Saturday, July 14, 2007

If You Ruled The Hobby

Friends, Readers, and Fellow Collectors:

You have been selected "God of the Baseball Card Hobby." With these powers, you have been given the power to dictate to Topps and Upper Deck what 17 products they will be allowed to release in 2008.

Post your suggestions in the comments area. I'm not asking for specific product details (at least not yet). Just what specific products should return, what products should go away, and what products would you like to see return.

Choose wisely, the long-term fate of The Hobby is in your hands.

If I were given such a title, here are the 34 products that I would allow:

(Sorry for the long gap)

CategoryToppsUpper Deck
Flagship Series 1Topps 1Upper Deck 1
Flagship Series 2Topps 2Upper Deck 2
Flagship UpdateTopps Updates and HighlightsUpper Deck Update
$0.99/pack Contractual Obligation SetOpening DayFirst Pitch
"Second" FlagshipBowmanFleer
"Second" UpdateBowman DP&PFleer Update
Premium #1Stadium Club 1Ultra
Premium #2Stadium Club 2Upper Deck Ovation
Super Premium #1FinestSP
Super Premium #2Bowman's BestFleer Flair
Retro #1Topps HeritageGreats of the Game
Retro #2Pre-War Tribute Set (i.e. TA&G)Goudey
$20 ProductTopps Co-SignersSPx
$50 ProductBowman SterlingUpper Deck Epic
$100 ProductTopps Triple ThreadsUltimate Collection
Rookie-ThemedBowman ChromeUpper Deck Future Stars
Wild CardThird Retro Product not named Bowman HeritageUpper Deck Premier


Anonymous said...

I think 17 products is still too many. It should be cut down even more to maybe 10 per company. Anyway, here's what I would like to see in 2008:

Topps base ser1
Topps base ser2
Topps base ser3
Topps Opening Day(different design than Topps base)
Stadium Club
Topps Heritage
Topps Chrome

Upper Deck:
UD ser1
UD ser2
Collectors Choice
Fleer Update
Fleer Ultra
Fleer Greats of the Game

I know that's not many, but I think the hobby would be in better shape if the card companies drastically cut the number of products they came out with.

Anonymous said...

If I'm "God," I would exercise my powers more exactingly than allowing 34 products. First, I would order each company to produce one set where the cards cost 8.5 cents or less each at retail--so a 12 card pack would cost 99 cents. They could decide whether it was their base set or a cheapo set. I would then limit it to:


- Flagship 1, 2 and Update (or any way they choose to break it down--this counts as one to me)

- Heritage (Bowman's design is tapped out; 1952 has been done to death; A&G and Turkey Red were nice for one year, not two; one retro set is enough)

- One cheapo set OR one premium set (if the base set is the cheapo one)

Upper Deck:

- Flagship (same as Topps)

- Goudey or some other knock-off of an old set

- one cheapo set OR one premium set

And that's enough.

Anonymous said...

1. Just bring back Topps Total!
2. One of the companies needs to pick up the Score brand and release Score Heritage, beginning with the 1988 design. Seriously, most active colectors got their start in the 80s, and something like this would go over big.
2. Take away Upper Deck's license and give it to Donruss. I miss Diamond Kings, and Donruss still needs to release a second series of their awesome Donruss Originals.
3. The problem with artificially limiting the number of releases is that it guarantees that card companies will play it safe and continue to release the same old, same old. Is there even one release this year that manages to be new,orginal,and affordable? There is no way Topps or Upper Deck will do something off-beat like the old 1980s Donruss Pop-Ups, or Topps 3D, or Fleer 44-card box sets. Releases like that actually made collecting fun.
4. I'm tired of hearing people say that limiting the number of releases is such a great thing. If the MLB and MLBPA don't like capitalism and the way it works, they should go start a league in Cuba or North Korea, so we consumers can have our 5000 releases per year and there might actually be a product or two I would want to buy, unlike this year when only Topps Heritage got me remotely interested, and everything else has been instantly forgettable.

Anonymous said...

As a 40-year collector, the question itself still sounds utterly ridiculous to me.

I want a set of baseball cards that chronicles the previous season and gets me excited about the upcoming one.

Give me a single release of a base set that includes every significant player from the previous the right uniform; i.e., the one he completed the season with. 792 cards can be sufficient if they leave out all the crap and just give us the individual player cards. This can also be released as early as Thanksgiving so we would have four months to build a set.

On or about Opening Day -- which, by the way, should be Monday, not Sunday...and should be a National Holiday, too -- we can have a second issue that captures all of the off-season transactions. This set would be whatever size necessary, probably 264.

Finally, around the trade deadline, give us an update set that captures most or all in-season transactions and adds significant rookies or other call-ups. This would be about another 264-card set.

That's it. That's all I want. Oh...except I also want the information on the cards to be accurate.

Now, if you really want to talk about capitalism, open the industry to 34 companies, not 34 products manufactured by just two.