Suggestions to Fix Expired Redemptions

Expired redemptions are a black mark on the hobby today. When you open a pack or a box of older cards you always fear the worst. You don’t fear a career minor leaguer, you don’t fear being shorted hits, and you don’t fear pulling a Gypsy Queen jewel relic (or something like it). You fear pulling an expired redemption, especially if it’s of a great player. I was watching some YouTube box breaks today and saw someone pull an expired Sidney Crosby autograph. How crappy does that guy feel?

Redemptions are in the product because the athlete had not signed the card (or sticker, jersey, etc.) and it was not back in the factory at the time of pack out. That leaves little printed stickers on cardboard telling you they owe you a card. Also on that card is an expiration date. Why? Some states apparently consider redemption cards “sweepstakes” and there must be a definite start date and end date.

First, why not make the end date 10 years from the start date? Extending the redemption end period would solve so many problems. Upper Deck has claimed close to 90% of redemptions are claimed within the two years. How about making it 99% and extending the redemption dates? Especially for those players that take forever to sign. I’m talking to you Vince Carter and Monta Ellis.

Speaking of players taking forever or not signing, why not add in a little something to the contract? If you do not autograph these items by xx/xx/xx your contract for this product is void and you are not getting your money. Hit them where it hurts. I know you want to get checklists out and promos out ahead of time but which is worse? A late checklist or angry customers because they never get their redemption? It should be focused on customers first.

But what is done with the cards once the redemption has ended? Some companies use those cards as replacements to other redemptions that people have sent in. Others are known to destroy those cards. Why in the world would you destroy them? Why not just use some of the older redemption cards as replacements for an expired redemption? How about a box of cards from the latest product for those higher end redemptions? What about another sport? I’m just tire kicking here but there has to be something the company can do.

You want to “bring back the card shop” then do something to help make their boxes worth something if they have extra product laying around. Prices of boxes with expired redemptions are dropping and the “hobby shops” you all adore are having to take losses because of these redemptions. They will continue that trend for as long as redemptions are in products and expire after two years. How much will you be able to get Panini Limited hockey for after their redemptions expire? (In case you don’t get the reference, some Limited boxes have had as many as 3 redemptions inside.)

What Box To Break?

Well I was hoping to bring a nice surprise retail break today of Gypsy Queen since everyone else is doing it, but Fred Meyer did not have any Gypsy Queen to be had. Sorry, I’m not going to drive a half-hour to try Target or go get shot at my Wal-Mart 20 minutes away. So with no Gypsies or Queens to be had, I pocketed the money to wait. There was a plethora of 2010 blasters available at my disposal, but nothing I really wanted. Oh, and NO HOCKEY! Why do I have to live in a state without any hockey love. Our WHL team is in the finals and they can’t even fill the lower bowl at the Rose Garden. So, my attempt to bring Gypsy Queen has failed.

So that leaves me with pretending I had cards to open. I was stuck looking at previews of products soon to come out. Sure, I have a little money in my PayPal account but it’ll take forever to get a hobby box here. Plus, I WAS going to save the majority of it for a couple boxes of 2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate hockey but it was delayed…again, like every other Upper Deck product. I think it was pushed another month to June 24th. Same thing happened when I wanted to buy The Cup last year. I had the money available and they kept pushing it back. I ended up spending the money on something else.

Okay, I’m done ranting on that.

But a good thing did happen today. After I got home from failing to find some GQ, I looked in my mailbox and received a package from Panini. In March, I had opened a box of Certified hockey up in Edmonton and did not receive the correct number of hits. I’ve never requested a replacement before as I figured it was just luck of the draw but this time I did. I sent in all the information and my replacement was received today. It was this:

2010-11 Certified Certified Champion Jordan Staal Auto #/50

Not bad for a replacement, wish it was his brother Eric though. It’s definitely better then nothing and I thank Panini for sending me the hit I was missing in my box.

Speaking of boxes, I really want to open some boxes. I want to open one hobby box from each sport and review it here, preferably using each of the major card companies. So I need ideas. I also wouldn’t mind just one from each card company so we can see what each one brings to the table.

I would like at least one Topps, one Panini, and one Upper Deck. If I have anything extra I could try some ITG too. What should I review? Let me know your thoughts.

No Purchase Necessary (NPN)

Do you love the gamble of opening packs or boxes of product? So do I. Well the fact is that it pretty much is a gamble when you buy a pack of cards as you are hoping to pull something big. The odds are stacked against you to pull an insert, game used, autograph, etc. Well because the odds are stacked against you, companies had to create the option of getting one of those cards for free or else they would have to limit the people who could buy packs. If they had to limit the people then obviously the customer base would get smaller and since it would then be considered gambling, it would have to be heavily taxed.

No Purchase Necessary (NPN) is found on the back of all your packs of cards that you open. Right after it gives you the odds of what you can pull, the NPN information is located. Usually it requires you to send an index card with your name, address, and telephone number to an address. Upper Deck’s NPN is slightly different, and in my opinion better. They have you go to the Upper Deck NPN website. I likeĀ  their NPN system better because you don’t have to go through the effort of filling out an index card, putting it in an envelope, and then paying for a stamp. Using the online system you never have to worry about the postal service getting your mail there. I’d love it if every company adopted that system.

Plus if you’re Canadian and terrible at math, you don’t have to answer the always funny “skill testings” question. In case you Canadians are wondering, the reasoning behind the question is basically that Canadian law does not ban gambling if it is a “skill” game instead of just plain gambling odds. So if you Canadians are good at math, that is considered a “skill”. I always thought the best Canadian skill was people with good manners and creating poutine (just kidding, I love you neighbors to the north). The sad thing is, I don’t think you have to actually get the answer right.

I’ve probably entered 10 NPN sweepstakes in my sports card collecting career, accumulating one winning prize. A 2009 O-Pee-Chee Premier Alex Tanguay autograph #/50. I am mainly an autograph collector so I was stoked when that prize came in from Upper Deck. I know it’s not a high value card, but a free card? Can’t beat that.

Semi-Preview: 2011 Topps Football (with new annoucement!)

2011 Topps football just got an upgrade.

In a hobby jumbo box there was going to be the standard 2 autographs and 1 relic per box, but they have upgraded it to feature 2 autographs and 1 rookie patch relic per box. Topps has seen the market and what consumers are wanting more of…and that is patches.

Collectors love patches. Even the one color patches usually bring out more joy then a 2 color regular jersey. A multi-color or multi-break patch brings out the same adjective every time it is pulled. Sick. Logo patches? Sick. Emblem patches? Sick. Now 2011 Topps football will bring you sickness in just about every box!

Topps has posted its announcement.

Now here’s the part where I get sick.

God I dislike Cam Newton. Not only did he do terribly unethical things in college that weren’t proven (but we all know he did them), he defeated my Ducks for the National Championship. Now the Ducks can’t even claim the championship when the title gets vacated.

At least the design is pleasing to the eyes, I just wish it wasn’t “Event Worn”. I need to cross out Cam Newton and put in someone better. How about Julius Thomas from Portland State University? The kid is from the school I graduated from in 2010 and will probably be the most productive NFL player from our university. Adam Hayward of my Tampa Bay Buccaneers probably holds that distinction. Okay, off those tangents…

Some of the new features of 2011 Topps football are rookie letter patches, on-patch autographs and Game Day jumbo relics and relic autographs. Also is a ton of new Super Bowl sets that may or may not blow your socks off, including redemptions for replica Super Bowl rings. 2011 Topps football looks to be loaded with interesting new sets for you to collect. This is looking like a fun product to bust.

Topps 2011 football is set to release July 28, 2011.

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Releases Today – Missing Hits!

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball released today exciting baseball collectors and especially those that love the 100 year old designs trading cards brought back in the day. Topps Gypsy Queen comes with a guarantee of 2 autographs and 2 relics per box and comes at a price tag just north of $100. I’ve heard rumors that DA Card World has sold out of this product so the demand is very high and prices should be expected to rise because of that.

Topps has come out with some solid baseball products this year, especially Topps Tribute which has been a stud of a product. Seriously, I have seen cases of this product ripped and really haven’t seen one terrible box. Prices have jumped over $100 since the release because of that. But Topps Gypsy Queen is doing something I haven’t seen a company do in a long time, short what seems to be every single box at least one hit.

It seems as though every box of Gypsy Queen is missing an autographed hit. A friend of mine opened 5 boxes of this product. Box 1 was missing an autograph. Box 2 was missing an autograph. Box 3 was missing both autographs. Box 4 was missing an autograph. Box 5 was missing an autograph. You can see that this isn’t merely a problem amongst a few boxes in the product, this appears to be a widespread problem.

Topps has responded quickly to this problem promising anyone who sends their UPC code in will receive their missing autograph. I don’t know which is worse, being shorted a hit in your box and then having to send in your UPC code or receiving a bunch of redemptions. Here is a link to the statement by Topps with information on how to receive your missing autographed hit.

Let’s hope Topps Quality Assurance gets ripped for this and takes the extra steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again, especially on a product that is selling this well.

What do you think of Gypsy Queen baseball?