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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Second Thoughts on 2008 Goudey

See Also: Stale Gum and Wax Heaven, who got to it first.

My first impression of this product was a bit snippy. OK, it was a lot snippy. It kinda sounded like I tried to squeeze in an entire George Carlin routine (you know which one it is, be careful when you click things) into a one-sentence review. In my defense, at least some of it was due to over medication and lack of sleep. That is not to say that Upper Deck's ballooning of the SPs, getting stingy with the minis and putting cheezy president cards into the base set didn't have a lot to do with it as well. After sleeping on it, I've got a little better view toward the product. Here's my take on the sell sheet, I'll tackle the checklist later this evening:

$4.99 per Hobby pack, 8 Cards per pack.

Obviously Upper Deck hasn't figured out yet that charging two bucks more per pack than they charge for retail packs is dumb.

18 backs per box, 12 boxes per case.

They did figure out that the $120+ price point per box was scaring away potential customers. $90 a box is still a little stiff, but more competitive with Heritage and Allen & Ginter. You still get the same number of hits per box, so the value (such as it is) has gone up a tick.

One Memorabilia card per box.

Pretty typical. According to the Checklist (.pdf file) there are 90 Goudey Memorabilia cards consisting of the usual suspects. Players range from Cal Ripken Jr. to Akinori Iwamura with everything in between. Braves memorabilia cards listed are Chipper, Frenchy, Teixeira and Smoltz. A second memorabilia set like the "Immortals" from last year aren't in the checklist, but it's early so they might sneak something else in.

One Autograph per box.

Again, this is the same as last year. There's a 60 card Goudey Graphs set that if the sell sheet, er powerpoint presentation is correct, looks like a base card with an autograph. The Goudey Graphs checklist (all this is preliminary, mind you) is all over the map. You could get a rookie like Billy Buckner or Chin-Lung Hu, a star like Griffey or Jeter, or a Legend like Mike Schmidt or Willie McCovey. Braves autos in the set are Chipper, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar.

There's also a Goudy Sports Royalty Autographs set, featuring 100 cards with 100 signatures. These cards are one per case, but who knows if they are a box topper or inserted into packs. The checklist is really all over the map with this one, you could get a Tiger Woods and pay your bills for a few months, or get Fedor Emelianenko, whoever that is. Oh crap. I would pick on the mixed martial artist dude for my 'bad' auto, wouldn't I. Scratch that, you could get Tiffany Cohen. Pretty much any of these autographs are likely to be horrifically scarce though, especially the non-major sports types that don't sign often. You'll end up with a plain Goudey Graphs of David Murphy or Steve Pearce so don't worry about it.

Seven Short Prints per box.

Ok, I'll get to the upping of the number of short prints by almost 50% in due time. First I want to complain about why they decided to up the number and make them harder to get at the same time. I have no idea why the hell they didn't just insert them 1:2 packs like normal people would. What kind of stupid ratio is 7:18? Do 1:2 packs or 1:3 packs for us math deficient people trying to calculate odds in our heads, please. (7/18 equals .38888 for anyone interested)

Seven Mini Cards per box.

Upper Deck, I [Carlin] HATE you. Why do you give me a lovely set the size of original Goudey cards and then yank the rug out from me the next year? Ok, I can handle them being relegated to the parallel ghetto, poor unappreciated mini cards always end up there anyways. But at least insert them one a pack!!! No, now we got this stupid 7:18 thing again, what is this the new golden ratio?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!??? Ya know some of us out here can't really afford three stinking CASES of a product in order to have a shot at a set, ya know? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Put 'em one per a pack or throw 'em in the trash bin and just put in another base card. Damn, this annoys me. Surprisingly, this is the biggest gripe I have with this set.

Four Yankee Mirror Thingys per box.

Apparently Upper Deck is not satisfied that people despise mirror sets enough. They look at the A-Rod Waste of space set and think "Why, our crappy mirror set doesn't cause nearly the venomous invective that is hurled toward that Topps issue, so we must surely be doing something wrong". Look carefully at the ratios and the number of packs per box. Seven SP's + Seven minis + 4 Yankees = 18 packs per box. Now, if I'm reading this right, it looks like in any given pack you will get a short print OR a mini OR a Yankee. I may be wrong and you could possibly get all three plus bot the Auto and Relic and a '34 Napoleon LaJoie buyback all in the same pack theoretically, but since the big buzzword is "value" nowadays, I doubt it. One insert a pack is easier to collate and gives the poor slob who can't afford cases at least one good card in the one pack they rip. So now anyone pulling a Yankee is cut out of the SP and the mini, thus fostering hatred and annoyance with the useless mirror set. Once again, Upper Deck will get more verbal abuse hurled at them then Topps does, by gum!

One Sports Royalty Autograph per Case.

See above. Again, I'm not sure if these are box toppers or case toppers or what.

One Goudey Buyback per Case.

These were in a special case topper pack along with a Diamond Stars/Double Play card last year. I'm guessing they do it again to reward the case buyers. All us Charlie Buckets buying one lone pack with a fiver we found in the snow can go take a flying leap.

One Yankee Stadium Legacy Memorabilia card per case.

They might actually stick these in the packs! That's a 1:216 shot at a Dale Berra Mirror bat relic or something like that.

Chase Cards:

i.e. the ones they'll put into the boxes that go to Beckett for their Video Breaks.

Goudey Cut Signatures

Pretty much if you don't have a Cut Auto in your product, you're '88 Donruss nowadays. I hope they're not being literal and cutting up original signed Goudey cards to stick the signature into new cards. Heh, that's silly, they would never do that...
w...w-would they?

Signs of History Exchange Card

Basically SuperMegaCrazy cut autos.

Yankee Stadium Legacy Buybacks

Now this one is intriguing to me. Did Upper Deck basically take all the Yankees out of the vintage Goudeys they acquired and call them Yankee Stadium Legacy Buybacks? Or did they buy all the Yankee cards auctioned off on The Bench and re-insert them into packs? You never know nowadays....

Stealth stuff not on the Sell Sheet, but on the Checklist:

There's an insert set based on the '52 Berk-Ross "Hit Parade of Champions" set in the checklist. No clue if they are a straight insert, a reasonably collectible box topper, or short printed to hell and serial numbered to 5 or whatever.

Ok, that's the sell sheet. If Upper Deck wants to make a product that will beat Allen & Ginter they need to do these things:

1) Hobby Packs - 10 cards per pack, 1:2 SPs, 1:1 minis. Everything else stays the same, $4.99 per pack, 18 packs per box, etc. You can even make the Berk-Ross cards numbered to 15 each.

2) Retail Packs - 8 cards per pack, 1:2 SPs (you got 130 of the goddamn things so give us a break), NO minis, a Retail version of the Berk Ross cards inserted 1:4 packs or so. Be creative and give the retail Berks a different colored back. $2.99 per pack, 24 packs per retail box, 7 packs and a bonus pack in the blasters.

That's all ya gotta do Upper Deck, and you will have a better set than 2007 Allen & Ginter. I'm not making any promises you'll beat 2008 A&G, but you'll have a damn fine set.

Checklist review in minute detail this evening assuming the caffeine high doesn't peter out.


darkship said...

I still think I might have to save up and buy a box of this. I missed all the fun last year!

Bay Rat North West said...

I like the idea and the cards look nice. But why make it so hard on set collectors to complete a set? I can live with SPs but 130? This is too much.

Anonymous said...

The cards look nice, but at $5 a pack I think I'll pass.

The 130 SP cards just add to the insult.

Captain Canuck said...

Quote"Chase Cards:

i.e. the ones they'll put into the boxes that go to Beckett for their Video Breaks."