Monday, May 3, 2010

Slim Pickings . . . Be Careful What You Wish For

Well to all the people that griped and complained about their being too many products on the market, I hope you're happy. Because unless you like art cards (which I do LOVE) with mediocre player renderings (albeit the cards overall are FAR superior to the horrid previews released a couple of months ago), you are pretty much S.O.L. as a baseball card collector right now. If I see Chicle the next time I'm at a big box, I'll check it out. However, I am not going to go out of my way to the (hardly) LCS as the gas alone would cost me about 2 packs at retail.

Collectors are in for some short-term growing pains to allow the market, the industry and subsequently The Hobby, to return to a more stable and viable environment. I understood the need to reduce the overall number of brands on the market at any given point. The years from 2001-2005 were ridiculous with the multiple product releases per week. But, in all honesty I would have preferred that to the drought we as collectors personally find ourselves in.

This whole exercise in exclusive licensing, I hope, is a short-term plan to serve as a major market correction. Eventually then, allowing for the addition of a second licensee and a middle ground in the number of products released from the 100+ per year in the aforementioned time frame to the current single digit number released to date, almost mid-way through the calendar year.

Looking at the upcoming releases scheduled, absolutely NOTHING gets me excited.

Bowman- No thanks.
Allen & Ginter- Again? Really? Keep it.
Topps Series 2- More or less out of collector obligation I guess.
T206- Another horse to beat to death ala A&G, no thanks.

So basically, any collector who likes upper mid-range to higher-end product and singles from those products is screwed, plain and simple.

But, for the health of The Hobby, I am willing to suffer through what I hope and pray is only a short-term situation.


ig4mer said...

I feel exactly the same way and my write up almost mirrors yours. It has gotten so bad that I am thinking of taking a break from the hobby.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Thanks for the link! Hang in there

Alarion said...

Well, ultimately you are spot on. I was one of those saying "too much crap out here", but that was also me coming back in to collecting after a ~15 year absence.

How many "heritage" type sets do we need? How many draft picks and prospects sets do we need? How many memorabilia-focused sets do we need?

I would rather see the same number of manufacturers and less releases from each. At least, that would make it a bit easier to figure what to collect, etc.

But again, this all coming from someone who is essentially "new" to the hobby, for all intents-and-purposes. Obviously my viewpoint will be a bit different from someone who has been collecting the past several years.

What would your ideal scenario be, regarding # of manufactures and # releases/manufacturer? Would you rather see as much as they can release and let the collector pick whatever it is they want? Don't get me wrong, I'm all about choice - but the way things were the last few years, just looking at checklists, would drive me insane trying to get a complete PC going. And it's driving me insane now trying to get all of someone's cards for a given year.

For example, Tony Romo (a player I am slowly working on a PC for) has 666 cards in the 2009 release year. Of those, 223 are memorabilia cards (includes auto/mem) - tons of which are 1/1's.

Now I'm not trying to get all "woe is me", but really? 666 cards for a single year? That's a standard binder full of just one year of one player's cards. wow.

night owl said...

Although I disagree with you about A&G (always look forward to it and I'm certainly not the only one), I agree with you overall.

Now, I'm not one of those who is bored right now, but that's because there is still 2009 product available that draws my interest. What I'm wondering is what will it be like at this time next year when nothing about 2011 interests me and I go back to buy 2010 product and the only thing there is 206 and Updates & Highlights.

Joe S. said...

I've never understood why people thought there was too much variety on the market. I've bought two hobby boxes of 2010 Topps (flagship)... and that's it. I have a jumbo box of Series 2 on pre-order... and that's it. I don't see myself buying anything outside of a few random packs of anything else in 2010. I like Allen & Ginter, but don't think the content is worth the box price.

Guess it's back to singles and junk wax boxes for nostalgia's sake.

dayf said...

Bored Bored BORED.

At least I like retro crap, high end baseball collectors must be ready to commit suicide by now.

Play at the Plate said...

I'm to the point that I walk by the retail aisle just praying to see a discounted blaster of SOMETHING worth buying.

GCA said...

Look at it this way, now is the time to go back and find all those last few short prints and finish up the sets from previous years.
At least for me. I can't figure out how a lot of people finish their sets so fast without buying three times as many boxes as it takes to get a set....

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