Here is the good part of the National Convention. It is the biggest gathering of people and manufacturers all year. Here is the bad part of the convention. It drains you both mentally and physically because there is so much going on. For day two of the show, I was able to get more browsing done, and for the most part it reminded me how taxing that type of day can be.
The best part is, during the last show, I saw a lot of cards that I thought to myself werent even close to real. Whereas this time, its not as evident to me, although that could be a result of the change in the industry more than anything. Cards have changed in getting more logo patches recently, and you can tell on the floor. Although there are still obvious issues with some of the sellers at the show, the majority of the cards I saw raised far less red flags.
I have a great example.
During the Chicago National, I saw a ton of the fake rookie premiere autographs all over the floor. They were like a virus that had continued its ebay invasion into the national dealers. This year, I only saw two guys at the show with fake ones, and actually found three that were selling the real ones from before they were serially numbered. That makes me happy. For the first time, the real ones outnumbered the fakes.
I also saw a ton of ridiculous stuff, including A LOT of high end cards like this from pre-CLC Exquisite Basketball. One dealer had a full case full of Durant Exquisite cards from his rookie year, and in his other case, had all Lebron and Jordan. It was easily one of the most impressive booths that wasnt run by an auction house.
The 2003-04 Lebron James Exquisite rookie is one of the most expensive and iconic modern cards there is. It used to be one of the cards that broke the ceiling on modern at over 10 grand, but they still sell ridiculous because no new licensed Exquisite is being released.
My favorite part of the show, other than browsing the booths was watching a guy bust through 500+ Panini redemption packs. He had so many that the hits really didnt even matter that much to him. He just carefully placed each card in the box and moved on. It was really cool. The hits are a bit different this year, with less variety, but they still garnered a lot of attention.
For the first time in a long time, both the Topps and Panini booths slowed down as the days moved on. Back in 2011 they were packed for most of the morning, and Panini continued to be ridiculous until the doors closed from what I remember. Not so much this year.
Overall, this has been a great experience as expected, come find me on the floor to say hi over the next two days if you are around.