Noteworthy Sports Card Releases In July: Buy And Pass Advice
July hits on all the major sports releases as we see exciting drops from Topps, Panini and Upper Deck. While it might be a reasonably quiet month for sports, it’s a great month for sports cards.
As always, here are the CardLines pick for cards to watch in July 2023. And, also as always, a feature on this list doesn’t mean it’s a must-buy.
We’re sharing honest thoughts on all products. Some of these brands might be included out of caution, so read the short summary with each.
Also, please note: the release schedules are very fluid and move frequently. These dates are not guaranteed (and with so many releases tentatively scheduled for July, it’s a safe bet many of these will not release this month).
Noteworthy sports card releases for July
2023 Panini Chronicles Draft Picks Football (07/05)
I’m not doing my civic duty if I don’t include Draft Picks 2023 on this list, if only to tell you to stay away. Each box is pre-ordering for $175 and includes 3 autos, 1 memorabilia, 2 spectra inserts, 6 holos, 12 optics, and 1 silver per box.
As I’ve written before, these college-uni cards never hold long-term value and they’re just a watered-down product that doesn’t age well, but this year it’s even worse.
The only appeal of Chronicles Draft Picks, typically, is that it’s the first licensed college cards for the soon-to-be NFL rookies, but this year Bowman Inception University beat Panini to the punch.
Avoid this one. I’m not much for cancel culture… but maybe if we all avoid this one, it won’t haunt us in 2024.
2022/23 Panini Chronicles Soccer (07/07)
Looking to get into soccer cards? This is a good place to start.
Chronicles Soccer is a product that saw a significant surge in popularity in 2020 as more and more collectors become tuned in to the value and popularity of soccer cards.
These boxes contain 3 packs of 15 cards, with 3 autographs or memorabilia cards per box on average. Look for 12 parallels included, as well. We don’t have a pre-order price yet, but last year’s sells for about $300.
As with all Chronicles products, this one blends the most popular Panini brands in one box. That said, Panini doesn’t advertise anything “new” with this product, so it seems to be running back last year’s winning formula.
2022/23 Panini Obsidian Basketball (07/07)
If Darth Vader collected hoops, this would be his choice. The brand plays on the idea of, well, obsidian, and infuses dark, breathtaking designs into its cards.
It’s been around for several seasons and never led the class in popularity, but it’s consistent and has a decent following of enthusiastic collectors.
Each box is pre-ordering for $270 and has 1 pack with 7 cards, including 2 autographs and 2 inserts or parallels.
This is almost $100 cheaper than the product launched at last year and exactly $200 less than in 2020/21, so it’s a decent buy comparatively for a reasonably strong rookie class.
Much like Chronicles soccer, no mention of anything “new” in the product notes from Panini.
2023 Topps Finest Baseball (07/07)
Topps Finest is the grandfather of the refractor and prizm card, so it’s no surprise that this year’s line-up features an array of awesome colors and refractor technology.
Each $220 hobby box promises 12 packs of 5 cards, with 2 chrome autographs included.
We don’t have a great deal of info about the set yet from Topps, but we know there are 100 base cards and 25 extended base cards, plus Base Set Rookie Design Variations (I think those are separate from the extended base cards, but the product copy is pretty confusing).
True to form, there will be seventeen colors of parallels to chase, including the base refractor.
2021/22 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey (07/12)
I’m not a hockey collector, so I thought it was a typo when I saw 2021-22 Ultimate Collection releasing halfway through 2023 (this is what I expect from Panini, not Upper Deck).
But it’s accurate, bringing a late high-end release for 2021-22 hockey. Each 4-card box includes 1 Non-Auto/Mem Base Set, Base Set Parallel or Insert Card, 1 Non-Mem Autographed Card, 1 Non-Autographed Memorabilia Card, and 1 Premium Autographed, Non-Autographed Premium Memorabilia or Autographed Memorabilia Card.
True to Upper Deck form, I have no idea what much of this means. But I do know Ultimate is a great product, so if you’re a hockey collector, this could be one to watch.
2022 Panini Encased Football (07/14)
Feeling Risky? Encased is the product for you. Each $750 box contains 5 cards: 1 encased autograph, 1 additional auto, 2 memorabilia cards, and a base/parallel.
At over $100/card, you better hope that you hit a good rookie autograph, which will be difficult considering there aren’t any good rookies. (Okay, joking aside, none of the 2022 rookies save Kenny Pickett seem poised to hold any long-term value).
True to the name, one of the autos comes encased in a one-touch holder with a security sticker, but this feels a bit gimmicky. How hard is it to have a one-touch on hand for big autos? Not very, which ironically also how interested I am in this product.
2022/23 Panini Impeccable Soccer (07/19)
Impeccable Soccer is a high-end soccer brand with lots of autographs from Premier League stars.
Each box contains 5 autographs or memorabilia cards. Previous years sell for about $1400, so that’s a fair estimate for release day price, here.
With the 2023 set, the big money will be found in autographs, but the Gold bar case hits will also be monstrous chase cards.
Per Panini, “Be on the lookout for Gold bar case hits, featuring one ounce of precious metal embossed with the Premier League logo alongside one of the best players in the league.”
2023 Panini Score Football (07/19)
Score is a collector favorite for those who like to unwrap a lot of cards without paying a premium. Each $225 box comes with 10 packs of 40 cards each (yes, you read that right), 4 autographs, and one die-cut card per case.
This is scheduled to be the First Officially Licensed NFL product of 2022.
That does not mean the players will be in their NFL jerseys on all the cards – just the team names and logos will appear on the card.
Interestingly enough, 2023 Score is launching far more than 2022. It makes sense – the 2022 rookie class was weak – but Panini is already openly acknowledging this.
2022 Panini National Treasures Football (07/26)
National Treasures is typically a late-season release, so a mid-summer drop for the popular high-end product isn’t too out of the ordinary (it takes a very long time to make 8-card boxes, of course).
Each box is pre-ordering for $3,000 and contains 6 autographs or memorabilia cards, 1 base/insert, and 1 parallel. It’s a big dice roll, but it’s also a pretty low asking price for National Treasures — the 2020 box is selling for about $9,000 at the time of writing this, so do with that as you will.
What are you looking forward to ripping or holding?
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