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What is the Tuff Stuff Price Guide? It used to be one of the hobby's longest-running magazines, though it's now been renamed Sports Collectors Monthly. The original name lives on at the website, which offers free online price guides for sports cards and figures.
From the main price guides page, there are separate links for pricing baseball, basketball, football, hockey, racing and golf cards, plus areas for sports autographs and figures. Each guide is in PDF format and includes decades of pricing for all but the most recent sets in each sport - those can still be found in issues of Sports Collectors Monthly.
The prices don't get updated as often as those from other sources, and they tend to be on the high side. Thus, they more accurately reflect what collectors should expect to pay for cards than what they should expect to receive when selling the same cards. On the plus side, the guides are free, and they include prices for packs and boxes for many of the sets along with key singles.
There's also a lot more to the Tuff Stuff site than just price guides. Articles and blogs cover the latest hobby news, forums allow collectors to meet and sound off, and a Fan Shop sells sports apparel and memorabilia. A multimedia area serves tech savvy collectors with Sports Collecting Radio podcasts and video box breaks.
Tuff Stuff was a magazine first published in April 1984 by Ernie White. The magazine’s readership was comprised of collectors interested in prices for trading cards and certain other collectibles from various sports.
White named the magazine for its ability to offer “tough stuff” to find in the store he owned, according to the Tuff Stuff website. When it launched, the magazine was published on 11-and-a-quarter by 15-and-a-half newsprint, but in the later part of the decade, it became a tabloid-type publication with a glossy cover. In 1990, it went back to standard magazine size, according to Tuff Stuff.
Tuff Stuff, which was originally based in Richmond, Virginia was sold several times in the late 1990s and early 2000s, first to Landmark Communications and then to Krause Publications, which published Sports Cards Magazine, a direct competitor of Tuff Stuff. In 2000 Sports Cards Magazine and Tuff Stuff merged, keeping the latter as the name of the new publication, according to Tuff Stuff’s website.
Now owned by F+W Publications Inc. after it bought Krause Publications in 2002, the magazine and website includes features and columns in addition to annual pricing for baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf and racing cards. Each issue features about 100 pages of card prices. Combining all five sports in each issue sets it apart from Beckett Price Guide, its primary competitor, which publishes separate issues for each sport.
Also covered in each issue of Tuff Stuff are sports-related autographs, figurines and other memorabilia and collectibles.