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    

Garbage Pail Kids Series 1 Box Of Wax Packs 48 Count. Unopened 1973 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Psa 8! Possible Schmidt, Evans Rookie??1975 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Psa 8!1985 Topps "garbage Pail Kids" Series 1 Wax Pack ***guaranteed Unopened***Rare Original 1956 Topps Elvis Presley Trading Card Wax Pack Empty Display Box1982 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box Of 36 Packs Mint1979-80 Opc Hockey Wax Pack Psa 7 Near-mint1972 Topps Football Unopened Wax Pack Psa 8 Archie Manning Rookie Card On Back1986-87 Topps Hockey Full Wax Box Lemieux On Box Bottom!1987 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box From Case 36 Ct!1975 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Psa 71984 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box Of 36 Packs From Case Mattingly Rookie!(2)1985 Topps Baseball Wax Box Bbce1985 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box From Case L@@k!The Goonies - Cyndi Lauper - Baby - Wax Boxes - Unopened - 1985 Topps - Goonies 1985 Leaf Baseball Unopened Wax Box From Case! Clemens & Puckett Rookie! Rare!1986 Topps Garbage Pail Kids 5th Series 48 Unopened Wax Packs W/box1953 Topps Tarzan 3d 1 Cent Wax Pack Psa 6 1984 Fleer Baseball Unopened Wax Box Of 36 Packs L@@k!!12 1977 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Packs1988 Topps Garbage Pail Kids 13 Th Series 48 Unopened Wax Packs W/box1981 Fleer Baseball Wax Packs 38 In Box 100% Unopened Fleer 1st Year !1967 Topps The Monkees Flip Movies Wax Pack Very Rare1982 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box (possible Ripken Rookie Card!)1992 Bowman Baseball Wax Box - Piazza, Ramirez, Rivera, Chipper, Etc.13 Vintage Sealed 1978 Topps Star Wars Wax Pack Movie Photo Cards1998 Bowmans Best Sealed Wax Box. Great Year For Hall Of Fame Rookies.1979 Topps Hockey Wax Pack1978 Topps Baseball 9 Unopened Wax Packs Factory Sealed1973 Topps Kung Fu Wax Pack Psa 8 Rare1986 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box 36 Ct From Case!! 82/83 O Pee Chee Hockey Sealed Wax Pack Lot 8 Fuhr Hawerchuk Rc Bonus 75 Topps1982 Fleer Baseball Unopened Wax Box Of 36 Packs L@@k!!1976 Topps " Happy Days " Wax Box 36 Pks Unopened Original1972 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1979 Topps Alien Full Box 36 Card Wax Packs Collector Cards Kenner Hg Toys1981 Topps Football Wax Pack From Box1983 Topps Baseball Wax Box!!! Gwynn, Boggs, Sandberg Rc's!!!1983 O-pee-chee Baseball Wax Box!!! Hard To Find!!!2013 Legends Of The Ring Unopened Wax Box Boxing Signed Auto Ali Dempsey Cosell(4) 1981 Topps Football Wax Packs Winslow Monk Montana Rookie Year1979 Topps Baseball Wax Pack Psa 7 Nm1986 Donruss Baseball Unopened Wax Box Of 36 Packs!!!!1978 Donruss Kiss Unopened Bubble Gum Trading Cards Wax Pack Lot1984 Box Donruss Baseball Cards, Wax Packs1983 Topps Football Wax Pack Complete Box Of 36 Unopened PacksAlien - Wax Box - Unopened - 1979 Topps - Alien - 1979 - Alien Wax Box 1983 Topps Mlb Baseball Wax Pack Box (qty. Of 2)1989 Upper Deck Baseball Low Numbered Partial Wax Box Of 31 Unopened Foil Packs1986 Topps Garbage Pail Kids 6th Series 48 Sealed Wax Packs W/box & Promo Poster1987 87 Donruss Baseball Wax Pack Box Lot Of 2 Boxes 36 Packs Per Box1968 Topps Original Baseball Series #1 Unopened Trading Card Wax Pack Psa 8.5!1983 O-pee-chee Baseball Unopened Wax Box From Case! Tony Gwynn & Sandberg Rc! 1981 Donruss Golf Stars Wax Box 36 Packs Complete1978 Topps Unopened Fun Bag With Football, Hockey, Etc Wax Packs1986 Topps Series 3 Garbage Pail Kids Sticker Wax Box 48/pks 5/stickers/pk 117151985 Topps Baseball Card Wax Pack Graded Psa 9 Mint Highest Grade No 10 S1974 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1975 Topps Mini Baseball Wax Pack #11986 4th Series Garbage Pail Kids 48 Wax Packs 2 Boxes.