BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION

BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION

BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION

BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION

BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION
BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION
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BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION

BEST PHOTOCARD SLEEVES FOR YOUR KPOP COLLECTION

(DRAGON SHIELD VS KMC VS ULTRA PRO VS POPCORN GAMES)

 

  1. Do I need to sleeve my cards?

Generally, sleeving your photocard would provide extra protection from fingerprint stains, sweat, dust, dirt, moisture, scratches etc. 

If you are someone who frequently handles your photocards - such as moving them around your photocard storage boxes/binders, taking them out to admire or preparing them for sales or trades - it would definitely be worthwhile to sleeve your photocards to give them an extra layer of protection. 

 

  1. What sized card sleeves should I get?

Photocards come in different sizes. Depending on what kind of photocards you collect, you would need to check the size of your photocard to make sure you purchase the correct sleeve size that would suit your collection. 

Some other factors to take into consideration as well would be: (1) if you would like to double sleeve your photocards and/or (2) if the size of the sleeves would be able to fit into your photocard binder sleeves.

 

  1. Do card sleeve materials matter? 

Yes, to help with preserving your cards, it is strongly recommended to look for acid-free (no PVC) sleeves. Another characteristic to look out for is if the card is made out of polypropylene. Polypropylene is mostly mold resistant, waterproof and heat resistant, so it provides a good protection from moisture and vapours. 

 

  1. Do I need to double sleeve my cards?

Double sleeving cards are more popular in the card gaming scene, where cards are handled more heavily as they are shuffled and played with. For photocard collecting, double sleeving photocards would definitely provide more protection for your collection, however, since the photocards are not for playing purposes, it would not be very necessary to double sleeve them. 

Some cases where people double sleeve their photocards would be because: (1) the photocard may be of significantly higher value than the rest of their collection, (2) the material of the photocard may be thinner than normal - double sleeving would provide more structure due to the thickness or (3) the environment the photocards are kept in may be susceptible to sunlight, moisture or humidity - double sleeving may be able to provide more protection for the photocard. 

 

  1. How should I store my photocards? 

There are a few different ways to store your photocard collections. For example, you can keep them in toploaders, photocard storage boxes or photocard binders. 

One of the more popular ways of storing photocards in the KPOP community is the standard A4 file with 9-Pocket pages. However, A5 files that store 4-Pocket pages have been becoming a popular way to store photocards as well. 

Storing your photocard collection is based on your personal preference. Do whatever makes you happy!

 

  1. How should I choose which sleeves to buy? 

Card sleeves come in many different variations. You can find a variety of sizes, colours, textures, designs and thicknesses. In the end, choosing which card sleeve to purchase is also up to your personal preference.

We hope that our review of some of the available card sleeves in the market can also give more clarity and information to help you with your choices :)

Watch our comparison video below!

 

 

PC - DRAGON SHIELD

[DRAGON SHIELD - PRODUCT SPECIFICS]

Clear Classic (Standard)

Thickness: 120 Microns 

Front Finish: Ultra Clear 

Back Finish: Ultra Clear

Sleeve Size: 63MM x 88MM (2½” x 3½”)

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • Tough polypropylene acid and PVC-free sleeves

  • Provides ultra clear visuals of the card

Special Function: Box design fits 75+ cards including sleeves

 

Clear Matte (Standard)

Thickness: 120 Microns

Front Finish: Ultra Clear

Back Finish: Matte Textured 

Sleeve Size: 63MM x 88MM (2½” x 3½”)

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • Tough polypropylene acid and PVC-free sleeves

Special Function: Box design fits 75+ cards including sleeves

 

Clear Matte Non-Glare (Standard)

Thickness: 120 Microns

Front Finish: Non-glare Clear

Back Finish: Matte Textured

Sleeve Size: 63MM x 88MM (2½” x 3½”)

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • Tough polypropylene acid and PVC-free sleeves

  • Non reflective clear front

Special Function: Box design fits 75+ cards including sleeves + camera friendly non-glare clear front

 

Clear Matte (Japanese Size)

Thickness: 120 Microns

Front Finish: Ultra Clear 

Back Finish: Matte + Opaque Textured

Sleeve Size: 59MM X 86 MM 

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 60 Sleeves

Features:

  • Acid and PVC-free 120μ polypropylene sleeves

Special Function: Box design fits 40+ sleeved cards

 

Dragon Shield Card Sleeve Overall Review

Dragon Shield card sleeves are the thickest sleeves available in the market. Although Dragon Shield sleeves are on the more expensive side, the quality of these sleeves are really durable and also feels nice to the touch. 

 

The ‘Clear Classic’ sleeves have an ultra clear front and back finish that is great for sleeving photocards as the images don’t get distorted. They’re also smooth to the touch on both sides - unlike some plastic sleeves that have a more grainy or sticky feel. 

 

The ‘Clear Matte’ standard size and Japanese size sleeves have an ultra clear front finish and a matte textured back finish. Similar to the ‘Clear Classic’, these sleeves also provide great clarity. The matte textured back is slightly opaque, however, it does not significantly distort the clarity of the back of the photocard. 

 

The ‘Clear Matte - Non-Glare’ has a clear non-glare front finish and a matte textured back finish. The main purpose of this sleeve is to help reduce glare when taking photos of your collection. It does have a slightly ‘cloudier’ front finish, however, it does not significantly impact the clarity of the photocard. If you’re someone who likes taking photos or videos of your collection, these sleeves are the best camera ready ones available. 

 

PC - KMC + ULTRA PRO

 

[KMC MINI PERFECT SIZE - PRODUCT SPECIFICS]

Thickness: 45.5 Microns

Front Finish: Ultra Clear

Back Finish: Ultra Clear

Sleeve Size: 60MM X 87MM  

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • Similar to ‘penny sleeves’

Special Function: Recommended to use by inserting the Mini Perfect from the top of the card and then putting it into the Mini (Small) size sleeve*

*KMC Mini (Small) size sleeves are sold separately

 

KMC Mini Perfect Size Card Sleeve Review

The KMC Perfect Mini Sleeves have an ultra clear front and back finish which provides great clarity for the photocards. Due to its size, the photocard fits really snugly inside the sleeves, giving it no room to move around. If you’re someone who likes to double sleeve your photocards, this would be a recommended inner sleeve to use. 

 

[ULTRA PRO - PRODUCT SPECIFICS]

Ultra Pro Soft Sleeves

Thickness: 40 Microns

Front Finish: Clear 

Back Finish: Clear

Sleeve Size: ~67MM X 935MM

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • Protects collectibles from scratches

  • Clear polypropylene 

  • No PVC / Acid Free

  • Ultra Clear

 

Ultra Pro Deck Protector (Clear Standard)

Thickness: 110 Microns

Front Finish: Clear

Back Finish: Clear 

Sleeve Size: 66MM X 91MM

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • Stores and protects standard collectible cards

  • Acid free / No PVC

  • Has official Ultra Pro hologram seal of durability on the sleeve

 

Ultra Pro Card Sleeve Overall Review

Ultra Pro sleeves are one of the most popular card sleeves in the market. They provide sufficient protection for cards at an affordable price. 

 

Ultra Pro soft sleeves are the classic penny sleeves. It has a clear finish that does not distort the image of the photocard’s back or front. The material that it is made of is also pretty slippery to the touch. If you prefer that over a plasticy finish, Ultra Pro’s soft sleeves are for you. One downside of the soft sleeves is that it is pretty thin. Although it does provide more than sufficient protection for your photocard, if you are someone that moves your photocards around frequently, you may need to be more careful when using these sleeves. Due to these sleeves being only 40 microns thick, it is easy to dent and have creases. If you are looking for a transitional sleeve, you can consider getting Ultra Pro’s soft sleeves. 

 

If you are looking for something sturdier, you can consider Ultra Pro’s ‘Deck Protector’ series instead. It is significantly thicker than the soft sleeves which would provide sufficient protection for photocards. It has a slightly cloudier finish but overall, it doesn’t seriously impact or distort the clarity of the photocard. However, it does have the seal of durability on the bottom of the sleeve, and although it is very small, it will still cover an area of your photocard. If that is something that is alright with you, Ultra Pro’s ‘Deck Protector’ series may be a good option to consider if you are looking for something on the cheaper side. 

 

PC - POP CORN GAMES

 

[POPCORN GAMES - PRODUCT SPECIFICS]

Popcorn Games Premium Card Sleeves (Soft)

Thickness: 50 Microns

Front Finish: Clear 

Back Finish: Clear

Sleeve Size:  63.5MM X 88MM (2½” X ~3½”)

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • No PVC / Acid Free

 

Popcorn Games Premium Card Sleeves Fit (Soft)

Thickness: 50 Microns

Front Finish: Clear

Back Finish: Clear

Sleeve Size: 63.5MM X 88MM (2½” X ~3½”)

Number of Sleeves per Pack: 100 Sleeves

Features:

  • No PVC / Acid Free

 

Popcorn Games Card Sleeve Overall Review

Popcorn Games has a wide variety of card sleeve sizes, if you are looking for a brand that caters to unique sizes, Popcorn Games would be a good place to search for them.

 

Their ‘soft’ sleeves are of a decent thickness that would provide pretty good protection for photocards. If you are looking for something more durable, they also have their ‘thick’ sleeve range that provides double the thickness of their soft sleeve range. Do note that for Popcorn Game’s ‘thick’ sleeve range, each pack only includes 50 card sleeves. For their ‘soft’ sleeve range, each pack includes 100 card sleeves. 

 

Both the ‘soft’ and ‘thick’ sleeves have a clear finish that allows you to view photocards without distorting the image on the front and back. The sleeves are also pretty smooth to the touch which makes inserting the photocard into toploaders or into photocard storing pages easy as well. Overall, Popcorn Game card sleeves are pretty good basic sleeves to purchase if you are on a budget. 

 

 

Price Comparison (cheapest to most expensive)

  1. Popcorn Games 

  2. Ultra Pro Soft Sleeves 

  3. KMC Mini Perfect Size 

  4. Ultra Pro Deck Protector 

  5. Dragon Shield Classic Clear 

  6. Dragon Shield Matte Clear 

  7. Dragon Shield Non-Glare Matte Clear 

  8. Dragon Shield Japanese Sized Matte Clear 

 

Size Gauge For Storing Cards:

Sleeves That Fit Ultra Pro 9-Pocket Pages

  1. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Classic’ - Standard Size

  2. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Matte’ - Standard Size

  3. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Matte - Non-Glare’ - Standard Size

  4. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Matte’ - Japanese Size

  5. KMC Perfect Mini

  6. Ultra Pro Deck Protector

  7. Ultra Pro Soft Sleeves (has slight warping)

  8. Popcorn Games 63.5X88 MM - Regular

  9. Popcorn Games 63.5X88 MM - ‘FIT’

 

Sleeves That Fit BeonD A5 4-Pocket Pages

  1. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Matte’ - Japanese Size

  2. KMC Perfect Mini

  3. Popcorn Games 63.5X88 MM - ‘FIT’

 

Sleeves That Fit Regular Top Loaders:

  1. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Classic’ - Standard Size

  2. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Matte’ - Standard Size

  3. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Matte - Non-Glare’ - Standard Size

  4. Dragon Shield ‘Clear Matte’ - Japanese Size

  5. KMC Perfect Mini

  6. Ultra Pro Deck Protector

  7. Ultra Pro Soft Sleeves (has slight warping)

  8. Popcorn Games 63.5X88 MM - Regular

  9. Popcorn Games 63.5X88 MM - ‘FIT’

 

Conclusion:

The sleeves mentioned above are all great sleeves to use. They all have different specs and uses that fit different preferences, collecting styles and sorting styles. Choosing which card sleeve for your photocard collection ultimately comes down to personal preference. 

 

In general, if you have a large collection, it may make more economical sense to go for the cheaper sleeves to sleeve your entire collection. The Popcorn Games sleeves, Ultra Pro soft sleeves and the KMC Perfect Mini sleeves would do a great job providing the necessary protection needed for your collection without incurring that much damage on your wallet.

 

On the other hand, if you have a smaller highly prized collection, it may make more sense to invest in studier sleeves such as the Dragon Shield ones to provide greater protection for the photocards.

 

If you are someone that is looking to double sleeve your collection, you can consider getting the KMC Perfect Mini sleeves and using the Popcorn Games or the Dragon Shield as the outer sleeve. For something more budget friendly, using the Popcorn Games sleeves would be sufficient. For something that provides more structure and sturdiness, using the Dragon Shield sleeves should do the job. 

 

If you are looking to send your for trades and sales, the Ultra Pro soft sleeves or the Popcorn Games sleeves do a good job. These sleeves are easy for people to handle and to get their cards out without damaging its sides as they are more flexible. 

 

For something durable, Dragon Shield sleeves are the way to go. The Dragon Shield sleeves do not really get dirty despite long storage time and if they do have marks on them, they are fairly easy to clean. On the other hand, the Ultra Pro Deck Protector tends to develop more marks and stains that are pretty difficult to clean after being used for a long time.

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