Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Topps Series 1: Jason Heyward Chasing History Relic

I'm starving for some 2012 Panini Prizm Football.  I've only seen two retail boxes in all the retail stores around me.  I don't know what it is.  Either everyone is buying the entire box of it on sight or the supply is really low around here.  It's killing me.  I want those cards so bad.  Totally jonesing for those cards.

I've hit up every single retail store around me and nada.  Nothin'.  Zip.  Zilch.  Zero.

But while I've failed to find any Prizm Football to search, I am finding plenty of 2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball to search.

At one retail store I found a rack pack which had been very secretively hidden behind some blaster boxes.  Immediately that caught my attention.  Rack packs just don't accidentally fall or get hidden behind blaster boxes unless ... it contains something good.

I grabbed the rack and felt it.  It only takes a moment, and I knew there was a hit.  Yup.  Somebody else had done some pack searching and had found it but they had left it behind.  Not sure why.  Perhaps they didn't have the $5.00 to buy the rack pack.

Oh well.  Their loss is my gain.

Jason Heyward
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Chasing History Relic
Retail Pack Odds: 1:125
Rack Pack Odds:  1:47
Hanger Pack Odds:  1:24

Boom.  Got a nice Jason Heyward Chasing History Relic card!  I've probably said it a million times already, but I really like the design of the relic cards this year over last year's crap design.

Jason Heyward
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Chasing History Relic
Retail Pack Odds: 1:125
Rack Pack Odds:  1:47
Hanger Pack Odds:  1:24


I wonder why the previous pack searcher left the hit.  I haven't left a single hit I've come across since I've started pack searching.  I might start though.  I seem to come across a lot of 2012 Panini Absolute Football relics.  I liked that set and the relics at first but now they've really waned on me.  I really dislike the cards now.  The base cards look fine, but the relics look cheap.  So cheap that I am beginning to think I'd rather have the $5.00 instead of the hit.

Man, prior to learning how to pack search there were days when I would have given anything to get those relic cards.  Now... I don't even want them.  I guess learning how to pack search sort of makes you jaded to the whole relic cards.

I still do want the relic cards from 2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball though.  Can't get enough of these.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pack Searching 2012 Topps Football: John Elway Quarterback Milestones Touchdowns

Been a long time since I've run across a coin card in 2012 Topps Football.  Did a little searching at a Walmart not too long ago and found another one.

John Elway
2012 Topps Football
Quarterback Milestones: Touchdowns (Bronze)
Odds:  1:3,950

This card wasn't all chipped around the edges too which was nice.  The other coin cards I've found always seem to have heavy chipping. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Even the Elderly Pack Search

Came across a funny thread on Blowout Cards:

So I walk into Target Saturday to pick up a jumbo pack of Topps and I witness probably the most pathetic thing I have ever seen. I see an older couple in their 70's or 80's with a bunch of card packs in their cart. Then I notice the old man...he is feeling up the packs and looking through to see what cards there are. As I take a closer look, I see they are feeling up ANGRY BIRDS packs. As I walk away laughing I hear the lady say "I already have that one." This has to be a new low. I can't stop laughing about it.

I don't know if it's a "new low" but I think it's sort of funny that even older folks pack search.  Can you blame them?  Who wants to pay for a pack of cards if you already have all those cards?

As with most threads about pack searchers on Blowout Cards, the responses are always entertaining and interesting.  One guy admits to pack searching:

Is it? When my boy and i were collecting the lego minifigs sets we would stand at the packaging and feel the packs trying figure out the ones we still needed. We are just as pathetic as the older folks i guess. Now on with my day! --stellablue

Gotta give stellablue some credit for admitting that he's pack searched before.  Blowout Card members aren't fond of pack searchers and they usually harass the person who admits to doing it.  But surprisingly they let stellablue off the hook.

This is actually a pretty funny comment:

Packsearchers are like water.....they will always find a new low to flow down to. --texgator

Hahaha.

And another person admits to pack searching:

I remember back in the early 90's vons used to get fleer cello packs and they were next to the check out lines. I was 10 or 11 at the time but i would grab a few packs take them back to a empy food asile to pick out the rookie sensations and fleer all stars. I know it was bad but I did get a frank thomas rookie sensation and a jordan fleer all star back in the day and those were huge cards for a 11 year old. The Thomas was like a $100 dollar card back then.  -- supercards2012

See?  Even a lot of those high and mighty folks at Blowout Cards, whom all love to hate on pack searchers, were and are pack searchers themselves.

Okay, now here is where we really start getting some interesting comments:

I sorta did the same thing. There used to be codes printed on the internet that showed what dots and dashes had each figure in it. While I guess it was technically pack searching, no figure had a greater value than any other one -- my son just wanted the sports figures.

I could have bought the figure online for the same price as the figure in the pack, but he wanted it at that point. I think this can be differentiated as there was no rare insert or premium item that was being searched for.

....bring out the angry mob...--Bob Loblaw

Yes, it is "technically" pack searching.  There are no technicalities about it.  Using a cheat sheet to decipher the dots and dashes on a pack to determine what is inside is pack searching.  Bob Loblaw tries to qualify his admission by stating that it wasn't that bad because no figure was greater in value than the other.  And, most importantly, he was doing it for his kid. 

Look, I don't have a problem with pack searching.  Obviously, because I'm a pack searcher myself.  But trying to qualify an admission that you pack search because the figurines aren't more valuable than others or your son wants certain figures doesn't really save you.  I pack search for certain rookies some times.  Does the fact that I'm looking for certain players (instead of just doing general pack searching) make what I do not pack searching?  No.

Likewise, I pack search for certain inserts sometimes too.  Bob Loblaw seems to think that looking for certain inserts is only "pack searching" when the insert you're looking for is rare or valuable.  Not so.  Whether that insert is 1:6 odds or 1:200 odds, if you're searching for it, you're pack searching.  What you're doing isn't necessarily wrong -- it's my opinion that it's not -- but it is pack searching.

not that I am saying it is ok...but at least they were looking for ones they need and not just ones to sell-- gmrson

Oh, so pack searchers who search to sell the packs are less culpable than those who search for their person collection?  I think it's completely irrelevant what a person does with a pack that they've found via pack searching.  Although I don't consider pack searching bad, I don't think a person that pack searches to sell for profit is any more of a "bad" person than one who searches just for their own collection.  Pack searching is pack searching.  What you do with the pack after you find it and buy it is your own business.  If there is any harm or foul to pack searching, it occurs at the point of sale.  What happens to that pack after its purchase has no bearing on whether the pack searcher is bigger immoral person or not from a pack searcher who doesn't sell hot packs. 

I hate when pack-searchers compare what they do to searching for the best ripe fruit at the grocery store. I don't go home and sell the fruit on ebay! -- Natitude

Again, what difference does it make what a pack searcher does with a pack that they've found?  It makes no difference.  What if a person went to the grocery store, bought all the ripe fruit, then re-sold the fruit as "ripe fruit" (like a hot pack)?  They could do that.  And people would probably buy that fruit for more money than the fruit in the supermarket.  Why?  People are willing to pay a premium for a product which they know will meet a certain set of standards.  When you buy fruit at the supermarket, if you don't know how to tell which one is ripe, then it's a crap shoot.  But if someone searched the fruit for the ripe ones, bought the ripe ones, and then re-sold the fruit as "ripe fruit", then what's wrong with that?  Nothing.  Just because people don't do that doesn't mean the fruit analogy is inapplicable to pack searching packs of sports cards.

Most collectors have done this either intentional or not. I'm guilty of picking out the fattest pack in the box that is blatantly obviously has a hit in it. If the companies really cared they would put more research into it. Those decoy cards are a joke. -- RedemptionKing

Thank you!  Hallelujah!  There is one reasonable person on Blowout Cards!  Yes, picking the fattest pack is pack searching.  It is perhaps the easiest form of pack searching.  And yes, decoys are a joke.  Especially when not every pack has a decoy.

I did the same. Long time ago for hockey they had a 2000/01 Private Stock product. Two of the packs had either patch or stick cards in them and were nearly twice the size of the other packs that had only a jersey in each. Card owner would hold the box and let me pick and I grabbed the thick ones of course  -- duwal

Exactly!  A lot of the people on Blowout Cards only buy hobby boxes or hobby packs from their local LCS.  I bet when a lot of these people go to their local card shop (LCS) and buy loose hobby packs, most of them look for, and grab, the thickest packs.  And they're the ones who are calling us dirty pack searchers.

Pot, meet kettle. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Topps Series 1: Mike Trout Bat Relic

Did some early morning searching one day.  Hit up a Walmart and found this beauty.

Mike Trout
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Bat Relic
Retail Pack Odds:  1:125
Rack Pack Odds:  1:47
Hanger Pack Odds:  1:24

Niiiiiccccceeeee.   Card is in pretty darn good shape too.  Maybe even worth grading just for kicks.  I really like the relic cards in 2013 Topps Baseball over last year's design.  The 2012 design looked cheap.  The horizontal design of card left a lot of wasted space and made the pictures of the players smaller.  I'm a big believer  in utilizing as much of the card space as possible.  The 2013 design does this a lot better. 

Note how in this year's design there is little wasted space on the card.  Perhaps the only wasted space is the thin strip of red along the upper left edge of the card.  But other than that, the vertical design allows for a larger picture of the player to fill the entire right half of the card. 

Mike Trout
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Bat Relic
Retail Pack Odds:  1:125
Rack Pack Odds:  1:47
Hanger Pack Odds:  1:24

I think the backs of the cards look pretty classy too.  I like the dark back.  It gives the card a rich look instead of a cheap white back.  The back design is simple and elegant.  No overly fancy frills and no cheap gimmicks.  Just a good quality card.  Love it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pack Searching: 2012 Panini Prizm Football

2012 Panini Prizm Football started popping up in retail across America last week.  I've been looking for it for the past two weeks.  Only four days ago did it actually show up around me -- and only in one retail store.  Either people are buying the entire freakin' retail box when they see it or the supply for the retail stores is really low.   Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if everyone is just buying the whole box when they find one.  Lots of people on Blowout Cards seem to be doing that. 

Anyway, I was actually lucky enough to find two retail boxes at a local Target.  I went to the Target on my lunch break.  I had been there the weekend before and actually even the day before and I hadn't seen any Prizm on the shelves.  So I was very surprised when I walked in and saw two brand new retail boxes staring me in the eyes. 

At least, I thought they were new.  I immediately grabbed them and counted how many packs there were.  There were 24 in one box and 23 in the other box.  Either one box got shorted a pack or somebody had just bought one pack -- perhaps the auto out of one of the boxes. 

The easiest way to tell if the packs had been searched is to inspect them for signs of searching.  Didn't see any rips or gouge marks from nails, but the box had clearly been searched.  Somebody had been fanning the cards to try and feel for the sticker autographs. 

So I was pretty sure that one box was missing an autograph.  Although, it's weird how the previous pack searcher only bought one pack when there was a second autograph in the second retail box right next to it.  Oh well, their loss is my gain.

I searched both boxes.  Searching this product was easier than I thought.  I thought it was going to be hard but it wasn't that hard at all.

I easily picked out all the inserts, and actually found both autographs.  Finding the prizms is harder.  I have a theory about how to find them.  I wasn't 100% sure I had found them all, but I was pretty sure I did.  In all, I bought 14 packs of cards from the two retail boxes.  Two of the packs I knew had autographs.  Six of the packs I knew had inserts.  And the other six packs were packs which I thought contained the green and regular Prizms.

Here's what I got.

Doug Martin
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card

Did get one nice Doug Martin rookie card.  I absolutely LOVE the look of these cards.  The scans don't do the cards justice.  The scans just make the chrome border look gray when it's really a nice shiny... well, chrome.  I also love the feel of these cards too.  They're nice and stuff.  No bowing.  Nice plastic-y gloss finish on the front, and a glossy finish on the back.  Great looking cards. 

Justin Blackmon
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card

Picked up a nice Justin Blackmon rookie card.  Unfortunately, the packs that I got all seemed to have off-centered base cards.  Their right-left centering was pretty bad.  So these particular cards won't grade well.  That is a shame. 

Robert Griffin III
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card

And... got a sweet Robert Griffin III rookie card.  I was hoping it was a short print variation, but it's not.  It's just the regular base version.  Oh well.  Still a nice card though.  Wish it was centered better though.

Next up are the inserts.  There are three inserts per retail box: one Brilliance, one Decade Dominance, and one Rookie Impact. 

Calvin Johnson & Hakeem Nicks
2012 Panini Prizm  Football
Brilliance Insert

My Brilliance inserts were Calvin Johnson and Hakeem Nicks.  Nice looking cards.  Would have been nice if they were Prizms or a gold Prizm. 

Earl Campbell & Jerry Rice
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Decade Dominance Insert

My Decade Dominance inserts were Earl Campbell and Jerry Rice.  I'm actually not too much of a fan of these particular cards.  I think there is too much chrome on these cards.  The background is all chrome, aside from the texture dots.  I think these cards need some color in the background.  The Earl Campbell card looks a little weird to me since the picture is black and white, and the background is chrome too.  The card looks very mono-chromatic.  (No pun intended.)

Chandler Jones & Kendall Wright
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Impact

And the Rookie Impact inserts were of Chandler Jones and Kendall Wright.  I was actually pretty surprised that the Rookie Impact players are actually players who seem to have actually ... made an impact as a rookie.  Chandler Jones played in 14 games and logged 45 tackles and 6 sacks this season.  Not bad for a rookie defensive end.  And Kendall Wright notched 64 receptions on 104 targets for 626 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Not bad at all for a rookie wide receiver.

And finally, the green prizms.

Joe Flacco
2012 Panini Prizm
Green Prizm Parallel

Boom!  Super XLVII MVP Joe Flacco!  Nice!  These green prizm cards are sick in-person.  The scans, actually do a pretty good job picking up the color of these cards.  (It helps to take the cards out of their penny sleeves when scanning them too.)


Von Miller
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm Parallel

And picked up a nice Von Miller green prism.  Again, I love the looks of these cards!   These green prizms were centered better than my base cards too, which was nice.


Torrey Smith
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm

And my last green was a nice Torrey Smith!  Another Superbowl XLVII Raven!  Nice. 

I wonder what the print run on these green prizms is.  They're not numbered, but I hear people speculating that it's something like only 70 to 110 of each card. 

And then the autographs...

Chris Rainey
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Autograph Rookie Card

Unfortunately, both of my autograph cards were redemptions.  Hopefully Panini can fulfill these autographs and I won't have to get replacements.  Anyways, the first autograph was a Chris Rainey autograph.  Nothing spectacular but I'll take it for a mere $3.19. 


Janoris Jenkins
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Autograph Rookie Card

And my other autograph was a Janoris Jenkins redemption!  Actually a pretty decent autograph!  Yeah, the card isn't selling for a lot of money, but Janoris Jenkins performed pretty well (statistically) as a rookie.  He put up 73 tackles, 4 interceptions, 3 touchdowns, 14 passes defended, and 1 blocked kick this year.  Not bad at all.  Not bad at all.

So, how'd I do overall? 

I would say, I did pretty well.  Not great, but pretty good.  I whiffed on the regular prizms.  Didn't hit them at all.  And I whiffed on one green prizm.  So out of the 14 packs I bought, I went 2/2 on autographs, 3/4 on green prizms, 0/2 on regular prizms, and 6/6 on inserts. 

Clearly, I need to work on finding the regular prizms.  I think I know how to find them but they're hard to find.  Regular base packs can easily be mistaken as prizm packs.   Still though, I went 3/6 total on prizms.  So, clearly I know how to find the prizms.  If I really had no idea how to find prizms then I don't think I would have hit three of them out of the six packs.  Instead, statistically I should have only hit one if I was lucky.

Anyway, I went back to that same Target the next day to buy more packs from those same boxes.  I was a little disturbed by the thought of leaving three prizms behind in those two boxes.  But to my dismay, the retail boxes were gone.  Looks like someone had bought them all.  Damn.  I hope there wasn't a gold prizm or a finite prizm in those remaining packs. 

I haven't seen any more Prizm around me.  I've been looking.  I've hit five other retail stores in my area and not one of them had any Prizm in stock.  Not even empty retail boxes!  Like I said earlier, either people are buying the whole damn retail box on sight, or the supply is really REALLY small.

I need more of these cards.  I crave the thrill of the search.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pack Searching 2012 Topps Magic Football and The Ethics of Pack Searching

Been super busy lately.  2012 Topps Magic Football hit the streets not too long ago.  I tried my best to get to the stores as often as possible but I just couldn't -- and other pack searchers beat me to the cards.

Between 3 retail boxes, they had already pulled the autos.  Between perhaps 20 rack packs, I'm pretty sure they had pulled all the autos too.

I'm surprised there was such a flurry of activity from other pack searchers in my area.  I knew there were a few others because I've run into them on occasion, but I knew they weren't very good pack searchers.  I didn't think they would be able to find all the autos.  Perhaps some pack searchers from out of town made a trip into my area to search.

Anyway, I haven't found anything from searching Magic.  I bought one blaster box and actually had a great hit.  I'll put the results from that blaster box up later.

Perhaps the most entertaining thing I've seen in regards to 2012 Topps Magic Football was the teaser video that PackSearchers.com put up on YouTube advertising their website and showing them pulling two autos, and the resulting fallout on BlowoutCards.com in response to that video. 

I did happen to see that video by "Tut" on PackSearchers.com.  When I watched the video, despite being a pack searcher myself, I was amazed by it.  You can imagine if you're not a pack searcher and you saw that video, you'd have an even more shocked reaction.  Those guys at BlowoutCards.com sure did.

I was searching You Tube for some Magic Breaks and I come across a video from Login where they are busting 1 rack pack and 1 retail pack.
He said in the begining of the video, He already knew that they each had an auto in them and when he opened the rack pack he pulled out 1 pack and set that with the retail pack and said "Well here is our 2 autos!"

He opened both packs and the second card in each was the auto!!!

WHAT THE SHIZ!? How in the hell do they do this for autos?
I have seen guys pick out the fat packs for jersey cards n such but autos!?
I can't stand these searching guys but this was insane!!
 -- garpike

Yeah, insane.  Amazing.  I remember when I first came across all those pack searching videos on YouTube prior to be learning how to pack search, I was just blown away.  I always thought it was possible to determine what was in a pack of cards prior to opening it but I had never tried figuring it out, and then to see that all these people had figured it out and were pulling hit after hit after hit from packs was just eye-opening.  It blew my mind.  Sounds like it blew garpike's mind too.


Even though I know how Tut finds the autos, and I know the techniques, I still have a high appreciation for his skill because I'm not that great at those techniques myself.  To a degree, I'm still somewhat of an amateur hot pack hunter.  I mean, I'm definitely not a novice any more, but I wouldn't call myself a pro on the same level as Tut either.

That video sure did stir up a lot of anti-packsearcher hatred.

These dick bags slide everything up with their slimy fingernails. -- wadedaniel84

I cannot stand these people. Pure garbage. -- DOUGSEVIER54

wow what a slimebag, wonder if the guy was a member here ,lol -- ChrisCarter80

lol his name is TUT?  thats a real shocker. Nothing says white trash than pack searching and having a name like...........Tut  -- WalterAZ31

I always think it's funny how the non-packsearchers always stereotype pack searchers as having "slimy fingernails."  It's funny because I've seen tons of YouTube videos of non pack searchers doing box breaks and tons of those guys have disgusting and nasty fingers and/or fingernails.  I mean, absolutely disgusting.  Some of those guys need to get manicures it's so bad.  They have dirt under their nails, long grubby nails, hangnails, or no nails at all because they bite the shit out of them.  Disgusting.

Me on the other hand, I actually have pretty nice nails and fingers.  I don't go out of my way to take care of them.  Even if you do take care of them it doesn't take much effort.  I would say my fingers and fingernails look a lot better than 90% of those non pack searchers who always stereotype pack searchers as having shitty nails.

Amid all the sewage being spewed on Blowoutcards.com, a few people noted how pack searching hurts the hobby.

every one comment on his video calling him a scum to the hobby.  -- est89detlions

They are truly the worst thing that could happen to the hobby.  -- DOUGSEVIER54

And...

This really upsets me for multiple reasons:

1) It destroys the hobby

2) For collectors on a BUDGET FROM HELL like myself who can only purchase retail, and only every now and then at that, it makes you wonder if what you are going to go buy has anything decent left in it.

3) It ruins the cards that are "left over."

-- ChicoCheese

Okay, so these are some salient points which deserve to be addressed.

Does pack searching hurt the hobby?  I think that all depends on how the hobby is being "hurt".  How is the hobby being hurt?  Is it being hurt because less people will buy retail?

I think most people who are opposed to pack searching would say that pack searching hurts the hobby because it results in less people buying retail, and kids are most often the ones affected by pack searching.  Because less people buy retail, they're less likely to fully participate in the hobby.  If kids aren't hitting anything good, because they're the future of the hobby then they're less likely to participate in the hobby.

Hmm.  Those are tough points to counter.

The hobby seems fairly alive and well to me.  People buy cards.  People will buy crappy cards too.  I mean, there are some products out there that are absolute crap, yet people will buy it.  Panini Limited, and Panini Absolute Retail come to mind.  If you go on BlowoutCards.com and peruse the threads, you'll hear about people dropping $1,000 to $2,000 on cases of cards.  Cases.  These are the same people saying that pack searchers ruin the hobby.  Apparently not.  When a person is willing to drop $1000 to $2000 on some cardboard, just for fun, that seems to suggest that the hobby is doing just fine.  The effect that pack searchers probably have on the hobby is really just a minor blip on the radar for most card companies. 

I guess the real point a lot of these non pack searchers are trying to say is that the "hobby" is about buying packs of cards, without searching it, for the thrill of seeing what you get, and for adding those cards to your personal collection.  But instead, when people pack search, they take away the chances that other people can get hits.  This takes away the thrill and joy out of buying cards (since the hits or "good" cards are no longer there), and when pack searchers re-sell the hot packs on eBay it is not within the spirit of the hobby (to collect for yourself).

Okay. Valid points by the opposition.  Here are my thoughts.

People who oppose pack searching would have you believe that you're supposed to buy a pack of cards without examining it at all.  You just grab one, buy it, and open it.  If you get something good, then that's great!  If you don't get anything good, at least you have some nice cards to just enjoy.  But when you go to the grocery store to buy fruit, do you just grab a piece of fruit without examining it to see if it is ripe or not?  No.  Most people examine it to make sure it's a ripe one.  After all, everyone wants a ripe and edible piece of fruit.

Can't the above fruit analogy apply to sports cards?  The people on BlowoutCards.com say no.  They usually say stuff like cards are not fruit.  Okay, but that doesn't necessarily mean the fruit-analogy can't be applied to sports cards.  I, personally, think the analogy can apply.  We all want the best when we buy something.  We want the ripest fruit when we go grocery shopping.  We all want the best cards (the hits) when we buy sports cards too.  Why can a person pick the ripest fruit at the grocery store but not try to pick the best pack of cards at a store? 

Let me put it another way.  Imagine if lottery scratcher tickets were put out on display like sports cards so that the public could easily access it.  (I know it would never happen but just bear with me.)  And imagine that you somehow could tell which tickets were the winning tickets prior to buying them.   Wouldn't you be out at every single store searching for winning tickets to buy?  I sure as hell would.  I'm willing to bet that most of the people who oppose pack searching would too.  But if that's the case, how is searching packs of cards any different?

Like the non pack searchers say, it's just the spirit of the hobby.  In other words, it's just more fun to spend lots of money not knowing what you'll get in a pack of sports cards rather than spending less money knowing what you will get in a pack of sports cards.

I think I'd rather spend less money on cards knowing what I will get rather than blindly throwing more money on cards not knowing what I will get.  Some might call that greedy, but I think it's just human nature to want the most out of your money.

Would you rather spend $3.00 on one pack of cards to get an autograph
or spend $90.00 on a hobby box to get three autographs?

Now, opponents of pack searchering state that pack searchers deprive those who can't afford hobby boxes (and thus can only buy retail) of the retail hits.  This argument sort of pre-supposes that the non pack searchers have a right to those cards over anyone else; or generally that anyone has a right to those hits.  Excuse me?  No consumer owns those packs of cards at Target/Walmart until they are purchased by a consumer.  Everyone has an equal right to own them if they just get out there and buy it.  So go out there and buy them.  You can buy them without searching, or you can by them by pack searching.  It's your choice.  Either way, are people really supposed to leave the hits out there for other people?  When you go to the grocery store and you find some nice ripe bananas, do you say to yourself "ah, man, I can't buy these because they're ripe and if I buy them I'll be depriving someone else of the chance to buy ripe bananas"?  No!  I would buy those fuckin' bananas and say tough luck to the next person.  Can you blame me?

Do pack searchers have some sort of unfair advantage over non pack searchers?  I would say not.  The information on how to pack search is out there.  It is widely available and accessible.  To the contrary, I would say that non pack searchers put themselves at their own disadvantage for not learning how to pack search.  Those people who choose not to pack search just leave their fate up to luck.  That's their own prerogative.  To each their own.  But can you really blame a person for wanting to arm themselves with the most knowledge possible so that when they buy a pack of cards they increase their chances of getting the cards they want?  I can't.  Again, who doesn't want the most out of their money?

Finally, the one point which I will agree with opponents of pack searching on is that pack searchers who do damage the product are bad for the hobby.  Unfortunately, it's true that some searchers do damage cards.  I do my best not to and have become very good at not damaging the cards.  I urge other pack searchers not to damage the cards either.  The techniques to pack search really don't require that you damage the cards.  If you are a pack searcher and you're damaging the cards, you're really just over-exerting yourself.  It doesn't take much force at all to search packs.  Honestly, it doesn't.  You don't need to gouge your fingernails into the cards.  You don't need to bend the cards 45 degrees.  Damaging the cards does ruin the product for everyone. 

So, I honestly can't agree with many of the points argued by opponents of pack searching.  I understand their arguments.  I understand they think it's just in the spirit of the hobby to blindly pick packs without examining them.  But who doesn't want to buy a pack of cards that they know has a hit in it?  Can you really blame a person for wanting to get the cards they want for less money?  I can't.  Some might call that greed.  To others, like me, it's just human nature and simple economics. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pack Searching: 2012 Score Football

Hit up a local Target a while ago and it looked like a brand new gravity box of 2012 Score Football had been put out.  I decided to search it. 

I really like 2012 Score Football because of the fact that it's so ridiculously easy to search.  I search the product not so much for autographs -- actually not at all since they are so rare -- but for rookies.  Yeah, I rookie-search. 

I suppose most people are wondering why the heck I even bother searching this product.  I know a lot of the cards within this set aren't worth much.  In fact, pretty much every card in this set aside from either an autograph, an Andrew Luck card, or a Robert Griffin III card are probably less than $0.25.   But despite the fact that the cards are so worthless, I just really like the cards.  I like that they're so cheap.  I don't feel bad buying 10 packs of them.  I like the photography.  I like the inserts.  I like the glossy cards. 

Anyway, I did some searching and came across some decent stuff.

Andrew Luck
Rookie Card
2012 Score Football
Base Card (left), & Glossy Parallel (right)

The biggests pull of the night were these two Andrew Luck rookie cards.  I was even more surprised when I saw that one of the cards was a glossy.  The glossy card might actually be worth a few bucks.  Both cards are in great condition and I'm thinking about sending them in for grading.  I know.  You must be thinking I'm crazy for sending in a $3 card for grading.  But a BGS Pristine 10 recently sold on eBay for a whopping $76!  BGS 9.5s seem to be selling for about $10 to $15.  And those are just the regular base rookie cards.  If that glossy Andrew Luck rookie card can get a Pristine 10 then who knows, perhaps I can get $100 for the card.  (Am I dreaming here?)

Nick Foles & Russell Wilson
Rookie Card
2012 Score Football

Some other decent finds were a Nick Foles rookie and a Russell Wilson rookie.  Unfortunately, the Wilson had some damage from packaging. 

Alfred Morris & Robert Griffin III
Rookie Card
2012 Score Football

I was pretty stoked to find an Alfred Morris rookie card.  It was actually my first card of his.  The RGIII was a nice find too.  Wish it was glossy though.  May not matter much though if RGIII never plays football again. 

Doug Martin
Rookie Card
2012 Score Football

And finally, a nice Doug Martin rookie card too. 

Didn't find any short prints though.  Was really hoping to find a short print so I could get that graded.  All in all, I really really enjoy searching 2012 Score Football.  I'm sort of kicking myself for not searching it more.  The set has been out for over half a year and it could get removed from the shelves in a few more months.  I hope it doesn't.  I'm actually thinking about sort of trying to complete a set.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball: Rickie Weeks Camouflage

Been making a huge effort for the past week to get out and search since 2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball just hit the streets.  Haven't hit anything too huge so far.  But last weekend I did find this in a rack pack.

Rickie Weeks
2013 Topps Series 1
Camouflage Parallel
#/99

Found a nice Rickie Weeks camouflage parallel from a rack pack at Target.  Wasn't too hard to find at all if you know what to look for.

Rickie Weeks
2013 Topps Series 1
Camouflage Parallel
#/99

Was really hoping to find a pink parallel too but I haven't run across one.  These parallels are pretty darn rare this year.  I've already hit up all the retail stores in my area and this is the only one I've found. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2012 Topps Chrome Football Blaster Box Break #4

I can't stop buying 2012 Topps Chrome Football.  It's such a cool set.  The old school insert cards, the chrome, the refractors, the strong rookie class ... it all has me hooked.

Prices for 2012 Topps Chrome Football is skyrocketing too.  I don't buy hobby (although I've bought enough retail where I probably should have just bought hobby instead) but I've heard that hobby box prices have jumped like 15% to 20%.  Even blaster boxes are selling for like $25 online apparently.  That makes buying blaster boxes of this product in Target and Walmart for $20 a pretty good deal.  A deal I can't pass up.  And on my last trip to Target, I didn't pass up.

Let's see what I got.  We'll start from meh to best.  I've only scanned the really notable cards from this blaster box.


Justin Blackmon
2012 Topps Chrome Football
1957-Style Rookie Insert

First up is a 1957 style insert of Justin Blackmon.  Nice.  I wish this guy would perform better so his cards are worth more.  I seem to always get a lot of his cards.  This card is in really great condition too.  Might send it in for grading some time down the line if Blackmon establishes himself as a Pro Bowl caliber player.


Doug Martin
2012 Topps Chrome Football
X-Fractor Rookie Card

Boom!  Next up is a nice Doug Martin X-Fractor rookie card!  These seem to be selling for about $15 to $20 on eBay.  This card pretty much made my entire box.  The card is in truly excellent condition too.  It's probably at least a BGS 9 and has a solid solid chance at a BGS 9.5 grade.  I'm definitely sending this one in for grading.


Brandon Weedon
2012 Topps Chrome Football
Blue Refractor Rookie Card
#/199

And finally, I also got a sweet Brandon Weedon blue refractor rookie card.  This card seems to be selling for about $10 to $15 on eBay.  If I had got this card months ago I would have been pretty stoked.  Now though, I'm a bit on the fence.  I mean, getting a blue refractor is always nice.  And getting a blue refractor of a rookie QB who is starting in the NFL is nice too.  But, unfortunately, Brandon Weedon isn't exactly doing so hot right now.  Granted, he is on the Cleveland Browns who are kinda sucking ass to say the least, but he's not exactly showing the talent to be that long-term solution for the Browns at QB.  I'm definitely thinking about selling this card.

Anyway, a pretty nice blaster box break.  I definitely got my money's worth out of it from the Doug Martin X-Fractor and the Brandon Weedon blue refractor cards.  Nothing else too astounding from the blaster though.  Can't wait for my next Target trip to buy some more!