Observers on all sides of Wednesday night’s bombshell revelation that Topps will become the exclusive trading card manufacturer for Major League Baseball next season have had a full day to digest the news.
As expected, corporate reaction to the announcement – the most startling hobby development since it was revealed in 2005 that Donruss would not have its license renewed – depends on who you talk to.
In an email to Topps’ HTA accounts on Thursday, Topps General Manager Warren Friss called the exclusive “one of the many important steps we are taking that will reinvigorate the trading card business and take Topps to levels of success that we haven’t seen before. There are exciting times ahead.”
Understandably, the reaction from Upper Deck wasn’t as optimistic.
“We’re still trying to figure out what all this means,” Upper Deck’s Jason Masherah told the San Diego Union Tribune in a story that appeared on the paper’s website today. “We’ve never been in this position. But the situation allows us to re-evaluate things and come up with new and innovative concepts.”
To be sure, the benefit of time hasn’t done much in the way of generating diverse reactions from those offering their opinions to the news on Beckett.com. It’s obvious thus far that most collectors haven’t necessarily embraced the notion of a one-manufacturer baseball marketplace.
A sampling of the responses so far:
“I think that this is a bad move for the hobby, right along with the super-rare, high-end brands. I love Topps and wouldn’t collect baseball if there wasn’t a Topps set every year. Competition is good for the hobby. It adds new ideas and products.”
– Beckett.com member lkingsley2
“I don’t like this one bit. First, Donruss, now, Upper Deck. Does MLB know what the collectors like or want? The answer is ‘no.’ We used to have choices. Different companies producing different products allowed the collector to pick and choose. Now we are stuck with only Topps. I will still put together a Topps baseball set every year. After that, I guess my funds will be spent on finishing my pre-1976 sets.”
– Beckett.com member BigT314
“To be honest, I’m excited to see what changes this brings to the hobby. As a single-player collector, I’m purchasing cards from all brands, but mostly on the secondary market. A smaller variety of sets would entice me to buy a few more packs here and there in hopes of hitting my player’s card.
“I also think targeting the younger audience is a great thing. Card prices have been too high for too long. Even for me, a working professional adult, the cost of baseball cards is high and often too much to budget for. I hope that by possibly lowering prices for kids, the trading and collecting aspects of the hobby return.”
– Beckett.com member shedwa
“This is one of the dumbest things I’ve read. I hope it’s just a bad joke.”
– Beckett.com member NYYChamps
“I only collect football and I would hate an exclusive brand. I miss all the companies that are out of business as it is.”
– Beckett.com member wavytiger1975
“I’m a Topps guy. But this move is still a big thumbs down!”
– Beckett.com member CptNemo66
“I agree, [this is] a very bad road to go down. I do not favor one card company over another and I like to see the different styles of cards produced each year by the various companies. I hope some at the corporate levels are reading these comments and doing something to change the downfall of the trade.”
– Beckett.com member ripkenfan72
“I’m a Topps-only guy in baseball, but a monopoly is bad for everyone involved.”
– Beckett.com member Prime B
“[This is] terrible news for collectors and hobby shops.”
– Beckett.com member mackscardshack
And then there’s this entertaining take from Stalegum.com’s Chris Harris.
Stay tuned to Beckett.com for updates to this developing story.
— Tracy Hackler