Hobby Musings: Ripping open some NSCC redemption packs – One of the most anticipated parts of the National Sports Collectors Convention is the redemption packs and items manufacturers offer. A bonus for attendees who shred wax, the redemption items can include unique memorabilia cards, first looks at rookies in professional uniforms and even signed memorabilia. Given the importance and enjoyment of these items, the manufacturers have done a nice job of designing and providing value in these packs. This year’s National in Cleveland was no different as each company offered something special. I had the chance to rip some of the redemption items and here’s what came up.
Upper Deck’s redemptions were incredibly popular this year in Cleveland. Their case break redemptions were so well-received they were out of them by the end of the day Thursday. That’s only two days into the National, which is all the more impressive given the show’s limited hours on Wednesday. Given the impressive checklist that included Tiger Woods, Serena Williams and Shohei Ohtani, it’s no surprise they were so popular.
Fans busting individual boxes and packs had the chance to receive Upper Deck’s black packs that contained four cards and randomly inserted autographs. Like the case breaks, these packs were extremely popular this year and Upper Deck was actually out of them by the end of the day Saturday. Featuring a mix of top hockey rookies and featured veterans and legends, the odds of pulling an autograph seemed to be easier this year. I came across autographs of the Devils Will Butcher and Alex DeBrincat of the Blackhawks in my packs.
Leaf’s redemption items centered around the company’s 70th anniversary. As such, the cards fans could get for busting boxes featured a wide range of athletes and celebrities on the iconic 1948 Leaf design. Each redemption pack included two of these cards. While some of them were base cards, many of them included a wide range of serial numbering. Some of the more notable cards in the ones I busted were Josh Allen numbered to 20 and Stephen Curry numbered to 10.
As cool as these cards were, Leaf had an even better option available for case breakers. Brian Gray and company have typically done a nice job with case incentives and for this year’s National, they unveiled a special sealed box that contained a 1/1 autograph. Leaf is known for its big name autographs and these boxes showed them off as the checklist included luminaries like Shohei Ohtani and Conor McGregor. A box I had seen opened earlier in the show contained soccer star Hope Solo. The box I busted contained Bears legend and football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus. The autographs were on stickers, but the card design was nice and already came encapsulated. This was a nice touch for collectors who busted these at the show and didn’t have to worry about protecting them.
Panini’s silver pack redemptions may very well have the best variety of the all the National redemption packs. Containing anything from numbered rookie cards to redemption cards for signed memorabilia, the checklist features a wide variety of athletes from Panini’s stable of products. As is typically the case, each silver pack contains two cards. Thicker packs often contain a hit and the ones I had in my packs were no different as I pulled a base Sam Darnold hat card and a cool Taven Bryan hat card numbered to 5. The Bryan featured a nice sleek design and appeared to have a hole from the hat.
In addition to the silver packs, Panini also featured Charles Barkley and NASCAR redemptions packs this year. Honoring their newest NBA exclusive, the Barkley packs could be had by purchasing 2017-18 Mosaic Prizm Basketball. Most of the two-card packs, including the ones in my packs, had base cards. However, there were also numbered parallels and autographs of Barkley that were randomly inserted.
The NASCAR packs were very cool as they included a memorabilia card, an autograph card or an autographed memorabilia card from one of the top drivers in the sport. Already encapsulated, my own pack contained a National Treasures Kurt Bush memorabilia card numbered to five. It was good to see Panini expand their normal redemptions and offer something a little extra for collectors this year.
Topps once again decided to make Bowman front and center for their pack redemptions. Given its popularity with show attendees, it’s hard to dispute its continued presence at the National. The packs this year included four cards with randomly inserted parallels and autographs. The autograph checklist comprised of rookies, veterans and legends alike. My own pack included an autograph of Indians prospect Quentin Holmes numbered to five. Topps did a nice job of managing the lines and demand for the Bowman packs this year. In the past, the company would often run out of the packs quickly on a daily basis or even be out of them by the end of the show. This understandably left some show attendees upset. This year though, Topps started their pack redemptions later in the day, which gave more people a chance to get them, and the packs typically last well into the show day.
All in all, the redemptions are nice extra items for people who attend the National and bust wax there. The companies put a lot of time and effort into producing them, and it’s nice to see how much enjoyment they give people each year. If you ever have the chance to go to the National and bust some wax, it’s something I would recommend partaking in.
For more Hobby Musings, follow Kelsey on Twitter @KelSchroy75.
Hobby Musings: Ripping open some NSCC redemption packs – Image Gallery
Hobby Musings: Ripping open some NSCC redemption packs
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