Best 9 Hobby Boxes of All-Time (Updated 2021)

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Best Hobby Box Now 1993 SP Baseball Box

Best Hobby Boxes To Buy Now

Many collectors have their eyes set on a certain card and prefer to collect cards individually.

This may work for you if you’re trying to build up a specific collection, but there’s another way to go about collecting sports cards.

 

Buy a hobby box with a few friends and ripping it open!

Hobby boxes are boxes that are sold at your local hobby store and attract a lot of interest from veteran collectors.

Trending: Rookie Cards That Could Double This Year

They come as a set of a number of different items including sports cards and ‘inserts’. Take a look at the 2018 Topps Series 1 MLB Baseball hobby box. 

This factory-sealed hobby box includes 360 cards, including Rookie Cards & Rookie Autographs of Alex Verdugo, Victory Robles, and other legends. It also has 21+ inserts including  Topps Salute, Superstar Sensations, MLB Awards, 1983 Topps Baseball, and more. 

This massive collection is much more attractive and interesting to collectors than purchasing individual cards. They provide an element of surprise and the potential to find a highly valuable card that you can profit off. 

If you want to add more high-end or mid-level chase cards, game-used memorabilia patches, autographs, and multi-signature cards, you should consider checking out a few popular hobby boxes. 

 

Is A Hobby Box A Good Investment?

The short answer: Yes. There’s no doubt. Hobby boxes give you the chance to purchase hundreds of sports cards at once. 

If just one of these cards turns out to be a highly valuable one, you can make back all the money you spent on purchasing the box – and some more.

In fact, it has been found that sports cards can earn you more money than investing in stocks

The increase in the value of cards is mostly based on the principle of scarcity, which is not used by modern sports brands.

Top Investment: Best Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards

As explained earlier, a hobby box comes with a high probability of hits: cards that are not produced on a massive scale and vintage cards from decades ago. 

These cards are now easily worth hundreds of thousands of dollars because of how rare they are.

If you have watched the Bruce Willis movie, Cop Out, you may have an idea of what people can do for a valuable sports card.

To put it in simple words, hobby boxes contain a good number of insert cards, or hits, that are produced in a limited quantity. These cards can earn you a surprising fortune in the long run. 

Top-Rated Hobby Boxes To Buy Now

Now, if you’re looking to buy a hobby box because of its premium content, you want to make sure you pick the right one that can give you the most value.

After all, if you wanted something ordinary, you could’ve easily just opted for a retail box. We have done our research to figure out what kind of boxes can get you the best returns.

Here are the best options based on our research:

 

1993 SP Baseball Card Hobby Box (Buy Now on eBay)

Best RC: 1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter RC #279 (Buy Now on eBay)

Best Hobby Box Now 1993 SP Baseball Box

More than two decades old, the 1993 SP Baseball Hobby Box is among the all-time high-value boxes due to the various hits it offers, including Derek Jeter’s rookie card, which is rated as one of the most iconic baseball rookie cards of the 90s.

The 290 cards box comes with 18 All-Stars, and several rookie cards in each box. In addition to Derek Jeter, you can also find one of the best Johnny Damon’s rookie cards, along with Chipper Jones and Manny Ramirez cards.

The hobby box also features inserts like Platinum Power, which includes 20 best home run hitters of the 90s. There is a good chance of finding these hits one in every nine packs. 

In total, the box comes with 24 packs, with 12 cards in each pack.

 

2011 Topps Update Hobby Box (Buy on eBay

Best RC: 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout RC #US175 (Buy on eBay)

best hobby boxes 2011 topps update

First on our list is the 2011 Topps Baseball Update Series Hobby Box.

This box allows you a chance to find signed autographs or relic cards (one per box) as well as Topps 60 Autographs, Next 60 Autographs, Diamond Duos (retired + current player combo based on a similarity or connection), and several other high-value cards. 

It gives you a high chance to find a hit like Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update RC. Take a look at how the value of this card has gone up recently. This gives you a good idea of the sort of returns you can expect from this hobby box.

The box also offers multiple Diamond parallels for player collectors. In addition, it also contains All-Star Game patch cards and several rookie cards for late-season call-ups. In total, the 330-card base set box features 36 packs, 10 cards in each pack. 

 

2018-19 Panini Opulence Basketball Hobby Box (buy on eBay)

Best RC: 2018 Panini Opulence Luka Doncic RPA RC /79 /10 #145

best hobby boxes to buy today

The 2018 Panini Opulence Basketball hobby box contains what we consider the best card in the hobby from an ROI standpoint over the next 10 years.

The 2018 Panini Opulence Gold Luka Doncic RPA /10 #145 (or if you really want to get crazy the /1).

The /1 platinum is our white whale when it comes to cards we wish we had… as far as we know it has not been pulled unless someone is sitting on it or it is waiting in line to be graded (which may very well be the case).

Besides the Luka card, this set also contains a sick Trae Young RPA in the same parallels which would also be a very nice long-term investment.

Related: Best Luka Doncic Prizm Basketball Cards

The only downside to this box is the price tag.

You better come loaded for bear if you envision yourself ripping into this bad boy.

But the price could very well be worth.

 

2008 Topps Chrome Basketball Hobby Box (Buy on eBay)

2008 Topps Chrome Basketball box

We originally didn’t have this one on the list… what in the world were we thinking!

This hobby box is DRIP bruh.

The 2008 Topps Chrome Basketball Box gives you the chance to score a LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, or a Kevin Love basketball card… all of these cards are worth over 4 figures and some 5!

 

2003 Topps Chrome Hobby Box (Buy on eBay)

Best RC: 2003 LeBron James Topps Chrome RC #111 (Buy on eBay)

best hobby box: 2003 topps chrome box

Two names… LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.

Two of the best players of all-time and both of their rookie cards are available in the 2003-04 Topps Chrome hobby box.

Sports Card Investing Advice? Gold Card Auctions!

If LeBron and D. Wade aren’t enough for you the set also contains Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh rookie cards.

This box would be one of our top picks but the price tag is insane.

 

2019 Panini Prizm Basketball Hobby Box (Buy on eBay)

Best RC: 2019 Panini Prizm Zion Williamson RC #248

2019 panini prizm basketball box

Zion mania has calmed down quit a bit and now may be the perfect time to strike and buy up a few of his Prizm rookie cards.

What better way to do that than ripping into a 2019 Prizm hobby box.

The 2019-20 Panini Prizm Basketball Hobby Box offers you a chance to find hits like the Zion Williamson Prizm Tiger Strip RC. 

This is an extremely valuable card and great looking card.

Other than Zion Willaimson, you can find hit rookie cards like Ja Morant, Cam Reddish, Jarret Culver, Rui Hacimura, and more. In total, you can collect Silver Prizms of around 20 rookies.

If you’re lucky, you can find high-value Rookie Signature Prizms Mojo.  

The two signed autographs per box include rookie cards from current and retired players. You can also find top players under Sensational Signatures. 

 

1986 Fleer Wax Box Break (buy on eBay)

1986 fleer basketball box

The oldest hobby box on our list, the 1986-87 Fleer Wax Box Break Hobby Box makes for a fantastic investment.

Valued at around $75,000, the 30-year old box is well-known for its Michael Jordan rookie card.

The last few were sold for $66,000 in 2017, and a couple more for $75,000 at the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention.

You can also buy individual packs from this hobby box, for around $2000 each. Most investors and collectors are chasing after Michael Jordan rookie, which is amongst the most desirable rookie cards for basketball enthusiasts.

Back in 2017, a collector from New York who bought this box was lucky enough to find not just one but THREE Michael Jordan rookie cards. According to one analyst, the value of these cards could be around $28,000.

The box also offers you a chance to find some other high-grade rookies cards, like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, and Hakeem Olajuwon.

 

2017 Panini Prizm Football Hobby Box (Buy on eBay)

Best RC: 2017 Panini Silver Prizm Patrick Mahomes RC #269 (Buy on eBay)

2017 Prizm Football Hobby Box

Released a couple of years back, the Panini Prizm Football Hobby Box is a great choice for football fans.

This hobby box comes with a lot for collectors as well as investors, with some wild inserts, colorful parallels, and rookie autographs. 

And if you are lucky, you might end up with a Mahomes RC. A Mahomes rookie card is highly sought after and could give you fantastic returns when you decide to sell it.

Trending: Top 20 Patrick Mahomes Football Cards

The box also comes with around three signed autographs in each box, in addition to 9 numbered Prizm parallels.

The 2017 Prizm Football Hobby Box was also the first one in the series that came with several new items, like Prizm autograph Rainbow and Bronze Stars base rookie and autograph. 

The hobby box offers you a chance to find several high-value cards, including a Randy Moss Tribute set of 15 cards, and a signed card with only 25 cards printed.   

The box contains 12 packs per box, with 12 cards per pack, along with a few hits guaranteed in each box.

In addition, there is also a chance to win Rookie Patch Autograph cards, numbered to only 99 or even less. This makes it an interesting hobby box for people chasing relics.

 

2020 Panini Prizm Football Hobby Box (Buy on eBay)

Best RC: 2020 Prizm Justin Herbert RC #325 (Buy on eBay)

best football hobby box to buy now

The 2020 Prizm Football box is truly the best best football hobby box to buy right now.

This set is loaded with superstars and contains two QBs who are looking like they just may dominate the NFL for years to come.

The boxes aren’t exactly super cheap but when compared to other hobby boxes on this list they look pretty good.

Top-Rated QB Investments: Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert Rookie Cards

15 to 20 years from now if your own a Burrow and Herbert PSA 10 Prizm rookie card you will be thanking us many times over.

 

Hobby Boxes vs Retail Boxes

A lot of collectors often ask whether they should go for hobby boxes or retail boxes.

Retail boxes are sold by big stores like Target are just as hard to find as the hobby boxes that are sold exclusively in card shops as both sell like hotcakes and in some cases, the kids are taking the boxes out of Target employee’s hands.

Despite that, hobby boxes are the premium choice. They come with more cards compared to retail boxes.

Even though most of the cards you find in the hobby boxes are the same as you get in a retail box, a typical hobby box comes with a higher number of special premium cards, also called hits. You may be wondering what makes these cards so special, or a hit. 

 

Well, these special cards include serial numbered baseball cards, game-used memorabilia patch cards, certified autograph cards, and other premium cards. 

Compared to a retail box, a hobby box is also packed with a higher percentage of inserts and rookie cards.

You can even find exclusive cut autographs, multi-signature cards, multi-color jersey patches, and similar special inserts that are often not available with retail boxes.

The inserts are designed to diversify your collection and to add more value to it… other inserts may include pieces of gloves, bats, jerseys, and other sports equipment.

Besides, in some hobby packs, brands are also adding older cards that offer you very good value in the secondary card market. Hobby boxes also tend to include a higher saturation of rookie cards.

Top Rookie Card Investment: The Best Tom Brady Rookie Cards

Like insert cards, these are also produced in limited quantities… some are even produced only once. The first card ever produced for a player is, in most cases, the most valuable one. Based on the scarcity and the player the card features, rookie cards can get you a higher price than other inserts. 

However, there is one downside.

Since hobby boxes offer more value, it is natural that they are more expensive than traditional retail boxes. You can expect to pay around 1.5x to 2x the price of a retail box. Despite that, the probability of finding a hit is much greater compared to a retail box. Simply put, even when expensive, a hobby box offers you a much higher value.

So, if you’re a high-end collector and are after cards from premium brands that include Upper Deck, Topps Five Star, Topps Dynasty, Immaculate Collection, and National Treasures, and more, you don’t really have a choice between a retail or a hobby box.

Interesting Op-Ed Read: Why are National Treasures worth so much money?

That’s because all these premium brands are only available with hobby boxes. You can’t really collect cards from these brands if you’re buying a retail box.

In addition, there are several other mid-end sports cards that are only available as hobby boxes. 

The bottom line is, hobby boxes make better sense because:

  • They offer you guaranteed autographed inserts and rookies
  • High chances of finding hits
  • They provide you a better profit opportunity

Plus there are few feelings on earth better than ripping open a box of cards and seeing a dozen or two packs ready to be taken behind the woodshed 🙂

Sorry hockey fanboys but we did not find a Hockey Hobby Box that we liked enough to list… check back and we may update this article to include a Hockey Hobby Box if we run across one we deem worthy.

 

Best Hobby Boxes To Invest In: Investment Outlook

Whether collecting sports cards is just a hobby for you or you’re a collector looking to invest in cards, hobby boxes are a fun and lucrative choice. 

Hobby boxes like 2019 Topps Chrome Hobby Box and 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hobby Jumbo Box Break are good options for baseball enthusiasts.  For football lovers, the 2019 Panini Select Football Cards makes perfect sense. 

You can also learn more about investing in the sports cards that you find in your hobby box in our archivesYou’ll also find detailed reports we’ve written about individual cards there. We regularly cover interesting cards in detail.

If you have any questions, or just want to chat with a fellow sportscard enthusiast, feel free to drop a comment or email us at info@goldcardauctions.com.

If you are about to drop a fair amount of money on a hobby box and are having second thoughts… don’t click on purchase!… email us at advice@goldcardauctions.com to get a second opinion and advice in regards to the purchase.

We’re always looking forward to having a chat with our readers.

What is the best hobby box to buy?

The best hobby box to buy in our opinion is the 1993 Upper Deck SP Foil Baseball Hobby Box and the 2003 Topps Chrome Basketball Hobby Box.

What is a hobby box?

A Hobby Box consist of a cardboard box and within that box are packs of baseball, hockey, basketball, or baseball cards. A hobby box is designed for serious collectors or sports cards shop owners.

Where can I buy a hobby box?

A hobby box can be purchased online at eBay.com, Steelcitycollectibles.com, or dacardworld.com. A hobby box can be purchased at retail locations such as Wal-Mart, Target, or your local card shop.

Does Walmart sell hobby boxes?

Walmart does sell hobby boxes but in many cases they sell out within a couple of hours. Wal-Mart is not the best place to buy hobby boxes at for this reason.

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Ben
Ben
7 months ago

That was a fun article to read! Thanks for the write up!

rganj
rganj
1 month ago

Agree it was a fun article to read.

Sorry for hijacking the reply but i did have an interesting article request which would be on the possible pricing on cards that no one can put a price tag on. Something to give the average joe/jane an idea on placing a price tag on a card. One card that comes to mind is a card I saw many years ago which was a lebron rookie triple auto with lebron, kobe and jordan all signed and a BGS 9.5. At the time i searched and could not find a price on it. I still cannot 🙂 (Sorry i do not have Facebook)

Al S.
Al S.
4 months ago

Hi,
I like the Giants and Luis Matos. I am considering the purchase of a few Bowman Chrome Hobby boxes to see if I can get a few of his cards; your thoughts?
Thanks.

Al

Steve Kern
Steve Kern
1 month ago

This statement: “Retail boxes are sold by big stores like Target and are very easy to find…” is false. They are gone before the vendor can finish stacking them on the shelves.

Steve Kern
Steve Kern
1 month ago

To add to my first comment, actually, they ARE very easy to find, on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Craigslist, etc for a 500% markup. It’s nuts.