Quick Product Reviews

At Area 51, we not only want to educate new collectors, but we also want to give you our honest opinions about the wide array of products that we talk about. Some of the easiest products to get are at “Big-Box Stores” like Target and Wal-Mart, so many of our reviews are on those products so you know what you’re potentially buying on the next grocery run. Occasionally we’ll throw in the hobby box reviews as well so you can tell if that “deal” you are getting is really a deal after all.

To give you an all encompassing review and convey both an investment and an every-day collector aspect to each product, we established our “51 Point” grading scale that gives you all the details you may want as a buyer. What is that scale you ask? Here is the breakdown:


(Card Quality – Colors, Centering, Cuts, etc.) POINTS = /10
The gradeability of a product stems from the quality of the manufacturing. Will this product grade well? Are the borders of the cards a color that will show white edging? Is the print run centered well? Grading is a cornerstone for the investing side of the hobby and this rating will ensure your investment is a worthwhile financial decision before you ever crack a pack. 


(Resale/Investment – Prestige, Rookie Quality) POINTS = /10
The value rating of a product evaluates short term resell value and long term holding value. A flagship product from a major manufacturer will have a higher value rating. The value rating also looks into the rookie card checklist. Does this product have the potential for future Hall of Fame rookies? A high value rating will ensure that the product you are purchasing is a product that will fair well with quick flipping and long term holds.


(Flair – Looks, Foiling, White-Plating, Aesthetics) POINTS = /10
The Presentation rating grades how ascetically pleasing a product is. A high presentation rating will be the result of a product having good use of color, technology, and refractor usage. Good imagery, and an overall “Prettiness” will net higher scores as they are more pleasing to the eye for both new and old collectors alike.


(Collectability – Product Depth, Big Names, Inserts) POINTS = /10
To score a high Collectors Choice score a product must have a good depth. Will a collector want to complete a set of this release? A good mix of veteran and rookie players in the base set checklist will result in a higher score. A higher Collector’s Choice score will also need desirable memorabilia and autograph inserts. This rating will reflect how much a product will stand out to the every-day hobbyists.


(Product Uniqueness – Big Hits, Quality of a Pack, etc.) POINTS = /10
The wow factor rating is just what it sounds like. Will this product be unique to open? Is this a product is has a lot of heat on the market? A higher wow factor score will be the result of a product having big hits and plenty of them. This is also a solid judge of the “Fun Factor” of the product for things like breaks and hit drafts. This rating summarizes the hype for you. 

The Grading Scale – How It Works

Every product starts with 1 Point (cause someone thought it was worth making, therefore it can’t be that bad… right?) Then, each of the five factors mentioned above are rated on a 1 – 10 Point scale. The more points it gets, the better the product is rated.

The Breakdown:

51 Stars – The perfect product, a true winning combination of all the ratings and an absolute MUST HAVE! This rating is reserved for only the absolute best products!

45+ Stars- A solid product with lasting appeal. Worth every penny of the investment.

35+ Stars- This is a better than average product, but not one that stands out above the crowd.

21+ Stars- A middle of the road product. This is an average product in the market and may only really appeal to fans of something specific to the product (like a theme or special insert.)

>20 Stars- A less than desirable product. Not recommended by A51.



Bowman Platinum Baseball 2020 Trading Cards (Topps) = 19
Gradeability: 5 Value: 2 Presentation: 5 Collectability: 3 WOW Factor: 3
Reviewed on 12/7/20

NASCAR Prizm 2020 Trading Cards (Panini America) = 35
Gradeability: 6 Value: 5 Presentation: 9 Collectability: 7 WOW Factor: 7
Reviewed on 12/7/20

Topps Update Baseball 2020 Trading Cards (Topps) = 25
Gradeability: 7 Value: 3 Presentation: 6 Collectability: 4 WOW Factor: 4
Reviewed on 12/7/20

WWE Wrestlemania 2020 Trading Cards (Topps) = 20
Gradeability: 5 Value: 2 Presentation: 3 Collectability: 6 WOW Factor: 3
Reviewed on 12/3/20

WWE Women’s Division 2019 Trading Cards (Topps) = 34
Gradeability: 8 Value: 6 Presentation: 8 Collectability: 5 WOW Factor: 6
Reviewed on 12/12/20

Young Guns Series 1 Hockey 20-21 Trading Cards (Upper Deck) = 25
Gradeability: 4 Value: 5 Presentation: 5 Collectability: 5 WOW Factor: 5
Reviewed on 12/12/20

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