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> Why I lost touch with the hobby

CardCraze
post Jul 2 2014, 04:41 PM
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Now, I don't know how many of you care to read my story, but I'm a bit bored, so I decided to have a show and tell of sorts.

When I crashed head first back into the hobby in 2003, game used cards were all the rage, and the hobby was thriving. At this time my "hobby" consisted of blaster boxes and loose packs from Target and Wal-Mart until I found my first hobby store, a couple years later in 2005. It was a great time, for certain, and I remember in 2007 going over and picking up a pack of Topp Draft Picks and Prospects for 2 bucks, from which I pulled an Adrian Peterson rookie auto, which I still hold onto today.

My most active years in the hobby were 2008-2009, and the countless boxes of base cards inhabiting my closet can attest to that. For better or for worse, the hobby started to change so quickly. Game used were now thrown around like base cards, boxes started to guarantee an autograph, and the number of "high end" products released each year skyrocketed.

So, slowly, I fell out of the hobby. There 3 dollar packs were few and far between, replaced with 8 dollar or 20 dollar packs promising me wonders abound. Boxes went from being 30-50 dollars for a couple of auto/memorabilia cards, to 70-100 dollars and beyond.

It seems like more and more, if I want to buy a box of cards from any year within the past 2-3, I have to shell out close to 100 dollars when all is said and done, and why bother? That money can be spent on necessities, on college tuitions, on bills, on lucky ladies, and so on.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that this transformation of products like Prestige, which used to be a relatively low end, 50 dollar box, into one which this year is retailing for 90 dollars limits the appeal of hobby.

I'd also go on to say, though I'm sure many will rebuke me on this, player collecting is dead. Gone are the days when each rookie entered with a handful of cards, that could be collected with enough dedication. Now, it seems that unless there's a dispute, or the player is just so irrelevant there's no purpose in doing so, each rookie has close to 500-1000 cards.

So, I guess I might just be being grumpy, and maybe I'm just being stubborn, but at least to me, a lot of the hobby's excitement and flair loses its appeal when it becomes less accessible and more expensive to maintain relevance in. Not every product needs to be high end and include 4 autographs (The Panini treatment).


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msw_sportscards
post Jul 2 2014, 05:07 PM
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I share your concerns. I've gone back to collecting for collecting. I buy 90s product that I missed out on for bargain basement prices and still get the same enjoyment as I did when I was shelling out the bucks for the new stuff. It's probably more difficult for you because you're relatively new to the hobby, but I remember a time before GU and autos. Back then everyone was clamoring for the Billy Ripken "Rick Face" error and the 90 Topps Frank Thomas NNO.



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mjda
post Jul 2 2014, 06:16 PM
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I'd have to agree with you. I got lost somewhere over the last few years with all the big time hits and autos and the hobby really started to get boring to me...fast! I really lost track of why I started collecting in the first place. I have started to get back to that, though, and am really starting to focus solely on my Tony Parker collection. It's strange how excited I get just adding a new base card that I didn't already have even though this is a collection that I started so many years ago.


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aceecards
post Jul 2 2014, 06:52 PM
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I spoke of this at great length a few years back in a very long 10 reason post

Now I pick my spots and set build

I get a lot of enjoyment tracking down a master of sorts sets..

I don't like parallels but I will try to get the set plus the inserts or minis Like Ginter

I find myself buying a hobby box ever so rarely anymore.. Last year I built a ginter set entirely from 1 retail triple pack, 1 hobby box and a bunch of lot purchases from ebay of the minis

then a few trades here and there and boom im done

total spent $220

I got a couple autos and gu as part of those lot purchases but I didn't spend the 3K I had in past years


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post Jul 2 2014, 07:23 PM
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QUOTE(mjda @ Jul 2 2014, 07:16 PM)
I'd have to agree with you. I got lost somewhere over the last few years with all the big time hits and autos and the hobby really started to get boring to me...fast! I really lost track of why I started collecting in the first place. I have started to get back to that, though, and am really starting to focus solely on my Tony Parker collection. It's strange how excited I get just adding a new base card that I didn't already have even though this is a collection that I started so many years ago.
*



Agreed to this! It's funny how a couple years back nobody would trade unless there were relics/autos involved, and now I'm happily trading a couple base/inserts for a couple base/inserts for the PC.


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post Jul 2 2014, 07:30 PM
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QUOTE(aceecards @ Jul 2 2014, 07:52 PM)
I spoke of this at great length a few years back in a very long 10 reason post
*




I think i remember that! I'll also agree to retail. I still enjoy picking up a pack here and there for my favorite sets (I'm usually big on Topps Heritage!) but I can't even remember the last time I bought a hobby box. I mainly stick to eBay these days to pick up those cards that pop up every now and then for the PC.


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post Jul 2 2014, 08:53 PM
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realize of course that everything in life goes thru cycles.

It can be as small as hitting the same restaurant every Friday cuase the food is good and the girls pretty until you realize you are tired of it.

to big as a job change.

All aspects of life get monotonous and unaffordable at times.

Collecting wise I can tell you exactly when and how long and why

1984-1987 senior year college, girls, parties got married, moved just had so much going on couldn't even keep up with a hobby, in fact I sold a whole bunch of my single vintage back then thinking I was done

1992-2000 Maddie and mollie came along and hobby took a big back seat

2001 year of pujols and ichiro I collected hard!

2002-2005 just lost interest and kids ate up a lot of time

2010-present I refocused cut down and enjoy set building like I did as a youngster in the seventies

I could go back and look at my lifes work everyday for the rest of my life and always find something new in it!


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post Jul 2 2014, 11:33 PM
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love this.

QUOTE(aceecards @ Jul 2 2014, 08:53 PM)
realize of course that everything in life goes thru cycles.

It can be as small as hitting the same restaurant every Friday cuase the food is good and the girls pretty until you realize you are tired of it.

to big as a job change.

All aspects of life get monotonous and unaffordable at times.

Collecting wise I can tell you exactly when and how long and why

1984-1987 senior year college, girls, parties got married, moved just had so much going on couldn't even keep up with a hobby, in fact I sold a whole bunch of my single vintage back then thinking I was done

1992-2000 Maddie and mollie came along and hobby took a big back seat

2001 year of pujols and ichiro I collected hard!

2002-2005 just lost interest and kids ate up a lot of time

2010-present I refocused cut down and enjoy set building like I did as a youngster in the seventies

I could go back and look at my lifes work everyday for the rest of my life and always find something new in it!
*





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post Jul 3 2014, 01:23 AM
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Every year, people complain about the industry. For example (to CardCraze), back in 2003 the "game used" phase had already been done to death (in many people's eyes), so it's just a matter of prospective.

I will always say "collect what you like (staying focused of course) and collect within your means" otherwise the hobby will get out of hand rather quickly.

I would NEVER buy boxes/cases...that's stuff is just insane unless you have the means to support it. Look at Steve's turn around on the Allen Ginter set...total spent vs year's past! Buying specific cards you want/need or lots is SOOOO much more cost effective.

It seems that "rainbowing" is the thing to do "today" and so many collectors still prospect minor leaguers and RCs.

Somethings change, but I will alway jadeROCK then, now and forever! tongue.gif


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post Jul 3 2014, 06:46 AM
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If treated as a Hobby, then a lot of it is whatever you want to make of it or get out of it. Too many folks in it to make money (stock market mentality) and/or the hit it big gamblers (lottery mentality) which drives up the cost of the boxes of the products (granted the costs the Manufacturers have gone up for the price of the Autographs and the GU as they Players/Organizations have learned what they can charge/what those sell for on those things now). The influx of higher end products is due to that as the companies only make things that will sell, and I"m sure they would rather sit on a lower cost product that bombed than a higher end/higher production cost product that bombed out. Good to see they are still trying to put out a lower end product for the kids, as the Hobby will go the way of stamp collecting if you can't get the younger folks into the Hobby (changes in society can doom that also though, as a Hobby can become "uncool" rather quickly also).

I guess I don't see player collecting as "dead" yet, least not as much as the old school set collector (if you an old timer like some of us that were into it before there was AUs and GUs in the packs, some of us recall the days before there was inserts in the packs and they were all base cards in the packs along with the nasty piece of gum wink.gif laugh.gif ). Again falls into perspective though, as in example I didn't start collecting my PC guy thinking I will ever own all his cards (granted he wasn't a Rookie when I started as he had been playing a long time already), as Mike Modano currently has over 4,400 cards out there and even though he has been retired a couple years that number keeps going up as he still shows up in products.
Now I will probably perturb the "prospect" collectors but a lot of folks will collect who is "hot" and then jump ship if the player don't pan out (similar to bandwagon fans of Teams), so to me those not really player collectors but folks trying to "flip cards" and make money so back to the investor/lottery folks that not in it for a Hobby. Same as the folks that don't put enough thought into who they want to collect (or just go with the "latest and greatest" and will change their PC focus 12-15 times a year don't fall into "player collectors" in my mind either.

Also as Steve pointed out it goes in waves, as too many things in life have priority over a hobby (and should have as if they don't then you may have an problem/addiction/obsession).
I can't keep up with the folks that have higher amounts of disposable income, so there are products out there that I will never open personally (Group Breaks are a way for some, but that is a gamble also but just with a little less money involved) as I can't justify spending $400 on a box with 5 cards in it. If I"m going to spend that kind of money I can track down a much larger number of cards for my PC, but it is a Hobby to me and I also know there is "no hope in Hades" that me (or my wife/kid if I die) can get the same money back by selling what I have that I have for money into it.

Try to find something you enjoy and run with it, and try and "stay within your means" (most of us old timers have gone over our heads at least once or twice, as it is human nature). As in example my wife likes to go to Casino's, and it is a form of entertainment for her and it gets her out of the house for something besides Doctor appointments (and when you can't walk it limits other options you have for things to do, or makes it a real pain in the behind trying to do, and not worth it or even doable for her), but you have to set limits of what you can spend and not be spending money you can't afford to lose (as same as cards the majority will lose money and a very few will hit it big and make money).


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