Friday, May 30, 2008

Even More Stupidity from Topps.

You didn't think they'd stop at just one, did you?



This is Yasuhiko Yabuta, set-up man for the Kansas City Royals. And yes, Topps has decided to (stupidly) replace his legit Rookie Card with a gimmicked short-print.



Meet Alexei Ramirez, backup outfielder for the Chicago White Sox. Like Yabuta and Fukudome, he played in the 2006 World Baseball Classic -- only for Cuba. And just like Yabuta and Fukudome, there is no Alexei Ramirez rookie card in series two Topps. Only this gimmick card.



Ummm, wow. Mere words can not describe what I think of this card.

Memo to Topps:

DO YOU REALLY, REALLY, THINK CARD COLLECTORS ARE THIS GULLIBLE?

DO YOU REALLY, REALLY, THINK CARD COLLECTORS ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO COLLECT THESE CARDS?

DO YOU REALLY, REALLY, THINK THAT CONSTANTLY APPEALING TO THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR -- ESPECIALLY IN SUCH A CYNICAL MANNER -- IS GOOD FOR THE HOBBY?

DO YOU EVEN REALIZE THE LONG-TERM DAMAGE YOU ARE DOING TO THE HOBBY WITH THESE GIMMICKS?

DO YOU EVEN CARE?

I know one thing, as long as the gimmicks continue, this collector will no longer be purchasing Topps baseball products.

7 comments:

handcollated said...

The answers to your questions are: 1. No, but they aren't worried about actual collectors leaving their product.

2. No, but card collectors aren't bringing in enough $$ anymore.

3. Because it helps us make money, which we need to do as a business.

4. I'm not sure I see long term damage from this anymore than the advent of Beckett or Jersey cards. Once this trick starts to show diminished returns, it's on to the next gimmick.

5. No, Topps doesn't care as long as they make money.

Don't get me wrong, I hate the gimmicks that infect the hobby, too. I was alright when I read about the inital Fukudome card. sure, it sucks he gets no rookie card, but at the same time I don't need him for the set, and my enjoyment won't be diminished greatly by finding that card. Yabuta and Ramirez? A little more gimmicky because no one really cares about these guys that much anyway. And the Arnold card? Well, I'll be a little upset pulling that one from my box.

After a while, though, the hobby's no longer just a hobby. It's a business. And without generating interest in their prodcuts, Topps and Upper Deck won't make any cards period. Which would be even worse.

One thing that's obvious from reading the blogs is that the average set collector is leaving the hobby. So Topps needs to bring in other gimmicks to get new people involved. That's why Toppstown now exists. That's why these cards are out there. Topps needs money. And this is the way they've learned to get it.

I've gone on too long. I'm sure Upper Deck will have some trick in series 2, too. And I just read that they may have sent out some Hillary cards that should not have gone out in it. Nothing on eBay for now, but we'll see.

dayf said...

The set collectors are leaving the hobby because of stuff like this :)

It just occurred to me that they may have pulled these three in order to beef up their Red Hot Rookies redemption program. Just think, 20 more cards to chase AND they're redemptions! Hooray!

handcollated said...

You know, I thought about that as I wrote this, but I think there's more to it then that. As kids start to age, they naturally lose an interest in collecting because there are so many other things that must take up their time. Some of the kids who got started in the late 80's are disillusioned with the relative worthlessness of those cards. And kids nowadays have Grand Theft Auto and iPods rather than a need for Toppstown or another Fukudome RC.

I hate to say it, but it's fairly clear that the companies feel collectors will buy no matter what. It's also clear if threats made by Chris here and other commenters hold out, that they will have miscalculated. And as more collectors jump ship, the companies will have to focus more on the investment aspect of things just to stay afloat.

I'm not sure how Topps and Upper Deck shut the doors they have opened already. How many people nowadays would find a box of cards with no inserts exciting? I know that there are a few, but I don't think sales would be up next year if 2009 Topps were just beautiful design and photos alone.

Paul said...

Well told dayf, well told.

You are exactly right. The set collector is leaving because of this nonsense, as well as shortprints in a base set, BS "parallels", that remove a potential card that is needed or could be used as trade bait.

Harner said...

I hate to break the news, but it appears there is an Al Gore SP from the campaign set too.

James B. Anama said...

Hey Chris (or Anyone Else angry about these cards):

If you get one and don't want it, send me an e-mail. Unlike most of the set collectors who are ticked off about these cards, I like them, and will be more than happy to take them from your hands (at no cost to me of course, since these cards are worthless).

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

White Sox Cards said...

I was hoping for an Alexei Ramirex White Sox card in series two. I was hoping that all the holes in the Topps checklist meant that it would happen. Topps disappointed me yet again.