For their 2022-23 soccer releases Topps did something a bit different. They released a running checklist Erling Haaland The Grail soccer cards throughout multiple sets. I noticed something fascinating going on with the prices of the Erling Haaland The Grail cards that I wanted to point out as it shows why supply and demand so much in soccer cards.

Erling Haaland The Grail Breakdown

If you aren’t aware the Erling Haaland The Grail checklist is 9 total cards. 3 each in a Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City kit. When you put them all together in 3 rows the backgrounds form a picture which makes having all 9 really cool. Here is the checklist and in which Topps soccer card release you can find each.

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1. Salzburg – 2022-23 Topps Flagship Paper UEFA (Search On Ebay)
2. Salzburg – 2022-23 Topps Museum Collection UEFA
3. Salzburg – 2022-23 Topps UEFA Merlin
4. BVB – 2022-23 Topps UEFA Chrome
5. BVB – 2022-23 Topps Finest UEFA
6. BVB – 2022-23 Topps UEFA Merlin
7. Manchester City – 2022-23 Topps Finest Flashbacks UFEA
8. Manchester City – 2022-23 Topps UEFA Chrome
9. Manchester City – 2022-23 Topps Stadium Club Chrome UEFA

There are 100 each The Grail card even though some sets had 2 cards in the release. That means in theory they should all sell for roughly the same amount right? Well, that is not what is happening. Most of them are selling in the $200-300 raw range. Then there is #7 which is selling for roughly 5x the others. It was released in 2022-23 Topps Finest Flashbacks UEFA. If you aren’t very familiar with that product it’s because it was an awful box configuration by Topps. That box configuration mixed with the general lack of interest in the product means very little of the product is getting opened even though it is the 2nd cheapest box that any of The Grail cards comes in. Knowing that the boxes are so cheap it made me want to look at the cost to actually hit The Grail cards. Here is the cost break down for each (with box price I used) except #9 since Topps never release the 2022-23 Stadium Club pack odds for some reason.

Example: The Grail #1 falls ~1:696 boxes of 2022-23 Topps Flagship which currently costs $50 so the total to hit one on average would be roughly $35,000.

#1 – ~$35,000 ($50)
#2 – ~$51,000 ($250)
#3 – ~$107,000 ($190)
#4 – ~$212,000 ($200)
#5 – ~$113,000 ($190)
#6 – ~$107,000 ($190)
#7 – ~$24,000 ($90)
#8 – ~$212,000 ($200)
#9 – Not certain but likely around $100,000

You can clearly see that Erling Haaland The Grail #7 is by far the least expensive to hit if you were to rip enough product to hit one and hit the average boxes needed. So why is #7 so expensive? As I said before hardly anyone is opening 2022-23 Topps Finest Flashbacks so that means very few #7 are hitting the market unlike the others from much more popular sets that have been opened a lot. This is a case where the total number printed matters much less than the total number pulled. As time passes the price of the Finest Flashbacks should eventually drop as people get sick of looking at them in their inventory. When that happens and more of #7 hit the market it is hard to imagine the prices will hold unless people never open. This is the phenomenon we often see when the first to market often sells for a higher price than the ones that sell after it until it eventually levels out before a catalyst moves the card up or down. Ironically #1 seems to be the second most valuable right now even though it’s the 2nd cheapest to hit and #4 and #8 have the lowest prices even though the cost to hit is highest. The same principle applies there as very few people are opening any more 2022-23 Topps UEFA Flagship and people are flying through 2022-23 Topps Chrome UEFA.

Supply And Demand Matters

At the end of the day card collecting/investing, like most things in the world, comes down to supply and demand. Right now there is not enough available supply to meet the demand for The Grail #7. I don’t think enough people take into account that simple principle when “investing” in cards. There is a reason that a Gold /50 sells for more than a Seismic /30 or even an Orange /25 in some cases. People like and want to collect Gold. If 3 times as many people want Gold over Orange it doesn’t matter that there are 2 times as many Golds. If you are only considering the money side of cards when buying (bad idea) then buy stuff that people will want down the road. It probably won’t be an off the wall parallel or an on-demand card. It will be the tried-and-true cards and those that have the best designs. Most of that less desired stuff becomes a game of hot potato until someone gets stuck with a card nobody wants. The sellers of those are trying to get into cards that have a better chance of being worth something in the long run. If you have been in the hobby for at least a few years now you probably have come around to that philosophy or at least recognize it’s happening as the print runs have skyrocketed. If there is one point I hope to drive home in 2024 it’s for collectors to stop filling the pockets of the card companies and breakers on products that hardly anyone will ultimately want.

My goal for SoccerCardsHQ has never been to tell people how to spend your money. It is meant to inform so that hopefully you can make decisions that keep you in our wonderful hobby. Supply and demand factors as much as anything into the investing side of my card collecting experience. It’s why when I see Lionel Messi case hits that are less plentiful than others I will buy them and why I avoid most overprinted cards/sets. I hope to do another blog soon about how much design matters in card values as well but that factors into supply and demand.

If you have any questions reach out via social media @SoccerCardsHQ on Twitter, IG and FB. If you like more card education type blogs like this one check out the other Soccer Card 101 posts.