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Where to start?

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  • Where to start?

    Hi guy's as a new fan to NFL I Am interested in collecting NFL cards. But there are 2 problems. 1st is they don't sell them in my state. Maybe even the whole country. So I have to get them online. 2nd is so many brands to choose from. What brand do you suggest? Thanks. None of my friends follow NFL so I won't be swapping them with anyone really, I am not looking to become a serious trader or anything, But I am just not sure where to start. Thanks.

  • #2
    To Dirty Mac,

    I too am a novice collector as I've only started my collection in earnest since December of 2012. I have also become a fan of NFL games as recently as October of 2009. Being 48 years old, I am continuously trying my best to keep up with the very educated, long time experienced collecting members of Cardboard Connections (CBC) forum, Card Collectors World (CCW).

    As you stated, not having NFL cards sold in your state nor country, may I be so bold to ask where you are domiciled? The reason I'm asking is that most of the 50th states will have a Walmart, Target, and or Kmart. These big ticket stores will have a sports and a non-sports card aisle. The sports are dedicated in general to baseball, football, hockey, Americana, basketball and golf. As for a non-sports examples these are related to but not excluding Pokemon, Ugio, movies, TV Series "The Walking Dead" and fantasy games etc.

    Purchasing cards and or hobby boxes (A hobby box is a particular product that can only be obtained via online and in dedicated independent sports card stores may contain and consists of 1 to 5 cards and up to several hundred) online are the most inexpensive and cost productive method available. I will review this comment shortly. Single cards are usually 50% of the actuall book value. Book values can be obtained from a Beckett magazine as well as Beckett online price guide or OPG as it's known in the hobby acclimate. First and foremost, I highly recomend in obtaing a Beckett periodical as this gives you the best method in categorizing your collection, it's also an industry wide utilized standard guide for proffesionals and non-proffesionals as such.

    Non-NFL licensed cards:

    As a reference, at the start of the collecting year, (NFL cards during the beginning of the NFL season) produced are very inexpensive and yet educational in this regards. Products from Hit/SAGE, Press Pass, Upper Deck, and Leaf will have rookies whom will be drafted, composed in their appropriate represented college/University and these schools as such of uniforms. These are considered pre-NFL cards, please note that these products are not officially cards of rookies except that they are cards of potential NFL players. This is so in that the card companies are not licensed NFL entities, hence the NFL does not consider these cards as rookie cards.

    Entry level cards/retail cards:

    Once the NFL draft is completed, the official NFL card season begins, for myself and many others, I can't wait to bust a pack or blaster box. Here is where I will state the product and brand. At retail stores, only rack packs or hanger packs, (Which hang on so called skewers for visual advertisement) single retail packs, and blaster boxes are sold. These range in price from a couple of dollars (Single packs), $5.00 to $10.00(Hanger or rack packs), on to $19.99 for blaster boxes. Single packs will have the general base cards, the Hanger packs in general will have base cards and if you're lucky enough, inserts and parallels, finally moving up to a blaster box that can yield base, inserts, parallels, autos, and jersey cards. If you're really lucky, you'll find a hit which could be a rookie card with a auto and a patch or jersey also known in the industry as rookie/patch/auto or RPA. These terminologies can be found at CBC articles or you can just ask one of the many experienced collectors of CCW forum. Retail products are exceptional in that they are great for kids and the ever so novice and or a seasoned collector looking to see what a product looks like or compiles as, so to determine if a hobby box is justified. When I mean justified, I'm referring to the price package.

    Retail or hobby boxes:

    Hobby boxes will cost anywhere from $39.95 (2012 Panini Prime Signatures of which only has four cards. One auto, one insert, one parallel, and one base card all numbered) up to $1295.00. This would constitute 2014 Panini Flawless. A hobby box purchase is a must for collectors seeking hits. Normally hits are specified within a product detailing autos and or auto patch cards. Normally, a hobby box will guarantee one auto, at times a box top, and a RPA with several parallels and inserts. Only hobby boxes will feature a rare 1/1 collectible card, yes, you've read this correctly, a one of a kind in the whole wide world specialty card. Most notably a design or printing plate (White Whale) aspect. This should give you a base line onto which way your collecting needs lean to. I personally enjoy both retail and hobby products. Here is why, I enjoy retail products as I utilize blaster boxes as a visual aid in what products that will debut in that what I would purchase in as a hobby box. I can then make my decision. Please note that only a small percentage of cards are sold as a retail product, many other cards are dedicated and released as hobby ONLY.

    Upper Deck (UD):

    This company has been around for over 40 plus years. Although non-NFL licensed, one of my favorite UD products is the UD set and the SP Authentic set. Other sets are Exquisite, SPX, and Fleer. You can see a visual and get real time street price cost via eBay. eBay is a great way to find out what a potential card is valued at, as for what it's worth, remember when trading on CCW, most if not all members, myself included will trade at book value (BV) unless otherwise specified so.


    Topps is truly a old school product dating back to 1948 with their Bownan colored and black and white cards. Topps is the all to go item especially when Chrome debuts. I don't know a single sports card collector of which whom does not have a Topps Chrome card, this is how popular Chrome is to the collecting genre. Another popular Topps product is Platinum. These two products are mid-level items. Chrome and Platinum are usually in the $100.00 plus range and consists of a 100 cards are so. Mid to high end cards from Topps would be Magic, Finest, Supreme, Valor, and Inception. These cards are in the $130.00 price point and average 4 to 8 cards. Topps Triple Threads and Five Star reigns as elite items from Topps. TT and 5 Star are $250.00 and $450.00 respectively with no more than a dozen cards. Remember, the less cards, the more you pay. But understand the bigger your hits! Or as I put it; "The bigger your risk". My wife, Mrs. Toshi has the Midas touch, I never purchase a hobby box without her consent and choice. She tends to always hit big, as an example, I like Panini Black. I've pulled a inexpensive Michael Egnew $5.00 card from a $200.00 Panini Black hobby box, and in return, Mrs. Toshi pulled a Andrew Luck RPA with a BV of $350.00. Although rare in this case, the Andrew Luck card definitely paid in dividends. That's just one card out of twelve!


    Panini happens to be my all time go to card company, they produce Score, Prestige, Elite, Absolute, Crown Royale, Certified, Gridiron, Rookies and Stars, RS Longevity, Momentum, Black, Contenders, Playbook, National Treasures, Flawless, Prominence, Limited, and Totally Certified. As you can see, Panini has an abundant supply of products to meet any if not all demands of collectors need and wants. For a quick visual review, please go to "Football Showcase" click on the thread "Dacardworld", you will see my most recent hobby box break in that of 2014 Panini Certified. My very first hobby box was a Certified, hence I've purchased Certified every year since December of 2012. This I will always do as a nostalgic reference for my collecting choice.

    In summation, there are way too many card products available yet, that's a great thing, you have that many choices and are free to try a little bit every so often. I recomend you start small and as always, work yourself up the chain of collecting products. That's how I started, Score, Topps Chrome, Platinum, Certified, and so on the price tier ladder. Ultimately, my mantra is; "There is no correct way nor incorrect way of collecting football cards". Please understand that one of the most overlooked aspect in football card collecting is supplies. Always, always, invest in collecting supplies to care for your collection. You can find the correct supplies for your collection via CBC under supplies. If you need any more information and or want to just generally chat about football cards, please feel free to PM me at anytime as I am retired. I hope this helps!

    Your fellow forum member,

    Last edited by hayn; 10-29-2014, 07:13 PM.
    I am easy, I collect any and all NFL cards. Individual players I really enjoy are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, RGIII, and Russell Wilson. My passion is Favre rookie cards and vintage cards.


    • #3
      I forgot to add, as for online orders of hobby boxes, may I recommend Dacardworld (Dave and Adams Card World), Blowout Cards, and or Steel City Collectibles? These three are industry standards in my humble opinion. As for singles, I'm devoted to eBay, COMC (Check Out My Cards), and SportsLots. I have recently purchased another Certified hobby box from eBay for $69.00 as oppose to Dacardworld, BO, and SCC for $77.95 and up. For $69.00 including shipping, I received my Certified hobby box via UPS within 24 hrs. Not bad at all from a eBay sellar! The savings are out there, it's just a matter of research, discipline, and patience.

      Set Check List Trading Card Data Base
      I am easy, I collect any and all NFL cards. Individual players I really enjoy are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, RGIII, and Russell Wilson. My passion is Favre rookie cards and vintage cards.


      • #4
        Hey, Thanks for all your insight, I am in a small town in Australia and I probably couldn't even buy a team hat here without going to one of the capital cities.

        I think I will go with the 2014 Topps Football Jumbo hobby box. I won't buy the complete set, I like the hunt. Thanks again.


        • #5
          I have a question for you that is non-football cards. Is Neighbors still running, I used to live in London and Scotland in 1984 through 1991. Neighbors was a huge hit back then. I recall a actor and actress, by the last name as Donavan and Minouque. Are they still acting in neighbors?

          For forum members that don't know about this soap opera, it was so popular that it ran twice a day during noon and 5:00pm, of course I watched both.

          Dirty Mac, is Black Adder still relevant as well as another sitcom called Absolutely Fabulous or AB FAB? These programs were my staple. The majority of my time was spent in Amsterdam watching these shows. My all time favorite show was AB FAB!

          Thank you in advance,
          I am easy, I collect any and all NFL cards. Individual players I really enjoy are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, RGIII, and Russell Wilson. My passion is Favre rookie cards and vintage cards.


          • #6
            I must add another great show called Eastenders.
            I am easy, I collect any and all NFL cards. Individual players I really enjoy are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, RGIII, and Russell Wilson. My passion is Favre rookie cards and vintage cards.



            • #7
              Black Adder hasn't been on for a very long time, nor has AB Fab. we are talking 15+ years
              Neighbours is still on. Donavan went the way of the Dodo, but Minouge went on to bigger things.
              She became a singer Has sold about 70 million albums. even won a grammy.