Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blog-a-versy! Topps Exclusive Licence

Even being a greenhorn to collecting cards, I know what a monopoly means.

For many years out here in Oregon, Comcast ruled the roost. They were the only gig in town, and if you wanted to see cable or HD television, then you were pretty much subjected to a standard 6-month rate increase, and there was nothing you could do about it.

Then along came Verizon, and that saved the day. Now not only do I have a little wiggle room with Comcast, they are actually scared to lose customers so much, that they will pretty much offer you the keys to the city if you casually mention wanting to check out Verizon. You always get the "hold please" and then they come back with some great six-month offer. In six months, I call back again, say "my bill is too high" and wash and repeat.

Since this is my first year collecting, I have tried out a very wide variety of product trying to find my niche as to what products I would like to collect in the future. I have spent way too much on conducting this "research", but now that I am learning the ropes, I have a better strategy for next years offerings.

Now, while I definitely don't consider myself a Topps "Homer", I did find myself for the most part disappointed with Upper Decks "mail it in" product line. I made no secret my disappointments, starting with the commemorative Red Sox set and continuing through this years UD flagship offering. 1000+ cards? Insane. I also don't dig the cut out figures placed on various computer generated backgrounds...especially when you are expected to pay 5-10 bucks a pack for said product.

That being said, I did like SOME of UD's offerings. I fell in love with the SP legendary cuts. The cards are unique, and the hits were pretty classy too, but I have made a critical error in attempting to collect SP's 101-200. I have about half, but probably will never see the other half. The price of the product is just ridiculous too. I have seen them at nearly 120 a box! Cool cards, but I learned a lesson here.

Masterpieces was brilliant, WAY better than the sketches offered in this years A&G. Goudey is a fun set because of the artistic quality to it. But for the most part I would say any live-photo product was lacking any originality and thus my anti-sentiment towards UD.

BUT, any business needs competition, and it concerns me a bit when Michael Eisner says that he wants to return the hobby back to the kids. What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that we are going to return back to an 80's and 90's massive overproduction of cheap cards? I am like everybody else, I am looking for sets, but also enjoy finding little valuable surprises in the packs.

Will Topps rest on their laurels like the Madden football and 2K sports franchises have an put out sub-par product? I am far too new at this hobby to raise much concern just yet, but I am definitely curious as to the fallout of this deal.


  1. The way I took it was that there will be more Opening Day, Series 1 and 2, bubble gum sticks and stickers with very little high end product for "adults." Listen, I am not a set collector. I spend my $5,000 a year on boxes chasing the "hit" that may never happen, but at least I have a shot. I do not want to spend my days arranging cards in binders and chasing SP's, thats not my thing. If Topps does not want my buisness, I will be happy chasing Prospect hits. I enjoy your blog, and Idolize those of you who have the patience to collect "sets" but sets are boring to 80% of the adult collectors who I fell actually fund the hobby. Most parents, especially in todays economy, will not shell out $20 for a box at Wal-Mart or $4 for a pack of cards. Kids want electronics, not cards, so where do the go to appeal to the kids? I think MLB should have two companys, no matter what.

  2. I definitely agree that kids are never going to be the major market for baseball cards, its more people like us that go after hobby boxes. Don't get me wrong, I like to get the hits and chase them, but just cant do the case bust on my income. Thus completing sets and subsets fills my void. Still waiting for that one moster pull though...

  3. I am a player collector, I collect Clete Thomas. His commons are the only ones I care about. All my other commons go into boxes that are sorted by teams for IP autos during spring training, that is as close to set collecting as I get,haha. I agree Legendary cuts is awesome, along with 06 Fleer Greats, man did Fleer make a great baseball product, too bad they also got the shaft. My only problem with LC is you are only guaranteed two jersey cards, if I am spending over $100 on a box I want an autograph. I know the chances of getting that monster is better, but I still have a hard time forcing my self into buying a box. A&G is the same way, I usually just buy packs from the hobby shop and have had decent luck. Last time I bought all the packs out of a new box that were on the right side, I think it was 6-8 packs. I pulled a silk card /10, two jerseys, and a rip card /99. My wife agreed since it was my first rip card we would rip it together, well that card that was selling for $60 was now worth $2 with a 50 cent swisher mini. OUCH!