As the end of the year draws close, manufacturers are ready to unleash stacks of new sports card products. Baseball and Hockey dominate the list, which is, as always, subject to change.
It’s a busy edition of the new release calendar as we offer a brief rundown of what’s set to arrive between in the coming days.
2021-22 Contenders Optic Basketball
Yes, products branded 2021-22 are still being pushed out despite the fact that the NBA regular season is already well underway. The chromium version of Contenders, Optic boxes will offer six cards: one autograph, two inserts, two parallels and one base Season Ticket card. On-card autographs will be found in Rookie Season Ticket, Rookie Variation Season Ticket, Veteran Ticket, and 1984 Tribute Autographs.
Boxes are running $350-$450 on eBay.
2021-22 Upper Deck SP Game Used Hockey
Another product running over from last season and also carrying a single six-card pack, SP Game Used boxes will have three memorabilia and/or Purity Insert cards, two base set, parallel or Retro Rookie cards, all serial numbered along with one autograph or premium memorabilia card. ‘
At a price point of under $230, this should be one of the more popular hockey products during the holidays.
2022 Topps Chrome Black Baseball
Hobby boxes of 2022 Chrome Black will include four cards and one encased autograph. The rest of the box will have two Chrome base cards and one Refractor or parallel. The link in the last sentence includes the newly released checklist.
Boxes can be had for under $150.
2022 Topps Triple Threads Baseball
An old standby, TTT looks to offer much of the same look as it has in years past, with die-cut/memorabilia wording on some cards.
A hobby box will contain two seven-card packs. Collectors might find one of two pack versions. Each pack will contain three base cards and two parallels. In version 1, there will be a Triple Relic card numbered to 36 or less, and either a Triple Threads Auto Jumbo card numbered to 48 or an Autographed Rookie card numbered to 99 or less. Version 2 will have an Autographed Triple Relic card numbered to 99 or less and a Triple Threads Jumbo Relic card. Got all that?
Pre-sale pricing is in the $350-$400 range.
Also set for release on 12/16: 2022-23 Topps NHL Stickers/Albums
2022 Topps Chrome Update
As we told you last month, Chrome Update is no longer exclusive to Target stores. It’ll have a wider distribution with Hobby and Hanger boxes offered. A typical Hobby pack will contain three base cards and a Purple parallel but inserts will also be found. Autographs are possible but not guaranteed.
The 200-card base set will mirror the flagship product’s Update Series, featuring top rookies and traded players.
Hobby boxes are running in the $150-$175 range.
2021 Bowman Draft Baseball
As usual, BD is shrouded in a bit of mystery until it actually arrives as Topps scrambles to get the new draft picks and their autographs into the product in a relatively short time frame. We have only a few images of what the cards will look like but we do know that it’s once again being offered in three different configurations: Hobby, Super Jumbo and LITE.
A hugely popular release with those who like to chase autographs of the top prospects. Click the link in the last paragraph, which has a rundown and will eventually have a checklist for 2022 Bowman Draft once it’s sent to us by Topps.
2021-22 Upper Deck Clear Cut Hockey
Clear Cut keeps it simple: boxes have one autographed card, sealed in a one-touch. While much of the content is based on the company’s Series 1 and 2 cards done on acetate stock, Upper Deck does dig into its past designs for other parts of the checklist like the Retro Rookies autograph of Auston Matthews from 2016-17 Ultimate, for example.
Boxes are at around $150.
Also releasing on 12/21: Donruss Optic UFC, Panini Prizm Racing.
2022 Topps Five Star Baseball
A busy month of baseball releases continues as Topps looks to put the wraps on most of the ’22 releases before pitchers and catchers report for a new season.
Five Star is once again a Hobby exclusive with boxes holding a single two-card pack, with both cards carrying autographs. All are on-card except for the cut signatures that are part of the product and the multi-player autograph relic cards.
Baseball Royalty Autographs are new this year and will feature players which, according to Topps will include only the best current and former players.
Boxes are online for around $250.
About Rich Mueller
Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for over 35 years and a collector for even longer than that, he’s usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected]