Fanatics dipped into its reservoir of sports clientele for Saturday’s first ever “Hobby Rip Night.”
Topps says over 300 shops in 40 different states participated in the event which included live box breaks, pack wars and giveaways. While the title was “rip night,” most of the events actually took place during regular shop hours.
At Wax, Packs and Throwbacks, a hobby store in Linwood, NJ, there was a bit of a wild scene as Tom Brady, accompanied by police officers and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, dropped in for the event and worked some trades with the kids.
“We were notified short notice,” the shop’s co-owner Jon Riffle told The Press of Atlantic City. “We talked to the kids and got them involved. The smiles on these kids’ faces. The experience of trading their own cards with an athlete and celebrity is an experience they’ll probably never have again.”
Two members of the entertainment field—Kevin Hart and Travis Scott—joined Brady at the shop, which had promoted the event.
Former NBA star and current broadcaster Jalen Rose and ex-big leaguer Shane Spencer were at the Topps store in New York.
Brady was there, too, wearing an Expos jersey. He was drafted by the team as a catcher out of San Mateo (CA) in 1995 before deciding to commit to football.
“I was a decent catcher but being a catcher and being tall doesn’t work, so I had to pick football instead,” he told those in the audience.”
It was a busy weekend for the stars, who were in attendance at Drake’s concert Friday night before turning their attention to Topps boxes.
Meanwhile, at CardVault in Foxboro, Celtics star Jayson Tatum made an appearance…
In North Carolina, Tarheels Drake May (football) and Armando Bacot (basketball) were in attendance.
On the other side of the country, Corbin Carroll and third baseman/collector Evan Longoria were on hand for Rip Night at 12th Man Breaks, a shop in the Phoenix area.
Thanks to @12thmanbreaks and @Topps for hosting Hobby Rip Night! It was awesome to meet @corbin_carroll and @Evan3Longoria and open packs with them! @k_werner_ came away with some cool cards to start her collection as well! pic.twitter.com/iemHYTSVFN
— Kaitlyn Parohinog (@kpparohinog) September 30, 2023
Blazers draft pick Scoot Henderson was stationed at Hoody’s in Portland…
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Topps produced special “Rip Night” packs for the promotion.
Some of the singles and packs have already made their way to eBay. You can check them out here.