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5 Things To Know About Victor Wembanyama’s First Investable Card

He’s been called the top prospect in pro basketball since LeBron James, and now the surefire No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft had his first investable card hit the market recently, and it’s a classic brand.

The only way to obtain Victor Wembanyama’s card it is to be a subscriber to the iconic magazine, Sports Illustrated Kids (or Sports Illustrated for Kids, as it was originally called when most of us were growing up), find it on a newsstand (which is basically impossible), or buy it on a secondary market of course – like eBay or Amazon.

The 7-foot-4 French phenom, who went off for 37 points and five blocks in his US debut last year against the NBA’s G League Ignite team, is featured in the middle card on the top row of the sheet of cards that gets inserted with every issue, and it’s only available in the January/February 2023 edition.

Prior to this magazine hitting the market, Wembanyama’s image and likeness had only been produced by a few non-recognizable, sketchy manufacturers and sold for a handful of dollars on eBay.

But for hobbyists familiar with iconic SI for Kids cards of Tiger Woods, Mia Hamm, LeBron James, Tony Hawk, Michael Jordan and others, this Wembanyama card is extremely notable and not one that should be overlooked. 

Here are the top five things you need to know about Victor Wembanyama’s SI for Kids card:

1. The demand for this card could be huge over the next 12-18 months

Regardless of how he performs on the court, there’s already enough hype around him being potentially the top prospects the league has ever seen. There’s no doubt that Wembanyama will absolutely dominate the headlines in June and July as he comes to the US, gets drafted No. 1 overall, and likely dominates the NBA Summer League in a way that nobody has ever seen before.

He just turned 19 years old, and barring injury, will make his NBA debut just a few months shy of turning 20. The best-case scenario is that he breaks and/or sets significant statistical records, and carries with him extreme cultural and international significance along the way. 

The worst-case scenario is that the hype machine’s runway is extremely long, as is the time period before his first pro uniform release and/or rookie auto hits the market to compete with this SI for Kids card. This is the only officially licensed Wembanyama card available, making it desirable regardless of price, print run or graded population.

So, while many astute sports card flippers have already carefully ripped the cards out of the perforated sheets and submitted to SGC for quick turnaround grading, others have simply sold the card raw, while many have sold uncut sheets and full magazines for solid profits. So if you’re buying these cards on the secondary markets now, you are technically “late to the party,” but the good news is that these cards are likely to draw more and more demand and increase in price for the next nine months, minimum.

2. The Sports Illustrated for Kids brand is iconic

This SI for Kids card could become iconic, like that of the aforementioned Woods, Hamm, James, Hawk and Jordan cards. These cards can be seen as a solid long-term investment or long-term hold. 

If this were a Leaf auto, or part of an international sticker set, it would not hold long-term value, and would be overtaken immediately by his first NBA uniform release. But in the case of this card, it should hold value among collectors of SI for Kids cards and those who end up PC’ing Wembanyama.

But because of the nature of the release of these SI for Kids Cards, there are some key things to look out for when trying to acquire them.

3. Condition matters

To get to maximum profit on a flip, finding a copy in top condition to submit for grading is essential, but extremely difficult. The centering (both left-to-right and up-down) is notoriously horrible on these cards. Just a look at the photos in eBay listings displays the potential condition issues. When producing a kids magazine, the manufacturer doesn’t necessarily have the hobby in mind, which is obvious once you start searching for these. In addition to the centering, there’s the possibility of print lines across the card, and the flimsy nature of the cardstock used for the sheets also introduces possible issues.

But keep in mind, this list is only the first set of variables when trying to achieve the eventual profit of a “grade and flip.” 

In order to execute the play, you then have to tear the card out of the perforated sheet, which is not easy, and introduces the possibility of tearing the surface of the card clear off the front or back, which would drastically reduce the grade of the card, thus eliminating profit margin.

So the question becomes, if you’re going to go after these cards, should you buy them already ripped out? Should you buy the full mags or uncut sheets, and then should you sell them as-is around upcoming Wemby markers, or should you attempt the tear, grade and flip move?

Below is some of the top sales data to guide your decision.

4. Top sales data

Regardless of whether your intention is to PC these cards long term, or attempt to flip over the next six to 12 months, it’s important to have a strategy, and some of the initial sales data below is important to analyze when making your decision. Almost 300 sales have been recorded on eBay, the most recent ones are below: 

Full Magazines:
February 26, 2023 – $137.50 – 16 bids
February 21, 2023 – $49.99 – buy it now
February 20, 203 – $45 – 1 bid
February 20, 2023 – $45 – 1 bid
February 16, 2023 – $210 (7 mags) – buy it now
February 11, 2023 – $34.99 – buy it now
February 6, 2023 – $16.50 – 8 bids
February 1, 2023 – $20 – 1 bid
January 28, 2023 – $57.95 (2 mags) – buy it now
January 27, 2023 – $25.33 – 13 bids
January 25, 2023 – $55 (2 mags) – buy it now
January 24, 2023 – $32.31 – 5 bids
January 22, 2023 – $27.99 – buy it now
January 21, 2023 – $52 – 1 bid
January 20, 2023 – $20 – buy it now
January 20, 2023 – $55 (2 mags) – buy it now
January 20, 2023 – $9.99 – 1 bid
January 19, 2023 – $9.99 – 1 bid
January 15, 2023 – $46 – 15 bids
January 15, 2023 – $65 (2 mags) – buy it now
January 15, 2023 – $46 – 15 bids
January 13, 2023 – $50 – 1 bid

Uncut Sheets:

February 26, 2023 – $349 – buy it now
February 26, 2023 – $129.50 – 18 bids
February 26, 2023 – $75 – 31 bids
February 26, 2023 – $37.74 – buy it now
February 26, 2023 – $69.99 – buy it now
February 25, 2023 – $182.50 – 35 bids
February 23, 2023 – $125 – buy it now
February 23, 2023 – $91.67 – buy it now
February 23, 2023 – $167.77 – buy it now

Raw Versions:

February 26, 2023 – $710 – 33 bids
February 26, 2023 – $495 – best offer accepted
February 26, 2023 – $82 – 29 bids
February 26, 2023 – $76 – 33 bids
February 26, 2023 – $36 – 14 bids
February 26, 2023 – $231.39 – 41 bids
February 26, 2023 – $40 – buy it now
February 25, 2023 – $89.99 buy it now
February 25, 2023 – $159.99 buy it now
February 25, 2023 – $306 – 9 bids
February 25, 2023 – $100 – 1 bid
February 25, 2023 – $76 – 15 bids
February 25, 2023 – $270 – 33 bids
February 25, 2023 – $199.99 – buy it now
February 25, 2023 – $169.99 – buy it now
February 25, 2023 – $199.99 – buy it now
February 25, 2023 – $159.99 – 1 bid
February 25, 2023 – $149.99 – 1 bid
February 25, 2023 – $867 – 45 bids
February 25, 2023 – $200 – best offer accepted
February 24, 2023 – $300 – best offer accepted

Graded Versions:

February 20, 2023 – $1,375 – SGC 9 – 39 bids
February 20, 2023 – $99 – Best offer accepted – SGC 4
February 19, 2023 – $201 – SGC 6 – 29 bids
February 14, 2023 – $99 – Best offer accepted – SGC 4
February 12, 2023 – $149.49 – 48 bids – SGC 7
February 8, 2023 – $58.77 – 22 bids – SGC 5
January 31, 2023 – $199 – Best offer accepted – SGC 6

As you can see, even the copies in lower grades from SGC yield a profit, meaning that a bulk acquisition, grade and flip play could have a high upside and safe floor if you get started now to get your graded copies back in time to list for sale around the NBA Draft and Summer League.

But based on the data above, even if you’re not confident grading these cards, the market will still demand the magazines and uncut sheets in the next six to 12 months, meaning holding and selling may yield just as much profit margin, but likely nowhere near the total dollar amount that the grading play could return.

5. It could have some lasting power

If you’re thinking that these card sales are a flash in the pan, like that of the now infamous 2021 Donruss Mac Jones PSA 10, where the first copies sold for more than $3,000 on eBay, and are now selling for less than $50, you’re wrong. Jones is one of several QBs in two straight star-studded NFL Draft classes, and the Donruss card is basically just one of thousands of his rookie cards. Wembanyama will be promoted by the NBA so heavily over the next 24 months that it will be impossible for him not to be a household name. That hype runway, combined with the classic SI for Kids brand, makes the chase for a top condition copy of this card worth the investment.

With the Sports Card Investor app, you can profit from the hobby you love by keeping up with trending cards, tracking real-time prices with Market Movers and buying items on eBay. Download the industry-leading app here for Apple or Android

Note to readers: If you purchase something through one of our affiliates, we may earn a commission.

Paul Hickey is a regular contributor to Sports Card Investor, the creator of the Sports Card Investment Report at, and the host of the Sports Card Strategy Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. He can be found on Instagram at @sportscardstrategy and on Twitter @nooffseasoncard

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