The hobby has changed over the past seven years or so, for the good and the worse, but one of the positive changes has been the growing presence of group breakers online. Since the days of BlogTV in the early 2010s, online group breaks have taken the sports card world by storm, with no signs of slowing down. I have been watching group breaks online for over five years and there are a few group breakers that I look forward to watching everyday on Breakers.tv. For me, a good group breaker is someone that not only breaks a wide range of sports card products, but someone that that also engages their audience and keeps them entertained. They try and communicate with their audience and show some personality, and their sole purpose is not to fill the group breaks they have for sale.
The booming online presence of the has all but eliminated the in-person essence of the sports card hobby here in Toronto, and this is perhaps the only negative thing about online group breaks. Regardless, online group breaks provide the biggest sports card community in the hobby and an excellent source to research sports card products before a collector purchases them. Personally, I put a lot of value into conversing with my fellow sports card collectors and fans and I almost always watch groups breaks live or on YouTube before every major purchase. This article will focus on, in no particular-order, the group breakers that I watch the most frequently and rate them out of five stars under presentation and entertainment value.
KT Authentics has been around since the BlogTV days, and they continue to grow and prosper. They are a hobby store and the new shop that they just opened in California is huge and has all sorts of good stuff for every hobby enthusiast. What is important to me in any group breaking room is that the group breaker shows their face while they are breaking product, and that he or she knows all the regulars in the room by their first name. For whatever reason, over the past couple of years, most group breakers no longer show their faces when they are streaming live, and I believe this takes away from their chances of filling a break. I consider myself friends with the group breakers that I watch, so naturally I know how all of them look like.
What I like most about KT Authentics is that some of my closest friends in the hobby also watch this stream. The atmosphere is laid back and while a break is filling we can talk about sports, sports cards or whatever else is on our minds. This room is truly a place where collectors can just hang out and talk about anything and there is not much pressure to fill a break, which is what every group breaking channel should be about.
The host of the channel is also a very likeable guy and obviously that helps as well. He is one of the few group breakers that is always on cam when he is on Breakers.tv and I believe other group breakers can follow his example. There are also a couple of other workers that also help with filling and opening breaks, and they are likeable as well. Being a hobby store, they are never lacking in products from all sports and this keeps everyone interested and waiting for more.
Jeff has always been professional in the way he performs his breaks and deals with people in the chat. He also performs his breaks in a timely matter and greets everyone that comes into the channel, which is a lost art to some people in this world. Because of these reasons, I try my best to never miss one of his broadcasts.
The entertainment value in this channel does not always come from the group breaker, but from my friends that also frequent the broadcast. That is not to say that the broadcast is boring, but Jeff does not go out of his way to excite the people in a break or those that are in the channel. He focuses on the break first and foremost. Alex, however who performs breaks from to time, does provide comedic relief.
Iriving is a veteran of the online group breaking game, and one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met in he hobby. He is extremely personable and his breaks show how compassionate and how much fun he has in the hobby, which is sometimes lacking. Also, I regret not meeting Irving in person when he was here for the Toronto Sportscard Expo a couple of years ago.
Irving also breaks non-sports products which makes him a little more unique than some of the mainstream group breakers. He gets what his customers want and goes out of his way to make people happy and fill his breaks. A lot of his breaks are auction style and he frequently buys teams to help fill his breaks. This does not matter to him because he knows that filling breaks and keeping his audience entertained is the most important thing, and that is why he has as many loyal customers as he does.
When he is online and it is a slow night or day, his true personality comes out. He shares his Instagram feed and tells stories about living in California that are always a joy to hear. There are even a couple of times when he let us look out his window when there was a police car chase going on, and this is something you will only be able to see while watching his live stream.
I have not been watching this channel as much as I used to because he has been breaking a lot of the same product lately. However, I still make sure to check out what is going on and to hang out with my friends in the hobby that appreciate Iriving as much as I do.
Iriving is awesome in every possible way! His presentation style is smooth and keeps me engaged at all times.
One of the more entertaining group breakers out there, and Irving has always been passionate about the hobby and I hope he never changes. There was actually a thread posted on a forum a few years ago about how Irving was not professional because he showed too much excitement over a case of National Treasures Baseball which had a large number of nice cards.This is what makes Irving unique, showing excitement after every nice hit, and to be honest I wish more group breakers would show more emotion.
Tyler is relatively new to the group breaking game and he specializes in soccer cards, even though he does do basketball breaks from time to time. Some may consider his breaks slower than most, but this is what makes him unique, and I am glad he does not get pressured to change his style of breaking. Tyler does not break regularly, but when he does it is usually during the middle of the week, and one case at a time.
He also has a Facebook group which other group breakers use to help fill breaks and so members can sell and trade their cards. This is very useful tool for those collectors that want to trade for cards and do such things as complete base sets and personal collections. He has the smallest following of the breakers on my list as well and most of his customers are strictly soccer card collectors. This does not deter his loyal customers from joining his breaks and me from watching his breaks as often as I can.
The only thing that could use improving with Tyler’s group breaks are how slow they are, but this makes him unique and fellow collectors always make fun of him on how slow he is.
Tyler has his own quirky sense of humor which is always good for a laugh or two.
Chris has evolved to become one of the biggest names in the group breaking community. I remember years ago when I would watch his breaks on YouTube and it was just him in a tiny store. He has since become the most popular day-time group breaker and one of the biggest names in the group breaking business. This is because Chris is perhaps the most dedicated group breaker and store owner in the hobby and he goes out of his way to make everyone happy. He specializes in personal breaks, but he also does group breaks of all the new and hot products.
Chris has always had a hobby store that he recently expanded to a new location in North Carolina, which is doing very well. He goes on every Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. or so and in the years that I have been watching him, he has missed maybe a total of 5 days. I am not close with anyone that frequents Chris’s channel, but it is always a good time joking around with the members that come here. It is a different kind of bunch, and sometimes their focal point is not the cards that are being opened, but just talking among one another.
I had a small situation with Chris a couple of years ago when dealing with a troll that lurks around Breakers.tv and he dealt with it with promptly and with class. In my experience, when dealing with issues of any sort in a chat room, things rarely go my way. So, it was nice to see that Chris saw things my way and the troll was taken care of.
Watching Cards Infinity is something I look forward to everyday and before I purchase a box of something, his YouTube channel is my go to source to see what a product is like. His breaks are done at the perfect speed and he performs his breaks with his own special sense of humour which I always get a kick out of.
None of my close friends may come to this channel on a regular basis, but everyone I know is aware of Chris and other group breakers use his example of how to run a smooth group break and how to be successful. One of my biggest accomplishments on Breakers.tv was being given moderator status in Chris’s channel, and this has made it easier for me to talk to the other members in the room and hopefully expand my hobby circle.
Chris is a professional true and through, and overall he might be the best group breaker on this list. He is most definitely one of the big boys in the hobby, yet he takes time for everyone in his channel and even takes time to reply to emails if anyone has an issue they want to discuss.
The only group breaker on my list that got a perfect rating and Chris truly deserves it. I love the stories that he tells and the little jokes that he makes after certain players are pulled. These kind of things show me that Chris is aware that the hobby is supposed to be fun first and foremost and that everything should not be taken so seriously and like a business.
What makes this room stand out from everyone else on this list is the incredible amount of joy that Rob puts into his breaks. He exclusively breaks hockey products, and he is a joy to watch every time. Rob puts a lot of emotion whenever a nice card is pulled, and he might not be entertaining for everyone, but he is one my favorite breakers for sure. He uses a mini siren which some other breakers use as well to exemplify the nice cards in a break, and he does overdo the use of the siren from time to time, but never gets any complaints, including from me.
Rob is also very dedicated to his group breaks and customers, and when SP Authentic Hockey was released a couple of months ago, he stayed on Breakers.tv for an unprecedented nineteen hours. I have never seen this in my years of watching group breaks, but this is the kind of passion that Rob has for the hobby and how hard he tries to make his customers happy.
Perhaps the only thing that TNT is missing is dabbling in other sports and products. I believe Rob has busted other sports in the past, but I have yet to see any of those breaks. He also is only on during the weekend for the most part, except when a new product is released, then he will broadcast the day that product becomes available to be opened on Breakers.tv.
TNT is by far the best group breakers of hockey card products, and with hockey not being the most popular product to be opened by other group breakers, hockey collectors need Rob to keep doing what he is doing. There are other group breakers that specialize in hockey cards, but they lack the personality, prices and overall good time that TNT provides whenever they are live.
Rob is the only group group breaker that I know of that opens cases upon cases of products one pack at a time. There are those open a box or two at a time for personal breaks, but Rob goes out of his way go through every single card in a break. Unfortunately, this means that his breaks will last a long while, and one can expect to spend over an hour for most of his breaks.
Rob is nuts and there is no other way to put it! There is no other group breaker that puts as much emotion as Rob does into his breaks, and this is shown after every nice card is pulled. Some collectors may not enjoy his over exuberance, but I love it! The mood of his channel is also family friendly, positive and upbeat which is a refreshing trend from some of the broadcasts that can be immature and annoying.
Another fellow Korean in the group breaking game, Ken breaks mostly basketball cards, but he also will also bust other sports cards if they are popular. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest cards I have ever seen on Breakers.tv was a dual autograph of Cristiano Ronaldo and Pele that Ken pulled from a case of 2014 Panini World Cup Prizm. I believe that was the only case he did of that product, and if he does open cases from other sports, that is typically what he does.
What I like about Ken and his breaks is that he has a large variety of products and does not only focus on new items. He is one of the only group breakers that specializes in basketball cards, which is odd considering how popular a sport it is all around the world. Ken also accepts BGS submissions for grading and is a down to earth guy that will also go out of his way to make his customers happy.
My favorite time of the year with regards to Ken’s live channel is when he breaks his K2 Krazy Packs. These are cards from his own collection that he puts aside during the year. These packs are also very affordable and each pack has very good value. Ken puts together 24 packs and you have the chance to pulls autos of such superstars as Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and James Harden. As difficult as it is to be satisfied with a break nowadays, Ken went out of his way to make sure each pack had something nice in it, and no pack will make you feel like you wasted your money.
Ken is the best basketball group breaker out there! His group breaks are run very smoothly and fill fairly quickly. He also keeps everyone in the channel happy and satisfied and keeps the conversation going while a break is trying to fill, which as mentioned is a lost art in the group breaking business.
Ken is an extremely friendly individual, and I have heard many stories about how he goes out of his way to make his friends and customers happy in the hobby. This friendliness is illustrated during all of his breaks and that is what makes them interesting to watch. A good example of this are his Krazy Packs that I mentioned earlier, which no other group breaker takes the time to do.
George has been breaking cards for as long as Irving and KTA , and even though he does not have as much a following as he used to, I still enjoy watching his breaks as much as anyone else on this list. He used to break cards from his local card store, but he has been on his own for a couple of years. When he was working with his local card store, I remember him busting a case of 2012 SP Auhentic Golf and he pulled a shirt autograph of Tiger Woods. Since then I was hooked to watching his breaks and have not stopped since.
George is also very dedicated to his group breaks and comes on Breakers.tv everyday and usually breaks a couple of cases until the wee hours of the morning. For the most part, today he focuses on soccer and baseball card breaks, but like some of the other breakers on this list, he will bust a couple of cases of new products if they are hot enough.
There are not a lot of soccer breakers around, so George most definitely makes soccer collectors happy with all the work that he does. He also has his own unique personality, and shows happiness during his breaks whenever a nice card is pulled. This should not be taken for granted either because there are a lot of breakers that perform breaks like they are robots and there is no pace or rhythm and thusly, their breaks are difficult to watch.
What I enjoy most about George’s live feed is when he does personal breaks. When he used to get more product, he would always have loose boxes laying around and perform personal breaks for whoever wanted a box. Why I enjoy personal breaks more than group breaks is because they are faster than seeing 12 boxes of a case being opened, and personal breaks are usually done by someone that enjoys a certain product and is looking to keep the cards they get for their personal collection.
G’s group breaks have nothing that makes them stand out from others on my list, but they are done professionally and in a timely manner.
Most of the entertainment value in G’s breaks comes from the chat that takes place in his channel. A couple of my close hobby friends have been going to this broadcast since G started group breaking years ago, so there is a sense of fellowship that I can not say for any other group breaker.
Also known as FirehandCards, Chad is one of the pioneers of the group breaking game, and is the group breaker that I was most addicted with in the early BlogTV days. What attracted me to his group breaks was that he was on everyday, presented his breaks with emotion and consistency, and busted every product imaginable. He also has a couple of quotes such as his infamous “Juan de Juan” that many other group breakers have also grown to use. Quotes such as these are unique to Chad, and will live in the hobby forever.
Unfortunately, I have not watched much of Chad’s breaks over the past couple of years due to an annoying troll having me banned from his room, but I still watch him from time to time. This is where my one criticism of certain group breakers exists. Some group breakers only care about making money and do not care about the personalities that join their breaks. Granted, most of the people in the hobby do not stoop to a childish level of trolling and everyone is friends. But when that decision comes to rid your group breaking channel of someone that is disruptive towards everyone and is only looking to get under the skin of those watching the group breaks and a paying customer, the decision should be an easy one.
Moving on, from what I have been able to watch from Chad’s breaks over the past couple of years, he continues to be very professional and bust all sorts of products. His breaks are extremely wide-spread and he orders products that his customers want, which every good breaker should do. His breaks fill very quickly as well, so there is no waiting around and the fun starts usually within thirty minutes or so. His emotion and passion for the hobby is also shown on a consistent basis and he does not go overboard. All in all, Chad should be respected for all he has contributed to the hobby and his legacy should never be forgotten.
Chad used to be the best of the best, but ever since being banned by an annoying troll a couple of years ago, I have not been able to enjoy his broadcast as much as I have wanted to. On the rare occasion that I do watch Chad’s show he continues to be the quickest filler of group breaks as well as having the best selection of products that keep all of his customers happy.
My logic behind the low rating here is that it is difficult for me to enjoy Chad’s group breaks when I am unable to participate in the chat. Chad is an icon in the group breaking game, but he puts his business first and foremost above everything else. This is fine, but several customers have taken their money elsewhere, largely due to the troll, who was a big time spending customer, that I mentioned earlier. I have no idea if this troll still goes to Chad’s broadcast, but Chad used to be the biggest name in group breaking, but now he is just one in a long list of them.
Bryan started breaking alongside KAB Sportscards and Collectables during the early years of Breakers.tv, and their late-night breaks were something I watched everyday. What I enjoyed most about his breaks were the intimate setting with only a few regulars frequenting the channel as well as the personal boxes that collectors purchased. A personal break in my opinion has more meaning than a group break, since a personal break is obviously for one person and most of the cards are kept in that person’s collection. To continue,Bryan is also one of the most down to earth and friendliest group breakers that I have ever come across, and his group breaks reflect his kind nature.
Bryant left KAB a couple of years ago, but he still breaks on his own and he continues to be one of the nicest people in the hobby. He focuses on baseball prospect products such as Bowman Chrome and basketball products such as Prizm and Totally Certified, but he also partakes in football breaks and the odd hockey break. Most of his breaks are done in the auction style format, which is a newer style of break. How this is done is all the teams are listed in a spreadsheet and the members in the room each get a shot to win a team. The breaker then counts down from ten, and the highest bidder wins the team. It is a simple and quick way to fill a break and they are more interesting than the fillers and minis that are done to complete a break, since the entire room is involved. Bryan also does non-sport products from time to time, but he has not been around for awhile, but I hope he comes back soon!
There is nothing negative at all to say about Bryan’s presentation style other than the products that he breaks are pretty limited. He does keep all of his customers happy however, and that is what matters most!
Like a couple of group breakers on my list, a lot of the entertainment comes from the chat in the channel. Bryan, like George has been around for a few years and a few of the members that frequent his broadcast are those that I have known since his days at KAB. Auction style group breaks also provide something different than the typical random style or pick your team style break, and they can be amusing at times.
Soccer Breakers FC
Cyrus is another one of the newer breakers that I started watching over the past couple of years, and he specializes in soccer cards. He is the soccer expert on Breakers.tv and he breaks all soccer products on a regular basis. He has done a couple of other sports in the past, but I do not think he has busted a non-soccer product in a long while. Cyrus also has a Facebook group where members can join breaks and make trades and talk among fellow soccer card collectors.
What I like most about Cyrus’s breaks is that he opens each pack one at a time and even though this makes his breaks longer than most, you get to see what is in every pack and you know he is taking his time to make sure everyone gets to see what is being pulled. He also highlights the big hits on display stands and shows them to those watching. This is a common trend with a couple of other breaks that I have discussed, but I believe Cyrus was one of the first breakers to start this trend.
The hobby has changed over the years, but my passion remains and the group breakers on my list make it easy for me to enjoy the hobby that I love on a daily-basis. Every collector has a different set of criteria to what they consider a good group breaker, but I believe the things that I mentioned such as having a unique personality and putting the customer first are paramount to any successful business such as group breaking.
Cyrus is the man when it comes to soccer breaks and he is why I started busting soccer products a couple of years ago. Similar to Tyler and Rob, Cyrus’s breaks can be on the long side, but he keeps his audience engaged and involved.
Cyrus is the only group breaker that I know of that sings on a regular basis and I find this very amusing! He is also the only group breaker that busts soccer exclusively, and this provides a nice change of pace to to the other channels on Breakers.tv that focus on the more mainstream sports.
Well, there you have it! The online presence of the sports card hobby has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years, and there are several other group breakers that I could have added to my list of favorites. I tried to focus on those that I have watched for the longest period of time and those that I will continue to watch in the foreseeable future. taking certain criteria into consideration.