Cracking a Cardlines Crate: What Did I Find in Cardlines’ Own Mystery Pack Box?

December 31, 2022

‘Tis the season for unwrapping and unboxing. If you have been a very good collector this year, perhaps you might treat yourself to a Cardlines Crate. But what might you find in a Cardlines Crate?

I opened one, not so you don’t have to, but so maybe you can see what may be in store for you if you decide to rip one yourself.

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

What is a Cardlines Crate?

Mystery Pack Boxes are an exciting way to add a variety of cards to your collection while also having a chance at some interesting hits. We recently explored Mystery Pack Boxes here on Cardlines in our article Magical Mystery Tour: Your Guide To Sports Card Mystery Boxes.

Cardlines.com is already your trusted source for hobby info. Now it can be your trusted source for Mystery Pack Boxes with the introduction of the Card lines Crate. Available in MLB, NBA, or NFL variations, these boxes contain a number of packs for your ripping enjoyment.

More on Cardlines Crates:

“Experience the joy of opening packs from several different popular releases in a single box! This sportscard mystery box includes a mix of more than a dozen packs from various hobby and retail releases. Packs will mostly be from the current year and recent years.

Our crates are expertly curated to provide the most enjoyable rip for the money. We won’t tell you what’s in it, but the value will be fair, you’ll have fun, and you’ll have a shot at some great hits.

No cold packs here – all packs are from boxes with box/case hits still live.”

Cardlines Crate

The Crate arrives / unboxing

I ordered my Cardlines Crate late on a Monday. By Tuesday I had a UPS tracking number and the box arrived by that Friday. Considering this was ordered the week leading up to Christmas, I was very pleased with the shipping time.

The Cardlines Crate was particularly well packaged. The packs were wrapped in bubble wrap, inserted into a card sorting box, which was then further wrapped in bubble wrap and packing paper inside a shipping box.

The sorting box of course will be something I can use, perhaps when I break the packs from the Cardlines Crate itself.

And all that bubble wrap really protected everything, and I found myself thinking that if I pulled any cards to submit to PSA, I’d have plenty of bubble wrap to keep my submission safe.

I for one appreciate the extra effort that went into packaging the cards safely. There is nothing worse than getting cards damaged in the mail.

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

The packs: An overview

The Cardlines Crate contained 15 packs, although some of the packs had multiple packs inside them, in some cases a standard pack plus a smaller “bonus” pack. The cards per pack ranged all the way from a low of four to a high of forty-six.

The years of packs ranged from 2020 to 2022, although there was only one 2020 pack. The split of the remaining packs was pretty much equal between 2021 and 2022. Topps, Bowman, and Panini brands are all represented. The packs are a mix of retail and hobby packs, although it’s not always obvious at first glance what pack type they are.

Fifteen packs for $105 feels like a solid value based on the prices I’ve seen at retail stores and for hobby packs based on hobby box prices.

The Cardlines Crate Packs

The breaks: Pack-by-Pack breakdown of the break

Now for the fun part – let’s get to ripping packs and see what we find. I’ll go through each pack to explain what it is, including how many cards, and any highlights and hits.

2022 Topps Chrome

2022 Topps Chrome may have been one of the most anticipated releases of the year, but one enveloped in controversy. So, we know that this pack won’t have any short-print rookie cards in it.

This pack contains four cards, which means it came from either a hobby box or a hobby lite box. I’d estimate the pack is likely worth around $5.

Pack Highlights: The pack actually included five cards, including Yordan Alvarez, Christian Yelich, Rodolfo Castro RC, Trevor Story and a New Classics inert of Fernando Tatis.

Notes: Nothing earth-shaking in these packs, but they are pretty cards. Fernando Tatis is one of the most talented young players in the game, although his recent PED suspension is sure to hurt his card values. Although it’s probably not very in demand, I’d consider it as a low-pop PSA sub if they have a good monthly special.

2020 Bowman

The oldest pack in our box, the 2020 Bowman pack contains 10 cards. This one is from a retail blaster. Based on recent retail pack sales and single or multi-pack lots, these are selling in the $8-15 range. That’s well more than the price we paid as part of the Carlines Crate.

Pack Highlights: Nothing of note in this pack.

Notes: With these selling for up to $15, in retrospect, this might have been a good one to resell instead of ripping it. Ah, hindsight!

2021 Panini Chronicles

This 5-card pack is from a retail blaster. 2021 Panini Chronicles is a product with a mix of designs. This pack probably retails for $4-5, making it one of the lower-value packs in the crate. That being said, it’ll also be the first pack of a Panini product I’ve ever opened.

Pack Highlights: Yadier Molina, Rafael Devers, Vlad Guerrero Jr., Anthony Rizzo, and Christian Yelich.

Notes: All five cards have different designs, which is kind of cool. Also, some big names here, even though they’re just base cards.

2021 Topps Gypsy Queen

I’m a sucker for vintage-themed sets, so I was happy to see a pack of 2021 Gypsy Queen included in the Cardlines Crate.  This 7-card pack is from a retail blaster. These appear to be quite affordable, with a value of only about $3.  

Pack Highlights: Green Parallel Jeff McNeil, Captains Minis Francisco Lindor

Notes: If you’re a Mets fan, this is a nice pack. An insert and a parallel is seldom a bad thing.

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

2021 Topps Update

This 14-card hobby pack is part of the 2021 Topps Update set, which is a 330 update to the flagship Topps release. These are roughly $5 a pack.

Pack Highlights: Not much of note.

Notes: A bit of a dud, but there’s always the Jumbo pack later in the break to redeem 2021 Topps Update.

2021 Donruss Optic

The 2021 Donruss Optic hobby pack contains four cards but sell for $6-7 per pack. These non-logo cards are the first of the ultra-modern Donruss packs I’ve ever opened.

Pack Highlights: Mike Trout, Jarred Kelenic RC, Chris Paddack Chrome, and Pete Alonso

Notes: Never a bad thing to get a Mike Trout. The others probably aren’t that exciting, although there may be a market for them.

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

2022 Topps Stadium Club

The 2022 Topps Stadium Club product, like every Stadium Club release, focuses on high gloss, high-quality photographs. Even when you don’t get a hit in the pack that can make going through the cards a real joy. These 8-card hobby packs sell for around $7.

Pack Highlights: Retired stars George Brett and David Wright are two highlights here. World Series hero and Rhode Island product Jeremy Pena is another. Shane McClanahan Red Foil gave us a parallel.

Notes: The retired stars cards are really cool looking, especially the horizontal Brett card. I imagine not a ton of value here, but these are nice-looking cards.

2022 Topps Series 1

While a flagship product like 2022 Topps Series 1 isn’t always the most exciting, but is an important part of any given year, and a solid part of a Mystery Box. This 14-card pack is either from a retail blaster While not a pricy pack at maybe $3, this pack is a solid but unexciting part of the Cardlines Crate.

Pack Contents: 1987 Topps Kyle Tucker insert, Stars of MLB Vladimir Guerrero Jr. insert

Notes: The base cards here didn’t amount to much, but the inserts are nice, especially the Guerrero. It’s hard to believe 1987 was 35 years ago! I still love the 1987 Topps design!

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

2022 Topps Update

The 2022 Topps Update product updates the first two Topps series with new trades and rookies. Another 14-card pack, probably from a retail blaster. Another inexpensive pack, but I think you need some flagship product represented to get a real taste for any given season.

Pack Contents: Sterling Marte parallel, Steven Kwan 1987 Topps insert, Brandon Crawford Stars of MLB insert

Notes: A couple of inserts and a parallel isn’t a bad pack at all.

2022 Bowman x 2

Our only “two of the same pack” in the Cardlines Crate, and I don’t mind it since it’s 2022 Bowman. Bowman is always a fun product to rip. That being said, they’re not really the same, as one is a hobby pack and the other from a retail pack.

Pack Contents: Shohei Ohtani base, Shalin Polanco insert

Notes: Any time you get a card of Ohtani, it’s a good thing. Not a lot else in these two packs, but that’s OK.

2021 Panini Prizm Fat Cello

This retail pack contains a standard 12-card pack, plus a bonus 6-card pack for a total of 18 cards. These look to sell in the $7-10 range, making this a nice addition to the Crate.

Pack Contents: Inserts of Keibert Ruiz, Oscar Colas, and Buster Posey, plus a Jarred Kelenic RC and several Red, White, and Blue Parallels, the best being Ronald Acuna Jr.

Notes: Wow, these are glossy! Nice to get a few inserts and parallels. Posey will be a Hall of Famer when eligible.

2021 Bowman Retail Cello

This retail pack contains two 12-card retail packs plus 5 retail-exclusive camo parallels. Recent comps are in the $15 range.

Pack Contents: Inserts of Austin Martin, Emerson Hancock, and Christian Pache, plus a Cardinals “Talent Pipeline” card and a Xander Bogaerts base.

Notes: It hurts that Bogaerts isn’t going to be Red Sox in 2023 and beyond. The inserts are nice, if not big dollar hits. The five camo parallels are kinda neat.

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

2021 Topps Update Jumbo Pack

This 46-card monster is from a Hobby HTA box. The HTA packs are an interesting idea, and not a bad way to add a lot of cards in one rip. These sell for about $10 each.

Pack Contents: Albert Pujols base, Kyle Finnegan parallel, Will Myers 1986 Topps insert, Greg Maddux insert.

Notes: I have to say, the slanted font used for the player name on 2021 Topps is really hard to read. Design fail on Topps part! The Maddux insert is a cool one. The 1986 Topps insert is on much nicer stock than actual 1986 Topps – I still get nightmares about those black borders.

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

2021 Panini Mosaic

This retail pack contains a standard 12-card retail pack plus a bonus 3-card pack. This is another product I’ve never opened, so I’m excited to check them out. These look to sell in the $8-9 dollar range.

Pack Contents: All-Time Greats Ryne Sandberg, Vintage Gary Carter, Vintage Bruce Sutter, Debuts insert of Joe Adell, Will to Win insert of Carlos Correa, and base card of Rafael Devers. The three-card pack garnered us pink parallels of Carlos Correa, Willie McCovey, and Luis Robert.

Notes: I really like the vintage-themed All-Time Greats and Vintage cards. If there can be such a thing as an underrated Hall of Famer, I’d suggest that Sandberg, McCovey, Carter, and Sutter all qualify. The Will to Win insert is a nice one as well, and getting two Correa cards isn’t a bad thing at all. 

Was the Cardlines Crate a good value?

In my opinion, the Cardlines Crate definitely delivered good value. Comps of the packs add up to roughly the $105 price of a Crate, give or take a little, and that didn’t take into account shipping and handling.

The crate had a nice mix of products, with Bowman, Topps, Panini, and Donruss all represented. All the packs but one were from 2021 or 2022, and the one outlier was from 2020 (and the most valuable pack in the crate).

Especially for someone like me who just recently got back into ripping modern packs/boxes, this was a great way to get a taste of different products and formats. I had a really good time opening the packs, looking back at Cardlines reviews of them, and sorting out cards of interest.

If you are looking for a nice variety of packs to rip at a good value, I recommend the Cardlines Crate.

While I didn’t get any big hits, the pure entertainment value of opening the packs has significant value. I always compare the time I spend enjoying the opening and sorting of cards in a pack/box to the other entertainment options.

If I spent two hours opening and sorting, I mentally subtract the price of a movie ticket, a trip to the museum, or whatever other activity I may have amused myself with from the price. And with ripping packs, I have cards at the end of the process…and no sticky floors or overpriced popcorn.

Buy a Cardlines Crate here

Final thoughts on the Cardlines Crate break

Ripping a Cardlines Crate was a lot of fun! It was well packaged, delivered quickly, and contained a nice mix of packs across brands and years.

If you’re looking for a solid Mystery Pack Box to rip, this would be a good choice.

More Cardines box break content