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Question on a Dark Angel sealed box
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Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
posted
Hi there

I've purchased today a sealed box of the Dark Angel TV show released in 2002 from Topps from a guy on a craigslist-type site here in Paris, France. The good thing is that sometimes here in France you can have some surprises as the trading card culture is not really widespread and some people manage to have in their hands some good stuff and they have no clue what they are selling. Good for me, I like that Smile Anyway, it appears I was in this configuration. The price was very good around 50 USD. So far, so good however I have some doubts I'd like to share with you. Below are the pics I took of the box.






As you can see the upper section is damaged and the plastic seal has been damaged and the slab where you open up the box is a little bit opened. That said, it is clearly impossible even after a detailed observation that this box is not legit. I don't see how you can, say take out all the packs this way and fill in with some other whatever packs. What are your thoughts ? Has anyone encountered this kind of issue ? Just to be fair, I knew the box was like this when I bought it and I thought that the price was really good.

I was also thinking, if I want to sell this box do you think you'll take extra precaution to describe this the best way possible even if it's kind of weird to have the box like this ?

Thanks for your answers !
 
Posts: 597 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Well even though the product could in theory have an Alba or Cameron autograph, the price of an unopened box is not listing very high in NSU at $54.

On the first scan it kind of looks like there has been some tape on the bottom corner. Clearly the cellophane wrap has been torn, but that could have happened in storage. If there is tape that's more of a problem. The flap appears bent and that's a problem too.

Honestly it looks like it was tampered with. I'm sure that the packs inside are from Dark Angel, but someone could have been busting boxes, finding the autographs and then placing the correct number of unopened packs back into the opened box and trying to re-seal the thing.

I don't know that is what happened, but you are asking for opinions. If it were me I probably would not buy that box unless I only wanted a complete set and didn't really care if there was no autograph inside.
 
Posts: 8637 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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Do the two rows of packs feel like they're in their firmly, and in neat stacks? Since it is opened in the back the way it is, I'd go ahead and take the packs out, being careful not to tear the shrinkwrap any worse. Try to get out as many as you can in one stack. Then, separate the packs from one another. There should be a little "suction" from wrapper to wrapper, making the packs stick together a bit. They are likely to have at least some of that after 13 years in the box. If that condition is noted, that all the packs are in the right direction and facing the same way, and in their rows neatly and snugly, it is reasonable to think they could possibly be the original unsearched packs, as issued.

On the other hand, the pack searching and replacing, if any, may have been done way back when, and carefully, so the conditions I noted would still be present. I will say I've had sealed boxes torn in the ways yours is, and once I'd opened them, there'd been no funny business, just poor storage, the culprit.

The downside of all this is that even if the
box is perfectly intact, the chances of finding the Alba or Cameron autograph are slight.

James Cameron [1:589 packs]
Jessica Alba as Max [1:454 packs]
Alimi Ballard as Herbal Thought [1:186 packs]
Peter Bryant as Bling [1:186 packs]
Richard Gunn as Sketchy [1:186 packs]
William Gregory Lee as Zack [1:186 packs]
J.C. MacKenzie as Normal [1:186 packs]

This basically means that though the autos are one per box, that will breakdown so that out every 50 boxes, there's 3 Camerons, 4 Albas, and about 48 of the common five signers who comprise the rest of the list to be found.
Even so the boxes can and do sell for $150 and up just on that off chance of finding one of the big ones.

With all of that in mind, I don't think $50 is too big a risk on that box, but it may be tricky to sell it for that full value, due to the mere appearance of compromise. That might be a nice one for the upcoming "open that box" day. You might get lucky, and it would be interesting to know whether it had been tampered with or not...

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Posts: 2994 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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It wasn't until just now that I realized that the box I bought in 2002 was a Retail box. Frown

At least yours was the Hobby edition (36 packs, Special Collector's Edition). I see that somebody paid $189.99 Buy-It-Now for the Retail box (24 packs), which featured only the Byron Mann autograph at 1:78 packs. Ouch.
 
Posts: 2423 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
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Thank you guys for all the valuable info and insight.

Actually, I've been looking again at the box and I think it looks like if the guy that did this wanted to check on if they were packs inside as the cardboard is not torn enough to pick any packs or at least I don't know how you can possibly do this.

@chesspieceface - As you said, I think the box will be a good candidate for the Open That Box Day Smile
 
Posts: 597 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Juelle Lou
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by batmancity:
@chesspieceface - As you said, I think the box will be a good candidate for the Open That Box Day Smile


Yes, but make sure to post the break because I think we are all curious about it's contents now Big Grin
 
Posts: 1512 | Location: Australia | Registered: October 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Juelle Lou:
quote:
Originally posted by batmancity:
@chesspieceface - As you said, I think the box will be a good candidate for the Open That Box Day Smile


Yes, but make sure to post the break because I think we are all curious about it's contents now Big Grin


I will, count on me !
 
Posts: 597 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by batmancity:

@chesspieceface - As you said, I think the box will be a good candidate for the Open That Box Day Smile


That's a good decision, it would be kind of hard to sell it to someone else for more than what you paid just because the condition leaves some doubt.

Good luck with your pull. Smile
 
Posts: 8637 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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Well, that it's from a older set that had 36 packs per box (instead of our modern 24 packs), it means he's got a better shot at there being a Cameron or Alba in there than he would have if it were a new product with fewer packs.

Because there are 36 packs per box, it means, that even with the long odds for the two big autos, one of them should be found in every 7th hobby box, with a slightly better shot at it being an Alba, since she signed more. As long as the odds on the wrapper are accurate, this would be true, a 14% chance that each box that has one or the other, if my math is right.

Surely that's what drives the aftermarket price of these "Dark Angel" sealed boxes, although really, not a lot of them change hands anymore. Prices can vary widely once the supply of unopened material truly runs low, and it's also known there is a potential for a knockout auto or sketch to still be found in one of those sealed boxes, no matter how slight the chance...

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Posts: 2994 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of batmancity
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by chesspieceface:
Well, that it's from a older set that had 36 packs per box (instead of our modern 24 packs), it means he's got a better shot at there being a Cameron or Alba in there than he would have if it were a new product with fewer packs.

Because there are 36 packs per box, it means, that even with the long odds for the two big autos, one of them should be found in every 7th hobby box, with a slightly better shot at it being an Alba, since she signed more. As long as the odds on the wrapper are accurate, this would be true, a 14% chance that each box that has one or the other, if my math is right.

Surely that's what drives the aftermarket price of these "Dark Angel" sealed boxes, although really, not a lot of them change hands anymore. Prices can vary widely once the supply of unopened material truly runs low, and it's also known there is a potential for a knockout auto or sketch to still be found in one of those sealed boxes, no matter how slight the chance...


yes, who knows ? I'll have the answer for Open That Box day for sure
 
Posts: 597 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by chesspieceface:
Because there are 36 packs per box, it means, that even with the long odds for the two big autos, one of them should be found in every 7th hobby box, with a slightly better shot at it being an Alba, since she signed more. As long as the odds on the wrapper are accurate, this would be true, a 14% chance that each box that has one or the other, if my math is right....


Sorry CPF, your math is not right. If it were everyone would be looking for these boxes and they would cost a lot more than they do.

The five common autographs will come up in a five man rotation of one each in every five box cycle, or at a ratio of 5.16. The Alba comes in at slightly more than every 12 boxes, at 12.61. The Cameron is hardest at slightly more than every 16 boxes, at 16.36.

That's using the ratios from your previous post, which I guess you looked up. I kind of have my doubts that the Alba and Cameron were found even that often. I have rarely seen them for sale. That may be because a lot are with collectors that won't let them go, but Alba is losing her potential and Cameron was never liked that much. Their prices have peaked and profiteers should have been selling them by now. I just don't think there were that many to sell to begin with and most have found homes.
 
Posts: 8637 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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The odds could be misstated, or perhaps the print run for that set was low. I think it would've been lower than, say, a Star Wars or x-men movie set from those days, most likely.

Those odds on the Alba and Cameron, though, do mean that there are essentially 1 of each in every 14 boxes (averaging the odds out), so theoretically one or the other in every 7 boxes, if the odds were properly given. Those odds are concurrent, which is to say you don't have to wait for 12 boxes for the Alba to pop up and then another 16 boxes from that for Cameron. They are happening at the same time.

That's really the only way I could even see people paying $150 for a box, I think. If you had to wait 12 boxes for a good autograph to come along and then another 16 boxes for another good one, I seriously doubt sealed boxes of these would sell for over $100. The odds would be too long to bear that, I think.

As for the popularity of Alba and Cameron as personalities, or lack thereof, that's a relative thing, of course. I would think Sarah Gellar's autograph wouldn't sell for $400 a full 12 years after her show went off the air, with her having done very little since, but it does, and here we are...
Big Grin

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Posts: 2994 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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There are a few Alba and Cameron autos "you know where" right now, with people asking big bucks for them, so they ARE out there...

With regard to Alba "cooling off", she hasn't had a significant hit firm since the second Fantastic Four movie in 2007
 
Posts: 2854 | Location: NY | Registered: August 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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You're right, there are three potential Alba's, one in the whole autograph set. The only Cameron I saw is the one in the whole set. The set may actually be the best buy, based on the asking price of the other two Alba's. Now that is a pretty small number, but are any priced to sell at all?

Depends on whether you think the book price is off. NSU has the Alba at $625 and the Cameron at $170. You can assume that is based on actual sales. So what is listed currently is well over that book. So the question is, is the price something that will sell or it wishful thinking.

I guess it's up to the buyer, but I look at Alba as having peaked long ago. I don't think anyone could make a logical case that her autograph should be worth $625 in comparison to what other signatures you could get for that price. It's not a logical hobby, so whoever thinks it is, is fine too. Kind of like Megan Fox still being worth $400 in Transformers, although Alba is better than Fox in my estimation. Now Lindsay Lohan was priced at $125 and I actually think that is fair based on her novelty worth.

Anyway, that doesn't mean I would not like to pull an Alba from a Dark Angel box. Absolutely. But I wouldn't be willing to pay $200, or even $150, for a sealed box because the odds are very strong that you are going to get one of the five $20 common autographs. Better to try to pick it up around book if you must have it.
 
Posts: 8637 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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You mentioned Fox. What hits has she had in the past 6 years ?

After "Transformers 2", it was only "This Is 40" (2012) --not a huge hit-- and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 2014 !
 
Posts: 2854 | Location: NY | Registered: August 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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My point exactly. Fox was smoking when she came on the scene, but she had three bombs in a row and then became a mother. Not to mention that she is kind of a bad actress. TMNT was her big return and the turtles were better than she was.

Yet the Transformers autograph remains at $400 and probably asks for more. It is of course still a short printed card, but her potential is no longer there, so who still thinks it's worth the same?
 
Posts: 8637 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by chesspieceface:
Those odds on the Alba and Cameron, though, do mean that there are essentially 1 of each in every 14 boxes (averaging the odds out), so theoretically one or the other in every 7 boxes, if the odds were properly given. Those odds are concurrent, which is to say you don't have to wait for 12 boxes for the Alba to pop up and then another 16 boxes from that for Cameron. They are happening at the same time.

That's really the only way I could even see people paying $150 for a box, I think. If you had to wait 12 boxes for a good autograph to come along and then another 16 boxes for another good one, I seriously doubt sealed boxes of these would sell for over $100. The odds would be too long to bear that, I think..
Big Grin


Again sorry, I can't come to your conclusion. The odds on the Alba are slightly over 12 boxes. The odds on the Cameron are slightly over 16 boxes. It would be impossible to get one or the other out of every 7 boxes, the ratios would have to be nearly the same as the 5 common signatures to do that.

And I am saying that $150 per box is foolish because you will likely find a $20 autograph that is worth more like $5. Wonderful if you find the Alba, but Cameron is booking at $170 so that is almost a wash. Much better to try and find a cheap Alba than fish in blind boxes.
 
Posts: 8637 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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On average, if you were to buy 16 hobby boxes you'd get 1 Cameron and 1 Alba (slim chance of 2), along with 14 or 15 of the other five commons. So the odds of getting Alba OR Cameron are around 1 in 7 hobby boxes.
 
Posts: 2095 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Big Grin Well I guess I'm going to have to go back to school, because if one card shows up every 12 times and one card shows up every 16 times I don't get how you are guaranteeing either one of them in a 7 times rotation.

If you said a fourteen times rotation, at least one or the other in every 14 boxes, that would seem possible.
 
Posts: 8637 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
It would be impossible to get one or the other out of every 7 boxes, the ratios would have to be nearly the same as the 5 common signatures to do that.

A full set of the 5 common signatures to will basically appear in every 5 boxes. To get 5 Albas, you would need 60 boxes by the odds, so the ratios are not close. The Alba is 12 times harder to find than a common. The Cameron is 16 times harder to common.

That rotation you describe would be just one of each of the two star autographs appearing per 26 boxes and that simply wouldn't be accurate, at least according to the stated odds.

There is one of each in every 14 boxes or so, and not one or the other. That's the key distinction here.

It's not a Cameron AND an Alba in every 7-8 boxes.
It's a Cameron OR an Alba in every 7-8 boxes.

If the odds weren't that good, these boxes wouldn't sell for $150 or more. They'd sell for around $100, and maybe even a little less.

____________________
Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
 
Posts: 2994 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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