Michael Jordan has proven over time and across many retail avenues, that he is easily one of the most marketable athletes in history. This is not something that should surprise anyone who is aware of the meteoric rise that began in the late-1980s and continued to build throughout his playing career. Michael Jordan was popular at a time when professional basketball, as a whole, was not as popular, and he helped carry the league to its current point of relevance.
Due to this and several other factors, including his considerable international appeal, Michael Jordan collectibles are some of the most pursued items by collectors. While basketball cards and autographs are obvious options sought by collectors, there are quite a few other things out there. The following list details the top categories for Michael Jordan collectibles.
Top Michael Jordan Collectibles
1. Michael Jordan Basketball Cards
When it comes to Michael Jordan collectibles, basketball cards reign supreme. Although there are tons of Michael Jordan basketball cards, several options have emerged as the driving forces behind his highest sales.
- 1986-97 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card
- Any certified Michael Jordan autograph
- Late-1990s inserts
- Exquisite Basketball
Clearly, many other Michael Jordan basketball cards exist. This large quantity and variety of price points allow collectors of any budget to build a collection around Michael Jordan.
As an exclusive athlete for Upper Deck, collectors will only find current Michael Jordan cards in Upper Deck products. However, products from several other brands include Michael Jordan cards from throughout his playing career. Check out his top 1980s cards, his best inserts, the top overall MJ cards and a real-time Michael Jordan card auction hot list.
2. Michael Jordan Nike Air Jordans
Michael Jordan's signature shoe helped change how athletes were marketed and how fans could showcase their love for a particular player. Merely a novelty at first, Nike Air Jordans eventually became one of the most popular shoes in the history of sports and will likely remain long after Michael Jordan is gone. View a complete Air Jordan guide for all of the main Michael Jordan shoe versions.
While some may not consider Nike Air Jordans in the same category as a signed item or basketball card, Air Jordan shoes are a unique collectible that is part fashion and part function. New releases can become headline news due to long lines, and, unfortunately, violence. There is a strong market for previous issues, even used versions, and there are regular shows where collectors can buy, sell and trade Air Jordans, as well as other popular shoes.
3. Michael Jordan Signed Basketball Memorabilia
Although the supply of game-used gear is drying up, Michael Jordan signed basketball memorabilia is still going strong. Due to an exclusive deal with Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA), collectors looking to purchase signed basketballs or jerseys have somewhat limited options. One strong aspect of UDA is peace of mind, as you know you are getting the real thing. Michael Jordan forgeries are a huge problem in the hobby so you will need to be extra careful with anything that is not certified by UDA. Protect yourself by dealing with reputable sellers and items that have been verified by leading authentication services, like PSA/DNA or JSA.
4. Michael Jordan Signed Photos
Michael Jordan signed photos are not as popular as other signed items, but they are much easier to display and are generally a cheaper option for collectors. UDA is the main source for these desirable Michael Jordan collectibles, but there are many out there from other sources. Again, make sure to protect yourself by dealing with reputable sellers and items that have been verified by leading authentication services. Just like the signed memorabilia, do your research on sellers and the items in question and make sure you are buying an authenticated autograph.
5. Michael Jordan Figures
Michael Jordan figures may not immediately spring to mind when discussing Michael Jordan collectibles, but they are a valuable and popular option. Although many were issued during his playing days, some of the most popular and valuable figures have been released in the last several years. This includes multiple Funko Pop Michael Jordan figures.
Unlike Pop!, most of these figures are generally made to 1:6 scale and can be very realistic. The more premium choices, such as the Enterbay figures, include multiple attachments for optimum customization and realism.
- Michael Jordan Enterbay Figures
- Michael Jordan Storm Toys Figures
- Michael Jordan Starting Lineup Figures
6. Michael Jordan Poster, Lithographs & Art
When discussing the play of Michael Jordan, it would not be a stretch to describe some of his greatest moments as works of art. Many of these top moments have been featured on lithographs and posters and can make for a great addition to a game room or man cave. Due to the variety of options, prices will fluctuate considerably.
7. Michael Jordan Golf Cards
While clearly a secondary card option in comparison to basketball cards, Michael Jordan golf cards offer collectors a chance to obtain cards of their favorite player, as he participates in his favorite hobby. There are not a lot of golf cards available for Michael Jordan, but they are enhanced by being current releases. The newer card technology and autograph options help values and interest for this intriguing collectible.
8. Michael Jordan Jerseys, Clothing and Accessories
Michael Jordan clothing and accessories are not generally the most valuable option, unless they are game-used, but are definitely among the most mainstream Michael Jordan collectibles. This includes Michael Jordan jerseys and the signature Jordan brand apparel, as well as a huge knockoff and counterfeit market. Michael Jordan jerseys are the clear favorite. It is not uncommon to still see fans still wearing them around town, even though he officially retired for the last time in 2003.
9. Michael Jordan Baseball Cards
While there are multiple choices, Michael Jordan baseball cards do not have the same appeal as his basketball cards. The Michael Jordan baseball experiment could hardly be deemed a success and it took him away from basketball for a period of time. Who knows how many consecutive championships Michael Jordan could have strung together if he never traded in his Air Jordans for a bat and cleats. Nevertheless, Michael Jordan baseball cards bring collectors another choice in the card category and offer many budget options
10. Michael Jordan Oddball Items
Despite what is covered above, there are just a lot of other Michael Jordan collectibles out there. One of the more insane examples comes in the form of barbecue sauce for his signature sandwich at McDonald's, the short-lived McJordan. This one-gallon container sold for a staggering $9,995. They are not all that valuable, but there are plenty of other options for collectors. Among the highlights: