Originally Posted by eldavojohn
I more so meant that the demand is present and people can't seem to get enough of superhero movies at this moment in time. The market is saturated with product? You at least have to blame it on the success of prior products and the high demand for these movies that Hollywood can't put out fast enough. Now, if your complaint is that products are steadily declining
in quality then I'm all ears. But to simply argue that they're making too many sets sounds like a specious argument to me.
It would be foolish to pass up this opportunity to cash in on licensing and merchandise ... A New Hope changed how licensing rights are viewed. If the next era of movies has nothing to do with superhero movies and goes back to Adam Sandler slapstick comedy or chickflicks, there aren't going to be card licensing opportunities.
Furthermore there's a popular thread in this section
with all of us clamoring for more
sets. Well, are we overwhelmed with sets or do we all want to be able to buy our favorite show/movie? Also I hear some people complaining the quality of sketches has declined and another complaint that booklet sketches are too regular in some sets. I don't understand ... the expansion of purchasing choices is a good thing.
Also, if you're saying this market is finite and there are multiple card companies competing for your dollar, it only makes sense for them to release as many sets as possible to eat up the lion's share of market penetration. You're a consumer, save your money and vote with your dollar. I buy only the franchise I like (Star Wars) and when I go elsewhere I do a lot of research on what it will be that I'm getting.
I'm not making a value judgment on the number of products other than to say the sell value of the top hits has declined quite a bit in the last few months. I do think that can easily be linked to the number of sketches being put out by those artists and the number of products diluting the purchasing power of the relatively small number of sketch collectors (in terms of the overall trading card hobby).
I'm not saying card companies care much about secondary market values (although they should since that's really what dictates what they can sell a product for after a trend has been established)--they will keep pushing out more and more until their distributors stop buying them and they get stuck with unsold inventory.
The card companies are doing exactly what they always do--find a need and saturate it until it goes away. The problem is when they run out of gimmicks to try and inject novelty to generate new interest. What else can they do at this point, now we're down to putting a puzzle sketch in every box (MGB)?
I don't know what the revenue and profit is for distributors so there's no point in even speculating on this. But with some product like BBT or TWD, I don't know how it would be possible not to sell out. I've always assumed distributors took risks -- is this not true? There should be smart and stupid purchases for distributors just like there is for the collectors that then in turn consume from the distributors. A distributor can no longer blindly buy every product from a manufacturer and proceed to make money hand over fist? I'm not exactly sympathetic.
Whether or not you are sympathetic, distributors drive the hobby. I'm not talking about dealers or flippers, I'm talking about the huge warehouses that buy up the product direct from the factories. If they can't move the product to their big buyers (the internet stores and major dealers) and they cut their orders, you'd better believe the card companies have to pay attention to that. I'd guess they are the reason we even have case incentives.
Doesn't that hinge on the pricepoint? I mean, Topps wants to sell Galactic Files Star Wars printing plates at half a grand for a set of four instead of using them to move the product and inserting them randomly into packs. Doesn't mean they thought Galactic Files wouldn't sell ... instead I see that as an insanely high price that won't be reflected on the secondary market. If the MGB key artists were sold at high prices, it could just be the card companies trying to get revenue upfront instead of watching cards trade hands at inflated prices on the secondary market.
You could be on to something but the evidence you've presented does not thoroughly convince me.
Your overall theme in this thread is accurate but I perceive it to be more of a shift from "heyday of sketches" to a more regular market where supply and demand are closer in balance and products/sketches are having to compete against each other to win the dollars of the collector. As said early, this is good news for buyers and simply capitalism for everyone else.
I think what is being said is we seem to be coming near the end of the sketch card bubble and it could get ugly with more product coming out. I think the sell value on the new Batman product was ridiculous, especially if you take out the first 3 weeks. I think the Superman product is going to get real ugly. I'm taking a wait and see on MGB, but regardless of how it does it's going to seriously devalue the Marvel puzzles already out there.
The bubble bursting is great short-term for people wanting to find bargains, but in the long term you are going to have a collection you've lost a ton of value on and there will be much fewer products to buy. And that reaction will be good in the eyes of some of us because eventually values will increase, which will result in more production, and the circle of capitalism continues.
Ultimately there's not much to be done here, but I just thought perhaps those declining values on the "top" artists might be a canary in the coalmine that things are about to get ugly when it comes to sell value.