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Panini America Hosts, Embraces Industry’s Top Case Breakers at the 2013 National

August 3, 2013

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — As the popularity of online case breaking has grown, so has Panini America’s efforts to support the hobby’s exploding phenomenon.

For the 34th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, the company took things a step further to embrace the role of online breakers in the industry by hosting live case breaks at the Panini America booth on the convention floor.

“Case breaking is all the rage in this industry,” D.J. Kazmierczak, Panini America’s Vice President of Sales, said. “We’ve never done those live on the floor of the show before. We’ve got all the industry’s main case breakers. We’ve got all the key guys here.”

Since Thursday, a half-dozen live breaks have been held at the Panini America booth. Breakers have included STL Sports Cards, Firehand Sports Cards, Layton Sports Cards, MojoBreak.com, KennFudd and Ultimate Box Breaks ripping open huge amounts of Panini America product, including 2012-13 National Treasures Basketball and 2012-13 Rookie Anthology Hockey.

“At the Panini booth, this is by far the biggest stage,” said Michael Hodges, who has operated STL Sports Cards for three years. “They care about the future of the hobby.”

Rich Layton started Layton Sports Cards in his kitchen about a year ago, but has grown it into a storefront business.

“Panini has gone above and beyond to promote us and box breaking and case breaking, as well as our hobby shop,” Layton said.

Layton and Hodges agreed that Panini’s involvement with case breakers has helped build credibility to the ever-growing niche within the hobby. Live breaks continue Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

See more of the action and hear more from Layton and Kazmierczak in our gallery and video diary below.

The images . . .

And the video recap . . .

19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2013 9:51 am

    Great vid good to see how Layton has grown his business within the year crazy stuff!

  2. August 3, 2013 9:52 am

    Nice!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Travis Stevens permalink
    August 3, 2013 11:11 am

    Good strategy on Panini’s part to go after this market. I will, however, never understand why someone wouldn’t want to save up and open their own boxes and packs.

    • Joe permalink
      August 5, 2013 8:34 am

      I only speak out of personal experience, but when you only collect one team, buying a bunch of packs and boxes only ensures that you have hundreds of cards that you have to try and get rid of of teams you don’t collect. I still buy boxes from time to time when I feel the need to bust the packs myself, but I’ve gotten some nice cards from online breaks. One I got 9 Packers autos from 2012 Contenders in one case, and only spent 40 bucks. That said, I’ve had some bad breaks as well, but overall, I’ve gotten the Packers hits from close to 35-40 cases of different product, and probably spent less than what it would cost to buy one of those cases. It drastically increases your odds of getting something you want.

  4. August 3, 2013 11:19 am

    Looking good so far with the breaks, I’d really like to see some of FireHand’s breaks featured on the blog as well. Thanks Dan!

  5. Steve permalink
    August 3, 2013 11:23 am

    Looks like a great time. Wish I could have been there to witness it live and in color. Thanks!

  6. Wally permalink
    August 3, 2013 12:32 pm

    Panini should just start doing their own breaks! Skip all the middlemen, no need for packaging, just have people pay $60 and send them a random National Treasures pull!

  7. Keith Pomocnik permalink
    August 3, 2013 2:49 pm

    Panini really did a good job with National Treasures! The quality and design is amazing. This company is getting greater and greater by the day it seems.

  8. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    August 3, 2013 3:25 pm

    Great to help out the breakers Panini!

    But for me, I wanna bust my own Panini products. Its all about the thrill of the bust for me.

  9. August 3, 2013 5:48 pm

    Man can I get some photo cred or something for the sick Kobe Bryant screenshot with Rich Layton and Tracy Hackler? It was a sick show they put on and a pretty nice case of National Treasures they busted together. I thought it was a great shot to get with Panini’s own Kobe Bean Bryant! As well as the legend himself Hackler in the shot as well. Great show and glad Panini is supporting/promoting case breakers. Keep up the good work!

  10. kamino18 permalink
    August 4, 2013 3:34 am

    Panini should do “on road” case breaking episodes for product launches…come to Asia to witness some of us busting cases. Particularly here in the Philippines.

  11. da_bears52501 permalink
    August 4, 2013 11:49 am

    Congrats to Panini for giving breakers some love!! Its an economical way to get some HUGE hits. I get in 2 or 3 casebreaks a week with Andrew at Allyssportscards look for him on eBay or his break site allyssportscards.com!! He pulls some sick hits!! I also love watching Chris from Cards Infinity break cases on utube!!

  12. August 4, 2013 1:53 pm

    I just started doing case breaks myself [Case Hits Breaks] and it is very nice to see Panini embracing this. Somewhat humorously, I live in Youngstown, Ohio which is about 45 minutes from Cleveland and actually wanted to get my stock up before next years Nationals and get my own table to do something like this. I really believe this is a smart idea by Panini to embrace what is clearly a growing and emerging niche in the hobby. This will do nothing but good things for card collectors all around.

    Here is one suggestion I have: Please release checklists earlier. I understand there is a lot that goes into the process of releasing each set, and you do a fairly good job in building up anticipation. In the short time I have been doing this, the most common question I get is: have you seen a checklist for this product? With a small sample size, I can verify that only about 10% of those people that ask that question and do not get to see a checklist actually buy into my breaks.

    Not only does that limit the amount I am able to do [or at least mitigate the risk as I end up doing less full breaks] but it also keeps me from ordering more Panini products in both the short and long term.

    So, why not release the checklist 2-4 weeks prior to release? I truly believe this would increase the amount of buy ins that breakers have and thus increase the revenue of Panini. More importantly, it helps build the hobby, and that is something every collector benefits from.

  13. Chris permalink
    August 4, 2013 4:48 pm

    Love what Layton and Mojo are doing. The rest of the group break sites, not innovative at all. Those 2 are above and beyond what others are doing.

  14. August 5, 2013 10:38 am

    Group Break buyers beware. We used Live Case Breaks at the show and they told us we’d be getting these cool casebreaker promo packs from Panini. Turns out they signed up after the deadline and didn’t have any. That was pretty much the whole reason we signed up. I’d check with Panini at the next national to find out who the real case breakers are that have signed up. Looks like it was fun for those that got the cool promos they were expecting.

  15. Keith permalink
    August 7, 2013 11:14 am

    Case breaks are a great way to get huge hits and limit the amount you’re in for. I break with STL Sports Cards 90% of the time and Mike pulls some huge hits. He broke a few cases at the National and I’m happy to say he pulled me a sweet Lebron Die Cut /5 out of the Group Break Only packs.

  16. August 7, 2013 9:25 pm

    It was great for Panini to recognize those out there who not only dedicate their time and effort towards making breaks fun and enjoyable, but also give back to the hobby too (i.e. Firehand Sports Cards in giving away free prizes to those who join breaks!). Nice to be able to get cards from products that I could never dream of (such as National Treasures, Exquisite, etc.) for a fraction of the cost!

  17. August 9, 2013 11:10 am

    Thank you so much Panini for the write up and video. We never asked for this, but you all went above and beyond as usual for our business (both online and our card shop!) Thank you for everything you guys n gals do! Cant wait to hook up with Panini for their next promotion!

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