Event Used Swatches from The Worst Game of the Year Pollute National Treasures

Years and years ago, the Pro-Bowl was cool. There were hard hitting blue collar guys who had a legitimate chance to make a name for themselves and some extra pay for their families. These days, with 100 million dollar contracts, the pro-bowl has become a complete and utter joke. So much so that Commissioner Roger Goddell has even hinted that they may get rid of the game all together. You know that when half of the invitees decline, its gotten VERY bad. Naturally, Panini used this joke of a game as a prime factor in National Treasures. Not with game used swatches, but event used.

Yes, you read that right, in National Treasures, we get event used swatches from a game that is the punch line for a ton of jokes this year. I cant think of a less desirable piece of material to include in cards. What is even the point?

This is just ridiculously stupid:

Drew Brees Pro Bowl Event Used Patch Auto /5

2011 Ray Lewis AFC Logo Event Used Patch 1/1

2011 Arian Foster Reebok Logo Event Used Patch 1/1

There gets to be a point where everyone needs to get smacked around so that they wake up a bit. This product is gaining speed on the secondary market, and yet almost every autograph outside of Pen Pals and RPAs are stickers? Collectors will pay 450+ dollars per box on THAT? I don’t get it. I could understand if the cards look amazing, well designed or even well thought out, but NT has more Cortland Finnegan and Santana Moss than ever. I am shocked to see people get excited over Dan Marino’s autograph on an ugly and irrelevantly related piece of white pleather.

The rumors around the card shops are that BO and DA have bought out the remaining print run for National Treasures, which is why a lot of the prices are where they are. Of course, the everyday joe collector has no clue that this is happening, so there is not much of an impact in collector desire. These types of undesirable cards are infesting the box breaks with huge price tags on them, and people are not very happy about it.

I know I would be quite pissed to pull an event used swatch from punter Mat McBriar , or even Carl Nicks in my $450 box of Gridiron Gear I mean National Treasures.

13 thoughts on “Event Used Swatches from The Worst Game of the Year Pollute National Treasures

  1. I hate when DA or BO does that. I was looking to bust a box of 11 authentic, b/c it should drop to around 75-80 bucks in my opinion. But every Monday I check it on DA and it stays at 108, finally went down to 105 this week. After products are released for a couple months shouldn’t they drop as the buzz dies down?
    And somebody at Panini should be shot for putting that Briar card in NT. I watched Chris’s group breaks of NT this year and that checklist should be for a 75$ product, way too BIG.

  2. Know what I bought in the last week?….
    Two 1996 Emmitt Smith Edge Cowboybilia on card autographs. ($90)
    One 1997 Gale Sayers Topps RC Reprint Cert. On Card auto. ($35)
    One 2000 Jim Brown UD Legends on card auto. ($50)
    One 2001 Jim Brown Topps RC Reprint Cert. On Card auto. ($125)
    One 2004 Joe Montana UD Ultimate Collection Jsy/Auto on card /25. ($130)

    Total: $430. Four-Hundred-Thirty bucks. My 430 crushes any box of panini trash your 430 is wasted on. [ /win ]

  3. I’ve had my store for 20 years. For the last ten years, I have had to adjust my box prices to go down or up (rarely) in response to the internet retailers. A few weeks ago, 2011 Topps Five Star Football was retailing at about $479 on the internet and all my hobby direct distributors told me they were out. Today, the internet retailers are selling Topps Five Star for $390. Today, 2011 National Treasures Football is retailing on the internet for $450 and all the hobby direct distributors tell me they are out of National Treasures Football.

    Since 2011 National Treasures is selling for $60 more than 2011 Topps Five Star, one might conclude that the collecting/box busting public prefers National Treasures. At the same time why did Topps Five Star Football sell for $479 one week and then quickly drop $60 the next week? When Five Star first released, I sold out (30 boxes) at $430 (matching the internet retailers). When I tried to buy more, my hobby direct distributers said they were out and the internet retailers raised their Five Star prices to $479.

    Today, someone with a couple of million dollars in their pocket can buy up a very large percentage of a product and try to manipulate the price for their monetary gain. While I support price changes based on consumer (not retailer) demand, price manipulation just doesn’t seem right. What do Sports Cards Uncensored followers think?

    Beginning in the early 1970s, the Hunt brothers began accumulating large amounts of silver. By 1979, they had nearly cornered the global market. In the last nine months of 1979, the brothers profited by an estimated $2 billion to $4 billion in silver speculation, with estimated silver holdings of 100 million ounces (6.25 million pounds).

    During the Hunt brothers’ accumulation of the precious metal, prices of silver futures contracts and silver bullion during 1979 and 1980 rose from $11 an ounce in September 1979 to $50 an ounce in January 1980. Silver prices ultimately collapsed to below $11 an ounce two months later. The largest single day drop in the price of silver occurred on Silver Thursday.

    Hunt filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code in September 1988, largely due to lawsuits incurred as a result of his silver speculation.

    In 1989 in a settlement with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Nelson Bunker Hunt was fined US$10 million and banned from trading in the commodity markets as a result of civil charges of conspiring to manipulate the silver market stemming from his attempt to corner the market in silver. This fine was in addition to a multimillion-dollar settlement to pay back taxes, fines and interest to the Internal Revenue Service for the same period.

  4. Brian,

    And you could have gotten Goal Line Art card autographs (the FB equavalent of Perez Steele) of all those players for even less…

    It’s ridiculous how cheap autographs of HOFers (in all sports) are compared to the junk people waste their money on today.

  5. Charlie,

    I think your scenario is somewhat far-fetched (I don’t know that any millionaires would think that trying to corner the market of a specific sportscard issue was a wise use of their money), but I would be curious to find out more about how cards are distributed these days. For example, what percentage of a release goes to the big online distributors? What percentage direct to smaller dealers? What percentage direct-to retail? And how come in the internet age individuals cannot buy direct from manufactuers? Why is everything distributed through middlemen who jack up the price?

    After all, if Topps Vault can maintain an Ebay account to sell older Topps stuff on Ebay, why couldn’t Topps itself sell boxes to individuals directly over Ebay?

  6. People who stack metals know what’s up. Just don’t be any of the 90%+ who pay no attention to real money, not currency….

  7. Hey gelman or any other person reading this. What are the top 3 2011 football card products you guys would recommend? Thanks!

  8. From what I understand about Panini’s mapp pricing and new packaging offers, they are soon driving themselves out of business by pushing all product releases and distribution to a few large suppliers.

    For example before you could buy an 8 box case of certified and your allotment was 3 8 box cases. now as a hobby store you can buy a 24 box case or get it by the box from DA/BO.

    This causes a delay when product actually hits the hobby shelf and there will be less of it as shops buy a box or 2 and wait to see what happens. Customers will also wait to see what pulls and product breaks hit the interwebs, and for the wax price to drop after the mapp price requirements drop off and the sort of market takes over.

    I say sort of market because all the supply will be in the hands of a few mega distributors who can set and hold the price artificially high. You already see it now. Look at DA/BO prices and the items they have in stock. I focus on football and it seems to me like they have a lot of panini product in stock from previous years and very little topps.

    You silver market analogy is very relevant…. Looks like they buy a lot of product and then pump and dump the “junk” by creating an artificial buzz. Buy up all the nat tre or playbook, steadily pump up the price on their web site for a couple of weeks after release and then on a “weekend special” drop the price back to the mapp floor to make it seem like it is a deal. Meanwhile topps products that went out to all the hobby shops have steadily and continuously sold at regularly increasing prices…

    Try to find Finest at a hobby store or internet and compare the price to the release price and do the same with Leaf R&S, Gridiron or any other similar panini product. im sure youll see that the panini products are still at or near the release price and the topps will be higher or not found.

    I feel your pain as a retailer trying to match the interwebs pricing, I have been in the business/hobby for 25 years and am close friends with a hobby shop owner who has been in business for almost 20 years as well. Customers generally dont do the math when it comes to buying on the web. They dont factor in the shipping, wait time and when they quote a web price they dont follow up and buy it online or buy it when we come close or match the price.

    I dont know what happened to 5 star either. Im sitting on 3 cases and can afford to hold.

    Brian in the previous post hit it on the head for me. I can go out and buy sure fire hofers and put together a better package at a lower price than nat tre, totally certified, contenders, 5 star what have you. It is all about value for me, but I discount the previous 2-3 years rookies so I dont get as excited about live products.

  9. There is one product I know quite well, and have seen the price manipulation on it over the last 2+ years. It’s 2009 UD Black football. At release, it was a MSRP around $200/box. Quickly fell to $165 range. Sat around even longer. Fell to $130 range, then… over about a 2 to 3 month period, was suddenly $80 to $90/box range. Nobody would touch this stuff over the $100/box range because of $4 rookie autographs that could be your two ‘hits’. I picked up a case right at $800, the very low point and have watched in wonder as it has, somehow, gotten back up to the $125+/box range. Why? Nobody’s buying it. There are even less great ‘hits’ to be found. So, with the pricing in mind, one can conclude that one or two of the big retailers just bought up a bunch at below $100/box or $950 a case and are just manipulating the price back upwards.

  10. Very interesting Brian. I thought I was losing my mind when I saw the price drop to $90 and then recently I can’t find a box for under $160. I couldn’t figure out what happened. No way I’d touch it at $160. Even $90 strikes me as a bit high given the odds of a terrible rookie box. What a disappointing product. Black Basketball was such a fun product and they somehow managed to drop the ball on UD Football with college jerseys, bad collation and high numbered rookie cards.

  11. Hi mfw13,

    The millionaires I was referring to are the “BIG” internet retailers.

    Card Shops and Authorized Internet Retailers buy direct from the manufacturers with allocations based on our buying history. We (shops and internet retailers) can also buy from Hobby Direct Distributors. Hobby Direct Distributors, like all good businesses will take care of their best customers by allocating a little more of the good stuff to their best (BIGEST) customers. We order a product one time from the manufacturer and that’s it. We can continue to reorder from the distributors until they run out. Once the distributor runs out of a product in demand, you look for a retailer who overbought and try to work a deal with them.

    Here is where it gets interesting. Production information and detail on content are most valuable in predicting a successful product for quick turn-around investment purposes. Although product design is important, no matter how good the product looks, a product which is over-produced (or when content makes good pulls hard to get) will go down in value soon after the product is released. An example of this is 2011 Topps Precission Football.

    The card manufacturers used to provide detailed checklists with print runs and odds of all the inserts. It just took a little multiplying to figure out product production and how hard it was to get the good hits. Today, this information is not released to retailers. I am asked to place my order without knowing if the product might be overproduced or if the good hits are next to impossible. So it becomes a guessing game or a game where we question people we know at the manufacturer and people we know working for distributors to get a feel for overall demand and availability for a future product. Sometimes we get bad information and get stuck with way too much 2011 Topps Precission Football (was suppose to retail for over $200/box, now you can buy it from Blowout for $114.99).

    As I said, information is valuable. So once we know product production and availability (whether it is before product release, at release or soon after) we scramble to buy up what we can afford to invest or sit back and wait for the next product. 2011 Topps Five Star Football is a great looking product with very good content. 2010 Topps Five Star peaked at $510 and the 2011 rookie class is much stronger than that of 2010. I sold 30 boxes of 2011 Topps Five Star at $430, then $450 and my customers were happy with their pulls and my prices because I was able to match the internet retailers. However, soon all the distributors were out of Five Star and it was ONLY in the hands of a few internet retailers who were thinking 2011 should pass 2010’s peak of $510.

    What happened next was 2011 National Treasures and 2011 Playbook Football were released. 2010 NT is currently retailing at $500 and 2011 NT started at $400 with better content than that of 2010, so the box busting public dropped 2011 Five Star which was going for $479 at the time and started busting 2011 NT for $400.

    Seeing the demand and history of National Treasures Football, the internet retailers quickly dropped their prices on their overbought 2011 Five Star Football and quickly bought up all they could get of 2011 National Treasures Football from the distributors and from other retailers who they have done business with in the past. Result is National Treasures boxes are $450 and Five Star boxes are $390.

    My points are this:
    1. Product prices should not be determined by the few who have the money to control a products inventory. These are people who buy up all they can, looking to maximize profits. And, when they can’t make that windfall profit they were seeking, they drop prices to divest themselves of their overbought product and look for the next potential windfall.

    2. The few retailers who spend the most money would naturally have access to more information and access to more of the most profitable products. However, dramatic price changes for a product are bad for this hobby. It leaves a bad taste for my customers if they pay $400 one day, then $450 another day, then $390 the next.

    In answer to your question, you are right, the manufacturers could sell direct to the public via the internet. When I attended the Las Vegas Industry Summit, I asked upper management from each of the manufacturers, “You know how to sell and ship your product via the internet. Why do you need internet retailers?” All except Topps did not have an answer. Topps said, they want the market to decide the value of their product. If a product is good and they raise their price, it would look like Topps was manipulating the market. My reply to Topps was even a “bad” product will sell-out given enough time. If a product is “good,” let the card collecting public get a good product at a good price. It just sells out fast.

    All the Manufacturers made it clear, that the card shops are important to them. Topps went so far as to say their relationship with the card shops was interdependent. The reason the manufacturers need/want card shops is because we are vital to the growth of the hobby. We provide face to face information to new potential collectors who want to know how this all works. We provide a physical location where collectors can meet, talk and trade. I introduce my customers to each other and allow them to trade every day. My customers are constantly texting each other about pulls and proposed trades. And if you open your box in my store, I trade even ($50 card for $50 card) for cards in my huge inventory (of course, I have the right to say no for cards that are hot in my store). I encourage my customers to sell (on eBay) cards they don’t want or can’t trade. For those good customers who don’t have the time for eBay, I also offer to sell their cards on my eBay store.

  12. Charlie,

    Thank you for your detailed reply, although I will admit to being rather disheartened by it’s content. It seems from what you say that the only thing that matters any more is the potential to make a profit from opening a box. Does nobody actually collect cards any more? Or has the hobby just become another venue for people to gamble in?

    Do any of your customers actually buy products to enjoy them? Or is it all about the money?

  13. I did not mean to make it sound like people bust open boxes only to make money. My customers love sports. They love their favorite team and players. They love to collect. However, collecting costs money.

    We spend our extra money as we want on entertainment. Collecting is entertainment. Box busting is entertainment and provides a means to pull a very expensive card that someone might not want/affort to buy strait up. However, when you bust boxes you might not pull cards you want to keep or care about. By selling them, customers now have extra money to get what they want.

    Some products will give you a better chance to break-even or come out ahead when you bust them. If a customer buys a $500 box and consistantly only gets $100 worth of cards, its a bad idea to bust that box. So box busters go to products with a better resale/trade value for their bust and buy or trade for cards they want from “Bad Products.”

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