Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Study Of Kids+Collecting

I was curious how some kids would react to some unopened packs of 1991 Leaf Series 2 and some 1991-1992 Upper Deck basketball that I had lying around. So I got a group of kids together that consisted of some that have collected before and others that had not. My main experiment was whether the kids could enjoy the simple part of collecting or if they would get bored with it and needing to open packs with autographs and jersey cards. It was also a way to see what would catch their attention as a way for card companies to take note. (Not sure if they will ever see this by the way)

The kids featured, names and pictures of the kids withheld for their privacy, age ranged from 6-10 years.

Let's break!

Of course with ripping packs, you must teach the proper technique which I did here

In this Leaf pack, it yielded a silver foiled puzzle piece which immediately caught their attention. It got their attention so much that they immediately wanted to bust another pack long before they finished looking through the rest of the cards.

Why was it appealing, well, they wanted to get all of their pieces.

Another favorite thing from the Leaf packs, the design and the Gold Leaf Rookies. They were popular. Only three were pulled from roughly 20 packs I brought so kids were ripping away trying to outrace each other for the next GOLD one. They also enjoyed finding the likes of Ken Griffey Jr, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds in their packs.

This was the best of the three Gold Rookies....

After busting the baseball, we moved onto the basketball that was just as big of a hit. The biggest thing was this....


As soon as one pulled this, the others started ripping to find one for themselves. I had only brought 10 of these packs and this was the only one that was found. What was exciting was that none of them were upset, it actually left them wanting more which was a very good sign.

My study above shows kids would still enjoy the simple things in collecting. It also makes me wonder if some of these innovations were brought back maybe kids would be drawn in again. Honestly, the market is so flooded right now with autographs,jersey cards and parallels/sps/photo variations that a product as basic as these two might be a breath of fresh air. I think it can sometimes scare younger collectors, newer collectors or returning collectors off with so much of that stuff. It can be confusing at times. Even some of us seasoned vets still can't figure out the whole sparkle and photo variations and get frustrated. Imagine what a newbie must feel.
I remember when I was a kid busting, it was all about Collectors Choice. The Stickers, the cool photos and some fun inserts. Not to mention a DEEP checklist with many of my favorite players from my team and others.These are things that are lacking in a lot of today's "kid friendly" products. 

I think one of the problems is that the hobby is trying to advance too fast and leaving some of us behind or pushing newer collectors away. What should be happening is looking at the past and seeing what worked and why the hobby was so popular at one point. That's how I would approach it.

What do you guys think of my little bit of study and do you think YOU would be happy opening up packs like these still?


  1. Great study! I enjoy opening older stuff, but prefer it to be a product I don't already have a lot of from before. The prices of packs and boxes make it really difficult for kids to collect. I think most kids want to open packs rather than buy single cards, for the most part anyways.

  2. Cool post. I do something similar every summer when I teach statistics with my students. The lesson kicks off with them opening their packs, checking out the cards, and even trading if they so desire (as long as it's one for one, two for two, etc.).

    There are always a few kids who seem to be amused with them more than the others... but even those kids seem to lose interest after awhile. As for myself... I enjoy busting junk wax. In fact, I picked up 20 packs this weekend at the card show I attended. The even had 1991 Leaf available... but I didn't buy any. I busted so many of those in search of those Gold Leaf Rookies, that I'll be okay if I never see a pack of that stuff.

  3. i really miss full-front holograms like that! :-D