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Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
12-28-2011, 09:59 AM
Post: #1
Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
I was reading the article in the News section about the preview for 2011-12 Preferred. After reading the comments, and then taking into what was stated in the Sticky "Panini in Review", I started to think about what it is that makes people that want Topps and Upper Deck back so bad. Now mind you, I'm not saying that I prefer any of the companies over any of the other companies. To me, cards are cards regardless of who they come from (to a certain extent).

I've heard people say that Panini's customer service is severely lacking. I've heard the same statement about Upper Deck's customer service. It seems that those who like Panini's customer service dislike Upper Deck's and vice versa. Mind you, I haven't heard too many people having to deal with Topps customer service. In terms of Topps, my only complaint about them is that their site really seems lackluster (such as their checklist section, I prefer UD's).

I've heard people complain about Panini using the same card design over the different sports for the same brands. Well, I enter this into evidence:









Upper Deck and Topps do the same thing as well.

I've even seen (and Panini and Topps may be offenders as well) Upper Deck use the same action shot not just in the same year, but across multiple years:



(I also checked the Isiah Thomas and it's the same as well.)

I've heard people complaining about Panini flooding the market with too many of Kobe's, Durant's and Griffin's AU, but UD has done the same with MJ's and LeBron's.

Also, people were complaining about the amount of product Panini was putting out while Upper Deck and Topps seemed to be putting out just as much product. Upper Deck doesn't need to have a First Edition. Topps doesn't need to differentiate between Bowman/Bowman Chrome and Topps/Topps Chrome. But they do. And for retail purposes (this includes Panini as well), all cards should be the same, maybe only have retail exclusive inserts, have no GU or AU in retail, or something like that. If I pull a GU of someone and it's retail, why should that make a matter in difference of value? The GU material is supposedly from the same player, but because the background color is different, people know it was bought from a blaster and not a hobby box. That's unfair to people hundreds of miles from an LCS and/or they don't have computer access but they see cards at their local Wal-Mart, Target, or K-Mart (every town has at least one of those three if not all) and really like collecting cards.

I guess my real question is what is it that is so different about Panini versus Upper Deck and Topps that makes people want them back so bad. I don't think Panini should have a monopoly on the situation but I don't think they're solely to blame for that. I would love to have all three company's out there competing (no more than 6 products from each company). And I know people want Topps back because a lot of people like Chrome and Refractors, that I can kind of understand. Exquisite and Black were nice UD products as well. But National Treasures, Timeless Treasures, Elite Black Box aren't that bad as well.

Another question I have is if it were all three companies, would you be willing to buy product from each of the companies? Now, these questions are more for people who'd rather have Upper Deck and Topps as compared to Panini, but anyone can answer. Sorry for the rant, I just don't see why people look so down on Panini when they seem to be doing the same things Upper Deck and Topps do/did. And Panini in American sports is really kind of only 3 years old (ignoring stickers) and have made decent strides if you ask me. Again, sorry for the rant.

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12-28-2011, 10:20 AM
Post: #2
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
Think of all the collectors that collected a set of Topps or Upper Deck from every year they could. They can no longer chase those sets with reguards to NBA cards. Some master collections/collectors just stopped.

Think of all the STAPLE inserts and parralels that we are missing out on now. I am sorry, but a Panini Spectrum card does a poor job of replacing a Refractor. There are collectors that chase only gold refractors from Topps Chrome and Topps Finest. The gold refractor RC cards were the only high end RC cards that didn't have a piece of jersey or an auto on it.
(Yes, believe it or not collectors still enjoy rare rc cards when they don't include an auto or jersey piece.)

UD is not really gone, I can still get SP authentic, but in collegiate form. But I DO MISS TOPPS and their customer service. I don't need a flashy site I need quick responses from reps and fast fullfillment of redemtions and Topps does it all. UD and Panini lack in both.

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12-28-2011, 10:26 AM
Post: #3
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
(12-28-2011 10:20 AM)got watcha want Wrote:  Think of all the collectors that collected a set of Topps or Upper Deck from every year they could. They can no longer chase those sets with reguards to NBA cards. Some master collections/collectors just stopped.

Think of all the STAPLE inserts and parralels that we are missing out on now. I am sorry, but a Panini Spectrum card does a poor job of replacing a Refractor. There are collectors that chase only gold refractors from Topps Chrome and Topps Finest. The gold refractor RC cards were the only high end RC cards that didn't have a piece of jersey or an auto on it.
(Yes, believe it or not collectors still enjoy rare rc cards when they don't include an auto or jersey piece.)

UD is not really gone, I can still get SP authentic, but in collegiate form. But I DO MISS TOPPS and their customer service. I don't need a flashy site I need quick responses from reps and fast fullfillment of redemtions and Topps does it all. UD and Panini lack in both.

Yeah, that's why I considered refractors an exception because nobody has done refractors as well as Topps has.

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12-28-2011, 11:39 AM
Post: #4
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
I agree with everything you said. The thing I liked about UD, is UD Black and Exquisite. if Panini could put out a product that looked as cool as those, I bet the complaints would be less. it seems all their attempts fall just a bit short.
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12-28-2011, 12:02 PM
Post: #5
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
(12-28-2011 11:39 AM)quavis Wrote:  I agree with everything you said. The thing I liked about UD, is UD Black and Exquisite. if Panini could put out a product that looked as cool as those, I bet the complaints would be less. it seems all their attempts fall just a bit short.

That's a tall task for any card company, new or old. lol. If I had to choose between the two, I'd prefer something similar to Black than Exquisite. I was hoping Elite Black Box would be close, but it wasn't.

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12-28-2011, 12:54 PM
Post: #6
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
I know, I know, if you don't have anything nice to say then don't. But seriously, how many times is this going to be discussed? The same arguments and the same points are drawn up every time. Some people miss upper deck. Some people miss topps. Some people miss upper deck & topps. Some people like Panini, and thats ok. I'm not one of those people.

But there is something I want to say about Topps customer service. Go back to the 08'09 card season. I had an assortment of redemption cards Topps owed me. I waited for my cards as usual only to find out when they were finally shipped, they had been automatically replaced. No phone call by a Topps rep, no e-mail, nothing.

A 08'09 Topps Chrome Darrell Arthur autograph rc was replaced with a 08'09 Topps Signature Spud Webb auto.
A 08'09 Topps Chrome Joey Dorsey autograph rc was replaced (a good thing) with a 08'09 Topps Signature Spud Webb auto.
A 07'08 Topps Letterman Ray Allen team logo autograph patch was replaced with a 08'09 Topps Signature Isiah Thomas auto.
A 08'09 Topps Co-Signers Rondo/D. Harris dual auto was replaced with a 08'09 Topps Signature John Havlicek auto.

"Each card was replaced with a card of equal value...". I like how all my replacements were from ONE product, a product I'm not a fan of because I think it was some half-@#$$(@ set put together to get rid of Topps' surplus stickers JUST before they lost their NBA card license. Nobody asked me what I wanted or preferred etc. is what upset me. I had no choice, I was stuck with what they gave me. Mind you, they used a same card twice as replacements for me. Topps is no saint.

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12-28-2011, 01:06 PM
Post: #7
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
(12-28-2011 12:54 PM)vgqv Wrote:  I know, I know, if you don't have anything nice to say then don't. But seriously, how many times is this going to be discussed? The same arguments and the same points are drawn up every time. Some people miss upper deck. Some people miss topps. Some people miss upper deck & topps. Some people like Panini, and thats ok. I'm not one of those people.

But there is something I want to say about Topps customer service. Go back to the 08'09 card season. I had an assortment of redemption cards Topps owed me. I waited for my cards as usual only to find out when they were finally shipped, they had been automatically replaced. No phone call by a Topps rep, no e-mail, nothing.

A 08'09 Topps Chrome Darrell Arthur autograph rc was replaced with a 08'09 Topps Signature Spud Webb auto.
A 08'09 Topps Chrome Joey Dorsey autograph rc was replaced (a good thing) with a 08'09 Topps Signature Spud Webb auto.
A 07'08 Topps Letterman Ray Allen team logo autograph patch was replaced with a 08'09 Topps Signature Isiah Thomas auto.
A 08'09 Topps Co-Signers Rondo/D. Harris dual auto was replaced with a 08'09 Topps Signature John Havlicek auto.

"Each card was replaced with a card of equal value...". I like how all my replacements were from ONE product, a product I'm not a fan of because I think it was some half-@#$$(@ set put together to get rid of Topps' surplus stickers JUST before they lost their NBA card license. Nobody asked me what I wanted or preferred etc. is what upset me. I had no choice, I was stuck with what they gave me. Mind you, they used a same card twice as replacements for me. Topps is no saint.

I'm glad you posted that, I had heard they used Spud's AU in many replacements, but to do that twice for one customer is very sad. I mean, it doesn't put them in the same boat with what I hear about Panini or Upper Deck, but that's certainly not quality assurance. Thank you for posting that.

And the reason why I posted it again was because a lot of people (on many sites) have made it seem like Upper Deck and Topps should be the only options as far as cards go; that nobody else in the world has any idea how to make good cards. Now, I can see situations like "got watcha want" said where there are collectors who collect a set from that brand every year. Ok, I can feel their pain as I'm a set collector too. And then nobody has refractors like Topps does, so I can see that one as well. But when people say how crappy Panini is compared to Upper Deck and Topps and yet the evidence is clear that they are all pretty much on the same level, it baffles me (and sometimes I tend to vent when I'm baffled). Unfortunately, and hopefully not all by me, I don't expect people to stop asking these questions until either Upper Deck and/or Topps get out of cards (bankruptcy, fraud, etc.) or all three companies have a shared license.

And thanks again for that Topps info, that could be very helpful in the future.

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12-28-2011, 01:25 PM
Post: #8
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
(12-28-2011 01:06 PM)xstreaminsanity Wrote:  I'm glad you posted that, I had heard they used Spud's AU in many replacements, but to do that twice for one customer is very sad. I mean, it doesn't put them in the same boat with what I hear about Panini or Upper Deck, but that's certainly not quality assurance. Thank you for posting that.

And the reason why I posted it again was because a lot of people (on many sites) have made it seem like Upper Deck and Topps should be the only options as far as cards go; that nobody else in the world has any idea how to make good cards. Now, I can see situations like "got watcha want" said where there are collectors who collect a set from that brand every year. Ok, I can feel their pain as I'm a set collector too. And then nobody has refractors like Topps does, so I can see that one as well. But when people say how crappy Panini is compared to Upper Deck and Topps and yet the evidence is clear that they are all pretty much on the same level, it baffles me (and sometimes I tend to vent when I'm baffled). Unfortunately, and hopefully not all by me, I don't expect people to stop asking these questions until either Upper Deck and/or Topps get out of cards (bankruptcy, fraud, etc.) or all three companies have a shared license.

And thanks again for that Topps info, that could be very helpful in the future.

Well, here's where I differ. I think it's more like Panini is crap compared to UD/Topps regarding card quality & card design. Yes, Panini is strides behind UD/Topps in that department. But as far as customer service, heck yeah, all 3 are on the same crappy level. The reasons I dislike Panini are reasons (for the majority, not counting how redemptions are handled & replacement cards) I never had an issue with UD/Topps. Such as card designs and card qualities. But if Panini thinks they're "all that", then why not share the contract with UD/Topps? Let the people buy what they want to buy. Give us a choice, an alternative, please. I've no problem if Panini is still around, just as long as UD & Topps are around. I simply will completely stop buying any panini products.

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12-28-2011, 02:14 PM
Post: #9
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
(12-28-2011 01:25 PM)vgqv Wrote:  Well, here's where I differ. I think it's more like Panini is crap compared to UD/Topps regarding card quality & card design. Yes, Panini is strides behind UD/Topps in that department. But as far as customer service, heck yeah, all 3 are on the same crappy level. The reasons I dislike Panini are reasons (for the majority, not counting how redemptions are handled & replacement cards) I never had an issue with UD/Topps. Such as card designs and card qualities. But if Panini thinks they're "all that", then why not share the contract with UD/Topps? Let the people buy what they want to buy. Give us a choice, an alternative, please. I've no problem if Panini is still around, just as long as UD & Topps are around. I simply will completely stop buying any panini products.

To my knowledge, it was the NBA's decision to go to one card manufacturer more than it was Panini's. I mean, I'm sure when presented with the opportunity to be the only card manufacture, I'm sure Panini was all for it, but I don't think Panini had the NBA in a stranglehold and demanded it. And with any company, well most that I'm familiar with, it's not always the best business practice to introduce competition unless you know you're going to come out ahead. UD and Topps were such staples in the collecting industry, if Panini had the choice to keep them out or in, they know they would fail standing next to them. But again, I thought I had read that the sole license decision was the decision of the NBA, not Panini. I believe even Upper Deck and Topps were both presented with the opportunity to be the sole licensee, but Panini's offer/bid was better and Topps and/or Upper Deck said that it was not financially reasonable for them to be the sole licensee. Or something like that. Someone has stated it before, but I don't remember where exactly.

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12-28-2011, 02:15 PM
Post: #10
RE: Is it familiarity and fear of change, or something else?
What it comes down too, is there just are some people that you cannot please no matter what you do, that is why the same people that complain about Panini now are also the biggest complainers about Upper Deck and Topps when they were making cards.

As far as Upper Deck goes, if Little Richard wouldn't have gotten involved with some people, like Razor/Leaf, and used the money he invested in them, to pay the bills, the rent ( they were evicted ), and the players that they owed money too for auto's, and MLB, NFL, NBA, etc...., they would probably still have their licenses for Baseball,Bk,FB, etc...

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