Trading Card Binder Review: TopDeck 500 Card Pocket 9 Pocket Album

One of the biggest decisions a trading card game collector can make is deciding how to display their cards. In order to help out fellow collectors, this brand new series Trading Card Binder Review will take us through binders being sold as premium display items to see which products live up to the hype and which aren't worthy to store your big hitters. Whether you collect Pokémon TCG, Dragon Ball Super Card Game, Digimon, or any other CCG/TCG, I hope this helps you on your journey. Today, let's take a look at one of the most prominent products out there on the market: TopDeck 500 Card Pocket 9 Pocket Album.

Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck

TopDeck 500 Card Pocket 9 Pocket Album: The Details

  • Side-load sleeves for the cards
  • Black exterior, black interior
  • Zips shut
  • No rings
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck

The Good

  • Room for many more cards than most binders: There is a bit of an issue with TopDeck listing this as a 500 Card Pocket binder, which we will get to below. However, this is a binder that is capable of holding larger sets of cards. If, for example, you build master collections of Pokémon TCG sets where you display both the standard and reverse holos of every card, this binder is more than capable of storing such a set. With my own collections, I often put two average-sized sets in a binder like this.
  • Sturdy, premium protection: When it comes to protecting your cards, it doesn't get much better. To me, losing the rings is a must. I appreciate both zip and strap binders for different reasons, but there is no denying that the zip is quite safe. The zipper here is well made and the binder itself is the sturdiest on the market.
  • Comfortable fit: While this binder is designed for standard-sized trading cards, I've noticed that some binders have little wiggle room. The pocket pages of this binder from TopDeck fit and hold smaller sleeves (for example, UltraPro sleeves) well and also easily accommodate larger sleeves (ETB sleeves from Pokémon TCG products). These are quite a bit different in size, and both fit without issue.
  • Variety: While this review is about the black binder, TopDeck also offers different colors: a powder blue, green, yellow, and white which also have colored interior pages. The color options are new to 2021 and are quite a bit different than those offered by other companies.
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck
Binder photograph. Credit: TopDeck

The Bad

  • 500 Cards: There is an issue with the binder that makes the "500 cards" bit not even close to true if you care about how you display cards. While you can store more cards in here than any other binder I can think of, don't go in with plans to hit that 500 on the dot. Here is why.
  • Ramp up: The more cards you put, the more the binder pages will create a ramp. This seems to be because the first pocket of the page is a bit too close to the spine of the binder, which creates this unsightly hill. This is the binder's only major quality issue, but it is quite a large one. I will say that the hill does fall a bit with use of the binder as the spine wears a bit, but this effect is much more prominent with this TopDeck offering than other, similar binders. This impacts the front pages way more than the later pages.
  • Price: This is just about the most expensive binder on the market, retailing for $49.99. Such a price begs the question: is it $20 better than its closest competitor, VaultX? It sure isn't.

TopDeck 500 Card Pocket 9 Pocket Album: Final Rating

8.5/10: The ramped pages and high price impact what would have otherwise been a perfect score. If TopDeck can give the price a hit and flatten the hill in future releases, they'll have the definitive binder. Right now, this is a solid offering that falls just short of the top slot.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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