Most of our followers know that we give away a lot of autograph & memorabilia cards through our various social media channels. What you may not know is that for almost five years we have been donating our base cards to various charities. In the past, we shipped our cards to Cards2Kids and Commons4Kids. Both wonderful organizations doing a lot to bring our hobby into the hands of deserving kids all over the country. We recently learned of another organization, SportsCardsForKids, doing the same thing.
Although we plan to support these fantastic groups indefinitely, we are actively looking for ways to support hobby growth in our local community. Recently we had a chance to visit the Houston Boys & Girls Club and do just that. We setup some basketball shooting stations, played games, gave out cards, and discussed a lot of life-lessons that revolve around sports, health, and education.
Afterwards, we gave kids the chance to trade cards at a designated “trading table.” Kids could trade their cards for another card of a different sport, or search through stacks to find their favorite players. The kids came in groups of 25, ranging in age from 5 to 18 years old. Afterwards we donated 10,000 more base cards and inserts (all from 2013-2015 products) to the club so they can continue to give them out to kids moving forward.
Our first event with Boys & Girls Club of Houston was a big success, but there are a lot of things we can do to make it an even better experience for the kids. Our next event will include a bunch of cool sports-related drills, custom packs of cards, and cool giveaways for the kids. BCW was generous enough to donate supplies so the kids are in for a real treat. Our next event will be on Friday, October 9th. If you know of any collectors in the Houston area that would like to volunteer at this event, please let us know! We need about 10 volunteers to help with all the stations.
The Boys and Girls Club is a phenomenal organization that makes a visible difference in the lives of children across America. Please join us in supporting them in every way possible.
If you are interested in organizing/hosting a “Sports Card Day” at your local Boys and Girls Club, please contact us for details on how you can get involved.
If you are a collector or manufacturer interested in donating your time, talent, or treasure to this cause, please email: email@example.com for more information. The more the merrier!
There’s just so much to say about Topps Museum Collection. As I mention in my box-break video below, this has become one of my favorite products each year thanks to gorgeous designs and tremendous variety. Every insert and parallel looks nicer than the last and the “hits” are out of bounds.
My review of 2014 Museum Collection Football summed up most of my feelings regarding this product’s design, but the baseball version is extra special. The Baseball version of Museum Collection is the equivalent of taking your smart phone, playing a song, then plugging your phone into Dave Grohl’s amp and sticking your head right next to it as he goes nuts on his guitar.
It’s Museum Collection on steroids — pardon the baseball pun. Don’t believe me? Take a look at just how much variety this product has in its set:
And that gallery doesn’t even include the RIDICULOUS booklet patch autos that Topps has included in this set. I think if I were to save up enough money for a single case of baseball cards next year, it would be Museum Collection simply because busting the boxes is SO MUCH FUN. Between on-card rookie autos, dual autos, triple autos, veteran and HOFer autos, patch autos, prime memorabilia cards, original sketch cards, bat knobs, and laundry tags…you never know what you are going to get.
Moreover, the cards are highly-collectible and sell for big bucks. This is one of the few products that is enjoyed by re-sellers and collectors alike and I haven’t seen a single box that I would consider a total “disappointment.” My box actually contained the best hit I’ve ever pulled in my life (see below) … but as is our custom, we will be giving this card away to one of our lucky Sports Card Album members.
This will be, without a doubt, the best giveaway we’ve ever done…stay tuned to our Twitter account for details. In the meantime, check out some more juicy box breaks of 2015 Museum Collection Baseball below and be sure to let us know what YOU think of this product in the comments below (or on YouTube.)
Topps Museum Collection is the sports-card example of elevating a simple food dish into an flavorful masterpiece. The sports-card hobby can often feel stale given the countless “look-alike” products that are launched each year, but Museum Collection stands out in every way.
The base-card design is simple, but flawless. Full-player images are printed on a thick card-stock and the monotone background really makes the player photography pop. But where the product really stands out is with the hits. This product gained immediate acclaim when Topps created the metal-framed cards a few of years ago. Adding a gold-ink veteran autograph to a gold-framed card results in something more akin to an heirloom than a collectible “trading card.”
Although I didn’t pull a gold framed auto in this box, I pulled one last year in the baseball product. Here is a small gallery to show you what I’m talking about with this set. They truly look like they belong in a museum.
But the framed-autograph cards aren’t the only hits to be excited about in Museum Collection. There are a variety of beautiful designs within this set, something that is hard for a company to pull off without making a product seem convoluted or confused. Topps maintains a consistent “feel” throughout all the insert sets and parallels and succeeds in making this feel like one really deep, well thought out product. Take a look at some of the parallels from my box:
Rather than diluting the beautiful product with ridiculous designs, the parallels remain true to the base design, as do the on-card rookie autographs. The patch cards take elements from some of the most popular RPAs in the hobby and combine them in a classy way. Minimal foil-work, quality card-stock, great player photography, and sick patches. It’s easy to see why collectors flock to this product.
But perhaps my favorite insert in this entire product is the “Canvas Collection” set. Topps introduced this concept back in 2008 with their “Masterpiece” Football set. Museum Collection seems to be the modern interpretation of this highly-collected set, and they elevated the concept by including actual one-of-a-kind original sketches in the product. Although I didn’t pull the 1/1, even the reprints (like this Dan Marino I pulled) are popular among collectors.
This is another perfect example of a set Topps could market as artwork. Honestly, if Topps sold full-sized canvas prints of cards like these, I would decorate my office with them. Even if they cost the price of an entire box of cards or more.
We are constantly on the forums and can’t help but see what collectors think about every new release. Topps Museum Collection may be the least-complained-about product I’ve ever seen…and that’s saying something.
Box Price: Between $150 – $200 (updated as of July 4th, 2015) Box Breakdown:4 mini boxes per master box, 5 cards per mini box Pack Breakdown:1 “hit” per mini box (pack) Hit Breakdown: 1 mem auto per box, 1 quad relic per box, 1 jumbo relic per box, 1 additional auto per box, 1 canvas collection card per box
Overall:This product isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. If you are a re-seller and want the most bang for your buck, there are MANY veteran autos (see the framed examples above) that sell for good money. However, if you are a collector that actually enjoys sports-cards (and isn’t overly concerned about resale value,) this is a can’t miss. I have never felt disappointed after busting a box of Museum Collection in either baseball or football. Highly recommend everybody tries a box of this, especially at the reduced price point now that 2015 products are around the corner.
March Madness, BABY! It feels like the tournament just began yesterday, but here we are on the precipice of the Championship game between Duke and Wisconsin. This year’s tournament has been chock-full of big-time shots, controversial calls, incredible comebacks, and huge upsets, which is par for the course for what many consider to be the greatest event in American sports.
We wanted to celebrate the biggest tournament of the year with our biggest giveaway of the year, so we enlisted the help of our friends at Upper Deck, BCW, and Blowout Cards. The prizes they donated will make you want to climb a ladder and cut down a net, regardless of how your team did in the tourney.
As we mentioned in our original post, we are giving away four prizes:
Highest Score after Sweet 16
Highest Score after Elite 8
Highest Score after Final Four
Highest Score after Championship Game
There were almost 200 entries into this competition, so the four of you who win should be very proud of how stupid-a** lucky you got on your bracket Just kidding…we know you were probably up for many nights studying metrics and doing analysis on your favorite teams, right? However you got there, the following three winners have already been determined:
Highest Score after Sweet 16 : MiamiTrev2
Highest Score after Elite 8 : brandon14234
Highest Score after Final Four : Tcolumbus
Thanks for making it easy on us by not having any ties. We will know who wins the Championship later tonight, and I will update this post. We have several brackets that are neck-and-neck so we are excited to see how the brackets shape up.
Huge thanks to everyone who participated and a special thanks to our sponsors for donating the amazing prizes. We are packing out the prizes right now and will notify the winners of their prizes as soon as they are ready to go.
Winners: Please email SCAcontests@gmail.com and tell us which part of the tournament you won in the “subject” line. Within the body of your email please include your name and mailing address.
Everyone: Please subscribe to our blog by adding your email address to the field at the top of this blog post, on the right sidebar. Blog subscribers typically have a better chance of winning giveaways since they are the first to know about contests/promotions. Also, if you haven’t looked into our PRO features yet, please do soand sign up!
Topps Supreme is a different animal…it’s a beautiful and majestic animal, but it can really tease you. Unlike Museum Collection, which is an experience in every box, Supreme can be very “hit or miss” since you only get one hit per box. However, it’s only 1/3 the price of Museum Collection, so there is much less risk for a chance at just as big of a reward.
Back when Topps first came out with “Supreme Football” back in 2010, collectors initially gawked at the notion of a single pack per box without a guaranteed autograph. However, once group breakers started busting cases collectors saw just how incredible the autographs and hits were…I remember forking over big bucks for a dual auto of Joe Montana and Sam Bradford. This was also the first product to use a beautiful gold foil behind the sticker autographs…an elegant touch that brought sophistication to a design element most card-manufacturers tried to hide.
Fast forward to today and not much has changed. The only big difference is that Topps now guarantees an autograph in each pack, which is a big deal. But other than that, the product still stands out as one of the best veteran products each year.
A couple of years ago Topps decided to bring booklets into the Supreme product. Instead of forcing them in, though, they brought some innovation in the form of hand-drawn plays, dual-veteran-game-used memorabilia, and the pairing of rookies with veterans. Rather than printing out thousands of them, each booklet in Supreme has a limited print run. Combine scarcity with sick designs and juicy patches and you’ve got a recipe for success. It’s no wonder why Supreme booklets have become some of the most popular within the hobby.
Like Museum Football, Supreme offers tremendous variety in the form of autographs, multi-player autos, single/dual/triple/quad patches, booklets, memorabilia autos and more. However, the feel of Supreme feels totally unique to Museum Collection or anything else. I believe the box-breakdown is a big reason for this…rather than being marketed as a “high-end” $200 box that not everybody can afford, Supreme comes in at $75 a box and gives everyone an opportunity to pull a high-end card from a box that’s priced below low-end hobby boxes.
The trade-off is obviously the fact that you only get 4 cards in a box, but if you’re searching for a BIG pull and are on a budget, Supreme is absolutely the best way to go. If you’ve got big bucks and can afford a case or two, it is rare to see a case of Supreme that doesn’t include at least one rookie or veteran monster. Personally, I’ve never hit it big with Supreme, but I blame the fact that I’ve only bought one box at a time. However, when 2015 comes around I plan on pre-ordering three boxes to see if it improves my chances.
Conclusion:Topps Supreme is only five years old, but it has already become a well-loved brand within the hobby. Innovative takes on the ubiquitous booklet cards and a healthy mix of HOF veteran autographs make this product special. The ridiculously low price-point for a product with such high-value cards makes this a “must buy.” You might strike out, but for only $70 it’s a risk I’m willing to take…and if you get a bit lucky, you won’t be pulling singles. This baby has been hitting home runs since it came out in 2010. Don’t believe me? Check out this gallery from 2010 Supreme then scroll back up and take a look at how it’s evolved over four years.
As collectors, we have dreams of where this hobby can go. As developers, we have parallel aspirations for Sports Card Album. We have our own visions for the future of SCA and those visions are augmented by the deafening voices of our passionate user-base. Every single day you tell us what you want. Not a day goes by without one of you asking for a new feature or suggesting a way for us to improve SCA. Today, we offer you a chance to help us push the hobby forward by investing in a “PRO” account.
Social media enables us to listen via so many different channels…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Forums, YouTube, the list goes on. And although we can’t always respond to every communication, we are always listening.
While we have been working on fine-tuning our own program, we have been curating a list of the most commonly requested features. It takes a lot of time and money to develop these features, so we are asking you, the collector, to help us determine whether they are really worth our investment. Please note:Sports Card Album will continue to operate with all of its existing features (and several more) for free. These PRO features are for hard-core collectors who wish to enhance their hobby experience and are willing to pay a couple of bucks a month to do so.
So without further ado, let’s get into some of the features we have planned for PRO members:
Private Albums - People come to the SCA feed to see sports cards, trading cards, and sports-memorabilia. Since all images appear on our public feed, we cannot allow un-related images on SCA. However, we are flattered that many of you seem to prefer SCA over traditional image-hosting sites. Private albums will allow you to upload any image you want, without that image appearing in the public feed. PRO members will be able to designate the following:
Image/Album is public
Image/Album is private
Image/Album password protected
Image/Album accessible only via direct link
Image/Album visible publicly within user profile, just hidden from feed
No Advertisements -This one is straight forward. We have made a conscious effort to maintain a nice-looking website, free of all the distracting and obtrusive advertisements commonly found on other sites. In fact, we only have a couple minimally-intrusive advertisements on the entire site. But PRO members won’t even have to see those.
Advanced Analytics -Hard-core collectors have been begging us for advanced analytics. Cracked-Ice and Superfractor members will be able to see how many times their cards have been viewed or clicked. They will also be able to print out spreadsheets of their albums including all relevant card statistics. We will work directly with pre-registered members to determine the final list of analysis tools. Once you pre-register, please contact us to let us know you want input into these tools.
Trading & Selling: The most popular requests are often the most challenging to implement. For example: Trading & Selling. It’s not too hard for us to implement a trading system that allows you to print out invoices and mail each other cards. It’s also not hard for us to enable you to sell cards.
But those features don’t move the hobby forward.
The biggest problem with trading or selling is not the activity itself…it’s holding both parties accountable. So the bigger question for us is, “what can we do with our software to discourage scammers and make trading/selling activities more enjoyable and stress free for collectors?”
Our answer is called the “Sports Card Album Rating System,” or “SCAR.” All of our Pro members will be able to purchase cards via SCA. Cracked-Ice and Superfractor-level members will also be able to sell cards and will each receive a personalized, hand-scrutinized, “SCAR.” In order to obtain one of these ratings, members will need to submit an online application that includes a link to their facebook profile, their forum feedback, and their ebay feedback. The more feedback a user submits, the stronger their “SCAR” can be. We will personally verify all data. This level of accountability will decrease the likelihood of anyone scamming a seller on SCA. Additionally, the fact that only paying members are able to buy/sell means that people can’t just register a fake profile to scam somebody under a fake name.
It’s impossible to prevent 100% of the risk involved in making a transaction online, but we believe our new system will significantly reduce the chances of any buyer/seller being scammed out of their precious cards or hard-earned money.
One really cool thing about selling cards through SCA will be that we won’t take ANY cut from the price of your sale. You pay your monthly subscription fee and that’s it. We won’t even get involved with the financial exchange. If a user wishes to sell a card, they will simply check a box to mark it “for sale” and they will add a price for that card (including shipping.) If a buyer likes the card, they can purchase it on the spot. By clicking the “BUY” button, the buyer will be instantly directed to PayPal where they can login to complete the transaction. Once the card has been purchased, the image of the card will then be imported into the buyer’s “Purchased” album and a copy of the image will be sent to the seller’s “Sold” album. The buyer doesn’t even need to worry about scanning the card once they’ve received it.
YouTube & WordPress Integration for Verified Accounts: Group Breakers and Local Card Shops have asked us for these features for a while. Verified accounts who subscribe to our Pro features will be able to add YouTube links to their cards so collectors can view their videos directly from the feed! This will add an element of interactivity to the feed that collectors have not experienced before. Verified accounts will also have access to custom WordPress widgets that will enable you to share your albums on your blog or website.
Plus a lot more! All Pro members will receive custom badges for their profile pic and wallpapers for their personal album URL.
Ready to take your card collecting to the next level?Click HERE to seethe full list of features and then pre-register under the classification of your choice. You will not be charged until we launch the new features. Consider this our own mini Kickstarter. If you love the hobby and enjoy using Sports Card Album, please sign up!
Welcome to the first ever Sports Card Album Tournament Challenge! We will be giving away a bunch of prizes to our faithful SCA members & fans…all you have to do is fill out your brackets!
Brackets must be filled out before the tournament begins. Each participant may enter up to FIVE (5) brackets! Prizes will be awarded for guessing the best Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4, and a grand prize will be awarded to the person who ends the tournament with the most points.
We will also have a few “surprise” giveaways throughout the tournament. All you need to do to enter is to go to our group’s page on ESPN.com. If you’ve already created brackets, you can go into each bracket and simply add that bracket to the Sports Card Album group.
The password to join this group is: Collect
We hope you join us for some clutch shots, huge upsets, and awesome prizes! Big thanks to our sponsors Upper Deck, BCW Supplies, and Blowout Cards who will be providing the prizes!
I am personally guilty of taking many things in my life for granted. From family, to friends, to the little things that make us happy, it is easy for us to get carried away in our day-to-day lives and forget to show appreciation to those people/places/things that bring joy to our lives.
Thanksgiving is a perfect time for us to reflect on our lives and give thanks for these things.
For those of us who collect cards, we have to appreciate the fact that we are even able to participate in such a cool hobby.
We must give thanks for the parents and siblings who taught us about cards.
We must give thanks for the friends who traded cardboard with us as kids.
We must give thanks for the great collecting-community online, with whom we share our hits.
And we must give thanks for the local card shop owners who struggle to make it in this crazy industry just because they love the hobby so much.
I grew up going to local card shops as a kid in California. Many years later, there aren’t many things I enjoy more than spending an afternoon with Charlie and Jeff at my favorite LCS in San Antonio, Sports Cards Plus. We chat about our favorite sports teams, rip on players we don’t like, debate about the latest draft picks, trade cards, bust packs, and shout with joy when a fellow collector pulls a monster. The camaraderie I find there is something special and unique to our hobby. I used to get the same feeling hanging out with Kendall at Orlando Sports Cards.
In an industry with ever evolving methods of distribution and a greater reliance on the internet for price-shopping, fewer collectors are spending their hard-earned money at their local card shops. I realize that some card shops are suffering because their business practices are antiquated or because they have lost their focus on their customers. Or because they just suck. But I make it a goal to stop by a local card shop in every city I visit and I can tell you with confidence that the majority of card shops are run by great people with a passion for our hobby. To me, the local card shop remains the heart and soul of our great hobby.
So this weekend, after you’ve stuffed your face with Turkey and done some holiday shopping, please remember to do a little something for yourself, and for our hobby. Stop by your local card shop and buy something for yourself (a box?) and something extra for a friend (a couple packs?) You’ll be supporting small businesses in your community while also spreading the love for our hobby. Then tell us all about it below…
CONTEST: Post a review of your favorite card shop in the comments below. Tell us what you like about the card shop, what they could do better, or what you think card shops (in general) can do to help engage collectors better. Why do you love this card shop? What’s your best pull from the shop? Tell us whatever comes to mind. If you don’t have a local card shop nearby, tell us which card shop you wish you lived nearby. Is there a particular shop you’ve heard about that you would like to frequent? What makes them special? Each person may enter once…you can earn a second entry if you email/tweet/instagram us a picture of you AT YOUR LCS this weekend. Or, for those of you without an LCS nearby, send us some photos of the local card shops you wish you lived nearby (google search.) If you are sending pics via social media, please be sure to tag us with @sportscardalbum or post directly to our wall on facebook.
GIVEAWAYS: Two winners: 1) Hobby box of “2014 Hot Rookies” & 2) Hobby box of “2014 Playbook Football”.
TIMELINE:Wednesday, November 26, through Sunday, November 30th, 2014
BONUS: Don’t forget to participate in the Panini POD promotion while you are at your local card shop! Panini is supplying the prizes for this giveaway, so give them a “thanks” on social media if you have a chance. Also, we will be contacting some of the card shops (that you mention in the comments below) and sharing your feedback with them.
Help us spread the word by re-tweeting our tweets and sharing our FB & Instagram posts!
Call me a sucker for marketing, but I love scratch-off cards. Always have. Even if the chances are one-in-a-million, this is how I feel when I hold a scratch off in my hands. Kudos to Topps for spending a little extra money and doing something different than the ubiquitous “digital redemption code” for this promotion. Although the odds of winning something [probably will] remain unchanged, the fact that I “pulled” a scratch-off-card is so much more exciting than just a card with a code on it. Check out the details below and follow Topps on Twitter for further details on their “Call Your Shot” game!
Direct from Topps:
Topps has a new and exciting scratcher game for baseball fans and collectors ripping packs of 2015 Topps Series 1!
Seeded into packs of 2015 Topps Baseball Series 1 are game cards that harken back to the scratcher games frequently found in packs of Topps in the early 1980s. The 21st Century version, called Babe Ruth’s Call Your Shot Game, let’s collectors “Call Their Shot” by choosing from 3 different options:
Entry (Grand Prize includes a trip for 2 to all 4 events: 2016 Spring Training, Opening Day, All-Star Game and World Series)
Autograph (A chance at a Collectible Autographed Card)
Autograph Relic (A chance at a Collectible Autographed Relic Card)
So get ready to Call Your Shot!
Stay tuned for more exciting 2015 Topps Baseball Series 1 programs and promotions.
Most of you are familiar with the legendary “Player of the Day” contest Panini sponsors through local card shops each year. The last two years, we have participated in the promotion through our “Busting Packs” blog. This year we are a couple of weeks late to the party since we have been working behind the scenes to migrate all of the old data from Busting Packs over to the Sports Card Album blog. Rather than wait until we are finished, though, we are going to get started with this awesome promotion and begin giving away goodies IMMEDIATELY. There will be several stages to this promotion and all of them will happen over the next 3 weeks, so please pay close attention! Subscribe to our blog (see the right side of this screen) and follow our Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram pages for chances to win multiple prizes. We will be doing a different giveaway on each social media platform to give everyone a chance to win! We will also be adding a LOT of sweet prizes to the pot, so get excited.
GIVEAWAY ONE:November 17th, 2014 — We will begin by doing a giveaway here, on the blog. Right now. Just subscribe to the blog and post a comment on this thread. Let us know what you like/dislike about the Panini POD promotion. How it could be better. Do you have an LCS nearby that participates? Whatever…just post a comment and you have a chance to win two (2) POD packs and a prize pack from SCA.
GIVEAWAY TWO:November 17th, 2014 — Giving away an 8″ x 11″ autograph, three (3) POD prize packs, and an SCA prize pack. Rules on our Instagram page HERE.