Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ahh...good old topps...

You know, all this talk of Gypsy Queen is making me....I'm not even sure of the word I'm looking for. Let's begin with the basics here. Normally I'm all for retro themed sets. Sure, they look nice too but seems impossible to collect with it's endless amounts of parallels. They reduced the size of the set by 100 cards, now standing at 350. This is good. 450 was WAY too many. Apparently they also screwed up the relic/auto collation too. Nice. That isn't whats gotten me into this thinking though. While checking out Baseballcardpedia, I noticed they have a little 'hobby buzz' section on the bottom right side of the page. Essentially telling us the goings on of the industry. I was pretty miffed when I read this about Gypsy Queen:

Upon the release of Gypsy Queen, there is talk abound the hobby about limited availability. It appears that only small amounts of Gypsy Queen are being made available to collectors, hobby shops, online retailers, etc... Some long-time set builders are debating on buying retail rather than hobby due to the high initial cost of hobby boxes.

THIS IS COMPLETE CRAP! They are limiting the amount of product released...when they're going to sell it anyway? Creating an artificial demand of a product that has demand, and raising box prices to unrealistic levels. Why wouldn't it sell? They are the only company in the baseball card industry!! Seriously Topps, get with the damn program. I know I'm not going to be paying $140 per box, $7 per pack. Nuts to that. This whole bunch of nonsense is almost making me want to buy NONE of this set, save for the six (yes, SIX) Blue Jays for my collection. You know? It's almost a good thing that I'm broke-er than I was, so I won't be tempted to fall for Topps' hyjinxs. Also thankfully I have no interest in any products coming out before series 2 in June, then Lineage in August (unless they mess that up too). I'm not big into Ginter's and could care less about Bowman and Pro Debut. What crap. CrapcrapcrapCRAP. I'm only holding back due to this blog being PG but man, am I miffed...

Send in the failboat!


  1. I completely agree. I'm only going to go after the players in my pc.

  2. I got in on A Cardboard Problems group break so I aint' going to by none of it especially if it's 7 bucks a pack!! Let alone a box. I'm going to wait and see what cards I get then go after my PC's as well.

  3. I got in the Daily Dimwit's break for 2 boxes of GQ. I will probably pick up a pack or two of retail once it hits in my area, but I agree with your angle. Things are getting a bit crazy with Topps...

  4. So instead Topps should release 100,000,000 boxes of it, totally flood the market, and sell packs for $1?

    Wasn't extreme mass production the reason behind the hobby bust in the 90s?

    You know you don't HAVE to purchase Gypsy Queen, right? Nobody is holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy a hobby box. And how is this any worse than something like Triple Threads, which has a bunch of variations of each base card, each "low" numbered?? Plus, your $200 per box autograph is of Adam LaRoche? Woooo!!!

    At least you get more total cards/hits with Gypsy Queen.

  5. Joe, you bring up an excellent point. Well, points. True, that flooding the market will kill a product and an industry. I do not think they should flood the market and sell packs for cheaper than they should retail for. However, there is a huge disservice to your consumers when you create an artificial demand for your products. No one wins except the distributors when you start to gouge prices. Saying that you intend to limit what hobby shops will get creates a large demand from said shops, and raises prices artificially, due to a lack of product. Had this set been released last year, packs would have been $4-5.00 and boxes no more than $100. This year though, Topps is playing the game differently and is starting to create this demand for their sets. It has happened to series 1, and Heritage and has driven both up to unrealistic prices. There is also a huge difference between them selling out a product and having what ever is left over go up in price (which makes sense) and them intentionally holding product back to drive up a frenzy of price increases, only to slowly introduce more product into the market later. Also, you are completely correct on me not having to buy it. I'll buy some I'm sure but will I pay way more than what it should cost? Hell no. Nor should anyone else but we all will, at some point (except me). Triple Threads is a complete bust, BTW. Very rarely do you get your moneys worth from that, hence why I also avoid that.

  6. I agree with pretty much everything everyone said here. This demand is fake and the prices will return to normal, just like they do with Heritage every year.

    That being said, I think this product is pretty cool. The design seems like a good mishmash of Goudey/Mayo/A&G and that's okay by me even if I am getting retro fatigue. On-card autos will do a lot to help sell me a product (since I'll never pull one of those ugly mixed-sticker triple autos. I'd be in for a box of this at $75 or so. Maybe I'll get it once everyone realizes that BS 1/1s and Marlon Byrd autos aren't going to be recouping anything on a flipping angle. Luckily for me, it looks like there aren't any Royals autos so I don't need to worry about buying it at all for my PC! -Andy

  7. moremonkeys - I did not realize (nor bother to try to realize, which is laziness on my part) that Topps is actually just slow-releasing the product. I thought they were just printing less total product than they typically do for their releases.

    If the same amount of product will come out in the end, this is a bizarre strategy, and more so for making it public. This industry has really gone in the tanks, eh? So much good could've come out of the sudden increase in interest over Strasburg, but everyone got greedy.

  8. A great example is series 1. I know my local shop has been jerked around trying to get boxes. Basic Topps!! The set that is supposed to be everywhere, for anyone to buy at any time! If a store has ONE product on its shelves, its usually the basic Topps set. This should not be happening. Heritage is the same issue right now, and Gypsy Queen looks to follow. I see that Heritage has found its way back int his store after him being out of it too. My local also told me he had ordered two cases of GQ, and they allocated him down to four boxes. FOUR, out of twelve! I know he isn't the only one either. As much as the whole Strasburg ordeal from last season helped the hobby, it hurt it just as much. Yes, it got more people into buying (speculating) but it also brought in the wrong people. People looking to flip their hits for a tidy profit. Yes, the higher box prices make this harder for them but only hurts us, the TRUE collectors. It all does fall back on good old greed, whether it be Topps or the distributers, we're the only ones getting screwed here.

  9. You know, Upper Deck did this in 1989. They didn't print all their cards and then release them. Instead, they released them slowly as they were printed. This is one of the reasons that set was so successful - it was impossible to find at first. And I think I see this as a successful marketing plan for this type of product. I keep reading on the blogs how people are going to Target and seeing only one of the value boxes left, or a couple blister packs of Heritage, and feeling the need to buy them up. If there were 10 or 15 of them sitting on the shelf would you feel the impulse to buy one right then?

    It is nice to see Topps is correcting the autograph problem. I half-heartedly wonder if this is the reason that Topps is holding back on releasing GQ fully. Maybe they're going to repack the boxes with the right number of autographs and send them out. Perhaps they realized this as they were running quality control but many of the boxes had already been packed and they figured they could run a redemption program to fix the issue. Or maybe not.

    For as long as there will be baseball cards, there will be speculators for rookies, hoping for the next Mattingly, Griffey, or Pujols. It is the reason for sets like Tribute and Triple Threads.

    I won't be buying boxes of GQ - I never planned on it. I'll pick up a set off eBay on the cheap eventually, and I'll get everything else I want through trades, the breaks I am a part of, or eBay. The same will be true for A&G and Lineage. Boxes just usually aren't cost effective for a consumer like me.