By Stephen Duell aka spuds1961


Okay today’s article has me concerned with the direction in which our hobby is going. I’ll start off slow and try to illustrate what I’m talking about.


Alright fellow collectors; do you buy a box to get personal collection cards or do you buy a box searching for that big hit you can turn around for cash? My problem with the hobby lately is it seems that there are less true collectors and set builders than there are money hungry one hit wonder Flippers.I guess I don’t really have a problem with it, but part of me does.


Today’s products are starting to become more geared to collectors with a gambler’s mentality. I mean how many products are being thrown at us with baseball’s poster boy Bryce Harper? Really Topps, Topps Heritage minor league baseball, if that’s not a telltale sign what is? I know I would be happy to pull a Harper autograph, but unlike most of today’s collectors I probably wouldn’t sell it.I know call me stupid or whatever adjective you would like, but I’m a collector not a Flipper. I still have my Gordon Beckham blue refractor rookie autograph from Bowman Chrome that proves that.


I know the card manufacturer’s have to try and sell that hot prospect,or try and get you to buy their product with some other gimmick that might entice you to spend your hard earned cash. I really have gotten tired of seeing these high priced 7 card packs with 3 or 4 hits per box, give me that 36 pack box of Topps with one hit and a chance to complete a set at a reasonable price and I’m happy. I also don’t buy that Panini wanted to try and get the youth back into collecting by putting out some nice lower end products,o kay Panini I gave you 2 years where are they?


Here is the item that convinced me to write this article: Panini put out a product called Dominion hockey, comparable to Upper Deck’s The Cup,with lots of nice high end pulls to be had.The holy grail in that product was a miniature 78/79 stanley cup that was presented to one of the players of the Montreal Canadiens franchise for winning the cup that year.I follow the boards on SCF everyday and I saw that the grail had been pulled, I was hoping that a true Habs fan had pulled it but alas that was not the case. I found out after reading that a collector from Michigan who said he bought 6 boxes in hopes of pulling it was the lucky recipient. That’s awesome dude, now let’s do some math 6 boxes of Dominion at an average of 350 dollars per box,if my math is correct (forgive me I’m old) that amounts to 2,100 dollars. I also found out said collector put it up with a buy it now of 7,500 dollars, no sale sorry, it was lowered to 5,000 dollars buy it now,s till no sale, I found out it sold for 2,000 dollars…a nice piece of change but still a loss from his original investment.


This is the part of me that dislikes this hobby,with the advent of eBay every big pull is now just a money maker. I hate the fact that said collector bought these 6 boxes in hopes of pulling this grail, only to find out he was going to sell it. I would rather he had said he bought these 6 boxes in the hope of putting a full set together and getting some nice PC items,but guess what? That is not how collectors approach boxes nowadays. I just find it nauseating that people have that much money at their disposal to play this gambling game called box breaking. I truly want boxes to go back to the day where a hit was seeded 1 in 2,500 packs and the person who was lucky enough to pull it most likely kept it.The hobby has outpriced itself so that there no longer are youthful collectors, and once we all get tired of the big hit big price gambling game we are playing maybe things can get back to normal.