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.


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1986 Fleer Nba Basketball Wax Pack Unopened Psa 7 Jordan Rookie Card?1974 Topps Wax Box ***?psa 10 Winfield Rookie/ Ryan/ Aaron*** $0.99???(1) 2000 Pacific Hobby Wax Box Tom Brady Rc's Autograph Factory Sealed Bgs Psa ?1966 Topps Batman Color Photo Bat Laffs Wax Pack Sealed Unopened Psa 8-nm-mt1986 Topps Football Wax Box ***?rice / Young Rookie Cards*** Psa 10? $0.99???Authentic 1966 Topps Batman A Series 5 Cent Wax Pack Unopened1987 Fleer Basketball Wax Pack Psa 8 - Michael Jordan 2nd Year Card?2000 Fleer Metal Hobby Tom Brady Rookie Rc Auto? Factory Sealed Wax BoxGarbage Pail Kids Topps 1986 3rd, 4th & 5th Series 48 Wax Pack Box Stickers 1984 Topps Football *** Wax Box*** ??? Psa 10 Marino/elway Rookie??? $0.99???1954 Bowman Baseball Cards ~5 Cent Wax Pack~ Display Box ~ From Mr. Mint Find1976 Fleer Nfl Team Action Stickers Full/complete 24 Wax Pack Box No Reserve .991985 Topps Baseball Box 36 Factory Sealed Wax Packs Unopened Unsearched1985 Donruss Baseball Wax Box Bbce Wrapped Maybe Psa 10??1978-79 Topps Hockey Wax Box ( 36 ) Ct. Mike Bossy Rc?(lot Of 2) 1987 Fleer Basketball Wax Packs Psa 8 - Michael Jordan 2nd Year Card?1984 Topps Baseball Wax Box 36 Packs Unopened ,unsearched1985 Garbage Pail Kids 2nd Series Psa 9 Mint Graded Wax Pack, 1-rare Pack Twt2005 Finest Football Hobby Wax Box1977 Topps Basketball Unopened Wax Pack Psa 81967 Topps Baseball Wax Pack With Pin Up1980-81 Topps Unopened Basketball Wax Pack Possible Bird Magic Rc + 1981-82 Pack1976 - 1977 Topps Basketball Complete Set With All Stars And Empty Wax PackNice Lot Of Wax Packs, Cello Grocery Rack 1981 1983 Topps Football Baseball1970 Topps Basetball Wax Pack1955 Topps Rear "rails And Sails 5 Cent Wax PackMarvel Super Heroes 1967 Philadelphia Gum Stickers Wax Pack Gai Mint 91985 Garbage Pail Kids 2nd Series Psa 8 Nm-mt Graded Wax Pack, 1-rare Pack Twt1984 Topps Football Wax Box 36 Packs Unopened - Elway Marino Rc1975 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1980 Topps Basketball Wax Pack Unopened Psa 7 Bird Erving Johnson Rookie Card?1981 Topps Football Unopened Wax Packs (6), Possible Joe Montana Rc?1968 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1979 Topps Hockey Wax Pack1975 Topps Football Wax Pack - 4 New Unopened Packs Nfl Very Collectible Rare1968 Topps Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in Wax Pack W/camera Ad Unopened1973 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Series One Psa 8 Nm-mt1969 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1986 Topps Football Unopened Wax Pack Psa 9 Mint4 Unopened Vintage Topps Baseball Wax Packs: 1977, 1978, 1979 And 19801980-81 Topps Basketball Wax Pack Graded Psa 7 Near Mint Bird/magic Rookie Year 1992-93 Fleer Basketball Wax Box Factory Sealed Series 2 Jumbo1974 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack Psa 8 Hank Aaron # 3 Showing On Back2005 Upper Deck Foundation Football Hobby Wax BoxRare Original 1967 Topps Dopey Books 24 Sealed Wax Packs W/ Original Box Bazooka1965 Topps Baseball Wax Pack Embossed1983 Fleer Baseball Wax Box, 1984 Opc Full Set & 1985 Donruss Full Set1972 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1980 Topps Basketball Wax Pack Sealed Unopened Bird Erving Johnson Rookie Card?1978 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1981 Topps Baseball Wax Box - 36 Packs 1989 Upper Deck Baseball Low Number Unopened Wax Box (possible Mint Griffey Rc)Garbage Pail Kids Original Series 1-15 Unopened Wax Packs Nice Gpk 19851984 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Box 36 Unsearched1980-81 Topps Basketball Wax Pack1978 Opc Baseball Wax Box 36 Unopened Packs Bbce Sealed.1977 Charlie's Angels 3rd Series Full Wax Box (36 Card Packs) Topps/opc)1963 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1974 Topps Baseball Wax Pack1965 Topps Baseball Wax Pack One Cent Pack