Beckett Media under fire (again)

When I first heard that Beckett had started it’s own blog I thought it was the coolest thing around. After all, I had just gotten back into the hobby and had just created Wax Heaven (called Canseco Completist back then). Every day I would check out their blog to see what new content had been added and it was obvious that they were the most-visited card blog around (100K views in 3 months). One day they decided to photograph a huge stack of Wayne Gretzky rookie cards which appeared to be carelessly thrown on a table and all hell broke loose. I never imagined so many collectors would be up in arms over it but to me, I just couldn’t relate because I would never have a card graded by Beckett or anyone else. To me, grading is a complete scam but that’s A subject that has already been covered by guest writer Greg Armentrout.

This time around Beckett is in deep you-know-what over a video box break in which they pulled some seriously sick cards including an autograph 1/1. For me, someone who loves video box breaks…I have not watched one of their videos since they opened a few of the $400 per pack Sports Kings. It seems that they open mostly high-end stuff that has very little appeal to a thrifty collector like myself. So as you can imagine, I missed this video plus it’s football so no thanks! Well, after those pulls people began accusing Beckett of getting “special” boxes straight from Upper Deck. The theory is that if we the collectors see what two random boxes can hold, we’d all go out and buy this overpriced product. Personally, I don’t know if they are in cahoots with Upper Deck or not but I will hope for the best.

The thing that drives me mad is that the same angry, rant-filled collectors that are bitching to Beckett in their blog and message board are the same people who are first in line when Beckett offers something for free. For example, last month Beckett offered master subscriptions of their magazine and like a bunch of sheep, close to 350 people took a chance. The same goes for a hobby limerick they asked collectors to write.

So here is a Wax Heaven poll for all the readers who visit this site. Who, if anyone is at fault?

A. Beckett & Upper Deck are partners in crime

B. Beckett received 2 “hot boxes” from U.D without knowledge

C. The pulls were nothing but crazy luck captured on camera

D. I don’t care if they drink the blood of baby kittens just as long as I can score some FREE stuff!



  1. Dude, it’s (A). Upper Deck did it and Beckett knew it was coming. See the Beckett video for the absolute and complete disinterest when they pull a Walter Payton / Brian Picolo dual cut autograph – pull of a friggin lifetime for any collector. And Tracey Hackler says “Oh, that’s a nice card”, like they pulled a common of San Francisco’s punter or something. Plus the Purple Jesus patch auto 1/1, and the LT 1/1, and the Quad Auto, all out of 2 “random” boxes. I can see why people are pissed. Collectors are paying from $500-600 for this ONE PACK, and they are pulling garbage, no cuts, no 1/1’s. Topps & UD are shooting themselves in the foot this year, and I hope they watched the Dr Wax Battle show last week. Of course, as long as we keep collecting, what do they care. Guys like Mario and I who only collect baseball have no choice anymore. I know I’m not the only one who misses Donruss and Leaf.

  2. I have that Beckett lying around somewhere. That picture immediately took me back to the good old days. Which is what makes me sad. Beckett is screwing themselves bad. I had a subscription for like a decade when i was younger. But the mag feel to crap when it started cutting out all the good stuff. Now it has practically no articles, very few readers questions, and the card callendar is spare, well at least for ohio, even so it’s free now on-line without a subscription. Hocking printing plates for the covers, establishing prices for their own cards from sage, for shame. Don’t get me wrong if a Canseco pops up on their seller services i’ll buy it but i’m sure as h#ll not subscribing again. Go buy boxes from Wal-Mart and then review them! Watching those guys pull great cards and throw them around and not give a damn is how i found this site anyway. Mario you do a better job than they do so don’t worry you’ll out pace their blog hits someday.

  3. Yeah, it was an awesome cover. I am going to eventually own all 4 Beckett mags that Jose was the cover boy for.

    Great idea about the blasters. I think you hit onto something that might work.

  4. As a person who has bought a few hundred dollars worth of blasters this year from all different Topps and UD brands, my advice is save your money. Instead of buying 3 blasters for $20 apiece, buy 1 hobby from your local shop or card show. Every blaster I’ve bought this year has yeilded me nothing but dubs and trips of the same base cards, and an occasional Willie Wilson Topps gold parallel. The blasters are cheap bc there is nothing in them. The insert ratios are astronomical. For the price of one UD blaster, you can buy 5 hobby packs of 07 A & G and have a much better overall experience.

  5. It doesn’t matter if Beckett knew or not, they fact that they are using free product to advertise that product gives them the air of impropriety. Consumer Reports doesn’t take free products from advertisers specifically so their reviews can be trusted. What Beckett is doing with their box breaks is misleading advertising even if both they and Upper Deck is completely innocent.

    All Beckett has to do is take the freebies they get from Upper Deck and give them away unopened in contests, then go out and buy a couple of boxes from two random dealers for their video box breaks. That way everybody’s happy and there are absolutely no shenanigans going on. If Beckett can’t fit those boxes in their budget because they are too goddamn expensive nowadays, well, they made their own bed, let ’em lie in it.

    As for Charlie’s comment, hobby boxes are good for hits, blasters are good for building sets. Decide if you want hits or sets and buy accordingly.

  6. Good idea idea about Beckett buying their own boxes dayf!! Helps support shops too.

    Also, I’m not bashing retail blasters. All I’m saying is Hobby is a better value. Por ejemplo:

    2008 Topps Series 1

    Retail Blaster – 10 packs / 10 cards per / $20
    Equals: 20 cents per card

    Hobby Box – 36 packs / 10 cards per / $55
    Equals: 15.3 cents per card + much higher odds of pulling a gold / black / auto, or other #’d inserts. Plus more cards for less money for setbuilders, which I am.

  7. I also find that hobby boxes usually are a better deal for sets because of collation; even if you can get more cards than a hobby box for the same price with two or three blasters, chances are you will be stuck with a pile of doubles and triples. Essentially, the real reason I get blasters (legitimate reason) is because there isn’t a shop in my city proper and I can only get hobby boxes on e-bay.

  8. Here, here Hoiles! That is actually what I was saying. For base product you actually do get more cards for less money by buying Hobby.(If you can get it in your area) 🙂

  9. It really is B. It’s a more exciting story if it wasn’t, but the answer is B.

    There have been some great suggestions here and on our blog about future Box Breaks. Keep the constructive comments coming.

    No matter how foul it gets (somebody called us turds the other day in a comment, for gosh sakes! Funny.), we still listen and many times act constructive comments.

    Keep up the good work here in The Heaven. Good blog. — pepper at beckett

  10. Question for Pepper: has Beckett revealed this info on the website? Some sort of disclaimer that UD was not entirely honest and similar boxes should not be expected by consumers?

  11. I think the worst thing about these Beckett box breaks is that these two guys just aren’t even collectors. It’s quite obvious Tracey knows nothing about cards or sports in general. How in the hell did he get this gig? That’s like me doing completely disinterested commentary on the WNBA. Could they ever get excited about anything? The corporate investing enity that Beckett has become is nauseating and sad. If they really want to do good box breaks have real collectors enter a drawing or an essay contest. Then have a box break filmed at their closest card shop with cards purchased at the shop and let them keep their cards. Then we could see the real excitement and disapointment that box breaks in the real world brings. Oh, and fire Tracey. He could work in a quilting shop or something he’s a little more interested in.

  12. Did Pepper just throw Upper Deck under the bus??


    I’m going to go right out and buy the new TuffBeckettStuff Sports Collectors BiMonthly thingy magazine now!

  13. Go to beckett’s site right now. Check out the new box break for Press Pass. it says the box “was pulled off the production line at the printing facility north of Dallas.” That tells you right there that they are getting whatever the companies want to give them. They aren’t insuring any level of confidence. Press Pass can just give Beckett any collation of cards they want. I really liked the Consumer Reports idea. Give that advanced box of Press Pass to a happy Beckett reader and review a box Beckett buys. End of story end of controversy. Beckett should really shake thier practices up a bit.

  14. I guess I am in the minority here but I just don’t care what Beckett pulls. They have given away so much the past few years that it kind of evens out. I remember before the new ownership they would put everything away for “future research” and rarely give away cards pulled.

  15. It’s B. Beckett has opened HUNDREDS of boxes over the years. If UD was going to stack the box content, why did they wait til now? And if they did, why would they tip Beckett in advance?

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