For this class I've decided to do something I've always wanted to do and write a paper that's Hobby related. But there's just one problem.
Very few serious academic papers have been written on The Hobby, and what little that has been published is just laughable.
So, this is where you, especially those of you in "The Industry" who read this site, come in.
Before I continue, let me show you the proposal I sent in a few weeks ago.
On August 6, 2009, MLB Properties (MLBP), the licensing arm of Major League Baseball, granted Topps Chewing Gum a five-year exclusive-license for the production of baseball cards beginning with the 2010 baseball season; effectively giving Topps the monopoly-power it previously had from 1956-80. In 1981, Topps lost their monopoly after a competing firm sued and won an anti-trust case and was granted a license. After a decade-and-a-half of increased competition, which saw as one point as many as six different firms producing over 100 different MLB-licensed baseball card sets a year, “The Hobby,” as it became known, boomed. But after the boom came the inevitable “bursting of the bubble.” In the three decades since, through a series of mergers & acquisitions and liquidations, the number of firms producing officially-licensed baseball cards went from one, to three, to six; then four, two, and now back to one.
This paper will analyze “The Hobby” in the increasingly competitive boom years of the 80s and early-90s; the crash years of the mid-to-late-90s; the relative stability, despite the exit of some firms, of the mid-to-late-2000s; and the rationale behind MLBP’s decision to grant Topps monopoly power again.
Got all that? Good. Here's where I need your help.
Before they were bought-out by Pinnacle Brands, Action Packed conducted an annual "State of The Hobby" survey. Does anyone happen to have any copies of this survey lying around?
What was the name of the Federal case that broke up the Topps monopoly in 1981? I know Pete Williams' 1995 book Card Sharks discussed this case in great detail; unfortunately, my copy is lost somewhere at my parent's house in New Jersey.
What was the rationale behind MLB Properties decision to grant Score/Sportflics/Pinnacle Brands and Upper Deck licenses in the late-80s? I know Upper Deck had an "Ace in the Hole" named DeWyane Buice, but how did Score get theirs?
Finally, Stephen Strasburg notwithstanding, what have been the effects of Topps' exclusive license on the baseball card market in 2010, and beyond?
Again, let me state that THIS IS A SERIOUS ACADEMIC PROJECT THAT WILL BE GRADED. ANY ASSISTANCE YOU CAN LEND ME WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.