The most exciting aspect of being a collector in today’s world is the sheer number of choices that you have when it comes to purchasing cards. While this refers to being able to choose between hobby boxes and cases, various sports card types, like football cards or baseball cards, what we really mean is the range of sports card brands responsible for putting these cards onto the market.
There are some brands out there that have really made a name for themselves over the years, becoming a staple for sports card collectors everywhere. But which are the best sports card brands, and are they right for your collection?
Let’s take a look at the complete list of the most valuable sports card brands that you should consider moving forward.
Panini is a brand with deep roots in the trading card industry. First founded in 1961, Panini sold a wide range of collectible sports items like figurines, comic books, and more (although it specialized in stickers and trading cards, which it is arguably best known for as a company).
Most collectors today will be quite familiar with series like Panini Prizm and Panini National Treasures, both of which have a lot of value to offer to those looking to add rookie cards to their sports card collection. If you’re looking to collect exclusively from some of the best sports card brands as you work on growing your current collection, Panini is one of the brands that should be at the top of your list - especially if you are a fan of basketball or football.
Are you an avid baseball card collector? If so, you’re likely intimately familiar with Topps. Topps is one of the most valuable sports card brands, and it’s also one with deep roots in the industry. Topps itself was first seen in 1938, but it’s actually a continuation of another company called American Leaf Tobacco, which was founded in 1890. Topps first started off not as one of the best sports card brands, but as a company that sold Bazooka bubble gum.
They began to include trading cards in their packs of bubble gum, which led them to produce their own cards in 1951. The rest is history! Topps is best known for popular and high-value series like Topps Chrome and Topps Heritage. Topps was acquired by Fanatics in December of 2021 but will keep the Topps name.
A lot of the best sports card brands were standalone companies at some point in time. However, that doesn’t mean that a lot of these other names that we see on the market weren’t acquired by big names like the above. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that other brands you’re interested in collecting aren’t as diverse as you would believe.
One excellent example of this is Bowman. Bowman is a brand that began releasing trading cards and sports cards back in 1948. While it did have some popular releases, it was no match for monoliths like Topps. The result? Topps actually acquired and retired the brand, before bringing Bowman back in 1989, and now uses Bowman to release the 1st cards of top prospects and high-value rookie cards for today’s collectors.
Upper Deck is one of the best sports card brands around not just because of the value of the cards but because of the level of care that goes into card creation and release. Upper Deck is a relatively new card company, having been founded in 1989. Who doesn’t love the first card ever made by them - Ken Griffey, Jr?
Although they no longer mass produce baseball cards like they once did, Upper Deck distinguishes itself from its competition by its extensive Upper Deck Authentication program and the wide range of sports that it focuses on crafting high-value cards for. If you’re looking for some of the most valuable sports card brands, look no further than Upper Deck!
Donruss faced a very similar situation as Bowman once it entered the industry. Founded back in 1981, the brand lasted around 17 years before it took a three-year break because of financial problems as well as a lack of an MLB property license. It did return shortly thereafter, but it would once again prove to not be enough for the company to thrive.
Panini purchased this company in 2011, and it’s now one of the best sports card brands out there, which is no surprise given the power and influence of Panini!
Find Your Favorite Brands at Giant Sports Cards
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Are you ready to begin building your collection with names like Panini, Topps, and Upper Deck? Discover new sports cards and browse our vast collection of hobby boxes and cases today!