Skip to content
Home » Blog » Why Are Sports Card Hobby Boxes So Expensive?

Why Are Sports Card Hobby Boxes So Expensive?

What is a Hobby Box? 

A Hobby Box, also known as ‘Mega Box,’ includes more cards and typically, on average higher-end cards, which are more valuable. Panini Hobby Boxes are a great way to find numbered cards, parallels, autographed cards, and more. 

Depending on the brand of the hobby box, the higher the value and often the more expensive it can be when buying to open. 

Many brands exist, such as Immaculate, Flawless, National Treasures, and Obsidian, which offer a hobby box allowing collectors to hit big rare collectible cards. 

Why Are Hobby Boxes So Expensive? 

Hobby Boxes are expensive because they offer on-card autographed cards that take more time to acquire and are more exclusive than other cards you would typically find in a blaster box. 

The price of a hobby box can fluctuate, and it depends on what’s inside them: 

  1. Autographs 
  2. Memorable Cards
  3. SP Black Colorblast
  4. Die-Cut
  5. Electric Etch Purple Flood (Number /25) 
  6. Electric Etch Gold Flood (Number /10)

How Many Hobby Boxes in a Case? 

There are 12 Hobby boxes per case on average. In extreme situations, there are loose boxes outside the set 12 you typically get. However, it’s widespread for only 12 in each case. The number of packs within a hobby box can vary depending on the brand and overall product. However, it’s common to see 35 packs per hobby box and up to 15 cards per pack. 

Always check the outside of the hobby box to confirm the amount you will receive, and when ripping the box, count to see if you got any extras, as it’s possible that can happen too. 

How Much Are Panini Hobby Boxes? 

On average, a Panini Hobby Box can range from $350 to $1250, depending on the demand for the product and the market overall. Card box prices normalize during a recession or uncertainty to around $350 – $500. It also depends largely on the cards you want to purchase. 

For example, WWE hobby boxes are cheaper than NFL boxes on average. 

UFC Optic Hobby Boxes from Panini were around $250, whereas Obsidian NFL 2023 Hobby Boxes were around $450 or more. 

It’s important to note that these hobby boxes are products and come out annually or during a set season. So, for example, before baseball season, you often get bowman chrome cards. Also, before NFL season starts, you’ll find Prizm and Mosaic come out with last year’s season. 

Some of the prices can be expensive; however, if you want to take the chance, you can wait to get them on the secondary market, such as WhatNot, eBay, Mercari, or Facebook Marketplace. However, in most situations, Hobby Boxes from previous years are more likely to increase in price on the secondary market because there’s little supply and high demand for those items. 

Especially when the product has rookie players from a year with a lot of hype; for example, Joe Burrow, Tua, Trevor Lawrence, and Jalen Hurts rookie cards are seeing a massive increase in value since when the Prizm hobby boxes originally came out in the first place.

Individuals who have the hobby boxes with the chance of finding those rookie cards can charge a premium price simply because they know it’s worth a lot of money. 

For example, Trevor Lawrence’s Silver Prizm raw card costs $400 to $500 alone. If you could find that in your box, it would pay for itself. 

Are Autographs Guaranteed in Hobby Boxes? 

No hobby box will ever have autographs; however, Panini and other manufacturers tend to put a disclaimer saying ‘on average.’ Therefore, you will see an autograph in these boxes. 

The manufacturer may misprint the number of autographed cards, and since it’s random, a box can go without ever getting one. In other situations, a box can have more than one autograph. So it comes down to luck and adds to the excitement of opening a hobby box. 

Top 5 Best Hobby Boxes To Buy 

1. Prizm: This includes a vast selection of autographs and memorabilia cards. These cards can be pretty expensive, and there is a lot of competition to get them among collectors since they are highly desirable. 

2. Mosaic: Another famous brand for its bright and vibrant designs. They have a unique look on the cards and an affordable price range. Although the quality of the cards can be inconsistent, some collectors may prefer something other than the busy design.

3. Select: These are premium brands known for their high-end cards and limited-edition releases, including the limited availability of cards, making them highly sought after by collectors. However, select cards can be costly, and the limited production runs can make them difficult to find.

4. Flawless: This product is a high-end brand known for its exquisite designs and limited-edition releases. The cards’ exclusive nature it is making them highly collectible. Although Flawless cards are some of the most expensive on the market, they may need to be within reach for many collectors.

5. Obsidian: It’s a newer brand quickly gaining popularity for its unique and futuristic designs, largely due to the affordable price range and the eye-catching design of the cards. They are still relatively new, and some collectors may hesitate to invest in them.

Where to Buy Hobby Boxes for Affordable Prices 

Hobby boxes become available directly from the brand or manufacturer; however, you can also explore other avenues for getting them. This includes going to a retailer, either online or in-person, like Walmart or Target. Other options are going to the secondary market, like eBay, Mercari, or WhatNot. 

Here’s a list of popular places to buy hobby boxes: 

  1. Panini (Offical Website)
  2. Topps (Offical Website)
  3. Amazon (Offical Website)
  4. Walmart (Offical Website or In-Person)
  5. Target (Offical Website or In-Person)
  6. WhatNot (Offical Website)
  7. eBay (Offical Website)
  8. Mercari (Offical Website)
  9.  Local Card Shop (for example, Burbank Sports Cards)
  10. ComC (Official Website) – Check Out My Baseball Cards, Comics & Collectibles (

Deciding on where to buy sports card hobby boxes comes down to what you are comfortable spending, what’s available at the time of purchase, and which you prefer. For example, some collectors prefer to see the boxes in person and buy them without having to pay for shipping. 

At the same time, others will want to pre-order and do not need to pick out the box before purchasing. Here’s an example of 3 blaster boxes we bought directly from the retailer Target and didn’t have to pick out in person. 


If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, you may also like the following: