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Old 04-15-2010, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Topps Blog Round Table discussion Thread

Topps is organizing the first blog round table discussion. They should be publishing results next week. Here are some of the questions that have been posed. Although the deadline is Friday April 16th, we can still discuss many of the questions on this thread for other to read. Feel free to post any responses below:

1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?

2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?

3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.

4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?

5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?

6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?

9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?

10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?

11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Topps: We care about you JOKE!!!!!

#8: Keeping the print run of autos TOP SECRET helps cut down on scams
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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#4 worst: Upper Deck, Upper Deck, and Upper Deck.

Solid answer to that question
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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#11 you need to come up with a way to make boxes tamper proof. shrink wrap and stickers are not enough.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.
If the only company around makes cards of people I want, I don't mind. If they decide to put out a narrow scope of players, I don't like it and wish there were more companies.

4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?
5 years--worst (3 way tie) packs that can be searched for inserts/autograph stickers/redemptions with narrow expirations
--best would be companies making at least one product per sport affordable for kids


6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?
Online stuff doesn't appeal to me. If the cards can be used online, that's better as not everyone wants to deal with the online aspect.

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?
I'm more aware of what's coming out before it comes out and plan accordingly for what I buy. Every company should have a strong online presence and good customer service reps online.

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?
Companies need to know what they produce and how cards look so consumers can then verify them as real or fake. Companies need to have places like ebay go hard after those who sell fakes, counterfeits, etc.

10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?
Redemption cards for experiences, tickets, etc.

11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?
When consumers are on message boards posting the same theme over and over about what they don't like (autographs on stickers, pack searching, redemptions, etc.) take it to heart and try to change and ACKNOWLEDGE that the change is because consumers wanted it
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As I have been an avid card collector for the past 17 years and enjoyed the hobby, I'm going to fill this out. Let me say it has been nearly 6 months since my last purchase, outside of group breaks, because I find myself losing interest in the hobby. I have went from spending around $500 a month on cards to $0, and I have no interest in buying. I am a collector to the truest definition, everything I buy is for the PC.

1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why? Been collecting for 17+ years. I do not have a favorite among teams/ players that I collect. I do not have a single favorite card, rather it is the 1993 Fleer set. I compiled this set one pack at a time on a paperboy's salary.

2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc? In 1991 chasing the 1989 UD Ken Griffey Jr....Never got it out of a pack, but made a lot of memories trying. Hey they were like $4 a pack and that was a lot back then.

3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.
It sucks and it is the reason I have cut back/ quit buying. It will now be the same old crap with the lack of competition, no matter how strong or weak the competitor is.


4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?
In the last 5-10 years
Worst- The 1/1 card...Way overrated, I would also like to mention redemptions and sticker autos.
Best- Reto sets...It gives us a glance in what cards used to be.

5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?

Prospecting is a gamble, for everyone one breakout player, there are a hundred duds. I don't personally do it. I don't think it has affected the quality, many products thrive on this and that is the way it is.

6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?

No, it has nothing to do with tangible/ intangible...It is quality and it stinks!!!

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?

It hasn't, It can't, It won't.

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?
I don't buy singles on the secondary market. First of all they could act like they care.

9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?

It can't and won't happen, this industry is fueled by supply and demand, look at 1989 or 90 Topps and answer that question.
10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?

It's a fine line between an ingenius idea and a corny one, you guys get paid the big bucks you figure it out.
11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?

Just take pride in what you do, I see very little pride left in the industry in quality control and customer service.

Last edited by thebear29; 04-15-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?

I've been collecting since 1981. My first big hit was pulling a Wayne Gretzky OPC rookie. I still have it. The cards I keep for myself are like little time machines. I pull out an OPC Yzerman rookie and remember being a kid on Army Base. I pull out my Upper Deck Sergei Fedorov rookie and remember selling at the shows in high school. My favourite card is probably the 1995-96 Upper Deck Electric Ice Gold Jose Theodore because I got that card in the mail (eBay win) the same day I found out my first child was going to be born.


2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?

My youngest daughter's first box break was a box of Hannah Montana cards. She had a ball. I loved watching her. My oldest only likes hockey (has a crush on Mike Richards) and her first box break she pulled a Mike Richards jersey card and ran around the house saying "I got a card of Mike Richards, he wore this jersey!"


3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.

I don't like exclusives, I'd certainly like to see a limited number of products so we don't see things like Card-supials or Fractal Materials again.


4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?

Game jerseys have been a blessing and a curse, the same with autographs. It used to be a huge hit to get a jersey card, now they are 2+ per box and a product doesn't sell without them. It also stifled creativity, now we have stupid jersey cards rather than a neat insert card.


5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?

I generally don't. What I do is pick up rookie cards of players I think will be good, but I'm not dropping $1000 on one player hoping to cash in.


6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?

If you do not get a good product at an affordable price for kids they will not join the hobby and the hobby will die with this generation. If card companies cannot produce a product for 50 cents a pack that has some of the bells and whistles of the regular product, it won't work. Topps Series 1 should not have been $2 per pack, it should have been 50 cents. You will make profit on products in 10 years if you seed the market now, if you don't, you will be a company that used to make a nice product once upon a time but is now left in the past like bell-bottoms.


7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?

Twitter and facebook are here to stay. When a big card gets pulled and Topps gets wind of it, they should tweet it. It will give products momentum. Also if a change to a product is made or a product release date is changed, tweet it.


8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?

This is a cheap shot at Upper Deck. The only cards that really hold value at this point are autographed or serial numbered. No one is counterfeiting base Topps cards or their inserts, its not worth the effort.


9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?

Stop making crap products. When I say crap product, I mean a product with no point. Don't make a set just because you can, make a set because you can't stop yourself from making it. Topps Pristine was great, why did it go away? What was Topps Unique baseball? Seriously, a unique piece of garbage. I know you have to try things but I'm still not sure what you were trying last year with that.


10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?

A card with a digital camera style memory card that you plug into your computer and shows highlights of that player.


11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?

Bring back Vending boxes. We build sets, we sell your product, we are the best promoters. Stop making it so damn hard. A 12 box hobby case has 432 packs. That takes a while to rip and sort. Throw your unpaid promoters a bone and put special inserts in the vending boxes. You do it for Target, and I do a lot more marketing for Topps than Target does. Target puts your product on your shelf, that's it, when I sell the product, I'm out there selling it at shows and on-line.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?

Just a few yerars, and I collect Twins because they are my home team and have a ton of integrity. My favorite card is a Rod Carew triple patch autograph from 2008 Prime cuts because it looks great and is numbered low.

2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?

My favorite memories are of that great trader that goes the extra mile to help you out with your collection. Both of you realize that you have common goals and try to help each other out.

3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.

I don't like the idea of one company being exclusive for anything. It hurts the hobby in every way. I don't think it is within the card companies power, but liscensing should be easier to get, to promote competition and production of products that are more desirable.

4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?

Within the last 10 years the idea of a card that is truely unique has disappeared. The overproduction of 1/1's, short prints, and autograph patch cards has hurt the valu of what used to be a vaulable pull.

5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?

I'm more of a collector than a prospector. Bowman (the leader in prospecting) seems to be fairly consistent with their products in regard to serial numbering and inserts and I think that if they remain consistant they will stay in the lead. Some years are better than others, but that is the way it should be, as some years have better rookie/prospect crops than others.

6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?

If you keep mature adults interested by providing good content and a decent chance at a great card, it will trickle down to our children. I personally open cards with my 7 year old son and I can tell when he is bored with a break. In my opinion serial numberd cards are the key. Not that we need a ton of different colored parallells, but pulling something unique is allways fun.

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?

The best new media as far as card collecting is concerned would have to be live box breaks on Youtube. It allows the collector to preview a product before they consider buying it. I always watch live breaks of every new product and decide whether to buy a box or singles. I don't think the major card companies should get involved in live breaks as collectors will always be skeptical of these videos. Card companies should let their products speak for themselves, instead of trying to cram a subpar product down a collectors throat.

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?

Serial number all patch/autograph cards and come up with some kind of watermark to identify the card. Also create a database of the low numbered patch/autograph cards created so collectors can double check singles for authenticity.

9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?

Not much card companies can do since buying sports cards is a huge luxery in my opinion. Flooding products with better hits and goofy manufactured patches will only hurt the hobby in the long run. They just need to bite the bullet like the rest of us have to in these times by, decreasing production, evaluating their buiseness plan, and cutting unnecesary costs.

10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?

This is the main problem with the hobby. Don't look for the next best gimmick, just improve what you have going. Don't try to create a false market. Make what you have going already better. Their are pleanty of problems with current products.


11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?

You need better customer service, and do away with sticker autgraphs and redepmptions. If you can't put it in the product at release, don't put it in. I understand the problems with claims of missing hits, but Topps never considers the fact that if you are missing a hit, it may have been a good one. Either, make sure that quality controll is better, or provide better replacements for shorted boxes. I am an honest person and have been appalled by some of the replacements I have gotten for missing hits.
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?
20 Years, When topps chrome does on-card autographs.. I build those complete sets. No particular player that topps has ever produced I have collected, other then Jeremy Guthrie. Card that means the most to me I don't have yet. Still looking for it! No one card at this time means the world to me.
2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?
Opening a box of cards in 2001 and pulling my first ever game used card. It was the big thing back in the day to pull one, and to get one out of a $13.99 box at toysrus of all places was the best feeling.. Still have it to this day.
3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.
It doesn't matter to me, just don't over populate something like I've seen lately where it's made me not interested in buying most new products. I honestly don't care who started making cards, as long as they have on card autographs of players of possible value that all weren't hasbins or rookies that may have a better chance at being a bag-boy, then I'd buy the product to build the set. Quit over producing common autographs and game used.. It totally killed what was left of this hobby. Donruss tried to kill it in 2005, and came close.. But today, it's just as bad when you purchase a $50 or $250 box and your best card is only worth $10 because it's a card you could careless about seeing it's a nobody. It's pretty bad knowing you could do just as good in a $10 blaster box sometimes as a $200-300 box of cards.. If the oppurtunity was there where something was guaranteed of value AND I would only to spend a few bucks more then that 50-100.00 to get it in a box, then I would probably go try a box of the product. Guaranteed cards do not make me buy the product, but if there was ever a sense of guaranteeing a player of value like the DiMaggio Box Sets from Score with the Guaranteed 1 Joe. D. Autograph, I would definitely have to think about purchasing the product. I will not however buy hobby boxes anymore 99% of the time if there checklist stays the same in the years past like it normally does.
4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?
*Worst Development, Flooding the market with game used cards of players who I can honestly say I've never heard of or could care less about because they may have hit one home run or batted .150-.200 in their career.
*Best Development, the original autograph on-card autographs of the legends in the early 1990's upper deck products. Many people would buy these boxes of cards if they could get them at their current $10-$20 a box and if they were 2010 issues just to find an autograph one every gazillion boxes.. Almost sorta like Opening Day, but with a hall of famer autograph instead of a 99% of the time scrub one-per-case autograph.
*What I could careless about... Printing Plates. Way overdone.. Moments and Milestones needs to be stopped if it hasn't already.. Topps Killed that product with way way way too many parallels, and printing plates, sometimes 16 of the same card? WHY?
5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?
*Used to with bowman sets, but when they got away from the minor players thanks to the "RC Logo" I quit doing it.. And now to me, I could really care less about them. The Rookie Card Logo has killed the product, and only players who have actually been in the majors long enough have this "rc logo" even though some have played 3-4-5 years earlier and get it again... Again WHY?.. The pro-debut cards aren't really major league cards, so they don't make me interested in purchasing them.
6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?
Every card shop I've known of does not live off of selling cards, or they'd be closed down like most of them have. More or less, the TCG Games have kept most of them breaking even so they don't have to close down the store. Otherwise, the products are just so much easier just buying singles then burning $100 trying to find that "high end pull" that'll just end up on eBay for sometimes less then the box price. Why not just wait? I have on most parts myself... And the urge to open the new stuff just isn't there like it was because of this issue.
7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?
They can start by lowering the price.. I can hardly afford what I get now, and honestly don't care for most of the products out on the market right now anyhow. Every product keeps being made over-and-over again, and 50% of them need to be stopped because the product is just overdone.. Yet at the same time, the products that once were the cream of the crop are now products I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole because of the lack of interest in the cards they produce in the product.
8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?
I literally quit buying patch cards. Quit making patch cards where they are easily able to be removed and resold with a "better" patch.. It ruined my taste toward high end patch cards a long time ago due to this reason. Use that kodak patch print method Donruss started to use earlier in the mid 2000's.. Or make it where the patch is literally embedded into the card where it's unable to be removed without destroying the card in general.
9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?
Make the product reasonable without destroying the quality of the products.. Like I've seen lately.. The products keep getting over done with the same thing, over, and over... manufactured patch cards... THEY SUCK! Get rid of them, I could care less about pulling an autographed letterman, or a manufactured logo.. What's the purpose? Anyhow, 99% of them get easily damaged because they are so thick or they get these crease lines from the company from being packed.. Just recently I purchased a box of finest to find out one of my cards got crimppled from the machine and the other had a small crease around the manufactured patch frame. The quality control these companies use are just awful.. It's not like a few cards are damaged.. It's closer to 5-10% of the entire product sometimes is dinged, dented, or manufacturer damaged. Why would I want to spend $100 for a box and pay another $2 to mail back a $10-15 card that was my box hit because it's damaged.. A) The card more then likely isn't even worth the $2, and B) Why can't I get the only card in the box that was the showcase highlight of the box to be damaged before I even touch it? It's ridiculous. Not only is it worthless because it's damaged, but the player quality of many of these newer higher end products makes me want to buy singles for the rest of my life.. Heck, I was able to buy 20 2008 and 2009 topps triple thread autograph triple relic cards and triple autograph/relic cards for the price of a box of 2009 triple threads when it was first released at my card shop.. $185. Why not just wait and get them at the eBay price of $4-10 a card when they come out.. Even some of the better quality players in baseball come way down when there flooded on the market. I'd rather go out and buy 4 players cards from triple threads that had that "higher end beckett price" for the cost of a box then having to risk my chance and buying a box to pull a card I could buy for $4-10 on eBay.. What's the purpose? To find that elusive card that doesn't exist? Case & Point.
10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?
Just make on-card autographs, and if they don't have the time to mail the cards back to the company to release in the products in time, don't include redemptions.. Please. Really, enough is enough with that stuff.. Nothing like waiting 6-8 months to mail a card in to find out the player who was suppose to sign your card doesn't have the time or doesn't want to do it. Another reason why I quit buying redemption cards all together.. Nothing like buying the guy you want to find out that it doesn't exist so you get a different card you could careless about because that was what the company found "suitable" as a replacement.. Also, expired redemptions.. Nothing like pulling a couple hundred dollar redemption to find out it's of a player you wanted and to find out that they would not honor it a few months after it expired.. That's always fun! What would I rather have? a dummy with computered generated text or an Autograph because the guy actually took time from his day to sign an autograph.. I'll take the 2nd one.
11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?
Read everything I wrote. Honestly, I could careless if you disagree or agree with what I said, it's just what I believe in. Please dump redemptions, it's the #1 worst idea in the history. Redemptions should be left in the product if the card or memorabilia is too big for the pack of cards, and it is readily available to be mailed out.

Last edited by zlw1; 04-16-2010 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?

I have been collecting sportscards since 1990. By far, my favorite sportscards to collect are Playoff Contenders Autographed Rookie Tickets. When Playoff released the first autographed Rookie Tickets back in 1998, it revolutionized the hobby. Combining the two greatest innovations in card collecting history (the rookie card and the autograph) sounds so simple now. However, back in the late 1990's when Playoff first did it, it was so advanced that collectors (and price guides) didn't even know how to handle it.

2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?

I guess it would be just going to card shows in the early 2000's. Generally, sportscard shows are a shell of what they used to be, and I only go to maybe a couple a year now. But back 6 or 8 years ago, I was going to about one per month. I miss that face-to-face interaction and relationship building with fellow collectors and dealers at shows. The internet cannot truly replicate this in my opinion...

3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.

Generally, I feel, the more competition, the better. I will say, however, I feel that the market has been flooded with products over the last few years. I mean, in just 2009, between Topps, Upper Deck, & Panini combined, there was roughly 40 different product lines. Do we really need 40 different rookie cards of the same player? I don't think so. This floods the market and by trimming the number of products down, prices of individual cards may have the potential to hold their value better over the long run. I'd like to see about 15 product lines for any particular year across all brands, not 40. But that's just me...

4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?

Best? Like I stated earlier, the innovation of the autographed rookie card by Playoff in 1998 was, in my opinion, the single best development. The worst? There are many to choose from, but I am going to have to go with manufactured patches. Game used patches are cool, event worn are ordinary at best, but manufactured patches are downright uninteresting.

5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?

I think Rookie cards are what largely drive the hobby, so I think prospectiving is frankly natural and inevitable for most collectors. Collectors love to look ahead to which player might be the next big thing. I think it's bad enough when a current year product releases during the playoffs, but I have a real problem with certain products coming out after the season has concluded. However, one advantage of this (and Playoff Contenders is a product that does this very well) is that certain rookies who are making noise during their rookie season who weren't really on the hobby radar can have their rookie cards included in later products (and these players typically have few, if any, cards in earlier releases).

6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?

I think that collecting will always be there, but relationship building with fellow collectors will just continue to be more and more in the virtual world instead of face-to-face. Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? I think so, but they might just experience it a little differently. I'm not quite sure that there is anything that card companies need to do in particular as a result of this. Just try to make a high quality product, that's all. Then, collectors will be satisfied.

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?

Well, I'm not sure if ebay qualifies as "new media" or if that term only applies to social networking aspects of the internet. If ebay qualifies, then I think it has been the single most influential form of the internet that has affected the hobby, for better or for worse (I think most collectors have a love/hate relationship with ebay with respect to the hobby). As far as social networking media, I think it's great that there are message board communities where collectors can share their hobby experiences. As far as how "new media" can change the hobby, I think it can improve public relations, customer service, and product previews.

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?

I am really more of an autograph collector than a patch collector. However, for the patch collectors, it would be really nice for the card companies to keep a detailed record (with photos) of all of the patch cards they produce (along with their corresponding serial #'s). This would be a great innovation and would go a long way in protecting the consumer.

9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?

Just give the collector his/her money's worth. Not every box is going to be a monster, but a collector should never, ever lose 85% of what he/she paid for a box right after it is opened (however, this happens all the time).

10. We’ve done autographs. We’ve done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What’s next? Where do we go from here?

Personally, I'd like to keep the essence of the themes, especially with some of the high-end autograph and patch lines. However, I'd like to see more limited production and quality control. If a patch card is serial #'s 1/1, it should never, ever, be one color (astonishingly, this actually happens).

11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?

You've been around since 1938 and can trace your roots back even earlier than then, so you've got history and tradition on your side more so than the other card companies. However, what makes you different? What sets you apart from Panini or Upper Deck? Why should collectors spend their money with you instead of other card companies?

Last edited by MasterPattie; 04-16-2010 at 08:05 PM.
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