Monday, September 16, 2019

An Unboxing


Look at this! A true Mystery Box from Sportscards.com includes nothing but surprises. 

Subscription boxes have been a big hit across a wide selection of people's interests, as they generally cater to people who are interested in things. It turns out that a lot of people are interested in things. Many of these people are interested in opening boxes of things they might be interested in, in fact. You'd be hard pressed to find many humans on this planet who don't enjoy a good present, and boxes like this are kind of like the best kinds of presents, as long as you pretend that you didn't pay money for it.

It turns out I didn't actually pay for this box from Sportscards.com. The website was kind enough to provide this box to me for, let's say, evaluation purposes. It's a super cool deal, and if you like what you see you can head on over to their site to check out some of their products. The box was very professionally presented, with branded packaging and even branded tissue paper, like a true present. Also, I'm sure I could be talked out of parting ways with most of this stuff since it mostly doesn't fit into my own personally collection.


Sportscards.com slabbed this card with a "Verified Vintage" sticker, and this 1976 Topps Rod Carew also looks to be in really nice shape. I am interested in learning more about their verification process, as this could be a nice and affordable alternative to some of the shady practices going on in the graded card industry as a whole.


This is definitely the highlight of the box. Buck Leonard was a longtime Negro League star and is also a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I am not familiar with this particular set at all (1978 Grand Slam), but my curiosity about it is definitely piqued. The card isn't graded for condition, but the autograph is authenticated by Beckett. Interestingly, the card is slabbed with an inner sleeve. Is this normal, or just common for the oddball size of the card? (I am not terribly familiar with grading cards as a whole as you might suspect, but there's been some fascinating reading material on the subject of late.)


Here's a peak at the back of the card, since this isn't a set you see every day.


This one has the Sportscards.com logo on it and it comes with a sticker that states that it's factory sealed.


So what is this exactly? It looks like the website is creating their own cut auto cards here, although I suspect my copy is a sample/evaluation copy since there's just a "sample" stamp. The paid monthly subscriptions look to come in multiple tiers, and I'm guessing something like this (only for real) is possible in one of the higher tiers. In any case, the card design seems solid for something like this, and reminds me of some of the higher end Upper Deck cards I couldn't afford back when they were a thing (in baseball.)


Keeping in line with the variety and mystery of it all, this Marc Gasol triple jersey card came in its own Sportscards.com top loader. It was one of those semi-rigid large top holders usually used for submitting graded cards, or so I've heard. (I primarily use them for sending cheap stuff through the mail in letters.) This card is from the fancy 2016-17 Panini Spectra set and is numbered to 149.


To polish it all off, there was also a pack inside. This is the latest Leaf football set.


I was hoping for a Ducks player, but I'm not sure that any Ducks this year made it into any of the draft style base sets. I think there might be a few autographed cards out there, but it wasn't a big year for Oregon in the draft.

The box also included a "redemption card", which is sort of like a punchcard for repeated purchases that gets you a future bonus if you accumulate enough of them. I'll hang on to mine in case I look at picking up a box on my own in the future.

I did sign up for a free account at the site, and I plan on checking out their newly launched pricing tool for collectors which was recently made available for free. This is an area that is sorely lacking/confusing to many, as you pretty much need to have a knack for navigating completed auction listings manually and weigh that against other listings of things for sale to get a ballpark range for card value these days. (Plus, you'll probably have to talk your weird uncle out of relying solely on dog-eared "price guides" that have been sitting around his basement for years when he thinks about putting his stuff up on Craigslist.)

Thanks again to Sportscards.com! I appreciate the opportunity to do something like this, and mystery boxes are always fun.

3 comments:

Alex said...

This box is strangely similar to the one on Nachos Grande. http://fanofreds.blogspot.com/2019/09/sportscardscom-collectors-subscription.html

Nachos Grande said...

Yeah, like Alex said your box is almost a mirror image of mine (your relic was cooler I guess but otherwise they were pretty much the same box). I like the concept of the box but I don't think the company did themselves any favors by offering up so many boxes to us bloggers that were all virtually identical. I still don't think I have a great feel for exactly what to expect (plus like I said in my review, they missed the mark with me since I basically only collect baseball - I'd love to get my hands on a baseball-only box and see how that suits me).

Fuji said...

My box was very similar too. I got a different basketball relic... and a 76T Yaz, instead of a Carew. But even though they're all very similar, I thought it was pretty generous to offer all of these boxes to bloggers to review.