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By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles specialist
What a difference a week makes.
After debuting on Raw with a huge push, Finn Balor’s autographed Topps cards have increased substantially.
Balor has been a favorite with card collectors, NXT fans, and WWE devotees for quite some time, but the increase in sale prices and bidding activity seems to be an indication that fans see Balor as more than just the latest NXT call-up.
Balor’s certified autograph trading cards can be found in four products from Topps: 2015 Undisputed, 2015 Heritage, 2016 Topps, and 2016 Undisputed. The best sample by which to judge Balor’s increasing popularity is his 2016 Topps WWE Undisputed Autograph, serial numbered to 299. The product was released in early July, and this has been Balor’s most frequently traded card over the last 90 days.
From July 7 to July 24, the average completed listing price on eBay for a Balor 2016 Undisputed Autograph was $21.14. Since his debut on Raw on July 25, the average price was $35.57 – an increase of $14.43, or 41 percent. In fact, the average price of the silver parallel of that card – serial numbered to 50 – was $26.77 prior Balor’s Raw debut, considerably less than the average price of the basic version after his debut.
All of Balor’s cards have seen a substantial uptick in prices and bids since his Raw debut. The average price of his WWE Undisputed Shirt Relic card – which features a small piece of a black t-shirt – jumped from $7.66 to $15.39.
Balor – as Prince Devitt – also has a few autographs in Japanese BBM wrestling trading card sets. The easiest one to find is his 2011 BBM Legend of the Champions set.
Since 2014, when Balor debuted in NXT, this card has typically sold in the $150 to $200 range. However, since Topps has cranked out several Balor autographs, interest in this card has gone down. While sellers occasionally list it on eBay for around $200, it can be found on some Japanese sites (such as Yahoo Auctions) for less than $100.
If Balor’s push continues, there is absolutely room for the value of his cards to continue to increase. However, demand will definitely be affected by supply. Topps has taken to including autographs of top stars in almost every new product over the last couple years.
Topps will release 2016 WWE Heritage in August, and Balor’s signature was recently confirmed for that set as well. More cards are better for collectors, but can definitely hurt investments.
PWTorch Collectibles specialist Michael Moore can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.