Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Bat Around: Fixing Topps Baseball

Found this on the Stale Gum Blog and decided I'd take a shot at this.
Michael Eisner has just fired the entire Topps Product Development staff and chose to hire you to take their place. Mr. Eisner has given you carte blanche to do whatever you want with Topps Baseball -- as long as you keep it under $2/pack.

If you were in charge of Topps, and based upon what you've seen of 2011 Topps Baseball Series One, what (if anything) would you have done differently?

Ok, here is what I would do:

1. Increase base set size - 330 cards is a little low, so how about we make the set something like 360 or 365 cards. And that does not mean making more subset cards of Strasburg, A-Rod, Halladay, or any of those other guys. Give middle relievers a chance at base Topps!

2. Include Manager Cards - I don't understand why these disappeared. So, they should come back. Just cause.

3. No more SPs or variations - I saw a post on the FCB Forums a few days ago and it stated that Topps needs to do these SPs and variations (including the sparkle cards this year) to increase the value of the base level Topps for people who flip cards on eBay, who he claims to be the majority of collectors. Note to this guy-base level Topps is not meant to be flipped on eBay, I'm sorry. Oh BTW, these cards really have no reason to be in the product (no, flipping this stuff does not count in my book) and I feel it compromises the integrity of the product. No more legend variations, no more sparkles, no more airbrushed uniforms.

4. Bye-Bye Reprints - A redundant set from last year? Yup, needs to go. And the pre-Topps reprints, gone as well.

5. No more Manu-Crap - Commemorative Patches and that Glove Leather stuff is quite unnecessary. Either that or don't treat that stuff as a hit.

6. A Creative Insert - Most of the inserts look like they're rehashed from last year. How about a Team MVP insert, with each team's best player from the previous year. Or something similar to UD's Pure Heat insert. Something needs to change on that front.

7. Stick to simple Autos/Relics - Do we need jersey cards of Mantle and jumbo patches in base level Topps? No. Just keep it to simple jersey cards and autos to keep the price down.

And finally:
8. No more Cut Signatures - Save that stuff for a higher end product. Again, not needed in a product like this.

From what I've seen, Topps did a pretty good job with 2011 Series 1, but they should really make some changes. There are other products to satisfy Joe Collectors and card-flippers. Now, I still need to go bust some of this stuff...