2022 Select Prestige was highly anticipated and sold out within seconds when released back on 19th May. However it’s on the secondary market that we are seeing signs of a pricing pullback for footy cards, as prices of single cards are selling for noticeably lower prices than equivalent cards over the last couple of years.

There seem to be a couple of reasons for this. Footy cards have seen a huge surge over the last few years with a range of new collectors (and speculators) joining the hobby, as well as old collectors revisiting their youth and getting back in. While the popularity is still very high, like everything, we see peaks and troughs. And with such fast growth, the hobby always needed to take a breather. The fact that this coincides with Australia opening back up more post-Covid also makes sense. Lots of people are still loving footy cards but they are also reprioritising where to spend their money.

Another reason we are seeing a pullback – which is backed up by anecdotal evidence – is that collectors have become overwhelmed with all the releases over the last couple of years.

Traditionally through the 2000s, Select released 2 sets per year. Then in 2019, they brought out 3, then last year it increased to 4. Optimum, the 3rd release for 2021 was very high end, and ground breaking in the amount of parallel cards, including across all the rookies. Draft signatures weren’t limited to 1 per team but included all 59 draft picks, with 3 versions of each player.

Collectors were spoilt for choice!

Then, before the dust had even settled on that release, out came Supremacy, Select’s highest end product. At $695 for a box of 10 cards, it was going to challenge even the most passionate collectors. Throw in the fact that each base card had 3 versions, and another 15 or so additional subsets, it was no surprise we started to see people changing their collecting habits.

select supremacy 2021 cards

Team collecting has been incredibly popular in AFL cards, and one of the main factors driving the secondary market. But with so many releases in 2021 (not to mention high price points) a large number of collectors became Player Collectors, focusing on just a few players. They simply couldn’t afford collect every single card of every single player from their team.

With people now chasing less cards, but there being a lot more cards on the market, buyers are able to acquire cards with less competition, and thus prices are coming down. Combine this with the fact some collectors have focused their attention onto other priorities in life, and it’s easy to see why we’re in a dip when it comes to modern cards.

So what lies ahead for the hobby?

We still believe footy card collecting is on an upwards trend, and more people will continue to jump onboard. But like with all trends, it is never a straight line. This breather is definitely not a bad thing for the hobby and hopefully the lower prices will attract people back in who may have been forced out due to financial reasons.

It will be very interesting to see what Select do moving forward. Obviously they are a business and their goal is to make money, but they also need a model that is sustainable.

We personally feel they got it wrong in 2021, and didn’t need a 4th release. Ending with Optimum would have given collectors time to catch their breath, ensured the secondary market was strong during the summer break, and heightened the level of anticipation coming into the first 2022 release.

Footy Stars this year was ground breaking in terms of combining a $2.99 release with amazing inserts that made you sit up and take notice. But having both standard and jumbo packs, with different inserts across both, caused a similar problem in terms of overwhelming collectors with choice. Loaded with parallel sets and other subsets, single players can have an overwhelming amount of cards to collect. Nic Naitanui has 15 alone in this single release!

footy stars 2022 cards

They did a great job finding a balance catering to both youngsters and more serious collectors. But again, before anyone could catch their breath, Prestige came. Did we really need it? Since it’s the hobby version of Footy Stars, this year it didn’t seem necessary.

With many collectors turning to players instead of teams, this will undoubtedly change the landscape of the hobby. It may also widen a gap in prices amongst players. Typically ALL Essendon, Richmond and Collingwood cards in the sets attract strong prices, but if collectors start going after certain players (such as Merrett, Heppell, Draper and a handful of others), there will be less demand for some of their teammates, and prices will likely drop for those.

Some collectors are moving away from collecting their team altogether, and focusing on their favourite players from a range of clubs. With 2022 Optimum due to hit later this year, many collectors are lining up to secure a Nick Daicos Draft Pick Signature card – even if they aren’t Collingwood supporters.

Despite the pull back, sales of footy cards on the secondary market are still very strong,  just at lower prices than recent highs. The hobby is attracting new people all the time and hopefully the major card companies will make adjustments to ensure there isn’t an oversaturation of low numbered cards, and continue to evolve to make card collecting an optimal experience for all involved.

Most Popular Players to PC


  1. Dustin Martin
  2. Sam Walsh
  3. Lance Franklin
  4. Marcus Bontempelli
  5. Scott Pendlebury


  1. Gary Ablett Sr
  2. Leigh Matthews
  3. Gary Ablett Jr
  4. Tony Lockett
  5. John Coleman