The First 100: Ranking Our Favorite Cards from Topps Living Set

This year Topps released a very unique and welcomed product named ‘The Living Set‘. Each week, three new cards are released into the set, which should theoretically never end. Each particular week’s cards are only available for that week and then never reprinted again. Current players can only have one card in the set unless they change teams. All cards are stylized after 1953 Topps, can feature current or retired players, and are created around the artwork of legendary sports card artist Mayumi Seto. Card #100-102 (week 34) were released last week, with #100 reserved for Babe Ruth. 

From the moment this set was unveiled, two of COMC’s employees were hooked on the concept, design, and the execution. Our Communications Manager James Good and Senior Business Analyst Grant Wescott each own a complete set up to this point in time and plan to continue to collecting the set as new cards are released each week. We asked them to choose their favorite 10 of the first 100 cards released in the set and give a reason why those cards resonated with them.

Grant Wescott:

“I’d wished for years Topps would produce an on-demand baseball set with the same, consistent design year after year, featuring only one player to a card, no parallels, and a checklist to eternity. The day Topps Living Set was announced was probably the best of my collecting life. Not only did they check all the boxes – that consistent design? None other than the most beautiful Topps set of all time: 1953. All meticulously hand painted by the talented Mayumi Seto. “

James Good

“In an industry that tries to consistently innovate by making cards flashier and more complex, the basic card stock and classic design of Living Set, as well as the focus on artwork, is a welcomed breath of fresh air. While I would prefer that Topps would let me pay for Living Set as yearly subscription service, as opposed to buying each week individually, there is a certain charm to the current format that plays well to my nostalgia for simpler times in the hobby. Just like opening a pack as a kid, there is that rush of excitement that comes with heading to Topps website each Wednesday to see who this week’s subjects are. I thought that sense of satisfaction was long gone in our day and age. Bravo Topps.”

What are some of your favorite cards in Topps Living Set so far? Who would you like to see featured in the next 100 cards? Do you have a set of your own? Let us know what you think about The Living Set in the comments below!

[COMC Tutorial] All About The Rookies

Rookie cards are among some of the most coveted cards in the trading card hobby. Unfortunately, the hobby does not have a fool-proof system for conveying what is and isn’t a true rookie card. What some collectors might consider to be a true rookie card, others would not. One of the most commonly asked questions that our Customer Service Team receives is the following:

“What is the difference between the Pre-Rookie Card, Rookie Card, Rookie Year, and Rookie Related search filters on COMC?”

Today, we seek to answer that question by explaining our search filter designations for rookies in detail, using examples and cards that you’re probably familiar with, and some that you might not be.

Rookie Card 

The red-colored ‘RC’ tag on COMC is reserved for cards that are recognized as true rookie cards. To satisfy the designation of RC, a card must:

  • Depict a player in their pro uniform
  • Be licensed by both the league and players association
  • Come from a standalone nationally distributed set
  • Come from a base set
  • Be released after the player’s top-level debut

Some of the sets that we see as producing true rookie cards include Topps Base Set, Topps Chrome, Panini Prizm Basketball, and Upper Deck Hockey to name a few. These sets are considered to contain a player’s true rookie cards because they are commonly accepted as major annual releases that have high relevance in the industry.

Rookie Year 

With defined criteria necessary to earn RC status, our yellow rookie year tag is applied to any other card released of a player during the same year as their rookie card. These cards can include parallels of rookie cards, inserts cards from sets that feature a rookie card, cards that are licensed by a player’s association but not a league (i.e. Panini Optic Baseball), stadium giveaways, and many more cards that do not meet the qualifications of a rookie card.

Looking at these three 2018 Shohei Ohtani cards, we have designated one (2018 Topps Chrome #150) as a true rookie card, and three others as rookie year cards. Here’s why:

2018 Topps Chrome – Pink Refractor #150: This card does belong to a flagship product that we recognize as producing true rookie cards, but it is a parallel of the base rookie card. For that reason, we designate it as a rookie year card.

2018 Topps Now – Japan #5J:  Topps Now is not a nationally distributed set, as it is an on-demand product that is printed year round. As of this writing there are 29 different Shohei Ohtani Topps Now cards available on the COMC Marketplace. These cards all receive the rookie year designation as they are not widely considered to be true rookie cards.

Pre-Rookie Card 

A pre-rookie card is any card that was printed prior to the year that a player made their debut at the top level of their respective sport. The most common pre-rookie cards are included in prospect-heavy products such as a Bowman Draft, Topps Pro Debut, team-issued minor league baseball cards, football rookies depicted in college uniforms in sets released prior to the start of an NFL season, and junior league hockey cards.

Rookie Related

The Rookie Related designation is really quite simple – it’s a catch-all filter of all the cards that have received a rookie card, rookie year, or pre-rookie card designation. If you’re still a little bit confused over rookie card vs rookie year vs pre-rookie card, simply choosing the rookie related filter will show you ALL of those cards.

The Politics of the Rookie Card

One of the most common misconceptions on COMC is that the red rookie card symbol represents the most desirable cards belonging to a player. That isn’t true at all. While these items are considered that player’s true rookie cards, there are many instances where a pre-rookie card or even a rookie year card can be a substantially more desirable card than a flagship RC. Don’t believe us? We’ll let you decide which of these cards you would rather have in your collection:



Have any questions? Feel free to post in the comments below, or email our Customer Service Team at Staff@comc.com and we’ll be more than happy to look into your concerns. If you disagree with any of our assessments pertaining to these rookie designations, you are more than welcome to submit a correction requests for rookie years that you would like to dispute. However, please note that while we will not agree with all requests, we will review each one.

#Cardstock Volume 12 – The Future is Now

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

With the 2018 MLB season coming to a close, now is the time to look back and reflect on the accomplishments of these five players who are quickly becoming household names. For some, the dream of the post season is still alive, while others will potentially be snubbed for awards they should win. Yeah, we’ll say it: Blake Snell for American League Cy Young! Regardless, these players made an immediate impact to their respective teams, and as a result their card values and desirability has risen tremendously.

 

 

 

On the Horizon: Our Most Anticipated Products to Come in 2018

Hello COMC Nation!

We are less than three months away from the start of a new year as 2019 rapidly approaches. That being said, one quick look on the New and Upcoming Releases Calendar offered by Cardboard Connection and you’ll know that the hobby is in for a strong close to what has been a very hot year for trading cards across all sports. In this blog, we want to highlight and showcase some of our most anticipated products that are yet to come before the calendar turns.

2018 Topps Update Baseball
October 22nd, 2018

2018 Topps Update Baseball will round out the Topps Baseball flagship set for the year, bringing 300 more base cards and plenty of short print variations as well. All of the familiar parallels return from Series 1 and 2, along with new insert sets such as ‘An International Affair’ and Washington D.C. All Star Game themed relics, patches, and autographs to those lucky enough to land a tough odds monster hit from the product. Update is a perennial favorite with collectors and generally features rookies who came on strong in the second half of the season. We’re expecting to see first Topps flagship rookie cards from players such as David Bote, Dereck Rodriguez, and Franmil Reyes find their way in 2018 Topps Update. That’s reason enough to get excited about this set.

Revisit 2017 Topps Update Baseball

2018 Panini Prizm Football
October 24th, 2018

We’ll admit that we’re still not entirely acclimated to the new landscape of football cards in the wake of the NFL and NFL Player’s Association’s exclusive agreement that started in 2016 and effectively eliminated all Topps football products.That being said, Panini has done a commendable job transitioning their Prizm set as the new standard chromium flagship product in the wake of the loss of Topps Chrome. Featuring over 100 rookies, this year’s Prizm set is sharply designed and will feature coveted rookie autographs from Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, and more. The new stained glass parallel should be popular among player collectors.

Revisit 2017 Panini Prizm Football

2017-18 Panini Flawless Basketball
October 31st, 2018

Flawless Basketball has carved out a place for itself among basketball collectors as the highest of high end products, coming in at around $1800 per box at time of writing. While this set is out of the price range of many collectors, putting it in the look but don’t touch realm in their local hobby shop, it does generate huge buzz among group breakers in particular. Even the packaging for this product is ultra high end, with each ‘box’ of 10 cards being presented in a locking suitcase bearing the Flawless logo.

Revisit 2016-17 Panini Flawless Basketball

2017-18 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey
October 2018

Although the start of the 2018-19 NHL season has begun, Upper Deck saves the best for last with their final 2017-18 season release with The Cup. Each tin of The Cup contains one pack of six cards, that yields two autographed patch cards on average. Laundry Tags, Triple Autographed Booklets featuring legends of the NHL, and NHL Shield Patches are just some of the obscenely monster hits to be found throughout the product. With a base set limited to just 249 copies, The Cup will be home to some of the best looking rookie cards of Brock Boeser, Alex DeBrincat, and Alex Tuch.

Browse 2016-17 The Cup Hockey

Even More Sets We’re Looking Forward to this year:

2018 Topps Dynasty Baseball
2018 Upper Deck Marvel Masterpieces
2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey
2018 Panini Immaculate Collection Football
2018 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

#Cardstock Volume 11 – Undervalued and Under 30.

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

This time around we’re highlighting a unique group of players under the age of 30 who are all experiencing different trajectories of their careers. Each of these players came into the league with high exceptions, and while some have performed better out of the gate than others, we still have faith that the others will come around. While Alex Bregman and Trevor Story cards are reaching new heights almost daily, there is still plenty of room for growth. On the other hand, cards from players such as Byron Buxton and Amed Rosario remain largely undervalued, and could see huge growth if these players can live up to their expected potentials.

Who are you investing in from this group?

Rookie Review – Five Hot Football RC’s that you need RIGHT NOW!

We are now two weeks into the NFL season, and the landscape of the league is beginning to take form. While perennial greats such as Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, and Julio Jones are doing their thing and posting the type of stats that are to be expected, there is a whole crop of players who have emerged from the pack and are positioning themselves to have a stand out 2018 season.  As a result of their strong performances, the collecting world has taken notice and these player’s cards have seen renewed and/or increased interest on the COMC Marketplace.

With that in mind, we want to share our top players who’s rookie cards you should consider picking up sooner rather than later. Whether you’re looking to invest and resell at a later point in time or you’re simply adding them to your collection, here’s who we think you need to consider buying right now:

Patrick Mahomes II | Quarterback | Kanas City Chiefs
38-55, 582 yards, 10 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

The 10th overall pick of the 2017 draft, Patrick Mahomes II has lit the NFL on fire through the Kansas City Chiefs first two victories. After his six passing touchdown performance in Week 2, Mahomes set a record for most TD’s thrown through the first two weeks of the season. Will he eclipse Peyton Manning‘s record of 55 in a season? Only time will tell, but regardless this second year stud is headed in the right direction both on the field and in the collecting world. As of this writing, his Optic Rated Rookie RC is currently selling above $12 and continue to rise with only a handful of copies available.
Our Pick: 2017 Donruss Optic #177 Rated Rookie
Alternative Pick: 2017 Panini Rookie & Stars #201 


Ryan Fitzpatrick | Quarterback | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
49-61, 819 yards, 8 Touchdowns, 1 Interception

2018 marks the emergence of ‘Fitzmagic’. Over his career, Ryan Fitzpatrick has perfected the disappearing act, as the Buccaneers are his 7th team in 12 seasons. In the wake of Jameis Winston‘s suspension, Fitzpatrick was given one more chance to shine and did he ever! Not only has he accumulated back-to-back 400 yard, 4 touchdown performances in two wins, including one against the defending Superbowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, but he’s created a buzz off the field as well. Donning teammate Desean Jackson‘s outfit, he set social media on fire with an appearance that can only be described as Conor McGregor‘s older brother. Plenty of his 2005 rookie year cards can be found on COMC, including autographs at reasonable prices (for now).
Our Pick: 2005 Bowman #180
Alternative Pick: 2005 SPX #162 /1199


Tyreek Hill | Wide Receiver | Kansas City Chiefs
12 receptions,  259 yards, 3 Touchdowns, 1 Return Touchdown 

With Mahomes having a record setting start, someone has to be catching all of those passes right? That someone is Tyreek Hill, who is on pace to shatter the career bests that he set in 2017. A dynamic play maker, Tyreek not only found pay dirt three times on passing plays, but he also electrified the Chiefs Kingdom by running back a 91 yard return for a touchdown as well. We could be seeing the rise of the next great QB to WR duo in the NFL.
Our Pick: 2016 Panini Prizm #296
Alternative Pick: 2016 Donruss Optic #117


Michael Thomas | Wide Receiver | New Orleans Saints
28 receptions, 269 yards, 3 Touchdowns, 2 fumbles lost

In his first two seasons, Michael Thomas has posted 1,000+ yards seasons, while hauling in 14 touchdowns combined. It’s been apparent that the talent has always been there for this 2016 2nd round pick, but Drew Brees‘ favorite target has taken it to another level in 2018. He’s hauled in 28 of the 30 balls thrown his way through the Saints first two games. Even though he has lost a couple of fumbles, Thomas is positioning himself to have a truly special 2018 if he can stay consistent. He has no shortage of rookie cards to choose from, but we prefer his 2016 Prizm over the rest of the field.
Our Pick: 2016 Panini Prizm #230
Alternative Pick: 2016 Panini Playoff #240


James Conner | Running Back | Pittsburgh Steelers
39 rushes, 150 yards, 3 Touchdowns, 10 receptions, 1 touchdown

Leveon who? In the absence of arguably the best running back in the league, James Conner has emerged in the Steeler’s backfield as a similar offensive threat. With Le’veon Bell‘s hold out having no end in sight, Conner is doing his teammate no favors by stepping up and increasing his stock, while decreasing the chances of Bell getting the big payday that he seeks. Though the Steelers are 0-1-1 on the season, Conner is a big winner among fantasy owners and card collectors alike. His rookie card market has gone from stagnant to ablaze, so we’d recommend getting in on the action sooner than later!
Our Pick: 2017 Panini Prizm #225
Alternative Pick: 2017 Panini Donruss #322 

 

That’s going to do it for this installment of rookie review. We’ll be back in a few weeks with another installment. What do you think, COMC Nation? Which NFL player’s rookie cards will you be hoarding this season?

#Cardstock Volume 10 – Onward and Upward

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

This time around we’re highlighting six players who have stepped their game up in a huge way in 2018. Whether it be an immediate impact upon their big league debut, posting career highs at the plate, or helping carry their team to the postseason, these players have turned on the jets this season. As a result, their most coveted prospect and rookie cards have seen substantial growth. Who should you invest in? Check out their cardstock and decide which of these players has room for the most growth both professionally and in the world of cardboard!