Guide to Collecting Hobby Boxes
While many, if not all, of the base cards and low-level insert cards pulled from Hobby boxes will coincide with those found in Retail boxes, Hobby products boast a significantly higher ratio of special inserts on a per-box and per-case basis. These premium cards, commonly known as hits, include certified autograph cards, game-used memorabilia patch cards, serial numbered cards, and more. Hobby boxes also tend to include a higher saturation of rookie cards and inserts. In many cases, they will feature a selection of exclusive cut autographs, multi-color jersey patches, multi-signature cards, and other premium inserts that aren't available in Retail boxes.
Collectors in search of mid-level or high-end chase cards, autographs, and game-used memorabilia patches will generally be best served buying Hobby boxes. Of course, Hobby boxes tend to be roughly 1.5x to 2x more expensive than retail box versions. However, the odds of pulling a nice hit from a Hobby box versus a Retail box is dramatically greater—enough so to warrant this additional cost in the minds of most card collectors.
High-end sports card collectors who have their sights set on brands like Immaculate Collection and National Treasures, Topps Dynasty and Topps Five Star, or Upper Deck The Cup have no choice in the matter. These sets, like most other premium sports card products, are distributed exclusively in Hobby box form. There are also several mid-end sports card products which, for one reason or another, are exclusively manufactured as Hobby boxes.
Related Topics: How To: Boxes / Cases | How To: General