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Old 06-09-2012, 03:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SPORTKINGS - how can it be improved?

So, now that Series E has been released, it's time to start thinking about Series F!

Some thoughts on what I'd like to see changed...

First, use the artwork, which is generally superlative, in a greater variety of ways. I'd love to see boxtoppers, either the 3-card strips like Topps does for Heritage, or 3x5/5x7 oversized cards like you see in many other products. Likewise, how about some redemptions for the original artwork used to make the base cards. And since you've got Jared Kelley doing gorgeous but unaffordable 1/1 cards, how about using him to make some other products for the set that ordinary collectors might actually be able to afford on the secondary market.

Second, I'd like to see base card autographs. The current design for the autograph cards has become rather tedious after five series of the exact same design, and in my opinion weren't that great looking to start with anyway because of the small player images.

Third, less emphasis on memorabilia. To be frank, memorabilia cards have been overdone to death over the past ten years, and are no longer anything special. People may disagree with me, but I don't think the memorabilia cards add much to the product, nor are they what makes Sportkings special.

Lastly, although this can be a entirely separate discussion, I think the checklist needs to be better (i.e. have more big names from the major sports). For Series E, only 22 of the 48 subjects were from the four major sports (baseball, football, basketball, hockey), and even within those sports, some of the offerings were underwhelming (Roosevelt Brown? Mark Wells? Jackie Stiles?) And Sir Stanley Matthews as the only soccer card? And among the lesser known sports, THREE female golfers? And who the heck are Sydney Barnes, Taiho, Gino Bartali, Sammy Lee, Dean Karnzes, and Mauri Rose? It's ok to have a few no-names...but it's not ok to have the no-names outnumber the superstars. Especially when there are so many retired superstars who have yet to appear in a Sportkings Series (by my count 21+ baseball superstars, 14+ football superstars, 13+ hockey superstars, 8+ basketball superstars, 14 major tennis players, and 10-20 soccer superstars).
In particular, I think the basketball, hockey, and soccer offerings in Series E were particularly weak, and although the inclusion of Borg & Navratilova was a pleasant step in the right direction, there is still a ways to go in terms of tennis.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm afraid I have to disagree with you regarding the memorabilia cards. In my opinion, they are as much a part of Sportkings as any other concept.

When a company has a reputation as pristine as Dr. Price's, memorabilia is where it's at. No other company has as good a rep with "authentic", game-used memorabilia as what Dr. Price puts out. I believe in time, these will be much more popular and sought after. Once a player retires, he can, (and often does), continue signing autographs. However, there will be no more game-used jerseys from him.

Secondly, the concept of Sportkings is to cover more than just the 4 major sports. This world is loaded with amazing athletes and sports starts stretching much farther than just the 4 major sports. With a product like this, other less-known athletes are being learned about and remembered. Many people had never heard of Jackie Stiles, even though she's the only woman in Division I basketball to ever score 1000 points in a single season, but now more people have at least heard about her. The same can be said for Taiho, Dean Karnazes, Sir Stanley Matthews, etc.

I too would like to see an autographed base card version with autographed minis being short-printed.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree with regard to memorabilia cards. While the ones in Sportkings are generally better-looking than those from other products, I still think the concept as a whole is overdone. For most modern atheletes, game-used jerseys are not scarce or hard to find, and given that a single jersey will yield 1000+ swatch, they aren't scarce either. If you're going to do it, make it redemptions for entire jerseys, not yet another 1 sq. inch anonymous looking swatch. And given the difficulties the hobby as a whole has experienced with memorabilia that turns not to be what it is advertised/purported to me, I'm sure that despite the best efforts of Dr. Price and his staff, there are more than few swatches in Sportkings that will also turn out to be from items sold to Dr. Price under false pretences.

As to your second point about Sportkings being about more than the big four sports, I agree with you 100%. My point is that I think that ratio of major sports to minor sports should be different . The last three Series (i.e. C/D/E) have had a 40/60 ratio, which I think is too low given how many major sports stars have yet to appear in Sportkings (Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Koufax, Spahn, Feller, Frank & Brooks Robinson, McCovey, Cousy, Abdul-Jabbar, Dr. J, Otto Graham, Bradshaw, Staubach, Payton, Emmitt Smith, etc., and that's just a small list) I'd like to see the ratio somewhere between 60/40 and 75/25 instead, at least until all the major sports stars have appeared in Sportkings.

And when it does come to the minor sports, I've been less than inspired by some of the choices made. I'm a huge soccer and tennis fan, and I've been very disappointed in the Sportkings offerings for these two sports over the years. Aside from Pele, the soccer offerings have been non-existent, with only four other players over the five series (all of them relatively minor figures), and tennis has likewise been equally barren, although the appearance of Navratilova and Borg in Series E was a welcome addition.

For soccer, how about Puskas, Bobby Moore, Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Platini, Gullit, Matthaus, Maradona, Baggio, Baresi, Maldini, and Romario? All world-famous players who starred in the World Cup. Or how about some American soccer stars, such as Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, John Harkes, Claudio Reyna, Cobi Jones, and Kasey Keller?

And for tennis, what about Rod Laver, McEnroe, Connors, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Becker, Sampras, Agassi, Wilander, Edberg, Courier, Chang, Graf, and Seles?

I guess, my bigger frustration is that there are A LOT of people who I would like to see in Sportkings who have yet to appear, both from major and minor sports, which is why I think the checklist needs to be improved.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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mfw13 I could not agree with you more.

There is one thing that you didn't take into consideration. That is that you need rights from the athletes. You can't simply make cards of them. So we do the best we can with the athletes that have agreed to terms with us.

Pete Sampras has only said "no" to us for the last three years. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were made generous offers, they both said "no". McEnroe said "no" before he even hear our offer.

As far as soccer goes some of the players you mention make or made multi-millions of dollars and their agents don't want to hear the kind of offers we can afford to make.

So I have to say that I am very proud of the list of athletes we have had in Sportkings since we started with Series A in 2007.

We brought Pele into trading cards, we brought Ali back into trading cards (last set was 2001), we made the first autograph cards of Pete Rose, the list goes on and on.

Rather than simply lists the best athletes in every sport and ask "why" they aren't in the product, you have to realize that they have to agree to be in our products.

We have been after Charles Barkley for five years and can't get him. We have tried for five years to get George Foreman and can't. Gretkzy, Woods and Jordan have exclusives with Upper Deck.

Just wanted to make this clear, it is not an excuse, it is a reason. I want almost all the athletes you mentioned and maybe eventually, I will get them.

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Old 06-10-2012, 12:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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For me, personally. . . I love the SK cards, unfortunately I don't collect the main sports at all, or soccer. . . the checklists for the last couple of sets just really didn't have anything I was looking for. Still trying to get Evel, though!

I'd love to see the likes of Mary Lou Retton, I can't believe she doesn't have an official autograph card, perhaps she's not interested.

I'd also love to see more X-Games type athletes. Shaun White would be an amazing 'get.' But that field also has several stars who have started to become visible in other media -- like Rob Dyrdek and Jason Ellis -- both could be interesting.

Anyway -- that's all I'd like to see change in SK -- the checklist to bring more cards I want to collect!

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Old 06-10-2012, 06:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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mfw13 I could not agree with you more.

There is one thing that you didn't take into consideration. That is that you need rights from the athletes. You can't simply make cards of them. So we do the best we can with the athletes that have agreed to terms with us.

Pete Sampras has only said "no" to us for the last three years. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were made generous offers, they both said "no". McEnroe said "no" before he even hear our offer.

As far as soccer goes some of the players you mention make or made multi-millions of dollars and their agents don't want to hear the kind of offers we can afford to make.

So I have to say that I am very proud of the list of athletes we have had in Sportkings since we started with Series A in 2007.

We brought Pele into trading cards, we brought Ali back into trading cards (last set was 2001), we made the first autograph cards of Pete Rose, the list goes on and on.

Rather than simply lists the best athletes in every sport and ask "why" they aren't in the product, you have to realize that they have to agree to be in our products.

We have been after Charles Barkley for five years and can't get him. We have tried for five years to get George Foreman and can't. Gretkzy, Woods and Jordan have exclusives with Upper Deck.

Just wanted to make this clear, it is not an excuse, it is a reason. I want almost all the athletes you mentioned and maybe eventually, I will get them.

Brian Price
Brian, thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. I've been around the hobby for a long time and am fully aware both that you need to purchase rights from athletes in order to feature them on trading cards, and that doing so is often difficult, if not impossible.

That said, however, quite a few of the players I mentioned have been appearing in other company's products, and therefore should not be that difficult for Sportkings to sign, especially the baseball HOFers and US soccer stars.

My bigger point, though, is that there have simply been too many cards in Series D & E that make the collector go "bleah". I only collect the base cards, and in Series E, there were only 10 cards out of the 48 that I really wanted. For Series D, it was 7 out of 48. One way to judge whether someone is worth including in the set is simply to ask yourself whether or not you would be excited to pull that card. Or get more interactive with your collectors and run some polls on your website asking who collectors would like to see in the next series.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Your right and wrong. If you are referring to Topps, their production runs are far greater than ours and therefore they can get some of the higher priced athletes.

Another example is Dr. J. He wanted a 1,000 autograph deal from us as a minimum, we could not do it but Panini with 12-16 basketball releases could.

Hank Aaron and Willie Mays totally priced themselves out of our reach but Topps with 12-16 baseball releases could afford them.

You must also remember that athletes you "want" are necessarily athletes that other collectors "want". Baskin and Robbins has 50+ flavors for that reason.

I under stand your post and I am doing my best to get the best athletes in my products that I can.

No other trading card manufacturer is more interactive with its collectors than I am with my brands. I am a little offended by that comment.

Brian Price
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the way that Sportkings has established a great tradition with their sets that collectors look forward to with each series. Maintaining the same base card design in my opinion is critical to their future success.

Matt, you have relentlessly reminded us of the "authenticity" of the game used memorabilia in Sportkings. As the other companies continue to commit game used crimes against collecting humanity, the desirability of Sportkings' memorabilia should fare well.

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I'm afraid I have to disagree with you regarding the memorabilia cards. In my opinion, they are as much a part of Sportkings as any other concept.

When a company has a reputation as pristine as Dr. Price's, memorabilia is where it's at. No other company has as good a rep with "authentic", game-used memorabilia as what Dr. Price puts out. I believe in time, these will be much more popular and sought after. Once a player retires, he can, (and often does), continue signing autographs. However, there will be no more game-used jerseys from him.

Secondly, the concept of Sportkings is to cover more than just the 4 major sports. This world is loaded with amazing athletes and sports starts stretching much farther than just the 4 major sports. With a product like this, other less-known athletes are being learned about and remembered. Many people had never heard of Jackie Stiles, even though she's the only woman in Division I basketball to ever score 1000 points in a single season, but now more people have at least heard about her. The same can be said for Taiho, Dean Karnazes, Sir Stanley Matthews, etc.

I too would like to see an autographed base card version with autographed minis being short-printed.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never bought too much into sportkings just because of the price point...going to the 1 hit per pack in series D and E, definately made it easier for me to swallow than the 3 hit box of A, B, and C...

Its a nice product, like some of the atletes, don't like others...obviously there are some pulls that are going to wow me and some that are so so...same can be said about any other company though...

Yes, I can be wowed by getting a michael jordan auto from upper deck, it the exact same product, my hit could be a carlos boozer gu card...some cards in a product wow, some won't...i do like that sportkings has brought us some athletes that otherwise would never have an auto made...
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree about boxtoppers of artwork, and told Mr. Price the same thing and received a response from him. No matter what happens, that's more than I've received from other manufacturers.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Brian, thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. I've been around the hobby for a long time and am fully aware both that you need to purchase rights from athletes in order to feature them on trading cards, and that doing so is often difficult, if not impossible.

That said, however, quite a few of the players I mentioned have been appearing in other company's products, and therefore should not be that difficult for Sportkings to sign, especially the baseball HOFers and US soccer stars.

My bigger point, though, is that there have simply been too many cards in Series D & E that make the collector go "bleah". I only collect the base cards, and in Series E, there were only 10 cards out of the 48 that I really wanted. For Series D, it was 7 out of 48. One way to judge whether someone is worth including in the set is simply to ask yourself whether or not you would be excited to pull that card. Or get more interactive with your collectors and run some polls on your website asking who collectors would like to see in the next series.
Didn't we do exactly that on here? As I was the originator of the thread and you yourself contributed ideas, I thought you would have remebered we did exactly that;
Future Sportkings

Also on the bigger point, ask yourself exactly what would be the price point on a product where all the autos would be "A list"ers. I bet it would be a fairly expensive box.

BP remains the most interactive manufacturer around. Rest don't even hold a candle. His contributions to the group breaks have been extremely generous and he is constantly keeping an eye out for new ideas. Now if only we can get all the other companies to do 20% of what he does....
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Have you guys noticed how consistently Dr. Price cards win our monthly "Best Pulls Contest"? It seems like his cards win every other month or so. Given all the other card manufacturers out there, if all things were equal, Dr. Price should only have winning cards every what...4 to 6 months?

Having said that, have you guys noticed how much more other company products are busted in this forum than Dr. Price stuff? If not, I'll tell you...it's a LOT more.

I guess what I'm getting at is the recent fact that if you want the best shot at pulling a "card of the month", Dr. Price is doing better than anyone else at trying to help you out.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I really enjoy the product also...

But the release price point is way to high for me... 90 dollars one hit?

Cards should be about just collecting but that went out the window as we all know..

My sportkings Ben Hogan cut auto is one of my tops 5 cards i own...

But for me to buy the product again it has it be 60 bucks a pack...

I can't pay 85-90 dollars for a rod carew jersey that sells for 99 cents..

4 of my 16 packs from my case had cards that sold for a combined 13 dollars...

I don't know the in and outs of what it takes for the company to make money and stay in business but for 80-90 dollars a pack it needs 3-4-5 hits not 1

Some of my customers opened a few box of between the pipes this week in my shop and it is the same price point as sportskings and each box had 6 hits?

So that is where sportkings confuses me..
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't know the in and outs of what it takes for the company to make money and stay in business but for 80-90 dollars a pack it needs 3-4-5 hits not 1
So you'd rather have a Panini-type product with 3 of those "99 cent" jersey cards and a no-name scrub auto? It's not like your odds of hitting something huge increase much with extra "filler" hits like other companies load their products with to trick you into thinking you are getting value for your money.

I've always looked at the SK releases as something like volumes of an encyclopedia. Looking at each series individually, you might be able to nit-pick certain athletes or think one series is better than another. But when Dr. Price decides SK is complete, if you've been collecting this whole time, you're going to have an amazing collection of base cards, autographs and game-worn memorabilia cards representing nearly the entire history of sports.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I really enjoy the product also...

But the release price point is way to high for me... 90 dollars one hit?

Cards should be about just collecting but that went out the window as we all know..

My sportkings Ben Hogan cut auto is one of my tops 5 cards i own...

But for me to buy the product again it has it be 60 bucks a pack...

I can't pay 85-90 dollars for a rod carew jersey that sells for 99 cents..

4 of my 16 packs from my case had cards that sold for a combined 13 dollars...
I don't know the in and outs of what it takes for the company to make money and stay in business but for 80-90 dollars a pack it needs 3-4-5 hits not 1

Some of my customers opened a few box of between the pipes this week in my shop and it is the same price point as sportskings and each box had 6 hits?

So that is where sportkings confuses me..
first, did a rod carew gu really sell for 99 cents, cuz I woulda been buying them all day...even some of the lesser known guys still will get ya a few bucks...
just wondering, what did the other 12 hits sell for...and what percent did those hits cover of the cost of the case? The reason I ask is, theres usually a horrible return on card busting, no matter what company it is...but the 2 best product lines to be busting for a % return basis are #1 Benchwarmers and #2 Sportkings...
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've always looked at the SK releases as something like volumes of an encyclopedia. Looking at each series individually, you might be able to nit-pick certain athletes or think one series is better than another. But when Dr. Price decides SK is complete, if you've been collecting this whole time, you're going to have an amazing collection of base cards, autographs and game-worn memorabilia cards representing nearly the entire history of sports.
I couldn't have said it any better.

One day everyone will realize this.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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So you'd rather have a Panini-type product with 3 of those "99 cent" jersey cards and a no-name scrub auto? It's not like your odds of hitting something huge increase much with extra "filler" hits like other companies load their products with to trick you into thinking you are getting value for your money.

I've always looked at the SK releases as something like volumes of an encyclopedia. Looking at each series individually, you might be able to nit-pick certain athletes or think one series is better than another. But when Dr. Price decides SK is complete, if you've been collecting this whole time, you're going to have an amazing collection of base cards, autographs and game-worn memorabilia cards representing nearly the entire history of sports.
My case of SK E was the worst lose i have had on a case of cards this year..


Why does ITG make products with same price point with 6 hits?

I guess that would be the main question i would like answered
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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first, did a rod carew gu really sell for 99 cents, cuz I woulda been buying them all day...even some of the lesser known guys still will get ya a few bucks...
just wondering, what did the other 12 hits sell for...and what percent did those hits cover of the cost of the case? The reason I ask is, theres usually a horrible return on card busting, no matter what company it is...but the 2 best product lines to be busting for a % return basis are #1 Benchwarmers and #2 Sportkings...
these 4 packs only cost me 360 dollars..


BILL WALTON 2012 SPORTKINGS E JERSEY | eBay

ROD CAREW 2012 SPORTKINGS E JERSEY | eBay

DEEDEE JONROWE 2012 SPORTKINGS E SHIRT JERSEY SILVER | eBay

KYLE PETTY 2012 SPORTKINGS E AUTO SILVER | eBay
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wonder what the worst 4 boxes of a case of any product yields?
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
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This product IMO you really need to do BIN or BO. Im no expert but i did that and it yielded a pretty fair amount. I will say, I did not make all my money back but certainly made back more than any other case I have opened. I will open a case of this every year.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Your right and wrong. If you are referring to Topps, their production runs are far greater than ours and therefore they can get some of the higher priced athletes.

Another example is Dr. J. He wanted a 1,000 autograph deal from us as a minimum, we could not do it but Panini with 12-16 basketball releases could.

Hank Aaron and Willie Mays totally priced themselves out of our reach but Topps with 12-16 baseball releases could afford them.

You must also remember that athletes you "want" are necessarily athletes that other collectors "want". Baskin and Robbins has 50+ flavors for that reason.

I under stand your post and I am doing my best to get the best athletes in my products that I can.

No other trading card manufacturer is more interactive with its collectors than I am with my brands. I am a little offended by that comment.

Brian Price
Good point in that the larger manufacturers have larger print runs to amortize their costs with. But that said, I'm someone who collects only the base cards. Certainly there has to be a way to get players into the base set even without paying for their autos. After all, I don't care whether or not Mays, Aaron, and Dr. J sign a single item for you....I just want to see them on base cards, much like many of the deceased athletes you include in Sportkings whose autographs are not in the set.

Also, I did not mean to imply that you were not interactive....you are by far the most interactive of any of the card manufacturers. I just was trying to suggest a way for you to be even more interactive.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:01 AM   #22 (permalink)
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This product IMO you really need to do BIN or BO. Im no expert but i did that and it yielded a pretty fair amount. I will say, I did not make all my money back but certainly made back more than any other case I have opened. I will open a case of this every year.
This is the correct answer - BIN/BO is the way to go here -

I sold the same Kyle Petty auto at the same time for $24.95 BIN.

FWIW- your titles suck - no mention of print run or any other searchable key words - Kyle Petty only signed 40 of each silver autograph - that probably would have helped the title.

I did 19 boxes out of two different 16 box cases and thought that I got killed as my hit were not great - I did make back 90% of my money and still have a few cards to sell.

I never have understood people who list on Ebay, start items at .99 and then bitch when they don't go high enough....
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinkwraith View Post
Didn't we do exactly that on here? As I was the originator of the thread and you yourself contributed ideas, I thought you would have remebered we did exactly that;
Future Sportkings
We did, and I did contribute a large list of names, but that wasn't a very systematic survey, really just a bunch of suggestions from a very small segment of the customer base.

I was think that maybe Dr. Price could set something up on the Sportkings website using a polling widget by which anyone could suggest the 48 names which they would most like to see in Series F, thus giving Dr. Price a ranking of customer athlete preferences to work with when he develops the checklist for Series F.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
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In the beginning I was resistant to Sport Kings. I dont know why, lack of licensing was a main excuse for me. Instead I wasted a crap load on Panini, UD and Topps products. After going back and buying a ton of Series B and Series D cases it started to click for me. The Sport Kings releases have ALOT of thought and effort put into them. From the painting on the base cards to the Cut, Autograph, and Memorabilia checklists. The selection of legends from ALL types of sports make these desirable to me. Id open Series B and have autographs of Bench, Hull, Bo Jackson, Elway, Marino, Montana, Jim Brown, Messier, Pele, Beliveau, Arnold Palmer, Turcotte and others. What mainstream product can you open and hit all of those guys? Dont forget memorabilia cards from jockeys that are great to collect and sell quite well if thats your thing. Series B in my opinion is one of the best trading card releases you will find. I NEVER thought Id be typing this until I tried the product. It got me hooked.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:10 PM   #25 (permalink)
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mfw13 please do not construe my remarks as being antagonistic towards you, they are not.

But your comment:

"Certainly there has to be a way to get players into the base set even without paying for their autos. After all, I don't care whether or not Mays, Aaron, and Dr. J sign a single item for you....I just want to see them on base cards, much like many of the deceased athletes you include in Sportkings whose autographs are not in the set."

This might seem reasonable to you but it is not to the athletes you mention. The costs of these three for their personality rights are out of our range, believe me we have tried to sign them since 2007.

As far as your comment:

"I was think that maybe Dr. Price could set something up on the Sportkings website using a polling widget by which anyone could suggest the 48 names which they would most like to see in Series F, thus giving Dr. Price a ranking of customer athlete preferences to work with when he develops the checklist for Series F."

We have had an icon (VOTE NOW) on the homepage of our website since 2007 where collectors get to vote for their choice of Sportking athletes. We have used this information for the last five years.

I am not trying to argue with you, just pointing this out. It is difficult for me to read this and not respond. I take great pride in my work.

Brian Price
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