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 (Toll Free)

Allen & Ginter goes glossy for limited factory set

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It might be the return of Topps Tiffany, but don’t call it that — it’s Ginter Glossy.

One of the most popular tobacco-styled baseball card lines from Topps will be getting an upgrade very soon, the company announced Thursday, as it will be releasing a limited-edition glossy factory set of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards found only at the company’s store. The set will cost $99.95, plus shipping, with a limit of 25 per household.

Limited to just 999 serial-numbered sets, the Ginter Glossy will include all 350 base cards with matching numbers along with 10 new cards that are exclusive to the set, including American League Rookie of the Year candidate Eric Hosmer.


Love it or hate it: Allen & Ginter Glossy

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The 10 bonus cards include:
AGS1    Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
AGS2    Dustin Ackley, Seattle Mariners
AGS3    Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
AGS4    Dee Gordon,  Los Angeles Dodgers
AGS5    Anthony Rizzo, San Diego Padres
AGS6    Charlie Blackmon,  Colorado Rockies
AGS7    Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants
AGS8    Juan Nicasio,  Colorado Rockies
AGS9    Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge, The Royal Wedding
AGS10  U. S. Navy SEALs

This is just the second line to get the factory set treatment from Topps in recent years as the flagship line can often be found with various factory set forms also including bonus cards.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


60 Comments

Kaf adfafsf

nice slap in the face to HTA stores!

Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

Topps Tiffany Worked Because When They First Produced Them, Cards Weren’t Glossy. And Today, Almost everything Is Super Glossy. Besides The Wacky People, And Events Included In the Ginter Sets, The “Non-Glossiness” (?) Is One Of The Things It Has going For It. In Short, I Don’t Like it…

Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
Mark

One of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen Topps do. Don’t mess with A&G, Topps!

Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink
Brent

just got 2 sets.. get them before they are sold out!!

Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

I think they are an easy money-maker and a high-end option of a popular set. Smart move on both aspects (business-side and pleasing a strong collecting base).

Gonna let my Mini bias show, though. REALLY would have loved a mini factory set — glossy or not.

Posted October 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
Jon Chuckery

Yep…exactly what the hobby needs…more glossy, shiny cards with 12 bucks shipping for it…Whats next? Orange and purple border ones? How about vodka, tequilla, sangria, and port varieties? Boy do I long for the 2005 days!!

Posted October 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

Nice set, just wish there were not as many non baseball cards in the set…
There should be 10% or less non baseball in next years base set!!

Posted October 6, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

Geez!! I wanted 26 sets, I can ONLY buy 25!!!!

Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink
chrisolds

I presume Sterling went away with the arrival of Marquee and/or Tier One.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink
actual collector

way to screw the brick and morter stores again. Why not just let walmart sell these. Wait i think they just got a shipment….

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Jon, I gotta ask … what makes you think “the 2005 days” were better? There was plenty more superfluous product out there then — perhaps just more superfluous stuff you liked?

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Actual Collector … your stance sounds like one of an “actual dealer.” Can you tell me why this product bugs you?

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink
Kevin

“I think they are an easy money-maker and a high-end option of a popular set”

I agree, it’s a no-brainer for Topps and great for collectors. If you don’t want one just don’t buy it, it won’t hurt you. If you like factory sets, or are a huge A&G fan it’s a nice and neatly done little package.

From Topps standpoint it is a great buisness decision.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink
Kaf adfafsf

why should it bother hobby shop owners? Are you kidding me Olds? This is 99 dollars that hobby shop will not see. How can topps create a popular set like this, add in value, number each card, sell it for 99 bucks, and then ship hobby stores the garbage wax that they have been making?

and as far as the question to why they didn’t make the set mini…..it costs more, that is why.

Kaf

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink
Andrew Kaufman

Chris I’m with you on the mini set (As an A’s fan, I’m sure you are aware of and have seen the jewel of the minis this year, Kurt Suzuki…awesome pic). Otherwise, if I had the ducats I’d probably pick one up. Right now I’m on a jag of finding as many of the A&G mini autographs (all years) of the former Negro League players. So far so good…

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Hey, look, it’s “Kaf” (Kevin?) again!

Hobby shops have plenty that’s exclusive to them. Retail outlets have plenty that’s exclusive to them. This one? It’s an exclusive to the Topps Store. Big deal.

There’s nothing to stop shop owners from buying them — they might be the ones buying 25 — and if it’s a hit or sells out fast there will still be buyers at more than the $100 price.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink
Jon Chuckery...Atlanta

Chris…Do you seriously think more glossy or colored versions of the same product are what makes the hobby choice better? Here’s business 101…its called competition. Look at Absol Memb, Donr Champions, Leaf Certified Materials, Topps, Fleer, etc, etc. All we are seeing is a different wrapping of the same product…Come on over to the baseball message boards and read the posts of how sets like Absol Memb or Leaf Cert Mater are viewed and prove me wrong

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

just another way to throw another nothing product in the mix. and have someone defend what they do to try to make it sound okay and push a product. defend upper deck too and the way they handle everything. most products today you are told they are allocated and short printed then find them in wal mart with a purple blue green frame variation for retail only. huh what a surprise. allocated and short printed is every product anymore and just a way to make you preorder and charge crazy prices to the guys who would like to buy it and now cant. sit back and wait for every product to be opened and wait 3 weeks and see how cheap the allocation costs and the actual cards are.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Jon: I didn’t say they would — I could go either way on the issue — however, I don’t see this as adding to a mess of options that there were in 2005 (good or bad). It’s one option that’s different — and if it sells well I’d expect more similar types of sets to follow.

Yes, there were good products in 2005 — but there also were bad ones. Clearly, there was a lot that didn’t sell because companies vanished or lost licenses around that time. If stuff sold, they would have been in better shape to sustain things. Here’s business 101, too: MLB decided it had too many licensees based on sales and financials.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Doug: I think there will be a lot of people who like (and, you know, buy) the cards — whether they say anything or not. I’m personally not defending anyone — and, if you have read stuff written about me on Upper Deck’s blog, you would know I certainly wouldn’t be “defending” much of anything from that company. They get covered — and that’s it.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink
chrisolds

The sky is not falling because this product was announced. But, wow, it sure sounds like it.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink
Jon Chuckery...Atlanta

No Chris…YOU are missing everyone’s point…as consumers who spend and are willing to spend MORE, we just want more and better choices. You are missing the 2005 reference…its not that every product was great, but at least you had MORE choices and competition forced companies to create better product…What really happened with product is that the (hang on, big word) CONSUMER MARKETPLACE decided what would/wouldnt sell and at what price…I’ve told the story before about 2005 UD Baseball Heroes coming out @ $80 per tin. Nobody bought them @ that price. When VENDORS (not the card co.) were forced to lower prices to move product then they sold…I bought almost all of mine for $40-45 a piece and prob bought not less than 10-12 of them. Well, when a local card shop is losing money by selling prod for less than they are paying, how long do you think an LCS is going to keep ordering product from that co?

Posted October 7, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink
Kevin

“The sky is not falling because this product was announced. But, wow, it sure sounds like it.”

Hysterical and %100 correct. Who would have thought a factory set would make people so mad.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

I hope Beckett puts the appropriate price tag on the Navy Seals card. Any of them I can find I will but on ebay and donate 100% of the proceeds to a fallen heroes charity… We all should do the same.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
David Johnson

I am tempted to buy this set and take out the cards I want then sell the others individually on eBay. I just don’t think I will be the only one doing it. In fact I just checked and someone has already done it including selling the Manny Pacquiao for $20 and several others for a few bucks each. Should be interesting to see how many other people follow suit.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
actual collector

this is just another product that my local store wont be able to carry and that will piss off mpre customers. I bet the large internet sellers will somehow get some and be able to sell tham at 99.99 as well w/o the 12 s/h charge.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
steve archer

Chris……would you get fired-if you took the stand of what the majority of collectors/consumers are feeling on this topic ?

I know a few things, the card companies send “random” (ha ha) boxes for you folks to open and are not stupid by giving you the same odds of pulling great cards to showcase their product, its called ‘marketing’ ..

I feel on this topic about the factory sets…..eventually-the people whom want them (shops, stores, consumers, etc.) will get them. We are not talking about a super rare item…although a Franklin to pick one up….isnt exactly dirt cheap; although all the cards “should” be there.

I think its ironic, comparing this to the 2005 era…..because back then, Topps had competition and though they made way too many products (unlike that company that use to do second print runs of products they thought they shouldve made more money from the 1st print run …they just forgot to change the dates on 2nd runs and almost got caught…….LOL ), they were not the only bully on the block. Now……..they see in their rear-view mirror; someone closing in on their solo greed factory and are getting nervous-because someone else (who runs the presses at night, after everyone goes home) got a free printing pass from MLB

Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

Steve, the answer is an emphatic no.

Meanwhile, you also can’t believe everything you read on the Internet, either. Many who are “in the know” simply are not.

Do a majority of collectors out there loathe this set? Many don’t know a thing about it yet.

I think for myself — and I don’t think Topps making this set is anywhere as close of a “sky is falling” scenario as some do.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

Jon, I’m not missing your point. I also don’t have to agree with you on all points, either. MLB was the deciding factor in this as the licensor. It decided it didn’t like the results in the past and made changes.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
Dan C.

I don’t like Allen & Ginter in the first place. Don’t like all the non-baseball, don’t like paying 100 bucks for 3 jersey cards, don’t like the inserts…However I have no problem with this set, it’s actually kind of cool for someone who collects sets but doesn’t want to have to open boxes and sift through all the silly inserts and minis, and doesn’t want to buy one from ebay. The Limited Edition will appeal to people, and no doubt someone will break up a couple of these sets and grade cards. The bonus cards are nice, and the fact that the Rockies and Royals each have 2 players represented and the AL East has zero players represented is a plus as well. :) Anyway, making it available only from Topps is a big downer, but I think the set’s cool.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
James

Im a collector on a budget. By that I mean I only buy the annual flagship topps set and a few singles and autos during the year. This set doesn’t bother me at all. Topps sees another way to make a buck, big deal. That’s what companies do. People don’t buy it, topps won’t make it again.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
CharliesHustle

@ Jon,

I get that you’re on the side of the angry consumers who feel let down by the hobby, but you also explained exactly why card shops and card companies went out of business to begin with.

The great “choice” that consumers made was to let certain companies/shops fail
and the huge variety of product available in the mid-2000′s is what led to the current state of the hobby.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
Jon Chuckery

Yes, Chris, and some of the reasons we heard were “too confusing on RCs” (Yep – that one has really been solved, LOL!), “too many products” (Yep, 17 different colored, 4 asst lacquered finished, and 9 different Baskin and Robbins flavored cards isnt quite enough within one set), and “lack of quality products” (Yep, monopolizing the industry is the way you encourage a company to spend $264K on a jersey to make 125 of the best looking cards ever produced)…I guess I will fall into the minority that thinks spending $112 dollars for a diff packaged set of the same thing isnt revolutionizing the hobby…By the way, whats really funny is people saying responses to the set are extreme, but yet Beckett is asking you choose one extreme or the other (love/hate) in response to their poll…Sometimes you cant make this stuff up!

Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

Who said anything about revolutionizing things with this set? It’s merely another option for collectors.

As for the poll, I could have had a third option — indifferent — but I didn’t think it warranted it.

Love it, hate it … thumbs up, thumbs down … yes, no … it’s all the same. It’s just a poll.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

Couldn’t agree more, James. If it’s a hit, they’ll do more. If it’s not, they won’t. Can’t fault Topps for trying.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
Richard

I think anytime you undermine the local hobby stores you are cutting off your
nose to spite your face. Topps did this as a money maker for Topps.
Now if they sold them to the hobby stores they would make less money.
If they had sold them via the hobby stores, taking a bit less money, and have
given the hobby stores a chance to make a quick $20 or so, they would have
likely generated some good will.

Topps NEEDS the local hobby store. You don’t get to sell the high end products
via Target and the like. Why? Because those stores take cards only on consignment
which means if it does not sell, Topps (or a distributor) has to take it back and they
don’t want to take the risk. That and the hobby stores still serve as the place for
other collectors to network, buy singles, or trade. If you need a $1 card but you have
to pay $3+ shipping every time its likely to make you not view the hobby in a positive
light, plus that shipping money could be used to open more product instead.

A smart thing to do would have been to have a jumbo case topper with a pack of the
glossy serial #’d versions. Or even better, send in 10 box tops for a pack. It helped move
chrome last year. A full parallel set would like sell for a whole lot more than Topps is
getting for the factory sets, making the set more popular, selling more product, etc.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink
tom waldron

Generally have we the collectors and the card market in general benefited from the ecxlusive liscencing……..no
More porducts and not a great variety either .Innovation leads demand. Topps took a tried and true sales ,marketing idea and applied it to todays marketplace. Nobody thought of it and this appears to be a pilot run for others. Expect a Herritage set to follow.
2001 Donruss best and Rookies were made in response to Pujols and they used the redempion cards for either rated rookie boxes and or the silver , gold factory numbered sets. No different except it went through the hobby stores.
MAYBE Panini will do a glossy set and we can see if it goes to the hobby shops or online.
My intrest has to do with the Mistake cards and the Seat relics for Bat cards. I for one have lost a little trust in the hobby more over Topps. That is the real story not covered.We heard about ud and counterfiet cards but who is looking at Topps.

Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
Kevin

I really think people are making too a big a deal out of this. Its just a factory set of an existing product. How is this being equated with Topps trying to kill local card shops?

Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink
Kaf adfafsf

Its obvious that this IS a HUGE DEAL. You can’t just ignore all the comments above, even if you want to! It is obvious that Olds will defend topps to the bitter end, after all they do pay his salary.

This release is just a money grab for topps, just like all their topps vault stuff. Topps and Olds don’t want to admit it, but all these products just take money AWAY from the hobby stores. Funny there was plenty of 2010 topps chrome garbage to go around to the hobby shops, but make a heritage exclusive or Ginter set and suddenly topps doesn’t need the middle man

Hey Chris, keep pretending everything is fine with the hobby, I’m sure you have a few degrees to fall back on when the hobby is finally gone.

Kaf

Posted October 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink
Don

@Kevin

I think the point is that this set is only available via the Topps online store.

Here is my two cents. While I don’t collect A & G because I am on a budget (I only purchase a factory set annually) I do like the idea of a factory set being issued. Topps is trying something new (selling a popular set via their store in an exclusive format that is limited in number) and will hopefully watching to see the hobby reaction to it. If they think it is successfull you might see a Heritage factory set next year.

A topic for another discussion is how Topps is no longer using free lance photographers to take photos and does not seem to be using old file photos for their cards. You can find most of the photos of retired players on Getty Images (Joe Morgan’s Topps Linage photo is on Getty Images in a black and white format). Does Topps no longer have older photos that they can use? Do they find it cheaper to purchase the photo rights from Getty Images than pay a photographer?

Posted October 8, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink
tolentinotown

@Kaf: You know what else is “wrong” with the hobby? General cynicism, total resistance to any type of change or innovation, failure to see the value of something different every once and a while, an overall “the-sky-is-falling” mentality. Whether this is a “money grab” for Topps or not doesn’t have to be of any consequence to anybody. In fact, the glossy appeal — which many people, perhaps not those opposing it in this very context, undeniably enjoy — does something that might come as a shock to those with such a narrow, why-dear-god-why-is-everything-changing perspective on “the way things should be” with cards.

Nobody. Not us, not Topps, not you, nor any individual voice has a definitive answer. Any product within any industry ebbs, flows and evolves with a dialogue between producers, consumers, and those in between. Perpetual doubting, attacking, high-horsing get us nowhere — this isn’t the type of watch-dogging you might want, but it’s worth barking about.

Posted October 8, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink
Kaf adfafsf

I agree, but when the issue at hand is the exception, not the rule then it needs to be at the fore front of the hobby. This isn’t just about the ginter glossy set, but years or poor decisions by topps. I still don’t know why there are so many willing to look the other way yet again, when there is so much to lose…..thousands of dollars in collections, businesses, savings and investments…etc. Think about 100 dollars, the price of a box of cards, now think what that
100 dollars could buy…how much food, how much clothing. This is real money folks! How dare
us come on here and demand quality. How dare us be displeased with topps changing the checklist on us over and over and over and over again, how dare us hate on redemptions and hate when topps takes years to fill them and then gives us garbage replacement. How dare us want to improve the hobby so our kids can enjoy it (actually they have no interest in, maybe they are smarter than us?)

Threads like this may seem like a bitc* sessions, but they serve to inform collectors who might not know what is going on here, and that is worth the time or writing.

Thanks

Posted October 8, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink
Kaf adfafsf

sorry first line should say rule not the exception.

Thanks

Posted October 8, 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink
Kevin

tolentinotown, dead on man. I don’t understand the collectors out there that get pissed all the time. This is a hobby, it should be fun and enjoyed.

Too many folks say things like, “poor decision making by Topps”, but what they really mean is, “Topps doing things I don’t like”.

Posted October 8, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink
Jon Chuckery

Good points Kaf…Look folks…Beckett posts a news article Topps offering a low #d set already produced but just a different finish with a whole 10 cards added of people there are already 95 versions of that to get you not only have to spend $100 on at their online store, but have to add $12 more to ship and then ask…do you love it or hate it? Sorry, but whats to love? And its just one more symptom of the prob with the industry…I didnt ask Beckett to post the article, they asked US if we love or hate it…MLB told me the prob with the hobby was too much confusion on RC, too many products, too many low #d cards/sets…YET, we keep getting articles about prods like this and others with 50 versions of the same card, and then are extreme if we arent lemmings and love it…is that about right?

Posted October 8, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink
chrisolds

I still just wanna know Kaf’s real name … oh, and prices of products aren’t a Topps-created or Topps-exclusive issue, either.

Posted October 8, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Jon, here’s the ultimate catch. Nobody is making you buy the set — and nobody says you have to.

Posted October 8, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink
Jon Chuckery

And, Chris, in 2005 when I didnt like something I didnt buy either…I just waited for the next prod to come along from Fleer, Leaf, Donruss, Topps, UD, etc…Oh wait I cant do that now!…unfortunately in todays market that prob means a shiny new update set of Topps called series 2.67 offering new variations of the same cards and pics including exclusive ruby anniversary, mocha-latte finished, Talipot palm colored, ser #d to pi cards of todays stars…Also look for the Northside Hospital series of cards featuring all new-born infants from 2011 so as to get the jump on their RC card

Posted October 8, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Nobody said you had to buy current cards or current wax, either. In fact, if you don’t like it you shouldn’t buy it — that will make companies right their wrongs. (Since many on this thread say there are so many wrongs.)

Posted October 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
steve archer

James…..if you just buy a few Topps items from along the ‘base’ line- YOU ARE 100% SAFE, BECAUSE THEY MAKE SO MUCH (just do some of the simple math from last years stuff or this years….from the insert cards alone-the numbers are ASTOUNDING !!) PRODUCT & THATS JUST THE PLAIN ‘OLE REGULAR STUFF !!!

to make a simple statement; if we as collectors/ consumers dont like this (or any) product….then we shouldnt buy it !! It would b e nice if we all took a stand together on this-but I doubt that will happen

Posted October 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
steve archer

Jon……my grandson was born 17 days ago- can I get 100 copies of his RC ? But……I dont think he can autograph anything yet….but Im sure we can figure it out !! LOL

Posted October 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
Kaf adfafsf

$2.00/pack=a fun hobby
200.00/pack= a business

For the card companies:

“fun”= don’t have to put value into packs.

Posted October 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
Dan

Makes me wish I wouldn’t have bought that box of non-glossy A&G earlier this year – live and learn.

Posted October 9, 2011 at 12:19 am | Permalink
Kevin

I will never understad the entitlement of some collectors, this thread demonstrates that perfectly.

Posted October 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
Andrew Kaufman

Kevin- AGreed! This long blog rant gets a big fat WAH! WAH! to all you complainers out there. Shame on you for attempting to take Olds to task for this. Again with Business 101: Don’t want it, don’t buy it. Topps saw a demand, so they created a supply. I’ve been to plenty of hobby shops and card shows, you guys are making just fine with what you have. I really doubt this set is going to break you…

Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:39 am | Permalink
chrisolds

I think I am accountable for the entire industry, Andrew K.! Except, I have no control over the card companies, nobody can force them to listen to me or force them to talk to me. (Or you, for that matter.)

They can choose to listen, though. Big part of that is having something useful to say while also understanding the dynamics that go into everything involved in creating a product. I think I have a reasonable understanding — but even the companies we have a good rapport with keep up at a distinct distance.

Here’s a story and discussion thread for a topic that deserves 50-some comments as it’s more important to making an impact in the hobby — and potentially bringing some of the innovation that people here want. Check it out:

http://www.beckett.com/news/2011/10/paninibaseball/

Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink
Bill D

The “if you don’t like it don’t buy it” argument is unfortunately a bit too dismissive of a fair point. Namely, offering a factory set betrays the collector who dutifully assembled a base set by opening packs, buying, and trading. I am lucky – I bought a set of these cards after only obtaining two blaster boxes from retailers. I would have been pretty miffed if I had sunk a couple hundred dollars into going after the set and all its subsidiary treasures. I definitely benefit because I like these cards A LOT and it promises to be a higher quality product than the regular issue base set. However, it is a perplexing business move on the part of Topps. The net effect is they may have alienated a potentially HUGE collecting population for a mere $100k in revenue. It just seems weird and unnecessarily risky.

Posted October 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink
Kevin

Factory sets betray those that assembled it through packs?! I think that is a little overly dramatic.

I think you are talking about two very different type of collectors when look at set builders vs someone that buys an exclusive factory set. Would you call Sara Lee cakes a betrayal of people that like to bake from scratch?

Posted October 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
David Johnson

I am a set collector and I don’t find this as a betrayal. It is a glossy version of the set. The regular issue Topps set is more of a betrayal, and they put that out every year in several different variations. That being said, the best part of being a set collector is the fun of tracking down the last few cards you need, and then the excitement when you get the last one.
As full disclosure, I actually bought one of these sets from Topps. I almost bought 2, so that I could keep one as a set and then break the other set for the few cards I want and sell/trade the rest. However judging by the eBay listings, it looks like more and more people took that 2nd approach.

Posted October 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

I think this is part of a broader theme, as Topps continues to be unable to decide whether it’s a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, or all of the above. As a company it can do whatever it wants to make a profit, but if it’s core customer constituency and distribution channel is hobby shops as they themselves profess, then their continued efforts to circumvent and cut the legs out of those same hobby shops is perplexing. “Hobby shops get plenty of exclusive offerings”? That’s true, but the real question is how many of those are profitable offerings (short term and long term). Topps selling direct, time boxed redemptions, offering the same deals to Internet only retailers as brick and mortar, only serve to cut the legs out of a distribution network Topps continued business is absolutely dependent on. They themselves aren’t offering a ‘Topps store’ in every neighborhood. They offer nothing in terms of shared marketing.

Much of this, what could potentially be called arrogance in its business dealings, has followed the granting of the exclusive license by MLB, so an ongoing problem of the same mistake.

At some level, the industry needs hobby shops. Why? The collectors who bought packs at stores as kids and then moved online or shop in some combination of both are getting older. The hobby needs a way to keep bringing in a younger demographic, and that is going to be via brick and mortar sellers. Any other strategy is fundamentally a short term one for a product that is, at its essence, one that needs to keep being sold to every new generation of per-adolescent kids (as it had successfully done for the last 70 years or so).

Or another way, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

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