Graded cards. I kind of get it. It eliminates argument or conjecture over condition and helps to preserve determined condition and therefore potential value. However, the thought of paying money to submit my cards for grading makes me cringe. I would rather buy more wax or sell the cards I would submit and buy them graded already. I know, I know, if you have a Bryce Harper Chrome Auto you think you can get a 10 on, submitting it would cost a fraction of what you would have to pay for one. My sentiment was geared more towards vintage cards of proven Hall of Famer's than today's players who are just one injury or PED scandal away from obscurity ala, A-Rod, Sosa, Bonds, McGuire, etc. and thus part of the reason grading of modern cards is something I can't quite put my money into.
Topps flagship baseball is here. Whoopee! (not really) My collecting habits have changed so drastically since I got back into The Hobby, twelve years ago, that I would rather subject myself to horribly produced box break videos while strapped to a chair and my eyelids pried open than to waste my time and money collating a set I can buy factory sealed in 12 months for less than $40. Well, remembering this scene, maybe not.
Anyways, at one point, I had this goal of putting together every base Topps baseball set, from my birth-year of 1970 to the present. Content with purchasing factory sets annually so I could focus my resources on past sets. Now the only ones I care about or are working on are 1970 and 1973 (my wife's birth year). I have sold large chunks of semi-sets of late and only need 10 cards to complete 1970. I do have complete sets of 1980 through, I believe, 1985 if anyone is interested.
I have gone through a MAJOR collection purge over the last several months and have replaced "collectibles" that I would leave to my kids with things a bit easier to liquidate and tangible; precious metals, fire arms, savings, and signed memorabilia of deceased Hall of Famer's. Don't get me wrong, I still love ripping packs and boxes but since I am not made of money I have to be much more selective and that is why guaranteed hit products like those from Leaf and ITG have a lot more appeal to me as of late as they meet my price point and I don't have to deal with worthless base cards so much.
Heroes of Sport. This company has come on the scene like wildfire. From what I have witnessed of their products, they deliver far more dollar-for-dollar value than ANYTHING else on the market. Now, you have to be able to afford $500 for a box, which I can't, but when you combine some of the hits being pulled and the number and degree of quality prizes being awarded via their raffle drawings, I must admit, it seems as if they have built a nice little business model for themselves.
Message Boards. Man is that one hobby medium that can create rumors and spread hearsay, conjecture and innuendo quicker than an editor can change his shirt. Over the last week or so, two very specific instances were posted on separate boards that gave me pause and became a topic of conversation this past Wednesday on Cardboard Connection Radio. (Forward to about the 30min mark) One on FCB was so erroneous that its ridiculous, the other on Net54 could eventually become evidence in an FBI investigation. I contacted Mark Sapir at Topps for his side of the story on the FCB one. Listen to the show for more details.
Don't get me wrong, these things can happen on other media as well; blogs, social networks, etc. but when you have a dedicated community as most message boards do, things can spin crazy in a heartbeat.
Collecting the Super Bowl. If you are interested in learning more about collectibles from the big game or from the Ravens and 49'ers, click the links to see some work I did for WorthPoint.