Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pack Searching 2014 Topps Platinum Football: Back for More

Well, it's been a long hiatus. In the past three months I've only went pack searching a handful of times. It has actually been easier than anticipated. Being super busy really takes your mind off of pack searching.

But last night I just so happened to be out and about with nothing to do and lots of time to waste. 2014 Panini Contenders Football has started to show up in Walmarts across America so I decided to go out and try to search those.  I ended up at my nearest Walmart at 11:30 pm. I like pack searching late at night because nobody is around.

Unfortunately I had already been beat to the cards. I could tell immediately. All the Contenders rack packs were strewn around the card section, and all the 2014 Topps Platinum Football rack packs were off the hangers and sitting in piles on the shelf.  I picked up the Contedners rack packs and inspected them.  I could see the fingernail marks on the wrapper left by the previous pack searcher in their attempts to search them.  I knew that the chances of finding anything in the Contenders rack packs was slim but I checked them anyways. Nope. Nothing.

I then checked the Platinum rack packs.  I knew that finding hits in the rack packs is harder and so I had a chance at finding something that the other pack searcher missed.  After taking a few minutes to search the dozen or so rack packs still for sale, I came to the conclusion that one of the rack packs probably had a hit in it.  I wasn't entirely sure because I couldn't "see" the hit outright, but I was pretty sure.  I whipped out my phone and checked my notes on Platinum from previous years.  This is the good thing about keeping notes in my phone.  After reviewing the notes in my phone I was 95% certain there was a hit in this rack pack and it was a redemption.  I bought the rack pack.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
2014 Topps Platinum Football
Autograph Rookie Refractor
Odds:  1:37

It turned out to be Ha Ha Clinton-Dix autograph redemption.  Not bad. 

This brief return to pack searching was nice.  It was like dipping a toe back into the water.  But I also felt dirty in a way.  I was doing so well trying to no longer pack search.  The challenge of finding hits brought me back.  I get this weird satisfaction from finding hits.  I get more satisfaction from just knowing that I found the hit than the satisfaction of actually having the hit itself.  It's weird.  I know.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Is 2014 Topps Chrome Football the Toughest Product to Pack Search Ever?

2014 Topps Chrome Football finally hit retail stores around me this week despite it being out for about a week now.  I went to a local Target to pick up on blaster box (scans below).

While I was waiting for it to hit the shelves around me I did some research about the product.  I watched breaks on YouTube and read up on the product. 

I'm starting to think that 2014 Topps Chrome Football might be the most pack-searcher proof retail product to hit stores in a long time -- and maybe ever.  Here's why.

First of all, the retail version of the product only has autographs for hits.  There are no jersey card hits in the packs (except for the Walmart blaster boxes which each have a jersey hit in it but I'm not counting those).  This isn't like Topps Series 1 or Series 2 Baseball which has a plethora of bat and game-used hits in it to find.  And let's face it, we pack searchers know that those relic hits are always a lot easier to find than autograph hits.

Second, the autograph hits are pretty much all on-card autographs.  I've watched a ton of Chrome Football breaks online and Topps did a really good job this year getting the players to sign their autographs on-card.  So gone are the days of finding the autograph hits by searching for the stickers.  You can't feel on-card autographs!

Third, the retail product is only sold in rack packs and blasters.  I remember when I first started pack searching in 2012, Chrome Football that year was sold in retail boxes too.  So you had the opportunity to search individual packs to find autographs, die-cuts and minis.  But this year with the product only being sold in rack packs and blaster boxes it's a lot harder to search.  Rack packs can be searched for die-cuts and minis with a little work, but it is tougher and more time consuming.  You're not going to be able to find autographs at all in rack packs.  Blaster boxes are impossible to search for autographs. 

Fourth, the redemption rate in 2014 Topps Chrome Football is less than 1%!  So gone are the days of redemption-heavy products where you could easily find redemptions. 

Fifth, the pack wrappers are foil wrappers.  Even if you bought rack packs and blaster boxes, and opened them up to individually examine each pack, you still probably couldn't figure out if there was an autograph card in the pack since the wrappers are foil and the autographs are on-card. 

Retail 2014 Topps Chrome Football is pretty much the most pack-searcher proof product that I've ever seen.  I'm not sure if Topps did this by design or not.  I'm actually of the belief that they did.  Chrome is one of their flagship brands.  Making the product as difficult to search as possible makes it a more attractive product to purchase on retail shelves since the chances of a hit being there is a lot higher than those products which are easy to search.

So if you're a non-pack searcher reading this blog post, I would say that it's pretty safe to buy retail 2014 Topps Chrome Football without any worry of it being searched dry of all the hits.