Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why I Don't Go After Current Releases

1) Upper Deck Series One & Two

Each year, Upper Deck is a very popular player in the market thanks to "Young Guns" rookie cards. When the set goes live, the demand for these cards is high and people literally fight over these cards paying top dollar. I always tell people that the worst investment you can make in the hobby is loading up on the current years hottest young guns. These cards don't hold there value.

When I was selling cards I tried busting a case of 2009-10 UD series one. The set had already been live for about a month and the cards were still selling for a decent amount, especially the young gun of John Tavares. In my case I only pulled one Tavares rookie and sold it for roughly $70 with shipping. Tavares is currently putting together the best season of his young career and his coming off a red hot January with 22 points in 13 games. Presently his Young Gun rookie is selling for $30-$40 plus shipping.

While the big name young guns always seem to decline in value, the lesser known players who emerge later on can you make a small profit. Take Erik Karlsson for example. When I broke my Upper Deck case, I sold off some of the cards with free shipping. I pulled two Erik Karlsson young guns and sold each for under $3. The card is currently in the ten dollar range with some selling as high as $15. Not a massive profit by any means but at least the card increased in value.

2. Way Too Many Releases

As you can see above, these are sell sheets for 2011-12 releases. Not all products are on there as well, including all ITG products. So that list is just the tip of the iceberg!

For a set collector and even a player collector, all these releases present a nightmare, it can even drive people away from collecting all together. It's not very often that you come across a set collector for current products. Most people don't have deep enough wallets and this causes them to part ways with collecting all together.

The only company I have any interest in, for recent releases is ITG, as they use a nice collection of retired players, not to mention they offer a product (BTP), that complete caters to goalie collectors.

3. Redemptions and Delayed Release Dates

These are a major headache and I have heard so many horror stories with redemptions never being filled and being replaced with very poor alternatives. Some products have way too many redemptions and it really takes away the thrill of box breaking. Most of the redemptions can be found on higher end products, mainly with the bigger names like Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby etc.

Delayed release dates drive me nuts! Especially considering for each product, you have a large amount of collectors who are looking forward to the release date for a long time and have saved money accordingly.  A big reason why I have taken to ITG product is that they stand by there release dates and have all products out on time. Considering how expensive the hobby is now, companies owe it to collectors to get all products out by the promised release date.

The list could go on, but I don't want to hate on new products too much. This hobby is really great and everyone has there own way to collect that they really enjoy. For me it's going after kids from my childhood, with a small amount of more modern releases.

What do you dislike about newly released products this season?


  1. Interesting points. So do you buy older boxes? That would really hurt in the redemption world. Nothing worse that pulling an awesome redemption card......that's expired.

    The release dates being pushed I think is an attempt to reduce the number of redemptions. I'd rather see a delayed product with more live cards in it that a product coming out on time with more redemptions.

    As for your Young Guns point, I think you're correct in that cards just don't hold their value. But there's nothing the card companies can do about that. It's the secondary market that drives those prices.

    I think people should just open whatever product and collect whatever they want to. If you like opening new stuff - go for it. If you don't - I can respect that too.

  2. I agree with you when it comes to the amount of new products. As a student I would love to get a healthy taste from a variety of products BUT too many at high prices prevent me to do so. Personally instead of having 5 medium products I rather they put the best of the best out of them into 2 products so that we can cut the crap and get what we want, plus we get the variety.

  3. In large measure, that's why I stick to vintage. I'll pick up the UD flagship set each year just for the sake of staying current, but they haven't put out a set that really does anything for me in years. I like this year's Parkhurst minis and will put together a set of those.

    ITG's practice of cutting up the equipment of hall of famers who are now no longer with us really, really bothers me.

  4. bamlinden- I open mainly 90's boxes and some early 2000 stuff. I have not opened a current release in a few years now. If I did open a current release, I would go with Certified.

    Michael- I agree with you to some degree. While it would benefit the more serious collector, it would drive kids away from the hobby. So maybe each company do a couple higher end releases with a lower end one available for kids.

    1967ers- while it's a shame all that old equipment & jerseys gets cut up. It gives average joes with shallow pockets a chance to own a piece of history.