Monday, December 21, 2009

Who Won the Tobacco Wars of '09?

For me, this question is a no-brainer. Of the three, highly anticipated tobacco era themed releases of 2009, Goodwin Champions delivers the best overall value and design. In fact, looking at side-by-side comparisons of the base cards for the three sets, as depicted above with Albert Pujols, I would contend that there isn't even an argument to be made for the other two designs by Topps.

2009 closes another chapter in The Hobby. Kind of like a season ending cliff-hanger where you have an inkling of what's going to happen next, but can't be entirely sure until you see it with your own eyes. That's the way I feel about 2010 baseball cards. Regardless of sport, Upper Deck has shown time and time again that they own the high-end market AND that their design teams, while flawed in their own ways from time to time, routinely outperform their competitors, most noticeably Topps.

Topps is being returned to rule the monopoly they held in the market for over 30 years and I for one, have little faith in them delivering a truly must have product next year. Remember, this is the company in 2009 that gave us Unique-ly Awful, Ticket to the Dumpster and lackluster releases of Allen & Ginter and T-206. With a 100th anniversary on the line for a brand that created the most recognized pre-war tobacco card in the famed Honus Wagner, Topps packed out another typical-esque product with little in the way of creativity or innovation.

The company that has made famous, products and card design, with a "been there, done that" flair, is the company you will HAVE TO rely on for your Hobby jones.

I myself am already going through withdraw. Painful, scary, psychedelic, I am going to f*&$@ng freak-out, withdrawl.


night owl said...

The Pujols A&G card you have there is from 2008.

I still go with A&G out of those three. The gap is closing, but A&G still rules.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

That's what I get for not proofing my own post. Thanks Nite Owl. I swapped it for the correct picture and I still stand my beliefs that both A&G and T-206 have run their course.

The Mojo Hand said...

The Tobacco Companies

Anonymous said...

The Topps Base Brand outperforms the Upper Deck Base Brand in every sport over the last two decades for Baseball, Football and Basketball. Think about it what does a 2001 Upper Deck baseball card look like and or 2004 or 2006. Topps designs set that can be distingiushed from year to year.

Look at some of the brands UD puts out Piece of History, Spectrum, Goudey, Artifacts, Sweet Spot, Premier, Heroes, Timeline, Ultimate, Victory, Trilogy, Icons, Linage, Black Ice, Black Diamond, UD Black, MVP SP, SPx, X XYZ.....

They also recycle old brands to (Fleer, Ultra O Pee Chee) to fake the collector that it is not them producing the cards.

Topps is guilty of trying to match them brand for brand.

However, Upper Deck is the World Leader Card Manufacturer for making brands that have the word Black in it and Letters (MVP, SP, SPx, UD, X).

As for Exquisite, while it does have some popularity it is not a card set but really a memorabillia set (especially when you are paying $800 a box). However, these cards are creating an illusion of value. When you create Michael Jordan Swatches for every set you have what is so rare or great about that

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Well anonymous, way to go off topic . . . your thoughts on the Tobacco Wars ? ?

Dan said...

I think in terms of opening a box, A&G gave way more satisfaction than Goodwin or T206. There were 8 cards per pack and 24 packs per box for A&G, 5 cards per pack and 20 packs for Goodwin and 9 cards per pack and 20 packs per box for T206. None of these are collect-the-set with one box products.

The biggest problem with Goodwin besides the paucity of cards in each box was the 20th anniversary cards that counted towards your box total of 100 cards (10% per box!). Unlike in 2008, when the Yankee Stadium Legacy cards were bonus cards in the mid-range products like UD Masterpieces.

Not all are fans of the non-sports subjects, but A&G, I thought had a good-sized dose of them. Goodwin had too much and T206 did not go that route.

In terms of set collectability, A&G was the easiest to collect (50 SPs in a 350 card base set), Goodwin was difficult with those super short prints, and with T206, I still haven't figured out how many variations there are.

A&G had the best card stock. T206 and Goodwin were too flimsy, though the texture of Goodwin was the best.

I agree that Goodwin had the best base design. The twilight cards are special as are the foil minis. I just couldn't get into collecting it.

Just some thoughts...

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