Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Breakers Reviewed: 5 Popular Ebay Card Breakers Reviewed: Hits Shown!

Thems the Breaks

I don't have a lot of high end cards and don't go chasing expensive boxes very often. A lot of times good fortune leads me to lucky pulls and crazy good trades. I recently was fortunate enough to pull a high end prospect auto and sold it on ebay in order to take part in some breaks of a new product I was excited about. All breakers are not created equal so I decided to review my experiences on here in case anybody was curious about breaks. If you read ANYTHING in this post make it the tips at the end. It will make any future breaks better for you.
My experience with breaks started about a year ago when I randomly entered an ebay break for 2017 Topps, I bought the Tigers. It was a fun and exciting experience though I didn't get any "hits." It seemed as though it could be very addictive for me so I tried my best to stay away from buying into any more. Luckily for me I won a contest on twitter to take part in a random team 2016 Bowman break and I pulled the Mariners. I got some cool cards from that but nothing spectacular and both of those breaks educated me on what the hell a break even was. 
There are a lot of break skeptics out there who think all breaks are rigged and not worth the money at all. I have even seen a local guy get busted yanking a card from a break on camera who owns a hobby shop here in Michigan and he is now the pariah of all the local card groups. 
I can't really complain about the breaks I have taken part in. It makes total sense to me just like trading online, people in different places collect different players/teams so why buy a full case when a bunch of people can share it? I can't afford to drop $100 on a box of 2017 Chronicles Baseball but I took place in a bunch of breaks for a fraction of the price, got to see almost a dozen cases opened (hundreds of boxes, thousands of packs), and walked away with higher end cards I probably wouldn't typically spend the money on let alone could I even afford without the break.
NOTE: These are my opinions from my personal experiences, I am happy with all the breaks I took part in and am in no way advertising for or slamming any breakers. This is just general information and my humble opinions.

Review of Ebay Breakers

Kraken Wax: B

jfarrtefb on ebay
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCJ0ciHSjiqhSZgMt2-y-NQ
$11.21 + $7.99ship for one case ebay auction

I did a player break of one case of Chronicles with this breaker from ebay. Bought Jacoby Jones, Ian Kinsler, John Farrell, Lance McCullers and George Springer. I watched all the other cases pull at least one Farrell auto card so I took a chance and to this day after watching hundreds maybe thousands of boxes of Chronicles opened; I did not get an auto just a cool relic. I was not thrilled paying $8 in shipping and having this package take a week longer to receive than all the rest. But, Kinsler and McCullers don't have any base cards in the set and none were pulled so the seller threw in a Bryant, Trout and Harper base card from different sets for me. Overall, I was happy with the experience with this breaker.


/49

This might be cooler than the Signature card of him but I still have no idea why he was chosen as the ONLY manager card in the set for a team he doesn't even manage anymore. Surely, many more have earned such a card if not more deserving?


PROS:
  •  Seller ships Harper, Trout, and Bryant for those who get not cards!
  • Watch on youtube
  • Packaged well

CONS:
  • Only shows hits
  • Shipping is expensive comparitively but not outrageous. $3.99 + $1 for each extra
  • Shipping took the longest out of all the breaks

 

 

Sportszilla Breaks: B+

SportszillaBreaks01 on ebay
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr9m7yPHKJYVG9QgCTFVJhA
$1.25 + free shipping for one box/one card ebay auction for this one. I took part in 5 diferent one box/one card breaks for $1.25 each.

This breaker has a lot of single box breaks on ebay starting at $1.25 a team. I have bought into 5 breaks they have run. Each time for a single box of either 2017 Clearly Authentic or 2017 Topps Archives. These are very cheap breaks because they are one box containing one card. Your odds are lower than low. It is literally throwing money away for 29 people. BUT, the payoff is huge if you do get a hit. I was stupid and lucky in one of the breaks. I bought Tigers, Twins and Padres for a Clearly Authentic break. I knew the Tigers cards by looking up the checklist but didn't look at the other two teams. ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK! There is typically a reason a team is still available with no bids for $0.99. For me that was the Twins. They have one card in the set. I should have done my homework for sure. Luckily, the Padres had a good amount of Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe in the set. I got super lucky and the Hunter Renfroe Clearly Authentic Blue RC /25 was pulled. 

The picture does it absolutely no justice as it is a sweet card. Overall for Sportzilla Breaks:

PROS: 
  • Cheap Breaks to buy into
  • Fastest shipper ever! Due to only having to ship one card per box
  • Shows all the names of the participants on the video
  • Is available to watch on Youtube
CONS: 
  • Card was sent in a bubble mailer but has scratches on the outside casing. This may have been from the factory like that but was never mentioned in the video and doesn't look like it in the video so could be better protected.
  • Chances are bleak at best to get a hit unless you buy multiple teams/players

 

 

 

LIVECASEBREAK: B+

 LiveCaseBreak on ebay
https://www.youtube.com/user/LiveCaseBreak
$10.00 + 3.30ship for first team one case break auction.
$15.50 + 3.30ship for second team one case break auction.

I hooked up with LiveCaseBreak on ebay for two different "pick your team" breaks of 2017 Chronicles. I did some research before choosing this product and found Jacoby Jones has half a million or so different relics and signatures in the set. Mathematically I worked it out to at the minimum one hit per case. I will have more to say about this product as we go on. I spent quite a bit of money (in my world) with this breaker on these two breaks as a bidding war broke out twice. Overall the two breaks cost me $32.50 which is still 1/3 the price of one single box of this product. This breaker has its own style and the first break I participated in was an all nighter on Thanksgiving. My case didn't break until 5AM so it was a little cheaper than the second case. Nonetheless, I hit very good in the first case and okay in the second with the Tigers. Now another problem I ran into early on was that my breaks were taking place so close together I would forget what cards I pulled. Write your players/teams on an index card and keep a pen handy as you watch so you can note your pulls.
Another strange issue I had was that I was due to receive two different packages from two different breaks from this seller. Both auctions were marked with a single tracking number so I figured they were sent together. This is where shit gets weird: A package arrived on 12/1 from the seller with cards from at least one  break and on ebay it showed delivered BUT the package had an all together different tracking number than I was given. HOW DID IT SHOW UP DELIVERED?! On 12/8 another package from this seller showed up with the rest of my cards with the tracking number from the first break. WHAT?! Maybe it was delivered to the wrong address on 12/1 and the post office found it and fixed it? I have no frickin' clue. Again, keep some record of your cards. I almost lost an entire breaks worth of cards and didn't even know.

1st Break Case:


Probably my favorite card I scored. /99
Front

Back. Who knows what the hell it means.
09/10! These are the cards I can only dream of affording if it weren't for breaks!

These are the base. Only Verlander, Cabrera, and Jones represent the Tigers in the set. Lame.

I am not a fan of the look of the base. At all. Plus they number color variations of the base from /499 to /25 but all they do is change the color of their own logo. Same card. Whats the frickin' point?!

/399 Prizm

 2nd Case Break:



Boring looking base with purple logo making it /99

Prizms


#'ed base

/49

/99

Its just my opinion but I hate when people waste cards like this. I know its not a big deal but it seems disrespectful to me. Just about every pack has some kind of filler or marketing card that could be used for this. I don't know if this is an expression of "I have so many high end cards this ain't no thang" ideal but it bothers me.




PROS:
  • Live streamed on youtube
  • Shows participants listed with teams on the video
  • Multiple angles with video for security was impressive
  • There is a chat feature so you can ask questions or babble
  • Hits showed up packaged well
  • Base is included
CONS:
  •  Music and the dude talking is annoying because somebody was chatting him up about something that had nothing to do with the break or baseball on one of the cases
  • The cards in the first package I received were protected well with toploaders and team bags. The second package was not packaged as well. Proper materials were used but not well and the numbered Verlander was damaged. I am sure packaging and shipping breaks is the most tedious and painstakingly boring task ever but it should not be overlooked.

 

 

718sportscards: B

718sportscards on ebay
 https://www.youtube.com/user/718SportsCards
$3.33 + 3.50ship for a 4 box break on ebay auction

I participated in a smaller 4 box break of Chronicles with 718sportscards off ebay and I was able to watch my brother do a division break with the same breaker. I won't post any more base that I already have at this point so just assume if I had a guy with base and base was included with the break I received a stack of them. My brother and I were both happy with our experience. Here are my hits from just 4 boxes:
Triple whites are pretty lame but sweet card overall. /149


Prizms


PROS:
  • Multiple cameras and angles 
  • Live streamed on youtube
  • Shows ALL the cards not just hits
  • Lists participants in beginning
  • Chat feature during break
  • Base Included
CONS:
  • Does this guy hate cards? Especially in my brother's break it seemed like he really did not want to be opening packs. So much so that without me pointing it out my brother said "I'm going to get these crumbled in a ball, stuffed into a PWE aren't I?" The breaker said he had a tough work schedule but it was comical and almost worrisome how bothered he seemed by it all.
  • Shipping was pretty quick but only the relic came toploaded. The numbered and prizms weren't even penny sleeved just team bagged.

 

 

HOBBY LEGENDS:  A

HOBBY_LEGENDS on ebay
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSBPpm9AB88
$43.49 + 4.00ship for 3 case break ebay auction.

I bought into a 3 case break! with Hobby Legends on ebay for a pick your player break. Three cases is a long break, bring snacks and get comfy. It amounts to 48 boxes that's 576 packs or 2880 cards! I bought my usual suspects: JaCoby Jones and Ian Kinsler and let the other Tigers pass but I was able to pick up relatively cheaply Fred McGriff, Craig Biggio, Yonder Alonso, TJ Rivera, and Miguel Sano. The Biggio and Sano I paid $4 I think for and the others just 99 cents each. I didn't hit anything for Biggio or McGriff even after seeing them get pulled in multiple cases in other breaks. That is the chance you take though. I was blown away by the professional techniques this breaker uses in video and shipping. The packaging was almost over the top perfect and they even threw in a pack of penny sleeves. I mean every card except the 50 Alonso and Sano base were in sleeves and at least 10 team bags held everything in double bubble wrapped packages. I will have a hard time ever breaking with another breaker, I was that impressed! This breaker even created a case hit recap video! There was an issue however with Panini Points. Those are typically raffled off to all the breakers at the end of the break. The breaker chose to use the base card checklist to raffle them off (there were a lot) but almost half the guys who bought in, including me, had purchased players with no base cards. I tried to stop the guy before the raffle but wasn't able to so that was kind of a let down. Overall, I would still recommend the breaker as I am very happy with my experience. Here is my 3 case haul:

I know absolutely nothing about this guy but at 99 cents I figured I would take a chance. 5 base RC is what 3 cases of product held.

/999, /499

3 Cases will net you 25 Alonso or Sano base


/99, /399, /499

/149

Pink one is /49

Not numbered

BOOM! /24 my second biggest hit out of this product.

Left one is /199

/99

/99
Printed out manifest!

Bonus!
PROS:
  • Shows every card
  • Base included
  • Recap Video!
  • Amazing packaging!
  • Watch on Youtube 
  • Free penny sleeves
CONS:
  • Single Camera Angle 
  • Slow Shipper comparatively but worth it for the perfect packaging



TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL BREAKS!

      1. Make a scorecard!


Whether you have one player or the whole American League, having notes about the cards pulled will be a helpful checklist to make sure all of them show up. You can also take it a step further and take notes on the breaker and notable pulls so you know whether or not you want to use that breaker again or try that product again.

2. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! -Product


Always check the checklist for the product in the break before paying anything! Breakers are not perfect and often will list teams or players that aren't in the set. Play the odds. I chose Chronicles for so many breaks because JaCoby Jones had a ton of cards in it. The odds were good he had a good hit in every case. If a guy only has a 1/1 in the whole set; first, check ebay that its not pulled and for sale right away and second, don't pay $5 for a spot with a 1:1,000,000 chance of getting a card. This step, when done correctly, can double or triple your takehome cards for a break.

3. Research the Breaker!


Anybody can call themselves a breaker and set up a youtube channel and rip people off. The ebay review system is weak, typically I look at any negative feedback but don't give it much value as the general population is self-righteous deserving ignorant children. Look at some of the old break videos and make sure you like the layout and feel confident in that breaker. Its your money.

Why Breakers Get a Bad Rap

A lot of people think breakers make a killing on breaks. I can tell you they do on some products and lose on a lot too. There is a lot of math involved to make sure they at least break even. If you look at specifically Ebay breaker reviews there is always negative reviews. Those 99.9% of the time are people who did not get a hit and did not understand what a break was. There is also an argument that breakers buy cases and open boxes until they hit the "case hit" and then run box breaks on the remainder knowing the biggest card was already pulled. This could be true I guess but has not been my experience. I have seen many 1/1 Bellinger and Judge cards pulled on case and box breaks. You have to have some kind of trust in the breaker that they haven't tampered with the cases and the time they cut the tape on video is the first time that case has been opened. Honestly, I can see breaks being taken over by the card companies as more and more breakers pop up all over to try to make quick cash. The way Topps alienates its customers with over produced junk and endless meaningless sets containing short print after short print and 1/1's galore, I could see them starting to register customers for breaks themselves. The following reviews are merely my opinion based on my limited experience with each breaker. Break style and technique, shipping time and protection, ease of transaction and overall experience all went into my decisions for grades and is solely based on my opinion.

Tis the Contest Season!

Check out my buddy Jared over at Cards My Mom Didn't Throw Out for a sweet holiday contest! You should already be following this blog anyway, its one of my favorites.
https://cmmdto.blogspot.com/2017/12/first-cmmdto-contest-rookies-autos.html

Friday, December 8, 2017

Old School Bball & Breaking Some 1991 Topps Wax from Papa Jack's Box

Old School Basketball


Penny Hardaway, Shawn Kemp, and the Glove Gary Payton were all superheroes when I was in middle school. I collected baseball cards hard but I went to an "inner-city"ish school and basketball cards were currency. All of my cards that survived from that time look like I have carried them in my wallet since. So when I saw Jeff at Fan-Attic Sports Cards Blog was dishing out some sweet nostalgia I had to get in on it. Jeff sent me some amazing cards that took me back to the good ole days. Other than the Michael Jordan I don't think I ever had any of the other cards. I still have a couple boxes of basketball cards but these gems are hitting a binder ASAP. Thanks Jeff! Make sure you check out Jeff's blog and his store tab. Its a very impressive offering that I will be hitting up after Xmas!

What's in Papa Jack's Box?!





It has been a real roller coaster ride for me lately with a lot of things stressing me out. I NEEDED some cardboard therapy and with no card shows let alone money around I had to sneak back into Papa Jack's Box for something to tear up. This time: 1991 Topps.
Known for its Chipper Jones RC, 1991 Topps was a staple in my childhood collecting. It is one of my favorite designs of all time and I had a blast busting this box. I was able to find one Chipper RC but as you can see by the pic, the lazy-eyed Topps card cutter hit this one crooked as a politician with 4 feet of border on the left and 2 inches on the right. But, I'm not a graded card guy anyway and pulling this from a pack felt oh so good.





This will forever by in my top ten sets of all time. I have two more boxes of it sealed in Papa Jack's Box. I'm hoping to bust another one with him during the holidays and save the jumbo sealed box of celo packs for Nolan somewhere down the line. Things are starting to look up around here I think. We are at least sounding a bit healthier we just need some other family members to get out of the woods with their health and we will be on our way to a Merry Christmas.




Monday, December 4, 2017

My Favorite Card of 2017

I Have to Pick One?!

I'm finding out about all these cool contests and giveaways I missed out on by not blogging in 2016 and now I am taking full advantage. A lot of the other bloggers out there come up with some thoughtful posts to get the blogosphere to interact in fun ways and its awesome.
P-Town Tom of Waiting 'til Next Year , who has made many appearances in this blog has a contest running that I am super impressed with. "What is your favorite card of 2017?" That is such a great question and a tough one to answer. I can't wait to see what others choose. For me, there is one card that combines two of my passions in a retro/classical way. Lucky for me, Tom will let me squeak by without this card actually being in my possession; yet. I know I will obtain it at some point and the hunt is part of the fun. Here it is:
The 2017 Topps Ted Williams SP #US18. My time spent living in New England educated me on the non-baseball aspects of Mr. Williams life, especially fishing. You'd be amazed at the amount of fishing paraphernalia that sport Ted Williams name as a brand. The picture on this card shows a crafty Ted stripping line on a fly rod from the front of a small boat. I know I have been in this same position in my canoe many times, maybe not with the flair for fashion Mr. Williams had. I can't wait to add this card to my collection. It is hands-down my personal favorite from 2017!

In the meantime here are two other cards that came to mind but didn't exactly fit the criteria for this post but I do own.
This Ted Williams from 1959 isn't current but still illustrates the same love I have for the first card. The Allen and Ginter sailfish card was the last one I needed to complete the set. This set opened my eyes to a vast collecting potential of fishing tobacco cards of the past. Plus, I was able to attend my first Bassmaster weigh in this summer and had interesting cards for the anglers to sign for me. I am still building that collection. 2017 helped integrate two of my biggest passions in the world.