And now a Special Comment...
We all know that the trading card business can be a competitive one. So when I read this morning on A Cardboard Problem that Leaf, the trading card company formerly known as Razor, was withholding the final checklist (so as not to tip-off their "competitors," i.e. Topps) on its debut mixed-martial arts trading card set.
Leaf/Razor, of course, is a non-entity in The Hobby; as if buying a dormant brand name somehow adds credibility. "Leaf" is not the same company that produced Frank Thomas's rookie card 20 years ago. It's still the same ol' Razor -- a marginal trading card company with no real licenses, relegated to pseudo-sports and repacking other company's cards.
But sadly, the secrecy they employ is commonplace amongst other, more respectable, trading card companies. Upper Deck lost their MLB license months ago. Yet attempts by your humble correspondent to get Upper Deck to reveal the complete list of 2010 "Double-Take" variation cards, have been for naught. Despite the fact that UD no longer has a baseball license, they still refuse to reveal what the variations are. To their (partial) credit, six months ago, just days after they settled their lawsuit with MLB Properties, they did issue a checklist of what 25-cards are in the set. They have still yet to visually identify what the variations are.
What reason is there for UD's secrecy? Why haven't they identified what the variations are like they said they would?
But Upper Deck no longer has a baseball license. Topps still does, and when it comes to "stealth" inserts and other chicanery, Topps is a serial offender.
Case in point: The "World's Biggest" inserts in year's Allen & Ginter. Are these on the checklist? Were these mentioned on the sell sheet? How about Topps' pathetic excuse of a website?
No. You will not find any mention of these cards. Anywhere. No thanks to Topps, it was us, the collectors, who had to discover for themselves that the first five cards in the set were exclusive to Blaster and retail boxes and the other 20 are only in gravity-feed loosey packs.
Sadly, this is only one example. Remember "Scoreboard Abe?" Topps didn't make any mention of that card until March -- almost two months after the release of Series One Topps.
Why do card companies do this? Why do they keep giving us, the collectors, the people who support them and pay their salaries, "The Mushroom Treatment?"Is it asking too much of Topps, UD, Leaf/Razor, et al, to actually tell us what is in their products, before we buy them? Why do they continue to disrespect collectors like this?
I'm Chris Harris on this, the 386th day since Upper Deck lost their MLB license. Good night and good luck.