2021 Sports Cards Release Dates

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  • December 30, 2020

New sports cards products are on the way!  After the ball drops in Times Square (all be it in an empty street; thanks, 2020...) on New Year's Eve, you and I will be ready to check out the latest and greatest card releases.  Check out a few products and more importantly, the release dates set for 2021!

The NBA is underway.  Football playoffs are in a few weeks.  Pitchers and Catchers report in less than two months.  We're TWO weeks away from hockey.  So. Much. Coming. Here is a quick rundown of what is on tap for you and I in the card world over the next few months.

PS - don't forget to enter our Golden Edition event!  We're giving away over $3,000 in break credit, a 2019-20 NBA Prizm Mega Box, a PSA 9 Zion rookie, Mickey Mantle singed ball, and more HERE.

This blog is sponsored by JUST COLLECT where we specialize in buying vintage cards, autographs, and collections. If you're looking to sell older product to bankroll the new new releases, give is a shout! THESE cards are on our BUY LIST.


  • Topps Series 1 = 2/10

Topps is celebrating their 70th anniversary of baseball cards next year.  The flagship set isn't as valuable as other sets and may not be as desired as products like the high-end National Treasures, but baseball is all about tradition and I love the traditional set.  Here is a look at what Topps Series 1 will look like on February 10th:


  • Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition = 1/20

If you can't until February to get your hands on MLB cards, you're in luck with the Archives release on the 20th of January.  One card per box, signed, and all buy backs!  I like the guaranteed autograph; a hit no matter what!  


  • Leaf Metal Draft = 1/8

If you missed watching MiLB this year, we're with ya. This set could fill a nice void, though! With all top prospects and stars, you may find yourself a star before the season even kicks off.  Six autos per hobby box is nice bonus, too.

  • Topps Inception = 3/17

Inception will be out before opening day, giving us a sweet fix as we (hopefully) watch Spring Training games.  Inception is a very nice product with a design like Topps Fire but includes nice autographs, patches, and booklets from big names.  If you can't afford National Treasures, Inception is a nice way to go.  Rumor is the hobby box will be around $115.  


  • Topps Heritage = 3/3

Heritage will focus on the 1972 set.  If vintage cards are up your ally, you can't go wrong with Heritage.  Love the throwbacks; reminds me of when cards were a nickel a pack.  If only...

  • Topps Opening Day = 3/10

Opening Day is usually the same card as Series 1 for Topps baseball but has the Opening Day logo on the card.  This set is great for kids as packs are usually very affordable at around $1 per pack.  Buy the kids 10 packs of these cards and you'll be a hero for the day.

  • Topps Sterling = 3/24

The first high-end product you'll see comes the 21st of March in the form of Topps Sterling. Just one card per pack and two packs per box, but both are hits!  An autograph and an additional hit.  Boxes are at pre-sale for a little over $700.



  • Panini Hoops = 2/3

The first licensed cards to feature this year's rookie class will be the base Hoops.  It may be hard for the new kids to continue the hype that Zion and Ja brought us last season - the BOOM was real.  We can't wait to get our hands on rookies in their NBA unis.


  • Panini Certified = 2/27 

Certified comes out just a few weeks after Hoops.  Hobby Boxes will be around $350 but should have 1 rookie auto and 1 other auto.  Second-year auto of Zion sounds just as good to me as a Rookie signature, and more affordable, too.


  • Panini Prizm = 3/3

We know that Prizm is what you want, so mark this date on your calendar. This is the product you'll wait in line at Walmart or Target for.  The boxes you'll be looking for on Facebook pages.  You'll be in all the blaster box razzes!  Primz Zion rookies added gas to the resurgence of sports cards this year and I expect Prizm to be THE product this season again.

Any NBA product released after March 3rd doesn't count, right?  Let's check out the NFL releases, then.


  • Panini Playbook = 1/13

The final week of the NFL season is coming up, but we're not done with new products yet.  If you couldn't get yourself any Mosaic or Prizm boxes this season, keep an eye out in just two weeks for Playbook.  Only 4 cards per box and the boxes will run about $350, so a little expensive, BUT - you get 1 booklet and 3 autos or relics in the box.  Another box of all hits is nice, and again relatively affordable given what's in the pack.


  • Panini Contenders = 1/20

On-card rookie autos can be hand, which are nicer than the sticker autos.   Contenders comes out the week of the AFC and NFC title games so NFL cards will be in-demand for sure.  Herbert is the hot rookie now and Burrow values are a little lower given the injury but is still in-demand.  If the Dolphins make the playoffs, despite Tua's benching he could still be making these packs worth ripping that week.


  • Donruss Optic  = 2/10

Donruss may just miss out on the NFL hype with a February release date as the Super Bowl is three days before Opitc comes out.  Though, if you want the NEWEST card of the Super Bowl winner, this is you chance.  Numbered, Holo Rated Rookies are awesome cards and can be chased all day on the 10th.



  • Upper Deck Synergy = 1/7

You'll be ready to dip into a brand new NHL pack the first week of the new year.  Each box should have 10 inserts and 8 parallels.  As the base set is 100 cards, you're looking at mostly hits.


Upper Deck Artifacts = 1/13

Artifacts always catches my attention because I enjoy relic cards.  You have a shot at pulling a patch auto of The Great One in Artifacts!

Upper Deck Trilogy = 2/10

The base set is small at just 50 cards but a cool feature in Trilogy is the Triple Rookie.  Reminds me of the 1980 Topps basketball cards with Bird and Magic rookies sharing the cardboard with Dr. J.  I like unique cards and a shared rookie is interesting to me.  You can try pulling a few on February 10th.


There are releases coming for the non-Big Four, too.  If you're into racing, Topps has Chrome Formula 1 being released January 13th.  WWE Fully Loaded cards from Topps are on the way January 27th.  Garbage Pail Kids Food Fight are due January 20th.  Shining Fates from Pokeman Sword and Shield hit shelves February 19th.

We'll keep you up-to-date on new releases as products come out.  We have a tentative schedule of the additional Panini releases here. Hopefully you enjoyed reading about some products I'm looking forward to in Q1 2021!  If you're more into breaking than buying full boxes of cards, check out our sister site at VintageBreaks.com!



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