Now that Topps is out of football for the next few years, we do know that one thing is coming. Unfortunately for us, Topps will need to get rid of their built up stickers and jerseys, and the sticker dump product will be on its way. Sticker dumps are an inevitable part of using the labels for products, and thanks to this new Topps-less NFL, we are prone for a glorius second helping, after choking down two to three similar products from them and UD already this year.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Most of you are probably wondering what a sticker dump actually is, so here is an explanation. Basically, each year, the different companies send out their label sheets to rookies, veterans, and others for them to sign for the upcoming year(s). Unfortunately, due to the fact that the world of sports is ever-changing, a sticker that deserved to be in a set one season, may not have that status for the following year. This is especially true for rookies that never get established in the league, and are demoted, hurt, or cut. Due to the Tom Brady effect of having to put every single possible player's rookie auto in every product (just in case), there are tons and tons of stickers that end up in a box somewhere at the end of each card year. This box sits and rots in the warehouse until a set is developed where the company can use those stickers to fill out a checklist with players that dont matter.
For the NBA and its new exclusive license, both Topps and UD needed to rid their stores of unused stickers so that they could make as much money off the leftovers before they were unable to legally be used any more. The result was Topps Signature series Basketball and UD SP Signature edition, where the products' sole purpose was to eliminate all possible unused labels. Im sure it was pretty obvious something was up when you were getting Jorge Barbajosa and Josh Boone up the ass.
Earlier this year, you may have also noticed that Topps Magic Football was stuffed full of autographs from players like Isaiah Stanbeck, Allen Patrick, and Fred Davis. These players, at one point, were welcome in sets that featured many of the rookie autos that we have come to expect per normal protocol. However, as they have moved into 2nd or 3rd string roles with their respective teams, they are now not welcome in any normal set. Of course, when you have a sticker dump, those types of stickers come out of the woodwork for one last use before either being tossed, or whatever else is done with unused stickers.
This practice of completely dumping everything was even more prevalent in the crime against collecting known as 2009 SP Signature Edition football. As recent comments have pointed out, this set is quite possibly one of the most obvious sticker dumps ever created. Players that are now practice squad players, or at best second stringers, are littering almost every auto card, with rare big hits of people that actually matter. Granted the price is VERY small at around 40 bucks a box, however, it doesnt justify the horrid, horrid checklist.
The fact of the matter is this. If we continue to support the sets like this, they will continue to terrorize us. We need to speak with our wallets and show that products like this are completely unacceptable. Even though UD tried to blind us with four and six autos per card, it doesnt matter if none of those players will ever see game action or make a good contribution to their team. Although I think the Brady effect is very much to blame for a lot of these horrible excuses for products, it is not a reason for us to have to endure the pain.
The problem remains, Upper Deck and Topps have become pros at doing this every single year, sometimes without prior warning of a checklist. This leads to people opening their products expecting one thing, and getting something completely different. Although Topps will be forced to employ the sticker dump as a way out, UD should have a similar answer when the next season rolls around. The only way to avoid being caught in the trap is to look for obvious signs on the sell sheets, and wait for breaks and checklists before committing your dollars. Trust me, its worth losing fifty to one hundred bucks on a case pre-order when you find out you just saved thousands by avoiding a dump.