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2015 Collectibles Holiday Shopping Guide

Posted on November 25, 2015 by Collect TheHobby | 0 Comments

It's that time again to give you an update on what's going on in collectibles for the holidays this year. If you haven't finished shopping for the 2015 season yet, then we hope this post helps you out! 

What's 2015 looking like at Collect The Hobby?

As always we have stocked up on great items to pick up for yourself or a loved one!  In addition to the listings on this website, a lot of our inventory has now been moved to COMC.com, where you can visit their site and buy cards from us.  For the Holidays in 2015 our entire inventory is on sale through Cyber Monday, November 30th, 2015!   You can take a look at our current COMC listings and use the filter on the left side to search for your favorite players or teams!  The icing on this cake is free shipping until the end of sale is included no matter how many singles you purchase!

We also have lots of new cards listed on eBay in our eBay storefront!  We are shipping same day as much as possible during the holidays this year!   All items will be shipped within 48 hours!  Please consider planning ahead for any holiday gifts in terms of time!  Let us know if we can help you find anything in particular by contacting us!

Lastly we are having a sale on supplies to protect your favorite collectible trading cards!  We carry some of the industry's finest products from toploaders to albums and pages to magnetic one touch holders!  We have a great selection on our website collectthehobby.com now!

What are some of the hottest products in the collectibles market now?

We know some guys like Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa have been red hot for awhile.  Anything Bryce Harper or Josh Donaldson is way up in 2015.  Marcus Mariota has lead the NFL class this year for sales by a wide margin.  Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are the favorites in NHL cards.  Karl-Anthony Towns and early surprise Kristaps Porzingis have been huge so far.  Garbage Pail Kids continue to be a popular area of collecting.  Vintage sportscards, especially pre-1960 in higher grades has continued to shock with records prices nearly every week.  How about new things to watch and possibly things you haven't considered yet this year?

For trading cards there are plenty of new sportscards sets coming out in December including Bowman Draft baseball, Topps Chrome football, Panini Prizm basketball and Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey to name some of our favorites.  In non-sport the hottest sets are all centered around the new Star Wars movie release Episode VII: The Force Awakens!  Topps hobby boxes will have the best items to find in packs!   There will also be a Topps High Tek star wars set this year!

In video games for younger players its looking like Skylanders has another run in them with the new Superchargers starter packs and related figures being released.  Elementary and up to middle school students, both boys and girls love this series still.  The best of the collectibles are the first series figures that are more challenging to find that were part of the "Spyros Adventure" set. 

For older gamers, Call of Duty: Black Ops III on all systems will be very hot this year!  New graphics engines, new exo-suits and it's Call of Duty?  Best selling game of the year candidate?!  Destiny: The Taken King is soon to add new Sparrow racing among other challenges and continues to be very popular.  Fallout 4 has landed with rave reviews.  Will any of these games in unopened condition be very valuable in 25 years?  Will be fun to watch.

What do you think?

Feel free to comment with your thoughts on what collectibles you will be looking for this year!   Happy Holidays to everyone in 2015 and beyond!

Posted in Buying and Selling, Our Travels, What's new?

Sportscards: What are we buying?!

Posted on May 31, 2015 by Collect TheHobby | 2 Comments

Here is an updated look at our buy list for sportscards including, baseball, football, hockey and basketball trading cards.  We are going to do our best to update this list fairly frequently.  We always buy items representing the major Boston sports teams including the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and the Bruins.  If you have cards that are not on this list, we may also be interested so feel free to contact us.

Current Player Hotlist that we are buying right now (updated Jul 2016):

  • Buster Posey - 2010 Major League only
  • Paul Goldschmidt - 2011 Bowman sets
  • Mike Trout - 2009-2011 Bowman and Topps Sets
  • Andrew Benintendi - 2015 Bowman Draft only
  • Derek Jeter - bulk all years 1993-2015
  • Ichiro - 2001 and special issues only
  • Ken Griffey Jr - bulk all years 1989-2011
  • Anthony Davis - 2012-13 Panini sets
  • LeBron James - 2003-04 all rookie cards
  • Stephen Curry - 2009-2010 Panini sets
  • Sidney Crosby - 2005-06 Upper Deck sets

Vintage cards

We buy all cards that are pre-1980.  Complete sets, partial sets, singles, graded or raw in all conditions, we have an interest in. 

Hall of Fame players, key rookie cards, and other highly notable players (Pete Rose, et al) are the cards that will be the most valuable.

Modern cards

For cards produced after 1980 we only look for key cards and cards from the latest new releases.  Unfortunately most common cards have been  overproduced and have not held much value since the mid-1970s.  We often do buy bulk of new releases, especially of rookie cards, relics and autographed cards.

Contact us soon if you would like to consider selling!

If you ever need any help with your sportscards collection, feel free to contact us.  For more general information on collecting, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, instagram, or pinterest!

Posted in Buying and Selling, Our Travels, What's new?

Review: Collector Crate

Posted on April 09, 2015 by Collect TheHobby | 0 Comments

**EDIT - we do not recommend ordering from Collector Crate at this time**

It looks like Collector Crate has run into some trouble.  To see more on this, Sports Card Radio reported on it here first.  Sports Card Info put together more on the story here.  We do not know anything definitive at this time, but a lack of response from Collector Crate is troubling at the very least.  It seemed like a promising idea that maybe another company will pick up from here, but for now we cannot recommend them as something to try out as we had wrote about below.

 

We recently won a twitter contest for a Collector Crate!  We had never won a social media contest of any kind before, so needless to say this is pretty exciting to start with a crate!  To quickly explain what these are, we will let their explanation do the talking:

"We are a unique monthly subscription service offering a mystery box filled with your favorite sports cards and collectibles. Choose from our 1 month plan without any long term commitment and receive the great cards and items included in our 3 and 6 month plans. You also choose from 3 different levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold) according to your budget. From the beginning collector to the seasoned hobbyist, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Don't forget to enter our monthly contest to win a FREE CollectorCrate on Facebook and Twitter. So join our community now and see what everyone is talking about!" - Collector Crate

So what's in the box?

We received a silver level crate as the prize.  These are the $69.99 level boxes and we had some idea what to expect based on the description, but once we opened the lid, it was amazing the amount of stuff that was inside!   There is a detailed list on the Collector Crate homepage that identifies what comes with each level.  Bronze starts at $29.99 and the highest is the gold level at $99.99.  We will do our best to keep this post concise, while trying to use more pictures.

The Miscellaneous items

We decided to start with the non-traditional items that are not packs.  When we won, they asked what our favorite 3 teams were.  Those of you who know us, know the first team is the Red Sox and lucky for us there was a lot here (we also named the Giants and the Cubs).

 The first piece that grabbed us was a Pedroia fathead!  He is among my wife's favorite players, so this is an obvious keeper!  Look for him to rebound in 2015 as he looks healthy for the first time in years!

Red Sox sunglasses Boston Red Sox Sticker    

Then many more Red Sox themed items including, sunglasses (my son now own's them), a metallic sticker, a mini pennant and a pack of 3D stars featuring Nomar Garciaparra!  The pack revealed two Sammy Sosa variations, a Jason Giambi (NYY), and a Chipper Jones.

Next up was one of the massive 1984 Topps Super Size packs!  These cards are obviously giant!  Love the Carlton we pulled, but the centering is just a little off... vintage packs are often this way explaining why those old PSA 10s sell for big bucks!  Not sure who the "other" piece is yet...1st baseman is my initial guess?  The cut is strange enough to create an optical illusion that the card did not fit in the wrapper... but in reality it did.

          

So far this is a fun product to break!  All kinds of goodies in the crate, especially related to our favorite team!  However, there is even more... From top left and downwards in first picture... The mini helmet is the San Francisco Giants, hoping to get to a game out there soon!  My son took the big league gumball very quickly!  There is a pack of doubleheaders...have not opened one of these in years...we pulled Jerome Walton, remember how hot that guy was in 1990?  My daughter immediately ran off with the fruit gushers pack.  The 4 MLB chipz we got featuring Danks, Axford, and Robinson Cano.  The mystery Red Sox chip is Jacoby Ellsbury.

 

On to the traditional packs of cards!

So far this crate has had a lot of very nice items, but the traditional packs are the biggest part of the fun for collectors!  One pack jumped out at us right away, it was a pack of 1999 Skybox Molten Metal.  These were innovative at the time for Fleer and were a mid-range hobby only product.  The pack is oversized, but features standard size cards.  The cool thing about our pack here is it's a 20th National pack.  These were distributed only at the National in Atlanta that year.  Easy to identify with the NSCC logo on the lower right.  In case you are unfamiliar, the NSCC is the National Sports Collector's Convention, the biggest annual show each year.  Often exclusive products are distributed at the convention, such as this pack we are about to open. 

1999 Skybox Molten Metal pack NSCC exclusive pack

In addition to the usual Metal Smiths and Heavy Metal cards, each special NSCC pack had one metal die cut card in a 30 card set of only Braves!  Hoping for a Hall of Famer, we scored a John Smoltz (bottom center)!  Our Heavy Metal is another Hall of Famer, Roberto Alomar with the Cleveland Indians at the time (top left)!  Todd Walker, Jason Giambi, Miguael Tejada, and Will the Thrill are solid players.  Fantastic pack!

One of the coolest packs in our crate was a pack or can of 1998 Pinnacle Inside!  These were released in can form, much like a standard soup can and you needed to open them with a can opener.  One in every 47 cans were gold parallel cans, but we got a regular version.  Each can has a different player or team.  We received an Arizona Diamondbacks can celebrating their inaugural season!  In every can when you open it, there is a pack of 10 cards sealed in plastic.  **A tip is to make sure you open the can from the bottom.**  These have value afterwards and many collect the cans.  The cans opened from the top have little value.  Our pack was great for the time as it included an Inside Tips Pitch Around card of Frank Thomas, Kevin Brown coming off a World Series win with a note of his trade to San Diego, Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, a Miguel Tejada "rookie", a smiling Sammy Sosa, and a shortstop named Nomar Garciaparra who had just won rookie of the year in 1997.  Very tough to beat that kind of luck if you imagine opening the pack in 1998. 

We moved to another group of packs with that classic 1980s look and feel.  Plenty of superstars and Hall of Famers to chase so we were excited to see who may be revealed?   Top left we begin with featuring 1987 Fleer Star Stickers.  The sticker card is the Chicago Cubs.  Best pull here looks like an Eric Davis.  Following next is a 1981 Fleer Sticker and All star game pack which features various team stickers and all star game trivia.  The gum is very stuck to the Tigers sticker! 

 

1989 Donruss is next, actually a favorite of ours!  Will we see a Ken Griffey Jr rookie card?  We did hit a "Rated Rookie" but it was Carlos Quintana.  My sister was a fan of his back then and thought he was going to be a star player for the Red Sox... oh well.  Last pack was a 1983 Donruss Hall of Fame Heroes.  No trouble pulling some stars here!  Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron included!

 

 

More packs!

The crate continues with more packs.  The next group of packs covers a range of 14 seasons.  More chances to pull some key cards in this group and we will open them backwards this time from lower right up to top left.  So the order is 2000 Skybox Molten Metal, 2007 Bowman's Best, 1984 Topps, and finally a 1993 Bowman pack.

Starting with the 2000 Molten Metal we got some nice cards and hit an Emerald of Roger Cedeno, which fell one in every four packs then.  Anyone win a fantasy league back then without that guy around to lead your team to a steals category win?  The 2007 Bowman's Best was an excellent pack.  Chipper Jones and Alex Rodriguez on the top row.  A rookie autograph of Adam Ottavino, now in the Rockies pen, and the bottom row is an Ichiro and a Ken Griffey Jr.  If you know these cards they are a nice design and hard to take photos from the refracting.  1984 Topps is another favorite of ours.  The gum is stuck to a Larry Williams and of note we pulled a stunning Ripken.  If graded, it's a 9 or 10 level card if it had better centering.  A real pack fresh beauty.  Lastly, a pack of 1993 Bowman.  A Jeter maybe?  No luck today, but notable cards included a Foil parallel of Red Sox super prospect Frankie Rodriguez (he was going to win many Cy Youngs awards) and the card of an up and coming Bernie Williams.

       

More packs...yes seriously!

In the next group there is a very cool 1997 Donruss Preferred tin pack! The others are packs of 2013 Topps Chrome, 2015 Donruss, and 2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970s baseball.  So this groups spans another 18 seasons, plenty of chances for stars!

We will start with the 2013 Topps Chrome, it's actually 3 packs together with the orange refractor pack bonus. The best three cards of the regular packs included a Jackie Bradley Jr rookie card, an Oswaldo Arcia xfractor rookie card and a 1972 look Miguel Cabrera.  The orange pack is where these really impress.  In that 3 card pack was a Nick Franklin rookie card, a Dustin Pedroia, and a Mike Trout! 

2015 Donruss is a recent release and this one had many nice cards as well including a Clayton Kershaw, a Francisco Lindor Elite insert (he looks like a future star), and a Justin Garza Olympic card.  Not a bad design this year and it looks like a challenging set to build still. 

2001 UD Decade 1970s featured psychedelic cards of Ruppert Jones, Dale Murphy, Lou Brock, Dave Parker, and Joe Morgan.  Lots of star power combined with a very classic 70s look is a winner!  Finally, the tin had a nice group, highlighted by a silver parallel of Edgar Martinez.  Edgar needs more of a look for the Hall of Fame, so be it if he was a DH.

 

The best for last

So we have made it to the last few items now.  The first is a pack of 1999 Topps Stars and Steel.  These are oversized packs that open like a tri-fold booklet and feature steel cards made using what is termed "serilusion technology" where a film laminate is bonded to an actual piece of 25 gauge metal.  Only in the 1990s did the collectibles industry see such unusual card designs.  Each "pack" features three cards and there were Gold and Domed holographic parallels randomly inserted at 1 in 12 and 1 in 24 pack rates. 

We hit 3 nice base cards featuring Andres Galarraga, Tony Clark, and Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn.  Tony Gwynn is one of those players who really should be recognized more for his hitting abilities than he is.  He had such a quietly consistent career like few players to play any sport.  Besides his shortened rookie year, he hit .300 or better every single year he played... into his 40s. Every single year.  Consistent, period.  He got to the postseason three times and hit .306.  He played in two World Series and hit .371.  Amazing hitter.  Mr. Padre is missed.

 

The grand finale - the hit pack that has the guaranteed autos and relics!

We think it's a solid idea to add some guaranteed hits to the Collector Crate to make sure everyone gets something really exciting.  We had plenty of great items as it is, but just in case the packs don't yield enough these are awesome!  It comes in a black zip-lock style bag so that you don't know what will be inside.  We were hoping it would have something to do with our teams choices in the beginning and we were pleasantly rewarded that way.  At this level the promise is two game used items and two autographs and a rookie card, but there was more included.  For the Giants fan in us we love the 1986 Topps Traded Barry Bonds rookie card.  The first autograph is an Adam Lind numbered to 399 made.  The other autograph was a Cesar Puello from 2014 Bowman Chrome.  He has a nice combination of power and speed that may make the majors soon as he is up to AAA.  As Red Sox fans first the game used cards are Jon Lester numbered to 399 made from 2013 Tier One and a green 2015 Donruss relic of David Ortiz!  Additionally we received a Collector Crate card exclusive sketch print of Red Sox legend, Ted Williams!  Emily Tester is the master of this artwork and she did an awesome job on this one!  The last item is a porcelain example of Hall of Famer, Joe Kelley's T206 Old Mill card with a Piedmont back.  Joe was born in Cambridge, MA and made his debut with the Boston Beaneaters.  Only 1909 of these sets were produced, very cool card.   Here is a shot of all of these hits:

Collector Crate - Hits

In Summary

We took our time opening this, enjoying every minute of it!  The team at Collector Crate obviously does a nice job packing in a lot of variety.  As you can see the packs will cover many different time periods and the miscellaneous items are excellent additions to a crate.  Any sports fan would be more than happy to receive one of these as a gift or on a regular basis.  The only caveat we can think of is that a seasoned collector may not enjoy this as much, as they may want to purchase their own packs.  Different collectors often have very different tastes (an 80s collector may not like recent packs and vice versa).  We enjoy many different aspects of collecting so a product like this is a winner to us.  If you are looking for a gift for a collector or you are new to collecting, we cannot think of an easier way to get into collecting.  You will get exposure to numerous areas of collecting with a Collector Crate and you can go from there when you learn what you like most.

If you ever need help with your sportscards collection, feel free to contact us.  We would also welcome some comments below if you have any other questions or thoughts on this post.  For more general information on sportscards and collectibles, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, instagram, or pinterest!

Posted in Collecting Tips, Our Travels, What's new?

Holiday Shopping Season 2014 in collectibles!

Posted on November 24, 2014 by Collect TheHobby | 0 Comments

For some it's too early to start saying it is the holiday season... but for others lights are up, meal planning has begun and shopping is well under way!  If you haven't finished shopping for the 2014 season yet, then this post should be helpful to you if you are seeking collectibles for yourself or as a gift! 

What's 2014 looking like at Collect The Hobby?

For this year we have lots of great items to pick up for yourself or a loved one!  In addition to the listings on this website, a lot of our inventory has now been moved to COMC.com, where you can visit their site and buy cards from us.  They are an organization that handles a lot of the logistical aspects of selling baseball cards on behalf of another seller.  The cards, both sportscards and non-trading cards are shipped to their warehouse.  They are scanned on both sides for buyers and loaded onto their website by them.   The cards are safely stored and insured at their warehouse.  When you order anything, they will ship them to you.  It allows us to get a lot more different cards available to you, especially for newer cards with the various variations in today's hobby. 

For the Holidays in 2014 our entire inventory is on sale through Cyber Monday, December 1st, 2014!   You can take a look at our current COMC listings and use the filter on the left to search for your favorite players or teams!  The icing on this cake is free shipping until the end of sale is included no matter how many singles you purchase!

We also have lots of new cards listed on eBay in our eBay storefront!  We are shipping same day as much as possible during the holidays this year!   All items will be shipped within 24 hours!  Please consider planning ahead for any holiday gifts in terms of time!  Let us know if we can help you find anything in particular by contacting us!

Lastly we are having a sale on supplies to protect your favorite collectible trading cards!  We carry some of the industry's finest products from toploaders to albums and pages to magnetic one touch holders!  We have a great selection on our website collectthehobby.com now!

What are some of the hottest products in the collectibles market now?

We know some areas have been red hot for awhile.  Anything Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw is way up in 2014.  Garbage Pail Kids continue to be a popular area of collecting.  Vintage sportscards, especially pre-1960 in higher grades has continued its meteoric rise over the past 5 years.  How about new things to watch and possibly things you haven't considered yet this year?

One you may not have heard of yet are OYO sports collectible figures.  These "dudes" have been gaining quickly in popularity in the past 12 months.  They have been released in series.  Right now they are licensed for the NFL, MLB, and the NHL.  Many of the best players and teams have figures already.  They hope to have an NBA deal in place soon.  A quick and easy way to get them is from reputable sellers on eBay.  Some of the series 1 sets and figures are already creeping up in value now.  The hottest release of the season are definitely the new NHL goalie "dudes".

For trading cards there are plenty of new sportscards sets coming out in December including Bowman Draft baseball, Topps Chrome football, Panini Prizm basketball and Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey to name some of our favorites.  However we think the coolest new product will be a non-sport product from Topps, Doctor Who trading cards.  You can find and take a look at some on eBay.  There will be Blue, Red and gold parallels with printing plates.  Insert sets include Memorable Moments, Companions, The Doctor is in, TARDIS Travel, and Stitch in Time sets.  There will be autographs, dual autographs and cut autographs in this one!  And lastly... a variety of relic cards of pieces used or worn on the show.  Boxes have 24 packs in them with 8 cards per pack, making us think this will be a solid value!

In video games for younger players its looking like Skylanders has one more run in them with the new Trap Team starter packs and related figures being released.  Elementary and up to middle school students, both boys and girls love this series still.  The best of the collectibles are the first series figures that are more challenging.  The Darklight Crypt with Ghost Roaster continues to sell for huge premiums over what they were in stores.  Try and find some of these lately?  Very scarce still.  Another title sure to do really well with its following is Super Smash Bros on WiiU!  The latest is there will be Amiibo NFC-enabled characters that you can use with the WiiU controller to insert your favorite guys into the game!  The figures will have two way data streams back and forth to save!  Kids can't get enough of this! 

For older gamers, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare on all systems will be very hot this year!  New graphics engines, new exo-suit and it's Call of Duty?  Best selling game of the year candidate again!  A new installment, Assassin's Creed - Unity is part of the mix.  More new graphics and a fan favorite should be popular as always.  There is a new World of Warcraft expansion coming.  Perhaps the most engulfing thing for 2014 will be a new Dragon Age installment called Dragon Age: Inquisition.  This one is supposed to have roughly 50 hours of main gameplay and approximately 100 hours of sidequests!  This one will take a lot of time to tackle, you were warned!  Will any of these games in unopened condition be very valuable in 25 years?  Will be fun to watch.

What do you think?

Feel free to comment with your thoughts on what collectibles you will be looking for this year!   Happy Holidays to everyone in 2014 and beyond!

Posted in Our Travels, What's new?

Finally!

Posted on September 25, 2014 by Collect TheHobby | 0 Comments

It has been 5 weeks of work to get the new website, collectthehobby.com together!  As always we underestimated how much work goes into making a solid site, especially the kind we wanted: modern and user friendly for collectors.  Today we are releasing what we have live to the world and we will be using social media, word of mouth, and some solid advertising in the coming months.  More inventory will be added as close to daily as we can, especially in the first few months.  We are also preparing for New England's largest show put together by the GBSCC that kicks off next month.  We will be setup there this year along with some of the largest dealers and organizations in the hobby.  Lastly, we are managing inventory overall to best be ready for the holiday demand in 2014 that is always a big time for collectors to add some bigger items to their collections.

So what were some of our biggest challenges with the site so far? 

First of all we needed to find a new host.  We have been online since 1998 and had used the same host since 2001.  However, we wanted new tools like integrating easily with social media and other venues such as eBay and Amazon.  We had plenty of space and reliability before, but as we learn more HTML and CSS, we wanted something flexible so we could make custom changes as we went.  After comparing dozens of new hosts, we ended up choosing Shopify for our ecommerce solution due to their tools and fair prices hosted by GoDaddy.  Not for complete novices, but definitely not very, very technical either.

The next issue has been to transfer and load new inventory.  You would be surprised at the hours it takes to complete this even though Shopify has an eBay importer.  We also like to constantly maintain our inventory that is held on COMC.com.  While putting together the site, it has been a challenge to map out how things would be navigated.  We are glad there is a search function, but we wanted to also create a nice browsing experience.  We will be iterating on the navigation as we go, but splitting sportscards and memorabilia by sports seemed like the most efficient start for now.

Lastly, has been the overall design and feel of the site.  This is something we have been testing dozens of different styles and colors, while trying to appeal to the most collectors.  It also extends into technology seeking the best look for all devices.  More than 30% of our sales from 2012 to now have been on mobile.  We need a website that looks good on a pc, a mobile phone, or a tablet regardless of what a collector chooses to shop on.  Hours and hours of time went into this and it's amazing how your mind changes as you try different things.  One look might be better browsing, but another is easier when searching and so on.  We hope what we are releasing today is a nice balance of all things, for all collectors.

Take a look around and at any time contact us or comment here to let us know your thoughts!

Thanks!

Posted in Welcome!, What's new?