Updated: Shop owner cuts up 36-card NT booklet

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Remember the 36-card booklet from 2011 National Treasures?

Panini America put out the longest booklet card in trading card history with NFL rookies from last season, including quarterback Cam Newton. Of the five copies of the booklet card, Greg Lambert of California Card Shack got his hand on the first card of the series, which was the only one of the group to have inscriptions.

Lambert is now selling the cards on eBay – yep, the cards.

The card shop owner recently had the booklet professionally laser-cut to make 36 separate cards.

Your Take: Cutting the card

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“Now, I have 36 cards that look like cards,” said Lambert, whose card shop is based in Northern California. “Instead of just one card, I have 36 collectors of certain players who will have a chance to get one-of-a-kind cards.”

Lambert didn’t go through with the decision lightly.

He bought the card from a collector who got the card in a case of National Treasures he bought from Lambert’s shop. He purchased it $4,000.

Lambert put the whole booklet on eBay twice – once for in a 10-day auction and then in a seven-day auction. No buyers.

“I didn’t even get a sniff,” Lambert said. “One person offered about four grand and then retracted the offer. That was it.”

That’s when Lambert decided to separate the cards. He found a shop in California to do the job, but praised Panini for doing a good job in putting together the card with strong plastic, which made it easier to for the company to take apart the cards.

Lambert has received mixed reaction about altering the booklet, but only slightly. He put some of the singles on eBay, but had to take several of them down to fix the listings. The next day, he found about 50 emails in his inbox. All but one wanted to know where the cards went because they had plans to bid.

The one trashed him for cutting up the card.

“I had one guy who said I was an idiot and didn’t know what I was doing,” Lambert said. “That was the only one. Everyone else has been cool.”

Many of the better players from the booklet haven’t been listed yet. Players such as Newton, Julio Jones and DeMarco Murray will go up on Sunday night. Lambert expects to make more than his money back on the cards, but even if he doesn’t, he still thinks it was worth the risk.

“Worse case scenario, I lose a little money,” Lambert said. “I still think I made the right decision.”

In case you are wondering, Mark Anderson, Director of Beckett Grading Services said the best this card would get from BGS is “Authentic-Altered.”

Update: Most of the cards were sold on eBay, but most of the big names – Cam Newton, DeMArco Murray – were taken off without any bids. However, it seems Lambert made the right decision from a financial standpoint.

Of the 29 cards that sold on eBay, the total amount came out to $4,410 (that’s before fees and shipping).

Here’s a breakdown of the cards that sold on eBay from highest to lowest price:

Andy Dalton $610.44
Von Miller $394
Titus Young $333
Ryan Mallett $306
Colin Kaepernick $285
Kendall Hunter $255
Blaine Gabbert $192.50
Alex Green $184.50
Bilal Powell $177.50
Mikel Leshoure $172.50
Daniel Thomas $171.50
Kyle Rudolph $168.50
Stevan Ridley $167
Christian Ponder $163.50
Greg Little $162.50
Ryan Williams $157.50
Leonard Hankerson $157.50
Jonathan Baldwin $144.38
Torrey Smith 142.50
Vincent Brown $130
Marcel Dareus $121
Taiwan Jones $103.50
Austin Pettis $100
Shane Vereen $100
Clyde Gates $96
Jerrel Jernigan $88
Delone Carter $82
Jamie Harper $67
Jordan Todman $66

Susan Lulgjuraj is the Beckett Football Editor. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

When you click on links to various merchants on this site, like eBay, and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission.

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  1. chrisolds 18 July, 2012 at 17:44

    Coffey: Novelty of it is gone. Might yield more if every card is sold, but that’s not really the point.

  2. Josiah Cecil 18 July, 2012 at 18:09

    Ya total mistake Panini made it that way for a reason and now it has been taken out of its original intention and condition which has to make the value plummet. However there are still autos and jersey and patches on the cut up cardboard but still I think he made a HUGE mistake.

  3. Nick Gauder 18 July, 2012 at 18:29

    Im not going to bash the guy for what he did. It was his choice but if it was mine, i wouldnt have cut it up. I would have kept in in my personal collection but if i had to sell it, i would have sold it as is and if i had to take a little loss then so be it. If would have been more than a $700 loss i would have kept it for sure. Thanks for the story!

  4. Joseph Reynolds 18 July, 2012 at 20:49

    I wish I had one of the other 4 because since this has made the news especially with Beckett, I would assume the other 4 just went up in price….


  5. bearcatlawjd 18 July, 2012 at 21:14

    While I am not huge of fan of booklet cards or any type of card that doesn’t into a traditional holder, I would never do anything that would change the original state of the card.

  6. Justin G 18 July, 2012 at 21:15

    I think that it is a bad choice for sure. I am the kind of collector that would want to keep everything the way the company made it. It just seems like destroying a piece of history to me.

  7. Cthomashowell 18 July, 2012 at 22:04

    He cut the card…With a California laser..cutting a card is cutting a card. Value diminished. Seriously? What is next waxing the cards or better yet, Nair?

    Big Willie Long Beach, Ca.
    Sao Paulo, Brazil

  8. Charles Petit 18 July, 2012 at 23:26

    Well the other 4 owners of the similar card just saw their value go up by 20%. They went from a 1/5 to a 1/4 now. Hey, it’s America, this guy can do what he wants to it. I wouldn’t have done it but that’s just me.

  9. David R 18 July, 2012 at 23:33

    I once wrote on 1971 Topps football cards. I punched holes in 1972 football cards. OMG I destroyed the value. I did what I wanted because they were my cards. What is the true value of cardboard signed by football players. It’s all in your perception. Of course, now I wish I hadn’t ruin my cards, but????

  10. glen 18 July, 2012 at 23:46

    there his cards he can do what he wants as far as grading i could care less dont buy graded cards i can tell condition my self and as with any collectable its what some one will pay for it i see cards sell for less and for more than beckett all the time beckett is a guide ps dont think a company should grade the same card three diff ways (bccg.bvg,b) depending on what you pay. none of the other graders do it either a 9 or its not a 9

  11. sean 18 July, 2012 at 23:54

    it is a string of cards, it is not a card, an uncut sheet of cards is rare, it is cool, it is not a card, I already had thought it would be cool to cut this thing up if I had one, it is almost undisplayable and not a good idea….if you look at it honestly and had the option of having the whole set as cards from the factory or a string of cards which would you choose? what this hobby needs is less bs like this and more thought and effort put into making the regular cards collectible.

  12. afff 19 July, 2012 at 00:32

    i myself would have not cut it up but he was the owner of the card which gives the right to do anything he want to it

  13. Chris Wardner 19 July, 2012 at 01:25

    I’m cool with it. The “card” was really a bunch of cards altered by connecting them. Kind of silly even if it is a novelty. I hope there are enough buyers so the guy gets his cash back.

  14. MIKE THOUVENOT 19 July, 2012 at 02:37

    WHAT AN IDIOT! Only 5 ever made and you have the only 1 of 5 with inscriptions and you cut it up!? BIG MISTAKE!!!!

  15. JeffNSU 19 July, 2012 at 09:06

    Smart move. He’ll make a profit. Panini was stupid for introducing this gimmick in the first place.

  16. Card Opinionator 19 July, 2012 at 09:38

    I don’t understand those who say he was out of his mind. He tried to sell them as they were, and no surprise, it didn’t sell. Anyone complaining about the cutting willing to buy it uncut at a fair market price? I don’t think so.
    I think the cut pieces will sell well. Its like owning a piece of the Ohio find. You can’t own it all, but it would be nice just to own a piece of it. He will do fine.

  17. David Johnson 19 July, 2012 at 10:40

    It’s a very interesting move. I don’t think I could ever do that, but I give the guy props. Considering the sheer size of the card it would be extremely difficult to display or show off. Plus how many people want that many autographs, versus player collectors that know there probably won’t be another one cut up (and even if all the others were also cut up, you still have a 1 of 5). I know that if there was a player I collected that was on the strip I would definitely be bidding on the individual card but not the strip.

  18. carey alt 19 July, 2012 at 11:04

    he’s more of an idiot for spending 4k on the card. i’m guessing he’ll get less than 2k for all of the cards. so now he’ll forever be know as a moron for cutting up a great card and a schmuck for losing 2k

  19. JPJ 19 July, 2012 at 11:43

    dumb dumb…….. what in wrold were you thinking. what kind of shop owner does that. hello

  20. james 19 July, 2012 at 12:43

    Where will it stop?????????what ever happened to the GOOD OLE DAY’S of just putting Stats,a Picture of the player, and History of how good of a player, and how long they last in the SPORT’S WORLD…playing the GAME…GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. zotster 19 July, 2012 at 13:17

    This is really no different than what has been done in the past to many issues … Take 1984 Topps Nestle, for example. Originally it was only issued as uncut sheets, but someone got a bunch of them and had them professionally cut into individual cards which sold quite well (and often still do). The old Hostess cards are another example. They may be worth more as uncut panels, but the individual cards still sell very well.

  22. Richard 19 July, 2012 at 13:25

    It’s not much worse than ripping a “rip” card to see which mini card is inside.
    Since this is the only one with inscriptions it might make a better case than the others for laser cutting.

    Frankly, for him,its a business decision. I’ve seen complete sets of cards broken down to team sets
    which sold when the complete set was not getting good enough offers. I think when all is said and done
    he will end up a bit on the plus side of the column and likely make a number of fans of the “lesser” rookies
    a bit happier.

  23. Richard 19 July, 2012 at 16:00

    @James, they still have regular Topps for you to crack and enjoy.
    Eventually they will be back in Basketball and Hockey.

    You can get plain upper deck (with rookie short prints) for hockey
    and you there are some cheap Panini basketball products too.

    Now in many cases you will need to buy a base set if you want to stay on the cheap
    end, but it IS possible.

  24. Merovius 21 July, 2012 at 13:20

    BEP is $140 a card, he wont get that.

    He only had 1 person calling him an idiot? Looks like he’s got about 20 more ^

  25. gordon 23 July, 2012 at 15:34

    He will get over 4k for them all combined…If anyone wants to bet…i’ll be taking them

  26. dick 28 July, 2012 at 11:21

    i’m pretty sure Greg knows what he’s doing. he’s been in the business for many years and has sold many valuable cards in the past. what he chooses to do with his inventory is his choice. call him an idiot, or a genius….at the end of the day, does he really give a **** what you think? if he takes a loss on the purchase, so be it. if he makes a good profit on this project, good for him! There are just way too many haters in this world. 99% of the haters that have commented will never be able to enjoy the financial stability to even consider purchasing a $4k card.

  27. Ian Campbell 15 December, 2013 at 20:13

    Wow, his decision I guess, so his business. In my oppinion he destroyed a piece of collecting history. He only tried to post it twice, the right collector just didn’t see it. There ARE plenty of buyers for super high value cards out there, and that one, especially with the inscriptions was worth way more than he’ll get for his altered singles. If it was me, I would market the thing better than just posting 7 day and 10 day auctions on eBay. Not to mention the longest auto book ever, and the only one with inscriptions…. Destroyed, he cut up history without, and cut his profits as well. This article gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. Yuck.

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