Sunday, August 15, 2010

Past couple of box breaks

Joe breaks a box of National Treasures Basketball


SHAWN breaks Razor Cut Signature Edition


SHAWN breaks a case of Topps Tribute Baseball

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Derrick Rose Appearance


I got a phone call from my brother on Wednesday night that Derrick Rose was going to be at a Nissan dealership in the suburbs of Chicago on Friday between 6-8pm.  I of course posted it on HobbyKings in case anyone was interested in going.  Richie (MJCredentialKING) said he would meet me up.  I planned on getting there about an hour and a half early to get in line - hoping there would be only 50 or so people in front of me.  Friday morning comes, and my friend Abby is getting an oil change in the same Nissan that Rose would be signing at later that day.  She sends me a message that there's someone lining up already at the dealership, at 9AM! Hard core! Apparently they had a cooler and everything.  I admit, I was a bit worried knowing that people were actually camping out for Rose.  I mean he was easily the best player on the team last year, but seriously? Waiting 8 hours in line for him?

Richie texted me at 3PM and told me that he had just called the store and found out there was already 50 people in line.  I planned on being there an hour and a half, so I was just hoping we'd be there in time to even get an autograph at all.  I zoomed through traffic from my work and got there at around 4:45PM to find a line of about 150 people.  I wasn't quite sure I would make it or not.



Richie got there shortly afterwards and we were just chatting about the hobby and catching up on life and such.  He's actually friends with my brothers too.  Soon enough, it was 6PM, but the line wasn't moving.  Finally at around 6:30PM the line started moving.  The guys that were in front of the line at 9AM came out with their signed goods.  But then they went to the back of the line in hopes to get a second shot at some more autographs.  Wow.  They just spent 8 hours to get an autograph so they figure they would try for another one?  Sorry, I would just go home.  Behind us was about another 75-100 people waiting and hoping to get an autograph.  I don't know if all of them ever got in.

We started talking to some of the guys in front of us and they were telling us about some of the regulars at these types of events.  Apparently there are some older grandparent-like couple that get their autographs and then try to bribe some kids behind them in line to get more autographs.  Another guy brings four of his kids so he can get multiple autographs.  Being that I am not really into the whole in-person autograph community, I am not sure what to think about this.  But it does sound kind of shady business going on, and some of the guys in line would tend to agree.

Anyways, we finally got inside the building around 7:15PM.  I completely forgot that B.J. Armstrong is Derrick Rose's agent.  I totally wished I had a sweet B.J. Armstrong picture for him to autograph too, but Richie and I settled for a picture:


Richie and BJ ArmstrongIMG_4363.JPG

We got to Rose, but weren't able to get a picture with him, while he was looking at the camera.  Seriously, would it have taken THAT long? Anyways we were happy with the items he signed, turned out real nice!



Derrick Rose






...and here are the final results:



It was definitely a much longer line from when Nissan had Ben Gordon a few years back! It really did open my eyes to this new community and side of the hobby that I had never known about.  Needless to say, I am glad that this experience was a pleasant one!

- joe

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Box of Bowman Baseball and Absolute Basketball

After selling the Strasburg Gold Refractor on Ebay, I absolutely had to try again.  Didn't go as well.  And of course had to give some of the new basketball a shot as well!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bowman Baseball Box break!

So each year when Bowman comes out, I like to get a box or three of it. It's fun actually having no idea who or what I pulled. All I know is I like refractors. Blues are nice, Golds are better, Oranges even nicer, Red are sweet, and of course superfractors rule. Yeah, that's all I know, kinda sad. If I pull the player that is on the box, then I guess that's a good sign, haha. I actually didn't get any Bowman last year. In 2007 I got a Jason Heyward refractor, probably my best hit that year. Sold it for $20. Probably should have held it back then since he's blowing up this year. Looks like those are selling for around $50-$60 now.

So maybe I should hold onto this hit?

So what do you think?


- Joe

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Play "One on One" with Kobe!


ARLINGTON, Texas (May 3, 2010) – As the NBA Playoffs continue to heat up, Panini America (, a subsidiary of The Panini Group, the leading global publisher of sports and entertainment collectables launched today the “Play Kobe One-On-One” Promotion with four-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant. Basketball fans beginning May 1 through June 17, 2010 will be able to log-on to to compete against other fans, the leading scorer at the end of the promotion will get a chance to meet Kobe Bryant and play him “One-On-One” in a game of Adrenalyn, the new interactive trading card game from Panini.

The Kobe “One-On-One” promotion coincides with the recent launch of the Panini Adrenalyn Xtreme game mode that features new enhancements to gameplay following player feedback during the beta-phase of the game. The new enhancements offer more strategic gameplay along with more shot opportunities, resulting in higher NBA scores. Matchup results are based on a player’s chance of scoring, eliminating players ability to load their decks to guarantee they win a matchup. Instead, higher ratings increase a player’s chance that they will score.

“I’m looking forward and excited to play a fan one-on-one in a game of Adrenalyn. I’ve been practicing, so I’ll be ready,” said Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers Guard.

An integrated advertising campaign that includes TV spots on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney XD channels, as well as online and viral will support the Kobe “One-On-One” promotion along with integration into more than 1,000 movie theatres in select markets across the country. To watch the Kobe Bryant TV ad click here:

As the leading global publisher of sports and entertainment collectables, Panini has license agreements with three of the major U.S. sports, including the NFL/NFLPA, NHL/NHLPA and an Exclusive Trading Card and Sticker Partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA). Panini’s other partnerships include an exclusive license with FIFA for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and with four-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. Panini also has a successful collectibles business with consumer brands including DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon, Disney’s Toy Story 3, Hannah Montana and High School Musical, and Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter.

For more information and full rules and guidelines, go to There is no purchase necessary to participate or win and the promotion is open to legal residents of the (50) U.S. states & DC, who are 13 years of age or older as of 5/1/10.

The Panini Group, established almost 50 years ago in Modena, Italy has subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectables and is the leading multi-national publisher of comics, children’s magazines and Manga in Europe and Latin America. Panini has distribution channels in more than 100 countries and employs a staff of over 800. For more information visit us at or

For more information contact:
Jason Howarth, Conover Tuttle Pace, (617) 412-4000/508-353-0063 (Cell)

Scott Prusha, Panini America, 817-983-0303


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Panini Classics CONTEST!


The three late games on Monday 4/12 are:

What will be the combined PAR (Points, Assists, Rebounds) of these three players:
1. Kevin Durant
2. Tyreke Evans
3. Dirk Nowitzki

The closest 4 answers to the correct answer (without going over) will have the opportunity to choose from the 4 hits. Each of the 4 winners will PM me their preference from the hits:
Omar Casspi auto
Chase Budinger auto
Dwight Howard GU
Jermaine Taylor GU

Each member gets one guess, and each number can be guessed once. If there are multiple users with the same guess, the one who posts first will be taken. So if two people guess 90, whoever posted 90 first gets the guess.

Entries will be accepted till 8pm Central on Monday, 4/12


Have fun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

FREE Panini Classics Box Break and Contest!

Once again, Panini has been so kind to send a free box to open and share with our members. Today's box is 09/10 Panini Classics Basketball. Thank you Panini!

We will be giving the HITS from this box as a contest prize on our site on this thread. Feel free to participate to have your chance of winning these great cards!

- joe

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Upper Deck loses NFL license

News just came out recently that Upper Deck lost its license to make any NFL products. Here's the tweet we all received on the Upper Deck Twitter account:
Screen shot 2010-04-08 at 10.51.41 PM.JPG

So in the span of two years, Upper Deck loses its license with two of the major sports: Basketball (NBA) and Football (NFL). It's no secret that some of the business practices of Upper Deck have been questionable, but the fact is that Upper Deck has been a major player in the trading card industry for over 20 years now. And a hit like this on the industry will cause a lot of people to possibly turn away from the hobby. I will be honest that I have always been on the collector side of this hobby, never really getting into the business side of it all. So most of my opinion comes from what this means as a collector. Upper Deck's designs have always been superior to its competitors. Lately they have gotten lazy, with the design as well as just using the same photos over and over. And of course sticker autographs and the dreaded redemptions *GAG*. But even with all of these pitfalls, I still liked the products, they just "felt" like better quality. Even if they used a similar design from a different product from the year prior, I are it up! I may have been brainwashed by the UD marketing team, but I always thought products like SPX and SP Authentic were just great products. It's probably because you KNEW what you were gonna get out of those products. They were staples in the product release for the year. Since this was the first year Upper Deck didn't release any NBA products, I actually found myself less interested in the hobby. Will this happen to football collectors next year?

So what does this mean for the trading card industry? What does it mean for the survival of Upper Deck? It seems that Panini is taking a strong hold on the industry. I hope that they could do right what Upper Deck has done wrong!

I enjoyed this post by the Voice of the Collector on this situation: VOTC Blog - check it out

I'd love to hear what other collectors think about this as well. Feel free to leave a comment!

- joe

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vote for HobbyKings for Best Online Community!

Be sure to get your votes in on the Upper Deck Awards as the Best Online Community in the hobby. Here is the link:

According to the Upper Deck Blog
The Best Online Community will receive: a trophy, a variety of unopened product, a LeBron James UDA basketball and a 2009 NFL Rookie Photo Shoot signed football (autographed by more than 25 players) to use as giveaways with their community of loyal collectors.

If HobbyKings wins, of course the contents of the prizes will be given to its members! Although the trophy would stay put :)

Be sure to vote on some of the other categories like Best Box Breaker or Best Blog (in Upper Deck Blog link above)

Good luck to all of the participants in the poll!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh Jordans released this weekend

The 3s, 4s, and 9s all white 25th Anniversary edition are being released on Saturday. Might have to keep my eye out to snag a pair!




Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ooops, false alarm?

We had a couple of complaints about the site, and I couldn't get in either. But it looks like for many people, the site was still up and running. Worked with support to make sure all is well, looks like the site is up and running. Thank you for your patience!

- joe

HobbyKings site is down

A support ticket has been opened with our vendor. Once the site is back up and running we will let you know. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Register" link on HobbyKings activated

We have reactivated the "Register" link on HobbyKings but it will send an email to me requesting access to HobbyKings instead of bringing you to the New Member Registration page. Based on the information I receive from the email, I will approve and manually create new accounts.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but this is the measure we will have to take in order to make sure previously banned users cannot create new accounts on the site.

- joe

New member registration has been suspended

We have been having issues with a banned member who keeps creating new accounts on HobbyKings. For the meantime, we are not accepting new member registration via the HobbyKings site. If you would like to join the forum, please email me at

Sorry for the inconvenience, and let me know if you have any questions.

- joe

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My other collection

Ever since my 30th birthday I've started this new collection - Jordans. I don't know how it happened or why it happened, but having a collector's mindset, you are always susceptible of buying in on something you want to invest in. Normally when you say invest, you think of something that will increase in value over time, normally in a monetary sense. With this particular "collection" it serves more of a nostalgic investment.

In my early years of high school I absolutely loved basketball, played it all the time. You're looking at a Freshman B-team reserve! Haha. That only proves how much I liked to play. I could have just quit because I was a scrub on the B-TEAM, but I didn't. As long as I got to play everyday during practice, I was a happy kid! I found actual playing time in the PBA [Philippine Basketball League] in Chicago. My parents knew that being in high school, it was important for me to have my own identity through my own thoughts as well as with what I wore. Even then, basketball shoes defined me. I did have issues though having my parents spend a boatload on shoes for me though. My dad splurged on me and agreed to buy me some Jordans. I couldn't believe it, so he bought the Jordans from that year:


Back then I believe they went for over $140. I wore them once, and then couldn't wear them again, they were just too expensive. We went back and returned them for a pair of Air Max's, which weren't as expensive - closer to $100. $40 was a lot to a high school Freshman back then! And by then I was able to pay for most of it with allowance money. There was part of me that really wanted the Jordans, because the Bulls were my team and Jordan was the man. But I felt I didn't deserve them.

Fast-forward to my 30th birthday last year. Until that point in time, the only pair of Jordan's I owned were the Jordan 8s my dad bought me for a couple of days. Why not splurge on myself, especially since I received a bunch of gift cards for my birthday. I picked up the Jordan Sixty-Plus. Not a design MJ ever wore in a game, but still a pretty sick shoe in my opinion. There are different color variations, but I'll always stick to the Black and Reds.

Or so I thought...I find out that the Jordan retro 11s were being released, also known as the "Space Jams". I remember seeing them back in the day and loving them then! So I had to get a pair of those too! And as you can see at the top of this entry, I got them :)

I thought for sure I was done...nope! January comes, and I find out that the Jordan Retro 6s were coming out. C'MON SON! Can't I get a break? These were the ones that Jordan wore during his FIRST championship with the Bulls. After finally getting over the hump that were the "Bad Boys" Detroit Pistons, the Bulls beat the Lakers. Had to absolutely get those! So here are these three together:

Three months, three new pairs of Jordans. Something just seems wrong to me about it. Honestly it is better than what I used to spend monthly on boxes on top of boxes of cards. Plus I am guaranteed to like what I have here! I couldn't wear any of these to actually play ball in (imagine that, basketball shoes I can't play basketball in?) so I had to get one more pair of shoes because my old basketball shoes had already played their last game, several months ago. So what did I get? Yup, another pair of Jordans. This time, ones I could scuff up and not worry about too much: Jordan Schoolin'

I'm done right? Nah, just getting started! My next conquest, the Space Jams 25th Anniversary edition, that's right, all white!


It just all spun out of control, but I am enjoying these everytime I wear them or look at them. And I remember the first time I saw them back in the day. It just brings me back like the smell of home cooking does. Ultimately, I want a pair of those Jordans we returned for the Air Max's. That ugly looking carpet icon on the tongue still makes me shake my head, but it makes me remember the days of B-Team and PBA, when basketball was purely about fun, and not about exercise and NOT getting hurt like it does today. Yeah, that's where I'm at in my basketball career.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

RE-DO contest for the Donruss Americana hits

Had to re-do the contest because a mod won the contest, way to go SacKingsR1! :)

Anyways, here's the new CONTEST LINK


SPA Football case rip party @ "Addicted to Sports Cards"

This was up on our YouTube channel, but I just wanted to post it on the Blog. It was at the "Addicted to Cards" shop in Niles, IL [suburb of Chicago]. Just wanted to thank Dave at the shop for including us in on the party as well allowing us to record the break during the party.


I wish all shops would do this. Over the past 6 years since I have been back in the hobby, this is the first time I ever took part in something like this at a shop. There was a feeling of a brotherhood between the customers. I had never met most of them, but they seemed to be very into the party. Dave also provided pizza and pop to keep up with the party theme. As you could see in the video, Dave had a few contests for items like McFarlane figures as well as jerseys and autographed items. Dave definitely knows how to keep his customers happy and keep them coming back for more. In conversations I've had with him in the past, it sounds like he and a couple of other local shop owners in the area formed a type of group to get better and competitive prices on the products they sell from wholesalers. And it's true, they are pretty close to online prices. I definitely hope that Dave and his shop stay in the industry for a long time!

- joe

Thursday, February 25, 2010

1/1s = one of many

(I am sure this topic has been mentioned before, but now I have a blog, so it's my turn!)

ONE of ONE?!?! You mean this card is the ONLY ONE of its kind?! Wow!

That is what I would have said 6 years ago. I remember pulling a Jonathan Bender printing plate from 04-05 Topps Finest and I was pretty excited! I could have cared less WHO it was I pulled, I just pulled a 1/1! Now there are 1/1s for every card, parallel, patch, jersey, auto, etc. I have shied away from collecting one person, but when I was still collecting Tyrus Thomas and Thabo Sefolosha [Yeah, sad I know!] it was damn near impossible to get a master set of any of the cards. I went after Thabo's rookie year topps finest XRC set. How many 1/1 superfractor parallels was I on the lookout for? Let's count: Regular superfractor, framed superfractor, framed x-superfractor, red superfractor, green superfractor, gold superfractor, black superfractor, and of course all of the printing plates: cyan, blue, yellow, and black. That's right ELEVEN 1/1s to go after in just ONE set! I found myself looking EVERY day on Ebay trying to find any of them I didn't have. this was as far as I got:


I remember losing the green superfractor and being superpissed about it, but that was the fun of it back then. I ended up selling most of these for roughly about how much I bought them for, so it was fun trying. I think I may just have one of them left, just for remembrance, haha.

It was around this time (2005-06 products) that the parallels were getting ridiculous. In addition to all of those 1/1s, you can't forget the "regular" parallels you had to go for. In this particular set there was base, base refractor, base x-fractor, red refractor, red x-fractor, green refractor, green x-fractor, gold refractor, gold x-fractor, black refractor, and black x-fractor. If memory serves me correctly, 2005-06 was the first year that each color refractor had a corresponding 1/1 superfractor. I mean seriously, it's enough to drive any player collector crazy! And ever since then, the subsequent products all followed suit.

1/1s should be reserved for the most sought after cards of the set. We really do not need one for every base card or every parallel. In fact, kill off all of the parallels, maybe just ONE parallel numbered to 10 or something like that. I even liked what Exquisite did, one base version, one jersey card version #d to 25 and patch version. With the pricing of Exquisite always being crazy, they also had to put in a patch auto 1/1 version of each base card too. Oh yeah, like this?


Yeah...I pulled that :) Was I happy? Hell yeah! At least Al Jefferson was a decent player! If it were Mike Bibby, I would've been upset (sorry Vanson!).

But now let's pretend the only 1/1s you could get in Exquisite were cards that really deserved to be called "Exquisite 1/1s" like logomen or one sweet Jordan, Kobe, or Lebron card. Make it really worth something. Now I know Upper Deck is in it for the money, so if these rare 1/1s were pulled early in the release, no one would want to buy Exquisite anymore. BUT, if these cards were not pulled early, imagine the hype Exquisite would get then! It doesn't have to end with Exquisite. If every product did have those limited set of chase cards, people would continue to buy the product, as long as they were available.

Unfortunately [or actually fortunately for my wallet], Upper Deck cannot produce anymore NBA cards for the next few years, so any new Exquisite will be gone in the basketball. Once Panini's license is up, who knows what will happen. But in looking at some of the products that Panini has released, the "popularity" of 1/1s will stay where it is at in new basketball products.

Today, if I pulled that same 1/1 Jonathan Bender printing plate, I might not even put it in a top loader if I didn't have any available. For all products and for all card companies...please bring value back in our cards, by not completely saturating the market with words like 1/1. It's up to you to make our cards "one of a kind".

- joe

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sun-Times show in Chicago

Here's information on the next big card show in Chicago: Sun-Times Show

This show is mostly known to have A LOT of baseball, both new as well as vintage. If I was that kind of collector, I would be in heaven! But as it is, I am a basketball collector, mainly Bulls of course! Since the show is held in Chicago [in Rosemont if you want to be specific], then you know all the dealers will be bumping the prices for all local products [Cubs, Sox, Bears and Bulls]. Back when I first started getting back into collecting in 2004, I used to try to pick up as much stuff as I could, regardless of price so I can have it for my collection when I could have gone home and logged onto ebay and got it for 1/2 the price. There is just something about getting the

card you want, RIGHT when you see it. Now, I am more interested in getting autographs of players who show up. Now this can get pretty expensive as well, but I figure you are paying for the experience. There are just some athletes who just charge so much! For instance Bill Russell was at a show I went to last year, and he charged $500 for an autograph! Um, no thanks! Obviously I was not around to enjoy Mr. Russell's game, but still, WOW! Obviously someone who I would pay that kind of cash for is the man Michael Jordan. I would imagine if we were ever fortunate enough to have Jordan sign at an event, it would easily be $1000 per autograph. Ironically, Jordan has no idea of why someone would want an autograph of an athlete as he stated on the Leno Show.

Some autographs I'd love to get this time around would be the newly announced to the HOF: Andre Dawson [Cubs, NOT Expos], Chris Johnson [Titans], Adam West [Batman], Keith Hernandez [Mets and Seinfeld, haha], and of course Derrick Rose [Bulls] and Emmitt Smith [Cowboys]. Will I actually get to get these? I have no idea, depends on the cash flow for that week. I do have the Shamrock Shuffle 8K that Sunday, so I would probably only be going on Friday and/or Saturday.

If anyone wants to meet up, let me know! Here are some of the autographs I have gotten at past shows:

TYRUS THOMAS [when he was on the Bulls]


Monday, February 22, 2010

Donruss Americana box break CONTEST!

Win the hits from this free box of Donruss Americana by logging into your HobbyKings account and give a shot at the contest! Here is the CONTEST LINK

Good luck and Happy Monday!

- joe

Blake Griffin RC AUTO goes to...

rocketsfan86 for guessing the total points+assists+rebounds by Lebron James during the Cavs/Magic game on Sunday! Congratulations!!

Be sure to check back often for more contests hosted by HobbyKings!!

- joe

Friday, February 19, 2010

Win a free Blake Griffin RC Auto

First off, thanks to Scott from Panini for the opportunity to work with HobbyKings so we could get free products for our members. Also, thank you to the member who got us in contact with Panini to start off this relationship. I am not sure if he wants to be named, so I will not say who it was, but thank you! We really appreciate it!

Anyways, here is the awesome break from Panini!

If you want to enter the contest to win one of these hits. Sign into your HobbyKings account, and enter here: CONTEST LINK