Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sport Card Collectors Partners With The Pack Gambler

Today is a proud day as we announce a new member to the Sport Card Collectors family. With the recent release from Cardsmiths breaks we had announced wanting to fill in our Sport Card Collector breaker sponsor with someone new (we actually have 2 announcements on this front but the other one will come later on). We wanted someone who has the same passion for the hobby as we do. Someone we trust. And someone we would feel proud to spread the word about on. And of course someone we know we can partner with to make the hobby a better place. And we couldn't have been happier to hear from The Pack Gambler about this position.

The Pack Gambler was at first just a blogger who has incredible insight and knowledge on the hobby. You can find the blog here: http://packgambler.blogspot.com/. Make sure you check it out for product reviews and more. Reviews are very well done and there were some nice hits to view as well.

Since, The Pack Gambler has joined the land of breakers, they have had great success with their breaks but are always looking for more to join in on them. That's where we come in to help spread the word and are confident and proud to do so. And speaking of that, they have a break going on Monday for the red hot Topps product Allen and Ginter which you can locate right here. Still spots available if you are interested.: http://www.packgambler.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62_83&product_id=338.

As for their breaks, all breaks currently are random teams assigned. In the event they don't sellout, choice of team is available with those in the break available online to do so. They run breaks 1 per week usually depending on the releases. Each product they do break has at least 1-2 giveaways (the Allen and Ginter one has 3 random bonus giveaways including an autograph card # to 6!). And all of their breaks are at affordable prices. They break Baseball, Football and hockey. They do however have Non-Sports and NASCAR items in their store along with many other items that you can find right here: http://www.packgambler.com/. You can also sign up for breaks there as well.

Another exciting thing about this partnership, there will be the giveaways we will be hosting from The Pack Gambler.They will be open to everyone. They could be packs of cards, memorabilia cards or autographs, or could be a spot into one of their breaks. Great prizes to be had!

Let us know your thoughts on our new partnership and please check him out on Facebook, Twitter, blog and at his site and try your luck on one of their breaks today!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A "Giant" Mail Day From Hidden Gem Sports

This came in the mail yesterday. A package from Hidden Gem Sports in because I had helped them reach their 2,000 Twitter Follower goal. It was a mystery pack giveaway so it caught my attention immediately when I saw Eli Manning Prizm sitting on top. I just had to know what else was in there!

Well here was the results from the "mystery pack" which seems a little Giant heavy, but it's exactly what I was hoping for and right up my alley :)

 

 

Thanks again goes out to Hidden Gem Sports for this awesome prize pack and if you are not following them yet on Twitter, do so, I think they have more future giveaways ahead!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top 5 NFL Rookies I Am Collecting in 2013

Here are the Top 5 rookies that I am collecting in 2013. Now, as you will see, I don't collect defensive guys, offensive lineman, or people from the Tight End position. Those kind of players don't really seem to make much of a hobby impact to me unless they are on my team. Or much of a hobby impact in general.

1. Panini America 2013 Score Football Hot Rookies 17 EJ Manuel will be the Bills starter and showed that he can lead the team after a strong performance in the first preseason game (yes I know it's preseason but you can sometimes just tell). Especially on the two minute drive before the half. That was impressive. I think he will have a good season in Buffalo. He has some young weapons around him as well with rookie WR's Robert Woods and speedster Marquis Goodwin. And who can forget threat Stevie Johnson. CJ Spiller will also be a huge help taking pressure off from Manuel as well as teams will have to aware of where he is on the field.

2. Panini America 2013 Score Football Hot Rookies 1   Watching Mark Sanchez throw a pick on the fourth play of the game in the preseason game against Detroit first thing only told me it will only be time before Geno Smith will be the Jets starter. I do think Sanchez will start the season, but by Week 6 if not earlier if he's struggling the Jets will turn to their future. And Smith not only has a strong arm, but he can make plays with his legs as well. Maybe bringing some excitement to a lacking Jets offense.

3. Panini America 2013 Score Football Hot Rookies 8 This guy is a weapon. And the number one option that the Rams have. Sam Bradford looked strong in his first preseason game despite Austin lacking to show up. I think as time goes on and they grow on each other you better watch out for this guy. He can run out of the backfield with trickery plays, can burn you down the field, and has great return skills as well. All around weapon.

4. Panini America 2013 Score Football Hot Rookies 7  This guy is going to be huge in Houston's offense. Matt Schaub must have been drooling after the Texans drafted him. I think teams will as usual double up Andre Johnson leaving the open field to Hopkins who showed in the first preseason game he can be a beast.

5.  Panini America 2013 Score Football Hot Rookies 18 Something tells me the Jags are going to use this guy a lot in their offense. Especially when you list him as OW (offensive weapon) on your depth chart. With Jones-Drew dealing with so many injuries and being unable to play all of the time the Jags needed a lift in their offense and I think this guy provides it both as a runner and wide-out.

I believe these rookies will have the biggest impact on the hobby in terms of values. If I was you, like myself, pick up rookies of these guys early on.

Some honorable mentions on here would have been Lacy from Green Bay (with him splitting time with Jonathan Franklin numbers won't be as high) and Giovanni Bernard from Bengals (probably sharing carries as well with Green-Ellis).

I know some of you may question why Cordarrelle Patterson from the Vikings didn't make this list, well, that's because of the Vikings QB. Can Ponder help Patterson put up the numbers needed to make a hobby impact. Time can only tell. I also didn't put Matt Barkley down either cause I don't expect to see him play this year. That's Vick's team.

Despite this years draft being rough for rookie card collectors, I do believe the Top 5 we have chosen will be good ones to collect. The other belief for this years rookie class is that there could be plenty of diamonds in the rough. You just never know. So picking up lesser known offensive guys won't hurt.

Let us also know your thoughts on our Top 5 list and what you would change about it if you disagree with it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How To Improve The Hobby Part 4: Customer Service

A new 4 Part Series here on Sport Card Collectors is giving our opinion on how to improve the hobby and its weak points.

Today's topic you knew had to come. Customer Service is crucial to the hobby. There are some companies that are better than others. And one that is really bad. But a lot of my buying anyways is based on this. I am sure you are the same. I am not going to buy from a company that doesn't respond to its customers and respect them.

Here is my breakdown of each of the three main companies and my thoughts on their customer service upon my experience. And what they need to do to improve their customer service so it helps improve the hobby.

Panini- I have seen complaints on their Facebook about their Customer Service but I have never had a problem with them. Their redemption process is the best of the three companies in terms of entering in your redemption and turn around time. I do see some people have been waiting for cards, but others wait much longer with the other two companies especially Topps. At least with Panini, you can get a card replaced. I have also had missing hits and damaged cards before and they led me to what I needed to do to get the problem fixed and within a couple of weeks I had my card(s) back.

When I call their CS phone, they answer within a reasonable 10-15 minute time span usually. I email, they answer within a couple hours.  And on Twitter, the CS is outstanding. I can ask for a replacement on a redemption and BOOM its done. Plain and simple. Their customer service at one point was not great, but in the last two years, by far they have the best.

What They Need To Work On: The one place Panini doesn't do well is on Facebook. I have seen a lot of customers with questions and complaints but not getting answers. I think they should do what they do on Twitter on Facebook as well. Maybe set up a Panini CS Facebook page.

Upper Deck-Upper Deck has always had a decent Customer Service. I have had luck with them, however my luck has been better through emails than by phone. Phone calls can put you on hold for up to an hour. And yes, the elevator music can get to you.They are pretty good about getting replacements out for your redemptions or damaged cards upon asking when you do get through. And sometimes will ask if there is a specific team or player you collect for a redemption replacement (and as I once learned they don't always give you what you tell them).

What They Need To Work On: Cut down on call times. I have to put my phone on speaker and leave the room cause I got things to do in a day and don't want to sit and wait. When I hear someone pick it up, I run back to the phone.

Topps- Words cannot explain how horrible their Customer Service is. They never respond to you on Twitter or Facebook when you have questions and actually they got rid of their CS Twitter. That alone has got to have you scratching your head. Phone calls to them can take up to more than an hour. And sometimes they can't even answer the question you ask. I have tried mailing in stuff before with them to get a card replaced, never got my card back and never heard a peep from them upon trying to get in touch about it. And I know they got the letter. And I know I am not the only one who knows how bad Topps CS is. I have seen it all over forums, Facebook and Twitter.

What They Need To Work On: EVERYTHING. Respond to your customers on Twitter and Facebook and point them in the right direction at least. Get more people to answer the phones. My biggest nod against Topps. It's so frustrating to have a question about a redemption, a card or a product and get no response anywhere.

I think sometimes Card Companies don't realize how much customer service means to people. I don't buy much in terms of hobby for Topps products fearing I would have to deal with CS. It's sad too cause some of their products I do like. So I just stick to retail when it comes to them and hope I won't pull a redemption. Since I have had the best experience with Panini, I give them my money when I have it. I am sure you guys do the same thing with companies you have had problems with.

Another thing I am certain of is that everyone's opinion will differ from mine as everyone has had their own experiences with each company. I am just laying it out the way I feel. But as always, we like to hear what you guys think. Who has the best, the worst or just the plain ugly.

This closes up our 4 part series. We hope you enjoyed it. We will have more future opinion stories as well.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: 2013 Bowman Platinum Blaster

The glimmer and the shine of Bowman Platinum always grabs my attention and other collector's attentions as well. I like retail version of the product for 1, can't afford hobby right now and 2, it usually gives you your money back plus more and 3, you can sometimes hit an auto or auto/patch in a blaster box. It's not too often you can get a decent hit in a blaster product and this product is one where they odds are favorable.

The product is also rookie based with both prospects, rookie cards and inserts of them. Which is key an any product with the word Bowman.

I feel this blaster did just that.

Box Break Down:
  • 8 Packs Per Box, 4 Cards Per Pack
  • $20 PER BLASTER BOX
Base Card
Base Rookie Card
Even though these aren't base cards, I call them that anyways
BASE CARDS: This is a product that to me doesn't need the action photography like others that I crave it from. The glimmer and shine of the base cards does enough to catch my attention. The rainbow appeal is very nice and a base set I would spend time putting together.

I really like the border on these unlike the types of border used in other Topps products. This one is very minimal. I wished Topps would use this type of border for their other products with the action photography. That would drastically change my opinion on some of their MLB line.

Base Set Breakdown:

100 Cards in the base set
100 Card Prospect "base set"

Gold 1:5
Ruby 1:20
Prospect refractors 1:4
Top Prospects 1:5
Die-Cut Cutting Edge 1:10
Best Bowman Players Of All Time 1:20
INSERTS:The parallels are a thing of beauty just like the base cards as is rest of the inserts. And as you can tell by the odds for each one, we did pretty well with our blaster pulling both a 1:20 Ruby parallel and a Best Bowman Players Of All Time 1:20 insert in only a 8 pack box. Die Cuts are a nice touch as well.

AUTOGRAPHS: NONE (Though pulling some from retail is never out of the question)

JERSEY/PATCH CARDS: NONE

OVERALL THOUGHTS: For $20, you will get your money back. You will also get joy in busting the product. I have seen many people hit autos in blaster boxes. Some were big hits. This and Topps Chrome are the only two retail products in blaster form that will provide a big Bam and will provide your moneys worth. As always, I will recommend this product and hope you get Puig from your box. That was our aim but we don't mind seeing Machado either. A nice rookie PC piece.

And with this product being rookie loaded, it's also a buy for future value as well.

RATINGS:  Bloggers Note: Our ratings are based specifically on the blaster, box or packs we opened and do not express what the overall product could bring. Ratings based on a 1-5. 1 Being the lowest and 5 being the highest.
                Packaging: 4
                Base Design: 5
                Insert Design: 5
                Memorablila/Autographs: N/A
                Blaster, Hobby Box, or Pack Value: 5

Monday, August 12, 2013

License Roulette

We hear many people all of the time say, "man I wished so and so still had the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA license". So we thought it would be fun to actually take a vote to see these results. Let's see who you want to have each license in a fun game of License Roulette.

On the RIGHT SIDE of our blog are POLLS. Each poll represents each license and a Top 4 Company you might want to have the license. You can make multiple choices for each or just one. It's up to you. The POLL will last until August 26th where the voting will end that morning. After that, we will announce the winner or winners of each license you guys voted for separately while also giving you our thoughts on each winner.

So let your collecting voices be heard and go out and vote!

Mail Day From @CageLawyers

Thanks to @CageLawyers for their 300 follower contest which is where I landed this sweet auto'd rookie card.

If you don't know who Chris Weidman is, he is a mixed martial artist and the current UFC Middleweight Champion because of his defeat of Anderson Silva.

Let us know your thoughts on this nice mail day! And if you are not yet following @CageLawyers on Twitter, head on over, cause they like to blow up Twitter with awesome giveaways!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

FORGOTTEN: 1996 Zenith Football

Here is our NEW segment on Sport Card Collectors. This segment is not about the players per say, its more about the cards and design. We will focus our efforts on bringing you brands you may have forgotten about over time.

With thicker base cards, very appealing design, and a high end feel in the 1990's, Zenith Football was a hot release from Pinnacle that only lasted a few  years.

The base card at that time was one of the best I had seen for a football product. The black and gold background with the Wilson football being the background behind the bright colorful player. I liked the 1996 design much more than the 1997 that I also bought some of.

This is how a box break would go down.

24 packs per box, 6 cards per pack
Parallel set:
Artist's Proof 1:23

Inserts:
Noteworthy 1:12
Rookie Rising 1:24
Z-Team 1:72

Some of the inserts used unique innovations at the time such as Dufex and also included a lot of rainbow shine that really seperated them from the base cards. I remember hitting the biggest pull I would say from the product at a card show (yep at one time they existed where I live) a Emmitt Smith Z-Team. I immediately got an offer for the card but turned it down. It was the best card in my collection at that point. But sadly now, I no longer have the card since I traded it to my mom the Cowboys fan for some Giants cards. I do miss the card a little but seeing them fall for less than $15 each it could be an easy future pickup. Boxes run around $33 as well. Would be a fun bust I think for now-a-days pulling those exciting 1990's inserts.

I do hope someday that Panini picks up the Zenith brand (which Donruss did try to revive in 2005 but it didn't get a passing grade) and does something with it. I would love to see a product like this made again.