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Epacks - Alien Movie
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There is a very interesting discussion as part of the Daredevil product thread about epacks.

I thought best to start a new thread.

I tried epacks for the first time on Friday with a number of packs of Alien, as I wanted to see how they worked. The website is nice and easy to follow and offers many features.

The packs were bought in batches of 3 or 4 packs at a time. It is made very easy to buy and then "open" them. After around 7 packs I had pulled an autograph and patch card. I decided to set myself a limit of number of packs to buy and stuck to it. In the end I was ahead in terms of numbers of hits per pack and could see the attraction of just keeping going - trying to get that Sigourney Weaver auto!

Our hobby has always had a large gambling element whenever you buy sealed product, be it by pack, box or case. It is quite unlike most collecting hobbies where you know what you are going to get. This does attract flippers who just buy a box, hoping to pull something big, with no intention to keep any of it.

Epacks will appeal to the flippers and gamblers in much the same way as online casino sites appeal to gamblers as Raven has rightly pointed out already. For traditional card collectors what is missing is being able to touch and appreciate the cards when there is a shinny/reflective etc surface. We also like opening the wrappers and boxes etc.

I worry with epacks on 2 fronts - firstly will the manufacturer load up the epacks more than the physical boxes and devalue the physical product, as it is not clear how much of anything is actually in existence.

My second concern is it being too easy to do epacks i.e. buyers will get caught in the whole gambling cycle, open a few packs, put a half descent pull, then not get much and then carry on in the hope of getting ahead again. At least with physical packs/boxes you have to do more to get them and that time can be enough to make you stop and consider before over spending. Of course this is the same as gambling sites where users have to show restaint but we collectors can be easy prey if there are nice cards involved!

Barry

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BOX,
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Yorkshire | Registered: July 02, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BOX:
I worry with epacks on 2 fronts - firstly will the manufacturer load up the epacks more than the physical boxes and devalue the physical product, as it is not clear how much of anything is actually in existence.
Barry


Its good you started a separate thread if anyone wants to continue the ePack conversation.

There is a bigger picture here of course, but for me as a traditional or premium box buyer, the issue of how ePacks impact the physical product is my main concern.

On another forum people are busting the new Alien ePacks and pulling quite a few autograph cards and other hits. Someone even said that the ePacks are loaded. This could just be random good luck, but the responses are positive so far.

The only guaranteed hit in the Alien boxes was one manufactured patch card. As long as you got the patch, the hit ratio was met and anything else was a bonus. Having opened 4 boxes I can tell you that only pulling an autograph card or sketch would get you any value. Neither a sketch or auto was ever guaranteed. I did get one auto and two sketches out of my 4 tries. So I did consider myself ahead of the curve at the time.

With the ePacks out now, it becomes harder to tell. According to what I have read, UD maintains all hit ratios are the same. That being the case, the number of hits held back had to have been planned based on the amount of product that was going to be released in ePacks. If future ePack releases are being announced at the time of the physical release, its not just a way to get rid of excess inventory, it's a product all on its own.

At least that's how I look at it. Yet because its supposed to be the same cards as released in the physical packs, barring some exclusives which have appeared, it certainly effects what you have bought in boxes. If nothing else, it increases the available inventory by a lot, which likely decreases the demand and thus reduces perceived pricing. Then there is at least the possibility that the ePacks may have more or better hits to encourage use of the system. That's just speculation, I know.

But no matter how you look at it, ePacks and the COMC market are not just another way to sell cards when they are really a separate distribution channel with the potential to really alter the hobby. Its kind of been quietly doing that for awhile now.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Raven,
 
Posts: 7163 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BOX:
I worry with epacks on 2 fronts - firstly will the manufacturer load up the epacks more than the physical boxes and devalue the physical product, as it is not clear how much of anything is actually in existence.


Unless cards are numbered I'm not sure that is any different than a traditional release. Also, people are talking about waiting for 6 months to a year to buy a product when the price drops. . . I'm not sure ePack devalues product anymore than is already happening.


quote:
Originally posted by BOX:
My second concern is it being too easy to do epacks i.e. buyers will get caught in the whole gambling cycle, open a few packs, put a half descent pull, then not get much and then carry on in the hope of getting ahead again. At least with physical packs/boxes you have to do more to get them and that time can be enough to make you stop and consider before over spending. Of course this is the same as gambling sites where users have to show restaint but we collectors can be easy prey if there are nice cards involved!


Certainly this could be true. . . on the other hand I've seen that happen at card shops many times too. . . and at least cards are accessible. It's not like it was in the 90s when there were card shops every where and they all had cards, or card shows every month and they all had cards. . . Card shops I visit don't sell packs, and don't carry much non-sport. Card shows I visit have a few cards here and there, but I've only seen one card dealer at a convention I've attended in . . . well it's been over a year.

It looks like you may be in the UK -- are there titles that you cannot buy in the UK? I'm not sure how ePack/licensing works for buyers outside of the license territory.
 
Posts: 4296 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It looks like you may be in the UK -- are there titles that you cannot buy in the UK? I'm not sure how ePack/licensing works for buyers outside of the license territory.[/QUOTE]

Most people from Yorkshire I know consider it a separate country Big Grin .
 
Posts: 2407 | Location: Sutton Coldfield England | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I try and remember to login when I can to at least claim my free ePack each day, but I don't think you can really do anything with those aside from digitally collecting them.

I bought some for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I got two packs each of Fleer Ultra Spidey and Guardian's of the Galaxy 2.

Not that I was expecting much, but I got some inserts that haven't sold for $1 on COMC yet, same for some /99 parallels, and an auto that might fetch $5 on a good day.

I see ePack as just another method of buying with less clean-up, and it is instant gratification. With tons of methods of buying cards, I don't think ePack will ever come out on top on a per-pack cost, but linking to COMC for those sorts who want to flip (like I did), it is a slight advantage.
 
Posts: 228 | Location: Mebane, NC | Registered: February 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by weasel-king:
I try and remember to login when I can to at least claim my free ePack each day, but I don't think you can really do anything with those aside from digitally collecting them.


I think with some of the free packs if you collect enough digital copies of a single card you can convert it into a physical card.
 
Posts: 4296 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
quote:
Originally posted by BOX:
I worry with epacks on 2 fronts - firstly will the manufacturer load up the epacks more than the physical boxes and devalue the physical product, as it is not clear how much of anything is actually in existence.


Unless cards are numbered I'm not sure that is any different than a traditional release. Also, people are talking about waiting for 6 months to a year to buy a product when the price drops. . . I'm not sure ePack devalues product anymore than is already happening.


quote:
Originally posted by BOX:
My second concern is it being too easy to do epacks i.e. buyers will get caught in the whole gambling cycle, open a few packs, put a half descent pull, then not get much and then carry on in the hope of getting ahead again. At least with physical packs/boxes you have to do more to get them and that time can be enough to make you stop and consider before over spending. Of course this is the same as gambling sites where users have to show restaint but we collectors can be easy prey if there are nice cards involved!


Certainly this could be true. . . on the other hand I've seen that happen at card shops many times too. . . and at least cards are accessible. It's not like it was in the 90s when there were card shops every where and they all had cards, or card shows every month and they all had cards. . . Card shops I visit don't sell packs, and don't carry much non-sport. Card shows I visit have a few cards here and there, but I've only seen one card dealer at a convention I've attended in . . . well it's been over a year.

It looks like you may be in the UK -- are there titles that you cannot buy in the UK? I'm not sure how ePack/licensing works for buyers outside of the license territory.



Yes in the UK we can't have any Marvel products physically shipped (hidden in the t&cs). I wonder if we can still purchase packs and then discover we can't have the actual cards! Marvel of course means all the movie sets as well as comic based, so just leaves the Alien sets for non-sports fans in the UK.
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Yorkshire | Registered: July 02, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There have been a lot of epack breaks of the Thor Ragnarok set on another forum today (release day).

Every break appears to have beatened the odds for pulling hits - many by an amazing amount. No shortage of Hemsworth autos. This happened with Alien on day 1 and then started to tail off.

Although breaks posted tend to be either good or bad, with lesser "ordinary" breaks posted, you could wonder if the odds are stacked in favour of the buyer on day one, to get interest and then adjusted to normal levels afterwards. It does make you think whether it it is better to wait to open epacks if you can than buying the original release - the autos were particularly hard to pull. It will be interesting to see whether epacks will reduce over time the number of original release boxes/cases broken.
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Yorkshire | Registered: July 02, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Triple-Frog:
It looks like you may be in the UK -- are there titles that you cannot buy in the UK? I'm not sure how ePack/licensing works for buyers outside of the license territory.


Most people from Yorkshire I know consider it a separate country Big Grin .[/QUOTE]

I've heard that too!
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Yorkshire | Registered: July 02, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BOX:
There have been a lot of epack breaks of the Thor Ragnarok set on another forum today (release day).

Every break appears to have beatened the odds for pulling hits - many by an amazing amount. No shortage of Hemsworth autos. This happened with Alien on day 1 and then started to tail off.

Although breaks posted tend to be either good or bad, with lesser "ordinary" breaks posted, you could wonder if the odds are stacked in favour of the buyer on day one, to get interest and then adjusted to normal levels afterwards. It does make you think whether it it is better to wait to open epacks if you can than buying the original release - the autos were particularly hard to pull. It will be interesting to see whether epacks will reduce over time the number of original release boxes/cases broken.


I think there is a tenancy for people who either did really well or did really poorly to post about it. It does seem like a lot of nice cards were pulled, and I don't see anyone complaining about their breaks.

I opened quite a few packs, probably slightly beat the odds in pulling 3 dysons, a single and a dual memorabilia, but I didn't really post about it because I felt the break was pretty average.
 
Posts: 4296 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There is no way that any of us can absolutely say, one way or the other, that ePacks average more or less hits than what was found in the physical boxes. A posted break can easily be thrown off by random luck. People do tend to post more when they are bragging or when they are miserable. The average rarely cares enough. UD says hit ratios are the same.

The only way to prove it would be a blind sampling comparison, kind of like Consumer Reports. Big Grin Buy a few Alien boxes and buy the exact same number of ePacks for the total price and see who has the better hits or the greater number of hits. I had 4 boxes at $90 each with 4 patches, one Holm autograph and two sketches by two different artists, both of the Chestburster. So there's a start for anyone interested.

In other words, that's not going to happen and we are just stuck with our own opinions. Wink
 
Posts: 7163 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I opened 6 packs of Thor last night.

First three packs pulled a decent sketch.
Second three packs pulled a Hela insert.

I'm not sure why the Hela cards are considered hits in the product.
 
Posts: 4296 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by webjon:
I'm not sure why the Hela cards are considered hits in the product.


No, I wouldn't consider them a hit either. Its just a higher ratio card from the insert set.

There were 3 guaranteed hits in a box. One was the Dyson Rip card and the other two were generally the memorabilia, read that costume, cards. Sketches seemed easier to pull than autographs and if you did pull an autograph, it was probably a creator/artist. To get an autograph from one of the four cast members was the big hit, especially Hemsworth or Thompson.

But the thing about the Thor Ragnarok boxes was that there were many reports of missing hits and even some totally dud boxes. UD was working to accept complaints and send out replacements, which I believe they did. So how that factors into what's in the Thor ePacks is again anybody's guess.

I will say that I opened 5 Thor boxes and didn't have any problems with the number of hits. My best pulls were a Waititi autograph and two decent sketches.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Raven,
 
Posts: 7163 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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