RIIP with Brody the Kid #14 interview with Steve Grad

What’s up Everyone!? Welcome to another edition of Riiip with Brody the Kid. This month, we have a cool interview and some other awesome things to talk about. Let’s get to it!

First, let’s talk about one of the craziest product releases so far this year, 2019-20 NBA Prizm. Zion is on his first NBA trading card and this product is becoming very expensive. Blaster boxes that you can find at Target for $20, are reselling for about $35. Even the Zion base card is going for about $35! Just his base card! This has definitely been a crazy product, and who knows what will be next!

Now, I want to share an interview that I did with someone who I think is pretty cool. My interview is with #theguyfromPawnStars, Steve Grad. Steve is the Principal authenticator at Beckett Authentication. He looks at autographs and checks them out to see if they are real or if they are a forgery. Steve Grad is also on the TV Show, Pawn Stars, on the History Channel. One other awesome thing about Steve is that he and I are starting a web show called #HobbyLife! We will be talking about autographs, box breaks, the hobby in general and be doing some giveaways! The show will start on January 18th so please keep an eye out for it. I wanted to ask Steve some questions here to help you get to know him.

Can you explain what it means to be an authenticator and how you became one?

Good question and I became an Authenticator after I was recruited by Collectors Universe in late 2001 as they were looking to expand their authentication business. I think being an Authenticator means helping protect collectors from the bad guys.

What is the best thing about being an authenticator?

Seeing all the amazingly cool items that come in for authentication. I’m very lucky

Why do you think it is important for kids to learn about authenticating?

I think if you’re young and a collector you should understand the benefits of what authentication brings to your items long term.

What do you like to collect?

I love Star Wars and Indiana Jones, so I collect autographs from those franchises. I also love my CHICAGO teams, the Bears and White Sox especially

Can you tell the readers some reasons why they should be excited for #HobbyLife?

We are going to bring the young and older generations together for a great hour of can’t miss information! Tune in

Thank you so much to Steve for taking the time to answer my questions!

Now, let’s talk about some more new products coming out soon! Bowman’s Best has just come out and it is the last Topps baseball product for 2019. This leads to January and Topps Series 1 will debut kicking off the 2020 hobby season! Also, Topps Heritage will debut in February…I am already excited for 2020!

Another product debuting soon is Panini Contenders basketball. I think this product is going to be very expensive, so it will definitely be hard to get some. This may be a fun product to go online, hang out, and watch some breakers rip open some boxes and cases so you can see some Zion’s get pulled. It’s always fun to see these guys open a lot of these cool products that it is too hard for kids to always be able to buy. Hit me up if you need some suggestions on which breakers are fun to watch!

Optic Football has also just debuted, very shiny chrome cards with a sweet design. There are many different color parallels that look really amazing. In a hobby box, you will get 1 auto, usually a Rated Rookie, and a little stack of numbered cards. These are at about $150 per box right now. There is also a Collectors box you can look for which is about $50, which will get you a bronze auto and a relic card. There are also some randomly inserted bronze parallels that are very sharp. I asked Santa for a box for Christmas, so I hope I made the nice list!

The last thing I would like to talk about this month is grading. Grading has many different options. There are different grading companies, and all have a unique final look. You can choose how quickly you can get your cards returned by how much you are willing to spend. I submitted some cards to Beckett Grading. This was my first time grading, and it was a pretty cool experience. With Beckett, you can get subgrades on your cards, showing how the corners, surface, edges and centering of your card are. If you have an autographed card, they will also grade the autograph, which could mean the auto is dark throughout and neatly done.











You can also submit cards for raw grading. I submitted a handful of cards to Beckett for raw grades at a show recently. When they raw grade, they do a quick grade of your card. It is cheaper than a full submission, but it will give you an idea of where your card may fall on a full grading. That may help you decide if you want to spend the extra money to do a full grading of your card.










After putting some cards through for raw grades, I then decided which ones to send through for an actual grading. Grading can be stressful to do because it is hard to decide which cards are worth paying for the grade but then you have to give your cards to them and then have to wait a while to make sure that your cards come back! There is insurance in case your cards are damaged or lost, but I definitely was nervous and very happy when they came back from the grading process.











Check out the pictures to see the difference between the raw grading process and the final look of a full grade card. Let me know if you have any questions on grading and I will try to help you out!
























That you all for reading this month’s Riiip! Have a great Holiday and I will see you all next year!


-Brody The Kid

Have a question?  E-mail me at brodythekid1@gmail.com

Find me on Twitter @BrodytK and Instagram at brodythekid1

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