We are currently in the midst of one of the biggest summer’s for the sport of soccer in the United States. Lionel Messi and his pals are going to Inter Miami, hoping to revive a franchise that is dead-last in Major League’s Soccer’s Eastern Conference. Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and the rest of the United States Women’s National Team are about to defend their World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand.
So how will these two events affect the sports collectibles marketplace? Here’s a few thoughts I have as the USA’s summer of soccer becomes a reality:
Expect Topps to have a new Inter Miami-Messi card after each matchday
Topps Now MLS isn’t a great product. Looking at the archives for their 2023 MLS offerings, very few have sold more than 500 units and most of those were for unproven rookies (they still haven’t printed a Brian Gutiérrez card, but don’t get me started on that).
Between Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, Topps will be printing a new Inter Miami card after each match they play and even if the card isn’t of Messi, expect him to be included in the card’s photo.
Lionel Messi is the biggest (metaphorically speaking) athlete in the world and the demand for his collectibles is just as large.
Parkside Collectibles Needs to Capitalize on the Women’s World Cup
Parkside Collectibles is trying to find its space in the hobby marketplace and has found a good lane by securing the rights for the USWNT and NWSL cards. The company that first tried to make a splash by partnering with Major League Lacrosse finally had a product sell out quickly.
Parkside sold out their 2023 NWSL Collection Volume 1 Hobby Box inventory within a month of being released, buoyed by the excitement of some of the NWSL’s young stars. Autograph subjects include youngsters Alyssa Thompson and Chloe Ricketts (sell me your Penelope Hocking autographs, please) and Gotham FC superstar Kristie Mewis, so there is value in hunting for some of these autographs. Personally, I’d like to see more veteran autograph subjects in their next release which leads me into the larger point of Parkside needing to take advantage of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The United States is sending a team of superstars to Oceania, where the world’s best will be competing over the next month. If Parkside released a Topps Now - equivalent of each USWNT player, with short prints and autographs available, they would be a hit.
Alex Morgan is an American superstar who commands attention wherever she goes. Give her at least a card. It’s Megan Rapinoe’s final season and World Cup, make a card of hers for every interesting thing she does. It will sell. Alyssa Naeher is the best goalkeeper in the world and will be holding down the fort for the USWNT. Imagine how well a card with Naeher making a diving save would sell.
Enough about 2026 being the time for Americans to focus on soccer. The summer of 2023 has the potential to bring more eyes to the sport than ever and collectibles companies need to have the products to match.
Purchase for the future
To continue the soccer trend, I’m keeping any and all Trinity Rodman cards that I’ve secured over the past two years. Between her ability as a soccer player (she’s already one of the best in the world at 21) and her notable last name, Rodman’s collectible value will only increase after the upcoming World Cup. Hop on the Trinity Rodman bandwagon with me, it will pay off.
Product I think I like: 2023 Topps Finest Baseball
Topps Finest Baseball always delivers. You have great rookie (Adley Rutschman, Anthony Volpe & Oscar Colás) and veteran (Juan Soto, Joey Votto & Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) autograph subjects and you really can’t beat the value of two chrome autographs in a hobby box that is less than $200.
Product I’m not a fan of: Topps’ Overtime Elite Collaborations
I understand seeing some value in the Overtime Elite basketball prospects after Amen and Ausar Thompson were selected fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 2023 NBA Draft. However, those two are the outliers and Topps has put too many of its basketball eggs in the Overtime Elite box because the talent isn’t there overall. For every Amen or Ausar Thompson card, there’s multiples of Johned Walker, Ralph Martino or Kok Yat autographs that have little to no value.