Hobby Musings: The Fun of Taking Fliers on Cheaper Boxes – I’ve been collecting cards steadily for almost 20 years now. Over the course of it, I’ve been fortunate to put together a fairly good collection of cards. The one downside of that has been the risk of getting doubles in my collection, especially for my primary baseball targets. As such after all this time, I’m more likely to pick up a single card than take the risk of buying a sealed box.
That being said, I still like to bust a box every now and then, especially when the product is on sale. While buying singles can fill a specific need, it can’t top the fun and minor rush of the unknown when opening a box. This especially true when opening a box/case with friends and sharing the thrill of a big hit or a groan/chuckle over a failed prospect or rough bust.
The holidays offer a good chance to buy some quality wax at lower prices and a few boxes tend to make their way onto my wish list. Sometimes, a sale price is just too good to pass up. The latter was the case for me recently as I was able to procure a box of 2015 Topps Field Access Football in person for $35. One of Topps’ offering from its final season of producing licensed football cards, each box offers four autographs. The checklist features a good mix of then-rookie, veteran and legend autographs.
The versatile checklist is what draws me to this product as it truly offers collectors a chance at pulling autographs they wouldn’t typically get at a reasonable price. My box showed that in spades as I came away with mostly veteran receivers in Terrance Williams, Kenny Britt and Golden Tate. My final autograph was of former Browns QB Connor Shaw. Overall, not the greatest quartet of autographs, but also not too bad for the price.
As mentioned earlier, Field Access features a nice variety of autographs. The rookie class from that season isn’t too bad as Todd Gurley, Marcus Mariota and other notables can be had. For the veterans and legends, have seen autographs of players like Eli Manning and John Elway on the secondary market. Surprisingly enough, the resale prices/values on the autograph cards tend not to be all that high. The stickers on the cards aren’t all that eye-appealing, but the images aren’t too bad.
Besides the autographs, my box featured a couple of numbered parallel cards and a number of base cards as well. A nice thing about Field Access is that unlike many other products featuring a hit per pack, you get a respectable number of cards in each pack. While you may not be able to scare up a box at $35, you can still find them online in the low 50s price range, plus shipping. Another great thing about Field Access is that there are no redemptions in the checklist. So you don’t have to worry about that risk.
While Field Access has the potential for big autographed hits, there’s the chance you’ll end up with a box similar to mine with good, but not great hits. While that may turn some collectors off, I tend to look at it as playing a fun mini-lottery at a reasonable risk. While sealed boxes have more often than not left me scratching my head, that one big hit I pull every now and then is why I keep coming back for more. No matter what, it’s a fun experience that can help add to your collection or possibly make your day in a hurry. Be sure to visit your local shop when you have a chance and check out the value wax they have in stock. That box on the shelf may have the next cornerstone for your collection.
Hobby Musings: The Fun of Taking Fliers on Cheaper Boxes – Image Gallery
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