Last Updated On: July 10th, 2023
Shaquille O’Neal, or Shaq, is a retired hall of fame basketball player who is known for his backboard shattering dunks and dominant playing style. Selected as the first overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA draft, the Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card debuted in the same year across several different card brands, including Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer Ultra, and Skybox.
This post highlights each Shaquille O’Neal rookie card, its value in the current market place, historical price performance, and existing population data (rarity) across PSA and BGS grading companies. We’ve also included search links to eBay for each rookie.
Table of Contents
Shaq Rookie Card Summary (TL;DR)
|Card Description||PSA 10 GEM MINT Value||BGS 9.5 GEM MINT Value||PSA + BGS GEM MINT Total Population|
|Shaquille O’Neal Topps Rookie Card #362||$130||$110||4,703 + 731 = 5,434|
|Shaquille O’Neal Upper Deck Rookie Card #1||$1,500||$500||337 + 159 = 496|
|Shaquille O’Neal Fleer Ultra Rookie Card #328||$87||$40||3,976 + 1,105 = 5,081|
|Shaquille O’Neal Skybox Rookie Card #382||$100||$30||1,358 + 267 = 1,625|
Shaquille O’Neal Topps Rookie Card
Most collectors would agree the 1992 Topps #362 basketball card is the most iconic Shaquille O’Neal rookie card. Stamped with “”92 Draft Pick” in the lower right, the white-bordered card depicts Shaq wearing the number 32 in the post awaiting the ball for what’s likely to be a thunderous dunk.
Shaq Topps Rookie Card Value and Population
It’s no surprise Topps printed high quantities of the Shaq rookie given all the hype surrounding the #1 draft pick coming out of LSU.
There are over 31,000 PSA graded Shaq Topps #362 rookies, with 4,703 of them receiving a PSA 10 GEM MINT assessment. In PSA 10 grade, the card goes for $130.
BGS has graded over 4,400 Topps rookies, with 731 of them receiving a BG 9.5 GEM MINT grade or better. The Topps card in BGS 9.5 grade currently sells for $110.
Shaq Topps Rookie Card Price History
Historically the PSA 10 graded Topps Shaquille O’Neal rookie card has gradually increased in value. Before the pandemic in 2020, the card was only going for around $20, and peaked in 2021 for an insane value over $2,000.
Shaq Topps Gold Rookie Card (insert)
Topps also created a Gold version of the Shaq rookie, inserted into packs and also included in Gold complete factory sets. The card is identical in design, except for gold foil plastered over the player name and team name. While the card was printed in fairly high quantities (10,000 printed), there are many less graded Shaq Topps gold rookie cards.
PSA has graded over 6,400 Shaq Topps Gold rookie cards, with 726 of them achieving PSA 10 GEM MINT grade (current value is $1,100). BGS has also graded 1,773 copies of the card, with only 182 obtaining BGS 9.5 GEM MINT or better condition (current value is $545).
Shaquille O’Neal Upper Deck Rookie Card
Shaquille O’Neal’s Upper Deck rookie card #1 is a unique design, with Shaq displayed in three different stills progressing towards the basket as if one Shaq wasn’t scary enough. The card’s cool design made it a popular hit with collectors, and its condition sensitive nature makes it one of Shaq’s premier rookie cards.
Shaq Upper Deck Rookie Card Value and Population
Shaquille O’Neal’s Upper Deck rookie card #1 is a short print, which is important given most of his rookie cards were printed in the tens of thousands of copies. That said, thousands of copies were still produced even though Upper Deck promises it’s a short print card. Given the card is condition sensitive, it is relatively difficult — and more expensive — to obtain a GEM MINT copy according to PSA and BGS population data.
PSA has only graded 337 Shaq Upper Deck rookie cards as GEM MINT 10 condition. PSA 10 copies run for a whopping $1,500.
BGS has recorded even less, with 159 GEM MINT copes or better. BGS 9.5 graded copies are selling for $500.
Shaq Upper Deck Rookie Card Price History
Shaq’s Upper deck rookie was steadily going for $400 just prior to 2020, having bounced around between $300 and $400 since 2016. The card rallied hard through March, 2021, peaking at $6,500 before crashing back down to earth where it currently sits at $1,500.
Shaquille O’Neal Fleer Ultra Rookie Card
Shaquille O’Neal’s 1992 Fleer Ultra rookie card is another high-print run, yet popular, rookie. The fleer Ultra set contained several high profile rookies that would become household names in 90’s era basketball: Latrell Sprewell, Alonzo Mourning, and Robert Horry. Shaq’s Ultra rookie has one of the most accessible price points for collectors even in PSA 10 GEM MINT condition.
Shaq Fleer Ultra Rookie Card Value and Population
PSA has recorded over 20,000 graded copies of the Shaq Fleer Ultra rookie card, with 3,976 of them achieving PSA 10 GEM MINT grade.
BGS on the other hand has 4,656 total graded registered in their database, with only 1,105 assessed GEM MINT status or better.
Interestingly enough, Shaq’s Ultra rookie sells for 40-50% less than Shaq’s Topps rookie card, even though there are less GEM MINT copies available in the market. This appears to be a small opportunity for collectors to pick up an ultra popular (pardon the pun) Shaq rookie at a significant discount to its Topps counterpart.
Shaq Fleer Ultra Rookie Card Price History
The Shaq Fleer Ultra rookie card in PSA 10 condition has traded sideways between $10 and $20 for many years before spiking to over $800 as did many cards back in 2021. Since then, it has stabilized near $90 which is closer to reality. Keep in mind it costs $15-20 just to have this card graded by PSA, so a price of $90 doesn’t seem like much premium for a GEM MINT graded copy.
Shaquille O’Neal Skybox Rookie Card
The Skybox Shaquille O’Neal rookie card #382 is a fresh looking card with the red splash of color and iconic Skybox 90’s design. I love how Skybox chose to include a picture of Shaq screaming into a microphone on the back of the card (probably rapping), which is unique compared with most of his other rookies.
Shaq Skybox Rookie Card Value and Population
The Skybox shaq rookie card is arguably the best buy of his main rookie cards given its population is relatively limited and its price point is also very affordable for a rookie.
PSA has graded 7,770 total Shaq Skybox rookies, with 1,358 receiving PSA 10 GEM MINT grade. The card only sells for $100 in this grade, meanwhile the Topps rookie in PSA 10 sells for $130 with over three times as many GEM MINT copies available.
Meanwhile, BGS has recorded 1,994 total graded Shaq Skybox rookies, with 267 of them getting a BGS 9.5 GEM MINT grade or better.
Shaq Skybox Rookie Card Price History
Historically, the Shaq Skybox RC has traded sideways at $15 for many years, and peaked at just under $500 in February, 2021 outside of the strange spike it saw in late 2021.
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most beloved basketball players in NBA history. His dominant playing style, generous personality, and pop culture impact as a staple of the 90s alongside Penny Hardaway, and later with Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant in the 2000s, have cemented his place as a fan favorite. Collectors have long sought Shaq’s rookie cards, which are still available at reasonable price points due to the high volume of cards produced by major collectible brands such as Topps, Upper Deck, and Fleer. Don’t forget to check out Shaq’s other rookie cards, which are also sought after by collectors but may not be as well-known to the general public.