February 28, 2022
Here’s your place to find market trends and insights, highlights of the investment-grade gems available in our upcoming auction, and a preview of some additional assets.
Start date: Thursday, 3/3, 6pm PT / 9pm ET
Close date: Thursday, 3/11, 6pm PT / 9pm ET
Total number of investment-grade assets: 500
Through 1973, Topps would release a new series of cards every couple of weeks into the baseball season. Then in 1974, they started to release cards in a single series – partially because there were fewer buyers due to a weakened economy. Which is why on the 1974 Topps box, it says “all 660 cards now available in one series.”
Basketball Indices at the All-Star Break
Team Durant and Team LeBron recently faced off in the NBA All-Star Game, a convenient marker for comparing card performance from the current season to the 2020-2021 campaign. Let’s take a look and see if we can gather any trends for the rest of the year.
Last year, the season didn’t start until December which pushed back typical season milestones — the All-Star Break being one. As the start of the season was delayed, the anticipation and excitement can be seen in the graph above. Once games began, basketball indices rallied for about four months before leveling off, ending the year at a net positive from its start point. So far the 2022 season indices have not seen the same jump as the ‘20/21 season did.
Isolating this season to date, we can see a momentum shift over the past two months. As the playoffs get closer we are able to sort out some of the hottest players that will look to lead their team to a Championship. The question is, will the market respond to playoff excitement?
All-Star Duo Player Trends
This year Steph Curry hit 16 three-pointers in the All-Star Game, the most in history, and scored 50 points overall. Thanks to his performance, and a game winner from his team captain, team LeBron took home the win. Let’s take a look at the winning duo’s trendlines since we rang in the new year.
Curry is leading the rejuvenated Warriors back to the top of the Western Conference. In addition, he broke the all-time three-point record on December 14th, previously held by Ray Allen. Leading up to that moment, Curry’s trendline saw a substantial price increase but has since started to come down. Given that the Warriors are on pace for another Championship run, will Curry’s trendline see another jump?
King James broke the all-time scoring record, combining regular season and playoffs, on February 12th of this year. Despite that unbelievable accomplishment, his trendline has not seen a significant price increase. If the Lakers somehow manage to get their pieces together for the playoffs, it will be very interesting to see what impact that will have on LeBron’s trendline. After all, he is the all-time leading scorer in the playoffs and always seems to find another gear at that time of year.
Demand is one of the drivers of a player’s indices, and by comparing the individual player charts with the transaction chart seen here, Curry’s transaction peak was in early January, compared to LeBron’s in mid-February. This could be one of the explanations for why LeBron has seen a steady increase over the past two months compared to Curry’s decline.
Looking at this season against last year, we can see the previous one was more volatile. One explanation could be the season’s rare, late December start date, but we can’t say for sure. One thing that we can learn from the trends above is that transaction count (demand) correlates to a player’s overall trend line — see Joe Burrow in 2022 — and a player’s performance usually impacts demand. So the question is, who will be the hottest player in the NBA going into the playoffs?
Big 3 Gems
1996 Flair Showcase Kobe Brant Legacy Collection | Alt Value: $103,966
One of the first-ever serial numbered products, and it happens to feature the legendary Kobe Bryant. When this was released, a sticker on the box stated, "WARNING! Do not buy this product unless you are a serious collector looking for a challenge,” as the odds to hit the serial numbered cards were very low.
2019-20 Panini Prizm Gold Ja Morant | Alt Value: $171,052
This young MVP Candidate has his team in the hunt for a top seed in the Western Conference. Ja’s amazing athleticism is proving why he was the number two pick in the draft, and this iconic rookie card is a Gold Prizm / 10 in gem mint (9.5) condition. Want to invest in a promising young talent with a ceiling that gets higher and higher? Look no further.
2013-16 Panini Immaculate Collection Giannis Anetokounmpo | Alt Value: $62,612
A true Giannis RPA out of 99. One of these hasn't surfaced in a public auction in over two years in a condition (BGS 9.5 gem mint with a perfect 10 auto) this good.
Our curated selection of assets in all price ranges.
Superstar assets to look out for
1998 Skybox Molten Metal Fusion-Titanium Shaquille O’Neal | Alt Value: $27,770
This Shaq Skybox Molten Metal is a rare 90's insert that features pinpoint die-cuts, capturing a unique image of the player. The card was beyond its time in terms of its striking metallic gold design and low serial number. It is, and always has been, a highly-coveted asset.
1997 Brown’s Boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. | Alt Value $19,856
Before Mayweather was known for his savvy business ventures, he made his name in the ring. The man they call Money has an impeccable 50-0 record, and is a representation of amazing personal branding.
2017 Topps Chrome Kylian Mbappe, Champions League Green Refractor | Alt Value $11,655
Mbappe is the darling of the soccer world. In a few short years, he’s earned a Premier League Golden Boot and a World Cup victory for France. As his career matures, Mbappe is really starting to come into form and become the leader of his PSG team. This card presents a great buying opportunity, as the 2022 World Cup is around the corner, and rumors are swirling of Mbappe joining Spain’s La Liga this summer.
All-star assets to look out for
2008-09 Upper Deck Premier Pairings Autos James/Durant | Alt Value: $5,327
Lebron and KD are two of the NBA’s best ever. Another thing that makes this card unique is the fact that they’ve met for three NBA Finals (and counting), which is quite rare for two modern legends who’ve frequently switched teams.
2009 Topps Chrome Refractor DeMar DeRozan | Alt Value: $4,616
Surprise MVP Candidate DeRozan has led the Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference, and after a quietly successful career, his stock has never been higher.
2018 Panini Kaboom Christian Ronaldo | Alt Value: $4,109
Ronaldo played for Juventus for a couple of years, dominating in a second tier league. One of those campaigns was 2018, the first year for Kaboom! soccer, and this has become one the most iconic Panini inserts of all time.
Starter assets to look out for
2019 Panini Contenders Super Bowl Ticket 1/1 Patrick Mahomes | Alt Value: $3,755
Mahomes and the Chiefs may have had a shocking exit out of the playoffs, but it’s pretty inevitable he’ll be back in the mix for another trip to the Super Bowl next season. Featured here is his Super Bowl Ticket Contenders. A true 1/1 for a true 1/1.
2021 Prizm WNBA Black Gold | Alt Value $2,506
One of the most hyped WNBA players ever, Sabrina Ionescu barely played in her rookie year due to injury, but remains one of the league’s most collected players. Here we have her second year Black Gold Prizm PSA 10, which is a pop 1 and the lowest numbered Prizm parallel outside of the ever elusive black 1/1.
2013 Marvel Fleer Retro Precious Metal Gems Green Human Torch | Alt Value $1,909
Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, is another example of how the Marvel Universe has a brand of characters nobody can match. The relatability of these superheroes is what makes these cards shine. With a low population report, this will be a great addition for any Marvel collector.
Liquid Auctions Preview
Check out a few more of the gems you can find in this week’s Liquid Auctions.