2018 Leaf Pop Century Metal
Leaf Trading Cards hasn’t released any wrestling products so far in 2018, but the company has produced what could be the single hottest wrestling trading card of the year.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s signature is included in 2018 Leaf Pop Century Metal, which was just released this week. This is only Austin’s second certified autograph trading card ever, and the first since a Fleer offering in 2001. It’s also worth noting that the new Leaf card features a more traditional signature, whereas the old Fleer card was signed “Austin 3:16.”
“We were so excited to get a deal done with Steve Austin,” Leaf Trading Cards CEO Brian Gray wrote in an email to the Torch. “The market has been begging for certified autographs of Stone Cold and as Leaf has made such a habit, we go for these names customers so desperately want.”
Pop Century has been Leaf’s flagship product for more than a decade. It includes autographs and memorabilia cards of actors, musicians, athletes, political figures and more. In addition to Austin, some of the big attractions from 2018 Leaf Pop Century Metal include signatures from Millie Bobby Brown of “Stranger Things,” Rose McIver of “iZombie” and Adam Driver, aka Kylo Ren from Star Wars.
Leaf Pop Century is a hobby-exclusive product that delivers just four cards per box, all of which are autographs or memorabilia cards. At $160 per four-card box, Pop Century isn’t for everyone, and collectors may be best suited to track down autographs of their favorite stars on eBay or various trading card groups.
There are several versions of the Austin autograph. The basic version is unnumbered, but there are different colored parallel versions numbered from 50 to 1. The Gold Super Prismatic parallel serial numbered 1/1 will be the scarcest and most valuable of the bunch. Early sales of the Austin autograph have been in the $100 to $200 range, depending on the color and serial numbering.
Austin’s signature is the only one from a wrestler in the product, but there are some really cool themed multi-signature cards, including a Star Wars card signed by Driver, Daisy Ridley, Laura Dern and Carrie Fisher, along with quad autographs with actors’ signatures from “Stranger Things” and “The Sandlot.” There are also 10 rare cut signatures featuring autographs from the likes of Vincent Price, Gene Simmons, Caitlyn Jenner, Anna Kendrick, Joe Biden and Ivanka Trump.
Most memorabilia cards are multi-swatch cards with two, four, six or eight signatures each. Dwayne “the Rock Johnson” is featured on an eight-piece memorabilia cards that also includes material from Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and others. Gray has stated in the past that Rock’s asking price to sign cards is too cost prohibitive.
“He wants so much money it’s staggering,” Gray said in a 2015 interview with the Torch. “The cards could never sell for what he wants.”
2018 Topps WWE Heritage
Collectors have been waiting all year for 2018 Topps WWE Undisputed, the company’s highest end wrestling product. Unfortunately, the product has been delayed until late August, so fans will have to make due with 2018 Topps WWE Heritage, a new product that was released on Aug. 1.
Heritage is a traditional Topps product with a design that resembles 1989 Topps Baseball. Each box includes 24 packs with six cards per pack. Each box promises two hits, one of which is guaranteed to be an autograph. The autographs don’t really break any new ground, but there are some big names including Alexa Bliss, the Undertaker, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Charlotte Flair, and AJ Styles. Most of the autographs are on-card too, which is always a big plus with collectors.
In addition to the basic autographs, there are 10 Big Legends Autographs, including Bret Hart, Jake Roberts, Sting, Trish Stratus and others. These cards appear to be a big hit with collectors so far, as they feature on-card signatures and two pictures in a sort of shadow box type display. It helps that many of the veterans who signed for this set, such as Hart, Roberts and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, have some of the best looking sigs in the business.
The Top 10 Rookies Autograph set actually only features eight signatures from wrestlers who made their main roster debuts in 2017 and 2018, including Asuka, Shinsuke Nakamura, Elias and Bobby Roode, among others. Unfortunately, the missing autographs are the two collectors would have wanted most: Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate.
There are also five dual signature cards that feature some pretty cool pairings, including Triple H and Stephanie, Triple H and Undertaker, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler and Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. Oh, and there’s also a dual signature of Primo and Epico Colon.
Additional hits include kiss cards, shirt relics and mat relics, along with autographed versions of each. There are also manufactured TLC Commemorative Medallions.
Look for reviews, news items, sales trends and more on these products in upcoming collectibles columns.
Complete checklists for both of these products can be found at cardboardconnection.com.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PRIOR COLUMN: COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: What Can Fans Expect from Rousey’s WWE Collectibles?
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.