Retail vs Hobby vs Mega vs Blaster - What Does It All Mean?

When it comes to the world of collectible trading cards, there are countless terms and labels that can leave even the most seasoned collectors feeling perplexed. From retail to hobby to mega to blaster, it seems like there's a never-ending array of options to choose from. But what do these terms really mean? And how can they help you make the best purchasing decisions? Let's dive into the world of retail, hobby, mega, and blaster, and unravel the mysteries behind these intriguing labels.

What is Retail?

These are affordable boxes that are found in major retail stores such as Walmart or Target. While a retail box may share the same base set as a higher-end hobby box, it will offer fewer guaranteed hits and chase cards, often times no hits are guaranteed. Retail boxes are a great introductory to the collecting world; the boxes are relatively inexpensive and allow you to have the adrenaline rush that comes with ripping wax. Retail boxes include: Blaster boxes, hanger boxes, mega boxes, and more.

What is a Blaster?

A blaster box is a retail box typically found at popular stores like Walmart and Target. Blaster boxes generally contain fewer packs (4 to 15) and have no guaranteed hits, but at a more affordable price, making them a great choice for newcomers to The Hobby.

What is a Mega box?

Mega boxes often have more cards than a blaster box, and they usually have exclusive cards like parallels that you won't find anywhere else. Mega boxes also frequently offer guaranteed hits, but are still offered at a lower price than hobby boxes. 

What is a Hobby box?

Hobby boxes usually contain a larger quantity of chase cards, driving up the cost.  Hobby boxes are exclusively available through specialty stores or online. Hobby boxes typically guarantee hits like autographs, memorabilia cards, parallels, etc... The value of these cards in the secondary market are often greater than the cost of the boxes themselves, making hobby boxes a popular choice for savvy card collectors.

So, the next time you come across these intriguing labels - retail, hobby, mega, and blaster - you'll have a better understanding of what they mean. Whether you're just getting into the collector card world or a life-time collector pursuing your favorite hobby, understanding the difference in the various product types will help you make the choice that makes the most sense for you!