In 2022 history was made when a Lewis Hamilton F1 Trading Cards was sold for $900,000. This made it the most money ever paid for a Formula 1 trading card.
The process repeated itself in early 2023 when a Max Verstappen trading card sold for $36,000, making it the second largest amount ever paid for an F1 trading card.
What is going in here! Is this the new get rich quick scene or is it a scam? Read on as we unfold the fascinating hobby of Formula 1 trading cards.
F1 Trading Cards as a Hobby
Before going any further – a word of caution – although there have been some outlying cards that have sold for massive amounts at auction, the majority of collectors do not make any money. They collect F1 trading cards for the pleasure of the hobby – and nothing more.
So Why Do People Collect F1 Trading Cardss?
The modern era of Formula 1 trading cards started in 2020 when the legendary trading card company – Topps – had reached a multiyear deal with F1 to develop and launch a range of F1 trading cards.
Collectors quickly bought into the idea of buying up trading cards and then trying to sell on the rarer cards to wealthy F1 fans.
Traditionally when a new run of cards is introduced the first production run commands a higher price because they are perceived as more exclusive.
Topps produces several different F1 trading cards including.
- Lights Out
- Turbo Attacks
- Tops Now
In addition to these Topps produces a number of standard cards whihc unclude teh following
Formula 1 (AKA Racing or Flagship series)
Flash ship is the least scarce of the cards and is the only product printed in paper (the other series are printed in plastic). They sell for less than $130.00 per box.
Being the most common and low-cost cards, these are the least sought after by investors and high-end collectors.
Topps Formula 1 Chrome
This range sell for approximately $300 per box.
They ae printed on high quality plastic instead of paper. It is also scarcer because there is a lower overall print run.
Chrome is the most popular series for F1 collectors because it falls in the middle between the low-cost flagship series and the more exclusive series. It also contains autographed cards.
Topps Formula 1 Saphire
Saphire retails for $259,99 per set. Each set contains eight packs with 4 cars in each pack.
Saphire is similar to Chrome, other than the plastic that it is printed on. It is also even more scarce due to it even smaller print run.
Although Saphire cars look the best, they do not contain any autographed cars like in Chrome.
Topps Formula 1 Dynasty
This is the “top of the range” product with a recommended retail price of $1,150 per box.
Each box inly contains ONE card. This series is very exclusive, and the possibility of buying one at retail price is very rare and unlikely. Therefore, you will be paying even more for only ONE card.
All dynasty cards are autographed and contain a piece of memorabilia.
Dynasty cards are as close to gambling in trading cards as it is possible to get. Ost investors are buyers who are counting in a substantial appreciation in the cost which they can receive a return on.
The gamble is also in what card the purchaser receives. It may be a high valued Lewis Hamilton card or a driver that has a lower perceived value.
Where is the Value
The value in F1 trading cards comes from there exclusivity. The most valuable cards have a number parallel printed in the top right-hand corner of the card.
The numbers indicate the cards scarcity and therefore the exclusivity of the print run.
The Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen Card discussed earlier in the article where both extremely rare 1 of 1 card sets.
Where to Buy F1 Trading Cards
Other than purchasing the cards directly from Topps, there are plenty of online retailers out there,
Be sure to check out your local card shops, however, to see if they have any singles or hobby boxes available to purchase.
The following are links that may help you.