Triple Play focuses on fun, kids … will it work?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

It’s no secret that the hobby is often torn between two things — collecting and cash.

It’s no secret that, these days, pleasing everyone is an impossibility that the card companies simply cannot achieve.

It’s no secret that, at least in the eyes of many armchair quarterbacks, kids are a key to a revitalization that might rewind its presence and extend the hobby’s existence another generation or two.

But the folks at Panini America aren’t sweating that first point, perhaps the second, either, with its next baseball release. The third is the aim in the upcoming 2012 Triple Play, a kid-focused release that arrives on July 23 with all kinds of surprises — and with a kid-friendly price, too, at just 99 cents a pack.

One inclusion in that one, besides cards with wearable eyeblack stickers, are the “When I was a Kid” inserts — a  collection of artistic renderings of players as younger stars with a story about their past on the back. It’s an interesting touch that focuses even more on the focus of this product. (This set was teased during the weekend by Panini.)

So, I want to know … does a product like this appeal to you? It certainly has its place in the hobby, but we all know that it isn’t likely to be one of those products where money-makers look, where investors sink their short-term funds.

It doesn’t need to be.

Will it please everyone? No. Will it appease some collectors who have said countless times that they want a certain type of product? No. But I have a feeling that it might surprise us in a few smaller ways, provide a touch of simplicity and “how it used to be” before many move on to The Next Big Thing after its arrival.

That is, if collectors sit down and take a look at it.

As for the kids angle, it certainly should cover one part of that aspect as it also includes other types of cards not seen here. Yet, at the same time, kids can be just as finicky about their cardboard as the kids of 25 years ago are today. Some will like it, some will have different tastes.

But you know what’s funny about this one? It might draw my attention in, too, for a few reasons.

Eh, maybe that’s just the collector in me — or even the kid in me — talking.

I’ll know more, just like you guys, on July 23.

Until then, tell us what you think with our polls below.

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

Your Take: 2012 Triple Play

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Your Take: Triple Play's place in the hobby

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  1. bearcatlawjd 9 July, 2012 at 12:09

    The look of the base set and hall of fame inserts are best parts of this product. That Jeter card is almost too cute but I like the concept. I wish we knew the size of the base set because the Jeter card is number 286 which makes me believe the set is rather large when you add up all the subsets .

    With all the hype Darvish is getting in Topps products, the one Darvish card that really stands out is his Triple Play card. I will buy a box of this product just to pick up that card.

  2. Kevin Robbins 9 July, 2012 at 13:44

    I like this release for what it is. A fun and simple feel to it. It would be something I pick up a pack for my 2 sons ages 1 and 2. As they like to watch me bust my pack as i can give them there own when i stop by for some retail stuff and they can carry them around and do as they please for the price it’s great. Remember when it was all done in fun and not to chace the card to make us some money. back when you pulled a card number to 10,000 was a great hit. Bring it back to those times minus the over prodution.

  3. Jonathan Gaudlitz 9 July, 2012 at 15:53

    I think that it is great that a company is focusing on kids again, and not on card values or a big profit. Kids will once again be able to afford a few packs every now and then. I know kids will love the sticker inserts. These packs will get kids hooked again, without spending a ton of money. I am going to get some for my little brothers and see what they think.
    Happy Hunting!

  4. Paul 9 July, 2012 at 17:06

    Well w/o Team Logos it probably still won’t appeal to kids. Most kids care more about Teams not players. Just going by my kids and when I first started collecting as a kid.

  5. Cory Furlong 9 July, 2012 at 17:15

    Triple Play is a much needed product for the kids at a realistic price point. The sketches are great and should draw in the kids.

  6. thecardcouplene @ twitter 9 July, 2012 at 18:12

    Triple Play has some interesting elements, especially for children who want to collect cards, but are on an allowance, like I was. I like to think, that it is akin to the Panini Euro Stickers set, and could be enjoyable to collect by people of every age. No, this isn’t for me, but I might pick up some of the Eye Black cards, cause I’m a geek like that!

  7. Ryan Kalmoe 7 August, 2012 at 20:52

    I think Score has/will hit a Home Run with this product. You have to get the next generation involved in the hobby for it to continue to survive and thrive. I don’t see many parents dropping the $3.19 for one pack of cards at Target, which will almost certainly not have anything of real value. Panini has it right with Score Football, and it even has wicked awesome stuff in it (printing plates? autos!?) all for a buck a pack. Now they’re focusing that directly at kids, which is just phenomenal. I hope this product is well received, because it is sorely needed. The above poster who said he’d grab a pack or two for his kids and let them rip some wax and do what they want with the cards? Awesome. I think that’s what they’re aiming for and I hope there are more like you that do that.

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