Im not even sure why this is news worthy on a blog like this, but it does give me an avenue to spout a few nuggets of my beliefs on exclusives. Topps recently announced that they have aquired the exclusive to produce cards of the USA baseball team, something that Upper Deck has done well every year for as long as I can remember.
I hate exclusives in general, player, league, card, whatever, they all suck sweaty donkey balls. It prevents competition and stymies collectors who prefer one brand over another. Although some exclusives are more widespread than others, I fail to see why they are allowed by any branch of any league. Its practically preventing the further spread of your marketable asset, mainly due to the fact that less of it will produced. Despite the fact that Eisner has stupidly touted that kids wont be as confused by a huge number of products, its absurd to think that kids are the reason things need to be done that way. It mostly has to do with greed, money, and damaging your competition, something not unique to cards, and most of the time, exclusives go unchallenged in this hobby. Personally, I hate that. There is no reason for any type of exclusive, regardless of the competition, as quality should be a manufacturer's exclusive. If you produce nice cards, there is no need to worry what the other guy is doing. Bottom line.
When it comes to player exclusives like Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, Jeter, Griffey, and others, it enters an even more ridiculous territory. Players should have the ability to advertise for one specific company, but to limit the amount of cards for those people to one company, only hurts us rather than helps us. Variety is our friend and fewer products with our favorite players only complicates our desire to collect. For instance, if Peterson went as a Panini exclusive, I would be screwed, but I dont want Panini to be without a chance to impress me if they change their ways if the situation was reversed. Its that simple.
Yes, I know that the USA baseball exclusive is just the next in a long line of niche exclusives, but how much longer do we have before the exclusives get more confusing than the production itself? In the last few months, UD has gotten the NCAA exclusive, Press Pass has gotten a partial Tim Tebow exclusive, and Topps now owns USA baseball. I know that whenever a company has extra money, their first reaction will be what property can we steal from company X? That fact alone will make this INFINITELY more complicated and annoying. Poor us.