Heroes and Legends: World Cup Champions Also Winning in the Trading Card Arena
Hobby historians likely will forever remember Panini America’s 2012 Americana Heroes & Legends release as one of the most eclectic trading card products ever made, what with its checklist full of politicians, presidents, astronauts, Medal of Honor recipients, fighter pilots, Olympians and more. But that set also includes an extensive tribute to the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, too — including all the headliners who helped the USA vanquish Japan on Sunday to claim the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup title.
Almost three years after the release of Heroes & Legends, the biggest stars of U.S. women’s soccer have become heroes and legends — and their autograph and memorabilia cards within that product have sent fans and collectors on a frenzied seek-and-secure mission in the last few days. As a result, key cards from 2012 Americana Heroes & Legends featuring the likes of Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, Lauren Holiday and more have become overnight sensations on the secondary market.
No single card better illustrates this phenomenon than the Teammates Signatures gem featuring autographs from both Lloyd and Rapinoe. A copy of the card sold in May for just $40. The asking price for one today? Try $999.99. It was a masterfully executed corner kick from Rapinoe to Lloyd, you may recall, that give the USA a quick 1-0 lead in Sunday’s World Cup final.
Of course, Lloyd was just getting started. She went on to score two more goals in the next 14 minutes to record the quickest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history, single-footedly outscoring Japan and, in the process, making herself a shoo-in for the adidas Golden Ball Award, given to the tournament’s most outstanding player. Not surprisingly, it’s Lloyd’s 2012 Americana Heroes & Legends cards that seem to be generating the most heat, a point not lost on ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell.
This signed Carli Lloyd jersey card sold within the last 3 minutes on eBay for $177.50 pic.twitter.com/mohflwo53I
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 5, 2015
That Tweet came just before halftime on Sunday. Less than two hours later, another one sold for $217.87. One month ago, a copy of the same card sold for $41. Lloyd’s base autograph cards are on the rise, too. An autograph card that sold in April for a mere $10.07 is now selling for as much as $125. It’s not hard to track down similar appreciation in the Panini America cards of Lloyd’s champion teammates.
You see if with Rapinoe (before and after); you see it with Tobin Heath (before and after). And although you may not necessarily see it in the cards of Solo and Morgan (who were already at superstar levels before the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup), there’s no denying the sheer majesty of this dual autograph featuring both players.
In the gallery that follows, we take time to appreciate the greatest USWNT hits from 2012 Americana Heroes & Legends, a seemingly forgotten 3-year-old product that has been reignited thanks to the scorching-hot play of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions.
Get your official 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Sticker Collection now at iCollectPanini.com.