If there's a sports card collector in your life, chances are he or she would love to unwrap some cards during this holiday season. Once you start shopping, one thing will quickly become apparent: there are a lot of cards out there. Picking the right ones to give as presents can be a daunting task, particularly if you happen to be a non-collector.
The best way to ensure success is to know the collector for whom you're buying. Something as simple as recalling the person's favorite player or team can help steer you in the right direction.
Also remember that you don't have to be as afraid to give duplicates as you might with other gifts. After all, packs and boxes can have totally different assortments of cards inside, and getting a second copy of, say, a specific Evan Longoria rookie card isn't a bad thing at all.
For more specific gift ideas, simply read on. You'll also find helpful links to places to shop online and information on new cards that will go on sale before the end of the year.
Gift Ideas for Fans of Rookie Cards
They've changed a lot in appearance and numbers over the years, but there is still something about rookie cards which captures the imagination of many fans. Even as other trends in sports cards come and go, cards from an athlete's first year continue to change hands in large quantities and form the foundation of many collections.
Even if you're shopping for someone and you're not exactly certain of his or her specific collecting focus, you can rest assured that rookie cards of the top sports stars are always welcome. They don't necessarily have to be expensive presents either, as most of today's most recognizable athletes have a wide range of rookie cards that can suit any budget.
The checklists below can help you learn more about some of the most popular rookie cards on the market.
- Albert Pujols Rookie Card Checklist
- Alex Rodriguez Rookie Card Checklist
- Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card Checklist
- Adrian Peterson Rookie Card Checklist
- Brett Favre Rookie Card Checklist
- Matt Ryan Rookie Card Checklist
- Peyton Manning Rookie Card Checklist
- Kobe Bryant Rookie Card Checklist
- LeBron James Rookie Card Checklist
- Sidney Crosby Rookie Card Checklist
Gift Ideas for Fans of Retro Cards
The history of sports cards, and baseball cards in particular, is full of card designs that have stood the test of time. Vintage cards that are decades old are popular to collect, but they can also require a significant investment of time and money.
To keep the classic designs alive and make them available to everyone, card manufacturers have resurrected some of them and updated them with modern technology. Topps has been especially successful with this concept, scoring hits several years in a row with retro-themed sets.
If you think the collector in your life might enjoy today's athletes on cards that look like they came from years past, take a look at reviews of some of this year's retro cards.
Gift Ideas for Shoppers on a Budget
Modern sports cards are full of autographs, pieces of game-used memorabilia and plenty of other bells and whistles. These elements make for cards that are great to look at and show off, and some of them even turn out to be valuable.
They can also be expensive. Not all collectors can afford boxes or packs of sports cards that cost hundreds of dollars, especially in the current economic climate.
Fortunately, the companies who make today's cards understand the need for sets that are accessible to everyone, and they've put more effort into creating great low end products that can introduce people to different aspects of the hobby - and they're still a lot of fun to collect in their own right.
Below are reviews of several inexpensive products from this year. A couple packs of any of these brands would make great stocking stuffers or small gifts for kids, beginners and anyone who wants to enjoy sports cards without spending tons of money.
- 2008 Topps Opening Day Baseball
- 2008-09 Upper Deck MVP Basketball
- 2008 Score Football
- 2008 Topps Kickoff Football
Where to Shop for Sports Cards on the Internet
No card shop near your home? No problem. A wide selection of single cards, packs, boxes and more is as close as your computer, and the selection is often highest during the holiday season.
The links below will take you directly to some of the most popular places on the internet to shop for sports cards. Whether you prefer to shop auctions or fixed prices, dealers or other collectors, these are some great places to start.
2008 Holiday Season New Product Releases
Just like many other consumer products, sports cards see a sales boost during the holiday season, and manufacturers like to get new releases on the shelves late in the year whenever possible. The following sports cards sets are due to go on sale between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2008.
Please note that all release dates are tentative, and it is not uncommon for sets to be pushed back.
- 2 - Bowman Draft Picks Baseball
- 2 - Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball
- 2 - Topps Co-Signers Basketball
- 2 - Topps Letterman Football
- 2 - SP Rookie Edition Football
- 4 - Upper Deck MVP Hockey
- 5 - Topps Predictors Basketball
- 10 - Topps Chrome Basketball
- 12 - Topps Sterling Baseball
- 17 - Black Diamond Hockey
- 18 - UD Documentary Baseball
- 19 - In The Game Heroes & Prospects Hockey
- 23 - Topps Hardwood Basketball
- 24 - Bowman Sterling Baseball
- 24 - Sweet Spot Baseball