Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can We Stop With The Less Products Equals More Argument?

I hate when news like the Topps axing comes around, not just because of the actual news itself, but of all the stupidity that starts flooding the internet like a biblical storm. Whether its people giving their good riddance to whatever went down, or people conjecturing about how the hobby sky is falling, its annoying all the way around. In fact, the net gets so polluted with ridiculous comments, that you cant escape it.

First, we need to stop with the whole "where are the children!?!" type of bullshit. Im sick of hearing that things are going south because kids arent around anymore. Fuck that. As I have said before, kids are not the primary focus of this hobby, nor should they be. Ever since the 90s, when investment crazed adults made this industry what it is now, kids have been out. That means the boom and the decline all rest on the shoulders of grown adults, not children. Ask any of the manufacturers who their biggest customers are, kids or adults. Ask them who they market to, kids or adults. Find out why a child hasnt been featured on any of those UD posters for SPX or whatever. Its because KIDS DONT FUCKING MATTER. From what I have gathered in talking with different people, kids who still remain in this hobby function like the adults that drive the market anyways, so dont shove that argument down my throat unless you want me to ignore you.

Secondly, less does not equal more. Yes, I get it. You want to go back to 4 products a year so you can get every card, but that isnt going to happen. Companies cannot survive on a few products, nor would having less products, in any understanding of the concept, be a good thing for anyone. Having variety in our lives is the reason why collecting is fun, as it gives you choice on how to mold your collection. It also gives you a chase element which keeps you coming back for more. If there were only 1 or 2 products per company, people would have what they needed so fast that it would be boring to wait for the next product. In addition, there wouldnt be any way to account for the massive amounts of mid year happenings in card form, an aspect most collectors love. Also, if one of those few products sucked, it would fucking blow to have to lose out on it because it was a badly conceptualized set.

Third, the hobby is fine, and the industry is not in any immediate danger, so shut the fuck up with your worrying. I dont need to be bombarded with people telling me that cards are done because Topps lost football. Cards are not done, the industry is adapting to lower sales, and people will collect until the apocalypse. The sooner that the idiots realize this fact, the better. In all honesty, there really is no solution to any of the problems affecting card sales until the economy fully rebounds. At that point, things will return to a different shade of normal, and we can all go back to our happy go lucky Beckett world without the fear of Armageddon.

Lastly, I dont think this part of the industry's nose job was the fault of the companies themselves, despite the chatter. NFL Players Inc sure lives in a wierd bubble, and I dont think they really get what they just did. Plus, with Topps getting their exclusive baseball license, I dont think they really care about losing football the way we think they do. Baseball is the biggest yard on the street, and they are now the only real, whole dog in the yard. Everyone else is a cat or dog with three legs. That counts for more than anyone could imagine.

So, in other words, it sucks that Topps and their history is gone, but shut up with the stupid noise about everything else.


  1. The world is just going through weird times right now. Industry restructuring, paradigm shifts, sea changes and all that kinda crap. In about five years things will sort themselves out. Or we'll be living in a Mad Max apocolyptic nightmare. No biggie either way.

  2. If kids don't matter, who will replace the adults when this generation of collectors passes on?

  3. fgoodwin is asking the right question. I bet that 95% of the adult collectors today collect because they did when they were kids. I don't think that many adults start collecting for the first time when they're older. I'm 31 now, and have recently started collecting again after about 10-15 years off, and I don't think I would have gotten back into it if I didn't collect years ago. When I go to shows now (the White Plains ones), there are very few people under my age there.

    I don't think that selling a bunch of worthless 99 cent packs to kids is the answer because then we end up with junk wax again, but I do think that, for the long term sustainability of the hobby, companies have to figure out a way to get kids involved. And right now, they're not. I don't have any answers, and I'm kind of afraid that there aren't any, but, while I do agree with you Gellman that the hobby is fine in the short term, the long term picture is bleak.