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Friday, September 21, 2007

Sold

Looks like the Topps sale to Michael Eisner's group is going to happen, although it's not official yet. Reaction seems to be positive as no one really wanted Upper Deck to get a stranglehold on the industry. With any luck things will get back to normal soon and they can concentrate on the cards and not whether they'll have a job in a few months.

My advice for Michael Eisner:

1) No more 1952 Topps sets. Seriously, give it a rest.

2) 1953 Bowman Heritage. You HAVE to do this.

3) No more massive insert sets where every card looks exactly alike except for the number. If you feel absolutely compelled to do an insert set commemorating each of Roger Clemens' 4672 strikeouts, then at least have the decency to find 4672 different photos.

3a) If you won't do that at least use a different Topps design for each year. For example, if you decide Hank Aaron gets the home run countdown next, put the homers he hit in 1954 in a 1954 design, the ones in 1955 in a 55 design, etc.

4) Pay attention to the Topps base brand design. Don't half ass the details, because that's the stuff we really notice. No one cares about the design of Triple Threads or that other expensive stuff because people who buy that just want the big hits. People who buy the base brand want the CARDS so pay attention to what you're doing.

5) If you make a mistake, fix it. I know you do the printing based on the total orders, but if you catch a blatant error once the presses start running, stop them and fix it. The planned variations with no auto or a different photo are confusing and lame. Stop doing them. Remember the freakout over the photoshopped Jeter card? You know how packs flew off the shelves? If people started pulling corrected cards out of packs a few weeks later it would have been even bigger.

6) Heritage, Finest, Allen & Ginter and Chrome ain't broke, so don't try to fix it.

6a) Bowman is broke, and I don't know how to fix it. Maybe just give up on the pretense of putting veterans in the set and go with all rookies and prospects. It seems to me Bowman draft picks is always a much better set than Bowman anyway.

7) Since it looks like Turkey Red is just about finished, how about going for a 1930's Retro set next. Maybe DeLong, Tattoo Orbit or George C Miller. Or hell, do a convoluted set with all three plus Batter Up and US Caramel for good measure. This will help avoid the inevitable T207 "Brown" set, plus it will annoy Upper Deck by invading their 30's Goudey turf. You could also do a Gypsy Queen set in case they decide to bring their Old Judge cards out of mothballs.

7a) Annoy Upper Deck as much as possible. It seems to spur them on to do things like 2007 Goudey, which is a good thing.

8) If you want to bring kids back into the hobby, do a well designed inexpensive set. Opening Day is not it. Maybe bring back Topps Total or Bazooka. Do some kind of game to make it fun. Perhaps an online game where kids can register their cards and play a simulated game with their players. For God's sake don't charge 3 bucks a pack. Make it a buck for 10 cards and some gum. Kids don't care about relic cards. There has not been a single relic card inserted into a Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic: The Gathering card EVER and they're doing all right for themselves.

9) If you don't listen to any of the other suggestions, please just listen to this one. Do a Negro league subset or insert set now, while there are still Negro league veterans around. If you can pull off doing an entire set of just Negro leaguers, do it. Lots of autographs. Lots and lots of autographs. Do special appearances of players to promote the set too. Give Dave Winfield a call, he can probably help. Publicize and honor these forgotten players before it's too late.

If I can think of anything else, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, you've got a good thing going on over at Topps, try not to screw it up.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, dayf. I couldn't agree more. I've started collecting older cards (1960's and 1970's) because if I'm going to spend a dollar a card or more, I want it to be something that will damn sure be worth it. I wanted to collect the current year Topps as I've done in the past, but the 2007 design is just plain fugly.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post, especially regarding Bowman Heritage paying homage to '53 Bowman.

Bay Rat North West said...

Thanks for the plug for Bazooka. I miss that set. Easy to complete a full set and inserts. Not parallels.
One thing you left out was product placement in movies. I had to buy 3 Y. Ming refractor cards for my Godsons after they saw it in "Are We Done Yet?" Talk about being able to get kids back into collecting. Eisner should have the resources to do it.

dayf said...

Ha! I didn't even think about product placements. Let's get Goofy and Donald flipping some cards in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I'll bet Bazooka makes a comeback, there's a lot of ways to cross promote the brand and it's a good target for kids. Decent price too, especially with the piles of jersey cards they put in it.

BrenJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrenJ said...

I agree with most of your points, but I have to admit to one worry about Eisner. He isn't the best at leaving things alone that aren't broke. When in charge of Disney, he killed off the traditional things people loved in the amusement parks, replacing them with flashy junk that got revamped every couple of years. I can only hope that he learned from that set of errors. So here's to (hopefully) no more '52, continued Heritage and A&G, a set to get kids loving collecting again, and that Negro League insert set you mentioned. The history/art history teacher in me loves the Turkey Red, but I am disappointed that the pose for Chipper Jones is the same as '06 and am I the only one who has noticed Kenji Johjima is nearly duplicate except for the smarmy smirk on his face?