As a collector today, it’s become very obvious how group box breaks have grown in popularity.
Before moving forward, to quickly explain what group box breaks are, multiple collectors can each participate by paying for their spot in the box or case break. Those spots can be separated by teams or divisions, which you can buy for a pre-determined price, or a random spot in which a draw would take place before the break to determine which collector has what team (with each person having paid the same price for each random spot).
At the end of the break, the collector receives the cards of the players that play for the team they purchased by mail.
So from a consumer standpoint, group breaks can be pretty cost effective especially with the increased cost of purchasing high-end sports card boxes individually. From a seller’s perspective, the advances in technology (ie. the Internet) has certainly helped to gather collectors from abroad and participate in the breaking of boxes and cases together.
Live video feeds of the breaks are an effective way to ensure that no one gets cheated. But more than that, it creates a similar level of excitement where participants hope to get that hit in the box or case without necessarily spending as much as they might normally would have to.
This is an older article from Beckett that lists the more reputable “breakers” but I’m sure that list has grown significantly now.
Of course, there are detractors who see the growing popularity of group breaks hindering the growth of hobby shops. Some see it as a purely money-making operation for the buyers themselves. Others would simply prefer to rip a pack or open a box themselves.
Whatever your preference, the options are increasing in how you can start collecting sports cards.
Are group breaks something you participate in regularly or of any interest at all to you? Do you see this as a viable method to keep the hobby alive?