I go through this with each of Topps' major releases, and I have always chosen a different outcome. This is the first time that I will chronicle my collecting from start to finish.
Topps Series 2 is out. There are a plethora of Tigers. I am conflicted, as usual, about buying a box, culling as many Tigers from there as I can, trading to fill some holes and hitting eBay for the rest. In the past I've found that I've been happier with my Jumbo Box purchases, although I actually enjoy buying Hobby more, because I get to open more packs. I could also eschew that entirely and buy blasters. Let's say that I'm going blaster-free for this set. That leaves me with three options, Hobby Box, Jumbo Box and eBay--somehow, I'll collect the Tigers.
Here's what I'm thinking: A Hobby Box can be had for around $60. A Jumbo costs about $125. There are internet costs plus shipping. My local (Baltimore) hobby shop has them too, but based on the past, I'm guessing that Hobby will be more like $75 and HTA (which isn't usually this expensive--I paid $90 last year, I think) is more.
This year, I just can't justify the purchase of the box. I think part of it is that there are so many Tigers that one box just isn't going to cut it. So, I'm going to do this:
The $65 that would have gone to a hobby box will go directly towards purchasing cards from the team set instead. I will track each purchase, including shipping costs and see how far the price of one Hobby box gets me. If I fall short, we'll see if I can get everything that I need for less than the price of a Jumbo box.
I will track these cards as they come in and we can see how this little experiment will go. I'm really not sure what to expect, to be honest.