Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Final Comment On My Disgust Over The Topps Exclusive

Michael Eisner says its time to bring kids back to the hobby. Fine. I agree that's a good secondary goal, but when you think about who actually composes the makeup of the collecting populace, we have to question what is going to happen to the people who have grown to love the way it is now.

Eisner says that the biggest problem with the industry today is the confusion over products, kids going into Wal-Mart and Target, giving up because of not knowing which product to buy. Personally, that is total crap. Its pandering to a public that has a closed minded view of what the prime demographic SHOULD be, while not addressing what it has become. The reason kids don’t like cards as much anymore is because the interests of the general kid has switched from following sports to playing video games and japanese animated shows. The demographics have changed, and it has nothing to do with how many products are stocked at shop n' save.

The fact of this industry since 1996 is that adults make up the market, not kids. Therefore to say that you are going to pull the train off the tracks and put it on a different track, screws over all the passengers on the train already. By refocusing the point of baseball card market to kids, it only makes things worse than it already is. Not only because kids shouldn’t be the focus, but also because most kids like the hobby the way it fucking is!

People, giving Topps the exclusive is not going to harken things back to 35 years ago. The hobby's face has changed, and it is never going back. Its time to stop trying to recapture that nostalgia, because that shit don’t fly 'round here no more. The day of the kid going into the shop and buying cards is gone, mainly because kids don’t follow sports like they used to. The hobby has changed, made the thousands of people like me into collectors, and it needs to stay that way. I know that Baseball is a different animal than football, but the ideals hold true. People want to be closer to the game, and Topps Opening Day is not the way to accomplish that. Plus, when Triple Threads and Sterling are the worst products on the market, how long before the lack of competition makes everything that bad? Not long, especially when Topps has to scale back their product line to accommodate the new cost of the license.

15 comments:

  1. Opening Day is not even around anymore.

    I think it's safe to say collectors loved all of Topps' releases thus far. Nothing is as bad as Opening Day was, which is why it's gone.

    It's not the end of the world. Besides, UD will find a way to make cards next year.

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  2. I hate exclusivity, regardless of who has it. Said it a hundred times before.

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  3. Baseball is a completely different type of collector than Football. Shows how much you know.

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  4. I'm not sure that I'm on board with your disgust. I agree that exclusivity is bad and competition is good--I'm a free market guy, after all--but competition was hardly breeding innovation in the baseball card market. In fact, there was tons of garbage put out by both Topps and UD in the last few years. I think that the industry can use a good streamlining, and I think that UD will still end up making some killer high-end cards with their MLBPA license and may continue to hold up well compared to Topps' lackluster releases at that level. However, UD was generally unfriendly for team and set collectors, two groups that dominate baseball card collecting. As for getting kids back in it, I think that is crucial. This isn't memorabilia, this is card collecting and I wouldn't collect now if I didn't as a kid. I think many would say the same. Kids are still into sports just as much as they always have been, and I'll be interested to see how Topps can attract them to collecting. I'd like to see UD stick around as they made some great products, but they also threw a bunch of junk out there and if I can end up with a schedule of products that looks like what Topps has put out in 2009, without dealing with crap like Opening Day, Co-Signers, UDX, Documentary and Spectrum then I will certainly be a happier collector because of it.

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  5. Oh boo-fucking-hoo! Where were you when Upper Deck had exclusivity agreements with LeBron, Kobe, Jordan, and Garnett for basketball? Cry me a fucking river.

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  6. Ryan, Gellman has stated many many times before that baseball and football collectors are different. He's made multiple posts detailing those differences. When you make a comment like that it just continues to make you look even more dumb, which is a feat in and of itself.

    I think what Gellman's saying (and I can't believe I even have to type this as he has been perfectly clear about it) is that ANYONE getting an exclusive contract, be it Panini, Topps, or UD, is bad for the hobby because it takes away any incentive to provide a superior product. That seems like a pretty valid concern to me.

    I will say that I am pretty much a baseball collector only, and if I had to pick one company to get an exclusive it would be Topps, as I have liked all of their releases. And while I may not be as concerned as Gellman about a drop in quality, I have thought about it and I think that overall this is more bad than good for me as a collector. From this point forward, unless Topps makes some kind of changes, high end pretty much ceases to exist in baseball.

    I can understand why someone would be happy about Topps getting an exclusive contract, even if I don't necessarily agree. But, to express such glee at the thought of UD going bankrupt makes little sense to me. Especially because it seems that 'you've formed your whole opinion around Gellmans preference for UD. Personally, I find it kind of funny that Gellman's opinion has that much sway over what you think and feel.

    Every time you comment I think "That's it, This guy couldn't be a bigger idiot." And you continually prove me wrong. It's astounding, really. It seems like your idiocy knows no bounds.

    That being said, I find your comments hilarious and would be disappointed if you went away. You're kind of amusing.

    I will now anxiously await you next comment featuring a quote from Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels or some such shit.

    Please don't disappoint me.

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  7. Topps beat UD in low end releases. The problem is, a lot of the market whether you guys realize it, is the higher end bulk buyers. I've spent if I had to guess 10k on boxes this year between sterling, premier, and sweet spot classic. How much does a kid, their new target, spend annually? 50 bucks? Cater to where the cash is in my opinion because the spenders keep the hobby alive. Kids are a great secondary market to grow because they are potential life long customers, but with the way Topps handles high end,things look grim for the bulk/high end buyer now. My money will now go to UD football.

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  8. MS - I love you, don't ever change.

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  9. Can someone please explain to me(as slowly as possible, since I'm just a lowly high-end player collector)how the flying fuck so many naive people still think that set sollectors are the driving force behind this hobby. Do you think Topps makes Sterling, Triple Threads, Bowman Sterling, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft Picks for set collectors? If you do, you are out of your fucking mind! The secondary market is driven by high dollar patches and autos, and most of the cases bought and busted are done so to obtain said cards. Exclusivity is the bane of any industry. And don't give me the UD hockey bullshit. Hockey is the least watched, least collected sport, period. Think and say whatever the hell you want to, this exclusive license is the situation for Topps to put out whatever garbage they feel like producing, because there will be no other licensed options available. Exclusivity does not breed innovation and improvement. Just wait for 2010, please. How the fuck do you think Topps is going to recoup all the duckets they had to drop on MLB to secure this deal? By improving product quality and value? Bullshit, and you all know it.

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  10. I still say the way to have made as many people as possible happy would have been to give UD a retired player only license and make Topps relinquish the CMG deal. Then give Topps the current player license and make UD relinquish the Pujols, Jeter, etc deal. UD does high end better which is what I want in my retired player products Topps does mid range and lower better which is what I want in current products.

    It still pisses me off through all this that I won't be able to buy a legit retired player product and instead will be left with the hodge podge of products that will come next year. With Babe Ruth but not Joe Dimaggio with Vladimir Guerrero but not Jeter or Pujols, etc.

    It's a mess, read my thoughts: http://www.voiceofthecollector.com/2009/08/exclusive-league-licensing-exclusive.html

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  11. Rob. Not to pick nits here, but Pujols signs for Topps. Griffey, Jeter, Ichiro, and Dice-K are UD exclusives.

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  12. "MS - I love you, don't ever change."

    That's so sweet. I could never stay mad at you, Ryan.

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  13. Oh great.... now even more sticker auto's. First it was the coach's autos and now we'll get the laundry room assistant's auto and game used toilet brush relic cards. OOOH LOOK....I got a multi colored brissel card- MOJO!

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  14. If they want to attract kids back into the hobby they have to lower the damn prices. What kind of kid gets an allowance to be able to afford this shit? Of course they'll save their money up for a video game instead because for $50.00 what would you buy as a 8-14 year old? A card with a little piece of fabric and an auto from your favorite player or a video game that all your friends will dig and want to play too?

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