30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A New Source for Busting Wax

When it comes to ripping wax, I've gone through several phases over the past forty years.  The first packs I cracked were 1977 Topps Star Wars that were purchased by my mom (Happy Mother's Day Mom!) at a Japanese grocery store called Dobashi Market in San Jose's Japantown.

A few years later Mama Fuji started buying me packs of 1981 Donruss and Topps at the local pharmacy as a treat every now and then.  I guess she figured it was better than buying me candy bars.

Over the next twenty-seven years, money pretty much dictated how I collected.  There were times I only could only afford individual packs, while other times I was into buying full wax boxes.  I even went through a brief period of busting entire hobby cases.

These days, I'll occasionally open a box I purchase from my local wholesaler, DA Cardworld, Blowout Cards, or the local flea market... and of course there are those damn blasters from Target.  But honestly... my love for opening packs and boxes just isn't what it once was.

Then a few weeks ago, I stumbled across this video on Youtube and immediately felt that familiar itch:

I don't expect you to actually watch it... so I'll just summarize it for you.  The guy in the video busts open a monthly subscription box called Collectible Card Club.  For those of you who aren't familiar with monthly subscription boxes, they're essentially mystery boxes that you pay for on a monthly basis.  This particular club focuses on sports cards and gives the customer a few options:

Step 1:  Choose your sport:  baseball, basketball, football, or a mixture of all-sports.

Step 2:  Choose the era of packs:  modern, vintage, or a combination of both.

Step 3:  Choose the program: purchase month to month or buy an annual subscription.

Here are the current rates:

A.  Silver Month to Month: 5 packs for $14.95/month
B.  Silver Annual Subscription:  5 packs per month for $169.95/year
C.  Gold Month to Month: 10 packs for $24.95/month
D.  Gold Annual Subscription:  10 packs per month for $279.95/year
E.  Platinum Month to Month: 15 packs for $34.95/month
F.  Platinum Annual Subscription:  15 packs per month for $389.95/year

After watching a few more videos on YouTube to get a sense of whether or not this was a legit company, I discovered that Collectible Card Club primarily uses hobby packs.  Set builders might not have a preference between retail and hobby, but as a guy who enjoys pulling "hits", this was the key selling point.

My only concern with these subscription box companies is that they've been known to pack up in the middle of the night and disappear.  The good news is they accept PayPal, so I feel my credit card information is a little more secure.  I should also point out that there are no hidden fees.  What you see is what you pay for.  Shipping and handling fees are included in the price.

I decided to go with Platinum (month to month) baseball (modern) box for $34.95 and today I'll reveal what I pulled to see if it's something I'd pick up again.

So without further adieu... let's see what's inside the box.

When you first open up the box, you notice that there are three stacks of packs and this note from the company:

I'm not sure why they're focusing on golf when I chose their baseball subscription box, but it doesn't really matter.  The note is a nice touch, but I really only care about the packs.  Here are the fifteen packs I received:

Subscription box reviews really aren't my specialty, so I decided to borrow something I've seen over at The Raz Card Blog.  Christopher subscribes to Loot Locker, which is an alternative to the Collectible Card Club.  He breaks down the value of each pack by dividing the current box prices over on DA Cardworld/Blowout Cards/Steel City Cards by the number of packs to see if he's getting his money's worth.

I applied the same formula and came up with these results:

Pack #1: 2012 Panini Golden Age ($29.95/24 @ SCC) $1.25
Pack #2: 2013 Panini Golden Age ($29.95/24 @ SCC) $1.25
Pack #3: 2013 Panini Cooperstown ($34.95/24 @ SCC) $1.45
Pack #4: 2015 Topps Update ($74.95/36 @ DA) $2.08
Pack #5: 2015 Donruss ($42.95/24 @ SCC) $1.79
Pack #6: 2016 Topps Series 2 ($40.95/36) $1.14
Pack #7: 2016 Topps Update ($39.95/36) $1.11
Pack #8: 2017 Topps Bunt ($1.15 @ DA) $1.15
Pack #9: 2017 Topps Series 1 ($84.95/36 @ DA) $2.36
Pack #10: 2017 Topps Series 2 ($49.95/36 @ SCC) $1.39
Pack #11: 2017 Topps Update ($49.95/36 @ DA) $1.39
Pack #12: 2017 Topps Heritage High # ($62.95/24 @DA) $2.62
Pack #13: 2018 Donruss ($19.99/7 @ Target) $2.85
Pack #14: 2018 Topps Opening Day ($9.95/11 @ SCC) $.90
Pack #15: 2018 Topps Silver Pack (around $10 @ eBay) $10

Approximate Pack Value: $32.73

When you factor in shipping and handling, it's a fair deal.  I've worked at two card shops in my lifetime and we've always charged a premium for individual packs (compared to full box sales), so when you factor that into the formula, the deal gets even better.

Okay... it's time to see what I pulled from the packs.  Regular readers know that there's no way I'm going to scan ever single card.  So here are the highlights...


So I decided to scan my favorite card out of each pack.  Obviously favorites are subjective.  Personally, I would have loved to pull an autograph or memorabilia card out of one of these packs.  Instead the nine best cards from the first nine packs were seven insert cards and two parallels.

The 10th pack (2017 Topps Series 2) contained arguably the biggest pull from the box:

2017 Topps Memorial Day Camo #612 (#'d 18/25)

As of this post, Herrera was leading the National League in hitting with a .360 batting average.  He's also reached base safely in forty-one straight games, which is a pretty amazing feat in itself.

Getting back to the packs...

The 2018 Topps Silver pack was valued the highest with collectors paying around $10 per pack.  I was happy to pull this purple refractor of Anthony Rizzo #'d to 75.  He really struggled the first month of the season at the plate, but has had a pretty productive May.

Overall... I didn't pull any hits (autographs or memorabilia cards),which was kind of disappointing.  I had high hopes of pulling at least one hit... since most of these were hobby packs.  But them's the breaks.  Anytime you make the decision to rip wax, you're rolling the dice.

I apologize for not scanning every single card I pulled from the break, but my schedule just didn't allow for that.  With that being said, I was able to pull a combined total of twenty-nine inserts, parallels, variants, or buybacks from these fifteen packs.  Plus a few rookie cards that could potentially have some value if the players pan out.

Would I consider purchasing this subscription box again?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I obviously didn't come close to pulling $35 worth of cards.  The smarter choice would have been to spend $35 in singles on COMC or eBay.  However you don't scratch the "pack itch" by purchasing singles.

I'll wrap up this post with a list of pro's and con's for this subscription box experience.  I tried to be as unbiased as possible...

Pro's:  Good Variety, Reasonably Priced, No Hidden Fees, Mostly Hobby Packs, Quick Shipment

Con's:  Low End Products, Some MLB Logo-less Products, Only Three 2018 Packs

Obviously you can't fault the company for using low-end products since that's what fits into the subscription box price point.  However, I felt that it was important to at least point that out.  I'm interested in seeing if they'll include packs of 2018 Archives, Ginter, and Stadium Club later in the year.  If they do, I might give them another shot.

Okay guys and gals... it's your turn to chime in.

Would you be willing to give Collectible Card Club a shot?

Have you ever tried any kind of monthly subscription box before?

I've tried a few different ones:  Loot Crate, Marvel Collector's Corps, and Smuggler's Bounty (Star Wars Funko).  Out of the three, Smuggler's Bounty was the only one I kept for an extended period of time.  However it's been at least a year (maybe 2 or 3) since I've ordered any of these.

Well that's it for today.  Happy Mother's Day and sayonara!


One of my favorite eras for following the Seattle Seahawks was the 80's.  My cousin Keith attended UW and on one of my visits to Seattle, he converted me into a fan.  Within a few years, they were a playoff team with Dave Krieg, Curt Warner, and Steve Largent putting points on the scoreboard, while guys like Kenny Easley, Jacob Green, Eugene Robinson, and Dave Brown were handling business on the defensive side of the ball.

1991 Pro Line Portraits #NNO

The man at the helm?  Chuck Knox.

This afternoon I read the sad news that he passed away.  Rest in peace Ground Chuck.  Thank you for the memories.  You will be missed.


  1. I’ve never joined one. I probably wouldn’t. It looks like too much junk wax in the vintage ones, I figure the newer package would have too much Triple Play, and I could probably just save the money and cherry pick cards I want for my PC on COMC.

  2. Just looking over the packs before you busted them, my thoughts were 'low end.' I'm not big on Flagship so would not purchase a CCC box. I'm sure these pack choices are what make the club work. If this company breaks a large number of cases, then they would likely stop the break once the big hit were found. They could then sell the remaining a recoup a portion of their costs. Perhaps that's a big stretch in thinking. Call me cynical. I want more control over my choices.

  3. I might give the NBA one a shot. With my local shop doing box sales only it might give me a chance to open some hobby packs I wouldn't otherwise be able to get. I did loot locker once and was not too impressed...it was mostly college cards.

  4. yeah, i'm not into I'd rather take that $35 and put to a monster box of cards I can thumb through first, lol.

  5. I'd dig a junk wax option... something like 36 packs for $15. Just for the fun of it.

  6. I've not done this, but I was part of the "travelling box" that was sent around from blogger to blogger a few years ago. Unfortunately, I joined shortly before someone out there decided to keep the box and stop sending it around.

  7. You got a decent variety of packs in your box, but they are all decidedly low-end base products outside of the silver pack. I guess that's how you fit 15 Hobby packs into that price point, and that's the main difference between Loot Locker and Collectible Card Club. Loot Locker has fewer packs, but they are (generally) products with more demand and better hit odds. I might try one of these at some point, but I think I like Loot Locker's pack mix a little better.

  8. I've been thinking about doing this. It looks a little better than the locker. better deal and looks like a smaller box. My problem though is do I do just vintage or the vintage/modern or go all sport or just stick with baseball. OH I am totally undecided on what to do. I know they say you can pick and choose each month and change up whenever you want but I still haven't made my final decision Regis.

  9. I hadn't heard of this company until recently, but I'm having a hard time seeing their long-term business strategy. Surprisingly, they must be selling tons of these since the profit margin is so low. They have to be picking up stuff for dirt cheap somewhere. If they only did Topps or Heritage base set packs, I might be game. Cool way to spend an afternoon though. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Look pretty fun, always great to get cards in mail and to rip packs, but probably not something I would sign up for.

  11. I have reviewed a few. Best one I can remember was collector crate and they mysteriously vanished

  12. I'm always tempted because it seems like fun, but don't think I'd pull the trigger here. I feel like I could be just as happy spending half that on a 10-pack repack or blaster or picking out cards I want on eBay. Still, looks like a fun rip and they do a nice job with the packaging.

  13. I'm with most of the others, I don't really think it's for me. Someone earlier mentioned "vintage" and if I could get one that was mid-80s to mid-90s packs at a good price, I might consider it. Like others, though, I'd rather have control. I rarely get the pack itch anymore and when I do, that's when I hit up the Walmart or Target.

  14. I'd like to try out one of these outfits (probably Card Crate) sometime, but the money's never been there at the right time to get one. Love the purple Rizzo, btw. Would send a hit for it.

  15. A Vintage/JunkWax option which was priced right could be a lot of fun. Otherwise I'd want to be able to pick the packs in the mix.

  16. I've never really been interested in these type of subscription services. If I had multiple player collections than I could the appeal, but eBay is better suited for my collection.

  17. jeremy1um - agree. this is strictly for the pack busting experience

    julie owens - hmmm... good point. i hadn't thought of that.

    billy kingsley - i think there are a few nba ccc box videos on youtube. you might want to check them out before you purchase them (especially after reading julie's comment)

    john miller - me too. except i'd rather have one $35 hof autograph

    matt prigge - you might check out https://www.cardsone.com/ i think they sell something similar

    gcrl - traveling box? what's that? someone kept it? who? don't leave us hanging!

    raz - the good news about loot locker is i've seen hits pulled from their packs, so i'm less worried about the issue julie brought up with them.

    captkirk42 - go big and try one of each ;)

    sumomenko - i didn't mind the panini golden age packs... but i'd much rather have two packs of topps in place of the 2018 donruss

    the angels in order - this definitely caters to those who just want to crack packs. i'm more of a "hit" guy, so not sure if this is my cup of tea. but who knows... i might get that itch again later in the year

    sport card collectors - i couldn't remember that company's name, but i remember there was one that disappeared overnight

    the lost collector - hmmm... maybe i'll do a repack vs. collectible card club comparison.

    kin - they do have a vintage option, but they give you one really cool pack (like 83T) and a bunch of late 80's/early 90's filler.

    twitch - deal. email me your address and i'll ship it out. pwe okay?

    nick vossbrink - i think there's a subscription box out there that lets you choose packs. loot locker? they do have a vintage option, but like i wrote in kin's comment they give you one decent pack and a bunch of fluff.

    matthew scott - yeah... this is kind of the opposite of a group break option which caters more to team collectors.

  18. Its not for me. I'd rather spend $35 somewhere else on singles and have the choice down to my last dime.

  19. Very cool concept. I've never heard of this but can see how this could be really really fun.