All of which leads me to a question I posed on Twitter last week.
@SportsCollector One hurdle: How do you explain The Hobby of 2014 to someone who hasn't collected in 20+ years? Will they "get it?"Just imagine for a moment, that you haven't opened a pack of cards since before the 1994 Strike. You probably remember parallels, but you'd probably wonder why a product has to have 14 of them. You exited right at the peak of the "insert mania" of the early-90s, but what to make of all the hundreds of inserts? How can you collect them all? Is it even possible?
— Chris Harris (@stalegum) February 1, 2014
And we're not even at autographs & gamers, gimmicked variations, manu-relics, and other such lagniappe.
The number of collectors actually buying, much less collecting, their products is steadily declining, and it doesn't seem to me like Topps even cares. It's easy to discount the wants of your customers when you're a monopoly. In order to survive in the long-run, Topps needs to A) retain the collectors they have, and B) bring lapsed collectors back into The Hobby. They're not exactly doing a great job with "A," and if you're not winning over people like Angi, then they're not doing such a great job with "B" either.