Victor Wembanyama’s entrance into the world of basketball has had a profound impact on the card market. The French prodigy, standing at an impressive 7-foot-4 inches, has sparked a gold rush among collectors eager to acquire any memorabilia related to him. With his cards becoming highly sought after, the market has seen a surge in activity and competition between two card manufacturing giants.
Since the initial release of Wembanyama’s cards last spring, eBay has witnessed an astonishing 62,000 sales, totaling a staggering $6.3 million. It’s worth noting that eighteen of these cards have fetched upwards of $10,000 each. In the past month alone, as Wembanyama made his NBA debut, over 27,000 cards were sold, amounting to a whopping $2.6 million.
Among the standout sales is a Bowman Chrome University Red Refractor redemption card from the 2022-23 season, which sold for an impressive $20,000 in August. Another notable sale was a PSA 10 Gold Refractor autograph card from 2022 Bowman U, limited to 50 copies, which fetched $15,850.
Wembanyama’s rise to prominence has been nothing short of meteoric. Starting his professional career in France at the age of 15, he has drawn comparisons to basketball legends like LeBron James. Known for his shot-blocking abilities, agility, and surprising shooting range given his height, Wembanyama has been the talk of fans and scouts alike. He showcased his NBA-ready skills against the G League’s Ignite team, scoring an impressive 73 points across two games. His exceptional talents led to him being drafted by the San Antonio Spurs after their lottery win.
Wembanyama’s style of play is a unique blend of old-school and modern basketball. His dominance inside the paint, combined with his three-point shooting abilities, create challenging dynamics for opponents. His advanced basketball intellect, game-reading skills, and ability to make crucial decisions under pressure make him a force to be reckoned with on the court. His record of scoring 35+ points, grabbing 10+ rebounds, and blocking 2+ shots in a single game puts him in elite company, alongside the likes of Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
While collectors eagerly await a rookie card featuring Wemby in a Spurs jersey, his collegiate and other unlicensed cards remain in high demand. Some of his top cards include the 2022 Bowman University Inception, where his autograph as a redemption is particularly prized. The 2022 Bowman University Chrome offers his first base card and chrome autograph. Despite a slightly underwhelming finish, these cards are valuable due to their “1st Bowman” designation. The 2022 Bowman University Best provides a more accessible base card option, along with Wembanyama’s first live autograph.
Both Topps Now and Panini Instant have featured Wembanyama in limited-time offers. Topps Now cards capture significant moments in his career, such as his draft day and a memorable pitch at a Yankees game. Panini Instant, on the other hand, showcases him in Spurs attire. The 2023 Allen & Ginter collection includes various Wembanyama cards, including base cards, parallels, and autographs. Due to their higher availability, these cards maintain their affordability compared to some of the rarer options.
Victor Wembanyama’s arrival on the basketball scene has injected new life into the card market. With collectors eagerly hunting for his cards, the market has experienced a surge in activity and competition. As Wemby’s career continues to unfold, enthusiasts can expect even more excitement and anticipation surrounding the release of his highly coveted cards.