By now you have seen the words “Box Break” or “Hit Draft” somewhere on the internet. For many it’s been an introduction to collecting, for others it’s a new find. Either way, Breaker culture is a major aspect in the collecting world and can be either very enjoyable or very destructive if you don’t know what you’re getting into. Here we breakdown what a break is and what to look for to ensure you get the best value for your dollar.
Let’s dive right in!
WHAT IS A “BREAK”
A break is a very simple concept that has been around in the collecting industry for 20+ years. While the hype behind these may seem new, the truth is these were happening in local card shops well before social media and online platforms made them super easy to jump into. Today however these breaks have taken over as a staple of the collectible industry, especially the sports card world so knowing the most you can before buying in is imperative.
A break can be done several ways, but the general concept is simple. A number of people all pay money to buy “a share” of a box of cards. Sometimes that share is a specific team or teams, sometimes it’s a specific pack, and sometimes it’s just a spot to choose a card that comes out of the box. In all cases, regardless of format, you need to know that you are never guaranteed to get your money back in card value and it’s always a gamble (which is most of the fun!)
Here is where we want to be clear… BOX BREAKS SHOULD BE FOR ENTERTAINMENT VALUE.
It’s a gamble every time you buy in that something good will come your way. It’s very much like pulling the slot machine lever, except typically in a box break you walk away with something (it just may not be something good.) Just like a slot machine or buying a lottery ticket though, you have a chance to hit it big by getting in on expensive products and potentially hitting that massive card worth thousands of dollars!
Okay, now that you know WHAT a break is, let’s talk about the WHY and the WHO…
Why Buy Into A Break
As mentioned above, a break should be for entertainment value, not for an investment. They are tons of fun and can lead you down a crazy rabbit hole of buying and breaking looking for that next big hit, but it’s gambling at its core and should always be done responsibly and for the entertainment of connecting with a community and cheering everyone on as the cards get opened. Unlike at a casino where eighty-two year old Gertrude quickly moves her oxygen tank into place to steal your slot machine seat when you get up for a bathroom break (and hits that jackpot on the next spin) in a break there is plenty to go around and everyone can be excited for everyone else. This community aspect makes the whole experience more enjoyable.
Who Should You Trust To Break With
Now for the most important factor for a new “breaker.” Not all breaks were created equal. Some breakers are new and stumble a lot. Some breakers are like a wet noodle and just not very entertaining. Lastly, in some rare cases you get a few rotten apples that aren’t so trustworthy (although this is very rare.) To avoid getting the raw end of the deal, here is a quick list of things to look for on your first or future breaks:
- Camera Setup: The better the quality of camera and more views shown on screen, the more likely the person is to not only be legitimate but also be a more entertaining break. A solid and high quality view of the cards means you see and hear the opening of the packs in perfect detail on screen and make the most of the experience.
- The “Breaker: If the breaker needs to be entertaining or at least interactive. If the breaker gets on and can’t interact with the participants or speaks in a low monotone voice the whole time, you probably won’t enjoy the experience nearly as much. Look for a breaker that can talk to people and move through the break in a timely manner so you don’t feel like you spent an hour getting nothing but a boring YouTuber in their parents basement making a quick buck off you.
- Positive Energy Required: This is very important… You need a breaker that is rooting for you and has your best interest in mind. They should want to pull you a big money card and be excited when they do! Positive vibes from the breaker attract positive community members and this makes the whole vibe just that much better!
- Moves Through In A Timely Manner: As briefly mentioned above, you want a breaker that gets through the break in a timely manner. You don’t need them to hang up on every card talking about it and you don’t want them to skip through not reading cards. Look for a breaker that calls out every card and shows in clearly on camera but does so in a consistent pace. This is something everyone has their own preference on so find what’s comfortable for you.
- Careful With Your Cards: DO NOT BREAK WITH PEOPLE WHO AREN’T CAREFUL! How they handle your cards is so important. Do they put a thumb on your autograph? Do they squeeze or rub the edges? How careful do they sleeve and top-load the hits? These are all important things to note as if you hit a big card or you just want some gradable hot rookie cards, you need to know they are protecting your investment no matter big or small if a card is pulled.
Okay, now that we have established the What, Why, and Who, let’s get into the “Nut & Bolts” of the different types of breaks and how to buy in!
PICK YOUR TEAM (PYT)
RANDOM TEAMS (TIERED)
BY THE PACK