Jeff Walters

Top Unopened Lots from Milehigh Auctions' April 2021 Sale

Milehigh Auction’s April sale just ended and it featured some top tier products. While we did not see record shattering prices, it did feature some very interesting and rare lots that resulted in some very competitive bidding.

Here are some of the most interesting (and rare) unopened cases, boxes, and packs that caught our eye.

Rack Boxes and Cases

Lot #13: 1975 Topps Baseball Full Unopened Rack Box with Brett/Yount RCs and Many Stars Showing BBCE


1975 topps baseball rack box

Authenticated and sealed by BBCE, lot 13’s 1975 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack box featured a plethora of baseball legends visible from the cellophane wrapping of the rack packs. In fact, pack expert Steve Hart noted that no less than 17 superstar cards are visible, including Aaron, Winfield, Rose, Schmidt, Munson, and the rookie card of Robin Yount. In addition to the Yount rookie card visible on top of one of the rack packs, George Brett’s rookie card was also visible on the top of a pack with Tom Seaver. A list of the star cards showing can be seen on the BBCE sticker in the scanned image below. With baseball legends such as these featured in this box, it was no wonder that it fetched the highest price for an unopened item in April’s auction, closing off at a jaw-dropping $104,882.


Lot #606: 1980 Topps Baseball Unopened Factory Sealed Three Box Rack Case BBCE

1980 topps baseball rack case

Bidding for lot# 606 was especially competitive during April’s auction, and was probably fueled by the recent sale of a PSA 10 Rickey Henderson rookie card which yielded over $180,000. Of course, there are plenty of low-POP, high-grade cards other than Henderson that can add up to a fortune in the long run…the question is, do you open the case once bought or do you keep it sealed for future appreciation? Whichever the case, this 1980 Topps baseball unopened factory sealed three box rack case went on to sell for $45,361.

Lot #605: 1978 Topps Baseball Unopened Factory Sealed Three Box Rack Case BBCE

1978 topps baseball rack case


BBCE wrapped and authenticated, this 1978 Topps baseball case contains three 24-pack boxes. At 39 cards per pack, the case contains over 2,800 cards, with potential finds including Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell, Eddie Murray and Jack Morris rookie cards, along with numerous significant Hall of Fame issues. With the odds of finding something rare and in good condition, bidding was heightened for this lot, ultimately closing out at $24,052.


Wax Boxes

Lot #12: 1968 Topps Baseball Full Unopened Wax Box Series 1 BBCE

1968 topps baseball wax box

Authenticated and sealed by BBCE, lot 12’s 1968 Topps baseball unopened wax box includes 24, series 1, wax packs. Despite not being a fan favorite set from the 60 (aesthetically), due to card boarders, the central photography is truly superb. The set included Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench rookies, and of course the card of Mickey Mantle. Being a series 1 box, it may also include possible stars and Hall of Famers such as Brooks Robinson, and Bob Gibson Tom Seaver, Willie Mays, Eddie Mathews, Billy Williams, Rod Carew, and Willie Stargell. While many think that the 1968 Topps series is one of the easier collections from the 60s to find in GEM MINT condition, the PSA pop report numbers tell a different story as less than 3% of all submission to PSA came back GEM MINT. As such the box yielded the second highest price of April’s auction, closing off at $96,732.


Lot #649: 1991 Topps Desert Shield Unopened Wax Box BBCE

1991 topps desert shield wax box bbce

Lot #649 actually has an interesting story. These 1991 Topps unopened wax boxes were once distributed to American soldiers serving in the Middle East, during operation “Desert Shield.” The 792-card set was produced in very limited quantities and was unavailable for retail sale domestically in the United States. The cards are identical to their retail counterparts with the only exception being a gold-foiled "Desert Shield" stamp on the front. Over the years, several cards have emerged as highly collectible items demanding a strong premium. The most important cards to look out for included the Chipper Jones rookie, as well as Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr. and Nolan Ryan to name a few. These boxes are extremely rare, and the fact that this particular box is still unopened only amplifies its rarity. Not surprisingly, lot #649 went on to fetch a hefty $48,849 in April’s auction.

Lot #27: 1980-81 Topps Basketball Full Unopened Wax Box BBCE

1980 topps baseball wax box bbce


Similar to their 1971 sticker series, Topps started putting three players to a card would thinking it would entice collectors to complete what would be a collection smaller in number. This however brought a dilemma among collectors, do to keep the cards intact or separate them by the perforations into smaller, tobacco card-sized pasteboards. After decades, A turned out to be the correct answer, and one card in particular proved to be the ultimate jackpot. The card in question was none other than the one featuring Bird/Erving/Magic. So now that 1980's basketball cards are rising in value, does one open the case for the chance to strike "gold" or keep the box sealed? This sealed box in particular, Lot #27, went on to sell $40,530.


Lot #29: 1979-80 Topps Hockey Full Unopened Wax Box BBCE- Possible Wayne Gretzky Rookies

1979 topps hockey wax box

This box hit the shelves in the United States during a time where baseball reigned supreme. Baseball cards were seen as prized collectables, while cards from all other sports were without significant value. The only thing that would put cards from other sports on the map was the emergence of a rookie with record-breaking abilities. Cards like these simply could not go unnoticed by collectors. Examples of such players include Michael Jordan, but before him, we had "The Great One" aka Wayne Gretzky. Similar to the 1986 Fleer basketball series, unopened boxes of 1979-80 Topps hockey cards have increased exponentially in value, as has the demand for high graded Wayne Gretzky rookie cards. Recent sales of world-class Topps Gretzky RCs report a $720,000 for a PSA 10 in December of 2020. With the potential of including a Gretzky rookie, bids for this box peaked at a staggering $50,461.


Honorable Mentions

Lot #715: 1975 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack with Brett on Front BBCE -$6,445

Lot #988: 1971 Topps Football Unopened 1st Series Rack Pack BBCE - $5,608

Lot #687: 1969 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack GAI 8.5 NM/MT+ -$4,893

Lot #989: 1971 Topps Football Unopened Rack Pack GAI 8 NM/MT -$4,634

Lot #680: 1968 Topps Baseball 1st Series Unopened Rack Pack with Billy Williams on Top GAI 8.5 NM/MT+ -$4,579


Did you take part in this auction? Where there any notable items you saw that should make our list? Let us know in the comments bellow.

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