And Justice for All: Hobby Talk with Chris Justice – Part 2
We continue our conversation with YouTube box breaking sensation, Chris Justice, owner of The Hobby Shop and CardsInfinity.com. In part 2, we discuss his store, the future of the hobby and, yes, Stanley the Mojo Sword. You can read the first part here.
What is the story behind Stanley?
My brother has always collected weird swords and knives. He got the knife at the Fayetteville flea market. I think he paid like $20 for it. So, he had all of the knives and stuff lying around collecting dust and he asked me to sell some on eBay for him.
Like most of my auctions, I started it at $0.75, but the knife was heavy, so the shipping was going to be like $12 or something. Anyway, this kid that always comes in my store all the time, he buys everything off of eBay from me. He comes and picks it up so he saves on shipping. Well go figure, he was the only person to bid on that knife for 75 cents! So he comes in to pick it up and I said, “Dude, do you really want this?" He goes, "I am not going to take it from you for that." I would have given it to him for winning it. He was cool about it, though. He knew it was worth more than that.
After that, I just chucked it in a box at my store and forgot about it. Then, Tattoo came in, and for some reason we decided to open a box with it. We called it the ‘mojo sword'. The first box we opened with it some major hit came out which I can't really remember. “We are going to have to use the ‘mojo sword' more often!" The next box we busted with it some dual auto came out.
It was working magic, which is just a joke.
Then people took to it and were getting superstitious about it. One day, someone asked what the name of the knife was and I just said, “Stanley", not thinking anything of it. Well, it turns out people were reading my comments and the next day I got on email from a guy who ordered a box from me and asked if I would use Stanley to open his box. I just laughed. I thought it was funny. That is the legend of Stanley.
What is your reaction to the idea that you are the local hobby shop to the collectors that don't have one?
Wow, I've never really thought about it from that angle. That's awesome! Really, there is no other way to say it. I knew that people would check me out to see all of the new stuff that comes out, and then maybe live vicariously through the breaks. To think some people come check out my videos because I'm their local hobby store because they don't have one, that's pretty cool!
Where did the phrase "That'll doozer" come from?
I was bartending back in the late 90s. I had a regular that had his own business laying hardwood floors. He had a big job to get done in this huge house that he had been putting off. He came in one day and asked me if I had the day off the next day. I said, "Yes, I do. Why? What's up?"
He said, "Dude I need your help laying hardwood floors."
I thought, "I don't know anything about laying hardwood floors."
He said, "I will show you man, I will do the cuts, you can just help me get it in." I figured, how hard could that be? Me, him and another guy spent the next day dripping sweat and glue, trying to get it done. With glue in my hair and an absolute mess, feeling miserable, we got the last board in. I stood up and said, "That'll doozer." My friend died laughing. I don't know if he was delirious or what, but I started laughing at him laughing! From that day forward, every time he came to the bar and he got the check, he would say, "That'll doozer!"
Why don't you sell singles in your shop?
I do have a few in my shop in a corner but to be honest, no big names. To me, most hobby stores, to make money, have to up-charge on singles. Then, you are competing against eBay, too. Then, there is the market fluctuation. Let's say Blake Griffin is the hottest thing going and is selling for $500-$600. The next week he is down to $300. It's hard to sell singles sometimes, so I just don't mess with it.
See, there are three things I loathe: people who cheat people, people who scam people and people who are dishonest. If someone is spending their hard-earned money on something you're selling, you should be as honest about that product as you can be.
I used to sell packs too. Kids would come in and ask, “Out of that box, did any of the hits already get pulled?" I then would know for a fact that some guy just came in, bought ten packs, and got all four hits. I would say, “Yeah, a guy came in and pulled all four hits." Naturally, they wouldn't buy them. Then I am stuck with half of an opened box. I just know that if you spend your money, I'm not going to lie. That's why I got out of the pack business altogether.
Are you optimistic about the future of the hobby?
The way I look at cards, and I think a lot of people do, is like a stock. People know that they can get a certain player at a certain price, and then it's possible they can sell that player or card down the road for more than what they paid for it. Plus, there are always new rookies coming out. The rookies are what keep the value of cards going. As long as there is a monetary value behind it, that will keep going. It is up to the card companies to continue to keep up with the technology and innovation to create cards we want. They have the basics pretty spot on. As long as the quality is there, meaning rookie classes and the products created, you will always have people collecting.