The Beckett Blog


Rippin’ Retail: Panini Longevity Rookies & Stars vs. three Basketball Blasters by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

Collectors often bemoan he differences between hobby and retail boxes, opting for the superior hobby version over the taste-test of a retail blaster or other type of offering.

In some cases, though, that logic just might be unfounded — good cards certainly can be found in retail, but if they’re not there the prices might be better depending on how in-demand boxes might be.

It really just depends on what you’re buying. However, not all retail boxes are made alike, either.

I recently ripped some retail Panini America basketball boxes and was kind of surprised by what I found. Frankly, the cheapest of all retail versions — the Blaster box — seemed to compete well with its bigger-time counterpart, the Longevity version of 2010-11 Rookies & Stars. The $50 Longevity box was a dud, while three Blasters (two Rookies & Stars boxes and one Threads box) seemed more interesting for approximately the same price at $60.

How is that? It surprised me. At first glance, the retail-focused Longevity found only in Target stores seems like a good alternative to the typical Blaster boxes. After all, it looks more like a hobby box so it should feel more like a hobby box, right? It’s packing three autograph or memorabilia cards per 10-pack box and is otherwise an abbreviated offering of the standard Rookies & Stars set but printed on foilboard. (In the case of this design, I actually don’t mind the foilboard — a rare instance.)

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By the Box: 2008 Sweet Spot Baseball (retail) by Chris Olds

sweettin1

It’s pretty unusual for a product to arrive at retail ahead of its hobby store counterpart, but that’s exactly what has happened with 2008 Sweet Spot baseball this year as special three-pack tins have arrived in Target stores ahead of the Dec. 23 hobby release date.

Here are the results from a randomly selected box I recently opened …

ichiro2008 Sweet Spot baseball
Price:
$29.99 (Target)
Packs per box:
3
Cards per pack: 8
Cards in this box: 27 (Each pack actually had nine cards inside.)
Base set completion: 23 of 100 (23 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Insert cards found: 4 (One autograph or memorabilia card per Target tin.)

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