football.
This is 100% due to Prizm Football and Basketball prices.
But the cards sell for a lot more than Topps Chrome or Panini Select.
Another Panini chrome-like product.
Select is below Prizm but still a coveted brand.
Topp's flagship chrome product
The chrome cards are like Prizm.
They offer a lot of parallels and cars from top players.
The leagues are not as coveted as with the Panini products.
Other Top Brands
- gold standard
What makes a brand of card valuable
Every year Topps, Panini and Upper Deck release new brands.
When looking for a good brand to invest in, look out for the following characteristics.
On card cars
Sticker cars don't do that anymore. A player must actually sign a card.
Many collectors avoid or hate sticker cars, so look for a brand with on the map.
For a set to be valuable, it must go to rookies throughout the year.
Rookie cards are always in demand and help a brand hold its value for that year.
You can tell if a brand is valuable by looking at the quality of the patches.
*Chrome cards are generally unpatched and still valuable.
Look for jumbo patches with colors, stitches, tags, and other cool displays.
The more unique the patch, the higher the selling price of a card.
Booklet cards are much more expensive to produce than a regular card.
They tend to have an insane auto patch or dual auto in them.
They are rarely found in lower-end products and sometimes 1 per box in higher-end products.
The overproduction of cards plagues the 90s. When buying a box or singles from a brand, pay attention to the production run.
With high-end cards, the more limited something is, the better it tends to be.
Boxes and cards are much more expensive.
There are a lot of brands that have not been mentioned in this article.
That doesn't mean they are worthless.
In fact, some of these brands' hits are super expensive.
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What brand of basketball cards are worth the most? ›
- Basketball cards have become a hot collector's item with Panini, Topps and Select being the best brands.
- Panini Prizm, Panini Select, and National Treasures are some of the best packs to buy in 2023.
- Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Luka Doncic cards are some of the most valuable and sought-after cards.
Panini National Treasures is considered by many in the hobby as the GOAT of premium football cards. The Rookie Patch Autograph cards, which are usually numbered /99 with some additional parallels, include a jumbo patch and are usually the most valuable RPA cards in the hobby.What are the best basketball cards to invest in 2023? ›
- Chronicles – Fun to rip.
- Hoops – Fun to rip.
- Prizm – Fun to rip, potential ROI.
- Donruss Optic – Fun to rip, potential ROI.
- Select – Fun to rip, potential ROI.
- National Treasures – Premium.
- Flawless – Premium.
- Immaculate – Premium.
The blue prizm would be 5x more rare than the silver, meaning it will sell for even more. And Panini knows what it's doing as it continues to add different colors and designs of refractor/prizm cards to create even more scarcity within sets.Are any Mark McGwire cards worth anything? ›
But in terms of modern cards it was way up there alongside the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. McGwire was one of the most popular players playing for one of the most powerful teams in baseball. They aren't worth as much as they used to be, but in top condition they can still go for hundreds of dollars.What Michael Jordan cards are worth money? ›
- Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm.
- 1997-98 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Game Jerseys Autograph /23 BGS 8/Auto 8: $2,700,000. ...
- 2006-07 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection All NBA Access Triple Logoman Michael Jordan/LeBron James/Kobe Bryant (1/1): $1,680,000.
- Magic, The Gathering. Trading Card Games (TCGs) are super popular in the hobby, and while I'll look into a few more this article – Magic, The Gathering is arguably the most popular, and the one that's been around for longest. ...
- Star Wars Cards. ...
- Garbage Pail Kids. ...
- Superhero Cards. ...
- Pokemon Cards.
use the following order: spades (lowest), clubs, diamonds and hearts (highest).What type of cards sell the most? ›
Birthday cards make up the most popular greeting cards, with more than 7 billion sold every year. Don't hesitate to have the birthday cake and eat it with print on demand too. Every year, like clockwork, we all turn a year older.What is the most famous card brand? ›
Bicycle Standard Playing Cards 2 Pack
Bicycle is arguably the most well-known brand of playing cards—and not just because they're budget-friendly. Featuring the iconic winged bicyclist design, these classic paper cards have a nice texture and are easy to shuffle.
What is the best brand of NFL trading cards? ›
Panini is the largest and most popular brand in the sports card industry, and their National Treasures and Prizm cards have become increasingly popular with football card collectors.Is Donruss a good card brand? ›
Donruss Elite boxes offer great bang for the buck
Even if these NBA Cards are more prone to damage, it can't be denied that this particular Panini product offers great value for its price. For a single hobby box, collectors can get 20 packs with 8 cards in each of them.
Best of the Best: Prizm
A favorite in the hearts and collections of many, Prizm can be thought of as the best of the Panini card brands. Thus, it's also typically the most valuable, and yes highly-sought after.
- Mickey Mantle cards. Chart tracking price of assets similar to SGC 7 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle card. ...
- Honus Wagner cards. ...
- Luka Dončić rookie cards. ...
- Mike Trout cards. ...
- Ronald Acuna Jr.
- 2021 Panini Contenders #101A TREVOR LAWRENCE ROOKIE CRACKED ICE AUTO BGS 9.5/10. ...
- 1986 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan ROOKIE #8 PSA 10 GEM MINT. ...
- 2020 Contenders Optic #137 ANTHONY EDWARDS BLUE ROOKIE AUTO RC /99 PSA 10 POP 10.
CollX (pronounced “collects”) is the fastest way to figure out what your cards are worth. Snap photos of them and instantly get the current market price. Add them to your collection and track your overall portfolio value. You can even buy, sell, grade, and trade your cards with other collectors.Is Panini select or prizm better? ›
As you can see, Select technically takes the cake for most “hits” in a hobby box. But as we all know, not all hits are created equal; Prizm's inserts are generally more valuable than Select's. Plus, Prizm gives you an extra auto.
Largely considered as Panini's flagship product in the market, Prizm is the king for almost all collectors in the hobby. We take a look below at what makes this basketball card set worth all the hype.Are Ken Griffey Jr cards worth anything? ›
Each card has its own unique value, with the Bowman Tiffany card fetching up to $30,400 if autographed and the Upper Deck Star Rookie card currently being offered on the Collectable app for fractionalized trading. A closer look at these cards reveals a great deal about Griffey's personal and professional career.How much is Ken Griffey card worth? ›
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $1,750
Upper Deck made headlines when they entered the card market in 1989 with a more premium quality product. And they chose wisely in making Griffey Jr. card #1 in the set.
Are Kobe Bryant rookie cards worth anything? ›
Kobe Bryant will forever be known as an icon in basketball. He was one of the most gifted offensive players ever to play the game, and his impact will be felt for years. His rookie cards are some of the most popular and valuable cards on the market, with many selling for thousands of dollars.How much is a Kobe Bryant card worth? ›
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $1,500
The base versions use gold foil for the text on the front but the scarcer "Rubies" parallels use a ruby-colored foil instead. Featuring strong eye appeal and a great design, these cards remain high on the list of Kobe collectors.
The Ace of Spades (also known as the Spadille and Death Card) is traditionally the highest and most valued card in the deck of playing cards in English-speaking countries.What cards do rich people use? ›
- American Express Centurion Card.
- JP Morgan Reserve Card.
- Dubai First Royal MasterCard.
- Stratus Rewards Visa Card.
- Coutts World Silk Card.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
American Express targets these affluent cardholders through a '“spend-centric” model that focuses on generating revenues primarily by driving spending on its cards. That's where rewards come in. In just 2022, Amex spent almost $17 billion providing services and rewards to its card members.What is the order of cards from lowest to highest? ›
(a) The rank of the cards used in all types of poker other than low poker, for the determination of winning hands, in order of highest to lowest rank, shall be: ace, king, queen, jack, 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three and two.Are sports cards going up in value? ›
Sports card collecting has been a favorite hobby for many Americans for decades. Still, in recent times, interest has grown massively, and sports cards are fast becoming a little more than just a hobby. A 1952 Topps Mickey rookie card recently set the record for the most expensive sports card sale at $12.6 million.Which card is the king of cards? ›
The king is usually the highest-ranking face card. In the French version of playing cards and tarot decks, the king immediately outranks the queen. In Italian and Spanish playing cards, the king immediately outranks the knight.What is the oldest brand of playing cards? ›
United States Playing Card Company.
|Formerly||Russell, Morgan & Co. (1867–1885)|
|Revenue||US$ 130 million (2003 est.)|
|Number of employees||750|
CollX (pronounced “collects”) is the fastest way to figure out what your cards are worth. Snap photos of them and instantly get the current market price. Add them to your collection and track your overall portfolio value. You can even buy, sell, grade, and trade your cards with other collectors.
What Michael Jordan cards are worth the most? ›
Today, we take a look at the most expensive Michael Jordan cards ever sold. On July 18, 2021, a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 rookie card sold for $840,000.Is there an app to scan sports cards for value? ›
CollX lets you scan the front and back of a card to reveal its value instantly. It works with all kinds of cards: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer and wrestling sports cards. It also scans Pokémon, Magic, and Yu-Gi-Oh cards, too.Is there an app to see how much cards are worth? ›
Scan a card with the CardCastle app to instantly price check it! Know how much your cards are worth and track the value of your collection over time to make better buying, selling and trading decisions.Is investing in sports cards a good idea? ›
Are Sports Cards a Good Investment? Sports cards are a good way to diversify your investment portfolio. Sports cards sales surged by 142% in 2020 as card investors had more time to spend tracking the market - thanks to the pandemic.What trading cards are worth collecting? ›
What are the best sports cards to invest in 2022?
- Mickey Mantle cards. ...
- Honus Wagner cards. ...
- Luka Dončić rookie cards. ...
- Mike Trout cards. ...
- Ronald Acuna Jr.
- Quickly Examine the Condition of the Cards. Nick Tylwalk. ...
- Check the Age of the Cards. Nick Tylwalk. ...
- Look for Recent Autographs. Nick Tylwalk. ...
- Look for Older or Multi-Color Memorabilia Cards. Nick Tylwalk. ...
- Locate Possible Rookie Cards. ...
- Find Any Cards With Low Print Runs. ...
- of 07.
Head to PSAcard.com/auctionprices and search for your card. The more refined the query, the more accurate the results. It is best to include the year, manufacturer and subject of your card in your search. If you include the card number, expect All-Star results.What is the rarest type of basketball card? ›
Panini's 2009-10 Panini National Treasures is one of the most coveted sets of all time, with Curry's Logoman rookie card leading the way. Not only is Curry's Logoman serial-numbered 1-of-1 autograph rookie card the most expensive basketball card ever sold, but also one of the most valuable sports cards in the hobby.What Upper Deck cards are worth money? ›
These cards include the 1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card, the 1990 Upper Deck Heroes #9 Reggie Jackson Autograph, the 1991 Upper Deck #SP1 Michael Jordan baseball card, the 1993 Upper Deck SP #279 Derek Jeter rookie card (foil), and the 1994 Upper Deck #GM1 Mickey Mantle/Ken Griffey Jr. Dual Auto.Are 80's and 90's sports cards worth anything? ›
Those were some great cards back when they were first released, but they aren't going to put anyone through college today, let alone buy a ham sandwich. Sports card values from the late 1980s and early 1990s are pretty much worthless, with some notable exceptions.
What is the rarest sports card ever? ›
This is a list of the highest known prices paid for sports cards. The current record price is the US$12.6 million paid for a 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card (Topps; #311) on August 28, 2022, breaking all previous records.Which Ken Griffey Jr cards are worth money? ›
Ken Griffey Jr. had over 25 rookie cards. The most valuable are the 1989 Bowman Tiffany card, the 1989 Topps Heads Up card, the 1989 Upper Deck Star Rookie card, the 1989 Mother's Cookies cards, and the 1989 Bowman Tiffany card featuring both Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr.