Nick Foles Fake Patch Destruction – Courtesy of Freedom Cardboard

Fake patches have been ruining the hobby for years. Some of the most expensive cards currently in the hobby have been destroyed by collectors trying to replace the patches inside in order to get a higher value for the card. The more colors or breaks in the patch, the better the premium.

Well today, there is one less fake patch on the market. A Nick Foles autographed patch rookie card from Topps Inception was recently discovered to be fake. A fake patch card, once discovered, is generally considered worthless. Even more worthless than a regular Nick Foles autographed patch rookie card. (Ouch, sorry Nick.)

Check out this video below posted on Freedom Cardboard today and watch that fake go up in flames.

 

Open Letter (Idea) to CheckOutMyCards (COMC)

I’ve had these thoughts for quite some time. CheckOutMyCards has been a valuable asset to the hobby and is a great change in pace compared other sites out there to buy and sell cards. It reaches a huge audience and provides them one of the best opportunities to buy and sell sports cards and other items.

But why stop at buying and selling? Why not get back to what sports cards was all about? The trading. Sadly, I don’t have the direct contact information for Tim Getsch over at COMC. At least, I don’t think I do. So here is my open letter to CheckOutMyCards.

Tim,

Has COMC ever thought about including a trade option to the website? In 2011, Topps had a fabulous promotion where you unlocked cards and were able to trade them with other users without physically having the card themselves. I thought that was a fantastic idea even before that creation and would make a great website or business.

Sadly, I do not have the resources to create such a venture, nor the experience with software programming. But I do love the hobby. I think a trade function on COMC, or a sister-site, would be a great addition to the hobby and would provide another source of income for the business. Charging to list cards and ship cards would continue, but you could also charge $0.XX amount per trade as well. Essentially you can do this now by agreeing to buy a card from someone else and having them a buy a card from you for the same price. Why not make it easier to trade? Buyers and sellers are going to naturally want to find a way to improve their inventory, and besides buying low, selling high, or buying additional cards outside of COMC, being able to trade with another user of the site would provide them that opportunity.

It also gets down to what the basics of trading cards were all about, trading. I’m not talking about revolutionizing one of the greatest buy/sell sites that has been created. I’m talking about one more dimension to the product that would not only bring in MORE users, but allow the current users to do more with their inventories. Just my two cents. I’d love to see that option added.

Sincerely,

SCB

Again, I’m not changing the wheel or anything here. But making it easier for collectors and people in the marketplace move their cards in an easier fashion. With their current infrastructure, how difficult can it be?

I would love to take all of my traders, send them to COMC, put a price on them in case others want to buy them, but also have the opportunity to trade for some cards I do collect and pay to have them sent back to me. It would be, hands down, the safest place on the internet to trade cards.

It’s worth a thought, isn’t it? What do you think?

Card Companies: It’s Not All About Rookies

I continue to open boxes and packs of cards, in every sport. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, I love collecting every one of those sports. These past couple years, with every box and pack that I open I continue to pull more and more “rookie” hit cards. The vast majority, and I mean vast, continues to be rookie autographs or memorabilia cards. Sometimes scrubs, sometimes future stars of the game. And that disappoints me.

When I got back into collecting in 2005, this wasn’t always the case. I would receive hit cards from superstars and stars on a consistent basis. Cal Ripken Jr., Deion Sanders, Roger Clemens, I was pulling hit cards of veteran players and retired stars from just about every single box. Now, it’s one out of every 4-5 boxes. And that disappoints me.

Now I haven’t posted my review of this product yet since I’m a little backed up, but I opened a box of 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used hockey a week or so ago. It was fantastic. Do you know why though? I did not pull one single rookie autograph or memorabilia card. It was that anti-rookie card box. Every box I’ve opened this season has been rookies and more rookies, but this time, I pulled a bunch of jerseys of veteran players, most All-Stars even, and autographs from Eric Staal and Jordan Eberle. And that made me happy.

It sounds weird to say, doesn’t it? I pulled a bunch of hit cards, all of players I’ve heard of, I’ve been able to watch play over the past couple of years, and know that they are staying in the NHL. It was the anti-rookie box and it made me feel good while opening it and reaping the rewards afterwards of some solid hits all around.

Now I’m not saying get rid of rookie cards or memorabilia hits. They are definitely needed in the hobby. They are cheaper for companies to attain and produce, and are sometimes the only cards you might find of someone for a few years. We saw what happened with Jeremy Lin. But does every single product need to contain all these rookie hit cards? Absolutely not. And that disappoints me.

It can be better. I think it may come to the point where boxes of cards or products need to guarantee at least one veteran autograph per box and one rookie autograph per box. I’ve said before, how much more is an autograph of someone like Logan Mankins, Jeff Saturday, or skill position players that aren’t exactly superstars, but everyone knows their names? Fantasy football is huge, most people can name almost the entire set of skill positions on a team.

Or maybe a product where we don’t have rookie autographs. Panini Classics hockey was fun because you knew that you were going to get autographs of players you’ve seen skate before, some Hall of Famers, fan favorites, it was a fun product. Topps Fan Favorites baseball, same thing! Upper Deck Past Time Pennants, there have been some great products out there that give non-rookie collectors, non-flippers, something to collect.

Me? I may be biased because I don’t collect rookies and I generally don’t buy cards to flip them. I am really picky when I purchase my own cards. I make sure I know what I’m getting into and understand the hit checklists. I watch YouTube videos and read about box breaks on forums. I know what I want, and if the product doesn’t provide me with what I want, I choose something else. Yeah, I bought Topps Strata. I knew it was all rookie autographs, but it was a fun product with the technology. I also bought SPGU hockey because of the lack of rookies and all the veteran hits I saw coming out of it. I would of bought Museum Collection if prices didn’t skyrocket (missed the boat on that one.) A product with good veteran content is now too difficult to find, maybe 1-2 products a year out of 15 products per sport. And that disappoints me.

Give me a good product with one rookie hit, a few good veteran hits, and I’ll buy it every time.

Card Companies: Please Keep Things Fresh

Keeping it fresh.

That should be the motto of card companies nowadays. There are many ways the card companies are keeping it fresh. New innovations in card technology. New types of memorabilia. All are great and should continue. The only issue with these is that they come out in the same products every year. So I propose a solution.

Rotating products.

Besides the flagship product, the sell-well mid-end product and the ultra high end product, there needs to be more change in all the filler products. Every year we have Panini Limited, we have Upper Deck SPx, we have Topps Opening Day. Why can’t there be new, creative products put out to mix in with those others that are put out year after year…and then just rotate them. Put out SPx every other year, put out Limited every other year, you get what I’m saying. Replace those spots in a calendar with a new product and see what works. You can build more hype, you have more opportunity to innovate, and it creates an atmosphere that is less stale.

It’s just an idea. I hate to see product go the way of the Madden football games or just become more repetitive in nature. It seems like companies don’t want to retire certain products when they have long outstayed their welcome. This would be a good way to change that.

2012 Topps Gold Rush Signed Baseballs – Truly A Game “Changer”

As most know, I love to read the boards of various internet sports card communities and check up on hot prospects (which I know nothing about) and little bits of sports card news that should be spread like wildfire. Well this is another one.

If you don’t remember the information about the Topps Gold Rush that headed to hobby shops last year, you missed out on a pretty cool promotion from Topps. It got people out the hobby shops and helped drive sales to shops and to new Topps products. One of the coolest features were several “Golden Tickets” that were put into these promo boxes which entitled the winners to a “gold infused” baseball signed by Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Ken Griffey Jr. How awesome is that?

As you can see on that link to a thread on Freedom Cardboard, those shops and people ended up getting royally screwed. Allegedly, Topps now claims they are unable to fulfill the winning ticket prizes for those items and have in return sent them cases of 2012 Topps Archives. Admittedly, Archives is a fun product to bust. But a case of Archives over a specially signed ball from three of the greatest home run hitters of all time? One of their cheapest products of the year?

My God, Topps. At least send them autographs of the individuals who were supposed to be on the ball. Maybe make a special print run of cards where they can sign the special cards for those people. Or maybe give them a chance at pulling an autograph from those guys…send them a case of Tribute or something worth something. I especially feel bad for those that bought those “golden tickets” on eBay expecting a great piece of memorabilia and instead got Archives.

Thanks Topps! I know your customer service had been crappy as of late, but that doesn’t help your cause. Step up, be the big man, and do something good for your hobby shops and customers who were affected.

Update: I like to think that the pressure from collectors made a difference here. It looks like things are starting to move forward!