I love the design of the base cards for 2013-14 Panini Intrigue Basketball. The dark backgrounds with the color splashes really make the player’s pop on the cards. With so many inserts and variations I only ended up with three actual base cards out of two boxes so this will definitely be a tough set to build!
We hit an O.J. Mayo Top Flight Prime Patch /25 which featured a pretty cool Adidas swatch. What was also interesting was in our first box there were two JRue Holiday’s Top Flights one the base version and the other a Prime Patch version /25. Though I am not a JRue fan that was actually kind of cool to see both next to each other….then you realize how much more desirable patch swatches are!
The Intrigue autograph subset we pulled what appears to be a short-print Robert Parish autograph and jersey swatch /15. While you will never turn down the Chief….I do wish it featured him in a classic Celtics jersey….heck even a throwback Golden State Warriors uniform would be sweet!
My favorite insert hands down is the Slam Ink featuring many of today’s high-fliers but mostly because the autographs are on-card. It truly makes a world of difference. We hit former Slam Dunk Champion Terrence Ross of the Raptors /25.
This complimented our Intrigue Dunk Co pull of one of the most popular slam dunk contest winners ever, Mr Spud Webb.
Our most valuable pull could very well turn out to be a variant out of the foil pack of Kyrie Irving Gold Die-cut serial numbered 8/10. You never know what the bidding will go to among personal super-collectors but I am hoping there are a few watching eBay this week!
Overall a very nice product…each box had one Game Used, One Prime Patch & Two autographs. As an added bonus you also get Draft Pick Redemption cards for this coming draft (1 per box).
I think if you want to roll the dice this is a very fun break and one with some potential bang inside!
This was by far the most controversial product break we have done as several notable on-line case breakers were very disappointed with the results and multiple exchanges occurred between Leaf CEO Brian Gray and BreakerzAnonymous who did some excellent statistical analysis you can check out here based on 11 case breaks they documented including ours!
I applaud the efforts and passions of BeakerzAnonymous as debate and factual research are necessary to continue advancing our hobby back to the golden age of collecting (at this juncture many of us would welcome the silver age!)
For our Case +2 Boxes I included the sales results below of the cut autos (2 of them did not sell) and the lowest priced box I could find for sale on the unopened product between Blowout Cards, SteelCityCollecibles and DaCardWorld.
2014 Best of Leaf Football Unopened Edition
2011 Plates & Patches $83 ; Y.A. Tittle Auto $15
2011 Topps Chrome $129 ; John Mackey Auto $10
2007 UD Premier $100
2008 SP Rookie Threads $129
2012 Panini Black $147 ; Jimmy Johnson Auto $34
2013 Playbook $99 ; Maxie Baughan Auto $21
2012 Topps Supreme $113 ; Herb Adderley Auto $22
2011 Playoff Contenders $114 ; Joe Namath Auto $51
Based on the numbers above we experienced a -13% Return on Investment or a loss of ($173) after opening 8 boxes.
What I personally found interesting is how many breakers were fired up by the losses incurred in this particular product when in comparison to my other breaks I have lost MUCH more from Topps & Panini in breaks. Perhaps the repackaging theme is running it’s course or maybe because companies like Heroes of Sports are driving the envelope for major hits inside repackaged products?
If the intent is to break 2014 Leaf Best of Football and then break the box inside consider that a double gamble….but if you collect sealed boxes then there is some added fun to be found in seeing your mystery box. For me personally I still had a lot of fun with this particular product and look forward to a basketball & baseball release in the future.
I did decide to break a couple of the boxes, but felt it was more fair to keep those single card sales separate since Leaf didn’t have anything to do with the internal contents and that could skew the numbers in either direction. Though the 2013 Playbook Football found me a card for the personal collection!
A collector was disappointed when they pulled this card from a pack of 2014 Gypsy Queen and their initial reaction was to contact Topps Customer Service for a replacement card. One that would feature the actual Autograph of last year’s Rookie of the Year – Wil Myers.
My advice though was to consider sending the card in to get graded by either BGS or PSA to see if they would acknowledge the error in the labeling. My personal opinion is that the error (assuming it is a rarity) would be more collectible and could actually sell for more than the $20 the autographed version is going for on eBay today.
We recently picked up a vintage collection of cards from 1959-1961 and as I was sorting through the treasures I pulled aside a few “shared” cards. You know the ones with the casual photography where the players are talking batting or doing a quick pose on the field before a game.
I guess you could call these the first “insert” cards as it was a way to get additional pictures of your favorite players – often in very interesting groupings. It made me wonder why this practice has declined over the years?
Today you will find “pairings” in modern products like Topps Triple Threads with cool nicknames, but those are individual pictures put together and not a single shot – which captures a moment in time.
For me the ultimate “shared” card is the 1962 Topps Manager’s Dream pairing of Mickey Mantle & Willie Mays. As a 12 year old when I first saw this card it jumped to the top of my want list. I still have the original one I purchased with four well rounded corners, some ink drawn on the back and a surface crease….but it was the one I could afford and it is still a favorite of my collection.
Over the years companies have touched on the concept a few times with some notable results such as the 1992 Upper Deck Bloodlines subset. Or Fleer’s run in the late 80′s capturing some great match-ups….but it is an area I think has become over-looked.
With that in mind what is your favorite shared card in your collection?
The Best submission by the end of April will win a card from our Secret Stash!
CONGRATULATIONS to our Twitter Follower Jeremiah Johnson for his submission and Contest Winning card of:
I have always been intrigued by Through The Mail (TTM) Autograph Collectors. The originators of TTM were innovators of our industry – way before there were autographed insert cards inside packs TTM chasers were getting their cards signed and building impressive collections.
Today’s current TTM collectors are like rebels in our industry who buck tradition and create their own autographed innovations and only pay a fraction of the price! While doing some research I stumbled upon a very impressive TTM collector who happened to be a great guy as well. Travis Jossenberger started collecting in 1990 when he was 7 years old and like most of us has been off and on for the last 24 years. Travis was generous enough with his time to allow me to interview him and below are the excerpts:
How did you get started collecting TTM autographs?
“I got started in TTM collecting from an article in Sports Illustrated for Kids, back around 1994. A reader of the magazine wrote in highlighting his successes obtaining autographs through the mail. I had no idea that getting autographs through the mail was even possible. A short time later my father bought me book of retired and active player mailing addresses, and I became hooked.”
What was the 1st TTM Autograph you received?
“My first ever return was and is my all time favorite player, Orel Hershiser. I sent him a letter and a SASE. He sent me back a signed 1990 Fleer. I put it in a frame and it hung on my wall all the way through high school. The card and autograph are now sun faded, but as far as sentimental value goes, it’s priceless.”
How do you acquire addresses? Any Tips for beginners?
“I used to rely on several books for addresses, or for active players, send directly to their home stadium. Now, the best source out there in my opinion is the online data base www.sportscardforum.com It’s continuously updated by users, who rate their successes and failures. It’s easy to use, and covers almost all major sports. ”
What do you send to the players?
“Normally, I send at least a request letter, a SASE, and something to sign, normally a card. The request letter is very basic, “Dear Mr./Ms. _________, I wanted to write because I am a fan and am hoping to ask for your autograph. If not, no worries! Please know I am a fan either way. Thank you for all that you do for (which sport it is here) and its fans. Respectfully yours, ___________.” I always type the letter, but sign it by hand. Some people try to hand write every letter, but I am not sure that it increases the odds any given player will sign. It’s worth noting that some players respond better to personal letters, and sometimes even questionnaires. But, unless I really have something to say, I try to keep it short and polite.
Most times, I send just one card, unless I know for sure that the player will sign more (and I have more). Sportscardforum’s TTM Database is great for tracking other collector’s successes and failures to help make the determination if sending more than one card will be successful, as members can track how many cards they send and how many are returned signed. Some players, like Frank Tanana, will sign everything, while others, like Jimmy Key, will only sign one. Some players may even keep the extra cards.
Finally, some players do charge, and in that case, I will send cash if I really want the autograph. Prices vary, from very reasonable to ridiculously high. Some prices also vary depending on what you are requesting to be signed.
Ultimately, I can’t stress enough: do research. Sports Card Forum’s TTM Database is an AMAZING tool for this. It takes just a few moments to research any given player from any given sport. “
How big is your collection today?
“For TTM autos, I have about 300 returns, and about 40-50 pending as of now.”
What is your favorite(s) TTM Autos you currently have?
“I have a few returns that I was very happy to get back. Clayton Kershaw is one, as active players of his caliber normally do not sign for free, or at all, TTM. One of my all time favorite returns was Carl Erskine. I sent him a ROMLB, which he turned into a “stat ball.” It was a special touch, and it was much appreciated! Though he has since passed, I was also happy to get a return from Cecil Travis. He may be an unknown name to a lot of collectors, but he played for the Senators from 1933- 1945. If you never heard of him, it’s worth checking his career stats. There’s an obviously drastic dip post WW2 (and he did serve), but if not for that, he would have easily been a HOFer. It’s a reminder that a lot of people, from all types of backgrounds, gave a lot in service of their country. Finally, a last favorite was also my first, Orel Hershiser. I grew up watching him pitch, and my earliest memory of baseball is the Dodger’s win of the ’88 World Series. He’s always been my favorite player, and getting a return from him when I was a kid solidified that for me.”
Top players on your want list you are still pursuing?
“There are a few HOFers on my want list that I am still after, but in all honesty, the thing holding me back is the cost of their autographs. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be cheaper to simply purchase a reliably authenticated autographed piece than to pay for one via TTM. That being said, one player I am currently trying hard to get is Alan Trammell. He signs very, very selectively, and more often than not cards come back unsigned. I’ve sent a few attempts, all of which have been returned unsigned. But I am still trying to score this elusive signer!”
Here are some additional Tips from Travis on how to research on Sportscard Forum’s Database:
-Research, research, research.
- Often, for any given player there will be more than one address. Make sure to find one that has the most recent successes!
- Always check if a player charges for their autograph. This information is usually in the “notes” section, or other users will leave it in their comments.
- Some players charge, some don’t. Some send the money to charity, some don’t. Even on a basic level, some players sign TTM, some don’t. Whatever a player’s reasons may be for signing or not, don’t take it personally.
- Things can and will get lost in the mail, especially with plain white envelopes! It’s just part of the game.
- Even if a player has 100% successes, it doesn’t hurt to do a little checking. For example, if there are 100% successes, but they are from 2 years ago, and there are quite a few pending since then, don’t hold your breath!
- While they are obvious targets, star players and HOF legends rarely sign TTM, or charge quite a bit. Pick players wisely, and you’ll be happier with your initial success rate.
- Send a card that an autograph will look good on, and even come out on! Most, if not all, players use dark ink. Photos will all dark colors? Not a great idea, unless you’re willing to send (and give up) a special pen. Also, Chrome cards usually won’t take autos well, nor will cards with high gloss. Hitting them with an eraser will sometimes take off enough gloss so autos will stick to the card.
- If you send a baseball, you’ll need a #0 and a #2 bubble mailer. Make sure to get ones that self seal. The #2 is to be your SASE. Make sure to include enough postage on the return. Most post offices can help you calculate the exact amount.
When I saw the sale sheet on this product it was a bit of a leap of faith. Repackaging is all the rage today and repackaging a box with another box could have went in two directions. Fortunately for me and collectors I think Leaf got their formula right!
Not every repackaged box is going to have an Exquisite box inside, but Leaf did an excellent job that each sealed wax box made you feel like you were getting something of value in return.
Some of my favorites from the break were the 2011 Playoff Contenders, 2013 Panini Playbook, 2007 UD Premier and the 2012 Topps Supreme.
When bundled with the Cut Autograph card sealed by Beckett Grading Services in each box, I feel they definitely punched this product into the end zone.
I was fortunate enough to hit a cool Y.A. Tittle with the piercing glare and finished off with a Joe Namath clean cut auto.
Being an avid collector of sealed wax perhaps this product just hits my sweet spot for collecting. The chance of the unknown followed by a choice of do you continue to keep breaking or do you keep the wax box sealed?
For me I only owned one of the boxes I received out of the 8 which was the 2012 Panini Black Football so I think that guy is going to get busted on a future post! But for now I will probably sell my 8 Cut Autographs to recoup some of my costs….and then enjoy the sweet additions to my sealed wax collection!
Until Next Time…..Keep Busting….& In this Case….Perhaps Bust Again!
So if you missed the initial case break and product review you can find that here. For those of you following along let’s discuss some interesting financial results from this months case break.
2013 Topps Museum Collection
Goldschmidt GU/99 $17, Troy Tulowitzki Auto $16, Ivan Rodriguez Bat/25 $20
Mark McGwire Blue Parallel /99 $33 (*Included Sale Price of 1 complete Base set 1-100 for $66)
DiDi Gregorius Auto GU/5 $47,
Will Meyers Gold Framed Auto/15 $156, Matt Cain Patch/99 $35
Freddie Freeman Momentous Material Patch/5 $255
Nomar Garciappara Sketch/1 $71, Don Mattingly Auto/25 $51
Julio Tehran Archival Sepia Auto/5 $26
Christian Yelich Signature Swatches Auto GU/70 $15
Mike Schmidt Signature Swatches GU/5 $38
Billy Hamilton Redemption $20
Mark McGwire Green/199 $22
Nomar Garciaparra Book/10 $122
So Freddie Freeman takes the pole position for the highest sale price which is only fitting as the Momentous Material Patch numbered to 5 (as seen above in the header) is a case hit. Still $255 was much higher than I expected for the young up and coming slugger!
Round two would have to go to Nomar Garciaparra for the Booklet Autographed card /10 ($122) and the 1/1 Sketch card ($71) showing that No-Mar still commands hobby dollar respect!
Some other points of interest are that out of a 12 box case I was only able to make 1 complete base set (cards 1-100) which brought in $66 and is actually a good deal when compared to the retail price of a single box.
I was also pleasantly surprised that Mark McGwire has a strong following in the parallel card market. His Green Parallel /199 sold for $22 while his Blue Parallel /99 sold for $33 to two different buyers!
While we are on the nostalgia tip of Nomar and McGwire let’s throw in the Donnie Baseball Don Mattingly autograph /25 which brought in $51.
All in All 2014 Topps Museum Collection was a lot of fun to break….the boxes can definitely provide some sparks and special hits….but as with any high-end product the chance to miss/lose is also high as well.
In my case break 60% of the boxes would lose a collector over $100 each. As of today the boxes/cases can be found on-line for LESS THAN we paid through a distributor as a sports card dealer. So the value of the unopened product has slid a bit which is actually shocking too me as I do believe this is a high quality product….but that can be useful to a collector as you know their isn’t a lot (or any) mark-up going on with the current inventories being held.
Until next time….Happy collecting….& Keep Busting!!!
This was definitely a very enjoyable 12 box case break….though it is a high end product with a lot of bust potential there is also room for some pretty special pulls. I can’t fault Topps for not putting in the “Wow” factor…it was just that my luck on players pulled was not in effect.
With 2 Game Used & 2 Autographs per box (1 hit per pack) buying a single pack or two is a viable gamble at your local card store. In each 12 box case you are guaranteed to hit a limited Framed Autograph & a Momentous Material Jumbo Patch Auto. In my case that was a Gold Framed Wil Myers /15 which is a decent pull of last year’s ROY.
My Momentous Material was a bit lackluster with Didi Gregorious Game Used Patch Auto /5. What I did find most impressive with 2014 Museum Collection was the Archival Autograph subset. I loved the simplicity of the card design and the fact that all the autographs are on-card in that set is very impressive. This would make a beautiful collection to pursue….but alas my budget is limited so I will keep Papi Ortiz as my primary keepsake!
I must have picked up the Nomar Garciaparra case as I pulled two Big Hits of him. A One-of-One Sketch card signed by the artist which was very well drawn. As well as a Nomar Booklet card with Autograph & Relics /10.
Overall a very nice product with boom & bust potential. I think if you can afford a roll of the dice than Museum Collection has great ROI potential and provides some fun & excitement along the way.
I will post again at the end of the week the financial results so we can see how far away from the mark this particular case will be.
From an overall enjoyment factor – breaking a case 2013-14 Panini Titanium Basketball hit the target spot-on. I enjoyed the mixture of of recent historical NBA references like the game used Tracy McGrady Patch….to the Hall of Fame and Playground Legend homage to “The Hawk” Connie Hawkins.
The 8 Box Case did well in the sales break-down below (assuming one were to sell every card on the week of release) and candidly I was a bit shocked as some cards sold for much lower than I would have anticipated.
I think the Larry Johnson Auto at $12 was a steal! (*Which is why I am happy I held on to mine for my personal collection….Grandmama in a Knicks Jersey?!?! Bonus!)
The Game Used Swatches were significant and designed really well…and there were some cool patches included in the 8 boxes too – Still trying to ID where Pau’s came from!
My only regret was how low my Anthony Davis 1/1 sold for….I started it out at $49.95 on eBay to see if I could garner attention…and while it did attract over 20+ watchers….the bidding war never emerged that I expected. For under $100 I would have preferred to keep that card for myself….next time I will start the bidding higher! <sigh> farewell my friend it was nice to have you momentarily.
Though the one true Rookie card I did pull from my case was garnering some heavy sales figures based on three sales of comparable cards….I am glad stayed it my PC!
If you missed my initial break of the case you can click here for the article or check the video below. Until next time…..Keep Busting!
In a single word….Impressive. From the moment I first saw the sale sheet from In The Game Stickwork the product just seemed so innovative and cool that I ordered a couple of boxes not even being a Hockey Collector just because I wanted to see the product in person. Then after a week of looking around I felt like this could really be a special release so I bumped my order up to a case! Perhaps it is the push of not having a NHL license, or perhaps ITG is just full of creative individuals striving to push our hobby to the next level…but either way the results were impressive!
2013 In The Game Stickwork
3x Stick Rack (Fuhr, Moog, Joseph) $29
Artus Irbe $26
2xTape(Beliveau, Richard) $137
Dual Stickrack Dryden Bros $50
Sakic est. $80 Yzerman 500 /4 est $125 & Lemieux $73
For those of you familiar with my system I break all boxes or cases with my own funds and then sell the majority of singles back and keep a few cards along the way for my PC. In the case with In The Game Stickwork I was EXTREMELY surprised to be able recoup all my funds back in the product I opened! In comparison check out my 2013-14 Panini Gold Standard Basketball case break and you will see the OTHER side of the spectrum! (*For cards I keep in my PC I look for the same or similar card sold on eBay during the same time period my other cards were listed.)
Each box the cards were already in magnetic cases and for the majority of cards you would find BOLD multi-colored swatches of game used sticks all around. Actually the times when there were no multi-colors were some of the cards I enjoyed the most as they tended to be of the vintage variety like the Quad Stick Gordie Howe, Ted Kennedy, Maurice Richard and Howie Morenz /9.
I believe the future of our collecting hobby will be limited print/distribution runs like In The Game’s Stickwork where only 2500 boxes are produced thus avoiding the mass production that tends to drive down the overall value of cards.
When you can maintain and potentially increase the value of your investment from opening wax….I think the trade off of a higher per box price is worth that opportunity vs. spending $50-$75 a box that is filled with mostly commons.
Congratulations & a Sincere Thank You to In The Game for making an outstanding product….and one that is in the running for my vote on product of the year!