Hobby Musings: Blowout pulls some Zion booms – The chase has been on for Zion Williamson cards for several months. The popular Pelicans rookie got an even bigger boost to his market not too long ago with the release of Panini’s National Treasures product. Since then, we’ve seen many big cards of his pulled. For Blowout Cards’ Matt Thomas, that excitement hit a fever pitch recently as he managed to pull a couple of nice Zion’s for a customer in a few breaks. To find out more, I had the chance to catch up with him via email.
MT: The past few weeks of Blowout TV broadcasts have been primarily filled with group breaks of 2019/2020 National Treasures Basketball. Everyone is chasing the highly sought after, and incredibly valuable, Zion Williamson vertical rookie patch autographs (RPA). It wasn’t until Friday afternoon that we pulled our first vertical RPA of Zion Williamson numbered 8/10 from a half case team draft break.
Needless to say, the customer was ecstatic and pandemonium ensued on our breaking channel. Little did this customer know what was coming in the very next case. We had texted briefly following the first Zion Williamson, and he said the vibe in the room was good and he had a great feeling about the next case. The customer drew the first pick in a team draft for a second straight break and drafted the Pelicans once again. Then the incredible happened! We unearthed the Zion Williamson Colossal 1/1 patch autograph, which left me absolutely speechless during the broadcast.
Two Zion Williamson patch autograph cards, worth well into six figures total, pulled within 20 minutes of each other by the same customer! Truly, an incredible experience, and what I soon after called “the greatest heater in the history of group breaking!” What’s even crazier is the same customer pulled a third Zion Williamson a few days later!
MT: I get tremendous excitement and joy from pulling big hits for our customers on Blowout TV. After the first Zion Williamson was hit, I was so fired up for the room and customer! Once the second one hit, I was completely in shock. Anyone who knows me can see that I’m a pretty laid back guy, and I don’t get overly animated when we pull big hits online. It was one of those situations where you wanted to scream and shout, but I just couldn’t believe what had taken place. If you watch the YouTube video, I almost become speechless. I think the customer was speechless too as it took a few text messages to reach him. He may or may not have been popping open a bottle or two of champagne!
KS: You’ve been breaking a while. Where would you rank both of these cards among what you’ve pulled in terms of excitement factor and value?
MT: Monetarily speaking, these cards are right at the top of the list. Zion Williamson has created an excitement and value seemingly all to himself. In my opinion, the level of popularity and hype surrounding Zion Williamson at the start of an NBA career far exceeds that of any basketball player in my lifetime.
MT: A card is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay, and I’m no expert on the secondary singles market. However, I do know there have been major offers and multiple inquiries into these cards. Every day, I seem to get messages on Instagam from people asking to put me in contact with the owner. For basketball, the international market is extremely strong, and I have no doubt these cards will go for a lot of money if the owner chooses to sell them.
KS: It seems like we keep seeing big sale after big sale with Zion, especially with his National Treasures cards. Do you have anything/anyone you can even compare this with in your all time dealing with sports cards?
MT: Every year it seems we have a player or two that’s highly sought after and creates a lot of buzz following the draft. Zion Williamson is the only player since LeBron James that’s created this type of buzz. It’s almost as though he’s become a folk hero similar to Paul Bunyan. He’s larger than life in the collecting arena, and if he continues to perform at the level we witnessed earlier this year, there is no telling where the value of his cards could go.
KS: If we’re seeing prices like this for Zion with National Treasures, what are we going to see with a product like Flawless?
MT: The National Treasures brand is the pinnacle of rookie patch autograph collecting when it comes to basketball. I have no doubt that Zion Williamson’s autograph cards from Flawless will demand high premiums, but I do not think they will overtake the demand and popularity of National Treasures.
KS: Even with the coronavirus pandemic going on, how has group breaking been going?
MT: I feel very fortunate to be able to continue to host group breaks over the past few months. It’s incredibly sad how our country has suffered over this time and I feel terrible for those who have lost their jobs. Our country will rebound as we always do, and I’m just happy to be able to bring some entertainment and joy to people’s lives through group breaking. Our society misses live sports, and group breaking seems to provide a needed outlet where people can gather together, chat about the industry and see some pretty cool and valuable cards!
KS: Why do you think the hobby has still been able to seemingly continue to be hot during these circumstances?
MT: I think the majority of people in this country love sports and love camaraderie. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has taken both of those away from us over the past few months, as people have been living in isolation. Online card breaking has been able to bring people together who love sports. Whether or not we are opening cards or just chatting about sports, it’s always a fun atmosphere, and we have a great group of individuals who have been very loyal and supportive through this tough time!
KS: If sports don’t end up coming back for several months, how do you think that will affect the card market?
MT: I think the card community will continue to stay strong even without the possible return of team sports in 2020. The collecting world is strong and seemingly gets bigger by the day. Personally, I think the interest in sports cards and collectibles is at an all-time high, and that’s very exciting for the industry as a whole!
KS: If you had to pick a card category to keep an eye on over the coming weeks for a good or bad reason, what would it be and why?
MT: That’s tough to say as we don’t have a definitive answer as to when leagues will start back up. It appears as though the NBA is closest to a return, which would be huge for the basketball community. I think everyone would like to see the NBA restart as there are so many great storylines in play.
You can follow all the breaking action @Matt_BlowoutTV
Hobby Musings: Blowout pulls some Zion booms
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