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Hobby in Trouble, Part XXXVII



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 11th 04, 06:50 AM
Dave C.
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Default Hobby in Trouble, Part XXXVII

From the looks of this ng, is the hobby suffering an agonizing death? Anyone
care to offer suggestions?

As I've predicted before, card collecting cannot survive the fact that cards
become less and less identifiable with each new set and insert subset. The
massive offering of cards is drowning in its own anonymity. It defies the
rules of collectibility. You can't offer 200 different cards of Jason Giambi
each year and expect anyone to care about any single one of them. Set
collectors have no steady medium by which they can "build" most of the sets
available, other than buying massive box quanitities all at once. You think
you have a nice card? No one cares because by the time others can learn what
it is, it is old news. True collectibles maintain their interest for years.
How many cards in the last 10 years have held our interest for an extended
period? Very few.

When cards within a single set became overproduced in the late 1980's, the
shift was to sets of smaller production runs. That worked for a while. But
now the problem has become too many sets, too many parallels, too many
inserts, too much game-used. In order to try to create identity, the whole
concept has become one giant gimmick-fest. There are so many gimmicks
(clever subset set naming, fancy printing techniques, etc.) that it's an
embarassment to participate without feeling like some kind of sucker.

There needs to be a new structure within the hobby. One manufacturer needs
to say enough! and have the guts and self-discipline to print only THREE
sets per year:

1) An 750-card set similar to the pre-1995 Topps sets. The set should focus
on the 25-man roster players, and have very few "special" cards. The cards
should be released in 3 series, and late enough to limit the number of
traded/freeAgent players showing up on the wrong team. Series 1 in February,
Series 2 in April, Series 3 in July. Each series can feature ONE unique
novelty insert set featuring all-star caliber players: stickers, booklets,
coins, etc. You should be able to buy a pack of 10 for one dollar. This set
should be generously produced. The target audience would be the
nostalgia/vintage crowd, the younger crowd, and the parents who want to
appease their kids with cards at a reasonable price. I know that this sounds
like sacrilege, but these cards would have NO INTENDED INVESTMENT VALUE.

2) One super-premium set featuring the top few players on each team (about
100 cards), plus the top dozen or so rookie prospects. Extremely limited
one-of-a-kind inserts. Limited edition, expensive. One pack of 4 for $5.
Inserts seeded as the 4th card in 1 pack out of 100. Target audience: the
most serious collectors and investors.

3) A moderate-premium "season review" set of about 450 cards, including the
starting players and new/rookie players that emerged during the season. It
should include a limited insert set of the top two dozen players and the top
5 rookie/emerging stars from the current season. Released in September,
prior to the playoffs. One pack of 10 cards for $3. Inserts seeded as the
10th card in 1 pack out of 10. Complete base factory set available for
purchase in November (for Christmas sales season) at a significantly higher
per unit cost (to maintain motivation for set-building at the lower per-unit
cost).

Important: Resist the tempation to produce too much, and too early. At
first, this will cost the manufacturer market share, which will make them
nervous. But once established, it will become the manufacturer of identity,
which is the only thing that will rescue the hobby. With this standard,
across the 3 sets the top stars would have at most 5 different cards
(exluding the "novelty"inserts") of varying scarcity, from very common to
extremely rare.

The ultimate objective for the manufacturer would be that essentially EVERY
collector would have one or more of these three sets in their collection,
regardless of whether or not they also collected any of the dozens of other
sets/manufacturers on the market.


Ads
  #2  
Old March 11th 04, 04:05 PM
Jeff Shaw
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Default



Dave C. wrote:
From the looks of this ng, is the hobby suffering an agonizing death? Anyone
care to offer suggestions?

Snipped to save bandwidth

Is this post 15 years old? I've been reading this type stuff since 1989.
Upper Deck is to expensive and will destroy the hobby. In 1990 Leaf came
out and only 10% of what Donruss produced was printed (no exact numbers
where ever released, at least that I saw). Heck, people were insenced
when Fleer and Donruss started doing cards in the early 80's. The hobby
is not dying. People are being pickier on what they buy, joining trade
groups. I pick a couple of baseball sets and a football set each year
for the fun of putting the sets together. I've found shops that bust
boxes and get singles or go to shows where someone has this year's
singles and usually have other stuff at home. I'm a member of
Sportscardfun.com and have almost three hundred trades over the past
four years with people all over the world.

If things were as bad as you say, there would not be anyone purchasing
cards. Always remember, this is collecting; a hobby. Not an investment club.

Just my opinion - and as you know, opinions are like a-holes; everyone
has one and they usually stink.

Jeff in Seattle

  #3  
Old March 11th 04, 10:26 PM
Rich Davis
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Posts: n/a
Default

From the looks of this ng, is the hobby suffering an agonizing death?
Anyone
care to offer suggestions?


The new card hobby is a joke. The interest in rare vintage cards along with
their investment potential will never die out unless we run out of oil and
chaos reigns as a result.


  #4  
Old March 12th 04, 12:52 AM
William R. Altman
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Posts: n/a
Default

It comes down to this. Can one make a living or get rich from the hobby. In
which case I'd say, please, get out of the hobby.
Ron A

"Dave C." wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s52...
From the looks of this ng, is the hobby suffering an agonizing death?

Anyone
care to offer suggestions?

As I've predicted before, card collecting cannot survive the fact that

cards
become less and less identifiable with each new set and insert subset. The
massive offering of cards is drowning in its own anonymity. It defies the
rules of collectibility. You can't offer 200 different cards of Jason

Giambi
each year and expect anyone to care about any single one of them. Set
collectors have no steady medium by which they can "build" most of the

sets
available, other than buying massive box quanitities all at once. You

think
you have a nice card? No one cares because by the time others can learn

what
it is, it is old news. True collectibles maintain their interest for

years.
How many cards in the last 10 years have held our interest for an extended
period? Very few.

When cards within a single set became overproduced in the late 1980's, the
shift was to sets of smaller production runs. That worked for a while. But
now the problem has become too many sets, too many parallels, too many
inserts, too much game-used. In order to try to create identity, the whole
concept has become one giant gimmick-fest. There are so many gimmicks
(clever subset set naming, fancy printing techniques, etc.) that it's an
embarassment to participate without feeling like some kind of sucker.

There needs to be a new structure within the hobby. One manufacturer needs
to say enough! and have the guts and self-discipline to print only THREE
sets per year:

1) An 750-card set similar to the pre-1995 Topps sets. The set should

focus
on the 25-man roster players, and have very few "special" cards. The cards
should be released in 3 series, and late enough to limit the number of
traded/freeAgent players showing up on the wrong team. Series 1 in

February,
Series 2 in April, Series 3 in July. Each series can feature ONE unique
novelty insert set featuring all-star caliber players: stickers, booklets,
coins, etc. You should be able to buy a pack of 10 for one dollar. This

set
should be generously produced. The target audience would be the
nostalgia/vintage crowd, the younger crowd, and the parents who want to
appease their kids with cards at a reasonable price. I know that this

sounds
like sacrilege, but these cards would have NO INTENDED INVESTMENT VALUE.

2) One super-premium set featuring the top few players on each team (about
100 cards), plus the top dozen or so rookie prospects. Extremely limited
one-of-a-kind inserts. Limited edition, expensive. One pack of 4 for $5.
Inserts seeded as the 4th card in 1 pack out of 100. Target audience: the
most serious collectors and investors.

3) A moderate-premium "season review" set of about 450 cards, including

the
starting players and new/rookie players that emerged during the season. It
should include a limited insert set of the top two dozen players and the

top
5 rookie/emerging stars from the current season. Released in September,
prior to the playoffs. One pack of 10 cards for $3. Inserts seeded as the
10th card in 1 pack out of 10. Complete base factory set available for
purchase in November (for Christmas sales season) at a significantly

higher
per unit cost (to maintain motivation for set-building at the lower

per-unit
cost).

Important: Resist the tempation to produce too much, and too early. At
first, this will cost the manufacturer market share, which will make them
nervous. But once established, it will become the manufacturer of

identity,
which is the only thing that will rescue the hobby. With this standard,
across the 3 sets the top stars would have at most 5 different cards
(exluding the "novelty"inserts") of varying scarcity, from very common to
extremely rare.

The ultimate objective for the manufacturer would be that essentially

EVERY
collector would have one or more of these three sets in their collection,
regardless of whether or not they also collected any of the dozens of

other
sets/manufacturers on the market.




  #5  
Old March 12th 04, 11:39 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Gotta love those vintage cards. Boring and repetitive photography,
ugly card designs, players you never saw play so you have no
attatchment to them outside of a baseball almanac and a huge price
tag. OK, all vintage cards don't suck. But many things about them do.
Mainly the price tag.



"Rich Davis" wrote in message ...
From the looks of this ng, is the hobby suffering an agonizing death?

Anyone
care to offer suggestions?


The new card hobby is a joke. The interest in rare vintage cards along with
their investment potential will never die out unless we run out of oil and
chaos reigns as a result.

  #6  
Old March 13th 04, 06:02 AM
Rich Davis
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Posts: n/a
Default

players you never saw play so you have no
attatchment to them


Kinda hard to get attached to primadonnas that have no use for their fans
and make more in an inning than most people earn in a year.


  #7  
Old March 13th 04, 07:41 AM
turntrio
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Dave C." wrote in message news:[email protected]_s52...
From the looks of this ng, is the hobby suffering an agonizing death? Anyone
care to offer suggestions?


It's not the hobby its this ng. Most collectors migrated to
the Beckett message boards and other web forums long ago.
  #8  
Old March 13th 04, 08:19 AM
daniel Leblanc
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Posts: n/a
Default

Considering the current steroid controversy and the refusal of MLB
to address the have (about 6 teams) and have nots (about 20 teams!) of
baseball, its no wonder interest in baseball cards especially are in
serious jeopardy.
Between overproduced game-used, parallel cards and dwindling fan
interest because of non competitive teams such as Milwaukee, Detroit,
and MANY other teams, collectivity has to take a hit sooner or later.
I mean be realistic.......The Yankees, Red Sox, or perhaps 1-2 other
teams are almost locks to win a playoff or world championship this
season. Anybody who knows baseball knows that the "true" world series
last year was the Yankee/RedSox series. Those were your two best teams.
Im not so sure Florida would have beaten the Red Sox had they made it
(thanks "Grady".....LOL).
How comforting it must be to be a Detroit, Milwaukee, or Tampa Bay fan
to realize your team has NO F_____G chance to compete from opening day.
Better yet...... lets go run to the local hobby shop to pick up that
special Detroit. Tampa, or Milwaukee "game-used" card.
Gotta make some serious corrections in both the hobby and in baseball
for it to survive as we know it. Otherwise in the near future you my
have only a system similar to Japan's=A0where teams are clustered in a
few major cities (Tokyo for example). Nuff said.
Dan.

  #9  
Old March 13th 04, 10:07 PM
Anthony Myers
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How comforting it must be to be a Detroit, Milwaukee, or Tampa Bay fan
to realize your team has NO F_____G chance to compete from opening day.


Two years ago KC would be on that list. Now moest people are picking them to
win the Central. Kansas City didn't increase in market size. They didnt
signifigantly increase payroll or revenue.

What's keeping the Tigers, brewers, for thier fate too?
...........
Mark Trail on terrorism: "Thanks to a couple of kids and a bear, they are no
longer a threat".



  #10  
Old March 15th 04, 01:47 AM
MIFA23
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Default

Check out Beckett.com's newsgroups, they are BIGGER than this group ever was.

While your suggestions are good, they can't be totally executed for several
factors.

I have spoken to top card company execs (in person ) over the few recent years
and have learned their stance on certain issues, such as game used cards and
inserts:
But
now the problem has become too many sets, too many parallels, too many
inserts, too much game-used

The first thing MOST collectors and all dealers look for when an order form or
sell sheet comes in is "how many game used are in a box"? You cannot sell a
high end product withiout game used cards. Parallels and inserts are also
needed because they add value in a product. Proof of that can be seen in this
years Leaf Baseball.

One manufacturer needs
to say enough! and have the guts and self-discipline to print onlyTHREE


It is NOT up to the companies to decide how many sets they make per year.
They have a "minimum" they have to produce in order to meet the sports and
leagues requirements.
Theres only one way your idea can happen and that's if the leagues
DRAMATICALLY cut their fees and as stated by Gene Upshaw, "that aint going to
happen".

An 750-card set similar to the pre-1995 Topps sets. The set should focus
on the 25-man roster players, and have very few "special" cards. The cards
should be released in 3 series,
You should be able to buy a pack of 10 for one dollar. This set
should be generously produced.


They make this set already, its called Topps Total. The only difference is that
there is only one series. The reason for that is because collectors and dealers
alike have expressed their dislike of multi series issues.
While I too like the Total issues, Topps recently told us that the line is in
trouble due to the lack of support from collectors.



"Support your local card store and ENJOY the greatest hobby in the world"
Mike
Member of 2 good dealers groups
(TIC) and CDN#99

 




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