RIP Valley in Downtown Phoenix Offers Rare Sports Cards and Collectibles

David UlloaSeptember 14, 2023
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Former entertainment executive Brandon Dixon has been obsessed with collecting sports cards since he was about 5 years old. So, when his brother and his brother’s business partner told him about their vision of creating a card shop that was not the “same old, dirty” card-shop cliché but a place that was “more [of] an experience, not just sports cards,” he was sold. Vision became reality in February 2023, when RIP Valley opened in Downtown Phoenix. The shop’s name comes from the card collector slang for opening a pack of cards, “rip,” and the Valley of the Sun. “I’ve learned a lot,” Dixon says of their first few months in business. “We’re lovin’ it.”

According to Dixon, RIP Valley’s customers are typically males between 18 and 50 years old, “but that doesn’t mean there aren’t girls coming in loving Pokémon and sports, too!” RIP Valley also carries other collectibles such as sneakers, comics, toys and autographed items including a size 22 sneaker signed by Shaquille O’Neal.

When the neon light is on at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, hot doughnuts are on offer. At RIP Valley, when the bright neon “Live Breaks” light is on, they are “breaking.” Not to be confused with the slang term for breakdancing, breaking is when collectors buy a share of a box/case of cards with the hopes of landing on cards that are worth a lot of money.

Before the break, the host, aka the “breaker,” divides up the sports teams and assigns each team a price depending on several factors, such as who was rookie during the year the box was released, and the maker of the box itself. Collectors place their bids on a team with the hope they score big. They can walk away with cards of high value, or they can walk away with nothing at all. Breaks can also be hosted in other formats, such as serial number breaks, alphabet breaks and randomized breaks where each participant is assigned a random team. “It’s sort of like gambling,” Dixon says.

Rip Valley
1014 N. Second St., Phoenix

Signed 42 poster

2021-22 Devin Booker card

LeBron James card

1986 Hasbro G.I. Joe Tomahawk

Shaquille O’Neal signed shoes

Hall of Fame autographed baseball

1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle