Best Non-Sports Cards to Collect (2023)

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Collecting sports cards is the primary focus of our site, but occasionally, we also dive deeper into other types of card collecting.

If you’ve been collecting cards for a while now, then you probably know that sports cards aren’t the only type of cards you can collect.

You can find a wide range of collectables from the popular culture – from Star Wars, Pokemon, to Garbage Pail Kids, Mars Attax – the list is long.

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the best non-sports cards to collect

Best Non-Sports Cards to Collect

To give you a better idea of what non-sports cards even exist, we’ve compiled some of the best cards that you can consider even if you don’t want to collect sportscards only.

Best Non-Sports Cards to Collect (1)

Magic, The Gathering

Trading Card Games (TCGs) are super popular in the hobby, and while I’ll look into a few more this article – Magic, The Gathering is arguably the most popular, and the one that’s been around for longest.

The game is absolutely massive and has people collecting all over the world – many started by playing the game back in their youth and grew into collecting later on in life.

Read our article on rare Magic The Gathering Cards.

(Video) The Top 15 Non-Sports Cards

Best Non-Sports Cards to Collect (2)

Star Wars Cards

Star Wars is among the highest-grossing movie franchises in the world. The craze about these movies started all the way back in the 1970s when some of the first Star Wars cards were released.

1977 was the year when the craze started. The first set of these cards contained some of the movie’s most famous characters, like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, and others.

The popularity of these cards was so huge that Topps had to release four additional sets of cards, in addition to the first set. The first set contained 66 cards, while the four subsequent sets also contained the same amount of cards.

The five sets released in 1977 were distinguished by the different border colors on the cards, and of course, the motives on the cards changed as well. Here’s how the sets from 1977 were distributed:

Series 1: blue border, 66 cards
Series 2: red border, 66 cards
Series 3: yellow border, 66 cards
Series 4: green border, 66 cards
Series 5: orange border, 66 cards

Several Star Wars cards and series were released in the years after 1977, but none of them were quite as popular or successful as the original series.

Perhaps the most notable additions to the Star Wars universe were the following sets:

1980 Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Series 1-3
1993 Star Wars Galaxy Series 1-3

Overall, Star Wars cards remain to be among the most popular cards to collect for Star Wars in particular, but also memorabilia collectors and other movie enthusiasts in general.

Find out more about Star Wars Cards

Best Non-Sports Cards to Collect (3)

Garbage Pail Kids

GPK, or Garbage Pail Kids, has a long and successful history when it comes to collectables. If you’re an 80s kid, then you almost certainly remember these whacky and unusual cards.

They were designed to arouse the attention of kids. At the same time, some of the cards contained graphic elements, so not all parents were pleased to see their kids with one of these in their hands.

(Video) TOP 10 Highest Selling Vintage "Non-Sports" Trading Cards on eBay | Aug 13 - 20, Ep 29

Still, GPK cards have gathered almost a legendary following.

The cards were meant to be a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.

They basically took these dolls, transformed them into something unusual, evil, or even funny, and gave them a catchy name. All names were created so that they could easily be remembered, as they almost always contained the same initial letters – for example, Nasty Nick.

Now, the original set from 1985 still remains to be the most popular set. There were many subsequent sets and spin-offs, but the originals are still the most highly coveted and also the most valuable, especially in the best conditions.

Read this article on Garbaige Pail Kids Cards to learn more.

Mars Attacks! Cards

Mars Attacks cards from 1962 are one of the most famous card sets in the history of this hobby.

These cards were created in 1962, and they presented a horrific story of the invasion of Martians on Earth.

The cards were created in such an order that they completed the story. It is a 55-card set created by the craftiness of Wally Wood and Norman Saunders.

Each card tells a part of the story. Many of them were also graphic and explicit in detail, which made some people skeptical about these cards at first. Remember, this was the 1960s when this sort of gore wasn’t yet widely accepted.

The story starts with a powerful Alien invasion on Earth. Humans are killed, captured, and tortured. Luckily, humankind prevails in the end. The Martian race is all but erased by the end of the story, so it does have a happy ending at least.

For the 1960s, these cards were very futuristic, you could even say they were ahead of their time. The attention to detail on these cards is apparent, and of course, if you love a bit of gore, then these cards are excellent.

Because of their controversial nature, they gathered a huge following as they were released. And they remain to be seen as some of the most legendary cards in history, with many collectors prepared to spend thousands on these cards if they’re nicely kept.

Best Non-Sports Cards to Collect (4)

Superhero Cards

Almost any superhero will also have their own card, whether it is from the DC or Marvel universe. In general, though, Marvel cards tend to be a bit more popular.

(Video) TOP 10 Highest Selling Vintage "Non-Sports" Trading Cards on eBay | Jul 10 - 16, Ep 24

The 1992 Marvel Masterpieces cards by Skybox are some of the most popular cards of superheroes out there. The 90s were particularly prolific when it comes to superhero cards, which is when the superhero genre really started gathering some pace.

This set contained some of the biggest superheroes in history: Superman, Captain America, Thor, you name it.

But this is by no means the only superhero set that needs a mention. There are countless sets that were released before and after this set that also bring a high level of popularity. It is merely the first big set that contained many of these superheroes in one place.

One of the most famous superhero sets is the Batman set from 1966.

This set is a classic. 1966 was the year when the Batman series was released, and it started a series of many more sets to come out.

These 1966 Batman cards were created after the characters in the movie. Some of them contained depictions of the main characters like this one in the image, while others contained some scenes from the movie.

Another famous non-sports card set of superheroes that needs a mention is the 1940 Superman set.

It is one of the earliest superhero sets, and they were added in bubble gum packs as a reward for kids that collected these cards. They remain to be some of the most valuable superhero cards even today, especially if they are kept in good condition.

The superhero genre of cards offers great variety, and you’ll be able to find cards of almost any character you love.

Best Non-Sports Cards to Collect (5)

Pokemon Cards

Pokemon cards are huge. If you happen to own a Pokemon card from the late 1990s, then the likelihood of it being a valuable card is quite high.

While finding cards that will cost high amounts is tough, you will potentially find something that would cost a few hundred bucks, maybe. So it’s time to open that old box of cards again and check if you have something of value.

Charizard, Mewtwo, and Pikachu are very popular, and if you own one of these from the first few editions, then you’re laughing.

Japanese cards are the most expensive, though. These cards that come from the earliest editions are very expensive and can cost several hundred thousand dollars. Some will even cost millions!

(Video) TOP 10 Highest Selling Vintage "Non-Sports" Trading Cards on eBay | Sept 11 - 17, Ep 33

The differences between Japanese and American (or Canadian) versions are not very vast, but the main difference is that Japanese cards came out much earlier than American cards, which is why they tend to be a bit more valuable. They’re also tougher to find and much rarer.

Overall, Pokemon cards are hugely popular all around the world, and you can still collect them if you’re into Pokemon.

TV Series Cards

Nowadays, everyone seems to enjoy watching their favorite TV show, whether it’s modern shows or older TV shows.

The world of TV shows has never been more varied and developed. And with the huge popularity of these shows, there has been an increased demand for other types of memorabilia, as well.

You’ll be able to find some great cards for your favorite TV shows. These are some of the most popular cards for TV shows that you might want to collect.

Breaking Bad – yes, even Breaking Bad has its own cards! This fan-favorite is one of the best shows in history. It’s loved by fans from all over the world. Whether you like Walter White or Jesse Pinkman, you’ll be able to find something interesting for your taste. And to top it all off, some of these cards even contain pieces of authentic wardrobe from characters that played in this series.

Dragon Ball – Dragon Ball cards, like Pokemon cards, are huge. Some of the most popular Dragon Ball cards are going to cost several thousand dollars if not even more than that. Of course, one of the most popular characters for these cards is going to be Goku, but you’ll also find a whole variety of other cards from this universe.

Happy Days – like we said, even if you like older shows, you’re going to find something you like. For example, you will be able to find cards from the 1970s show Happy Days. These cards were released back in 1976, but the show is still watched by many people around the world. Here’s a card of the fan-favorite character, Fonzie.

Simpsons – In 1990, the TV show Simpsons was at its peak in terms of popularity. This led to trading cards being released by Topps. Initially, these cards were sold in small 50-cent packs, but with time, these cards gathered a lot of interest as they stopped being produced. Today, you’ll be able to find many interesting offers on online marketplaces.

Star Trek – if we included Star Wars on this list, then we also must mention Star Trek cards. These are some of the most popular cards when it comes to movie shows, and you’ll be able to find them from various years. The most popular one is arguably from 1976.

Stranger Things – even if you love newer shows like Stranger Things, you’ll be able to collect some of the coolest cards out there. In 2018, Topps released Stranger Things cards, which depict some of the show’s most popular characters. You may still find these in excellent conditions, so if you want something nice that you like now and in the future, look for these cards.

Doctor Who – Doctor Who is one of the longest-running TV shows in the history of television. There have been thirteen different Doctor Whos in the past, and of course, each viewer has their own favorite. You’ll be able to find mostly autographed cards from these shows, and they’re meant to be cards that you can add to your collection.

Baywatch – lastly, one of the more interesting TV shows that also has its own card set is Baywatch. This was the show to watch in the 1990s, as it became popular all around the world. Many 90s kids will tell you that their childhood crush was Pamela Anderson mainly because of this show. If you want to relive some of the memories, you can collect these cards.

Collect What You Like

When it comes to non-sports cards, it’s best to keep an eye on the cards that you’d want to collect, and you shouldn’t look for cards that can bring you the most profit.

(Video) TOP 10 Highest Selling Vintage "Non-Sports" Trading Cards on eBay | Jun 12 - 18, Ep 21

The prices of these cards will fluctuate all the time – sometimes, the prices can plummet overnight if something was to happen to a show you watch or the cards you own.

So the best thing with these cards, in my opinion, is to collect and own something you won’t regret owning even if the prices drop.


What non-sports cards are valuable? ›

These are a few of the vintage non-sports sets that are high on our WANTED LIST:
  • 1932 U.S. Caramel Presidents (aka “American Heroes Caramels”)
  • 1933 Goudey Indians (also reprinted and reissued in 1948)
  • 1933 National Chicle Sky Birds.
  • 1933 Tootsie Circus (R152)
  • 1935 Gum, Inc. ...
  • 1936 Gum, Inc. ...
  • 1938 Gum, Inc. ...
  • 1940 Gum, Inc.

What are some good cards to collect? ›

Quick Look: Best Cards to Collect for Profit
  • Best Overall: Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps Rookie Card.
  • Best Rookie Card: Luka Doncic.
  • Best NFL Card: Tom Brady Optic Base.
  • Best Classic Movie Cards: Star Wars.
  • Best Comic Cards: Pokemon.
Jul 20, 2022

What sports cards should I buy in 2022? ›

Best Baseball Card Packs to Buy in 2022
  • 2022 Topps Series 1: Best for “Everyone” Check eBay Prices. ...
  • 2022 Topps Heritage: Best for Nostalgic Set Collectors. ...
  • 2022 Bowman: Best for Prospects. ...
  • 2022 Archives Signature Series Active: Best for Autographs. ...
  • 2022 Topps Gypsy Queen: Best Oddball Pack. ...
  • 2022 Topps Series 2: Best New Pack.

Are Magic cards worth collecting? ›

The answer is yes! Basically, every single Magic card has a cash value, even though for most common cards they only value around $0.05-$0.10. Those cards are considered bulk, and card dealers will expect to buy them in bulk—bring a box full of them, and they can add up to $5.00 or more!

What is the best trading card brand? ›

Topps is considered the leader of the industry, and rookie cards produced by Topps are often very highly sought after. For example, a graded 1/1 Mike Trout rookie card that Topps produced in 2011 sold for $1.05 million in 2021.

What are popular trading cards? ›

21 Sports Cards and Trading Cards That Helped Shape the Hobby in 2021
  • 2020 Topps Now USA Election Bernie Sanders #21. ...
  • 2020-21 Hoops SLAM Kobe Bryant #19. ...
  • 2021 Topps Update Ultra Rare Variations Fernando Tatis Jr. ...
  • 2021 Topps Now Baseball Wander Franco #402. ...
  • 2019-20 Upper Deck The Cup Cale Makar Auto Patch #62 /99.
Jan 10, 2022

Can you make money trading cards? ›

If the card receives a high grade, you'll be able to sell it for profit. It is a great method for making a profit on sports cards. Most collectors prefer to buy graded cards because the quality of the card is certified by a professional grading service.

What trading cards are hot right now? ›

Hottest Sports Cards Right Now August 2022
  • 2001 Topps Chrome Traded Albert Pujols RC.
  • 2019 Bowman Chrome Gold Shimmer Refractor #d /50 Julio Rodriguez.
  • 2002 Fleer Ultra Sue Bird RC.
  • 2011 Bowman Chrome Paul Goldschmidt BCP-99 Auto.
  • 2021 Parkside NWSL Trinity Rodman (100 copies)
Aug 31, 2022

What cards hold the most value? ›

This is a list of the highest known prices paid for sports cards. The current record price is the US$12.600 million paid for a 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card (Topps; #311) on August 28, 2022, breaking all previous records.

What is the rarest card ever? ›

The Shichifukujin Dragon, created to celebrate the opening of the DCI Tournament Center in Tokyo, Japan, is also the only one of its kind in existence. In Japanese mythology, 'Shichifukujin' is the name given to the Seven Deities of Good Fortune.

What days do Walmart restock cards? ›

Walmart restocks trading cards every week from Monday through Friday. The restocking takes place between 9 am to 3 pm.

Is it worth buying hobby boxes? ›

If you are a beginner collector or buying cards for a kid, hobby boxes and hobby products may not be worth it because of the cost of the product. However, if you are a serious collector, hobby boxes offer the highest odds and overall higher content of cards available per product.

What sports cards will be worth money in the future? ›

Collecting sports cards has been a popular hobby for decades, but as of 2020, it's turned into full-blown mania—and there's a lot of profit to be made off the hype.
What are the best sports cards to invest in 2022?
  • Mickey Mantle cards. ...
  • Honus Wagner cards. ...
  • Luka Dončić rookie cards. ...
  • Mike Trout cards. ...
  • Ronald Acuna Jr.
Jan 11, 2022

What is the hottest 2022 sports card? ›

Top Sports Card Sales of 2022
  • 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle – $12,600,000. ...
  • 1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal Honus Wagner – $7,250,000. ...
  • 1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal Honus Wagner – $3,136,500. ...
  • 2020-21 Panini Flawless Triple Logoman LeBron James 1/1 – $2,400,000.

What is the Holy Grail of football cards? ›

The Championship Ticket parallel version of his 2000 Playoff Contenders rookie card is the holy grail of football card collecting. It has a print run of just 100, and a PSA 9 version of the card sold for $3.107 million in June 2021.

Are sports cards losing value? ›

Their prices are holding steady, and in some cases going up. According to industry experts, the dip in prices is being realized mostly by ultra-modern and modern cards, especially singles. Vintage cards, for the most part, are stable, as are desirable unopened wax.

How many black lotuses exist? ›

The Alpha version of Black Lotus is the rarest and most sought-after, with an estimated 1100 ever printed, followed by the Beta version, with 3300 ever printed.

What 2022 Magic The Gathering cards are worth money? ›

Several textured foil Double Masters 2022 Mythic Rare cards are worth money, including the planeswalker Liliana, the Last Hope. The Guilds of Ravnica Masterpieces foil version is worth around $100 while the 2×2 textured foiled version is valued at around $630 at the time of the MTG set's release.

Did post Malone buy a Black Lotus? ›

But there was something else big he did in 2022 people might have missed. it was a Black Lotus (an artist print, at that) and, yes, it was signed by artist Christopher Rush. But, as he admitted to Howard Stern on his radio show, he also spent $800,000 on it.

What is the best trading card brand? ›

Topps is considered the leader of the industry, and rookie cards produced by Topps are often very highly sought after. For example, a graded 1/1 Mike Trout rookie card that Topps produced in 2011 sold for $1.05 million in 2021.

Can you make money trading cards? ›

If the card receives a high grade, you'll be able to sell it for profit. It is a great method for making a profit on sports cards. Most collectors prefer to buy graded cards because the quality of the card is certified by a professional grading service.

Are Yugioh cards worth anything? ›

Even less rare cards fetch quite a handsome price. First edition Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician, even Swords of Revealing Light. The older the card, the better for resale value — as long as it's been kept in good condition. Cards that are new and still played today can also sell for a few hundred dollars.

What types of trading cards are there? ›

Types of Trading Cards
  • Sports Cards. Trading cards often focus on sporting activities like baseball as well as the NBA and NFL. ...
  • Entertainment Cards. ...
  • Collectible Card Games. ...
  • Condition. ...
  • Subject Matter. ...
  • Rarity. ...
  • Errors and Autographs. ...
  • Your Budget.

What trading cards are hot right now? ›

Hottest Sports Cards Right Now August 2022
  • 2001 Topps Chrome Traded Albert Pujols RC.
  • 2019 Bowman Chrome Gold Shimmer Refractor #d /50 Julio Rodriguez.
  • 2002 Fleer Ultra Sue Bird RC.
  • 2011 Bowman Chrome Paul Goldschmidt BCP-99 Auto.
  • 2021 Parkside NWSL Trinity Rodman (100 copies)
Aug 31, 2022

Are hobby boxes worth it? ›

If you are a beginner collector or buying cards for a kid, hobby boxes and hobby products may not be worth it because of the cost of the product. However, if you are a serious collector, hobby boxes offer the highest odds and overall higher content of cards available per product.

Are Topps cards worth anything? ›

Topps entered the sports cards market in 1952, so the value of this set of cards is very high. Regular cards also cost $1000 if it's in mint condition. Given the high sequence number, it is easy to see that few Mickey Mantle rookie cards have been produced.

What trading cards make most money? ›

Most Expensive Sports Trading Card Sales to Date
1. Mickey Mantle1952 Topps SGC 9.5$12.6 million
2. Honus WagnerT206 SGC 2$7.25 million
3. Honus WagnerT206 SGC 3$6.6 million
T4. Mickey Mantle1952 Topps PSA 9$5.2 million
6 more rows

Can you make a living selling trading cards? ›

It is possible to make money buying and selling trading cards without following the game closely. However, you are definitely putting yourself at a disadvantage. So if you're not a fan, learn the basics of the pro game. Being able to talk baseball builds a lot of trust with both buyers and sellers.

What is card ladder? ›

About Card Ladder

Card Ladder is an online platform for trading card sales and trading card population data. Its platform helps trading card collectors build and manage their collections. It is based in Roscoe, Illinois.

How many Blue-Eyes White Dragons are there? ›

In the animated Yu-Gi-Oh! series, there are only 3 copies of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Wielding 3000 Attack Points, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon is the purest symbol of both rarity and power.

What is the rarest Yugioh card ever? ›

Crush Card Virus' Prize Card version is by far the rarest and most valuable Trap Card, and it's not even close. Thanks to its iconic status in both the anime and the actual TCG, the Shonen Jump version will fetch you a pretty $115,033 penny.

How much is a 1st Edition dark magician worth? ›

Dark Magician #001 (1ST EDITION)
21 more rows

Are short print cards worth more? ›

Short print cards, also called and abbreviated “SP,” are cards printed in relatively lesser quantities. Short print cards are typically more valuable based on their scarcity, but this value can vary greatly by card set and brand.

What is the oldest trading card game? ›

The world's oldest trading card game appeared way back in 1904. Published by the Allegheny Card Co of Allegheny, PA and Detroit, MI, USA, The Base Ball Card Game set contained 104 player cards and eight team “ball counter” cards.

Is collecting trading cards a hobby? ›

Collectors see card collecting not just as a hobby, but as an investing alternative to the stock market where they can build wealth. But, like any market, trading card markets are volatile and are currently going through price corrections after record sales during the pandemic.


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