I have collected both vintage and modern cards, and I enjoy the modern side more. I am still glad that I collected vintage cards. It gave me a completely different perspective on modern cards and helped me understand what I like and don’t like. Of course, everyone should collect what he (or she) likes.
I’ll be making posts contrasting the two sides of card collecting over the next several weeks. Today’s topic (the first) is opening packs.
This main purpose of this blog is to post the cards found by opening lots (boxes) of packs. Being able to open new material is a big deal for me. Completing a set or getting closer to a complete set is also important. Reading blogs and experiences of other collectors is fun. The capper, though, is opening packs first hand. Furthermore, although I’m a set collector, I do like finding inserts. When not overdone, inserts and parallels add to the fun.
For modern collectors, packs of cards are everywhere. One can go to Walmart or other big box stores, local hobby shops, eBay, and other online sites. The packs can be expensive or cheap, new or old, and found as single packs, boxes, and even cases. Maybe my coveted supply of unbroken 90s boxes will some day dry up, but by then boxes from the 2000s should have come down in price.
What do vintage collectors do for unopened material? Well, they don’t have any. Technically, that is not true. There are unopened tobacco packs out there. Rarely, people even open them to get the card out. This is the exception, however. Unless the pack contains a high-grade HOFer, the pack is much more valuable sealed than opened. Unopened caramel and candy material is more scare than tobacco packs. So, for all practical purposes, vintage collectors only buy opened material. The card you see in the image on eBay is the card you will receive. No surprises.
I don’t think most vintage collectors spend much time fretting over opening packs. It’s just not part of the vintage collecting culture. However, one thing that sends vintage collectors into a frenzy is the discovery of cards that are “new to the hobby” – cards that have been socked away since the cards were first issued. Examples include finding cards from a long-deceased collector and discovering unsold inventory from a candy distributor. For vintage folks, these discoveries are like a modern collector’s box break. Modern collectors can read a blog about a new box break just about every day. Box breaks are basically cards that are “new to the hobby”. Modern collectors are spoiled in this regard.
So, in this first installment of vintage vs. modern, modern cards trounce vintage cards in the area of opening packs. If you take a lot of pleasure in breaking boxes and ripping packs, vintage card collecting probably isn’t going to be able to scratch that itch.
Winner: Modern Cards (in a landslide)