Why Formula 1 cards blew up so fast, and why they’re here to stay

If you’ve tuned into a Loupe stream, spent time on #TheHobby Twitter, or even paid just a bit of attention to the sports card market lately, surely you’ve at least heard of Topps Chrome Formula 1. Since its release in April, the inaugural Topps Chrome F1 product has consistently been one of the most popular sets across the hobby. However, if you’re not waking up at the crack of dawn every Sunday to watch the races, you may be wondering where all this hype came from. Worry not, because you’re not alone!

For every one collector eager to pull a Lando Norris rookie card or to complete their favorite racing team PC, there’s seemingly a handful of others that are either confused or uninformed about the product. So as the resident Loupe blogger who already has a 7:30 alarm set for the French Grand Prix this weekend, allow me to introduce you to the absolute BEST sport to be collecting right now.

You heard me. In my opinion, based on current market trends, Formula 1 is the number one sport you should be collecting. Do I speak in hyperbole too much? Perhaps. But given the global reach of F1 and its relative infancy in the sports card world, the ceiling that current F1 cards have is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Allow me to explain. Let’s pretend for a moment that basketball cards largely just didn’t exist prior to 2020, and Panini Prizm was the first major NBA card release. Not only would you be chasing true rookie cards of future superstars like Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, but all time greats like LeBron James and Kevin Durant would also have their first card in the premier Prizm set.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Not for Formula 1. Aside from the extremely high-end Dynasty set, Topps Chrome is the first series of licensed trading cards in F1 history. Which means aside from the obvious rookie card chases, you can get the first EVER Chrome card of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and other greats. For comparison sake, those two are essentially the Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes of Formula 1 respectively.

“Okay that may be true, but F1 is only big globally! Most of the hobby is located in the U.S. and nobody I know watches F1!” Another fair point, or at least it used to be. Fueled by the popularity of the Netflix show Formula 1: Drive to Survive, F1 saw record growth in the U.S. in 2020. With the addition of a second United States Grand Prix debuting in Miami next year, that growth will only continue from here.

You may not be a fan (yet), but there’s no denying the future of F1 and its cards. Still don’t believe me? Take a second after this article to look up the current price of the Lewis Hamilton Topps Now 3 card (his first Topps card ever) that originally retailed for $9.99 and get back to me.

2 thoughts on “Why Formula 1 cards blew up so fast, and why they’re here to stay

  1. I wish some company would produce Indy racing league cards like Rittenhouse did some years ago. There is a gap in the racing fan market right now

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