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Old 07-12-2013, 12:11 AM   #76 (permalink)
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I also say don't stamp them, but I would like a way to know they came from Invasion. Hmmm.... I honestly don't know what you could do that wouldn't ruin the card other than put it in some kind of frame and make it a box topper since it won't fit into a pack then.
We thought of that. I could resurface that option.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:13 AM   #77 (permalink)
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We thought of that. I could resurface that option.
I know you and I talked about box toppers a while ago. I can only hope it's an option at this stage, I'd love some oversized stuff.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:03 AM   #78 (permalink)
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What about stamping them on the back?
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:21 AM   #79 (permalink)
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What if you put them in plastic sleeves that would be sealed with a holo sticker? Then everybody wins.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:13 AM   #80 (permalink)
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What about stamping them on the back?
If it's got to be a stamp, I'd rather it be on the front. No matter where you stamp it, you're altering the original card.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:25 AM   #81 (permalink)
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There has been some debate on this internally, with valid arguments on both sides. Not foil stamping them keeps their value at a certain price, while stamping them potentially enhances them, setting them apart as unique and letting everyone know that "I got this from MA:I". Because there's only ~125, the potential for very high value becomes very real.

At the same time, as you say, they are hard to find, and already have a decent value (keeping mind they are not high quality, and ungraded).

Is there a consensus? Or is it debatable amongst the fans as well?
A vintage Mars Attacks card is a good enough hit without foil stamping or otherwise altering it. . . and there is the very real possibility that the foil stamp will hurt many of the cards value -- unless you can stamp enough that it would be viable to build complete sets. . .
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:25 AM   #82 (permalink)
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What if you put them in plastic sleeves that would be sealed with a holo sticker? Then everybody wins.
good call.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #83 (permalink)
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good call.
Seems nice, but very complicated to execute. It's easy for guys like Ryan at Viceroy, but when you're dealing with a big company making thousands of cards a day, it's not as simple as you might think.

I'll bring it up, though. I appreciate everybody's perspective.

Many collectors seem to want the stamp, many don't. There's just no consensus. So we're right back to square one!

Regardless of stamping, I still think it will be thrilling for a fan to pull an original card.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:25 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Many collectors seem to want the stamp, many don't. There's just no consensus. So we're right back to square one!
You don't deface the Mona Lisa, and in many respects that's what original Mars Attacks cards are. . .

Would you consider cutting up original Mars Attacks cards to use them in swatches of new cards as 'relics'? Sounds absurd, doesn't it. . . but where does the line get drawn -- either way a rare original card will be modified in a way that can never be changed.


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Regardless of stamping, I still think it will be thrilling for a fan to pull an original card.
Exactly, so why deface a card if it's thrilling either way. . .

Also, Breygent sleeves many of their hits, and I think if I recall correctly the printing plates in Mars Attacks Heritage were sleeved as well. . .
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:50 AM   #85 (permalink)
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You don't deface the Mona Lisa, and in many respects that's what original Mars Attacks cards are. . .

Would you consider cutting up original Mars Attacks cards to use them in swatches of new cards as 'relics'? Sounds absurd, doesn't it. . . but where does the line get drawn -- either way a rare original card will be modified in a way that can never be changed.
They're not wrecking the original paintings. Putting a stamp on them is no different than the American Pie buybacks, except for the fact that Mars Attacks is way more collected than the sets they used for AP.

I'm not entirely sure, didn't Famous Fabrics insert original Horrors of War cards into their recent releases? How were those done?

Hey, they let David Copperfield tear a Honus Wagner into pieces for entertainment...



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Exactly, so why deface a card if it's thrilling either way. . .

Also, Breygent sleeves many of their hits, and I think if I recall correctly the printing plates in Mars Attacks Heritage were sleeved as well. . .
It's just something to show that it came from the new set. Like the original Allen & Ginters that come in the cool frames. Now that set has the advantage of the originals being smaller, so they can put them into standard 2.5x3.5" card-sized frames.

And look at it this way - Topps is buying back the original cards, they're free to do with them as they wish just like you or I (is that proper grammar?). If they want to put a stamp on them, so be it. As it is, most manufacturers butcher documents just to get the signature off, and in many cases will destroy part of the sig just to get it to fit the card frame. I'd rather have a commemorated original than an "ed Williams" baseball signature.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:06 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Yes, we did consider cutting up original cards, to answer your question.

Sleeving hits is a lot more than just slipping cards into a sleeve for us. I'm not going to get into behind the scenes here (because frankly, I am not involved in production) but rest assured there are valid reasons why something like that might not be feasible right now.

At a big company like Topps there is a lot of procedures, red tape, etc. that goes into producing a card set. I'm quite friendly with Ryan at Viceroy, and frankly I am envious of his ability to just make things happen.

At the same time there are advantages to putting out a set from a big company, the trick is just being able to balance the pros and cons. It's not always perfect, by any means.

As it is, there may be no time to stamp them anyway, so the issue may be moot.

Again, really appreciate your perspective. Regardless of what we do, please don't hate us
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:25 PM   #87 (permalink)
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They're not wrecking the original paintings. Putting a stamp on them is no different than the American Pie buybacks, except for the fact that Mars Attacks is way more collected than the sets they used for AP.

Sure it's not different than American Pie in what they are physically proposing, but taking 100+ already very hard to find Mars Attacks cards (that are already valuable) out of circulation has a much bigger impact on that hobby than popping a foil stamp on a card that you can buy a complete set of for $3.

For me it's more about defacing an already scarce item. . . I didn't see a single American Pie buyback from any cards I would consider scarce or rare.

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And look at it this way - Topps is buying back the original cards, they're free to do with them as they wish just like you or I (is that proper grammar?). If they want to put a stamp on them, so be it.
Absolutely true, but Alvin made it known that the fate had not been decided and was open to discussion so I'm discussing it.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:28 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Yes, we did consider cutting up original cards, to answer your question.
Wow. . . not cool, but actually I'd probably rather see 20 cards cut up than 100 cards stamped. . .

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Again, really appreciate your perspective. Regardless of what we do, please don't hate us
No hate, but I do have a partial original Mars Attacks set I've been working on and off for years. . . it would be really cool to pull a card I could actually use in my set rather than a card that is foil stamped and really won't be able to be used to complete an original vintage set . . .
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #89 (permalink)
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No hate, but I do have a partial original Mars Attacks set I've been working on and off for years. . . it would be really cool to pull a card I could actually use in my set rather than a card that is foil stamped and really won't be able to be used to complete an original vintage set . . .
Think of it this way, taking ~125 cards off the market would make your current cards all that more valuable!

EDIT: as I said, there are valid arguments on both sides-- there is no RIGHT or WRONG choice. Whichever way we go, some people are going to wish we'd done the opposite.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:42 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Stamp them with foil. Come on you guys, these originals aren't rare. We are talking mid-grade examples. On Ebay EX/Ex-Mt are $15 cards. NM-MT have the value, and a foil stamped mid-grade makes a common card more limited.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:22 PM   #91 (permalink)
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Stamp them with foil. Come on you guys, these originals aren't rare. We are talking mid-grade examples. On Ebay EX/Ex-Mt are $15 cards. NM-MT have the value, and a foil stamped mid-grade makes a common card more limited.
This was our thinking as well. I could agree 100% to not stamp if we were talking about cards that we'd paid a hundred dollars or more for, but like you say, these are mid-grade, common cards.

I like the discussion though, and am happy to include fans in the decision-making process.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:23 PM   #92 (permalink)
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don't stamp them but get them graded - do a redemption for the graded card. when getting it graded, have the grading company write on the title - as a header - "Topps Mars Attacks 2013 original buyback" before writing the rest of the contents that they would have written anyway (card, grade, etc.)
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:18 PM   #93 (permalink)
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don't stamp them but get them graded - do a redemption for the graded card. when getting it graded, have the grading company write on the title - as a header - "Topps Mars Attacks 2013 original buyback" before writing the rest of the contents that they would have written anyway (card, grade, etc.)
I agree with Tim on this. Personally, I don't see any good reason to distinguish the buy backs from the original cards that are still in circulation. In fact, I think its kind of silly to do so. Just my personal opinion, not really up for debate. I know people hate redemptions, especially Topps redemptions, but in this case I think have the cards tombed and pulled as redemption cards would be the best way to distinguish them as buy backs from the MA:I set. I also think it is what would bring the most value to them.

Also, I am curious to know why sleeving them with a holo sticker seal is an issue for production? ~125 is far fewer than the # of sketches inserted into GPK BNS2, but both the sketches I pulled (1 hobby, one retail jumbo pack) were sleeved. Is Topps not Topps? Seems like you should have this capability.

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We did a lot of brainstorming on what kind of hits we could include, and the fact is, most of the options on the table became far less interesting when produced to the numbers required to hit 2 per box. How special is a patch if there's 5,000 of them?
If you have 50 different holos, each limited to 100 that makes 5000 highly desirable inserts. If you have 25 different patches limited to 200 each that makes 5000 highly desirable inserts. Sets that have this type of variety of chase elements with different levels of rarity do very well and offer something for everybody. Mars Attacks has such a rich heritage it could easily offer this type of variety and it has the type of fan base the varies from the casual one box/base set collector to the master set builder.

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Fans have come to expect a sketch per box; maybe not you guys-- the community of card collectors is a lot larger than the community here-- but we still feel that lower numbers of sketches is not the key to making people happy-- higher quality is.
I cannot ignore this. First of all, fans have come to expect a lot of things that are not delivered on, but fans continue to buy products. Secondly, many products containing sketches do not contain 1 sketch per box. Not sure why Mars Attacks fans would have this expectation following the heritage set. Third - You absolutely cannot separate quantity from quality when it comes to sketches. Yes, higher quality is what fans want. You must accept that higher quality will only come with lower quantity. It takes more time to do quality sketches, and there is not enough time allotted for the number of artists you hire to do the number of sketches that you require at the quality that collectors expect (just to throw that word out there).

So you fail to deliver on the expectation of quality to deliver on the expectation of quantity?

Just feedback. I know this set is said and done. The ideas you've shared about parallels sound very cool. I think there is opportunity for hit improvement moving forward.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:37 PM   #94 (permalink)
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Secondly, many products containing sketches do not contain 1 sketch per box. Not sure why Mars Attacks fans would have this expectation following the heritage set.
With a set solely comprised of art, it really makes sense that the best inserts are original artwork.

Honestly, alvin is right - most collectors expect sketches with new non-sports releases. Those that don't include sketches better have some killer autographs.

Hopefully this time around the artists know a little more about what Mars Attacks is and will put more into their cards. I think we saw so many Martian heads in Heritage because many of the artists simply did not know the source material. I'm sure I was in the minority - for one I'm a collector, but I also grew up with Mars Attacks thanks to my dad. I think I had a better understanding of the subject, that it wasn't just a crappy Tim Burton film. You have to respect what you're drawing, otherwise you're just going through the motions to collect a paycheck.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:01 PM   #95 (permalink)
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With a set solely comprised of art, it really makes sense that the best inserts are original artwork.

Honestly, alvin is right - most collectors expect sketches with new non-sports releases. Those that don't include sketches better have some killer autographs.
I agree collectors expect sketches. I just think that sketches being limited (1:2 boxes, 1:4 boxes, etc...) and having other box hits in addition to sketches is the best opportunity to work on improving the quality of sketches for these larger releases. Similar to what Upper Deck has been doing for most of its Marvel Comic & Movie releases.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:16 PM   #96 (permalink)
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With a set solely comprised of art, it really makes sense that the best inserts are original artwork.

Honestly, alvin is right - most collectors expect sketches with new non-sports releases. Those that don't include sketches better have some killer autographs.

Hopefully this time around the artists know a little more about what Mars Attacks is and will put more into their cards. I think we saw so many Martian heads in Heritage because many of the artists simply did not know the source material. I'm sure I was in the minority - for one I'm a collector, but I also grew up with Mars Attacks thanks to my dad. I think I had a better understanding of the subject, that it wasn't just a crappy Tim Burton film. You have to respect what you're drawing, otherwise you're just going through the motions to collect a paycheck.
Ted, you did great work on the set and I love it. But I think you did incredible work not just because you understood the product and have talent, but most importantly......that you cared. With 131 artists doing on average 100 sketches each on Heritage, that as approximately 13,100 sketches. Doesn't that seem like a huge number? It does to me. That figure, along with seeing many of them, it is unfortunate that many artists did not care enough about the product or even their art/name to give more than a few seconds for a quick sketch.

I know there are factors involved, about time constraints and amount paid and all that. I have no insight or desire to even care because I am at the collecting end of it. But if Topps weeded out some of these sketches and didn't essentially use them as filler in order to fill a box with a sketch, the perception about the "art" as a whole for this release would be greater. That would be a good thing for everyone involved.

Regarding the thought that the consumer expects a sketch in a box.....I think they expect at least a decent sketch for the more expensive "hobby" boxes. It doesn't have to be guaranteed in every box in my opinion. Because I am going to get more upset to get a crummy one than none at all. It is also human nature to buy and buy and buy till you hit something.

Also, there will always be a different levels of art, and opinions of what is higher end or not. I mean, who doesn't want a "good" sketch, we all do! But I think we can agree that there were many sketches that were inserted that could have been declined by Topps and sent back to the artist, or some other adjustment made. Also retail boxes didn't have a sketch in a box anyway, it was 1:96 packs. I am sure lots of retail is sold.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:12 PM   #97 (permalink)
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After reading the latest salvo, I think that for relatively common mid-grade card, stamping it will increase it's value, so everyone wins.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:38 PM   #98 (permalink)
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stamped cards will make the original card a legitimate Invasion Insert. What's to stop a shady dealer from listing unstamped cards as hits from Invasion? FOIL STAMPING! case closed. Stamp 'em on the back! Everybody wins...original front artwork untouched! either way a stamped card is the way to go.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #99 (permalink)
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Okay so this is the way I am thinking about it.

What if they just picked some card... a reprint, a new original piece, a 2012 Mars Attacks Heritage common buy back, whatever... and just serial stamped it 1/125 - 125/125. To me, that should be identical in value to buying back 125 original cards and then stamping them. They come out of the 2013 MA:I set, and they are limited to 125.

I feel like physically altering them in any way to 'legitimize' them as an insert takes away from the fact that it is an original card. I want to be able to buy that card to complete my original collection (or sell it to somebody trying to do so), not take 125 cards out of circulation. Some shady dealer selling 'bastard' MA:I inserts doesn't really bug me. If the cards are unaltered, the value of an MA:I buy back will be the same as the value of a similar condition card that was not purchased by Topps to be inserted into packs.

Anyway that is just my thought process. The vintage cards will continue to increase in value as time goes on. These mass produced modern sets will never really be worth much more than they are the first month after release.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:04 PM   #100 (permalink)
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After reading the latest salvo, I think that for relatively common mid-grade card, stamping it will increase it's value, so everyone wins.
I would agree. It's just like taking an old signed document worth $50, cutting out the sig and putting it onto a "limited edition" card, that $50 piece is now worth $200.

If these buybacks are now part of the new set, they're an entirely different animal and stand on their own. People collecting the new set will want them, whereas they might not be as interested in just buying originals.
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