Wax packs, also called unopened packs, are collectible cards still in their original packaging. Similarly, trading-card boxes are unopened boxes of cards. Buying wax packs and trading-card boxes involves a little bit of risk and suspense, and a whole lot of self-control—you won’t know what you’ve bought until you open the pack, but opening it decreases the value, so most collectors never do.

There are wax packs for musicians, movies, and sports (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey), among other things, though baseball wax packs are the most collected. Most, but not all, wax packs include a stick of bubble gum. If the wax pack is vintage, the gum is likely rock-hard by now. Vintage wax packs printed before the 1970s are especially sought-after.

While some people call wax pack collectors crazy, the accumulation of unopened packs is simple economics: the packs of cards themselves are often scarcer than the cards inside, so the unopened packs gain value both for collectors of unopened packs and for those hoping to get their hands on a pristine Mickey Mantle or Michael Jordan card. And every time an unopened pack from pre-1970 is opened, that means one fewer wax pack still exists, and the value of those that do goes up.

Although wax-pack collecting is definitely a niche hobby, the Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) has begun grading unopened packs for collectors, and so has Global Authentication Inc., as counterfeit wax packs have become prevalent.

Not surprisingly, the most collectible wax packs come from the most popular sets ever printed. Number one on that list would be the 1952 Topps baseball set, which includes Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and a bevy of other memorable cards of stars such as Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, and Yogi Berra. Not far behind the ’52 Topps set is the 1933 Goudey Sport Kings baseball set, which is the only prewar baseball pack that has been authenticated and includes the likes of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.

Most unopened packs of interest to collectors date from the 1960s or before, but the most collectible basketball wax pack is the 1986 Fleer set. Although there are ample supplies of this pack, demand always seems to outweigh it, as this is the set that contains the coveted Michael Jordan rookie card.

For football, the most collectible packs are the 1953 Bowman, 1955 All-American Football, and the 1965 Topps. Popular hockey packs include the 1966 Topps set, which carries Bobby Orr’s rookie card, and the 1979 OPC set, which has a rookie card for Wayne Gretzky. Collectible non-sports wax packs include a Topps 1978 Battlestar Galactica set and a 1984 Michael Jackson trading-card box.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Non Sports Cards: Tobacco, Gum and Candy

Non Sports Cards: Tobacco, Gum and Candy

Tom Boblitt moderates this extremely deep, collaborative site dedicated to non-sports cards (tobacco, gum and candy… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1988 Fleer Basketball Wax Box, 36ct Packs (bbce Authenticated And Wrapped)1984 Topps Fball Wax Box, 36ct Packs, Dan Marino John Elway Rc? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1981 Topps Football Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Perfect No Reserve!!1986 Topps Fball Wax Box, 36ct Packs, Young Jerry Rice Rookie? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1984 Topps Football Wax Box, 36ct Wax Packs, Elway Marino Rc? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1985 Topps Football Wax Box, 36ct Packs, Walter Payton Moon Rc? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1985 Topps Football Wax Box, 36ct Packs, Walter Payton Moon Rc? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1989 Fleer Basketball Wax Box 36 Packs Possible Jordan Psa 10 **bbce Sealed** (2) 1989 Upper Deck Low Series Wax Box Fr Sealed Case Ken Griffey Jr Rc Psa 10 ?1984 Donruss Baseball Wax Box Bbce Sealed/certified. Mattingly Rookies Psa 10s?!1989 Score Football Wax Box, 36ct Wax Packs, Aikman Sanders Rc? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1991-1992 Fleer Baskball Sealed Wax Box. Michael Jordan Psa 10 $1000+1987 87-88 Fleer Basketball Unopened Wax Pack Gai 7.5 Nrmt+1977 Topps Star Wars Wax Box Series 1 Bbce Authenticated Mint 36 Packs *rare*1982 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box 36 Packs1984 Topps Football 3 Full Boxes 107 Unopened Wax Packs!! Elway! Marino! Rc!! Lot(2) 1987 Topps Fball Wax Box, 36ct Packs, Cunningham Rookie? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1983 83 Topps Baseball Wax Box Certified & Sealed By Bbce - Gwynn Boggs Ryne Rc1984 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Perfect Mattingly Rc Psa1990-1991 Fleer Basketball Wax Box. Bbce Certified! From A Sealed Case! Perfect!1964 Philadelphia Wax Pack Psa 8 Nm-mt (pwcc)1974 Topps Cloth Sticker Hockey Wax Box, 36ct Wax Packs, Gai 8.5 Nm-mt+ (pwcc)1983 Topps Football Wax Box, 36ct Packs, Singletary Allen Rc? Bbce Auth (pwcc)1972 Topps Baseball Wax Pack 5th/6th Series Psa Nm 71984,1985, And 1986 Topps Baseball Cards Unopened Wax Boxes Bbce 108 Packs 1981 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Authentic! Fernando1985 Donruss Unopened Hobby Wax Box Bbce From Sealed Case - 36x Baseball Packs1977 Topps Charlies Angels 10 Cents Wax Box Full Box With 36 Packs P1977 Topps Star Wars Orange 5th Series 5 Trading Card Set 36 Wax Pack Full Box P1980 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed W/ 36 Packs1983 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Authentic! Gwynn/sandberg/boggs1985 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Gpk Series 1 Unopened Wax Pack Gai 9 Mint1990-1991 Fleer Basketball Wax Box. Bbce Certified! From A Sealed Case! Perfect!1964 O-pee-chee Cfl Wax Pack Gai 8.5 Nm-mt+ (pwcc)Rare Sealed Unopened 1991-92 Fleer Basketball Series 2 Update 20 Wax Box Case1997-98 Upper Deck Basketball Series 2 Wax Box Jordan Jersey Factory Sealed!1982 82 Topps Baseball Wax Box Certified & Sealed By Bbce - Cal Ripken Jr Rc1981 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box 36 Packs1990-1991 Fleer Basketball Wax Box Lot Of 2 Bbce Certified From A Sealed Case 1981 Topps Football Wax Pack W/ Joe Montana Rookie Rc? Psa 8 Nm-mt (pwcc)1982 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Authentic! Ripken Jr Rc1984 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Authentic!mattingly Rc1973 Topps Baseball Wax Pack Psa Nm 71983 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Perfect Gwynn Rc Psa1972-1980 Football Wax Pack Lot Of 5 Different One Bid1979 Topps Wax Pack Unopened Gretzky Rc?Vintage 1966 The Green Hornet 5c Unopened Wax Pack Sticker Pack Gai 9 Mint1975 Topps Wax Pack/back Showing Robin Yount Rookie1974 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Nm-mt Graded Psa 81978 Topps Battlestar Galactica Unopened Wax Box 36x Tv Trading Card Packs1981 Topps Hockey Unopened Wax Box(sealed By Bce)1979 Fleer Crazy Labels Full Box With 36 Wax Pack Wacky Packages P1976 Topps Baseball Wax Pack Psa 71985 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Perfect Puckett Rc Psa1974 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Nm Graded Psa 71989 Upper Deck Wax Box High Series Griffey Johnson Smoltz Rookie Rc Hof1982 Fleer Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Authentic! Cal Ripken Jr1977 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Mint Gai 9 Sharp Pack Psa Conversion?1984 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box 36 Packs1983 Fleer Baseball Unopened Wax Box Bbce Sealed Authentic! Gwynn/sandberg/boggs