Sports Card Release Calendar: 3/24/21

Collectors who love to have plenty of options when it comes to deciding which new sports card products to buy will have plenty to pick from over the next couple of weeks.  No, prices are still above what used to be considered  normal but there are a couple of them that shouldn’t be too far out of reach as well as some higher end products.  

Here’s a roundup of what’s currently on the schedule–subject, as always, to last minute change.

3/24

2020/21 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Basketball

This long-running brand is back, offering two packs per hobby box with five cards per pack.  On average, each box of Absolute should contain four hits–two autographs and two memorabilia cards.  

Tools of the Trade, with its multiple memorabilia swatches combined with autographs, are among the attractions.

Boxes are being sold online for $450-$500.

2021 Topps Opening Day

This one, too, was supposed to be out earlier in the month, but it’s now set for release just ahead of, well, Opening Day.

If high prices bum you out, Opening Day is here to offer a sympathetic shoulder. It’s a kid-oriented product but a lot of adults like it too and as one of the few truly low cost products left, it’s likely to be popular.

Each box has 36 packs with seven cards in each pack.  Autographs aren’t guaranteed at the current price of less than $40 per box in some places.

Look for fun inserts including some featuring past greats, mascots, a look at Opening Day 2020 and more.

2020-21 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey

This one is apparently now ready to make its delayed debut. Each hobby box of Series 2 will have 24 packs of eight cards. Expect six of the ever popular Young Guns, along with four Canvas, four Portraits Rookies and four OPC Update rookies.

3/26

2021 Topps Heritage Baseball

Every day is yesterday with Heritage and this year, it’s a groovy trip back to 1972.  

Each pack will have nine cards and there will be 24 packs per hobby box.  Each box will have either an autograph or relic card, but this is one of the few products where the focus is really geared toward the old fashioned set collector, with a 500-card base set.  Once again, the last 100 cards will be short-printed with eight in each box.

Heritage is typically produced in large quantities and readily available. We’ll see what happens this year, but right now, hobby boxes are going for around $140-$150 online with retail and blaster boxes also available.

2020 Panini Encased Football

Encased is a single five-card pack that guarantees one graded autograph card along with a second autograph, two relic cards and a base card.

There’s a First Off The Line version that has a Ruby parallel autograph numbered to 15 or less along with a Ruby base card parallel.  Those are running a few hundred dollars more than the $800 or so hobby boxes are currently commanding.

3/31

2020-21 Panini Prizm Basketball

Always a popular commodity, Prizm basketball won’t have quite the juice afforded last year’s rookie mania but there won’t be any shortage of buyers either.  Prizm hobby boxes will hold 12 packs of 12 cards.  Most boxes will contain two autographs, 22 Prizms and ten inserts. There’s also a First Off The Line version.

Hobby boxes can be had for $2,250 online right now with FOTL boxes and their exclusive content a little higher.

2021 Topps Definitive

This high end product includes only cards serial numbered to 50 or less.

Each pack of Definitive holds only eight cards but six will be autograph and/or autograph/relic cards, while the remaining two are low-numbered Relics.

The autographs–with a checklist of current and former stars– are on-card or cuts.

Expect boxes to run over $1,700 each.

4/2

2021 Topps Gypsy Queen

Each box of GQ will contain 24 packs with eight cards per pack and two autographs per box.  

The base set will once again include 300 cards but there will be short printed base cards, packed one per box.

Boxes are being pre-sold for around $275.

4/7

2021 Topps Tribute Baseball

Boxes of 2021 Tribute might just have a tiny piece of Fenway Park’s ‘Green Monster’ if you’re lucky.

Tribute hobby boxes will carry six packs with 12 base cards and six others from a mix of autographs, autographed relic cards and regular relics. 

Hobby boxes are being pre-sold for around $475.

2020-21 Upper Deck Black Diamond Hockey

Black Diamond has been pushed back multiple times, but it’s now set to go on April 7, offering one pack of six premium cards including an Exquisite Collection chase card. Black Diamond is the first high-end product of the 2020-21 hockey season and is the first product of the year to feature an extensive selection of premium autograph and memorabilia cards for the 2020-21 rookie class.

Diamond Relic Rookies are among the big hits with each card of top prospects featuring one to four diamonds. 

Also due out:  2020 Topps Formula One Chrome (4/7) and Skybox Metal Universe Hockey (4/7) as well as several pre-draft NFL products.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he’s usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected]

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