Here’s what’s going on around the sports card industry — February 2021

Should we make this a monthly thing? It kinda seems like we should. After a relatively quiet December, things picked back up in January — just like we all knew they would.

Let’s take a few minutes to run down some of the biggest news of the hobby now that we’re a full month into 2021, including following up on some of those January stories.

Mickey Mantle is the new king

Records were made to be broken. Just a few months ago, Mike Trout’s rookie year autographed superfractor became the most expensive card ever when it sold for $3.8 million.

That didn’t hold up very long. Last month, a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card nabbed $5.2 million at auction. It’s been graded a PSA 9 which is superb condition for a card that old.

Will this record hold up for more than a few months? Going from $3.8 million to $5.2 million was a huge leap. But, the way the hobby’s skyrocketing, don’t be surprised if we see a new king before long.

PSA slabs Funko Pops now

Okay, this one’s kind of weird and definitely not about sports cards. But, it concerns our old friends at PSA, and it’s eyebrow-raising enough to warrant a mention.

PSA slabs Funko Pops now. For $25 per box, PSA will encapsulate your Funko Pops. While PSA isn’t grading the figures or the conditions of the boxes, it’s authenticating and grading autographs. So, if you got Boba Fett to sign your Funko figure, PSA will slap a 10 on it.

The Zion Logoman didn’t live up to expectations

In January, we told you that a Zion Logoman out of Panini Flawless went from pulled to graded to auction in under three weeks. Analysts expected it to fetch around $750,000 at auction.

Nope. The final price was $233,700. It didn’t clear a quarter mil, let alone three-quarters. Glass half-full or half-empty? A six-figure return on any card is nice, but it has to be sort of disappointing when you expected to make another $500,000.

The Kid is BGS’ most-submitted card of all-time

Beckett’s countdown of its 100 most-submitted cards finally came to a conclusion in January. The winner is a card that many of us are very familiar with.

Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1989 rookie card has been submitted to BGS nearly 38,000 times. That’s about 10,000 more than second place, which goes to Tiger Woods’ rookie card.

It makes sense. Griffey is one of the most beloved players ever, and there are a ton of copies of his rookie card floating around. It released around the time when cards were super hot and manufacturers were making a boatload of each product. That’s the perfect storm for an influx of submissions.

Topps has another mega rip party for 2021 Series 1’s launch

24 cases, 24 hours in a day. Sounds easy, right? Only if you don’t slow down.

To commemorate the launch of 2021 Series 1 on February 10, Topps and Restlesscraft Breakers are holding a 24-hour rip party the day before. It’s in the same spirit as last year’s Topps Million Card Rip Party in Dallas, but current circumstances don’t allow for a bunch of breakers to gather in a room together. So, Topps chose Restlesscraft to host it online.

If you’re interested in watching, it’s all going down on this YouTube channel on February 9 at 9pm Eastern. And, if you can’t be punctual, don’t worry. They’ll be going at it for quite a while.

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