Welcome to Crackin’ Wax!

Posted: May 6, 2015 by topher in General
Hello and welcome! Please, make yourself at home. Looking to join a good case break? Just head up to the Crackin’ Wax Case Breaks menu! Have some Twins autographs you’d like to get rid of? Go check out my “Want List!” Want to know what my wife thinks of her husband collecting baseball cards? Then you should read “The Better Half!” Looking for new blog posts? Just scroll down.

And now, a video of our cat making baseball cards…

Earlier today, I launched a survey polling those in our Group Breaks Mailing List asking which products they would like us to use in our charity case breaks in 2016. As I was drawing up the survey, I had a good sense of what the survey-takers would choose. So far, my intuition has proven to be correct—even down to the least popular choice.

I only like to conduct breaks using products that I know will be popular, will sell out, and will help to raise charity. That being said, I have never used any Panini products in a case break. Yes, I have busted Panini boxes in charity and private breaks in the past, but never Panini cases. So, what is the problem with Panini, anyway?

In my limited experience with Panini products held mostly to baseball, it’s clear that my personal opinion is weighted by two factors: product quality and MLB licensing—or lackthereof in both cases. Perhaps, however, my personal problem with Panini is my limited experience. One could argue that the limitations on my experience with the product have been imposed by the dominating presence of hobby giant Topps. So far in 2015, Panini has released Cooperstown, Donruss, Diamond Kings, Elite, Immaculate, Prizm, and Stars and Stripes. That represents just a mere fraction of what Topps has produced so far just this year.

Quantity isn’t everything, however. Just because Topps clogs up the release calendar doesn’t mean that some of their own releases aren’t pure bloat. Quality is, in my opinion, far more important than quantity. As stated before, however, that’s one of my issues with Panini. Donruss was a well-intentioned call-back to the 80s staple that just didn’t click, Prizm came off like a powder-coated cheap rip-off of the more well-established Topps Chrome (I kid you not, I still find that Prizm dust all over the place), Cooperstown was a good idea that somehow managed to feel awkward (to me, at least), and Triple Play was fun as a one-time pack break that did nothing to make me want to come back.

True, that’s just my personal opinion—but what about those who were polled earlier today? What do they have against Panini? In that poll I asked participants to rank in order of preference 10 different 2016 baseball products that they would like us to use in charity case breaks, then asked to do the same for 10 more 2016 baseball products, then asked for write-ins of any products that I missed. Based primarily on past trends with our breaks as well as my own personal opinion, I only included Panini Donruss in the survey. As I write this, Donruss sits dead last on the poll and only Diamond Kings and Elite have been written-in (once each). To me, that says Panini has not done enough to capture the attention of collectors in 2015.

Of course, this is a very small sample size and does not represent the collecting community as a whole, but I believe it does represent a crucial thought in the industry, which is that Panini is clearly a distant second to Topps. I want to be able to run charity case breaks with Panini products that collectors want. I want Panini to capture the attention and imagination of collectors all over the world, even without an official MLB license (although, in my opinion, having one would go a long way).

As a collector, what do you think is the problem with Panini, if any at all?

Reserve Your Bowman Draft Spot

Posted: September 30, 2015 by topher in Bowman Draft, Case Break
Tags: , ,
2015 Bowman Draft

The upcoming Topps Update Jumbo case break is sold out, and that means it’s time to fill up the 2015 Bowman Draft Super Jumbo case break! We’re expecting to pull 30 hits, the average spot price is just $66, and we offer skunk protection. Spots will not be fully priced until after the official checklist has been released, but you can reserve your spot now for just $20 and pay the rest of your spot later! Just head up to the Crackin’ Wax Case Breaks menu and click on 2015 Bowman Draft Super Jumbo to get started.

Hey! Look! I Found Some Star Wars Cards!

Posted: September 29, 2015 by topher in Star Wars
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Those of you who know me here or on Twitter know I have a, uhh, tendency—we’ll call it—to bitch about the inconsistency of stocked trading card product at the local retailers in the Twin Cities. Whether the product is released early, on time, two months late, or not at all, there’s just no way to know what to expect at Target or Wal-Mart. Is the local distributor to blame? Are the manufacturers to blame? Are the products sometimes just completely selling out before I even see them? Perhaps, in an effort to keep my spending “responsible,” LQ is contacting all of the local retailers to sabotage me. Ya know, because I’m the only one up here buying retail and everything is always all about me. Topps’ new non-sports product “Star Wars—The Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has been out for a while now and today is the first time I’ve seen any at any of the local retailers. All that were available were hanger packs, so I pounced on four packs to sample.


Thankfully, the Prequel cards are light in the set. Given what the set is supposed to represent, it would be dumb not to have any. Smartly, many of the cards are presented in landscape. I mean, it’s not like these movies were shot portrait style, right? These cards have that beautiful vintage look and feel, right down to the classic cardboard backs.


Quite geniously, instead of spilling any spoilerific information regarding the new yet-to-be-released sequel “The Force Awakens,” Topps created 9-piece puzzles for the back end of the base checklist.


They would look perfect in 9-pocket binder pages if it weren’t for the pesky 10th card in each puzzle previewing how each puzzle should look.


Because I’m a Complainey Complainerson and a non-practicing Grammar Elitist, that card should either read “THIS IS HOW YOUR COMPLETED…PUZZLE WILL LOOK” or “THIS IS WHAT YOUR COMPLETED…PUZZLE WILL LOOK LIKE,” not “THIS IS HOW YOUR COMPLETED…PUZZLE WILL LOOK LIKE.”


The parallels look nice, but my one gripe would be the black card numbers in the dark blue graphic on the black bordered cards. Can you see them? If so, congrats! You have much better eyes than I!



I got a nice mix of inserts in my four hanger packs. They’re all slick lookin’ and seem like they would be fun to complete. The upper left is a Chewbacca cloth sticker. Also, those are two completely different Kylo Ren stickers, not parallels.

If memory serves, these are the first non-sports trading cards I’ve purchased since Batman Returns came out. Being that I’m a big ol’ Star Wars nerd and that I am into trading cards, these were just as fun for me as I remember those 80s Batman cards being. Just from the small sample that I was able to find, it seems that Topps has absolutely nailed this one. Aside from a few minor things that could use adjustments or improvements, this set seems to be very close to being perfect. After busting these packs, I am seriously considering putting together the base set. Even if I don’t, my nephews are ridiculously huge Star Wars fans. I’m sure I could easily hand these off to them.

Job well done, Topps!

Bowman Draft Pre-Sale Tomorrow Morning!

Posted: September 28, 2015 by topher in Bowman Draft
Tags: , ,

Now that the upcoming Topps Update Jumbo case break has been sold out, I’ll be taking reservations for spots in the 2015 Bowman Draft Super Jumbo case break! A pre-sale exclusive to subscribers of our Group Breaks Mailing List starts at 7am C tomorrow morning (Tuesday September 29 2015). If you want to be one of the first in line to reserve your spots in our Bowman Draft break, be sure to subscribe before the pre-sale begins. Subscribers will be e-mailed a link to the pre-sale at 7am C tomorrow morning! Good luck!

Today’s post was written by my wife, the card-sorting genius Literal Quirk (or “LQ”), on another blog to which she is a popular contributor. The article is absolutely hilarious and the topics contained therein are SO HER that I just had to share with all of our readers here. So, please, read her hilarious account of 30 minutes at a laundromat as posted at Hardly Serious.