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As I mentioned in earlier post, it’s puzzling to me that Upper Deck would eliminate two of its most popular products and stick with some its more widely-panned products. Then again, what do the critics know?

But that’s the thing — we may be more than just self-proclaimed “critics,” particularly since the sportscard media is really limited to just Beckett and Tuff Stuff. More importantly, we’re consumers, the ones who the card companies ought to be listening to.

Are they listening to us? In a way, I feel they are. Look at the 09 iteration of Upper Deck Goudey. Far less short print stupidity makes for a far more manageable checklist than the last two sets. Then again, rather than making the same change for Masterpieces, they’re canning it altogether.

As  a set-builder, I can attest that far less short-print stupidity would be a welcome change. In a time when the economy is ailing, the last thing I want to do is buy more product. I want to finish my sets, and enjoy my hobby. But when push comes to shove, I’d rather eat than search for SPs. If their scheme to get me to buy more boxes is to mismange the collation and inundate the sets with bloated checklists and SPs, it’s not going to work.

I look  back to say, 05-06, and think of the number of 100-card, non-short printed sets available during that time, and I wish UD and Topps hadn’t strayed from that formula. I also look at 08’s Donruss Threads and point that out as an example of exactly what I want to see in terms of collation — one 24 pack hobby box produced nearly an entire base set, and a bounty of inserts, autos, and gamers. Then I look at 08 UD Timeline, and see that a 24 pack hobby box isn’t even going to come remotely close to finishing the set, and I’ll still have work to do after even two boxes.

Contrary to what many others think, it’s not the gimmicks such as Kazuo Uzuki, or Hillary Clinton/Morganna that need to go. I actually LIKE those things. Cards like those make collecting not so monotonous. It breaks up the scenery, so to speak. It’s the lack of bang for the buck that really aggravates me. I’ll buy the cards, Topps and Upper Deck, that much we’ve established. I just need you to make it so it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to do it.

So in 2009, I want to see from UD and Topps the same thing I see from everyone else — a belt-tightening of sorts. No more overabundant sets. No more overzealous checklists. No more repetitive checklists. No more short print stupidity. No more ridiculous MSRPs! Seven dollars for a six-card pack of Masterpieces? Five dollars for a pack of base Upper Deck? No more using cheap, undesirable rookie autographs of Single-A washouts to justify price increases and “high-end” product. Make these inserts count and don’t waste them on the 42nd man of a 40-man roster!

For many of us, collecting is paid for with discretionary income. And with discretionary incomes growing smaller, UD and Topps need to make it so we get far more bang for the buck than we did in 07-08.

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One Comment

  1. I see your point about the short prints. I suspect that the reason why they’re so prevalent is because the companies KNOW that their existence makes us buy more packs and boxes. I don’t think we’ll see less of them until more collectors decide that they’re satisfied with collecting just the non-SP cards from a set. 2009 Goudey will have 100 short prints, which is down from 130, so unfortunately it’s not that much less (assuming that the Sport Royalty and Heads Up cards will be SPs again, which I think is pretty safe).


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By They’re finally here « Free Andy LaRoche on 04 Feb 2009 at 10:26 am

    […] That’s 370 potential base cards per hobby box. That should, provided there’s good collation, yield an entire set. Looks like Topps was listening to collectors like myself after all. […]

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