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Published on May 11, 2024
Victor Wembanyama's Rookie Card Breaks Topps Record as Fans and Collectors Scramble for NBA MemorabiliaSource: Wikipedia/

Victor Wembanyama Mets 92 (2).jpg
By Thomas S - https://www.flickr.com/photos/tsavoja/52582279576/, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The rookie card of San Antonio Spurs' sensation Victor Wembanyama is shattering records left and right, with Topps confirming the card clinched the highest print run in the company's history. According to KENS 5, a towering 113,777 copies of Wembanyama’s Topps Rookie of the Year card sold out in a mere 72 hours, stamping its mark on the nine-year legacy of Topps Now which has produced over 10,000 cards. Wembanyama's achievements on the court have no doubt fueled the frenzy, as the towering French player has been a dominant force in the NBA this season, wowing fans and collectors alike.

Wembanyama's impact as the unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year — averaging 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game — is undeniable. But his off-court allure is equally indisputable. An article from Sportico reveals that over 107,000 Wembanyama cards were graded by Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) during the 2023-24 season, second only to the basketball god Michael Jordan. His most expensive PSA-graded card commands a hefty $1.1 million price tag on eBay, with a more 'affordable' option boasting an authenticity guarantee listed at $200,000.

Despite the obvious sky-high demand for anything Wembanyama, Fanatics, the parent company of Topps after a hefty $500 million acquisition, is keeping mum on the record-breaking stats. And while the card craze shows no signs of slowing down, it's not just limited to the printed memorabilia. According to KENS 5, fans are also vying for Wembanyama-themed FOCO bobbleheads to Funko POP! figurines, and of course, the coveted game-worn jerseys.

Yet, with this surge in popularity comes the darker side of collecting. Just last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Rochester, NY, intercepted a haul of counterfeit “NBA branded rookie cards,” with multiple outlets hinting at the inclusion of Wembanyama's sought-after Panini Prizm cards. Although the exact number remains unknown, it's a stark reminder that where there's value, there's often a counterfeit waiting in the wings.