I don't think Dr. Price could have said it better. I know a lot of people consider this product as junk, but to me this couldn't be further from the truth.
Originally Posted by flopfish
I opened 2 cases of this stuff, 8 boxes. Did I hit a Vezina rookie? Orr rookie? Howe rookie? Nope. My best rookie was a Ray Bourque OPC Rookie. A few nice buyback cards, including a Kariya (needless to say I hadn't pull a Kariya PC card in a while...), a Lemieux/Lindros dual jersey, and a neat Messier emblem from BAP memorabilia. Got lucky in the authentic autographs with an awesome 1966 Topps Bobby Hull autograph. A couple very neat Art/Memorabilia cards too, with a Ted Lindsay /10, a few modern ones /10, and a Ken Dryden 1/1.
Is it worth 1000$ per case? From a flipper's perspective, absolutely not. But quite frankly, I had so much fun opening those, even when I was seeing a Nick Fotiu or a Brian Engblom IP autograph, that it was worth every penny. Of course it is an expensive break, of course you will most likely not see your money back if you plan to sell your hits right away (and trust me, I understand that point of view, since I tend to flip most of what I break myself), but I still think this is a beautiful product. flopfish really took the words right out of my mouth.
Well I did see your casebreak, and frankly it's the absolutely best break I've seen of this product, so not sure we can judge from it... and yet I wouldn't say you hit a super jackput, but pretty nice overall like you said. If all boxes looked like yours, I would still take a chance on this brand.
Here's the thing; I WANTED this to be an amazing product. I really did! Seriously, check out 100% of my previous threads on this product. I wasn't able to pre-purchase any cases due to work, kids, the holidays, etc., but dang if I wasn't PUMPED for the Bonsor show in Vancouver this weekend! I was getting ready to plunk down the $3,500 - $4,000 (or so) for a case of this stuff. Pumped and ready!! But then I saw the pulls... and the check list. My heart sank. It truly did. All I was reminded of was how much of an idiot I was all those years I cracked case after case after case of product. Sometimes hitting, but (financially and emotionally) mostly missing. Yes, it's a "Hobby" but so is the casino, lottery tix, etc. They just happen to be hobbies that can be insanely expensive and either bust your wallet or fill it.
With the hockey stuff, I was always able to justify that I would pull something I liked for my collection. I was able to sometimes flip a card or three to take the sting out of the cost. But as time went on, I began to to hate busting cases more and more. The big card to flip became less and less frequent, the stuff to keep became more and more worthless. Until eventually, I just said, "Forget this" and I sold 95% of my collection in one fell swoop. Best thing I ever did in my life.
I was in the hobby for over 25 years and getting rid of that much stuff all at once for pennies on the dollar felt like a dagger cutting me up everywhere inside. Seriously. I was sick to my stomach that I was dumping everything, but I knew logically it had to be done. The weird thing? Within about a week I started to feel better. Within two weeks I felt great. Actually, great!! And the past year-and-a-half to two years, since I dumped most of my collection? I've never been happier. Seriously. I spend my cash on real things now. For example, I bought a kick- second hand car for the price of a case of The Cup. The car still goes and looks AMAZING and The Cup cards have all pretty much fallen like a rock off a cliff.
I bring all this up because when I saw all the promo for ITG's History of Hockey I got excited for the first time in years. Like, TRULY excited! I was young again, excited about the new hockey product coming out. The art cards looked fantastic! The buy-backs a great idea! The old RC's looked like a ton of fun to pull!! AND you got some interesting memorabilia cards as well. 4 cards/pack, 4 packs/box... why that must mean you were guaranteed at least ONE amazing hit per case! If not something worth more than the case, at least some interesting stuff to justify the price.
But then I saw the breaks. I saw the check lists and all of sudden, that sinking feeling in the depths of my stomach happened again. A product overstuffed with Peter Forsberg UD RC's ("That could be my rookie hit?!"), Adam Deadmarsh ("Does even Adam Deadmarsh want these?"), Ryan Callahan ("WHY?!"), tons of Ryan Getzlaf ("Uhhh... did he do something historical I'm completely unaware of?"), Etc, etc, etc. And then we get to the star RC's; ONE UD YG Crosby in the entire run ("The rest of the Crosby RC's are MVP, Ultra and Parkhurst? ?!"), Patrick Roy RC's w/ rounded corners ("Ummm... did they just send my Mom out to buy this at the flea market down the street?"), Wayne Gretzky OPC RC ("YES!! A super hit!! Awesome! Wait a minute... a mint Gretz RC is less than the price of the four packs I just bought. Damn, it!!").
That last example (The Gretzky OPC RC), is more of an indictment of how far out of whack prices are for what you crack and what you get in our "hobby", but I put it there to help illustrate a point; No mater what (Except for maybe 1-3 cards in the total run), History of Hockey will not get you the price of your case or even your pack back. In fact, you could spend $250 on a pack and actually get 2 cards in that pack that if you put them on a table at a show with the sign "Free" beside the cards, you'd come back at the end of the day and find 20 more cards there. ("Oh, this must be where you drop off your Tony Amonte RC's. That's nice. Instead of just throwing them in the garbage, they recycle them."). You know what? That's not cool.
Now, I know that the usual ITG zombies and the guys who buy boxes/cases with their credit cards and then wonder why they have no money left, will come on here and say; "Dude, that can be said with EVERY product. Nothing is guaranteed. This is a hobby, not a business, etc", but they'll be wrong. Almost every product has more than 1-3 cards across the entire run, that potentially if you hit, they'll cover the box or maybe - maybe - the case. And for products that don't? Well, we call those UD SPGU or Panini Classics Signatures.
But, whatever. Seriously. Who cares? I only have myself to blame for getting excited. I should have known. History dictates the future and the past 20 years have had a terrible history in this business, errrr... "Hobby". ITG's History of Hockey is the reminder I needed as to why I got out when I did. HoH was what I needed to say to myself, "This is truly over. I will never purchase another box/case as long as I live". I'm done. Before this week I was at 90% done, sneaking back to 80-85%, due to the excitement of this product. Now? Now there is absolutely nothing to bring me back in regards to purchasing boxes/cases (Don't even mention "packs". I know for a fact I'd get more pleasure out of simply flushing $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar bills down the toilet).
I might still pick up the very rare and occasional card that's dirt cheap and I think it's neat. But even that, I don't know. I'm just so seriously disappointed. Ah well, I'd like to say it was fun, but honestly between History of Hockey and Panini's price point for Classics Signatures, too many bad memories have been brought up. Why? Because I wanted those products to be awesome. I needed those products to be awesome. There was still the part of me that remembered the rush of tearing open packs/boxes/cases, etc. and I wanted an excuse to feel that again. But then I saw the breaks. I saw the checklists and I was reminded how, like most of us, I got usually got burned more than I struck ("$120 for the box and only $30 worth of cards? PLUS I only got 4 players I collect? Hurray.").
This year's stuff just made me realise that the ex-girlfriend isn't coming back. Seriously. My buddy told me she was in town this weekend. So, I chatted with her on FB, we met up at the mall and guess what? Not only is she married now, she's got three kids. And she's preggers with her fourth. Yup, I'm pretty sure that's what we call, "Closure". So long, Box/Case break - you were the ex I tell all my friends about; she took my money, left me broken hearted and all I gots left is some stories that sound better and better every time I tell them.
Well, I wouldn't say 20 years cause I think the 90's and up tp 2001-2 maybe, boxes were wonderful, almost every box I bought you almost got your money back plus could start building a set. The 90's also had the most stunning beautiful cards ever made. But I'm with you, had enormous hopes for Classics and HoH. Classics doesn't disappoint look-wise, and if it had $80 I would have thrown myself over it so it's "only" the pricepoint it's wrong at. HoH, frankly, only the art card is awesome, the rest, I'm not even talking about it. To even hsve Victory rookies in it? I know I know, the maths must add up, but that's just not stuff to put in a highend product. I think there still are boxes out there with tons of fun even if they have horrible value, I would mention Donruss Elite. I know many hated that cause there was no value, but the cards looked fantastic, the crap about stains on the foil was BS cause I never got them so it must mean you boys have dirty hands ; ) Yes the cards had crap value many of them but everything looked great. For me it still gets to that point, if a product at least looks great and got many things to collect, then I forgive it.
Since a lot of the discussion is revolving around "value" I'll weigh in here, although I don't post much here these days...
I broke a master case of HoH last Saturday that I posted at another board that I'm sure some of you have seen. I bought it with the intent of keeping all of the art cards, keeping a few of the ITG buybacks, and crossing my fingers on the autos and rookies. While I didn't hit any of the monster rookies available, I did have a lot of solid hits, such as:
1/1 (/10) Golden Goal - Sidney Crosby Olympics
1/1 (/10) Unbreakable Record - Glenn Hall Vintage
/10 - Frank Brimsek ASG vintage
/10 - Maurice Richard vintage
Patrick Roy Topps auto RC
/9 - Steve Yzerman Complete Jersey
Brodeur/Roy dual patch buyback
Bure Parhurst Retro Jersey/Stick
Out of 16 boxes, those are probably my "top" 10 hits, and they are all really good. After taking away the art cards, the buybacks/autos (mostly low-end Flyers with the exception of a Selanne auto) I want to keep, the Roy RC and Yzerman RC (which I might get graded or sell, not sure yet), and one duplicate Roy art card, I was left with 37 cards to move. Deciding that finding someome to trade for a Corrado Micalef auto would be hard to do, I listed the cards on Ebay. To this point, I have sold 15 cards for a total of $261.50. Even if I take out the top 3 sellers (a Bourque buyback, an Yzerman/Forsberg dual jersey, and a Probert RC), I'm at 12 cards for $164.50, almost a $14 average. This is for the Paul Harrisons, Alexander Frolovs, and Robert Picards of the world. I say this to demonstrate that player collectors and people wanting buybacks from years past are willing to spend more than a lot of people realize. If you would have told me I would have averaged almost $14 for cards I would have expected to get a few dollars for, I would have said you were crazy. I have have 22 cards to sell, with all of my top cards still to go. When it's all said and done between what I sell the remaining cards for, what I have kept, the chance of hitting one of the big rookies, and the fun of the break, I would say that I definitely got my money's worth. (Oh, and throw in a Stamkos auto Team Canada puck from the retailer, and the break was even sweeter).
Like all high-end products, I think this is something that you need to break by the case or buy singles. It's already a crapshoot as is, but even moreso when buying single boxes. Some of the boxes I had definitely would have upset people if that's all they bought, but over the course of the case everything leveled out and was well worth it in my opinion.
I'll stop here, lest I jump into the checklist constrcution issue mentioned above, or my thoughts on what "value" is. Both of which I could go on and on about...
Hey, if you're happy dropping $4,000 on those cards you listed, good for you. No one can help you there. Personally, I see absolutely no justification for Victory RC's, etc. in a product that commands $250/pack. For the record I would have been thrilled to pull the Roy auto'd Topps RC, the Yzerman complete and the Brodeur/Roy dual. Those are just awesome cards. But it took you $4,000 to get there.
The long and short of it is - the highs and lows for what you are paying are just too vast. You should not have cards that you can purchase 20 for $1 at a flea market in a $250/pack product. Nothing that has come out over the past 10 years at that price point has had that.
People seem to forget that this product was pretty much 100% aimed at collectors. No one outside of the hobby can truly appreciate this item on a grand scale. So, when you aim something a certain demographic you can't get upset when you show them a complete disregard. Dr. Price keeps claiming, "The cost of the art cards and memorabilia has to be balanced out somehow". OK, I get it. As a business person who makes the majority of his income via sales, I get it. But I gotta tell ya, he would have been better off at least grading the RC's. People would have still been upset, but a Jordan Stall BGS 10 gets a lot more love than a slabbed "Authentic" label.
BTW, I truly and honestly hope Dr. Price didn't pay BGS a broken penny for them to slab HIS product that he was selling to the general public. If he did, he honestly needs to fire the person in charge of those negotiations. If graded and handled well, those could have been some of the best advertising for BGS/BVG.
Not getting destroyed on taxes via buying online, and getting in on presale numbers I got in well under $4,000, in fact under $3,500. When the dust settles on moving everything, whenever that is, I'll be more than happy to go through numbers again, moreso for my own records than anything else. I've been kicked hard busting high-end wax before, so I like to know where I stand when I break. Trying to peg a value to the Roy auto RC will likely be the biggest challenge in trying to throw all of the numbers together. Most of the other cards will have legitimate comparables to work off of.
Originally Posted by Fatty McGee
Like you, I too had very high expectations for this product. In fact, it's the first hockey wax I've cracked in about a year and change. I just got back into the hobby a couple of years ago after a 20 year absence, went on a wax binge, then went on a wax hiatus. When I saw the concept of the cards, great hand-painted cards by Jared Kelly whose work I admired in Goodwin Champions and Sportkings, the potential for some really cool and unique ITG buybacks (I was hoping to see some of the cards never put into products for one reason or another, but I don't think that happened), plus the chance to pull a historical rookie card, I was in. The PSA/DNA aspect of the product didn't do much for me to be honest; obviously I was the beneficiary of them being in the product. I thought the odds were going to be long for the autos and rookies, and that the buybacks and art cards would be the stars of the show.
I went into the product figuring the art cards would be the most popular, followed by the buybacks, then the rookies and PSA/DNA cards. The chase element to the rookies and PSA/DNA put them lower on the scale since there would be a lot of misses. I figured that a few player collectors would seek them out, but not to that great of an extent. I was definitely wrong in that regard. I was shocked to have moved so many so quickly for what I considered decent prices. The buybacks have been very well received. I'm guessing some collectors are getting second shots at cards they might have missed out on in the past. Being new to the hobby again, maybe I misplayed a few of my sales, but such is life.
I'm definitely in ramble mode here, and it's almost time to leave the office for the train. I agree with you that the volatility of the product is high. I see the bottom part of the curve as being a little higher than most given what I've personally seen so far. In fact, I think it's comparable to other products that have a large chase element to them. I guess this is where we will have to disagree.
At the end of the day, my expectations were met, I had fun, and I am a happy customer. That's all we can ask as collectors.
This product is for a collector type of person, not a flipper type.
I think the point most of these guys are trying to make is given the premis that this product is 'for the collector', it should deliver.
Originally Posted by mq13
This HAS to be the key for this product. I'm not saying that to be obvious, but there is some funky stuff going on with these product sales. The question really becomes, what does that say about collectors?
Originally Posted by mq13
After reading BillInDallas' comments, I checked out some of his sales and some others. Take the Bob Probert Topps RC he sold for example, the completed sale was at $30. WHHHHHAAAAAAT? For an 'authentic' 1988-89 Topps Bob Probert? The card is a double print with a BV of $2.50 in 'raw' condition and I've not seen where these were really subject to forgery, so is 'authenticity' really a question? The OPC books 4x that and a PSA 9 sold for only $20 BIN a couple days ago. Or, if I really want a BGS copy, there is an 8.5 listed for under $13 dlvd or I could get a BGS 9 for less than $25 dlvd (both listed as BIN/BO so I could try for a better price...). WHO is paying $30 for an 'authentic' card?
As a collector, player or otherwise, is the 'ITG History of Hockey'-slabbed 88-89 Topps Probert really a new or different card from the original release? If it is, are we potentially entering some 'dangerous' territory as collectors? Are the 5000-ct boxes of late-80's and early-90's 'junk' really about to turn into 'gold' as repackaged 'authentic' goodness? I hope not. But, seriously, what would we say if someone posted in the Buy/Sell Forum that they were selling a 1988-89 Topps Bob Probert for $30?
I think the concept of this product is quite intriguing. At the same time, I think some of the critiques that have popped up are quite valid. On one hand, the artwork is AMAZING. On the other hand, putting a sub-$1 card in a $12 holder (retail for a 'personalized', 'authentic' Beckett slab and a waste of money by 'conventional' standards) and putting it in a hand-packed, high-end product... Feels a little wrong to me.
But, as Dr. Price said, each collector needs to decide for themselves. This one wasn't for me. Motown Madness... That'll be for me!