Hi everybody and welcome back to another edition of Riiip with Brody The Kid!
This month’s blog is going to be all about The National.
This year The National Sports Collectors Convention is in Chicago, Illinois (Rosemont). It is like the Super Bowl of sports cards and memorabilia. It is Disneyland for The Hobby.
They have everything, new product, vintage product, memorabilia, autograph signings, a main stage full of giveaways, and hobby fun. The National is a must see for any card collector.
It is massive and has so much to see and do, so I wanted to give you some tips and information to help you get the most out of being at The National.
I am the Official Kid Host of the National, so I am ready to hook you up! I will be doing some fun stuff for kids, will be filming for my show HOBBYLife and more. I will post daily videos with announcements, cool booths to check out, and other surprises. Make sure you follow me on Twitter @BrodyTK and on Instagram @BrodyTheKid1. If you cannot be at the show this year, don’t worry, I’ve got you! I will be posting a ton on my social media during the show, live videos, interviews and more!
Now let’s get into my tips for The National.
My first tip is to make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Trust me, this is a big one! You are going to be walking around the during the day and you don’t want sore feet to keep you down!
The second step is make sure you have planned out what you want to do each day because you don’t want to miss anything. Keep an eye on hobby socials for events/giveaways/autographs from the different vendors and The National (@NSCC).
If you want to get sealed boxes, you can stop at Dave and Adam’s, Blowout Cards and Steel City Collectibles. I check out these booths a few times every day! They have specials, and giveaways, so keep checking!
The dealer booths also have sealed boxes, old and new. There are so many different dealers and each one is unique. One of my favorite booths is Singles Club. They have boxes and boxes and BOXES of cards, and everything is a dollar. I could spend hours there, it is so much fun! There are so many vendors, and you’re going to see a lot you want to grab. What I do is take a notebook with me. If I see something I like, but I am not ready to buy it yet, or want to check out prices at other booths, I write down the booth number and the item and then I can go back at the end of the day. You can use your phone for this, too. This also helps you budget your money, so you are not spending it all right away.
The Main Stage is sponsored by Go GTS Live, and hosted by Rob Bertrand and Ivan Lovegren. They have interviews, contests, and lots of discussion about The Hobby. Other Hobby members also have time slots and do different things. Some do contests, some broadcast their hobby shows live, and sometimes there are special guests. I will be at the mainstage doing a bunch of fun stuff this year. I will be with my other co-hosts from Hobby Hotline doing our web show live. I will be helping with a free kids only break from Upper Deck and I will be a guest on Sports Card Nation with John Newman, talking about kids in The Hobby. I am also doing some kids breaks with Panini.
Keep an eye on my Twitter to see all the times I will be at the main stage. So much fun happens there, I will be sitting in the crowd and watching too!
You have to check out the Signatures For Soldiers booth! They are an amazing charity that raises money for veterans and their families. Tim is a great guy, and his mission is awesome. Stop by and tell him Brody The Kid sent you! Right next to his booth is Handbid Auctions. They are running the auction for The National. This special auction is raising money for Signatures for Soldiers. You can see all the items up for bid at this booth. I have put together a Brody The Kid lot that you can bid on. It is a surprise what is in it, but you can see it in person at the show! Download the Handbid app to see all the auction items and to get in on the bidding fun!
The breaker pavilion is one of the funnest areas of the show. So many breakers from all over. They do live breaks during the day and keep going through the night. Breaks are so much fun, even if you don’t buy a spot! Hanging out with everyone, seeing product, and witnessing HUGE hits. Stop by and check them out.
Another awesome part of The National is visiting the manufacturers’ booths! You can stop by Topps, Panini, Leaf, Onyx, Beckett, eBay, and auction companies like Heritage and Pristine. Some of my favorite things to do there are the Pack Wars at the Topps booth with Alan Narz from BIG LEAGUE, the box wars at Panini and the raffles at Pristine. A lot of the booths will have special guests, too.
For me one of the BEST parts of the show is meeting people in The Hobby, I have met so many friends every time I go. From Kid Collectors, to web hosts, artists, and much more. Say hi to the vendors, meet people while waiting in lines or waiting for box breaks to start. Some of the best people I know, I have met in this hobby. The Hobby is all about the community, and this is the best way to be a part of it.
Another thing to look out for is Max and Owen! Max Gotcher and his brother Owen are kid collectors and card shop owners of the Sports Card Shop at Moco in Michigan. Max and Owen have put together some RAKK PAKKS (Random Acts of Kindness for Kids) and they will be randomly handing them out to kids at The National. Try to find Max and Owen. That is awesome!
Finally, I asked a few hobby friends to help out with this blog! I asked, “What are you most excited to see at The National?” Check out their responses below!
Ivan Lovegren Co-Host of Go GTS Live: “My answer is always “See the people” There is no collectible treasure I could find on the floor or prize I could win that is better than being in a hall where every ten feet I bump into another friend to catch up!”
Cruise- Cruise’s Card Stop, Kid Collector and member of The Kids Hobby Squad: “The National is so much fun! It’s awesome because it’s a HUGE card show where all the best people in the hobby come together to meet up and make the craziest deals! The National is one of the things I look forward to the most every year, and with no National last year, I am even more excited this year!!”
Eric Norton – Beckett Live and Beckett Media: “I’m most excited to just see everyone again in person. This will be the culmination of the hottest time in the hobby in history, and we will all get to be a part of that in Chicago.”
Ben- Midwest Box Breaks: “I am excited to meet some of the new friends I have made since the last show. The people and the atmosphere are what make it so special for me.”
John Newman Host of Sports Card Nation and Co-Host Hobby Hotline: “Seeing friends old and new, and seeing fellow hobbyists getting back out there doing things we were unable to do for awhile.”
Chris Keller – Top Shelf Breaks: “I’m honestly for real first and foremost excited to see everyone again. My fellow breakers, and dealers and manufacturers. The camaraderie. That’s really what I love most.”
For more tips, and information about The National, tune in to Episode 37 of HOBBYLife Show for a special “Kids At The National” episode. Ray Schulte from The National, Emily Kless from Topps, Chris Carlin from Upper Deck and Tracy Hackler from Panini are all on the show giving kids and their families tips on some of the fun they have planned for YOU! Check out HOBBYLife episodes on YouTube.
Thank you all for reading the special Kids at The National blog. I hope to see you all there. Please come say hi, and I will hook you up with some Brody The Kid swag!
I hope Everyone enjoys the show!!
-Brody The Kid
Have a question? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Brody The Kid
Have a question? E-mail me at email@example.com
Find me on Twitter @BrodytK and Instagram at brodythekid1