Category Archives: Box Breaks

Box Break: 2000 E-X (Very nice hit!!)

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24 Packs

4 Cards per pack

Price: $43 + shipping

 

 

 

 

 

Hey everyone!  I know it’s been a couple weeks but I have a great excuse.  I was out working on an Alaska Dream Cruise ship as the children’s coordinator and I had one amazing experience 🙂  Here is a shot I took of Dawes glacier to prove I really have been busy.

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Anyhow, I did return home to an epic mailday and a sealed box of 2000 Fleer EX baseball. The E-X sets have always been something I enjoy looking at.  They have thicker stock and typically have really good looking inserts not matter what the year.  They became famous later in the years following this set, and in 1999 for their translucent base cards.  In the past I opened several 1999 E-X Century boxes when they were in the 40 range and the base cards are quite nice.

The following year Fleer went back to these for the base cards:

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I was only 10 or so away from the base set so that was certainly exciting!  A young man who goes to church with me loves baseball cards and is getting into collecting the “old school” cards.  He’s going to be putting most of my breaks’ base cards into organized sets, most of which he will be keeping for his own collection.  Someone has to teach him about the good ol’ days right?  A handful of base were peeling off the cardstock but thankfully my Rodriguez was not one of them.

Prospects (1:12 Packs)

There are 30 prospects in total that come in this set, the most of the time being Rick Ankiel, Pat Burrell, and Alfonso Soriano.  They stand out a little with their gold lettering and prospect wording.  There were two in this box:

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Generation E-X (1:8 packs)

Every set has to have some easier to find inserts with talented young players.  This set fits the bill here.  Nothing major to write home about but as you all know, I do love shiny inserts whether they’re tough to pull or not.  I received 3 in this box; Alex Rodriguez, Shawn Green, and Adam Kennedy.

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E-Xciting (1:24 packs)

These reminded me of a fleer ultra insert from the 1996-97 Basketball set called Fresh Faces.  Coming in at 1 per box, you always hope to find a player out of the 15 card set that you’re happy to get.  While the uniform isn’t the “right” one in this picture, it was great to see The Kid.

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E-Xplosive (Random Odds)

These inserts are all #d to 2499…yeah in a 2000 product!  My feeling is that Fleer wanted to give collectors the feeling of getting a numbered card, no matter how high that number might be.  There was one in this box of one of the best hitters of all time:

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E-Xceptional (Random Odds)

There are 3 different subsets of these Jambalaya look alikes: Red (#d to 1999),

Green (#d to 999), and Blue (#d to 250).  I managed to pull one Green from this box.  They are really unique feeling and looking cards!  My card tried to throw itself at me like a broken bat…thankfully I was prepared.

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Skybox Autographics (One game used or Autograph per box)

Well this blog sure has luck with 2000 boxes containing big time autographs doesn’t it?  If you remember, when I reviewed my box of 2000 SPX I linked John’s Break where the best pull this blog has had showed up.  This one is probably the best card I’ve had the pleasure of pulling out of an Old School box so far:

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Yeah that’s a sledgehammer he’s swinging!  I’m sure that’s how to got to be jacked when he played 😉 Nevertheless, what an awesome On-Card autograph to see come out of a pack. Barry was an amazing hitter regardless of what he did off the field.  I still remember his All-Star Game homerun that hit the Giants logo in 1998.  I also remember that he did try to have fun although he was pretty standoffish to reporters.  He’s now the hitting coach for the Florida Marlins who seem to be in the Wild Card hunt now.

I sold the card to a collector on the best forum around Freedom Card Board.  I know he will appreciate this as much as I do when a nice A-Rod arrives in the mail.

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A

3 Duplicates.  Enough Said!

Condition: B

Having some of the base cards peeling off the cardstock is going to make it a little tougher to put this base set together.

Pulls: A

Not much can beat a Bonds on-card autograph.  The reason this box doesn’t receive an A+ is because there were no Credential parallels.

Value: B+

Outside of a high-end autograph or Credentials parallel, these aren’t highly sought after cards in general.  I was very fortunate to find the Bonds which is going to allow me to purchase another box + an A-Rod.

I do hope everyone enjoyed the review and for those of you at FCB, I do want to give you all a big shout out because you’ve been a huge help in finding some of my most highly sought after Alex Rodriguez inserts!  Mailday update will be coming when my most recent purchase arrives.

~Matthew

 

 

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Ionix Box Break (Box 2)

After a so-so first box, I found this box the day after via Auction on eBay.  Now the story on this box is interesting to start off with.  In the listing, which was listed as “1999 Ionix Baseball Cards”, the picture was of an unsealed box…this typically isn’t a good sign.  But I won it for $17 with free shipping.  Already I’m thinking this is too good to be true.  This box did take an extra 6 days to arrive in Sitka…yep the mail here can be unpredictable.

After opening the package the packs are practically falling out of the box, but all 20 of them were sealed!  At this point, I’d be happy with 20 packs of base a Techno SP’s to help me with the set I’m building.  However, today I had a pleasant surprise halfway through the box.  Let’s see what all this box had to offer:

Price: $17 (Best deal of all time?) 20 packs with 4 cards per pack

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Base: 70 with close to the same # of duplicates

This is to be expected with such a small base set (60).  But the card I talked about in my last blog post was waiting on the back of one of the first few packs 🙂

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It’s sure fun to pull a card I have fond memories of finding when I opened my first packs of Ionix in 99.  Still can’t believe I got 2 packs for $10 but I still remember trading in a super rave insert from 99 Thunder for it of a no name pitcher.

Techno (1:4 Packs)

Just like the last box, there were 5 within the 20 packs.  In this box was Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, Chipper Jones, Tony Gwynn, and  Juan Gonzalez.  What’s even better is I need all of these for the complete 90 card set.

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Hyper (1:9 Packs)

In the last box there was only one of these, but in this box, as stated on the box in Ant-Man size font, there were 2 in this box. Can’t beat two Hall of Fame players 😉

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Nitro (1:18 Packs)

The first surprise of this box was getting an extra insert.  While these aren’t the most desirable looking inserts, I’ll always take an extra one to help with the set.

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Not sure what is going on in Piazza’s card, but I’m guessing he either just struck out, or popped on straight up to the first baseman.

At this point you know what three inserts are left…see if you can remember which one I said was the best looking insert in Ionix.

 

Warp Zone (1:216 Packs)

I was sure excited to see the back of this card when I opened the pack!  I quickly found a sleeve and toploader.  This set shouldn’t be too tough to put together minus the Jeter and Griffey.  But man, they sure do look nice!

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What wasn’t pulled:

Base Reciprocal ( #d to 750)

Cyber (1:53 Packs)

Techno Reciprocal (#d to 100)

HoloGrFx (1:1500 Packs)

Update: In my everlasting search for an Alex Rodriguez of this, I’ve only spoken to one person who has one.  He is holding onto it so I’m still searching hard for one.  However, I did just purchase a Techno Reciprocal of A-Rod that I will “show off” when it arrives 🙂

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: B

Still a lot of dupes, but not nearly as often or as many.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to put my base set of 60 together now and I received 5 new Techno SP’s.

Condition: A-

I feel like this is an awesome grade considering the box was sitting open in someone’s shop for 16 years.  Only one card was dinged but I got a duplicate of it in perfect condition.

Pulls: A-

It is my hope to one day post an A+ with a box of Ionix but I don’t think it can get much better than this, especially with the history this box had.  I’m still excited about pulling a Warp Zone from a pack!

Value: B

I don’t see a reason to change this grade as I’m guessing some of you use this grade to help you decide what old school boxes to buy (other than Ionix since you’re saving them for me, right?). Hopefully you don’t buy any 90’s boxes with the hopes of reselling anything. That’s just a bonus at this time period.

Thanks for the read, and stay tuned for box 3 as it’s currently in Kent, and could be here tomorrow or Friday!

1999 UD Ionix (Box 1)

When I think back to my favorite product of 1999, my first reaction is to say Ionix by Upper Deck.  Everything about these cards is likable, from the thick stock, the colors, the refractor parallels, and the best high end insert made by Upper Deck, the Hologrfx.   As you can see by the title, this will be the first Ionix box out of at least 3 that I will be reviewing.  I have another en route that came at only $20, so I’m pretty excited to see what hidden treasures await in the future as well.

Price: $32 (20 packs per box, 4 cards per pack)

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There’s a great story that goes with my love for this set.  I remember when the sell sheet came out, and there was a Ken Griffey Jr. card on it.  I told myself it’d be awesome to find that card one day.  I was able to buy 2 packs of this at a card shop in Anchorage, and as fate would have it, there was a Griffey in one of the packs.  Now back then a base card of Jr. was worth a lot to me and my friends.  Safe to say I never stopped loving this set.

Here is what was in box #1, which came from a Canadian card shop:

Base: 71 (18 duplicates)

With a small base set of 60 minus the SP’s, it’s not uncommon to pull a bunch of dupes in a box, even if you’re only getting 80 cards.  What’s really neat about these is that the technology used to make the “bubble|” effect on the background gave each card a unique look to them. This J.D. Drew was worth a pretty penny when he was on fire on his rookie season with St. Louis.

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Techno (1:4 Packs)

These are part of the complete base set, but are short prints, so they fall at 1 per 4 packs.  As expected, there were 5 Techno SP’s in this box: Derek Jeter, Sammy Sosa, Mo Vaughn, Mike Piazza, and Barry Bonds.  These can also come in rarer versions #d to 100 which I will get to later.

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Hyper (1:9 Packs) 

Man the inserts from Ionix look sweet!  There’s something about a glossy, thick baseball card that just makes me love each and every insert set!  Unfortunately, there was only one in this box, Chipper Jones.

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Nitro (1:18 Packs)

Out of all the insert sets, these “pop” the least due to their darker backgrounds.  I was pretty excited to get the player I did though 😉

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Reciprocal (#d to 750, no stated odds)

If you are a refractor lover, then these cars will make you smile!  They sure stand out amongst the base, as these are parallels of the base set, but also feature a different action shot of the player.  Here’s a comparison of the Glavine and a look at the Tino that also came in this box:

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What wasn’t pulled:

Ionix has three REALLY TOUGH cards to pull, and up to this point I’ve opened 5 boxes of this and have never seen these come from a pack.  We also didn’t find a Cyber insert which come in at 1:53 packs.

Techno Reciprocal (#d to 100)

If you want to see what these bad boys look like, take a look at this one currently on eBay: Alex Rodriguez Techno Reciprocal. It’s a little overpriced but there are only 2 on eBay, this one and a Nomar.  I’ve rarely ever seen them on eBay which shows you just how tough they are to come by.  I’ve never seen one with my own eyes, but I imagine they really stand out, just like the regular Reciprocal parallels.

Warp Zone (1:216 packs)

These are the best looking inserts in the set, even more so than the next insert set I’ll cover.  The white border, foil text, and rainbow colors make this stand out more than any other insert I have of Alex Rodriguez.  I payed a pretty penny for this, but it was definitely worth it! I’d really like to put this whole set together 🙂

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HoloGrFx (1:1500 packs)

Here’s the crown jewel of 1999 Ionix.  Can you imagine what it would feel like to see one of these come from a pack?  To add to how amazing these are, I used to have a Rodriguez and I’m still VERY upset at myself for not keeping it before I moved to teach 5th grade.  If anyone knows where an A-Rod exists, I will pay a finders fee before I purchase it!  Here’s an example of the Griffey that I found on photobucket:

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Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: C+ 

Yeah….I literally pulled a duplicate two packs after pulling the same base.  How does this even happen with such a small base set, that quick into the following packs lol? At least the inserts were all different right?

Condition: A

Two key elements in finding cards in good condition, 17 years later: Thick card stock, and no sticking cards.  These didn’t stick together that much and the corners were all very sharp. Really happy about this even though the packs were all shifted to the top of the box.

Pulls: B-

Nothing major to note, and while there was two A-Rod base cards, and a Rodriguez insert, there was no Griffey.  Was hoping to have one to show off to go with my childhood story.  Next box hopefully.

Value: B

I’m not going to base this solely off of the fact that there wasn’t anything that had a high resale value, but the cards are all in excellent condition.  If one were to be into grading cards, these would all grade extremely well.  The B grade is simply for the fact that not inserts were pulled that are considered “high-end”.

BONUS: There was an original price tag of $136 on this box!! Now while this is Canadian currency, that still comes out to $105 in U.S. dollars when this set first dropped.  Yeah, these were highly desirable cards in 1999 🙂

 

2000 SPX Review #2 (Future Hall of Fame Auto)

Growing up, there weren’t many sets that could compare aesthetically to Upper Deck SPX in the 90’s.  Sure, they still make it, but the focus is not on the look of the cards more than the “hits” you get from each box.  This is why some of us prefer to open old school products right? Now John had already opened a box of this years ago, and I had no expectations of finding anything close to his Bonds Game Used/Auto that came out of there.  Here is a link to his break: https://oldschoolbreaks.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/2000-spx-baseball-review-huge-pull/

This box came in at $45 on eBay as a second chance offer which was pretty cool.  The seller even said if I wanted to pick up another box at the same price they would do that as they have 10 more…don’t tempt me 🙂 Inside were 20 packs with 4 cards in each pack.

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Here’s a breakdown of what goodies were inside box #2 on this blog:

Base 70/100 with No Duplicates!

Now that’s something I could get used to!  The base are on thicker card stock and the glossy feel and look to them, makes this one of the better SPX base sets produced.

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SPXcitement (1:4 packs)

These inserts actually look better the more you look at them under the lights.  As I’ve mentioned before, what draws me to products is a lot of inserts, especially cards that are pleasing to the eye, even if they’re not considered high end or rare.  These fit the bill!  In this box there were 4.  Unfortunately we came up one short of the “promised” 5.

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Power Brokers (1:8 Packs)

Again, these have all sorts of reflective foil on them and feature the power hitters of the game.  It’s also neat to see a horizontal insert set as they don’t show up near as often as you’d think.  We ended up with 2 in this box.  Sean Green may surprise you but he had decent power when he was in the majors, including a 4 homer game the same season my Mariner favorite Mike Cameron hit 4 in a single game.

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Heart of the Order (1:8 Packs)

These also feature power hitters from the previous season, and are the most interesting inserts that I pulled from this box.  I really like how you can see the lineup from 1999 that each player was in.  I’m all about the history of the game, and seeing those lineups reminds me of the players I grew up watching.  There were 2 in this box…I can feel myself getting bigger arms already haha!

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Highlight Heroes (1:16 Packs)

Another horizontal insert set, these are pretty interesting cards as they have gold foil lettering and stats of the player along the top and bottom edges.  The Griffey that was in this box was cut a little short and the G on .AVG isn’t all the way there.  While it’s a minor detail, there’s probably a Griffey collector out there that would mind.  I don’t enjoy seeing him in a Reds uniform either!

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SPX Signatures (1:179 packs) WOW!!

There’s a handful of autos in this product that are less desirable than others like most of the rookie autos.  While I was really hoping for a Rick Ankiel rookie auto before picking one up on ebay, I was shocked when I saw what came out of pack number 8….A Chipper Jones on-card autograph!  Not only is this the best pull from a box of mine in 6+ years, but this has to be one of the best looking I’ve seen.  Chipper didn’t sign a lot of cards and this one is in perfect condition.  I’ve received plenty of offers on this card but I can’t let it go unless a true Chipper collector contacts me 🙂

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What wasn’t pulled:

Foundations (1:32 Packs)

Untouchable Talents (1:96 packs)

SPX Radiance (#d to 100) I was really hoping to see one of these!

Other than these there’s of course one guaranteed autograph per box, but generally you’ll see one of those being a rookie autograph.  There are also game used autographs, Mark McGwire autographs, and Ty Cobb bat relics.

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A+

No duplicates!  Any time this is the case it will receive an A+ in my book!  Can you ask for anything better when it comes to collation?

Condition: B-

This was the only downside of this box.  Because these cards have a refractor type finish to them, there were refractor lines on at least half of the base.  There were also a few dinged corners because the cards were stuck together in an off-center way in the packs.  One card, Craig Biggio, looked like a cat played with it in it’s claws as there were several little dots on the card.

Pulls: A

How can you top a future Hall of Fame on card Autograph?  It’d be pretty hard to do that’s for sure.  Not only that, but it was in Mint condition! While the rest of the pulls weren’t anything to write home about, I did get my A-Rod base card 😉

Value: A

One on card auto per box, at $45?  That’s a great deal in my opinion when it comes to a 2000 box! If you like that, as well as some aesthetically pleasing base cards and inserts, then this is definitely a box to try out, you won’t be disappointed.  Please keep in mind that both of the boxes we’ve reviewed for the blog aren’t “typical” boxes, but you never know, you may just get lucky like we did!

1996 SPx Baseball Review (John is BACK!)

First off, I’d just like to thank anyone who has been reading this blog though the years. The fact that my reviews still are still gaining views and comments years after they’ve been posted online (especially after a long dormancy years ago), means a lot to me. I especially want to thank Matthew for his amazing work and keeping the blog alive with new content. Since he can’t have all the fun, I decided to bust a box of 1996 SPx baseball today. Old school SPx cards are some of my all-time favorites! Anyway, I may be a little rusty at this (after it’s been SIX years since I’ve done a review) but here goes nothing!

Box Details: 36 packs per box, 1 card per pack, $30

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Base set: The base set is comprised of 60 cards. Each card features features a small action shot of the player as well as a close-up and second action shot using holoview technology. The perimeter of each card features a die-cut design and a special color corresponding to the player’s team. In this box I received 29 base cards, completing 48.3% of the set in the process. I did not receive a single duplicate.

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old Parallel (60 cards, 1:7 packs): Derek Jeter, Wade Boggs, Ron Gant, Jason Kendall, Rey Ordoñez

It was somewhat strange pulling cards 42, 43, 44, 46, and 47 for my gold parallels but I was very stoked to find that Jeter!


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ound for Glory (10 cards, 1:24 packs): Manny Ramirez

This set features some of the game’s best of the mid ’90s but it doesn’t differ very much from the base set.

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Ken Griffey, Jr. Commemorative  Card #KG1 (1:75 packs)

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Mike Piazza Commemorative Card #MP1 (1:95 packs)

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A+

Like I stated earlier, I received no duplicates in this box. Those that were paying close attention may have noticed that I actually received an extra card in this box. One pack had two base cards instead of one and brought my total to 37 instead of 36. 🙂

Condition: B

I was a little worried that between all the die-cut edges and foil that I could end up with several damaged cards but this box was actually relatively kind! Aside from some damage on the back edge of one of my base cards and a severe centering issue on another, the cards were in excellent shape.

Pulls: A-

I really can’t complain here. I received both Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza commemorative cards as well the one gold parallel I wanted more than any other in Jeter. I was also happy to get a second Yankee gold parallel in Boggs. A different Bound for Glory insert would’ve been nice but I still can’t complain. Realistically, I did about as well as I could without pulling one of the very rare autographed Commemorative cards, both of which are seeded 1:2000 packs.

Value: B+

This was a very fun break for the price of about $34 after shipping. Many other sellers online are asking for anywhere between $45-65 not including shipping. You will get a pretty decent starter set for a very attractive product as well as a few cool inserts and parallels. If you are really fortunate, you can pull a great early certified autograph of a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

For a complete checklist of this product, click here.

Overall Grade: A-