Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What We Learned - - The Aftermath of the Community Group Box Break

Now that the group break is done, I have a few observations that I thought I would share for anyone else attempting such a feat.  I had fun doing the break and I hope everyone had fun watching my messed up videos.  The response I have gotten from both participants and other readers was actually more than I expected.  Mostly positive...with a few "constructive" criticisms that I desperately deserve.

So here are my random thoughts, in no particular order of importance.

1.  $10 is a good deal...IF YOU ARE A PARTICIPANT.  If you are the host probably won't cover costs.  No, it definitely won't cover costs.  If you are in this to make money...don't even bother.  I wanted to have some fun and get some rarely seen cards into the hands of some of my fellow collectors.  I knew I was basically going to take a bath on this but I didn't care.  For those of you maybe looking to do this same thing sometime soon, let me give you an example of what it might take...

(names have been changed to protect the innocent)  

Let's say "Tom" is doing a break.  He drops, lets say...$150 on boxes and offers up 2 teams for each entry at, let's say...$10.  We have a healthy mix of participants, including Tom himself but one spot remains unfilled.  That leaves Tom shy $20 to break even on the boxes.  No big deal because it is going to a good cause, right?  Well, we haven't even begun to calculate shipping yet.  In our mix, lets say we have 10 people from the USA and 5 from Canada.  With everyone getting about 50 cards each, after packaging them up securely that comes to about $2.80-$3.00 for US shipping based on the weight and size of the packages and $4-$4.50 for Canada.  That's $48 minimum, not including the cost of packaging materials.  So with $150 on the boxes, plus $48 for shipping, plus we'll estimate about $8 on supplies, that's $206.  With two spots open in the break, that leaves us in the hole $66.

Fortunately for me, 66 is the greatest number in all of hockey so I am alright with it.  But for some of you, you might want to rethink the entry costs and what you will be willing to sacrifice in order to have some fun.  The lower the entry fee, the more people will participate.

2.  Doing a break with more than a couple boxes is a ton of work if you want it to turn out good.  My goal was to at least attempt to show every card that came out of the boxes and show off the "hits" and non-base cards.  To do that, the videos were long, sometimes broken in two, had to be edited, and the cards scanned.  We did nothing different than we normally would with a video box break other than the fact that it was 6 of them crammed into a 17 day period.  If you want to go quickly and you have a full time job, a wife/husband/significant other, and kids...chances are you are going to have a heart attack before the end.  I paced myself somewhat and it still took me quite a while to finish.  I definitely have work to do for next time. 

3.  Equipment is key.  If you don't have a good video camera to record the breaks, you should probably get one.  I have been meaning to get a better camera for a while now but it hasn't really been that big of a priority.  For around $50, I'm sure there is something much higher quality out there than what I have.  Oh, and make sure you have good lighting.  That can make all the difference in the world.

4.  Always plan as far ahead as you can.  You never know when something will come up.  As mentioned already above, work, kids, spouse, etc. can all interfere.  I tried to record one in advance.  That way, after I posted one, I could work on editing the other.  There is less stress that way.  The last thing you want is for a break like this to be stressful.  You should work at your own pace too.  Everyone needs to be patient and wait for the updates.  Don't let the participants dictate your speed.  That can make it become too taxing and no fun.  Sure it may seem like it's taking a long time but in the end, it will be worth it.

6.  Have clear cut rules for the break.  Think far enough in advance of different scenarios for what may be pulled from the boxes.  Do the research and see what you may have to deal with.  This is one area where I didn't think it through all the way.  I came up with ideas as the break went on but by then it was too late.  This becomes apparent when you get multi-player cards, multi-team cards, or in the case of things like A&G or Champs or Goodwin there are many more cards featuring non-traditional players.  Figure out how "ties" are handled and make everyone aware.  The last thing you want is anyone getting upset from not getting a card they thought they should.  Keep everything as simple as possible but as clearly defined as you can.

7.  Communication is key.  Keep everyone in the loop at all times as far as what is going on.  Use a mass email, use Twitter, use the blog, but just do it.  Get addresses, emails, etc. as soon as you can that way you can be ready to go when it's time to ship.  See #4.  I am still waiting on 1 person to send me their address since it wasn't on their Paypal receipt.  If you got an email from me recently, get me that address ASAP.

To all those waiting on their "wares", they were all mailed out this afternoon (except the one I don't know where to send).  Those of you in the US should probably see your stuff before the week is out.  Those north of the border, hopefully by next week sometime.  And hopefully in one piece!!

Let me know if anything is amiss at the Circle K.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Final Card Counts from the Group Break

I figured I would post the FINAL COUNTS for the group break.  These include all the previous cards tallied as well as the last box and the few multi-player cards that were pulled.  I arbitrarily divided them up amongst the represented teams.  As for the one hit we got with multi-players...The Flames were the first team on the card and the Flames didn't have another hit so Calgary is awarded that hit.

Here is the breakdown.

1.  Casey from Drop The Gloves - - 50
Boston Bruins  - B 18, IPR 3, H 0
Los Angeles Kings - B 22, IPR 7, H 0
2.  Me from The Real DFG -- 59
Pittsburgh Penguins - B 18, IPR 7, H 2
Dallas Stars - B 23, IPR 7, H 2
3.  Sal from Puck Junk - - 57
Chicago Blackhawks - B 27, IPR 2, H 0
Minnesota Wild - B 22, IPR 6, H 0
4.  Captain Canuck from Waxaholic - - 59
Detroit Red Wings - B 31, IPR 5, H 1
Florida Panthers - B 14, IPR 8, H 0
5.  1967ers from Diamond Cuts & Wax Stains - - 58
Toronto Maple Leafs - B 25, IPR 8, H 1
Carolina Hurricanes - B 18, IPR 6, H 0
6.  Dave H from Wax Stain Rookie - - 50
Ottawa Senators - B 23, IPR 7, H 0
Washington Capitals - B 17, IPR 2, H 1
7.  BA Benny from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet - - 43
New York Islanders - B 22, IPR 6, H 0
Phoenix Coyotes - B 12, IPR 3, H 0
8.  Dave H from Wax Stain Rookie - - 44
Columbus Blue Jackets - B 18, IPR 7, H 0
Calgary Flames - B 16, IPR 2, H 1
9.  Brad from Brad's Blog- - 54
Philadelphia Flyers - B 27, IPR 3, H 0
Anaheim Ducks - B 18, IPR 5, H 1
10.  Jason from Jasonvorhee's Blog - - 46
New York Rangers - B 21, IPR 5, H 2
Buffalo Sabres - B 16, IPR 2, H 0
11.  Michael from Collecting For Kicks - - 55
Vancouver Canucks - B 24, IPR 2, H 1
Tampa Bay Lightning - B 25, IPR 3, H 0
12.  Alfredo from The Cardboard Don - - 48
New Jersey Devils - B 22, IPR 3, H 1
San Jose Sharks - B 16, IPR 6, H 0
13.  Kevin O. from Kevin's Collection - - 67
Colorado Avalanche - B 31, IPR 10, H 1
Edmonton Oilers - B 23, IPR 1, H 1
14.  Nick B. from Part's Unknown - - 59
Atlanta Thrashers - B 15, IPR 5, H 0
Montreal Canadiens - B 30, IPR 8, H 1
15. Unclaimed Teams - - 54
Nashville Predators - B 17, IPR 4, H 0
St. Louis Blues - B 27, IPR 5, H 1
Multi Player Cards - B 0, IPR 4, H 1
The interesting thing is that there were only three entries without hits in the boxes.  Everyone else got at least one hit either for their paid team or their bonus.  So that was pretty good.  Don't worry if you didn't get one because you will.  I will take care of that.  If I hadn't gotten two of each, we may have broke even.  Overall, things worked out to between $.17 to $.24 per card for everyone, so we made it under a quarter per card.  Not too shabby considering the amount of cards that were pulled (which, if you were keeping count, we ended up with 4 more cards than what was advertised.)

As I mentioned at the end of the last video, I still don't have addresses for a couple people.  I will email you individually if you are one of them.  Or, if you know you are it, send me an email first.  Otherwise, I will be working on getting these all packaged up and sent out to the various participants hopefully this week.  I will let you all know when they get sent out.

Thanks for playing!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Group Break #6: THE GRAND FINALE; 2003-04 Pacific Crown Royale Hobby

Drum roll, please!!  

For the last and final, grand finale box in the REAL DFG's FIRST EVER MID-SUMMER PRE-SEASON AFFORDABLE COMMUNITY GROUP HOCKEY BOX BREAK EXTRAVAGANZA!!! we have a hobby box of 2003-04 Crown Royale.

Crown Royale had been around in the hobby for a while at that point in 2003 and was known for a higher end feel compared to many other Pacific releases.  It was a set that is loved by many in the collecting community for it's elaborate, sometimes garish design, die-cut base cards, and almost gross over use of foil stamping.  For the 2003-04 set, Pacific toned it down a bit, laying off the foil stamping, and changing the design to feature a die-cut "cup" design.  The foil is limited to only the brand logo and outlines at the bottom.

For a hobby box, we have 20 packs with 8 cards per pack...that's 160 cards for the math illiterate.  There are an average of 4 Game Worn Jerseys in a box, giving us our final 4 guaranteed hits, and a chance at patch variations that are lower numbered.  There is also a host of insert sets and parallels to chase including a blue and red version of the base and rookies.  The blues come about one per pack (actually 2 every 3 packs) and the red are a much harder pull.  Rookies are all serial numbered and the big fish include Patrice Bergeron, Eric Staal, and Marc-Andre Fleury.  We also have a return, once again, of the Pacific Complete cards.

For those inclined, here is the video of the break.  For some reason, the sound is weird in places but the video was ok this time.  I don't get it.

If we'd rather skip to the good stuff, here are some scans of a few of the non-base cards we pulled. (the base look just like the rookies and parallels)

First, the rookies.  None of the big names are here but I suppose they could be worse.  No, you are right.  They couldn't. I still haven't figured out what those little white boxes next to the ROOKIE logo's are.  Almost like a serial number box but the numbering is stamped on the back.  Weird.

 If I didn't know better, I would swear this was Kenan 
Thompson, not Trevor Daley.

Here is just a sampling of the blue parallel cards.  It's hard to see the blue unless you blow them up.


 Next up are the inserts.  First, the Lords of the Rink collection.

 I guess you can call this a Rookie Insert of Eric Staal.

Then the Gauntlet of Glory cards which feature all the leagues goaltenders.


Followed by the Royal Portraits which feature rookies in either an action pose or at the Rookie Photo Shoot, and Global Conquest cards which feature a tandem of players from the NHL who are fellow countrymen.


Finally, we have our hits.  These weren't too bad considering the subjects.  We got a few star players instead of a handful of scrubs.  Plus, the Fedorov Patch Variation card is pretty cool.


So that's it.   The REAL DFG's FIRST EVER MID-SUMMER PRE-SEASON AFFORDABLE COMMUNITY GROUP HOCKEY BOX BREAK EXTRAVAGANZA!!! is now complete.  All that is left is to tally up the totals and get everything sorted, packed up, and sent out.

I hope everyone enjoyed participating in the break, watching the videos, and seeing all the cool stuff we pulled.  In my next post, I will try to get a running total of who is getting what cards.  I also need to figure out who I owe "hits" to and split up the few multi-team cards we pulled.  Those without a hit, I will give you something from the team you actually paid for, not your freebie.  That way at least you had some part in making the conscious decision to pick them.

I will most definitely do this again sometime because it was kind of fun.  It just might be awhile before that happens.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Group Break #5: 2002-03 Pacific Exclusive Hobby Box

For the fifth box in REAL DFG's FIRST EVER MID-SUMMER PRE-SEASON AFFORDABLE COMMUNITY GROUP HOCKEY BOX BREAK EXTRAVAGANZA!!! we have a hobby box of 2002-03 Pacific Exclusive.  Exclusive was a upper echelon set back then with a premium price tag and premium feel to the cards.  Unfortunately, these were never meant to be kept sealed in their cellophane dungeons forever and many of the cards now suffer from some surface damage due to sticking or flaking of the edges.  Still, they are a nice early 2000s set with plenty of bang for your buck.

Each box averages two GU sweater cards and a Rookie Autograph that is on-card and hand numbered.  I have seen some of these autos and they are nice.  I pulled a Bouwmeester out of a box about six months ago.  There are also both Gold and Blue parallels.  The Gold fall about one per pack and the Blue are about one per box.  And, like all other Pacific sets of the era, there are a ton of inserts.  We should see between 13-15 in this box.

So there you have it.  Finally a big hit worth mentioning over and over again.  That Zetterberg Rookie Auto is a very nice card.  I think the only bigger card would have been the Rick Nash but I'm not sure they aren't on an equal playing field here.  Even though it is numbered out of 1000, it is still on-card and not a sticker.  I don't think companies knew what stickers even were back then.  That means that Hank had to sift through 1000 of these and sign them.  I wonder how long it took?  Plus...these are numbered as part of the regular base set, so in actuality there are only 1000 possible complete sets.  Mind blowing isn't it?

Here are some scans of some of the goods...

First the gold parallels.  I'm not going to show them all because we will be here all day.  Here is a sampling of four of them.

 Here we have another mind numb-er.  This goes to Dallas
since that's the team on the card, despite the B's sweater.

Here is the Blue Parallel numbered /699

Some of the rookies we pulled...

 We pulled two of these.  Doubles are stupid in the same box.

Another Spezza rookie...we got a couple in another box too.

Great Expectations Inserts...

And a plethora of other inserts...

Here are the two GU "hits"

 The Kolzig goes to Dave H with the Capitals.                    The Czerkawski goes to Nick B. with Montreal.

And last but certainly not least, the best hit of the Group Break thus far...

Here is the latest updated card count for everyone. I think I have them all pretty accurate.

1.  Casey from Drop The Gloves - - 36
Boston Bruins  - B 15, IPR 2, H 0
Los Angeles Kings - B 15, IPR 4, H 0
2.  Me from The Real DFG -- 49
Pittsburgh Penguins - B 16, IPR 7, H 2
Dallas Stars - B 17, IPR 5, H 2
3.  Sal from Puck Junk - - 46
Chicago Blackhawks - B 22, IPR 1, H 0
Minnesota Wild - B 19, IPR 4, H 0
4.  Captain Canuck from Waxaholic - - 44
Detroit Red Wings - B 25, IPR 3, H 1
Florida Panthers - B 9, IPR 6, H 0
5.  1967ers from Diamond Cuts & Wax Stains - - 45
Toronto Maple Leafs - B 21, IPR 4, H 1
Carolina Hurricanes - B 14, IPR 5, H 0
6.  Dave H from Wax Stain Rookie - - 46
Ottawa Senators - B 22, IPR 6, H 0
Washington Capitals - B 15, IPR 2, H 1
7.  BA Benny from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet - - 32
New York Islanders - B 16, IPR 5, H 0
Phoenix Coyotes - B 8, IPR 3, H 0
8.  Dave H from Wax Stain Rookie - - 36
Columbus Blue Jackets - B 15, IPR 5, H 0
Calgary Flames - B 14, IPR 2, H 0
9.  Brad from Brad's Blog- - 45
Philadelphia Flyers - B 23, IPR 3, H 0
Anaheim Ducks - B 15, IPR 4, H 0
10.  Jason from Jasonvorhee's Blog - - 37
New York Rangers - B 17, IPR 5, H 1
Buffalo Sabres - B 13, IPR 1, H 0
11.  Michael from Collecting For Kicks - - 42
Vancouver Canucks - B 20, IPR 1, H 1
Tampa Bay Lightning - B 19, IPR 1, H 0
12.  Alfredo from The Cardboard Don - -37
New Jersey Devils - B 18, IPR 3, H 1
San Jose Sharks - B 11, IPR 4, H 0
13.  Kevin O. from Kevin's Collection - - 53
Colorado Avalanche - B 24, IPR 8, H 0
Edmonton Oilers - B 17, IPR 4, H 0
14.  Nick B. from Part's Unknown - - 48
Atlanta Thrashers - B 12, IPR 3, H 0
Montreal Canadiens - B 25, IPR 7, H 1
15. Unclaimed Teams - - 48
Nashville Predators - B 14, IPR 4, H 0
St. Louis Blues - B 24, IPR 5, H 1
Multi Player Cards - B 0, IPR 2, H 1

Stay tuned for the GRAND FINALE with the last box in the Group Break.