Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Kids On The Block Pt 2 - Get More Out of Your Initial Investment

If you are new to this hobby, most likely the first thing you want to do is bust, bust, bust. Normally I would deplore this idea, but with new people that is exactly what you should do. You will need some cash, and I would expect you to have some if you are taking on a new interest. I get daily emails from people asking what they should bust, and so, instead of answering all individually, I will give you my top picks for football.

1. SP Authentic - At around 100 bucks a box, this stuff is usually a great mix of veteran and RC. You will get one big hit and two small hits per box (all autographed), though that may change to more content this year. The RC Patch autos trump even National Treasures, and they are usually on card. In fact, last year, all autos for this set were on card. This could be the best product to bust all around if you are new or old.

2. Leaf Limited - Again a 100 dollar price tag, and a good mix of jersey and auto cards. The set almost always looks ridiculously good, and you have a shot at some really big hits with logos, letters, and cuts. They switched back to packs this year, which I hate, but is good for new people. Plus, the RC patch autos, though not worth as much as SPA, are a little more common and the pics are usually nicer.

3. Donruss Gridiron Gear - This box usually runs at about 90, but the price may come down this year. Last year, this was one of the best looking products of the year, and for 2008 I wouldn’t expect any different. They have some creative ideas for the set with the pullout jersey autos and the rubber helmet autos, though jersey cards for this set are exceedingly common. The good thing about this product for newbies is the possibility of an 8 hit hot box at one per inner case.

4.Topps Chrome - This is the best low end product out there, and this year it got lower, even though the content got better. You get some base RCs that hold their value better than any numbered RC out there, and the autos are the only cards where the 2004 style foil stickers actually look okay. There isnt much of a veteran content other than the refractors, but the value of the bust is way up there.

5. Playoff National Treasures - The only reason I am putting this on here is because of what you get in the box. For the price of a few boxes of the other stuff I mentioned, you can get 6-7 hits of really high end stuff. You could buy 3 boxes of Gridiron Gear and end up with eight $3 jersey cards, or buy one box of this and end up with 6-7 jersey cards that are worth much more. With the chance of hitting it big, its worth saving up for as a newbie, and it will give you stuff to trade. It doesn’t hurt that the cards look amazing and there arent too many boxes with nothing - unlike Exquisite.

6. Bowman Chrome - Normally this would be a staple for new Baseball collectors, but for Football, its not as popular. That doesn’t mean it isnt a good bust, but you are mainly looking for the same thing as you would in the other sports. The colored refractors look great, and the autos look much better, but the bust has a bigger potential to suck than Topps Chrome. Now that they are at or around the same price point, its probably better to go with the other chrome.

7. Leaf Certified Materials - I love the fabric of the game cards, and so does everyone else. You get one per box, and if its autoed, you have a huge hit (usually). Up until this year, I loved the freshman fabric cards, and you definitely have huge potential with the first mid end logo cards of the year. It’s a good place to start.

That’s pretty much all I would recommend in terms of products, but I would say as long as you stay away from high end Topps and Exquisite, you should be fine. Feel free to ask around if you want more suggestions on how to better invest your initial buy in.


  1. Topps Chrome qualifies as the top3 ugliest cards on the market in my opinion.

    I'm waiting for 08NT to come out to see how it looks. I loved the 06NT, but 07NT sutographed stickers looked very bad on some cards.

    It's piss poor to not have on card autos on a high end product as NT.

    I have my last 2 boxes of 07 cards incoming now (2xUD premier). After that I will probably await 08NT and see how good it looks.

  2. Thanks for the tips. I was out of the hobby for a few years and now I usually just stick to buying singles on eBay. I haven't busted a box for years but I have really been getting the itch lately. There is so much out there, I just can't make up my mind though. This helps.

  3. I didnt have too much of a problem with chrome. The pictures left A LOT to be desired, but overall it was worth the bust.