Monday, July 28, 2008

Collating The Collecting Industry

Since everyone has spent the last week blighting (blog fighting) it out, I think its time that we get back to some old fashioned card shit. Im done with the whole BWWF (blog world wrestling federation) now, so consider me retired to taking shots at people who actually deserve them. WOOOOOOO!

When it comes down to it, a set is based on two very, very important things. First is the cards, obviously, as they need to be top notch for me to waste my hard earned money. The second thing is how the cards are distributed to the buyers, because without a good way of distributing, the first doesn’t matter. Number 2b under this second part is a thing that refers to the way things are distributed among the boxes, or collation. Collation for cards in a set is like a playlist for your iPod at a party, it needs to be smooth or you can kiss the girls and the party goodbye.

Of course its pretty obvious that collation in a set's worth of boxes is never perfect, but it better be pretty fucking close to prevent an uprising. Yeah, we get the whole "on average" thing, which is bullshit, but that doesn’t mean that we should get MULTIPLE boxes without the advertised hits. This could be made worse or better when your box after the zero box contains two of the same hit, something that makes me either really pissed, or really happy.

Just to reinterate how important good collation is, lets go over some recent mishaps:

1. 2007 Allen & Ginter Baseball - Some cases that were documented had box after box filled with relic cards instead of getting some relic and some auto cards through the case. On the flip side, a few cases in the run were filled with the missing autos from these boxes. Box after box had two autos in them instead of having some of each. People were pretty pissed.

2. 2007 SPA Football - This was pretty bad in terms of collation, as some cases were loaded with low end letter autos and no patch autos despite having advertised them both as one every other box. This was, of course, minimal damage as there were some cases and boxes that had nothing - no letters or patches. It was so bad that a lot of people stayed away from buying a lot of this product.

3. 2007 Exquisite Football - Upper Deck swears that the Beckett boxes were collation errors, but that’s pretty tough in a hand packed product, especially when the two best boxes in the run end up at the hobby's biggest mag for free.

4. 2008 Allen and Ginter Baseball - It has been alleged that there were at least two cases filled with hundreds of rip cards from the product. I say alleged because these cases were not found in the US. Pictures were displayed, but in all reality, it could be a hoax. Either way, some of the boxes from the product ended up with 4-5 hits, making me curious as to who will eventually be shafted.

Those are just the ones that come to mind as of late, Im sure there are many more. The funny thing is that I don’t know why collation always has to be on the bad side of things. Its not like there are ever any pleasant widespread collation suprises. That would be the day. The closest thing I can think of when it comes to a pleasant surprise is 2007 Black Basketball where there were a handful of people who got more than one A level auto per case. This meant an extra Jordan or an extra Lebron or Kobe too. In return, the product flew off the shelves and the value skyrocketed for unopened boxes and cases.

That’s a good idea actually, understate the odds and surprise people. 2 hits per box? Fuck that, give em 4! Let them have and eat their cake too! I guarantee you would gain loyal customers, have a happy collector base, and your product would be worth more in the form you are selling. I cant tell you how awesome that would be.

I know, I know, that wont happen. But, with hand packing become more of a trend, we may get better collation eventually. Plus, collation rules are being changed for the better as well, thanks to Upper Deck of all people. In sets like Black Basketball and the upcoming Premier Football, you will get at least a certain number of top autos. For Premier, you will get 4 autos from the top rookies and at least one other A lister per case. That is fucking amazingly awesome, considering that there was 32 players at the rookie premiere this year (most of them 3rd string bench players).

Hopefully, once I become too disenfranchised to write anymore someone will be still looking for collation improvements. At that time there will be no more "on average," as all boxes have guaranteed stuff. No more will you open a box and pull two of the same base cards in one pack, or be shorted a card, or pull the same relic or auto in multiple boxes. That would be a collatopia.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately due to the manufacturing process, I seriously doubt that either Topps or UD will ever "guarantee" anything.

    There were some companies that used to guarantee a complete set of non-sports cards in a box, and if you didn't get the set you could send in for replacements, but those are standard cards and easy to replace. It's a horse of a different color with autos and relics (as evidenced by Mario's attempt to get his redemption card replaced).

    I don't think they even "guarantee" the one hit per pack product.