Alright, I got three trade packages in the mail today but they're going to have to wait until tomorrow.
Everywhere I look there is a ton of hate for 2012 Topps Series 1. Blogs, forums, comments on Beckett.com, whatever be the medium, it seems that everyone is hating on it. I can't see why. So Topps didn't deliver on what we presumed a 'game changer' would be. So they've resorted to using the same formula they have since 2006. So they have more short prints and gimmicks. Let's see if I can get to the bottom of this.
See, this is what people tend to forget. Baseball cards are the gimmick!
Ever since the dawn of baseball cards in the late 1800's, they've been a vehicle to sell things. Cigarettes, candy, caramel, gum, pizza, ice cream, dog food, etc. They were inserted one per pack of cigarettes until around World War I. Various candies until around the Korean War. Then Topps comes around in the fifties and oh look, they want to sell gum so they package them up with baseball cards. The gimmick to sell the gum was the cards. It wasn't until the 70's that people really started to collect and save them. Baseball cards are the gimmick.
What about 1992, when Topps added in the Topps Gold? Wasn't that a gimmick in itself, getting people to buy more packs to get the gold cards of their favorite players and teams? Aren't insert cards themselves gimmicks? A card that is rarer than a base card, thereby getting people to buy more packs in order to get them? Didn't Fleer have insert cards in the 80's? In 2001 Topps introduces the Heritage line and load the back end of the set with short prints, a tradition that continues to this day. No one complains, they still collect the set. Same thing with Allen & Ginter, another set that is widely loved and collected. 2007 saw the first short print in the flagship set, the Derek Jeter with Mantle and Bush photoshopped in. 2008 saw the Rudy Giuliani card with him celebrating with the Red Sox. 2009 saw the Obama card and CC Sabathia in a Yankees uniform. Plus the Legends short prints. 2010 followed with Granderson in a Yankee uniform plus more legends. 2011 followed suit with Crawford and Gonzalez in Sox unis. Short prints have been de facto in the base set since 2007 (2006's Alex Gordon was not a short print, his card was pulled due to him not being able to be on the card before his MLB debut, as per then new MLB rules for cards).
Another thing people forget is that Topps is a company, in their business to make money. That's why businesses exist, to produce a product or service and make money from it. They don't cater to collectors. Never have and never will. Being a company they are only in it for the money, why would they start listening to collectors when people still gobble up all their stuff? They loaded 2010 with Strasburg stuff, people scooped it up, no one complains. They load 2011 with future scrub Bryce Harper and people scoop it up, no one complains (I call them Harpersuckers).
So the 2012 base set has more short prints. So what. Let the Harpersuckers have them. If you don't like them, don't collect them. See, the great thing about this hobby is that we have the ability to collect how ever much or little we want. Want to just collect your favorite team? Do it. Want to get the 330 card set? Do it. Those two short prints don't count towards the set.
I'll be busting my two jumbo boxes come the first. I can't wait. What I plan on doing is selling off the Golden Giveaway codes plus the wrappers. Let them deal with them, plus it'll go towards my cost of the boxes. I'll ahve my two sets and that's all I'll need. See, collecting what I want out of it.
I get that Topps should have changed their game plan, even just a little. They didn't, oh well. Why though, would this year be the year that everyone hates on Topps flagship, when gimmickry has been around in the hobby since the beginning?
Again, please help me to understand!
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