Topps & MLB Sitting In A Tree, Until 2020

Seven more years. Seven. 7. Siete. Sette. Clicking noises.

Why has the MLB continued the exclusive license with Topps to produce baseball cards, again? Most people are guessing that Topps just threw a boatload of cash at the MLB and said, “Here! Take as much money as you need so we don’t have any competition. Panini has been catching up a little too quickly to our liking.”

The press article on Sports Collector Daily has these remarks from the senior licensing man in charge with MLB. “Since making Topps our exclusive baseball card licensee, they have continually validated that decision by bringing clarity to the marketplace and reinvigorating the hobby, especially among young people,” said Howard Smith, senior vice president, Licensing, Major League Baseball. “Generations of baseball fans have grown more attached to the game through collecting baseball cards, and Topps is continually coming up with new and creative ways to reach the next generation.”

My Buddha almighty in Enlightenment! (That sounds about right.) What a load of garbage spewed by the MLB on this matter. Let’s see, Topps has held the MLB license since 2010? What have they changed in bringing clarity to the marketplace? Prospect cards and rookie cards with a fancy logo that still confuses collectors? Reinvigorating the hobby? The only invigorating I see is by collectors with pitchforks. Oh, and with young people you say? With what products? Stickers? Topps has come out with more high-end products since then than anything else.

It isn’t like I haven’t made it known before, but as a collector I hate exclusive licenses. I hate that the MLB and Topps are exclusive. I hate that Panini and the NBA are best buds, despite what you may think about me being a Panini fan-boy. And I hate that the NHL isn’t giving ITG a full license.

Folks around the community are up in arms about the signing. Small sample size on vocal boards, I know, but the issue has been causing a ruckus on Twitter since its announcement as well.

I wonder if there will be a new edition of Topps Monopoly baseball coming to stores soon?

Obviously, collectors voices haven’t been heard in this matter, nor do I think the MLB really cares. But for shits and giggles, MLB.com has information here on how to contact their licensing department:

For licensing information, please send an e-mail to the following addresses:

Wait a minute, that’s not Howard Smith’s email. Maybe try Howard.Smith? Somebody, somewhere has to listen to the collectors. This is an issue with Topps looking out for their own business, which is fine, but listening to collectors over this isn’t in their best interest. The best place to go would be with the MLB, where they ultimately decide they want an exclusive.

Anyway, I’m not writing this to ream Topps. It’s really not even their fault. They are a business and their job to make money. If offering a ton of money to do so makes them more money, then by all means, go ahead and do it. Your shareholders will love you. A recent article by Sports Card Radio details that part nicely. If you want to blame anybody, blame Major League Baseball. They took the offer as it was all about money.

I understand, it’s just business. And I do like to collect some Topps baseball products. But I have a new motto: “Try and have fun until 2021!”

 

We Are The 99%

I am part of the 99%. Well I am part of the 99% of collectors out there who would like to see an end to exclusive licenses for sports card products. It’s time to occupy. I don’t really know what there is to occupy as everything is already occupied, but we should occupy something.

Competition is the best part about the market. You know what I love about collecting professional hockey and professional football products? The companies seem to always be trying to outdo each other with their products. Panini is trying hard to beat Upper Deck in the hockey arena and has made Upper Deck work harder as they are hot on their tails. Topps is trying to beat Panini in the football cards area and some would argue that this year they may have done that with some products or in some facets of their products.

But where is the competition in baseball and basketball? I mean no offense to Upper Deck’s collegiate licensing or Leaf with their baseball products, but there aren’t any professionally licensed opponents creating competition for those two sports. There have been a lot of complaints that the exclusive licenses are killing these sports cards and people want an alternative.

All of that might be changing soon though. Upper Deck has been making great strides with it’s collegiate licensed products. Panini has just acquired a MLBPA license and will start creating more baseball products this season. Leaf is getting bigger and more popular as well in baseball and has a following in football, along with Press Pass. I believe the MLB exclusive license with Topps ends in 2013. I believe 2013 may be the date for the end of Panini’s exclusive license with the NBA as well. Maybe we’ll see some real game-changers in 2013.

In the end, will the 99% get what they want or will the people with the money be making all the decisions on what they think is best for their respective companies?

2011 Topps Monopoly Baseball

Something that his been moving like a virus across the baseball blogosphere is the preview and reveal of 2011 Topps Monopoly baseball. I mean, have you seen the YouTube video of this product yet?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moLKtOAzLoU]

Absolutely amazing.

The first time I read about this product is on one of my favorite sports card blogs, The Mojo Beard. Make sure to check their site for a full blown preview of the product. I would do a preview myself, but I wouldn’t do it as much great justice as Beardy could over on his blog.

This product looks stacked and you should go to Wal-Mart or whatever and try and find a box.

OMG! More preview images leaked  of 2011 Topps Monopoly baseball!

Speaking of boxes, Brent and Becca are opening up like 35 cases of 2011 Allen & Ginter. Some may call them crazy, but I would call them genius. Especially since I got dibs on Oregon and Connecticut if they pull either one of those state cards. That is quite possibly the biggest case break of any product I have ever seen. I can’t even afford to get one case of Allen & Ginter. I just want to open one! I do have my box coming in for the Gint-A-Cuffs contest so let’s hope for a victory in my part of opening up the product!

Keep on truckin’ ladies and gentlemen. I’m going to take a nap.