Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Thoughts and The Hobby's Reaction to 2012 Topps

So now that we've had a couple of days to digest it all, most of us can agree that 2012 Topps Baseball isn't exactly the "game changer" we were all led to believe. Based on what I've read on the internet, I've yet to see a single positive response or comment to 2012 Topps. The near-universal reaction to 2012 Topps is: "More of the same" is not "game changing."

(In the interest of full disclosure, I was the one who asked Clay Luraschi about 2012 Topps Baseball at their National meet-n-greet, to which he responded that it would be a "game changer." So you can all blame me.)

The comments posted to Beckett's website, and elsewhere, should be a wake-up call to the Honks at One Whitehall. Giving collectors what they want and giving them what they think they want are not one-in-the-same, and it's clear that the current Topps regime fails to understand this.

Based on what's been said by the collectors, here are a few points for Topps to ponder.

* We want our Topps Baseball back. We never really liked the glossy coating and foil on each card, but we learned to accept it. If you're looking for something that truly is "game-changing," how about getting rid of the foil and gloss?

* We'd also want a base set that's larger than 330 cards. If you're going to continue with two series, then each should have 400 cards, minimum.

* We like the design of the one-of-one wood parallel more than we do the base set. Here's a suggestion: Why not swap the two? Give collectors the wood-grained, foil-free, base set they want, and turn the white-bordered, foil-stamped card into the one-of-one.

* We're sick and tired of pointless inserts. Remember when card sets had meaningful inserts like "All-Stars," "Award Winners," "League Leaders," "Super Rookies," et al. What's the purpose of any of the Topps insert sets? What does "Gold Standard" mean? How does one become a "Golden Great?" "Gold Futures?" What the fuck does that mean?

* And does every insert set have to be 50 cards deep? The six inserts that have been announced have a combined 265 cards between them. That includes the 50-card 1987 Topps and Golden Moments inserts, and the 75-card Golden Greats. Keep in mind, that Topps has yet to announce the retailer-exclusive (i.e. Target and Wal-Mart) and pack-type exclusive inserts. So we can pretty much assume that, once again, the number of non-parallel, non-Hit inserts will exceed the 330-card base set.

* What's the deal with the "Gold" fetish anyway? We get it. 2011 was your 60th Anniversary, and you went all out with the Diamonds. Topps Baseball does NOT require an annual "theme." What's next for 2013? Silver? Copper? Bronze? Lead? At this rate 2020 Topps will be the "Plastic" set.

* 1987 Topps Minis? Really Topps? Yet another rehash of a forgotten set. You're not even trying anymore, are you?

* Does the Topps Flagship actually require a hit in every box? Seriously. We aren't buying Topps Baseball for the hits -- most of which are junk, anyway -- except for that one guy who buys 500 cases of everything, then flips the "hits" onto eBay.

I know one thing, unless there are major changes, 2012 will be the first year I will not collect the Topps flagship.

The good news for Topps is that they have five-and-a-half months to deliver the "game changer" they promised. Will they actually listen this time and give us the product we want? Or will they continue to dictate to collectors what they think we want? Time will tell.


The Lost Collector said...

Thanks for the rundown. I think this really sums up the majority of opinions.

Nathan said...

"We like the design of the one-of-one wood parallel more than we do the base set. Here's a suggestion: Why not swap the two? Give collectors the wood-grained, foil-free, base set they want, and turn the white-bordered, foil-stamped card into the one-of-one."


the sewingmachineguy said...

What you just wrote...

First Ballot said...

Without any competition what was the incentive to be a game changer anyhow?
Hopefully, Panini will be licensed sooner than later.

flywheels said...

2008 Topps got me back into collecting. 2009 got me into building the base Topps set. I don't see myself building 2012 for a lot of the reasons you and countless others have already mentioned.

Retrofan said...

Yeah the gold idea perplexes me. I hope there is a game changer planned, otherwise I like you may shun this set.

hiflew said...

Technically all they promised was a "game changer." No collectors bothering to purchase the set is game changing (well game ending anyway). So they were right.

Plus why are they trying to change the game? We like the game now, otherwise we wouldn't be collecting in the first place.

GCA said...

Didn't they miss the Golden Anniversary about 11 years before (2001)?

J4s Top Shop said...

Amen! Preach on Chris! We need Topps to go back to unique designs. 2012 is barely different from the most recent designs. Remember when you could look at a card and in 1 nanosecond know that the card was 75 topps or 62 topps etc? This is exactly why Heritage has been popular over the last decade. Too many gimmicks and gloss and not enough uniqueness. I pity the collectors of 2062 who look at the Heritage cards that year and go, "huh? People collect THIS crap?"

PS. I just opened up a new store if anyone is looking for some cool cards. (Just click on my name above to get to my profile and go to my home page) Mention this blog and get 50% off shipping. :)
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