2007 Playoff Contenders

2007 Playoff Contenders Football Box – Great Buy Investment Opportunity

2007 Playoff Contenders
2007 Playoff Contenders Sealed Box

With the hobby shift towards group case and box breaks there is not as much inventory in the more modern era being held unsealed. To me this mass breaking of products is creating a potential investment opportunity for those of us with enough will power and patience to hold sealed products for sale at a later date.

Thus from time to time I search various avenues to find the best deal on older wax that I believe to be under-valued or primed to jump in the near future.

2007 Playoff Contenders Football fits that model perfectly and you can even find some boxes today for $80 <Click Here>, which I believe is a great deal as on average this box sales for $110-$120. 

The biggest factor for me looking at investment material boxes is the rookie class….in this product you have three strong potential candidates for the HOF at marquee positions assuming they continue their career trajectory.

2007-Playoff-Contenders-Calvin-Johnson-RC-123-Autograph-215x3001. Calvin Johnson – WR – Detroit

He already holds the record for most receiving yards in a season with 1,964 yds in 2012 and with 66 Total TDs in 7 seasons he is on par to finish with the greats of the game – earning the right to be mentioned in comparison with Jerry Rice.

More importantly “Megatron” is becoming one of the marquee players of a generation of fans. This will ensure hobby gold for many years to come and an increase in demand for his RC cards in the future.

2007-Playoff-Contenders-Adrian-Peterson-RC1-207x3002. Adrian Peterson – RB – Minnesota

If I wrote this article a couple years ago unquestionably “All Day” would be at the top of this list, but a scary knee injury in 2011 cut his season short, Still he returned in 2012 with his best season ever at 2,000+ yds and 12 TDs.

A.P. is easily ranked as the best RB in the league and he seems determined to keep it that way for as long as he can.


2007-Playoff-Contenders-Marshawn-Lynch-RC3. Marshawn Lynch – RB – Seattle

Had a couple of forgettable seasons between 2009-10 when being traded between Buffalo and Seattle, but since 2011 he has been one of the NFL’s most consistent players and in my opinion  very under-rated from the hobby stand point. He has a brilliant alter-ego in the “Beast” mode and his fans in Seattle are rabid over his amazing runs

 On top of the Big Three there are several other solid NFL Rookie cards in the mix including Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis, Dwayen Bowe,  and Paul Posluzny.  Plus you get an average of 4 Autographs per box. There is even a Dual Auto of Calvin Johnson & Adrian Peterson card in the product….imagine that card’s value in 10 more years?

Verdict: Buy Now before the product starts creeping up in price to match the talent, production and potential of these three stars.

Please comment with your thoughts on this product as well as any other great buy opportunities of sealed wax.

Happy Hunting!


Bob-Layton_with Robert Downey Jr

Collecting Original Comic Book Art & Commissions – PLUS Interview with Legend Bob Layton – Iron Man

secret wars 4 variant recreation
Bob Layton Re-Imagination of Classic Secret Wars #4 Cover.

A very rewarding and unique experience can be found for those of us who have chosen to collect Original Comic Book Art. A chance to own a true one-of-a-kind piece of art and even interact with your favorite artists is unforgettable. The first piece of Original Art I purchased was after meeting Mr. Bob Layton at Wondercon in Anaheim, CA in 2012. I shared with him that my favorite cover of all time was Secret Wars #4 and that I still owned the original copy I bought off the news stand as a kid. 

Secret Wars #4 Cover
Original Secret Wars #4 Cover Sold on Newstand

After some great conversation he shared that he could recreate the cover for me or do a Reimagination of the classic cover which is what I opted for.  Mr. Layton was even kind enough to “include” me in the creative process, and in hindsight these personal interactions became the foundation of my favorite piece and the memories that can become a cornerstone to any comic book collection.  Really isn’t it the “connection” to our collections that make them special?

Collecting Original art doesn’t have to be too expensive either….you can start with panels (the inside pages of a comic book) and if you don’t pick the hottest artists, titles or sequences many can be had for under $100. As a rule of thumb Covers are the most expensive and sought after item as they are typically the visual that most collectors associate with – and they just plain look cool! Then Splash pages – which are pages inside the book featuring one large picture. From there…the characters on a page….what they are doing….etc….all affect the value.

You can build a collection around your favorite artists, stories, characters, commission pieces, etc….literally the options are so vast just let your imagination run wild and most importantly have fun.

Bob Layton on set of Iron Man 3 - The Armory
Bob Layton on set of Iron Man 3 – The Armory

Mr. Bob Layton is one of the legends of the comic book industry whose influence and work has spanned beyond the medium and into television and feature films. If you’ve seen the Iron Man movies, then you’re familiar with Bob’s work (along with his creative partner David Michelinie), who reinvented the Iron Man comic, taking it from near-cancellation to one of comics’ all-time bestselling series. Numerous concepts and characters that David and Bob created are represented on the silver screen in the Iron Man movies (where Bob has acted as the film’s story consultant).

When someone commissions you to re-imagine a classic cover what is your creative process? How do you find time in your busy schedule to get these done?

My commission schedule is sporadic, to tell the truth. Between my convention appearances, freelance comic work and my Hollywood screenwriting duties, there’s usually a narrow window where I can fit in a few commissioned works of comic art.  That’s why I always include a disclaimer that it may take 4-8 weeks to complete a commission.  However, I always make an effort to complete the work in a timely fashion on a “first come-first served” basis. If it is an original composition, I’ll generally submit a preliminary sketch to the commission client for their approval before completing the final product.

Do you have a cover or piece you have drawn that is your personal favorite?

Demon in a BottleI love my “Demon in a Bottle” cover for Iron Man #128.  It is my most requested recreation cover. However, I limit myself to only doing one of those per year, so I don’t flood the market with them.

A favorite story line you wrote/drew that you are most proud of?

“Demon in a Bottle”, the Iron Man Camelot saga, Solar: Alpha and Omega, The X-O Manowar Time Travel storyline and all of my stories on “The Second Life of Dr. Mirage”.

Is there a comic or character you haven’t drawn yet but would like to get your hands on?

DC’s Adam Strange and Challengers of the Unknown.

Did you collect anything when you were growing up?

I was an avid comic book collector when I was young but gave it up when I turned pro.  As my mentor Dick Giordano admonished me while I was his apprentice; “You can’t be a Seller AND a Buyer.”

Do you collect anything today?

Not really. I used to have a complete Marvel collection but sold it shortly after becoming a professional. And I really don’t follow mainstream comics anymore.

You have definitely expanded your reach beyond your massive comic influences to Hollywood now….are there any upcoming projects you would like to share with readers?

Can’t talk about much. (Loose lips sinks ships)  I’m currently working on a rewrite of a Zombie movie that I was hired to script doctor.
And I just finished the third draft of “Mettle”, a major motion picture, that I wrote for Edward James Olmos’ production company.

You can read more about Bob Layton’s current and upcoming projects on his website where he is also accepting commision requests.


Let us know if you decide to get a commission from Mr Layton or any artist for that matter. We would love to hear your story and see the final product! We believe this is a part of the hobby that many haven’t yet had the chance to experience and may be the most rewarding of all!

Until then….keeping turning those pages!

4 years & 3 months later...

Upper Deck Redemption Cards – 4 years & 3 months late?!?!

4 years & 3 months later...
4 years & 3 months later…

So call it a sign….I decide to start up this sports card collecting blog and magically in the mail arrives a package from Upper Deck! Mind you I haven’t purchased much wax in the past few years overall and didn’t even remember sending in any redemption cards lately.

As I read the letter of apology Upper Deck sent stating that they do their best to replace cards which didn’t end up getting created with ones of equal or similar value. I dug up my old Upper Deck Redemption log-in and saw that they in fact did owe me 4 cards all dating back between July & September of 2009!!!

  1. One of the cards was one I actually redeemed – Mario Chalmers – Signature Collection.
  2. The other Signature Collection I was supposed to receive (Wilson Chandler) had been replaced by Mo Williams.
  3. An SP Game Used Auto redemption of Rajon Rondo & Mo Williams was replaced by a Glen Davis & Larry Johnson Radiance Auto.
  4. An Ultimate Collection Brad Miller, Jason Thompson, & Sheldon Williams Auto was replaced by an SP Signature Edition Raymond Felton, Bobby Jackson, Rajon Rondo, and Keyon Dooling.
  5. A “bonus” card they added was a Sheldon Williams Game Used Jersey.

I think from an overall monetary value perspective the trade-outs were slightly in my favor….but I do have some issues I would like to bring up.

  • 4 years and 3 months is way to long to wait to send a replacement card….and in the case of Mario Chalmers were they just waiting to stick the auto sticker on a blank card for that long?
  • How much time is spent by an individual whose job it is to determine “fair & equal” value? I noticed they included a Rondo, and Mo auto (though on separate cards) and while I didn’t get a Sheldon Williams auto they dug up a game-used card. So there was obvious effort on someone’s part to ensure the players I redeemed were mostly accounted for. But again…did it take them over 4 years to make those determinations? Rondo & Mo were much hotter in 2009 than they are in 2013 for example.
  • What if I was a set-builder….I actually think that the amount of money I spent on Ultimate Collection Basketball in 2009 I would’ve preferred an auto or game used of that product as a replacement….but instead they arbitrarily went off players instead of equal from the same set.
  • If I was a player collector…sure you got me a Rondo and Mo Williams….but I could have already purchased those singles separately over the course of 4 years waiting for their response.

Finally how does Upper Deck Value time?

In 2009 I was box & case breaking trying to collect and recoup some of my investment….selling those products in a timely manner is important for many individuals. I do not think there is a wide market for a Shelden Williams Game Used 2009 card at the moment.

But let’s have the market decide.

I will put each of these cards on eBay under home_plate_1989 for sell this week and return to you with the results….

FINAL Sales Results Update – Not including Shipping Costs & Fees

  1. Larry Johnson & Glen Davis Dual Radiance Auto sold $18
  2. Mario Chalmers Auto RC sold $17
  3. Quad Auto SP Signature Edition sold $14
  4. Mo Williams Auto RC sold $13
  5. Sheldon Williams GU sold $0

Total Sold $62 or an average of $15 a year for each year I had to wait. Which got me to thinking about one final point. When collectors purchase a product with a “Suggested Retail Price” that price is dependent on cards that they could potentially get inside. When card companies use redemption cards there has to be a metric involved of the cost of NOT having to produce those cards ever. Like gift cards in the retail sector…many get “lost” or never redeemed (in wax packs they will remain for those who are holding sealed wax or collect sealed wax. In the end the only benefactor in this model are the card companies and definitely NOT the consumers.

Please share if you have had any of these types of delays….or “trades” on redemption cards…..I would even love to hear of GREAT stories where you were pleasantly surprised with the new item.

Until then….Keep on Busting!





The Broken Sports Card Business Model


As I fired up this blog I realized that I would need to reactivate my Distributor and Dealer access for the wax boxes/cases I will be breaking and selling.  Let me say that after three years away from this side of the business there were some eye opening revelations. 

A classic example is the price I will be paying for the majority of my wax boxes/cases is not much lower (sometimes it can be higher believe it or not) than the price I am quoted from my distributor(s) versus me just purchasing from a large dealer on-line.  I don’t have to name names but I am sure you have visited them before – through sheer volume they are able to offer prices very close to dealer cost.

While everyone enjoys getting a good deal…I would say that card manufactures are taking a shortsighted view for what put many brick and mortar hobby stores out of business. The average profit margin for a small business is 25-35% but I can assure you that what was once a very profitable business selling wax packs/boxes for me in 1989 is no longer the case. Factor in the overhead of a store and employees and you will be have to move inventory quickly to keep up.

Unfortunately the true penalty, as we have all seen this play out, is that new collectors are not found. There is an appeal in the camaraderie one gets being surrounded by other fellow enthusiasts. It is the reason that if you walk in a store now you can typically engage in a conversation with any random customer there and smile as you found someone of like mind.

Our store was a hang-out for young kids and their parents…a place they could bond and share an experience together. The key word being “experience”. I am not saying there isn’t a place for the major sellers of wax on-line, but what I am saying is that more consideration should be put into how to make opening a card store more appealing to a small business owner instead of a losing proposition.

Some ideas could involve exclusive products available only to brick and mortar locations. Or Lowering the volume of product that a brick and mortar store has to acquire would seem logical as they can not keep up with companies that have basically become 2nd tier distributors via the web.

Our hobby will always endure….there is such a connection and history that it will forever remain…the analogy I would use is like a child we should want it to grow and flourish.