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PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
11-14-2012, 10:34 PM
Post: #1
PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
It has been awhile since I've posted on these boards. I used to be on here FREQUENTLY, and when I say frequently, I mean it. I had thousands of posts before the renovation (how long ago was that?). So let me come back into the world by getting this off of my chest.

Wow, I am frustrated.

I must start by saying that I am a freshman in college, on a college kid's budget. You know, paying for meals every day. Paying for a bus pass every month. Books. Supplies. More books.

To put it simply, I rarely have money for frivolous fun anymore. I used to get my allowance and spend it on packs of cards from the convenience store down the street. Not anymore.

But I digress.

I have recently started back into the hobby one Ebay purchase at a time, and good lord, I've noticed a huge change. I'm sure you've seen the same thing, but it's much more dramatic for someone who has taken a "break" like I have.

Where's the fun?

I remember buying packs of Topps Total baseball and jumping around the house because I got the first Arod Yankees card. I remember that feeling when after hundreds of packs, I got a DIONER NAVARRO bat card. I had no idea who he was, but it didn't matter. It was a piece of a bat. Right in front of me. I could feel it.

Now, as I cruise the boards and watch box breaks on Youtube, I am DISGUSTED. This Topps Five Star product exemplifies EVERYTHING that is wrong with the hobby, and I cannot believe where things are headed. It scares me, because my little brother is just starting to collect.

You're telling me that Topps can get away with selling this absolute CRAP. How can they justify putting players like Brett Lawrie and Dan Uggla (just two examples of the many) in a product with a $500 sticker on it? Redemptions? Jerseys with ONE color? Frankly, I would be infuriated if I had spent all that money and walked away with a Clayton Kershaw auto and a Will Clark auto.

And with NICKED corners? Unfathomable.

What makes me the most upset is that for me, the kid on a college budget, there's no other options. Either I summon incredulous amounts of money to purchase products with no upside or I head on down to Walmart and get packs of Topps football with 1/5000 odds of getting anything decent.

Products like Five Star have devalued all the things card collecting is supposed to be about, and I'm not exaggerating. My dad always tells me about pulling his first Walter Payton card, and he still shows me it. And since I have seen both sides of the industry change, I can sympathize with his feelings.

But my brother, who is nine years old, says "where's the autograph?".

He has seen Ebay. He has seen these Youtube box breaks. He has seen enough to understand that the ONLY thing that holds any value anymore is the serial number and the patch.

Throw the commons away. They don't matter anymore.

Cards of the "stars" are a dime a dozen now. Why? Because people want the refractors and the autograph books and the 1/1s and the logos. And they won't be satisfied until they get them. Because Topps has shown us that those are the most prized hobby possessions.

I'm not taking a shot at ANY of you. I still collect, and I'm guilty of the things I speak about at times. But as my brother starts to collect and I start to see that without wads of cash, nothing of value can be had, I am sickened.

A hobby that used to be so giving is taking back from us.

Slow down. Stay away from Five Star and take pride in your collection. Take pride in the simple things.

I know business comes first, but can it still be fun? I'm talking to you, Topps.

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11-14-2012, 11:47 PM
Post: #2
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
First off Welcome back to the boards. I too attended college a few years back and stopped buying anything because of it. Collecting now is more about finding what you like, be that a player a team or a set. Five Star started about a year ago in the football market. I agree that it is ridiculous to spend 500$ on 6 cards that are not even shrink wrapped inside the box! If you want to talk about value I think you should look at bowman chrome products. Or just open older boxes of Upperdeck or Topps. There is a lot wrong with this hobby and some things right too. I buy boxes and packs alot and it can be and I believe is like gambling. However when you get a really good card you at least have something to show for it.
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11-15-2012, 05:01 AM
Post: #3
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
there's a difference between collecting and investing
buying boxes and packs havent been a good investment in 20 years
there are multiple ways to collect
no one can tell you what you collect is wrong, how you collect is wrong - except for you
and if you are looking to buy product with an eye on the future, there are ways to buy without breaking your budget, or by buying boxes

Sawyer MacMillan Blue: coming october 20th, a few blocks away from the Cathedral of Baseball
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11-15-2012, 05:01 AM
Post: #4
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
Getting ready for work so can't comment. But....



English major?

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COLLECTING ALL JOEY GALLO AND ADDISON RUSSELL !!!
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11-15-2012, 06:59 AM
Post: #5
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
I think you are right about the Topps Five Star from a college students perspective. That set is more for the investors in the hobby and guys who have a more disposable income. There are still things that you can buy that will get you the same rush though, and you can do it on a budget. There are several wholesaler sites that get better prices than ebay. Try not to let the high end products sour your image of the hobby. I just enjoy watching what they pull, if it's a good hit and chuckle when they don't get anything.
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11-15-2012, 07:06 AM
Post: #6
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
I'm torn on the subject.

While I too have no use or desire to purchase a $500 pack of cards, and completely agree (in my opinion) it's ridiculous why ANYONE would want to, I realize I'm not the target demographic.

I think you're being terribly over-dramatic about it frankly. If that were the ONLY product produced in a given year, then I might say yeah you have a point.

But with the dozen or so different products put out by Topps each year, most at various price points, you can find something within your limited budget.

The other problem I have with your rant, is that many/most of us have been through the college years too...and you know what - it sucks. You HAVE to make sacrifices. Yeah, you're on a limited budget. Yeah, you don't have a lot of free spending cash. But you know what - that's the choice and sacrifice you have to make. I would love to have eaten at Morton's every night while I was in college too, but dang it I couldn't afford the $100 steaks every night because I was a broke college student. Does that mean Morton's is wrong?? Because that's the vibe I'm getting from your post.

Anyway - good luck with your studies. It WILL be a tough four/five years, but do enjoy them. Those years (like pretty much everything from now on) go by too quickly in retrospect.

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11-15-2012, 07:25 AM
Post: #7
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
I can count on one hand how many packs I bought during college. But that sacrifice I made is a super small reason i got through college on a shoe string budget as well. Dont worry, by the time you graduate and find a good paying job I am sure Topps will have another $500 a pack product you can spend money on and pull a Ryan Garko Auto and a Freddy Sanchez white jersey patch.

The modern day wax boxes with autographs, relics and refractors are the industries way to stay relevant. Who were card companies competing against in the late 80's to get kids attention? Super Mario, Legend of Zelda and 20 TV Stations. Now they have to complete with Modern Warfare, Halo, the internet and 900 Television Stations.

It is a shame that kids today just disregard commons and look for the "Hits". But everything evolves and the card companies realized that to stay relevant they had to spice up their product.

Sign of the times my friend.

Collecting Bob Feller, 1951 Bowman, anything Cleveland.

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11-15-2012, 07:37 AM
Post: #8
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
I too re-entered the hobby about a year ago after a looooonnngggg hiatus to find everything so different and expensive. At first I was a little overwhelmed and confused with all the parallels, #'d, different versions etc... After trying various products, ways to acquire, ebay scanning etc...I found my new niche that I am comfortable with. As jacoby says there is no wrong way, just your way. To find the excitement or intrigue that you speak of in the past, that is what I missed also. I have found ways to bring back the fun of random pack pulling like the good old days. Myself I like to buy large lots or 5000 count boxes or the like of random cards (I was away for so long that mid 90s is where my "childhood" collecting stopped) and search through and find the ones I need. All the doubles I go through with my kid, and then bring to the school I work at and let the students go through them. It is not expensive (sometimes as low as $5 with the right searching or even free from some), a great deal of volume, and the mystery factor of the old buy a pack at the corner store and what will I get is still there. Other ways to find the "random fun" are reputable dutch style auctions on the bay. Not to sound like a commercial for someone else but if you contact jacobystealshome I'm sure he can put you in contact with one of these dealers Smile

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Justin Verlander, Reno Bertoia, and Alan Trammell
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11-15-2012, 07:38 AM
Post: #9
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
While I agree that $500 a pack is quite steep, my daughter and I enjoy opening the standard Topps Series 1, 2 and Update every year. The hits aren't as flashy as the high end stuff but you get a ton of cards for the money, compared to most of the other yearly releases. I get to stay within our budget and Bella gets to experience the thrill of opening packs, much like I did when I was buying 1987 Topps wax packs from the corner store.

Collecting Nolan Ryan, Derek Jeter, Mike Trout and especially...Jonathan Lucroy (my daughter is his #1 fan!)

Lucroy Collection : 199/232 non 1/1's (85.8%) and 17 1/1's

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11-15-2012, 07:39 AM
Post: #10
RE: PLEASE read- A rant: Sucking the fun out of the hobby $500 at a time...
I can see where he is coming from. Been back collecting a couple of years after a long break from the hobby and I myself have sworn I was going to just quit the hobby completely as recently as this past spring because I was trying to keep up with what other people were pulling. It was frustrating but they were buying high end and I was buying lower end stuff so naturally their hits were going to be better. I took a step back and looked at what I could realistically spend and how I could find still find enjoyment in the hobby with very limited funds. Let Topps sell the ultra expensive stuff (that is rarely worth it) to someone else. I will now just buy lower end boxes every once in awhile and mostly focus on buying singles for my Cole Hamels PC. I also look to trade on here for what I want or need. I still have my complaints at times but it has been fun so far and I am pretty happy with my little place in the hobby...for now Smile

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