Over the past year, while working on selling off some things and condensing my overall collection down, rolling many small sales up into fewer, "bigger" cards has been my MO. While I still believe this is the approach that's right for me at this stage in my collecting journey, it does leave me with a hole when it comes to the "have some good, cheap fun" side of the hobby.
Towards the end of last year I started to think about ways that I could still enjoy this side of collecting, but avoid things growing and sprawling out of hand in terms of sheer number of cards. I settled on an idea of creating a single Z-Folio album for each of my lesser-collected areas of trading cards (football, basketball, non-sport, etc).
If you're unfamiliar with the Z-Folio album, here's the one housing my basketball project. These come in many different colors, I chose orange for this particular collection because it just seemed appropriate for the sport. Last I looked they're around $25 on Amazon, with slight variations in pricing for certain colors.
No, this one did not come with the hoop on the front, that's a custom sticker my wife created for me using her Cricut craft machine. I'll probably add some more stickers to this over time, but for now at least I can easily look at this and determine what's inside without opening it. Speaking of opening it, here's the first thing I like better about Z-Folio compared to your standard binder:
Yes, the Z-Folio zippers shut, all the way around the album. While some may see this as an annoyance, I actually appreciate that it should keep the majority of dust out of these pages, and hopefully avoid that weird layer of "film" I sometimes see develop on the top of the first sheet in my standard Ultra Pro binders over time.
Inside the Z-Folio are 20 pages, each with 9 pockets on the front and 9 on the back, for a total of 360 available slots in the binder. There's a solid black cloth backing on each page, so that the cards are housed back to back on a sheet. Obviously this is not an ideal setup for those who really enjoy looking at the backs of their cards in binder form. Are there a lot of those folks out there, though? In fact, I know quite a few collectors that put their cards back to back in a standard Ultra Pro sheet anyway, just to economize space.
Besides, another thing that I really love about these is they are taller than your standard binder/sheets, and are designed for the card to fit within each slot while encased in a penny sleeve! As you can see above, sleeved cards fit nicely right into each pocket, sliding in horizontally. So, if you do want to have a look at the back of your cards (or shuffle around and rearrange what you have in an album), it's very easy to remove them without risking any damage.
So yeah, that's a bit about why I've really come to love these Z-Folios after learning about them in a YouTube video months back. As I mentioned, I'll be looking to fill this one here with 360 cool, totally random basketball cards.
Let's take a look at what I've got in the album so far...
You've seen this cheap Prizm Pink Ice Ray Allen parallel on the blog before, and in some of the photos above. I'll buy amazing shiny basketball cards like this for less than a dollar for this project all day long!
Speaking of which, I'll likely dedicate an entire 9-pocket page to different variations of this Paul Pierce card. So far I have the Pink Prizm to match the Ray Allen...
...and this Red White & Blue Prizm. I've got at least a couple more parallels of this card on the way, whenever my COMC order from a couple months back eventually arrives. In fact, there are quite a few singles for this project within that overall order.
Next up, a trio of Shaq rookies. I was at a very impressionable age with my childhood collecting when O'Neal rose to fame, and even though I was never a big basketball collector I acquired a couple of his rookie cards at the time, at the local pharmacy where they had a small card shop setup with a display case up front.
The two that I prized most were this Skybox rookie (which I funded with money from raking leaves, if I recall) because of the really great photograph...
...and the Ultra RC, which I think was an under-rated card for a very long time. I know it's not very rare, or super valuable, but this card is damn awesome. Those foil ROOKIE ribbons on the first couple of Ultra sets across all sports were highly coveted among my group of childhood collecting friends.
Also tossed in this 1977 Topps White Back Dave Cowens card, which I picked up a long while back off of COMC just because it was cheap, and because I liked the photograph of the Celtics HOFer. Look at those socks! Like something my dad would have worn to go along with his "fanny pack" when we were walking around Disney World circa 1990.
Finally, the latest addition to the binder, and the card that caused me to get my act together and create this post finally! I received this Mark Jackson card recently as a contest win from The Diamond King! This card suddenly became quite popular a while back when it was noted that two well-known evil people are seated courtside along the left border of the photograph there.
Sort of a creepy card for sure, but an interesting one that I really wanted to include in the binder right from when I first conceived of it. Big thanks to The Diamond King for holding the contest and sending me this one gratis, and thanks to everyone else for stopping by and reading a little bit about basketball cards from someone who knows admittedly very little about them.
With these 8 cards in the Z-Folio, I still have the fun of hunting and selecting 352 more before I call the project complete. If I ever reach that point even, then I'll treat the binder like an un-numbered franken-set I suppose, where a new card can be accepted in only by booting an existing one out. I'm a long way from having to make any of those decisions though, which I'm happy for since I enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
What's your opinion on Z-Folio binders if you've ever seen them? Do you use any to store aspects of your own collection? As you can see from this shot of my home office bookshelf, I've been bitten by the bug. I'll be posting from time to time on what each of these is, and keeping you updated with my progress on each here on the blog as well.
In the meantime, thanks as always for stopping by!
These folders are cool. If they were a little cheaper, I might consider them for a few player PCs. I was going through my COMC purchase history looking up how much I paid for a graded Charles Woodson card I bought... when I came across the Ultra and Skybox O'neal rookie cards.
Back in 2011, I picked up twelve PSA 10 O'neal Ultra rookie cards for $3.36 each... and three PSA 10 Skybox rookie cards (2 for $10 each and one for $12)... plus ten of his hoops PSA 10 rookie cards for $3.36 too. Even back in 2011... I was kinda amazed that someone would dump PSA 10 graded rookie cards of a legend for so cheap.
I see your Stadium Club Shaq is a members only card. I'm still trying to figure out why I never joined that club...
Nice to see some NBA cards on your blog, and these Folios are a great size for a small collection of 'secondary' sports. The Cracked Ice Prizm cards are really neat, and Cowens is a nice contrast. I can't wait to see you foll in that folder with more hoop stars.
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