Friday, October 28, 2011

Only 14 more days to go until Canada's "National"

You've no doubt wondered what the (15 days) type endings that have been accompanying my blog sign offs for the past few weeks have been all about.   Well, two weeks from today, I will be driving up to southern Ontario for Canada's version of the National.  The fall Expo is the king of shows in Canada (in my opinion), and I have made plans to go.

Twice a year this show goes on at the International Center in Mississauga, Ontario, which is just west of Toronto.  I have not been to one of these shows since the late 90's, and to say that I have the itch is an understatement to the Nth degree.

I have linked an article from the Cardboard Connection from today which briefly highlights the show, along with the standard wrapper redemption going on there. 

Needless to say, I have some questions for my followers/fellow bloggers.

  1. Have you ever been to the National, or a show similar in size? (the show in Ontario is 400 tables)
  2. If you've gone, what has been your primary goal?  Trade bait?  Singles to complete sets?  Box/pack purchases?  
  3. What kind of budget do you put aside for this kind of show?  $100?  $200?  more?
I'm curious to see the responses.

Thanks for reading...Robert 


    1. never been.

      jealous as hell.

      have fun.

    2. I'm surprised there's no response yet. I'd estimate the bigger shows out here run in the 75-100 dealer range (tables =/ dealers). Granted, some of them are selling only high-dollar stuff, there's always a guy selling sealed boxes, and a good percentage selling non-card merch (framed prints and autographs and other garbage like that, souvenirs, game-used materials, figurines/SLUs/etc).

      My main goal is always type collection and other needs. I find most of these in the dime/quarter/50c/$1 boxes, so I devote my time to those. I can pull out trade bait while I'm in them. I very very rarely pick up boxes or packs. I would choose whatever is most important for me at the moment and make sure before I leave that I've done the best I can with it.

      For the biggest Bay Area shows, with those 75-100 dealers, I tend to buy from about 10 dealers by the end of the day, and I'll spend up to $100. There have been days where I wished I had another $100. If I was going to the National I would be saving for a while, but I'd try to bring $500 and hope I didn't spend it all. The great thing about big shows is there are lots of cards you probably won't ever see elsewhere, and they aren't too expensive.

      Rule of thumb (other than don't blow your budget, whatever it is): If you find something that you've never seen before and you want it, buy it then, because you may never have the chance. And if you come across a complete set of cards from the movie Major League, buy it for me (11 blank-backed cards, a little wider than normal)!

    3. (BTW, don't think you need $500 to be happy - I would just go ape-spit crazy with such a selection. Honestly, $100-200 would a good budget, depending on your goals, and what you can afford.)

    4. The Spring and Fall Expos are the only shows I go to because they're the only ones that are even a little bit convenient for me. Good thing. They're fantastic. I was going to warn you that they're about 2/3 hockey, 1/3 baseball and everythng else, but it seems like that's not a bad thing for you. :)

      There are a handful of outstanding vintage hockey dealers I hit every year. You can put a real dent into 1950s and 60s sets there. The only thing that is surprisingly difficult there is old OPC baseball. You'd figure that in Canada, you should be able to find it, but it's really hit and miss. Most of the baseball dealers seem to be American. I'm looking for a dozen '74 OPC cards and whatever I can find from 1971 and earlier, and I'll be happy if I find anything.

      If there's a better hockey show than this one, though, I'd sure love to see it.

    5. Haven't decided on a budget yet. I'm thinking in the $250 range, though I often come home with money in my pocket. I've got a couple Sawchuks and a Bobby Hull to trade, so we'll see if that extends my range.

      I'm looking to polish off my '63-64 Topps set (2 cards) and put a dent in the Parkhurst (8 cards short). Beyond that, we'll see what strikes my fancy.

    6. 1967ers, I do remember the last one I went to, it was huge for hockey back then, which is not surprising. Those 70's OPC cards are difficult to find anywhere.

      Ryan, if you have a scan/pic of those Major League cards, please email it to me and I'll discuss with you further.

    7. 1974 OPC baseball is much harder than either '73 or '72. Not sure why that is. The '60s OPC ball does exist there with one dealer, but it's pretty ragged looking.

      The hockey there is awesome, though. No matter what you're chasing, it will be there. From 1909-10 cigarette cards right through the Cup. Phenomenal.