November 17, 2010

Hobby box blues

When was the last time you bought a hobby box of anything?

When was the last time you enjoyed a hobby box of anything?

It seems these days cards just aren’t there for collectors. We’ve had products like Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome where Topps needed to pimp it out by using wrapper redemption programs to get collectors interested.

We’ve have Panini where the sets seem to look like each other. Certified is no different from Threads. These cards need a little something with their designs.

Then, with Upper Deck, they are only creating hockey products, but it seems as though have put little value in their products. Upper Deck did a great job with Ultimate Baseball, but as a collector I have to wonder if they knew they were on the way with the sport so they put everything they had into that product.

Not since Bowman base have I felt the need to buy a hobby box of a product, but I think that was more because of Stephen Strasburg. I was excited when I pulled a Strasburg base card – then sold it.

If collectors aren’t buying cards, I applaud you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be buying. If you genuinely like something, there is no better way of showing your support.

Collectors shouldn’t buy product if there isn’t anything good out there. We shouldn’t support bad behavior with our money.

We went through many of things we didn’t like from this year. But we don’t want to make this a bashing session.

So, how about this? For everything you say you didn’t like from the card companies this year, you have to tell me one thing you also liked.


  1. Ok laugh at me or feel sorry for me but my last hobby box was...1997. Totally Certified

    I didn't enjoy it either because I remember I didn't get a thing out of it. So the last one I enjoyed was 96 Select Certified. I did quite well with that set.

    Now-a-days I just buy the cards I want instead of boxes.

    I have to say my favorite set from this year (and last) is Tribute. I know everyone slamed it because it was overpriced but since all I do is buy the base cards it wasn't to overpriced for me. And they are beautiful cards which kind of remind me of that 96 Certified design. A close second would be A&G because of the mini cards. A&G is getting kind of stale though with basicly the same design each year. I think in 2011 they should use the black border from the minis on all the cards just to spruce it up some. After those two sets everything else is kind of just blehh.

  2. With the exception of last year when I blew my money on a box of Topps Chrome, I buy one hobby box a year because that's all I can afford.

    That one box is always A&G, because I am guaranteed to enjoy it.

    I don't see the sense in buying a box if you aren't 100 percent sure before you put your money down that you're going to like it -- all of it. I can deal with buyer's remorse after a blaster. But I can't afford buyer's remorse after a whole box.

    What did I like about the past year? Chicle was kind of nice. A&G was OK. Bowman was certainly interesting for a couple of months. Overall, I think it was a forgettable year, card-wise.

  3. I bought two hobby boxes this year - Pro Debut Series 2 & Topps Update. They were both fun to open because I got them at deep discount - Topps Update worked out to $1 a pack, & Pro Debut was around $1.60. I would have felt like I wasted money if I had paid the original price.

    Topps really did a nice job finding cool photos to use this year (hopefully they don't recycle them too much.)

  4. I opened 3 hobby boxes this year.

    My favorite box to open was Tristar Obak. Each card was interesting in its own right and had a historical story to tell (well, except for Hulk Hogan). I also enjoyed Topps Update this year. The rookie class was strong and it's at least nice to get one card of these players.

    I was not as enthused about A&G as I normally was. There were too many mini insert sets to keep track of. Also, I'm still waiting on my redemption.

  5. I really don't buy boxes anymore... unless there's a set I really want to build. Every once in awhile, I'll bust a random product like Razor Vault in hopes of pulling a cool autograph.

    So... instead of busting boxes and packs, I usually buy singles that I really want (on eBay or COMC).

    Okay... my major issue with most products is sticker autos. Since on-card autographs are one my favorite things to collect, it doesn't make sense to drop $75 to $125 and pull 2 or 3 sticker autographs. That's why I buy singles I like.

    On the flipside... one thing I did love this year are the on-card autographs of the 5x7 boxtoppers out of Court Kings. They're reasonably priced... they beautiful... I wish Panini would put more products out like this.

  6. I haven't opened a hobby box since stumbled on 3 hobby boxes of '08 Sweet Spot at Wal-Mart (yes, a Sweet Spot Hobby Box at Wal-Mart)for a ridiculous price. I enjoyed it because it was cheap and my first higher-end product. I have opened a couple retail boxes - 2007 Topps Football and 2007 Press Pass Football - this year. They were cheap at Target. I rarely open boxes. Outside of the Sweet Spot, I have only ever opened one other hobby box ('06 Ultra I think?). I'm more of a retail/discount guy, and I don't plan on opening any boxes any time soon, unless Santa brings one.

  7. I bought a good amount of hobby boxes this year. I ALWAYS build the Topps Base set and enjoyed the CYMTA program. I bought one box of Bowman the day it came out (Couldn't afford another) and pulled a Straus, Harper, Chapman, & Castro in that. I really liked the Chicle so I picked three of those up, and I was a fool and tried to build Heritage which cost a lot in hobby box land.

    All in all I was happy aside from this years Ginter which was so-so in my eyes. I did LOVE Obak though. That set was down right FUN to open!!!!

  8. I just bought a box of Crown Royal because it was a throwback, and I liked the idea of getting a card with a "blast-from-the-past" design with Jahvid Best or Calvin Johnson on it. Very high nostalgia factor for me. And it rewards the card companies for trying something different. They need to think about all aspects of design to spruce these products up. Use different graphics, textures, die cut, refracting technology, whatever it takes, just no more of the leaf rookies and stars generic crap that looks the same!

  9. I used to buy hobby boxes all the time, not so much anymore. I did buy a hobby box of 2010 Topps Update a week or so ago, but since I got back to collecting this past spring, it's been mostly retail boxes and rack packs, except for a 2010 Allen & Ginter hobby box I bought at The National in Baltimore this past August.

    I really, really like this set. I like the artwork and I like the inserts. The minis are cool, too.

    Although I only have one 2010 Topps Tribute card (Roy Halladay, who I collect), it is one of my favorites. The card is really appealing to look at.

    I look forward to 2011 to see what these companies come up with.

  10. Not counting hobby boxes I bought and opened for group breaks I've hosted I've opened 4 hobby boxes this year. x1 Topps Series 2, x2 Topps Update Series and x1 Topps WWE. Of those 3 I had the most fun opening the wrestling cards. Call me silly, but it was the cheapest box and I got the most out of it.

  11. Man, I haven't purchased NOR enjoyed a hobby box since A&G '09... and that was enough to make me take a break... which I'm still on. I haven't even blogged about any new product since last year. Sadly, the only cards I have been enjoying lately are the ones I've been making myself.

  12. Unfortunately, my box-buying is WAAAAY down. A little retail here and there, but mostly singles.

    I think my favorite set was actually just the "Base" Topps set. The design worked and the card mix was top-notch. Usually I despise "fake" manufactured patches, but I LOVE the LogoMan /50 set that Topps sprinkled in all their releases this year. They look fantastic in person.

    And of course, the Blue Refractors of the Chromes look the best again.

  13. My 2010 product buys have been decent. But the best I got was out of a group break with Topps Finest. Pulled a low number Posey. Other than that, not much from Topps... Haven't tried the 09 Ultimate yet but it does look like its worth a shot. I agree, it does look like they put everything they had into it.

  14. Boxes I opened were 2010 Finest and 2 boxes of Topps Chrome.