I have no idea how to create pages but I'll figure it out eventually godammit

Saturday, July 3, 2010

An Ultra-Pro observation, question and advice

Has anyone else noticed this? I picked up a couple of packages of Ultra-Pro pages at Target today so I could put my 2010 Ginter away properly. When I got home and opened them up, the pages seemed noticeably thinner than I'm used to. I'm not saying they are flimsy or anything, the plastic is still high quality and the seams are solid. they just seemed a little thinner and lighter.

I compared a page with an Ultra-Pro page in an older binder and the new ones do seem to be a little thinner and less rigid than the old ones. The only way I can think of to really test this hypothesis is to get 60 pages of the old sheets and stack them up next to 60 of the new sheets for comparison. Unfortunately all my old sheets are currently filled up with cards which is why I bought the new ones in the first place.

I personally think the change is good (if there is a change and I'm not going loopy). Thinner pages mean your binders are lighter and less bulky. I haven't gone so far as to trash a page doing stress tests but those Ultra-Pro seams are still sturdy. The best part is the plastic seems to be softer and more flexible so there's less danger of  nicking a card on the edge while putting it in the pocket. This is a real danger when slipping vintage cards into pages, I've nicked many a cardboard edge on pages before. Has Ultra-Pro managed to improve a hobby staple? If I'm not just hallucinating it after an overtime-laden week at work I think they have.


On a related note, there's a blog out there doing a contest related to storing tobacco-sized mini cards. I've completely lost the link and I forgot to put it on the News Box so I unfortunately have no clue which blog is is right now. Long story short, the contest asked what was the best way to store tobacco-sized cards other than in plastic sheets. I didn't bother to enter the contest because the only way to properly store tobacco cards is in 15 pocket plastic sheets.

If you absolutely refuse to put them in sheets, Semi-rigid card savers will also work but that is still an awful lot of holder for a little card. You can also put them in a team bag sideways to store a bunch of them at a time, but then you have to figure out where to store those. Top loaders are useless, especially the tiny little tobacco-sized ones. Those mini size top loaders float all over the place when you put them in a box with the big boys. Any kind of plastic case sucks because the cards slide everywhere and bang on the sides. Same with small cardboard boxes. A real cigar box that once held actual cigars would be the only choice in boxes, but they're still going to slide around. I suppose you could get them slabbed at 10 bucks a pop if you had money to burn.

If you want to properly protect and display the tobacco minis you need pages. You can't just buy them at Wally World though. I got an e-mail today asking where to find the things so I gave this advice on finding them:

Check your local card shop. If they have a decent amount of supplies they'll likely have them. If not, ask the owner or manager and see if they will carry them. More often than not they will gladly stock supplies if a customer requests them and if not then maybe it's time to find a new shop.

No local card shop? No problem, just look online. Amazon has them and if you want to shop around or buy less than 100 pages at a time, just go a Google search for card pages 15 pocket. Easy peasy. 

That's all there is to it. Protect and display those minis!

(no Ultra-Pro isn't giving me kickbacks - I know what I like)


Sal said...

I would assume that the Ultra Pro pages sold at Target and Wal-Mart are a lower quality plastic. Or maybe just thinner.

I only buy pages from dealers at shows, because that is where I can usually find the best deal ($12-$13 per box of 100). And the Ultra Pro pages I buy now are the same as they were in the mid-1990s, when they started putting a hologram on the edge of the page.

Captain Canuck said...

there are two types of Ultra pages that I know of...
Ultra Pro Platinum and Ultra Pro.
I only have bought the platinum, and that's all my LCS sells... maybe that's it.
It could also be a Target exclusive like sal said....
The Ultra Pro platinum I buy is black with blue, you seem to have red on the package....

Casey said...

They make toploaders to minis/tobacco cards. Blow Out has them here: http://www.blowoutcards.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=118_119&products_id=3553

Bit pricey though.

dayf said...

They make toploaders for minis but they're not very useful. If you store them with normal size cards, they get lost. if you store them by themselves they rattle around in the box.

Someone needs to market an A&G style frame where you can plop the card inthe middle and store the cards in normal pages/toploaders etc.

NMCLax24 said...

The older ones you are referring to are the Ultra Pro Platinum pocket pages, and they do still make them.
Target sells the plain Ultra Pro pages.
The platinum ones are the higher quality pages, but this extra quality seems slightly unnecessary because both are archival safe and work just fine.
If you look down the side of the page along the flap where the binder ring holes are, you will notice that the "older" ones say platinum while your new target ones will not.

madding said...

There's an even cheaper version of Ultra Pro that they have at Target and Wal-Mart now where the pages are even thinner and the separation between pockets is a dotted line instead of a solid line. I actually bought some once because I was desperate.