30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Better than a Blaster

Target is one of my favorite places to browse and get some steps in.  I typically go there at least two to three times a week and each time I do, I check to see what blaster boxes they have in stock.

The funny thing is... when it comes to collecting... I'm all about value and getting the best deal possible.  And although we've seen some pretty nice hits pulled from blasters on the blogosphere... the chances are you're not going to get your money's worth 9 out of 10 times.

That's why I'd rather spend my hard earned twenty dollars over at eBay on something special for my collection or find a dealer at a card show who is blowing out some of his cards for ridiculous prices.  And that's exactly what happened at the Serramonte Mall Sports Cards, Toys, and Collectibles Show a few weekends ago.

Round 4Cards w/o Prices  $20

I came across a guy with several display cases filled with highend stuff like Aaron Judge autographs and Tom Brady rookie cards.  But off to the side he had some shoeboxes filled with lower priced cards.

After pulling out a few cards that weren't marked, I asked him for prices.  He gave me the standard "pull out what you want and I'll give you a good deal" speech.

Honestly... I can't stand it when I hear this.  More often than not, I waste a bunch of time digging through cards only to find out the dealer is looking for twice the amount I'm looking to pay.

But the Tulowitzki autograph and Fisk memorabilia card seemed reasonably priced, so I gave the guy a chance and started pulling out cards.  Here's what I found:

I was pleasantly surprised that he only wanted $20 for the twelve card lot.  The nicest card has to be this two-colored patch card of Terrell Davis:

2018 Luminance Vintage Materials Prime Platinum #12

But my favorite is this new jersey card for my Aaron Rodgers PC:

2018 Elite Craftsmen Jerseys #CJ-1

Well that's all for today.  I was hoping to wrap up the rest of my card show haul today, but this post is starting to drag out.  I'll go ahead and share the leftovers on Thursday.

Until then...

Are you more inclined to spend $20 on individual cards or buy a blaster box?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Blasters are garbage and you absolutely killed it for your $20. That's a hell of a lot better than 75 base cards, five dumb inserts, and a manurelic. One of these days I'm gonna get out there and go with you to your shows/flea markets because you always get such great stuff.

  2. Opening a blaster is okay once in a while, because ripping packs open is still one of my favorite things to do. But at the same time, it's hard to argue that the price is worth the reward 90% of the time. Sweet haul!

  3. The way it usually happens, I get blasters or packs, usually because my wife comes home and surprises me with some or because I can’t fight the temptation to bust packs.
    I’ve tried to tell my wife that it would help me to just take the money she would’ve spent on blasters and pool it towards a COMC gift card, but she loves getting me packs, and I’m ok with new cards. I usually get a big order on COMC around Christmas or tax returns, and I also try to add to my PCs and category binders at the couple of shows I go to each year.

    1. I wish my wife did this. Fourteen years of marriage and I can count on one hand how many times she's bought me cards.

      With that being said I'd much rather buy $20 worth of cards that I know I want versus the unknown in a blaster. Occasionally I get the urge, but 9 out of 10 times I don't succumb to it.

      "Honestly... I can't stand it when I hear this. More often than not, I waste a bunch of time digging through cards only to find out the dealer is looking for twice the amount I'm looking to pay." -- Preach on. I feel like this all the time. I've actually stopped looking through dealers' cards who don't have any prices on them. I'm sure I've missed out on a few good deals, but I don't like the hassle.

    2. I hate that too, and you hope they don't pull out the Beckett. What I do is pick two or three and ask what I've got so far. Then I either just take the hit on those few or keep going.

  4. Twenty bucks for a card all day long. No ripping here

  5. I have bought a few blasters in the last few years of a few different products. Never realized the promise of a hit. So, I have to go with a card or cards.

  6. You got well worth your $20 in those cards.

  7. Sometimes I’ll buy a blaster so I don’t have to worry about the single or rack packs being searched, however it’s not often I feel I get value with a blaster. Card shows are so infrequent in my area that I’ll end up taking that $20 spot to eBay like yourself and seek out that card I want from a product versus buying a blaster of said product. It’s not as much fun as busting those packs, but when your over 40 and juggling a family and other hobbies, sometimes a deal far out weighs the fun.

  8. I will say this for the 100th time: sometimes you can't wait for your $20 worth of cards to come in the mail, sometimes you have no card shop nearby that sells singles, sometimes the card show shows up only once a year. THIS IS WHERE BLASTERS COME IN. I know some people think they're useless. They're not.

  9. I tend to limit my Target purchases to the $5 and $10 hangers to satisfy that packripping itch where you don't know who you're going to find and so you get to remember what it was like as a kid to find every card to be a surprise. Not a search for hits (my most-recent pack turned up a Heritage High chrome of Denard Span because the baseball universe likes to laugh at me), just enjoyment of base.

    For $20 I'll hit sportlots or cardbarrel (free shipping at $20+!) and put together my own blaster of randomness where the surprise is what I can find from a specific seller.

  10. If I’m feeling sassy I’ll buy a blaster of some baseball, but I’d rather spend $20 on cars since I know what I’m getting. Those are some sweet cards l!

  11. dennis - come on out buddy. i'll give you a personal tour.

    jasongerman9 - i too bust blasters every now and then. honestly... i'd probably bust them more often if i could find them in my area

    jeremya1um - the fact that you have a wife that supports your hobby shows that you have a keeper. congratulations.

    p-town tom - can't understand why dealers don't price their cards. maybe they don't want to mess up their top loaders. if that's the case... label the box at least.

    mark hoyle - that's how i play it 90% of the time. but my addiction still requires me to rip open packs every now and then.

    peter k steinberg - i've beat the odds a few times this year with blasters. but most of the time i strike out. it's the joy of tearing into the pack that lures me in time after time. but yeah... if i ever have to pick one or the other... i'd choose buying singles

    jedijeff - thank you. i think out of all of my card show purchases... this was my favorite one.

    colbey hopper - yeah. bottom line it's entertainment vs. value. i choose value the majority of the time, but every now and then i need to bust some packs.

    night owl - they definitely have a role in our hobby and i enjoy opening one here and there. you're lucky that your local stores have blasters. the majority of the blasters i've purchased this year came from las vegas and portland.

    nick vossbrink - what is this cardbarrel you speak of? as soon as i'm finished commenting... i'm gonna go explore it.

    sumomenkoman - my thoughts exactly.

  12. I swore off blasters a year or two ago (not that I ever bought many). I'm all about using that money for stuff I need. I'd rather buy a $20 card for one a set build than spend it one cards I don't need or can get for 35 cents on COMC if I do.

    Oh, and the "pull out what you want and I'll give you a good deal" is my cue to take a hike.

  13. I still like buying blasters, but basically feel buyers remorse as soon as I do. Yet I still buy them from time to time, although I'm getting better about holding off. I haven't gotten one since Gypsy Queen.

  14. Ideally, I'd like to spend my $20 on individual singles I need, but it doesn't always work out that way if I happen to find myself strolling through a Target. (Though I'm usually more inclined to go with rack packs/hanger boxes over blasters.)

  15. If I'm still just getting started on a set, I'll buy a blaster. But I'll quit if I can trade for what I need or the blasters are more than 50% dupes.

    I would try the COMC or SportLots route, but I can never stop at just $20. My orders tend more toward the $60 to $80 range by the time I'm done.

  16. I almost never buy packs anymore. I’m fortunate enough to have some great local outlets that keep providing nice little surprises. Just today my lcs had some nice inserts and relics at discount prices and to top it off I found a decent condition Topps All American Whizzer White for $5!! Not bad for a NCAA HOF’se and former Supreme Court Justice! And much better than almost any blaster surprise.
    That’s definitely a nice haul.

  17. commishbob - had the tulo autograph not been marked so low, i probably would have walked.

    the lost collector - me too. i saw some a&g today. put two in my basket... walked around... then on my way to the checkstand, i put them back. if it were chrome or archives, i would have bought them though.

    nick - hmmm... haven't tried my luck at rack packs or hanger boxes. then again... i probably need to avoid retail as much as possible.

    gca - i used to do the same in regards to getting a set started with blasters. these days, i find it much more efficient to buy completed sets on ebay. not quite as fun though.

    baltmoss68 - congratulations! that's an excellent find.

  18. Fuji, I tell you what. $20 for me could be spent on either, depending on the day and the mood I'm in.

    I've had some good luck with blasters over the years, and I've had some good luck at shows with just $20 as well.

    If I could find a dozen solid autos/jersey cards like you did, I'm sure I'd go for those before the blaster though.

  19. I enjoy blasters but I'm not a auto and relic card guy . I like the bulk I get from blasters assuming the value is better than individual packs. And yes opening packs is a ton of fun even if it leaves me disappointed at times . I do use COMC or eBay though for singles and sets. I'm not close enough to card shops and only get to one show a year. Great post and cards.

  20. Robert - Collectors who are open to both options like us have more options to choose from.

    Bulldog - Have a blast at that upcoming card shop. Hope you find lots of stuff for your collection.

  21. I think I only bought like a couple of individual cards once or twice..and they were like 1€ or so each. I always prefer to go for the packet. There is something in the unknown of opening it and seeing what you got!