All slot holders in my 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter’s Charity Case Break PLUS one lucky random retweeter will be entered to win this awesome special edition 2014 Allen & Ginter binder by Ultra Pro, complete with mini cards EXCLUSIVE to the binder kit! Want this sweet binder? Just follow me on Twitter and retweet the tweet posted below! If that tweet reaches no less than 100 unique retweets, one lucky retweeter will be chosen tomorrow at approximately 3pm Central and the winner of the binder will be randomly selected later tomorrow night! Ready to win? GOOD LUCK!

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If you’re anything like me—and I suspect that, if you’re reading this, you are—then you’re at the very least somewhat cautious with your collection of cards. Some of us are downright overprotective of our PC. The ability to safely store single cards into a penny sleeve, toploader or one-touch has been standard for years and years. However, set collectors have few options. You can either stuff them into a box and rarely ever see them again without having to flip and rifle through card by card, or you can protect them in 9-pocket poly pages placed into 3-ring binders. The latter is my preferred method of storing sets, however there are limitations to even the best of standard 3-ring binders.

One of the limitations of standard binders lies within the standard design of a typical binder. When you think of a binder, you think of something that flips open just like a book. That means that every side of the binder aside from the spine is completely exposed. What should happen if you accidentally store your binder upside down? You may end up with cards falling out of their pages and becoming damaged. What should happen if your binder is accidentally knocked off of its shelf? Pages and cards may go flying in all directions causing irreparable damage to your prized cardboard collection.

Another limitation of standard binders comes with the typical metal hinge rings. Many of them snap together but never really lock in place. Ever notice a little gap between the rings? This can cause pages to become loose and can potentially scratch pages and, worse still, the cards within those pages.

These limitations are addressed by UniKeep with their outstanding case binders. They are completely enclosed and snap shut to keep what’s inside the binder INSIDE THE BINDER. Not only that, the case helps protect my valuable cards from dirt and moisture—something a fully exposed standard 3-ring binder has no chance of doing. The rings themselves snap together tightly and lock together. That helps to ensure that your pages will stay put and that the rings themselves won’t come out of alignment with each other.

The first one that I purchased was one of their 0.5″ clear overlay case binders. I used it to store my personal collection of autographed Twins rookie and prospect cards. My collection has grown over time and I have since upgraded to the 1″ version of the same case.

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As you can see, my collection is well protected and those cards aren’t going anywhere! I could drop that binder on the ground and throw it around the house and not worry about the condition of the cards contained within. I can stand the binder up on a shelf, or I can make use of its flat surface and stack multiple binders together. There is no other binder I would even think about using to protect my collection.

UniKeep is now offering case binders made specifically for trading card collectors. Their “Sports Card Collection” kit binder includes a large 1.5″ black case binder with outer snap locks and comes preloaded with 10 poly pages which can hold up to 18 standard cards back-to-back per page. The binder is quite roomy and can fit quite a few pages—perfect for those collecting full sets!

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As you can see, not only does the binder itself look impressive, the cards look amazing inside of it! Just imagine having a full set of Allen & Ginter’s or maybe your favorite team sets sitting safely inside one of these trading card case binders. Not only would they be protected better than they would be in any other standard 3-ring binder, they’d look flat out awesome in it, too!

SPECIAL CRACKIN’ WAX UNIKEEP COUPON CARD
All those who were in the recent Allen & Ginter’s charity case break received specially produced coupon cards with an exclusive offer of 50% off your ENTIRE online order! This discount offer was created exclusively for Crackin’ Wax break participants AND their friends. Just go to unikeep.com/crackinwax, check out their great inventory of awesome collection protection and other hobby and craft solutions, then use your special coupon code to get HALF OFF your order! Better hurry, though. This special offer expires August 31 2014!

If you’re looking for a better way to protect your cards or if you’re just fed up with flimsy standard 3-ring binders, I highly suggest UniKeep and their Sports Card Collection kit binder. They’ve got my stamp of approval and I’m confident they’ll get yours, too!

Big Brothers Big Sisters

On this day last week, I was busy sorting, bagging and packing all of the awesome cards and hits pulled from our case of 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter. Today, I donated my portion of all of the generous donations that YOU sent in for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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This joint effort with Steve from The Case Breakers brought in a grand total of $1235 for BBBS. WOW! I can’t tell you how much you guys all freaking rock! As with all of my charity breaks, $5 from each spot was set aside to be donated. With a total of 62 spots between both our cases, $310 was raised just from spots alone. That means that YOU donated nearly an additional $1000! DOUBLE WOW!

I’d like to thank the following people for making donations for the mega-huge Mystery Prize Pack: Adam S., Alexander O., Anthony L., Bobby W., Bryan M., Christopher R., David H., Deborah P., Deborah U., Edwin J., Helaine C., James H., Jeroen B., Jim K., Jim P., John S., Justin R., Kathleen W., Kent R., Kerry B., Kris C., Lucas R., Marissa F., Mark M., Matthew F., Nick P., Olaf H., Richard B., Robert A., Ronald R., Ross M., Ryan P., Thomas O., Thomas Y., and Tracy L.

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HITS! HITS! HITS!!
The entire day before I busted through that case of A&G, I had a really good feeling that we were going to be in for something special, and boy was I right!



To see all of the hits pulled, just visit my Sports Card Album!

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!
I just want to give a GIANT shout-out to Steve from The Case Breakers for stepping up to the plate this year and knocking the cover off of the ball and sending it completely out of the park! I also want to, once again, send out an ENORMOUS shout-out and thank you to Ultra Pro, UniKeep, Sports Card Album and Alex O. for supporting this great cause and donating fantastic prizes! A MASSIVE congratulations to David H. for winning the Mystery Prize Pack which was filled with all of those amazing donated prizes. Finally, THANK YOU ALL for your support, your patience (I know my multiple posts and never-ending tweets day and night promoting my charity breaks can get a bit overwhelming for some), your enthusiasm and your generosity! YOU are the reason I do charity breaks and charity breaks are the reason I’m still in this hobby. I appreciate you beyond words and may never be able to thank you all enough… but I will try!

THANK YOU!!


UP NEXT…
I’ve been asked by numerous people to do a non-charity break, and those folks want me to do Bowman Chrome. There’s a very good chance I’ll do just that and it would be as a random team break. The only thing that MIGHT interfere with that particular break is that, as of right now, it is scheduled for release right when the lovely Literal Quirk and I will be out of commission for a while. Whether or not the Bowman Chrome random team case break happens, the Private Break WILL DEFINITELY happen. There is still no confirmed break date for this and I am still getting more boxes in. Don’t worry, though. All those being invited will be getting an e-mail from me with all the dirty details once things become a bit more finalized.

ICYMI
My lovely wife, the talented card sorter, the beautiful and amazing Literal Quirk has officially joined Crackin’ Wax as a contributing author. She’ll be posting under a new section of the blog called “The Better Half.” Last night, she published her first Crackin’ Wax entry–and it’s a freaking gem! Go read it. Then make someone else read it. If you don’t, you’re a jerk. I still love you, though. Ya big jerk. :)

(Oh the humanity!)
(Not really…I’m just dramatic.)

Hello, readers of Crackin’ Wax! Chris has asked me to write a piece about the woes of being married to him. Ahem, I mean, to a card blogger/breaker. Actually he’s a pretty great guy– I could write for days about being his partner-in-crime and expound on his virtues, but that wouldn’t be as interesting as airing my grievances, right? Right. Onward.

I’m Amy, Crackin’ Wax’s wife, a.k.a. Literal Quirk. You may know my hunched-over torso from my not-so-stellar, on camera sorting abilities. Here’s a Brady-Bunch grid of our family:

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I used to live here, where I’d post about wretchedly embarrassing moments. If you want a good laugh or enjoy peeing your pants, give this one a read. I’ve now set up shop at Literal Quirk but have apparently been out-to-lunch since April. My intention is to get back to regularly posting in the fall. I appreciate Chris’ offer to go all 5th-grade-creative-writing on this site; I promise to relinquish controls back to him after I hit “publish”.

I wish there was a manual for “Living with a Card Blogger/Sports Enthusiast/Boy” because, WOW, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Since no such manual exists, I thought I’d create an FAQ for this topic:

Q: How will our house look before, during and one week following a break?
A: Say goodbye to any clean, open surfaces – each and every one of them will be covered with stacks of cards, post-it notes, bubble-wrap, web-cam/laptop cables, packing tape, and approximately 1000 pieces of card-protectors. Give up the idea that you have a dining room; this is a complete lie and it will forever be filled with eleventy-six cardboard boxes, ranging from jewelry-box size to coffin because “I might need that!”

Q: What if we have cats?
A: Your cats will constantly be jonesing to knock over a precariously stacked team-set so start training them to live in one room for about a week. Quickly realize that said room will be covered in an inch of cat hair and contain a very questionable aroma. Invest in Febreze and a turbo-brush for your vacuum. Ahh forget that. You’ll just have to burn that room down and re-build.

Q: Will I receive any mail?
A: No. You will never receive another piece of mail because nothing but Take-My-Cards SASE’s will take up all the room in the box. Note: SASE’s will be placed in strategic piles that you can’t possibly understand but “DON’T MOVE THEM, YOU’LL MESS UP THE SYSTEM!”

Q: What will be my husband’s name?
A: A shortened, dippy-version of his real name that he would NEVER answer to unless it’s via his blog/twitter/breaks. If you ever call him by this dippy-version, he’ll say “don’t even” like a Kardashian. If you’d like to change your name from, say, Matthew to Thew, this will be acceptable to the blog community, but not elsewhere; elsewhere, you will be called a douche bag.

Q: Will I get to practice photography?
A: Oh yes. Be ready for “Do you have a quick sec to take a photo?” to turn into a full-out, hour-long session. You will take photos of the card-breaker, cards, cases of cards and boxes about to be shipped. Prepare for the fierce glamour of it all.

Q: What is the diet of a card-breaker?
A: Outside of breaks, it’s pretty darn healthy, but during breaks, dark-chocolate MnM’s and Mountain Dew will be main-lined like heroin. When the break is over, the card-breaker will almost always be confused as to why he’s wired and has a gut ache. Note: Responding with “Really?” will not be seen as supportive feedback.

Q: What will be the constant soundtrack of our home?
A: This sound will be omnipresent. FOR REAL. It will haunt your dreams.

All kidding aside, I’m terribly proud of Chris and all that his blog and all of you in the card-collecting-community have done for various non-profits. I find myself getting excited for breaks and feel lucky to be a part of the experience! Until next time, as TOPHER (good Lord) would say, “Keep Crrrrackin’ that Wax!”