With less than a week until the 2013 NFL Draft, the 2012 football card season has come to a close. With the release of 2012 Topps Five Star Football, the list of RG3 and Andrew Luck rookie cards is complete. As far as rookie classes go, it’s one of the best ever in football cards. In time, it could be regarded as the best rookie crop ever. And the close of the football card season has brought the year’s priciest sets. 2012 Panini National Treasures and 2012 Topps Five Star are the high-end of the high-end.
History shows that the greatest rewards come from those who take the greatest risks. The rookie cards in these products may command huge sums on the secondary market already. But they’re also likely to be the rookies collectors look to with regards to what’s the best. Both sets use patch swatches and on-card autographs for key rookies (National Treasures also has rookie cards for second-tier players that are just autographed).
And it’s not going to take long for supply to dry up. 2012 Panini National Treasures rookie cards are limited to 99 copies each. 2012 Topps Five Star rookies range from a high of 300 for less desirable players to a low of 50 for top stars like Andrew Luck.
Early returns are showing 2012 Panini National Treasures Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III rookies going for more than $1,000 each. Recent sales are also showing an upward tick for both. Having just been released, it’s still early to tell the patterns in Five Star.
The high-end rookie hits go beyond the main set for both releases as well. Low-numbered parallels, massive patch pieces and additional autographs have also caught the attention of collectors.
It’s not all rookie hits either. While first-year players are driving the products, there is a deeper veteran and legends presence in National Treasures and Five Star than in most every other set released this year. National Treasures’ Virtuoso Signatures and NFL Greatest Signatures include lots of Hall of Famers and future Canton inductees. In Five Star, Signatures, inscribed Quotable Signatures and Signature Patch cards offer a similar mix.
It’s appropriate that the football card season closes with the most prestigious products of the year. And what a memorable year it was for football card collecting. Now it’s time to look ahead to 2013.