August 25, 2016
In this day and age of the major trading card companies apparently starting to feel the pressure from the upstarts to produce bigger, better & fancier cards, there is a new phenomenon developing. That is the practice of live card “breaks.” That is where someone (breaker) will announce the date, time and cards involved. They then charge a fee to enter depending on the cards involved. The higher end the cards, the higher the break entry fee.
The NFL card breaks can be randomized by division or buyers can pick teams, divisions or letters of player last names. The buyers names as well as divisions etc. are then usually randomized through random.org a number of times to give everyone a fair shot of pulling a big hit from the box. Breakers use hobby boxes as opposed to retail boxes due to the fact the hobby boxes have better and more “hits” per box.
I have bought into a couple of these breaks and have done well on some and hit zero on others. It is a complete random chance. The first thing to do is to do your homework on the card sets being broken to determine if the hits per box are worth the price of admission. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If it happens to be a “pick your team” break then you can study up through a checklist to see what the possible pulls will be. I will always go for veterans in the box vs. rookies due to the fact we know the value of the veterans cards. Rookies are so hit or miss.
Now for the problem I’m having with this entire process. It is obvious very early on whether or not the breaker is a sports fan or simply a cash grabbing guy seeing an opportunity. They even have a website where you can grade the breakers for the entire world to see. Most people are grading the breakers based on shipping times, price of entry, whether or not ALL cards are shipped. Some breakers will only ship the “pulls” or valuable cards and not ship the base cards from the break. All of the breaks I’ve entered ship all cards which is the way it should be. You paid for them, you should receive them.
The guys that are looking for a quick cash grab are the ones that cannot pronounce the players names, they simply butcher these names. You want to scream at these guys either through You Tube or Periscope to tell the correct pronunciation! As we get closer to hockey season I cannot wait for the clowns to stumble over the French or Eastern European names that will definitely be in these sets.
This is creating a market for card makers to produce such high end cards they will only be affordable by the breakers that are charging up to $90.00 entry fees. This saddens me. Every little kid would love nothing better than to pull a bat knob or signed batting glove when opening a pack of cards. These will be unavailable because they will only be packed in hobby boxes which are $300.00 or higher and therefore simply not feasible by middle class working parents.
Of course, I am speaking in generalities. I have pulled some great cards in retail packs. But the chances are slim. A lot of kids love the base cards as I did as a child but please manufacturers; you are simply and undoubtedly pricing a child in Des Moines, Iowa simply out of the chance. These breaks can be fun if you have the disposable income, but I am hoping the fad goes away quickly. I have spoken to a couple of guys that host these breaks and the money to be made is easy to be had. There is not one single thing wrong with a 12 year old picking up a couple of packs at the store and then rushing home to open them and to see the joy in these faces as pure adulterated happiness. That why at the end of the day I say.if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it…