Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Little Boxes, Little Boxes, Little Boxes All the Same

In another one of those problems of mine that aren't problems, I have a problem.

BOXES! I've picked up a few factory sets over the past few months in my Topps set-building efforts. Of course, it's more fun to make a set by hand, but I only have so many years on this earth and, going backwards, it just makes more sense to fill in some gaps the easy way. 

I keep my sets in pages and binders, as I think that's the best way to display and enjoy them. This leaves me with some empty boxes. As seen below.

This shouldn't be a big deal, but my meticulous nature demands that I make some kind of order of these or hide them away. The most obvious solution would be just to simply use them for other cards. That's why they exist after all, yah? 

But there's something that keeps me from doing that (aside from the fact that I don't really NEED any more box space right now). These boxes are kinda interesting as collectables on their own. 

Here are the '87 and '92 boxes. I believe these were the variety that were sold in retail stores. If I would store anything in these, I'd need to label the box, which would essentially deface the box. I have no illusions that these will be worth any money some day, but they are sorta-kinda a part of the set itself. And scribbling all over them would, to me, mostly end that connection.

Here is the box that not-quite-complete 1991 set came in. I'm thinking this was the box used for mail-order or hobby-sold sets? Anyway, its a nice part of the entire package. I don't save wrappers or empty wax boxes, but I understand the impulse. There something worth saving and preserving in this packaging. 

"Little boxes made of ticky-tacky"

Of the boxes I have, this one - from 2001 Topps - is my least favorite. It has a headache-inducing gold foil finish. I tried to read the checklist printed on its backside and had to squint and tilt my head like an old man. I did not like feeling like an old man. This one, I'll probably throw away.

I also have an empty vending box among these. These are practically worthless for storage, as they are made of very thin cardboard, but, aesthetically, its the coolest of the group. Topps used the same design on these for years (this one is from 1989), featuring the old-style Topps logo and a great image of Pippi Longstocking and some white-haired boy putting cards into a Bob Cratchett-style 19th century business ledger. "An educational hobby for boys and girls..." Well put. 

What do you do with your empties? I imagine I'll probably move mine into our basement storage area.


  1. all boxed in. Yeah the vending boxes are cool looking but not very practical. For posterity maybe keep one flat. If it fits in a single pocket page great. I don't think they fit. Maybe "dummy" it up by filling it with something solid and wrap in plastic to preserve it. Another option for the boxes you don't want save them for when you are making a big trade or sending someone a huge amount of cards or some sort of memorabilia that fits in the box.

  2. When I slot complete sets into binders, then I use the empties for excess storage as a temporary home for anything that doesn't have a place of it's own. Once I'm done with them, then I either keep them or (gasp!) put them in the recycling bin for the recycling truck, since they are cardboard after all.

  3. I used to keep all my empty boxes and blasters, but I recently decided that was straying a little too close to hoarder territory and purged most of them (though I still save a single pack wrapper from every product I open). Most of the other empties I have are used for storage and will probably eventually go to Goodwill at some point.

  4. I've never kept a complete set outside the original box. I'll put the Rockies and a few other favorite cards in the binder, but the rest stay in the box. But blasters and pack wrappers I don't save.

  5. I've banished then all the basement! Which means they'll probably get trashed the next time we move.