There are cards that make our credit cards sweat. The ones that make our back pockets reflexively tighten up, like our wallet is clinging to dear life inside our pants. They’re the same ones that leave our brains daydreaming “If I hit big with this, I’ll hit reallllllly big.” And that’s why we can’t stay away.
This week — at least, it would be this week if weather wasn’t causing all sorts of crazy delays — Upper Deck’s 19-20 The Cup finally releases. It’s the crème de la crème as far as hockey goes. That has us thinking about all the high-roller hobby boxes across the various sports. We’re talking the stuff that’s more than $500 per pack.
These are our favorite high-end products from each sport.
NFL — Panini Impeccable Football
There’s no shortage of eye-poppingly expensive football hobby boxes. But, for our money, there’s nothing more beautiful than Panini Impeccable Football. One pack, eight cards, well into the four-figure range. You gotta call the ante if you wanna see these cards.
We love Impeccable because of the stylized approach to every card. They feel like more than just photographs of your favorite players; they feel like artistic representations. These cards carry value in more than just their autographs and patches, too. Some of them have bars of precious metal inside them. Cards plus bullion is an unexpected combo investment.
MLB — Topps Diamond Icons
Baseball is the classic American sport, and diamonds are the classiest of the fine gems. It’s a match made in heaven, right?
Topps Diamond Icons strikes us as one of the best high-end baseball lines because of how elegant it comes off. Big player portraits, sharp lines, and a lot of gold foil. It’s a great look if you’re paying a premium for baseball cards. Besides, there’s nothing sweeter than the chance to hit a Jackie Robinson card that has four diamonds in it.
NBA — Panini National Treasures Basketball
Admittedly, this might be a chicken-and-the-egg type of scenario. Do we love National Treasures because it’s the best premium basketball product out there? Or do we love it because it has long been held as the gold standard of premium basketball products that everyone looks forward to each and every year.
Whatever it is, National Treasures definitely looks great. It also has the prestige and reputation to back it up. It’s the reason the one-of-one Logomans are considered among the most valuable modern cards across all sports. Self-fulfilling prophecy or not, anytime a box of National Treasures is opened on Loupe, the users flood into the stream to watch.
NHL — Upper Deck The Cup
And we’re right back to where we started. The Cup is the inspiration for this article, which means that it naturally has to represent hockey in this list. There’s no better representative anyway.
The Cup is far and away Upper Deck’s most expensive hockey product, and it’s also the one that leaves fans drooling. The soon-to-arrive 2019-20 edition is especially appealing as it features a rookie Canadian superstar-in-the-making (Nick Suzuki) and two generationally-good rookie defensemen (Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes). It can’t get any better for hockey collectors.