Gems of the Game Breakdown: Basketball, Football & More

Ryan Barone
(@ballcardgenius, Card Expert) is a lifelong member of the hobby. He has been quoted in PSA Magazine, and his content has regularly been mentioned in “Quick Rips” (the Topps RIPPED Newsletter) and across other hobby publications. hello@ballcardgenius.com; Last Time Ago LLC dba Ballcard Genius.

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Now, usually for a post like this I’d have the product in-hand, rip it myself, and perhaps post a video review. But, I’m just not there yet!

Not to mention that there is also a lot of content out there, from YouTube videos to sports card forum posts about the different experiences people are having with this product, so I thought it would be useful to gather what I could under one roof for easier viewing.

What is Gems of the Game?

Gems of the Game is a football or basketball card “mystery box” which means it’s a repack put together that guarantees specific contents. For example, a 2023 Gems of the Game Basketball guarantees a “BCCG 9 or Higher.” Previous versions like the 2021 Gems of the Game hanger box guarantees one graded card at a rating of “9” or higher. There is also a 2020 version that includes one graded card, one autograph or relic card, and six factory-sealed card packs.

Of course, while that all sounds good and great, as with any card product, we need to stop and consider a few things.

First, every box simply can’t contain a great card or “hit.” Just like the hobby and retail boxes of mainstream products direct from the card brands themselves, there is always the risk that you might not hit anything of value when opening.

Second, remember that not every slabbed card is created equal, and in fact, even one “10” from one grading company isn’t equal to a “10” from another—with one perhaps being gem mint and the other simply “mint or better” etc. And with that, a BCCG 9 is “near mint or better” which is equivalent to a PSA 7!

How Much Does a Gems of the Game Cost?

For the single-card 2023 Gems of the Game Basketball hanger, the lowest price to purchase via eBay “Buy it Now” is currently around $23. As mentioned above, the 2020 version contains more cards and thus is probably priced higher on the secondary market. Last I saw, that looks to be around $75.

What Can You Expect to Pull?

Really, a tough question to answer, as it is for every trading card product. I guess the biggest difference here is, you can and should pull a graded card. And in the case of the 2023 hanger, that card should also be graded 9 or higher as a BCCG.

From there, though, it’s probably best to do a little research to see what others have pulled, and then hypothesize on what the trend looks like, and what the best and worst case scenario looks like.

While the front of the box might persuade you to think otherwise, the card can definitely be of a brand that isn’t Panini or Topps. It can also be from a grading company that isn’t PSA or BGS (as epcified in the 2023 product). And, probably the most obvious, the player you pull can most certainly not be Trevor Lawrence or Kyler Murray; Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

Could you pull any of these things? I’m not sure without having the fine print in front of me.

Anyway, to help give you an idea, here are a few videos:

Degen Rips breaks open three 2023 Gems of the Game hangers below. The title of the video is “Scam? 2023 Basketball Gems of the Game Review!”

As the video points out, right off the bat, what’s tough to swallow is the fact that the box is guaranteeing only a BCCG 9, yet the front of the box shows a PSA Michael Jordan rookie card, and the back a PSA Kobe.

That said, I think it might be an improvement that the box actually states the “BCCG” guarantee because that hasn’t always been the case (and the boxes have only said “graded card.”) So, again, not all “graded cards” are created equal and there is a big difference between a PSA 9 and BCCG 9.

Anyway, here are the results:

  • BCCG 10 Michael Jordan 2009-10 Upper Deck MJ Legacy Gold #78
  • BCCG 10 Michael Jordan 2009-10 Upper Deck MJ Legacy Gold #30
  • BCCG 10 Michael Jordan 2009-10 Upper Deck MJ Legacy Gold #77

So three cards from the MJ Legacy set. Remember as we move on to a couple of other examples…

Next, Vikings95 opens two 2021 Gems of the Game hangers on YouTube: “Are These New 2021 Gems of The Game Football Repacks A Complete Scam?! You Tell Me…Ouch!”

As is observed, even before opening the box, it looks like the box itself is too short to contain a PSA slab, and then even potentially too narrow to contain a BGS slab. So, the conclusion even before opening is that the box will contain a BCCG slab…

Why is this significant? Well, there are many reasons, but one of the biggest in my opinion is that PSA and BGS are two of the most highly-regarded slabs out there, which means they tend to hold their value better than others.

And then secondly, the cards advertised on the 2021 Gems of the Game box include two photos: one of a PSA slab and another of a BGS!

  • Result #1: BCCG 10 Christian Kirk 2018 Leaf Rookie Star
  • Result #2: BCCG 10 Christian Kirk 2018 Leaf Rookie Star

Not ideal, right? It’s a great video, take a look above if you haven’t already.

Up North Collectors opens four 2021 Gems of the Game hangers, including two football and two basketball: “??? Worst Product/Break Ever ??? 2021 Gems of the Game Football & Basketball 1 Card Per Box.”

  • Football Result #1: BCCG 10 Keon Hatcher 2017 Sage Hit
  • Football Result #2: BCCG 10 Keon Hatcher 2017 Sage Hit
  • Basketball Result #1: BCCG 10 Michael Jordan 2009-10 Upper Deck MJ Legacy Gold
  • Basketball Result #2: BCCG 10 Michael Jordan 2009-10 Upper Deck MJ Legacy Gold

Read More:

So yeah, no joke…just like the previous videos, multiples of the same card with each of the sports.

Is it Worth it?

For me personally, $20 or so isn’t a terrible price when it comes to the entertainment factor. And when I talk entertainment factor, my mind goes to a young collector who might be just starting out. Thus, they don’t have a ton of expectations and might be thrilled with a graded card regardless.

Even with that said, $20 for any of the cards above wouldn’t be worth it in my opinion, and that money could easily be spent on a PC card or even a card one thinks might increase in value down the road.

But to play devil’s advocate, you also have to think about how many times you’ve spent $20 on a blaster only to come away with absolutely nothing to show for it.

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