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Card Manufacturers are lazy

Posted by houstoncollector on November 3, 2008

After spending a few days going through a lot of base, a lot of inserts, and spending time at a show where I went through a lot of cards, I’ve come to one conclusion.


The card manufacturers are lazy.


There’s no innovation, no pushing the boundaries, only cranking out the same mediocre crap at higher and higher prices with the excuse of dubious ‘hits’ which are guaranteed but are of less and less value.  I spent a lot of time looking at inserts from the 1990s.  They were shiny, with odd designs and shapes and colors and …. they caught the eye and the attention.  They were /nice/.  Compare this to now where you have a few inserts, but for the most part, they, and the base they accompany, are boring and bland.  Where companies recycle shots for multiple products, where shots from previous years are used in new products.  Where a guy who is on a team for an entire season doesn’t get a card until the ‘update’ set  released at the end of the season.  (Geoff Blum, Topps Updates and Highlights).  Where a guy who is traded during the year is released in that same ‘updates’ set….in the wrong uniform (LaTroy Hawkins, same set).  Where a set is released in the middle of the season without having the right team or uniform for a major trade made six months prior (Miguel Tejada, numerous 2008 sets).  

This is all in the name of cranking out 20+ baseball sets, and nearly the same number of football sets, all for making as much money as possible.  Most of your “hits” are single-color, unnumbered swatches or autographs of some scrub that never made it, never will make it, and is probably just glad to have the signing contract with the card companies, and would be worth about $3 (after shipping) on eBay.  

Gimmicks, short prints, excessive parallels, bad collation….it’s like they just don’t care, and why should they?  We continue to spend $100+ a box like our lives depended on it, and Beckett is all but complicit by pricing cards based on the same model they’ve used for years (the base price for GU/AU, in most cases, is $8 in Beckett HI.  Some are $5-6, but most are $8), which is completely out of touch with reality (both eBay and some dealers, as at the show, a number of dealers admitted to me that they /sell/ at Beckett low, because that’s the only way they can compete).

Given that most of the 2009 sets are probably late in development, I call that we need to demand change in our sets.  Stop buying retail packs of stuff which might get you something other than base once in a blue moon.  Stop buying boxes of product where the autograph list reads like a list of guys who are pushing 30 and still in AA ball, or never were drafted and aren’t even playing NFL currently.  Stop giving money to Beckett, and stop quoting them as the bible.  

Use some fucking common sense, and make Topps, Donruss, Upper Deck, SA-GE, Press Pass and Razor actually put out a product worthy of the name.

Granted, I’m not Mario or Chris Harris, and I doubt that any of the companies is going to even see this, much less respond, but dammit, I’m tired of how crappy cards are now.  The ONLY good thing about having 20 sets a year per sport is that it means I can never stop collecting the guys I want.


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