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Old 08-16-2007, 06:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default (sportkings Truly High End But Highly Limited)

(SPORTKINGS TRULY HIGH END BUT HIGHLY LIMITED)

While some dealers are complaining the cost of the new Sportkings product is way higher than expected -- compared to comparable products says the man spearheading the series, it's not out of line. Brian Price takes exception to calls the product which carries a direct dealer price of $329 per pack is too expensive.

(Jackie Robinson cut signature is in Sportkings Series A)

"There are no photo shoot jerseys they are all game used, there are no rookie cards, all the autographs are of Hall of Fame caliber athletes and it measures up admirably with Exquisite, The Cup, Paradigm and especially National Treasures," said Price. "At least you know you are getting a Hall of Fame type player and not some unknown rookie who got a cup of coffee with the New York Rangers."

Price's comment refers to Upper Deck's The Cup NHL series which carries a retail price tag of $350 per pack. He also says there is no suggested retail and while by retail standards the product should sell for between $450 and $500 per pack, dealers are pre-selling as low as $389 per pack.

"That is just the hobby, it is the way dealers do business," he told The Brill Report in an exclusive interview. "But we are making only 4500 packs and they are spread wide and thin across North America."

(Boxing has always been a favorite from the Sportkings brand.)

Price said in today's autograph and memorabilia world the amount of money spent to get genuine certified autographs of the athletes in this series and genuine game used items and not photo shoot jerseys, was very very high. Without announcing the numbers he said it would surprise collectors and dealers what it cost to put this project together.

"Look at the size of the exclusive contracts given by companies to big name legendary athletes and those exclusives have kept the prices high," he told TBR. "It was a grueling decision on where to price this product and after all was said and done we realized this was a product for the mature collector and it was a long and agonizing decision."

With an average of just over one autograph per pack and real game used items Price feels the product will stack up favorably and will sell through making dealers happy. For those who break every pack and put the individual cards on eBay, there will be some very unique items.

"I would be foolish to think every one of these cards was going to collectors," he said. "Unfortunately, or fortunately, maybe the value of a product like this may be determined by the number of cards which sell on eBay."

(Great Italian boxer Primo Carnera is also featured.)

He said also the cards were made to not only look like the original Sportkings but to feel like them as well. A decision was made to make a smaller parallel card which is the same size of the smaller original Sportkings. There are not many cards in the set so collecting the base set is doable unlike many other super premium series of trading cards. This is something important to Price, a long time set collector.

When it comes to his offer to allow collectors to input their ideas as to who appears in Series B, he says it has been an interesting experience. Fans are voting on the web site.

"One thing they do need to understand is many of the people they want, have exclusives with other company's," he said. "I'd love to have Wayne Gretzky as the greatest hockey player but it's not going to happen."

Overall he said the process is proceeding and collector imput will be important.
-The Brill Report
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