Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Hobby Fever at the Card Show

It looks like the Buhner VJ Lovero card and the Catching Fire insert set were popular from my card show haul last week. I'm glad to learn that I wasn't the only one who was ignorant of such a great set.

Speaking of catching fire, the current card-collecting fever was alive and well and on display at the card show a week ago. Most of the time, I go there and recognize every face, even if I don't know all of the attendees by name. This time was different, though. Almost everybody there was a new face. I know many people were new collectors because there were a few who asked me questions that betrayed their newness. For example, one guy picked up a Lebron James relic and asked, "Are these really patches of fabric in there?" I explained that those cards really do have fabric, used at some point by the player as certified by the backs of the cards, but it doesn't necessarily mean it was something used in a game. The influx of new collectors potentially presents both positive and negative possibilities for the future of the hobby, but I won't go into that here. I'm always happy to answer questions when I have the answer, though.

One thing I wasn't too happy about was the flipper table. Now, I admit to flipping boxes before, but it was like this: I'd find a killer deal on Blowout Cards or Dave & Adam's and buy 3 boxes. One I would open, the other two I'd list on our local classifieds for about a $5 markup. That way, I was able to sell the box for comparable to eBay prices and recoup a little of the money I spent. I feel okay about that, but the days of really great prices on boxes are long gone. The flipper at the table I saw was much worse than this.

These guys had boxes and boxes of retail fat packs, blasters, Pokemon tins, whatever. At first, the pack ripper in me started rifling through in excitement. This was stuff I had been looking for! But then I overheard them talking to other people. I heard them explain that they hit up every Wal-Mart and Target in the county each week and clear everything out. That's where their loads of inventory come from. When I heard that, I walked away. I couldn't support that behavior, even if they did have all the 2020 football I hadn't been able to find. After all, they were the reason I couldn't find it in the first place.

The other symptom of what ails the current hobby environment is the big-hit chasers. This is one that I did take advantage of. I found a table run by one of those new faces. The guy had a ton of new releases, lots of Prizms and autos and all. As I flipped through his boxes, I asked him if he busted all of this himself, or if it all came from joining breaks. It was the latter. I didn't ask him what big hits he scored, but I did help myself to some of the fodder he decided not to keep.

I got some nice pickups for my refractor Frankenset. Mosaic is kind of cool, but it did take me some research to figure out just which parallels I have. I think Patrick Queen is probably my favorite of this group since I think he has a bright future ahead of him.

I also picked up my first cards of a trio of rookies that will go into my PCs, not the Frankenset. I'm not the biggest Jordan Love fan, but those are some pretty neat cards. I think my favorite is the Illusions Love. It's just a base card, but I like it more than the rest. That's not to say that I don't like the others, though. It's a good group of cards here. 

I picked up this dozen of cards for about $2 per card. I probably could have filled out my Frankenset for less, but I liked these cards and when I checked their current prices on COMC, I would have spent more if I had gone that route. I don't know if it was worth it economically for the seller to have bought into all of the breaks, though.

This trio of shiny cards came from another seller. They ended up being essentially a trade. As we talked about things we had, he wanted to buy some things from me, but I found these on his table that I took instead. Joe Ingles will slot into the refractor Frankenset, while Ohtani and Acuna will become part of the ROY collection.

I have one more post of card show goodies. The last post will be my favorite, I think.


  1. Bosa's good.

    I wouldn't mind seeing Reagor and Ja'Marr Chase in the same offense.

    Nice border on the Acuna.

  2. Glad to hear that there's a lot of new people entering our hobby. I realize most are probably in it for investment purposes... but that doesn't bother me. The more the merrier... and variety (of collecting styles) is all good with me.

    As for the flippers... I don't blame them either. I blame the way retail products are distributed. I consider myself a true collector, but if I stumbled across 10 boxes of Prizm basketball at Target... I'd buy them all and flip them without thinking twice. The good news for everyone out there who just shook their fingers at me is that I rarely go to Target... and when I do there are never blasters for me to buy/flip.

    Personally... I think Target and other retail stores should keep blasters at the customer service desk and only allow customers to buy one box per visit. Maybe it doesn't solve all of the problems with card collecting, but it's a start and would at least give more collectors a shot at buying a blaster.

  3. Way to walk away...definitely a good move in my book...I refuse to buy retail other than at WalMart or Target, but understand why flippers are being enabled to do it. Nice pick ups!

  4. Way to walk away...definitely a good move in my book...I refuse to buy retail other than at WalMart or Target, but understand why flippers are being enabled to do it. Nice pick ups!

  5. The Mosaic cards are neat, and it's nice to see you picked up some Packers!

  6. I would never stop at a table that had a bunch of crap piled up like that, of course I'd never buy flipped retail either, so...

  7. Beautiful pickups! Hate retail flippers, good choice walking away

  8. It's not the flipping in and of itself that is a problem per se. It's the buying out an entire county and then marking it up 3-5 times the original price and stating its due to scarcity of the product. Really, wonder how that happened..... Yeah, I don't support that behavior either. Right now I should be buying my Heritage master set (all 500 and the 5 obtainable insert sets), but the state of the hobby says otherwise. The eBay sellers are selling them for upwards of 3x their normal going rate.