Leaf’s Copycats Hoping to Score with Repack Products

By now, many of you should be familiar with Leaf’s ever popular repack products – Best of Baseball, Basketball and Football. These products consist of repackaged and graded cards that are purchased by Brian Gray and his team, before being packed out with autographs of an exclusive set. These boxes have included everything from the Cam Newton Superfractor auto, to the Stephen Strasburg superfractor, along with many other interesting cards obtained personally by Leaf. Because of the product’s nature and cards included, they have become fun breaks for high end box collectors. As a result, an almost “Cult of Leaf” has formed, trying to fight off detractors at any turn.

Most recently, Brian Gray announced that he had purchased the Colin Kaepernick Superfractor for inclusion in a future product of this sort.

Due to the success of these types of products, collectors have started to try to replicate the products themselves. From the explanation of the collectors themselves, they buy up thousands of dollars worth of cards and memorabilia, and pay third parties to pack out their product and ship it to group box breakers and interested buyers. Heroes of Sport is relatively the most successful of the third party repack boxes of this sort, and like Leaf, it is starting to pick up some steam. Others have also gotten into this game as well, but havent had the kind of success HOS has had.

Here are some of the bigger pulls that have surfaced:

2012 Heroes of Sport Mickey Mantle Single Signed Baseball

2012 Heroes of Sport Ted Williams Signed Photo

2012 Heroes of Sport Babe Ruth Bat Relic

Personally, its hard for me to trust someone in this fashion, but we are starting to hear more good reports than bad reports. There are a lot of nice cards in the product, no doubt, but without a true representation of what these products are capable of, my trust will remain guarded.

Its funny, because Leaf does operate in a similar capacity, but Brian Gray’s bankroll and slate of exclusive players gains trust by association. Brian is well known in many hobby circles, and has definitely built both a good and bad reputation all around. I have had zero negative experiences with him, and I actually think the stuff he is able to do is more impressive than people give him credit for. Of course, his presence on hobby message boards, and the stories of his exceptional customer service do make him more attractive as a brand owner, even with his colorful history with every card company. Brian is a hugely polarizing figure, but I am not going to scoff at what he has done with his products – gamble or no gamble in the box breaks.

My main issue stems from the fact that each person that buys a box from Leaf or Heroes of Sport is essentially putting their trust in another person’s integrity in the hobby. That is where things get EXTREMELY murky based on historical examples. I am not saying there is a reason NOT to trust either brand, but I am just a natural skeptic when it comes to valuable collectables. I am starting to see that there is a lot of fun to be had with these types of boxes, but I just cant bring myself to buy in. Others have done so in spades, and come out extremely happy they did.

3 thoughts on “Leaf’s Copycats Hoping to Score with Repack Products

  1. I don’t trust repacks in general. With Leaf, at least you’re getting some original content, with the Leaf autos being 1/pack on top of the repacked card. With Heroes of Sport, the only value add really there is the Heroic Points/Heroic whatevers, and that’s just a gimmick. Anyone could put this product together from buying cards off ebay (which it seems like what they’ve mostly done). I don’t have any issue with captialism, and clearly they’re wholesaling these for more than they’ve put into them. I think there’s an obvious danger of greed setting in, and the values of the cards inserted in future products plummeting, while they keep their wholesale prices level, or even higher.

  2. Although I’ve never bought these types of products, I am glad they exist. In the past 5 years, being a wax buster has been like going from drinking whiskey to drinking iced tea. It looks the same in the bottle but once the seal is cracked it’s nothing but disappointment. The gravitation towards “Best Of” type product shows that collectors are losing trust in the big companies.

  3. Even though I would never buy either product, Leaf has established a positive reputation and stands to tarnish their name if they let their quality slide. HOB hasn’t built that brand yet, so of course I don’t trust them.

    These products, when produced by a known brand, are really no different than any other product that company puts out. They can fudge quality on a given product just as well as they can on a repackaged product.

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