2020 Tokyo Olympics: Trading Cards to Watch

After a year’s delay, the Tokyo Summer Olympics are well underway! Though the Olympics will be taking place in 2021, they will continue to be officially branded as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and are scheduled to take place between July 23rd and August 8th. There’s something for every sports fan in this year’s slate of 33 Olympic sports. Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing are all making their Olympic debut, while baseball and softball are returning to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

COMC is your home for buying. selling, and flipping trading cards across all sports and genres, including the Olympics! Here we’re sharing some Olympic storylines and athletes that could impact the trading card market. The COMC Marketplace has trading cards in stock featuring elite Olympians, both past and present. Enjoy discovering their cards as the world watches these long-awaited Olympic Games.

Men’s Basketball: Can Team USA Bounce Back?

Kevin Durant

While Team USA has won six of the past seven Olympic gold medals, this year’s team is not a clear favorite to take home the gold amidst stronger competition from across the globe. Familiar names from the NBA are participating for their respective countries, including Luka Doncic for Slovenia, Danilo Gallinari for Italy, and Rudy Gobert for France.

Team USA is filled with fresh faces making their Olympic debuts, including Devin Booker and Jayson Tatum. One of just two returning players from the Team USA squad that won the gold in 2016 is Kevin Durant! Durant led that year’s team in scoring and averaged 34.3 points per game for the Nets in this year’s NBA playoffs. If Team USA can turn it around, KD could join Carmelo Anthony as the only American men’s basketball players to win three gold medals. 

You can browse COMC’s full selection of Team USA Men’s Basketball trading cards here!

Simone Biles: Earns Team Silver Before Exiting Competition

One of the most awe-inspiring sports in the Summer Olympics is gymnastics, and Team USA fans were excitedly awaiting to watch Simone Biles compete in Tokyo. Her performance at the 2016 Rio Summer Games was legendary, as she won a total of four Olympic Gold Medals to set a new US Women’s Gymnastics record for most gold medals in a single Olympic Games. Simone Biles made the difficult decision to withdraw from the Tokyo competition citing mental health, but not before helping Team USA win the Silver Medal as a team!

If you’re looking to add Simone Biles trading cards to your collection, check out our selection here! Her 2016 Topps Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls cards have been in demand this year, and COMC even featured one of the rare Gold Medal parallels on our Instagram (checkoutmycards) for a Flip Friday showcase!

Skateboarding Makes Its Olympic Debut

Of the five sports making their Olympic debut in Tokyo, the introduction of skateboarding has been one of the most-anticipated. With Street and Park events for both Men and Women, this year’s Olympic Games are set to expose a boarder audience to the world’s top skaters and the thrill of skateboarding.

Although his Olympic debut has not gone as planned, one elite athlete who was selected for Team USA Skateboarding’s inaugural roster was Nyjah Huston. Already one of the world’s most-accomplished street skaters, Huston was featured across Topps’ 2020 Allen & Ginter releases as one of the non-baseball names on the checklist. You can shop for his trading cards here. Keep an eye out for his rare on-card framed mini autos and Ginter Chrome refractor parallels!

Olympic Baseball is Back!

MLB fans and baseball card collectors will find many familiar names competing in baseball’s return to the Olympics. Former New York Yankee Masahiro Tanaka is pitching for Japan, and long-time fans will remember he was on Japan’s roster for the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he was just 19 years old!

The six-team baseball competition features top prospects such as Shane Baz (USA) and Julio Rodriguez (Dominican Republic) playing alongside former MLB All-Stars such as Ian Kinsler (Israel) and Adrian Gonzalez (Mexico). Although baseball will not return for the 2024 Paris games, we hope Tokyo sets the stage for more Olympic baseball in future years. Shop COMC’s full baseball card selection here.

USWNT: Going for the Gold

Two summers ago in France, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) went on a remarkable run to win their second FIFA World Cup in a row. Many of the USWNT athletes who starred in the 2019 World Cup will be competing for Team USA again in the Tokyo Olympics including Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, and Lindsey Horan.

Following three straight Olympic gold medals in 2004, 2008, and 2012, Team USA was eliminated in 2016’s Olympic quarterfinals by Sweden. One USWNT athlete returning for the Tokyo Olympics to help re-capture the Gold Medal is Alex Morgan, a soccer icon who was Team USA’s leading scorer during the 2012 London Olympics. Another gold medal victory would cement Morgan’s already incredible legacy! You can find Alex Morgan soccer cards on COMC here.

More Olympians’ Trading Cards, Past and Present

Looking to collect more Olympians’ trading cards? Cards from the 2021 Topps Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls release which hit shelves in July are starting to appear on COMC. Beyond cards from this year’s Olympics-focused release, COMC has other cards available for some of the top Olympians competing in Tokyo, including:

And looking back on past Summer Games, COMC has cards in stock featuring a range of legendary Olympians, including:

We hope that this guide helps you collect Olympic trading cards and that you have a blast watching the rest of this summer’s Games with your friends and family.

Set Building Using COMC and Upper Deck ePack

This is a special guest blog contributed by Mike Sommer of WaxPackHero.com. COMC is a proud sponsor of the WaxPackHero Sports Card Minute podcast!

The Upper Deck ePack program has proven to be a successful integration between manufacturer and marketplace.  Over these first few years, I’ve primarily taken advantage of the opportunity to flip these cards directly on COMC

I typically use flipping to generate store credit which allows me to fund my true passion: set building.  As I was browsing the COMC listings last fall, I realized even with all the ePack cards I was buying and selling, I had never attempted to build an Upper Deck set via ePack!  This led to the idea described in this article.  I decided I would choose a set that was released via ePack, and then attempt to build the set entirely by buying the cards on COMC.

The Set

First, I needed to pick a set.  I wanted it to be attainable, which means it couldn’t be too big or too expensive.  I also wanted it to be fully available via ePack.  This meant I couldn’t pick Upper Deck Series 1 & 2 or even Goodwin, as a good portion of the base cards from those sets are only available in “parallel” versions.  The true base cards are not available in physical form.  I also wanted to try and build a style of the set I had never done before.  After considering all these things, I landed on the 2019-20 Upper Deck Series 2 Rookie Materials set. 

This 40-card set includes a player worn swatch of some of the biggest NHL rookies of the 2019-20 season.  One of the things I love about hockey memorabilia cards is the variety of colors in the embedded material.  They aren’t all just plain white jerseys like we sometimes see in some other sports.  In fact, only seven of the 40 cards I purchased included white jersey swatches! 

The “base” Rookie Materials cards are not serial numbered, but they do have varying levels of scarcity.  The odds for the tiers range from 1:98 packs up to the rarest cards only falling 1:333 packs.  I assumed this would create a bit of a challenge for obtaining some cards.

Since the set is numbered using the player initials vs. numbers, I decided to make a checklist on an Excel spreadsheet for me to use to track my progress.

The Journey

I started the process by searching for the set and sorting to display the lowest-priced cards first.  I was pleased to see that the prices started at around .60 each! 

I started at the top, and began to examine the available inventory of each card.  As I dug through the listings, there were a few things I was looking for.  I wanted to find a variety of swatch colors, and ideally, I wanted to find the cards at the lowest price possible.

That last one brings me to something that often gets overlooked.   Whenever you are considering a purchase on COMC, you should determine if the seller accepts offers!  There are many times where even though a seller’s original asking price isn’t the lowest on the site, it becomes the lowest after they accept an offer.  Sellers are more likely to give you a discount if you are buying multiple items from them, so trying to bundle multiple cards from the same buyer was another priority for me.

Over the next few days, I was able to acquire 37 of the 40 cards from a total of 24 different sellers (can you imagine the cost of shipping if I had to buy these from 24 individuals on eBay?).  The total asking price was $72.37, however, I was able to make offers to seven of those sellers and secured a discount of $3.97 or around 5%.  I was hoping for a bit larger discount, but with it being a fairly new release and with some of the cards having limited inventory due to their scarcity, I wasn’t completely surprised.  The average price for the first 37 cards was about $1.85 per card.

The Final Three

There were three cards that proved to be elusive in my initial search.  Adam Boqvist, Kaapo Kakko, and Quinn Hughes did not have their card available on the site.  Those three were all in the 1:333 scarcity tier, and with Kakko and Hughes being a couple of the most popular rookies last year, I knew this may take some work.

Since most items consigned with COMC get cross-listed on eBay, you can use the eBay notification tools to help alert you to new items!  I set up alerts for those three cards, and each time I got a notification, I was able to see if that was a listing from COMC or another random seller. 

It took a couple of months, but I was finally able to acquire the remaining three cards using this method.  The Adam Boqvist card ended up costing me $3.50.  I paid $15.00 for the Hughes, and the Kakko was the final card and it set me back $12.99.

Wrapping It Up

The final cost for the set was just shy of $100.  Since I operate in “advanced reseller” mode, I’ll need to add an additional .25 per card when I have them shipped home, so my final delivered cost will be closer to $115. 

This proved to be a fun, challenging, but attainable build.  I feel it was a great use of my store credit, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to build this set anywhere else for less than I did here on COMC.

If you enjoy set building, I challenge you to find an ePack set of your own to chase.  There are a variety of insert sets and other autograph or relic sets that are available on the site, or if parallels are your thing, there are even ePack exclusive parallels for many of the base sets.  Regardless of which you pick, you’ll have fun along the way.

Mike Sommer of Wax Pack Hero

About the Author

Mike is a husband, father, baseball chaplain, sports card collector, and owner of WaxPackHero.com. He has collected since 1986 and is a lifelong Cubs fan. You can connect with him on his blog, on Twitter @themikesommer, and on various other social media platforms under the name WaxPackHero.

Vintage vs Modern Cards

For many new collectors, the decision on what to collect is driven by one qualification: familiarity. With stunning images of familiar players in each pack, modern cards can quickly turn a fan into a collector. Conversely, vintage cards feature players that have been retired for decades who collectors may or may not have ever watched play. Vintage collectors lament about the seemingly overwhelming number of cards currently produced. The most popular modern stars may have hundreds of different cards produced each year across dozens of sets. For new collectors, vintage’s one saving grace may be the smaller range of cards to collect, as star players from vintage era have at most only a handful of cards each year due to a much smaller quantity of different sets being produced. No matter how you collect, however, it is likely you will want to have both eras represented in some form in your collection. If you’re looking to diversify your collection across different eras of hobby history, it is easy to learn about and expand your collecting horizons to include both modern and vintage cards.

How is Vintage defined?

‘Vintage cards’ is truly a catch-all term for all varieties of cards produced before 1980. Vintage cards are further divided into two segments, Pre-War and Post-War. There is no universally accepted turning point where vintage ends, but the consensus among collectors is that ‘vintage’ does not extend past the mid-1980s at the latest. The vintage label could be applied to everything from 1887 Allen & Ginter tobacco cards to nearly the first 30 years of Topps sets. What these decades of cards all have in common is their simplicity. There are no chromium cards, no relic cards, and no parallels. Sometimes, that simplicity is mistaken as ‘plainness’ by new collectors.

Pre-War cards, being the oldest of cards, can be particularly daunting to new collectors. Many modern collectors are used to cards being packed with information. While the backs of many pre-war cards feature full statistical information and more facts such as birthday and height, they are lacking many of the key elements of modern cards. Aspect of trading cards we consider essential today such as player name, position, team, and the rookie logo on the front may be absent. Many early cards and the most renowned cigarette cards, have minimal information. Take, for example, the famous (and monstrous) T206 set. The front of T206 cards shows a player’s last name alongside the team’s location and league. Flipping the card over reveals no further information. The entire reverse of T206 cards are simply advertisements for the cigarette brand.

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Research is definitely a prerequisite before jumping headfirst into building any type of vintage card collection. Time spent gaining knowledge of the set, player, and prices can go a long way when the decision to purchase a card is finally made. There is one more major aspect to consider that is not as prevalent as a concern compared to modern cards, and that is condition. Older vintage cards were produced before the secondary market for collectibles had truly taken shape, and were not always handled with the same care as modern cards. The vintage cards available on today’s secondary market are rarely pack fresh and will require careful inspection to evaluate their condition. To truly get the most out of vintage cards you must familiarize yourself to some degree with card grades and their parameters. You can skip having to judge raw cards’ condition for yourself if you stick to buying cards already evaluated and encapsulated by third party grading companies, although it still helps to know what condition each number on the grading scale signifies.

Another peculiarity of vintage cards is their sizing. Tobacco cards are the size of minis you might find in modern Topps Allen & Ginter releases, with the latter intended to replicate the former as a tribute to the hobby’s history. Vintage Goudey cards are almost square. In some cases, the cards are not even cardboard at all. Silks and B18 Felt Blankets are largely grouped with vintage cards and can often be found in a vintage card dealer’s display case. There are even 19th century postcards and trade cards depicting baseball players which can also be considered as vintage cards.

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Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini are known today for producing cards, but trading cards were originally manufactured to accompany different products before spawning an industry of their own. Tobacco cards were included in packs of tobacco to keep packs stiff and help the cigarettes maintain their shape. The card’s popularity among children was soon recognized by another industry and cards were included with a number of food items, including crackerjacks and caramel candy. Cards would be forever ingrained in popular culture with a different candy: gum. The first major gum set to include cards was the Boston-based Goudey during the 1930s. Following Goudey’s lead, Philadelphia’s Gum Inc. issued their baseball card set ‘Play Ball.’ Gum Inc. was renamed to Bowman after World War II, and in 1951 Topps Chewing Gum would produce their first baseball card set.

Post-War Vintage

In the Post-War era, company names recognizable to collectors today emerged. Topps and Bowman battled each other by putting increasing amounts of priority towards their baseball card sets. The two companies battled for player rights among themselves for decades, at times monopolizing the industry. Topps and Bowman also created football sets. Bowman created basketball cards only in 1948. Topps then created a basketball set for one year as well in 1957 before returning to the sport in 1961 and again stopping production in 1980. Hockey cards started being produced on a large scale by Parkhurst in 1951, Topps followed in 1954. Both continued hockey card production relatively thoroughly for a number of years, but hockey is recognized as a much smaller market, comparatively.

For the majority of this period, each company produced one set. Most players would have only one card unless they were also denoted on as a League Leader. For decades, this is how cards continued to be produced, without many changes. Each year, one set featuring one card was produced by one company. Topps long had a monopoly on the ability to produce baseball cards. The resolution of a six-year legal battle culminated in 1980 with the dissipation of Topps’ monopoly on baseball cards. The end of the monopoly is often used by collectors to mark the end of the vintage era.

Entering the Modern Era

Donruss and Fleer would begin producing baseball cards alongside Topps in 1981. The 1980s saw a steady rise in the popularity of sports cards before collecting popularity exploded by the end of the decade. Two different monthly magazines devoted to tracking the ever-changing values of cards were started in 1984. Sports cards were clearly beginning to enter the public consciousness in a way they never had before.

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Upper Deck began producing sports cards in 1989 and immediately hit a home run. Card #1 in Upper Deck’s inaugural release, depicting then-rookie Ken Griffey Jr., is one of the most iconic cards of all-time. 1989 also saw the re-introduction of Bowman-branded cards, now being produced by Topps and focusing on younger players. As more sports card companies emerged in the 1990s, manufacturers looked to separate themselves from new competition by creating a number of sets beyond their main releases. These non-flagship sets were produced with quality in mind, and their price-point reflected that.

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By the end of the 1990s, it was clear that card collecting had firmly entered a new era. High-priced packs could be opened to reveal shiny cards or autographs. Collectors opened packs hoping to find a serial-numbered card. The onslaught of cards being produced by an ever-increasing amount of manufacturers was inevitably leading to overproduction. The 1994 MLB Players strike had an adverse effect on baseball’s popularity and was an even greater detriment to collecting. While the home run chases and big bats of the Steroid Era would bring back some viewers, card collecting had stagnated overall.

With the exception of a notable handful of key rookie cards, most cards from the mid-80 to 90s are not particularly valued in the hobby due to overproduction. This time period is often referred to as the “Junk Wax Era” within the hobby. It is likely someone you know still has a large box in a closet or basement still filled with sealed packs and boxes from this time waiting to cash-in. Unless there are any notable basketball sets, unfortunately nearly all base cards from this era are not worth the ink that was used to print them.

Topps would soon have their monopoly reinstated and a large number of other card producers disappeared. Topps continued to produce a growing-number of sets under both the Topps and Bowman brand names. Upper Deck stopped producing baseball cards in 2010 after losing their license to use MLB logos and team names. In 2011, Panini decided to produce baseball cards to rival Topps. Despite being barred from being able to use official MLB team names or logos on their cards, Panini has rolled out more baseball card products of their own to compete with Topps over the past decade, including baseball versions of Prizm and Optic.

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Today’s Cards

For nearly all of collecting history, the most valuable cards have been the oldest cards, most notably the famed T206 Honus Wagner. Along with other important examples such as the T206 Eddie Plank and 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, vintage cards had a firm hold on the high-end card market. Over-production and preservation of cards released since the 1980s made it very difficult to even sniff the price tag of vintage cards. As the modern hobby switched its focus to high-end and purposefully short-printed cards, this tiny supply forces prices to spike sharply. The high-end modern sports card market is especially dominated by rookie cards, so much so that rising rookie prices have in turn driven up prices for top players’ second-year cards.

The most valuable modern cards today are only the most limited. The current most valuable modern card, a 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Draft Picks Chrome Prospects Superfractor is a 1 of 1 parallel, unique with no other equivalent. Trout’s basketball counterpart is the LeBron James 2003-04 Exquisite Collection Rookie Parallel featuring both a jersey patch piece and an autograph is serial-number to only 23.

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Grading is an increasingly important factor in today’s market for both vintage and modern cards. While it is easy to see why vintage cards are good candidates to be graded to both confirm their authenticity and preserve their condition for the future, a large number of modern cards are also sent to grading. The benefit of grading a modern card is that it offers heavy-duty protection to the card and provides confidence and a fair assessment to both the owner and any potential trading partners. Even modern cards carefully pulled from fresh packs are far from a guarantee to receive a Gem Mint grade.

There are certain aspects of a card’s conditions which influence a third-party grade that the card’s owner has no control over. Aspects such as the card’s centering or any corner or edge damage coming straight out of the pack are examples of this. Collectors can avoid any condition risks by buying cards that have already been third-party graded. Like it or not, for any ultra high-end card today to even have a chance at a record-setting price, it would need to be graded by a major third-party grading company. Many collectors can point out flaws in any company’s grading process, but graded cards are here to stay and will likely only become more prevalent in the hobby.

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State of the Hobby

2020 was an incredible year for sports cards and showcased many new trends within the hobby. Baseball has for many decades been the belle of the ball, but basketball cards sold at record-pace to the many new collectors entering the hobby last year. Soccer cards finally got more of the attention they deserve, with their popularity within the hobby slowly catching up to the sport’s worldwide dominance. Outside of the sports world, Pokémon cards were championed by a number of celebrities.

The hobby is as diverse as it has ever been, both in terms of the cards being produced and in the population of collectors themselves. With everyone enjoying the hobby in their own way, it seems that there could be sustainable growth for this industry. There are many reasons to be hopeful for the future and confident we are not repeating the bubble of 30 years ago.

COMC looks forward to being a part of the hobby’s bright future with you. 

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About the Author:

Matthew is a COMC Customer Service team member and lifelong baseball card collector. In addition to collecting cards, he enjoys writing about their history and the current market as well as Flipping on COMC. His personal collection boasts cards of his hometown Boston Red Sox and vintage Boston Braves.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

The NFL Playoffs are rushing towards this year’s Super Bowl, with the Conference Championship games taking place this Sunday. The NFC Conference Championship will see Buccaneers QB Tom Brady appear in his 9th conference championship game in the last 10 years, having now played in 14 conference championship games in his 21-year career. His opponent will be the #1 seed Green Bay Packers led by QB Aaron Rodgers, who many experts expect to win the MVP award this season. A snowy Sunday forecast for Lambeau Field should create an incredible atmosphere for this epic matchup of two great quarterbacks.

For the second season in a row, the AFC conference championship will feature the Kansas City Chiefs, who had another dominant season following their Super Bowl victory last year. They’ll take on Josh Allen and the rising Buffalo Bills in what will be the Bills’ first conference title game appearance since 1994.

Who will hoist the Lombardi trophy as victors of Super Bowl LV? We will have to wait a few more weeks to see, but it has already been a truly incredible NFL season.

The Season that Almost Wasn’t

As with most professional sports in 2020, the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty surrounding the NFL season. The NFL developed a plan to isolate coaches, players, and staff in hopes of preventing the spread of COVID. Although all of the preseason games were cancelled, the NFL kicked off a full 16 game regular season on September 10th.

The NFL was able to design the season with proper flexibility to move games to alternate dates and days of the week, or even switch teams that would play in the event of COVID spikes. After a 19-week season, and a total of 256 regular-season games on the schedule, the NFL managed to play all 256 games.

Several Teams Find New Homes

The 2020 season marked the Raiders’ debut in Las Vegas after spending the past 22 years in Oakland. The Raiders franchise is no stranger to moving and changing cities. After making their debut in 1960, the Raiders called Oakland home for 22 seasons before moving to Los Angeles in 1982. The team would then return to the Bay Area in 1995 and remain there until their move to Las Vegas this season, the third move in franchise history! The Raiders’ new home in Las Vegas is Allegiant Stadium, which opened this fall.

Two teams which moved to Los Angeles in recent history also settled into their new home this season. 2020 was the inaugural season for SoFi Stadium, the home for both the Chargers and Rams in Inglewood, CA. COVID restrictions in California prevented attendance at SoFi Stadium this season, so we will have to wait to see the 70,240 seat stadium filled with fans.

It’s All in a Name Change

After many years of debate, NFL owner Dan Snyder dropped the Redskins name and imagery from his franchise in July 2020. Although there was a plan to announce a new team name and mascot before the season began, the re-branding timeline was pushed into the future and the team will be renamed at a later date. For the 2020 season, they’d be known as the Washington Football Team. The first official Washington Football Team trading cards appeared in some of the 2020 football products, including Prizm.

Top Quarterbacks Change Teams

Another storyline which made the 2020 season special was that some of the NFL’s most well-known quarterbacks found new homes.

After 20 years with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady became a free agent and found a new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or “Tompa Bay” as their fans would soon say. Brady largely lived up to the hype and led the Bucs to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2007.

Tom Brady’s departure left a big question mark at QB for the Patriots: who would Belichick choose as Brady’s successor? The Patriots sent shockwaves through the football world by signing 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, a former #1 overall draft pick and the longtime QB for the Carolina Panthers. The hobby’s reaction to the news reflected excitement and optimism for Cam to succeed with the Patriots, and his football cards were rapidly bought and sold in the hours following the news. Although Newton showed flashes of his former greatness, the Patriots ultimately finished at 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

After mutually agreeing to part ways with the Chargers franchise after 16 seasons, Philip Rivers found a new home with the Indianapolis Colts, leading them to the playoffs with a wildcard berth this season. This would be his final NFL season, as Rivers announced his retirement from pro football on January 20th.

Quarterbacks Rule the Game

Some of the game’s younger quarterback are quickly becoming faces of the NFL. One of those is Patrick Mahomes, who has already won an MVP award and a Super Bowl in his first four seasons. Putting up another brilliant season, Mahomes has the Kansas City Chiefs poised to make a run at back to back Super Bowl victories.

Several other young QBs are taking their place in the spotlight too. The Bills’ Josh Allen and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson each led their teams to the playoffs, and 2019 #1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray showed signs of growth in his second year with the Cardinals.

The 2020 NFL Draft featured a trio of talented young quarterbacks in the top 10 picks. #1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow was Cincinnati’s starting quarterback from the beginning of the season, but unfortunately suffered a season ending injury in Week 11. #5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa showed his potential to be a future franchise quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. The early favorite of the 2020 rookie QB class, however, was the player taken one pick after Tua, the Chargers’ #6 overall pick Justin Herbert. He broke Carson Wentz’s 2016 NFL Rookie record for the most completions this season, and passed for a near-record of 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns in his rookie campaign.

Don’t Miss COMC’s Football Finale Auction Event

Football card collectors, don’t miss COMC’s eBay Homepage Auctions Event January 25th – 31st. Building up to this year’s Super Bowl, this “Football Finale” Auction Event will place a special focus on modern football cards and is the perfect opportunity to find high-end football cards to add to your collections and portfolios.

While the eBay homepage the promotion will be focused on football cards, COMC Auctions lists new 7-day, $0.99 auctions across all major sports every night from 5-9pm PST. Shop auctions ending soon here! And with a COMC account, you can transfer your auction wins from COMC’s eBay store directly into your COMC account to ship later or try to flip. Link your COMC and eBay accounts today at COMC.com/Manage/AuctionsWon to take advantage of this incredible feature of COMC!

Whether you have hot football cards of your own, rarities from Pokémon, or high-end trading cards from nearly any other category, COMC makes it easy to sell them! Please review our “COMC Supported Trading Cards” blog for more information about which cards can be consigned with COMC, and get started selling with us at COMC.com/sell

About the Author:

Andy is the COMC Marketing Manager, bringing a wealth of marketing experience combined with a passion for trading cards. As an active hobby investor, he enjoys collecting and selling trading cards, especially football cards. Andy’s energy and enthusiasm are shared with the local community through his volunteer efforts at the theater and shouting from the stands at the University of Tennessee football games.

Should I Get My Cards Graded?

“To grade, or not to grade?” This is a question which many collectors found themselves asking more and more as the trading card market reached new heights in 2020. Most collectors have their own preference for ungraded (“raw”) or graded cards when it comes to their own personal collection, but might be new to the process of sending cards off for grading themselves. Submitting your cards for grading will require research, money, and patience, but could ultimately result in profit and peace of mind for you.

Let’s examine some of the important pros and cons of getting your trading cards graded.

Why you should get your cards graded 

Protecting Your Investments

Graded cards hold up much better over time than a standard raw card. If you want to invest in a player that you believe in, grading their cards is an excellent way to protect your investment for the long haul. Raw or poorly-protected cards can get lost or damaged over time, but grading them can help preserve their condition and value.

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It’s a great idea to get cards graded of some of your favorite rookies or prospects. If you think they’re going to become a superstar later in their career, getting their cards graded early on could prove to be very lucrative in the long run. By the time the players are in their prime, you’ll already have graded copies of their cards in hand and ready to sell with confidence.

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Maximizes Value

Simply put: the higher the grade, the better it sells! If you pull a low numbered parallel of one of the game’s hottest players, that’s great. Getting it graded and having it come back as a 9.5 or 10 is even better. Many buyers are willing to pay steep premiums for high-grade copies of certain cards, creating opportunities for value creation if you have a good eye for gem mint raw cards.

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Less Guesswork

Grading a card provides you with an expert valuation of its condition, which is extremely beneficial whether you intend to sell or hold the card. Buyers who are particularly selective about the condition of raw cards know exactly what they’re getting with a graded card, saving you the headaches of condition-related returns claims.

Even if you have no intentions of selling the card, having it graded will help you establish its value and authenticity for your own collection.

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Ultimate Protection

There is no better form of protection for a card than a graded slab. The slabs themselves are very difficult to damage, and you won’t have to worry about the safety of the card inside. While a scratched or chipped slab might negatively affect the value, it takes a lot to damage graded slabs as long as you are careful handling, storing, and shipping them.

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If you have after-market autographed cards from TTM or in-person signings, major grading companies can offer an extra sense of security that the autograph on the card is authentic. Authenticity can also be a concern for vintage cards, and getting them graded will establish that they are not counterfeit or altered.

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Online Certification Database

When your card gets graded, it gets added to the grading company’s database and assigned its own certification number. This certification number could help identify your card if it were to ever be stolen, which can be especially valuable for vintage or otherwise unnumbered cards.

Why you shouldn’t get cards graded 

Quick Flips

If you want to make quick cash, forgo grading and sell your cards raw. As the trading card industry boomed amidst the pandemic, turnaround times at most major grading companies became much slower than expected and are still in flux today. Given how volatile the trading card market can be, your cards’ value will likely change during the time they are going through the grading process. For leading grading companies’ standard services, many collectors have been waiting for more than six months to receive their cards back. If you’re looking to sell your card in the short term, think carefully before sending away for grading unless you are using one of the fastest turnaround services.

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It’s Expensive!

While some grading companies offer services starting at $10 per card, these low-price services come with longer turnarounds and certain maximum value restrictions. Grading in bulk or using more premium grading services comes with substantial upfront costs, never mind the opportunity cost associated with sending the cards away. Beyond the grading fees themselves, you must consider all of the costs of getting the cards to the grading company in the first place. Unless you have the opportunity to drop the cards of for grading in-person, this will include supplies, postage, and insurance for your shipment. So, if you’re going to get your cards graded, you better be sure they’re going to be worth the investment. 

They Can’t All Be Perfect Tens

Receiving high grades can add value to your cards, but for some modern cards any grade less than “Gem Mint” 9.5 or 10 could result in the loss of value. A card which might seem to be a Perfect 10 to the untrained eye could still have flaws, resulting in disappointment when it comes back with a less than mint grade. Even the adage of cards being gem mint fresh out of the pack isn’t always the case. Before you develop your own eye for Gem Mint Tens, consider seeking a second opinion on the condition of your cards before submitting them for grading. Another risk which must be considered is that your cards will be damaged or lost in the process, so be sure to ship them to the grading company with the utmost care.

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Graded cards can be hard to store compared to raw 3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ cards which can be easily preserved in widely-available nine-pocket pages and cardboard boxes. Some collectors will invest in custom boxes, containers, or even display cases to keep all their graded cards together, but those can be expensive and take up a lot of space in your home.  

Low Value Cards

If you’re considering grading low-end cards, you should carefully evaluate whether its even worthwhile based on recently sold listings and overall demand for the card. In many cases with base and widely produced cards, there are enough cheap raw options available where sellers would probably end up losing money on a lot of what they sent away to get graded. 

One of Ones

There has been much debate within the hobby about whether or not one of ones are worth grading. Some collectors would argue that the only time you should ever get a one of one graded is if you’re 100% sure you’re going to get a 10. After all, why go to the trouble of grading a one of one when there’s no other copy out there in better condition than yours? Conversely, grading can help establish a card’s authenticity as a true one-of-one.

We hope this blog provided you with some informative pros and cons about grading your trading cards. When considering grading your cards, remember to ask yourself “Is this worth the risk?” Good luck!

COMC.com accepts consignments of cards from many of the leading grading companies, including PSA, BGS, and SGC. To see the full list of grading companies whose cards we accept for consignment, visit this link. COMC also offers a Condition Review service, where 2-3 people independently look at the physical item and determine the condition rating. To learn more about COMC Condition Review, visit COMC.com/grading.

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About the Author:

Roman Tomashoff is a Senior Trading Card Specialist at COMC. Prior to working at COMC, Roman worked in the sports department at the Everett Daily Herald newspaper. He’s a big fan of baseball, football, and basketball, the proud dad of two dogs, and he’s been collecting cards his whole life. His personal collection includes a wide array of Boston Red Sox, Washington Huskies, and New England Patriots cards.

Sports Highlights & How They Affected the Trading Card Hobby in 2020

2020 has been full of surprises that no one, not a single one of us, has ever asked for.

Every year typically has a few defining moments, but this past year has contained so many world-changing, paradigm-shifting developments that it’s getting hard to believe we’re not in a simulation that’s running every possible scenario at once.

Against the backdrop of the global Coronavirus pandemic, the events of 2020 brought new challenges no one was prepared for, changing the way we live and how we connect with each other. 

This year has taken many things from us — birthday celebrations, live concerts, and simply hugging the people we love. But COVID-19 cannot take our love of trading cards.

It can be said that 2020 was the year of the trading card hobby boomed during a pandemic. It was a year that saw wax and online exclusives from trading card manufacturers sell out instantly, and retail card aisle shelves empty shortly after each restock. 2020 also saw the hobby embrace purchasing fractional shares of trading cards, giving collectors a vehicle by which they could own a part of a trading card grail they could never own otherwise.

In many ways, this year saw more growth in the trading card hobby than any year before. Even the boom of the junk wax era of the mid-80s and 90s could not hold a candle to the explosion that we witnessed this year. There were many events that helped drive that increased interest in the hobby this year: some from the sports world, others from hobby influencers, and others born out of tragedy. This is a look back at all of those events, and how they shaped the biggest trading card boom ever.

Kobe Bryant’s Death

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2020 started off with what can be described as a national tragedy. On the cold winter morning of January 26th, the devastating news began to spread that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, along with his oldest daughter Gianna, several of her teammates, coaches, and friends, had all perished in a helicopter crash just outside of Los Angeles, California. 

Sports fans began to flock to anything that helped them to connect to Kobe, including his basketball cards. Kobe’s legacy lives on through the fans he inspired, and he will be officially inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in May 2021.

The Last Dance Effect

As winter turned to spring, so did the attention of the sports world to another NBA icon. In ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance”, basketball fans got a closer look at Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 NBA championship team.

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Originally scheduled to premiere in Summer 2020, ESPN made the decision to move up the premiere of the series to April in light of the pandemic. It provided a way for sports fans to re-live one of the greatest championship runs in sports history during a time when the return of live sports was still taking shape.

Michael Jordan was already an icon within the sports card hobby. His 1986 Fleer rookie card is considered by many collectors as one of the holy grails of the hobby. The Last Dance fueled even more interest in his legacy, leading to unprecedented all-time highs in his cards’ values.

Zion-Mania Takes Off

Looking to basketball’s future stars, “Zion-mania” had the hobby in overdrive chasing rookie cards this year. Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans’ #1 overall pick out of Duke, may have had the most highly hyped and sought-after basketball rookie cards since LeBron James. The chance of pulling red-hot Zion rookies sent unopened wax of the newest releases into never before seen heights.

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Zion was just one of many talented rookies in a 2019-20 class which also featured Ja Morant and Tyler Herro. All of a sudden, collectors and flippers alike were buying up hangers, blasters, hobby boxes, and more in the hopes of pulling the next hot rookie they could flip for profit. It drove the prices and demand for new releases sky high and left many collectors wondering if they would be able to even find or buy any basketball card products at retail prices again.

Panini Mosaic Emerges

Another factor driving the basketball trading card fever was Panini revamping Mosaic Prizm to a wider release as the standalone Mosaic product. Mosaic Prizm Basketball had been released as a limited-edition online product since the 2016-17 season. The re-configured 2019-20 release of Mosaic Basketball brought a new spin on the product to a much larger audience, including blasters and hanger packs which flew off of retail shelves.

Panini followed up the success of the new Mosaic Basketball with 2020 Panini Mosaic Football. The fervor for this product was driven by the rookie cards of three quarterbacks: Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. Just as with Mosaic Basketball, the product was impossible for many collectors to find on retail shelves.

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The Ups & Downs of Topps Project 2020

Even as plans for a 2020 MLB season were still up in the air, Topps ignited the market for baseball cards with its Project 2020 set. Partnering with some of the best-known modern artists from around the world, Topps had created a way to marry the cutting edge of art and design with classic baseball cards.

Topps picked 20 of its most iconic cards and had each of the 20 artists chosen for the project recreate them in their own style. Two new cards were released each week and were only available for a 48-hour period on Topps’ website. Topps would print as many of the cards as customers’ ordered, and the initial print runs hovered around ~2,000 copies of each card.

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What started off with little to no fanfare would grow to become one of the biggest stories of the hobby this year. As the hobby began to take more notice of Project 2020, collectors sought after the initial card releases such as the Ben Baller Ichiro and Ermsy Trout. Cards that were originally sold through Topps website for $19.99 were being sold for hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars on the secondary market. Once collectors and flippers saw these incredible returns, they started ordering more and more of the newest releases directly from Topps, pushing the print runs from less than two thousand to tens of thousands of copies. Project 2020 saw its peak print run with Keith Shore’s version of the 1989 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. rookie: 99,177 copies!

Those elevated print runs would ultimately be the downfall of Project 2020. As flippers bought more cards, the scarcity of the cards evaporated, and so did the profits. Project 2020 officially wrapped up in December 2020 and has left the hobby community with many valuable lessons and exciting questions. Will we see more on-demand card releases in the years to come, and will the hobby continue to cross over into art and culture?

Baseball is Back…Maybe

Although it is hard to remember, traditional spring training was just getting started in February prior to the impact of the pandemic. Players began to gather at their teams’ spring training locations, all while keeping a close eye on the news about COVID-19, and wondering if their season would happen at all.

This year’s baseball season came with a lot of hype, and high expectations for several young budding superstars. All eyes were on Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. following his fantastic sophomore season in 2019. Baseball fans and sports cards collectors everywhere were ready for him to have truly superstar season.

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Collectors’ eyes were also on two potential future superstars in the Nationals’ Juan Soto and the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. Soto’s 2019 season ended with a World Series win for Washington, and Tatis Jr.’s rookie season in 2019 had many collectors seeing flashes of a player who could become one of the game’s biggest and brightest future stars.

The interest in all three players had collectors scooping up 2020 Topps Series 1 cards as fast as Topps could print them, in search of both these superstars and the next wave of talented rookies. The hype heading into the 2020 season also saw an explosion in collectors chasing any high-grade versions of superstars’ cards. From autographed cards, relics, and more, collectors could not get enough of baseball’s superstars.

2020 also saw a continuation of a hobby trend that picked up speed in 2019. More and more collectors were paying top dollar for high-grade cards of the hottest superstars across all sports that were not the players’ traditional rookie card. Before in the hobby, collectors were only willing to pay top dollar for players rookie cards, but now collectors were willing to pay big bucks for top graded cards of players second, third, fifth, eighth-year cards, and more. 

Love for Panini Prizm Continues to Grow

2020 also saw the continuation of the trend of collectors flocking to a player’s first Panini Prizm card as well. The love for Panini Prizm cards is no secret in our hobby. Collectors have the yearly Prizm releases for individual sports marked on their calendars. The chase for players’ Prizm rookie cards became increasingly competitive both upon release and in the secondary market, leading to desolate retail shelves shortly after each restock and rising online sales activity and prices.

Another important trend was the chase for veteran players’ first Prizm card with a specific team. An example is card #129 in 2019-20 Prizm, which is LeBron James’ first Prizm card picturing him in his Lakers uniform. Though the card is from LeBron’s 17th season at the time, high-grade parallels of that card have sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This led collectors to chase other superstars’ first Prizm releases such as the 2014 Prizm World Cup soccer cards of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s a trend that exploded in 2020 and could grow into 2021.

Soccer Cards Surge

Speaking of soccer, or as our friends around the world would say “football”, no other sport experienced the level of exponential growth that soccer cards did this year in the hobby. Prior to 2020, soccer had been considered a distant 5th place among the most popular sport among collectors, but this status quo has been disrupted.

Thanks to several young stars and 2022 World Cup hopefuls, the fervor for soccer cards took the hobby by storm this year. Young superstars Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and Jadon Sancho each set the soccer card world on fire as collectors worldwide chased after the limited quantities of their cards available. American players such as Christian Pulisic, Giovanni Reyna, and Weston McKennie impressed fans as international competition resumed, fueling excitement for soccer’s future in the United States.

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As 2020 comes to a close, soccer cards are argued by some to have passed hockey cards as the fourth most popular sport in the hobby this year. With the next World Cup looming in 2022, the surge in soccer card sales likely isn’t stopping anytime soon.

Pokémon’s Return to the Spotlight

Talking about growth in the hobby this year, raise your hand if you foresaw the unprecedented growth and resurgence of Pokémon cards? It seems like every day a Pokémon card is selling at a new record price thanks to celebrities continuing to showcase their high-grade collections.

Recent Pokémon releases featured stunning full-art and holographic cards of Charizard, and collectors chased after increasingly rare sealed boxes and packs of the original Wizards of the Coast releases. As the saying goes, “everything old is new again,” and this could never be truer than for Pokémon cards in 2020.

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Collectors who were captivated by the original cards as children are now in their twenties and thirties, and are paying top dollar to “catch them all” decades later. If you still have a Pokémon collection from your childhood, you should check to see if you have some of the iconic cards driving the Pokémon market, such as holographic Charizards and the elusive Gold Star rares from the EX series.

Chasin’ Jasson

As with every year, collectors are always seeking and hunting for the next big thing in the sports card world. 2020 was no different, with this year’s future star card chase revolving around one of baseball’s biggest prospects in Jasson Dominguez.

Collectors had good reason to be excited about Dominguez. He’s a power-hitting outfield prospect for the Yankees, one of baseball’s most popular and perennially competitive teams. At the time of 2020 Bowman’s release he had just turned 17 years old and had yet to appear in a professional game, but scouts were reporting a bright future and high ceiling.

His 2020 1st Bowman Chrome card and its autographed parallels became must-have baseball cards upon release. As collectors pulled more of the cards and got them graded, the prices only continued to rise, with some of his high-grade cards selling for five figures at their peak.

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Without a minor league season in 2020, we have still yet to see if Dominguez’s hype will translate to on-field success. Although he’s likely a few seasons away from his major league debut in the Bronx, his minor league debut in 2021 is anxiously anticipated by card collectors.

Balling in a Bubble

In an effort to complete the 2019-20 NBA season that was put on hold earlier in the spring, the NBA decided to resume play in July for a shortened finish to the regular season in a “bubble” in Orlando, Florida. The games were played in one location to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There were 22 teams that were invited to the bubble: the 16 teams in playoff position and the six teams within six games of playoff position. With less active teams and higher stakes games, there was a mad dash to buy and flip any and all players that performed well in the bubble, with surprise breakouts including Bol Bol and T.J. Warren.

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All in all, the NBA Bubble created the perfect storm for collectors during a pandemic and exemplified just how volatile the trading card hobby has become. With little to no other sports to distract collectors, all of the hobby focus was on the bubble games.

We Finally Got a Shortened Baseball Season

Last but not least on our 2020 hobby journey is the MLB Playoffs and the World Series. Much like the NBA, Major League Baseball decided to play the World Series from one location and showcased the Rangers’ brand new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Compared to the NBA Bubble, the MLB Playoffs were fairly quiet amongst collectors. Even with superstars such as Mookie Betts, Fernando Tatis Jr, and Ronald Acuña Jr. in the pennant races, collectors were less engaged game to game. That was until rookie right fielder Randy Arozarena broke out for the Rays in the American League Division Championship Series.

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Randy had a fairly quiet regular season, but he would leave an everlasting mark on the playoffs and the World Series. He would set the record for the most hits, total bases and home runs in a single postseason run. After his ALDS breakout to help the Rays get past the Yankees, the hobby was clamoring for his cards.

Since Arozarena had been so under the radar, very few of his cards had been graded and those that had been became like gold to collectors. He was featured in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform in both 2020 Topps Series 1 and 2020 Chrome, so the few cards of him in a Rays uniform at that point were also sought after.

Thanks in large part to Randy’s record-setting performance and late-game heroics, the Rays were able to stretch the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers to a sixth World Series game, before eventually losing as the Dodgers finally captured their first World Series since 1988.

It will be interesting to watch Arozarena’s sophomore performance this coming season and see the hobby’s reaction. Was his 2020 postseason dominance lightning in a bottle, or the beginning of a great career?

What a Year 2020 Proved to Be

So how do we sum up 2020, what has been the strangest year in all of our lives, when it comes to the trading card hobby? It was first and foremost a year of tremendous growth for the hobby. Some say the hobby grew by 3 times, 5 times, and even 10 times in size this year. 2020 was the year with more active collectors than ever before engaging in the hobby. Some of these new entrants were true rookies to the hobby, while others returned to the hobby after years or even decades away from cards.

This year saw the hobby make the news again in print, on the airwaves, and across the internet. Newspapers, magazines, and more media outlets excitedly reported the hobby’s phenomenal growth amidst the pandemic. The hobby received TV coverage on ESPN and cable business news channels as well. As cards become mentioned more and more alongside stocks and other tangible investments, the great debate amongst hobbyists continues as to whether or not trading cards are true investments.

If 2020 left us with anything, it left us knowing that our hobby is stronger than ever. The passion collectors have for the hobby was on full display this year. We are all the caretakers of this hobby we love and enjoy. Let us remember to take care of it, take care of each other, and together we will enjoy this hobby for many more years to come. 

About the Author:

Andy is the COMC Marketing Manager, bringing a wealth of marketing experience combined with a passion for trading cards. As an active hobby investor, he enjoys collecting and selling trading cards, especially football cards. Andy’s energy and enthusiasm are shared with the local community through his volunteer efforts at the theater and shouting from the stands at the University of Tennessee football games.

Best of 2020 Pokémon

It’s no news that Pokémon saw an incredible resurgence in popularity in 2020’s trading card market. Everyone got in on the action, including celebrities and entertainers such as Steve Aoki, Logic, and Logan Paul. Across social media and streaming platforms, live content and “box-breaks” took off allowing collectors the opportunity to watch and buy into live Pokémon breaks.

So, what’s next in the world of Pokémon? I’m going to explore some key 2020 sales, highlight products to look out for, and suggest some unique opportunities for your collection. I’d love to hear from you (I’m @laurrrrmeow on Instagram) if you need advice on your collection, or come across any newly discovered Charizards!

2020’s Biggest Sales


At a record-breaking $233,244, the Pikachu Illustrator card broke the internet and went down in history as one of the most important single Pokémon sales ever. The Pikachu Illustrator card is incredibly rare, as it was given out as a prize only to winners of a 1998 illustration contest. It is estimated that only 20-39 of these exist in the world and even fewer that remain in PSA-high grade condition.


The OG for most collectors is Pokémon’s inaugural 1999 Base Set. Base Set soared as collectors and entertainers chased after increasingly-rare sealed products, with 1st Edition Sealed Booster Boxes leading the way, now commanding at least $300,000 in the open market. With the growing popularity of community box breaks, the 1st Edition Base Set product is becoming incredibly scarce in sealed format, fueling explosive price growth. If the trend of “unboxing” continues, the supply will continue to run thin on early-era Pokémon sealed products.

Pokémon Cards to Watch


There is no denying Charizard is one of the only Pokémon to hold value and interest no matter what era or set it comes from. The holy grail is the 1999 Base Set First Edition Shadowless Holo which sells for upwards of $25k based on its condition. More than 20 years later, the big guy has the hobby on fire (no pun intended) making a popular appearance in

Champion’s Path, which can barely stay in stock in retail locations. If you’re lucky, you can find a Champion’s Path Elite Trainer box at retail ($50) on the shelves at your local Target or Walmart giving you a chance to pull one of these fiery beasts. There are many key Charizard cards from over the years, so it’s important to research their differences in rarity and value. You can’t go wrong collecting Charizard as you will always find new opportunities to add to your collection.


I purchased a 1st edition Jungle Pikachu in a PSA 10 on October 12th for just under $500. On October 18th, it sold at auction for $950. It almost doubled in price in under a week. Now with any dramatic price increase, you should think carefully about what the price reflects. From being Ash’s starting Pokémon in the anime to starring in the Detective Pikachu movie, Pikachu is iconic and a natural starting point for collectors entering the market. As the 1st Edition Base Set Pikachu starts to become too expensive for most collectors, they will look towards other desirable Pikachu cards. 1st Edition Jungle is one example, but there are a lot of incredibly fun Pikachu promo cards and holo releases.


Promo cards are a major part of Pokémon, with the majority being Japanese-exclusive. Some promo cards (like the Illustrator) tend to be very exclusive due to the fact that they are produced in limited quantities for special events, sometimes unavailable to the general public.

Japanese Promo cards have been causing quite a stir in 2020. I recently purchased the Lillie & Clefairy Pokémon Dream League Promo back in September for $25 and we’re seeing bids at Auction already for $120 in PSA 10. Another Promo Card released this year was the Eevee Futsal, only available in the UK. This exclusive card was only given out if you were a registered Club team for The FA Pokémon Youth Futsal Programme. These cards are already seeing strong price growth, and word on the street is that the Pikachu Futsal promo card is next to be released!

Another hot promo this year was the Special Delivery Pikachu card, and it was FREE. If you follow me on Instagram (@laurrrrmeow), you know I gave early access and details on how to snag one via my story. If you didn’t catch it, stay tuned as I release promos and special deals on a daily basis. Charizard is next and it’s going to break the internet. Believe it or not, this promo was absolutely free with any purchase over $20 on pokemoncenter.com, but you had to know where to look. The card was under a “hidden category” and quickly went out of stock as soon as word got out. If you were lucky enough to get one, consider holding on to it. This free card is now selling on eBay for $130 raw and the scarcity of the card could drive the price up well into the new year. The free bundle also came with a Pikachu Christmas ornament. Check it out below.

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If you can get your hands-on sealed products from early-era Pokémon in 2020, you have gold! Some sealed products to consider investing in are Japanese Base Set Starter Decks (did you know you get a random holo in each one?!) and older sets (depending on your price range). The newer products to look out for are Hidden Fates and Champion’s Path, and the exciting new Vivid Voltage.

My number one tip whether you’re just starting to invest in Pokémon, or you’re expanding on your personal collection, is to collect what you love, and not just buy what’s popular. No matter what is happening in the market, it is important to consider what matters most to you as a collector. If you are investing in this market, start with cards or sealed products that have some level of rarity. Whether it’s 1st Edition Base graded cards or exclusive promos – it’s hard to go wrong. If you are just starting out or have a small budget, I would suggest entering the market gradually. Educate yourself on promo releases and try to build a unique collection. Build on that gradually, accumulate some binder pieces that mean something to you and keep your cards in mint condition. Pokémon is redefining the definitions of modern art and investing and 2021 is going to be another revolutionary year!

Do you collect Pokémon cards? Check out COMC’s selection of over 20,000 different Pokémon cards at comc.com/cards/pokemon. If you’re looking to cash in on your collection, COMC actively accepts your Pokémon cards for consignment, including CGC graded cards! For more information about consigning trading cards with COMC, visit comc.com/sell.

About the Author
About the Author

Laura is a member of our customer service team at COMC, and is a long time sports and trading card investor with a passion for discovering and collecting some of the rarest Pokemon cards in the world. She is always on the hunt for sealed product, especially out of print Pokémon and non-sports cards. She enjoys participating in box breaks, auctions, and adding new cards to her personal collection daily. Follow her on Instagram (@laurrrrmeow) to see all of her latest finds!

eBay Homepage Auctions Event: The NBA is Back!

COMC Auctions headlining the eBay Homepage

August 10th – 16th!

Following the success of June’s eBay Auctions event, we are excited to announce that COMC Auctions will be featured on eBay’s homepage from August 10th – 16th. This is the perfect opportunity to greatly increase the visibility of your auction consignments!

The focus of this event will be basketball as the NBA resumes their 2019-20 season, but high-end trading cards from all sports and genres are welcome for this event! Premier League Soccer has resumed play, and the MLB is starting their 60 game season in July.

Items must be received by 7/31 to be eligible for this promotion.

Here’s everything you need to know about submitting your sports cards for maximum exposure in this event.

When and how to submit your cards:

COMC users have multiple options for submitting cards for this event. Whether you already have cards consigned with us which you’d like to auction off, or you are considering sending new cards specifically for this event, details and key dates are listed below:

Mail-In Submission Deadlines

Cards received 7/18 – 7/24 will END during the promotion
Cards received 7/25 – 7/31 will BEGIN during the promotion

To create a new mail-in auctions submission, visit “Start New Submission” in your COMC Account and select the “eBay Auction” processing service as shown below.

Transfer to Auction Deadlines

Cards submitted for transfer 7/17 – 7/23 will END during the promotion
Cards submitted for transfer 7/24 – 7/30 will BEGIN during the promotion

If you already have cards in your COMC Inventory Manager, you can send them to auction in just a few clicks. This includes cards you bought from other consignors on our site! Right click on “Actions” and then select “Send to Auction” to begin the auction transfer process.

Important Auctions Reminders

As you consider participating in this exciting auctions event, there are a few key reminders we’d like to share:

  • The minimum fee per auction, regardless of the final sale price, is $3.50. For the best possible experience, we do not recommend you submit cards to auction which will not reach a final sale price of $20 or more.
  • There are no cancellations once we receive your auction submission.

For more information about our auctions service, please refer to our Auctions and Auctions FAQ pages. We are so excited for you to participate in this promotion!

2020 Virtual Expo Recap Blog

The first ever Sport Card Expo: Virtual Edition is now in the books. We hoped that you enjoyed this past weekend’s expo as much as we did.  We want to thank everyone who stopped by COMC’s virtual booth! We tried to make it as interactive as possible with the virtual dice roll contest and the daily box breaks.  We’ll take this experience and we’ll make our future online convention appearances even better!

Without further adieu, here are the winners for our giveaways during the Virtual Expo!

Virtual Dice Roll Winners

ROLL A 3, 4, OR 5 – 2015 Leaf Executive Collection Walter Payton Autograph – joshpackham

ROLL A 6 OR 7 – 2017-18 Upper Deck #247 Brock Boeser RC – ThirstyWombat

ROLL AN 8 – 2017-18 Upper Deck #221 Alex DeBrincat RC – RodKish10

ROLL A 9 – 2016-17 UD Ice Frozen Fabrics Red #FF-JQ Jonathan Quick #03/20 – After5Sportscards

ROLL A 10 – 2014-15 Panini Paramount Penmanship #P-KW Kevin Willis #69/99 – mlo9813

ROLL A 11 – 2018-19 Upper Deck #499 Brady Tkachuk RC – nickwise10

ROLL A 12 – 2015-16 Fleer Showcase PMG Blue #MU-12 Mikko Rantanen #48/50 – marshdel

ROLL A 13 – 2016-17 Compendium Blue #900 Auston Matthews RC – legionitalia

ROLL A 14 OR 15 – 2017-18 Upper Deck #201 Nico Hischier RC – tylerg215

ROLL A 16, 17, OR 18 – 2016-17 MVP #364 Mitch Marner RC – DallasDamfit

To claim your prize, email winner@comc.com with your name and username before 23:59:59 PDT August 21, 2020.  This email is strictly for use to handle trade show prize claims.  Any other customer service related issues must be sent to staff@comc.com

Friday Box Break Results

Here are the results of from the Friday Box Break – Email winner@comc.com before 23:59:59 July 4th, 2020 to claim your prize if you didn’t acknowledge us at the booth after the break.

The Walter Payton autograph won by COMC user joshpackam. Congrats Josh!

MichaelTBond (Predators) – 2019-20 UD Update #516 Jarnkrok

cws_cards (Blues) – 2019-20 UD Update #527 Walman; 2019-20 SPA Spectrum FX #S-75 Kostin

rseth11 (Maple Leafs) – 2019-20 SPA Authentic Winners #AW-MM Marner

LeighT89 (Senators) – 2019-20 SPA #233 Beaudin; 2019-20 SPA #156 Veronneau

capell73 (Canadiens) – 2019-20 SPA Red #73 Drouin; 2019-20 SPA #104 Price

joshpackham (Penguins) – 2019-20 SPA SOTT #SOTT-MU Murray; 2019-20 UD Update #517 Johnson

yideeman (Coyotes) – 2019-20 UD Update #511 Soderberg

2018Collects (Devils) – 2019-20 SPA Red #90 Subban

tonyt614 (Rangers) – 2019-20 SPA Red #33 Lundqvist; 2019-20 SPA #116 Lundqvist; 2019-20 UD Update #539 Lundqvist

Uppermaven19 (Oilers) – 2019-20 SPA Essentials #SPE-CM McDavid; 2019-20 SPA Essentials #SPE-LD Draisaitl

SportsCardCollector (Bruins) – 2019-20 SPA #101 Rask; 2019-20 SPA Spectrum FX #S-13 Marchand

No hits were awarded to the following – Apfox34 (Red Wings); sidneyk10 (Blackhawks); manzo96 (Lightning); ShiningSportsCards (Kings); CanadaWarehouse (Sabres); Bwcook (Flyers); ottoveltri (Avalanche); Fish4cards (Blue Jackets); legionitalia (Capitals); Mark2823 (Golden Knights); gostl (Panthers); flemingc04 (Jets); Gowzer7 (Sharks); teraden (Stars); anamorphic (Flames); bfitts (Hurricanes); tylerg215 (Canucks); kokos1000 (Islanders); allstarcollectors (Wild); simonkingstone (Ducks)

Saturday Box Break Results

Here are the results of from the Saturday Box Break – Email winner@comc.com before 23:59:59 July 4th, 2020 to claim your prize if you didn’t acknowledge us at the booth after the break.

The Bobby Orr we pulled, which was randomized to lucky COMC user smk12335!

tylerg215 (Hurricanes) – 2019-20 SPA Spectrum FX #S-31 Teravainen

mint39 (Golden Knights) – 2019-20 UD Update #507 Stephenson

Joshcockeram (Sharks) – 2019-20 UD Update #523 Blichfeld

dirtybird2 (Lightning) – 2019-20 SPA #105 Stamkos

UhtredtheViking (Penguins) – 2019-20 SPA #102 Crosby; 2019-20 UD Update #542 Crosby; 2019-20 UD Update #536 Letang

dble_g2k (Blue Jackets) – 2019-20 SPA Red #2 Bjorkstrand

Mark2823 (Devils) – 2019-20 SPA #111 Hughes

After5Sportscards (Sabres) – 2019-20 UD Update #503 Ullmark2019-20 SPA Essentials #SPE-JE Eichel

smk12335 (Kings) – 2019-20 SPA Spectrum FX #S-46 Prokhorkin; 2019-20 SPA Red #49 Doughty; 2019-20 SPA Red #17 Quick

mclean_m (Ducks) – 2019-20 SPA Essentials #SPE-JG Gibson

VaTimmMan (Islanders) – 2019-20 SPA #193 Dobson

Flemingc04 (Capitals) – 2019-20 SPA Essentials #SPE-JC Carlson

No hits were awarded to the following – LeighT89 (Flyers); Camronn (Wild); Panterika (Flames); Costa1000 (Canadiens); Damfit (Canucks); Chrisrobertson99 (Rangers); gilly310 (Senators); RS2002 (Predators); ThirstyWombat (Blackhawks); Stevey (Stars); Hopeman0921 (Bruins); boris213z (Avalanche); SportsCardCollector (Coyotes); 2018Collects (Oilers); kokos1000 (Maple Leafs); benlottie (Panthers); vcarneiro (Blues); yideeman (Jets); Fletcher_hater (Red Wings)

Surprisingly, we pulled a 2017-18 SPA Great White North #GWN-BO Bobby Orr Certified Autograph Card out of the 2nd pack of the 2nd box.  With no team logo, we randomized 4X in honour of Mr. Orr among all 31 participants.  The lucky username was smk12335.  Congratulations!  We look forward to seeing you at the next show – either virtually or in-person.

Sport Card Expo Virtual Edition: COMC in Attendance!

COMC will be in attendance at the Sportcard Expo – Virtual Edition on June 19 & 20th. Thanks to the sponsors of the show, attendance is free! We will be answering questions you may have on how COMC can be part of your hobby experience. Due to internal system limitations, we will not be able to respond to specific account user questions.

Take Advantage of our Mailbox Service

Use our mailbox service to save time on shipping.  Expo sellers can send all of the cards sold to the COMC as one shipment.  Cards can be deposited into buyers’ accounts through the mailbox service.  Just have your buyers create a COMC account and label their purchases with that name.  This will allow buyers to piggyback their Expo purchases with COMC purchases for lower cost per item shipping with buyer protection. Buyers can request shipments to their COMC Mailbox accounts for the above reasons.  Read more about our mailbox service at https://www.comc.com/mailbox.

*Mailbox submissions sent to our US office will experience processing delays. Current Mailbox processing times begin when packages are opened.

Virtual Dice Game to Win Real Prices

A COMC member will roll die on account holder’s behalf for a chance to win prizes.  Winners will be drawn the week of June 21st and will be announced on our Facebook page.  To claim your prize, email csc@comc.com by August 20th, 2020 and we’ll add the card into your account along with store credit to cover shipping.  Limit one roll per account.

Free Daily Box Breaks

We will be offering random team breaks to any COMC account holders who would like to participate (limit one slot per household).  Winners will receive only the “hits” (no base / commons) and will have to be at the booth the “pick up” their prize.  More details will be announced at the show.

Disclaimer & Conclusion

As this is the first show of its kind, we may encounter some technical difficulties, so we add the precautionary disclaimer that the show events are subject to change.   

We hope you can attend its event and visit the vendors that would normally set up at the Toronto Expo.

For more details about the show, visit https://sportcardexpo.com/ve/

Lastly, we want to wish all Dads a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!