Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Dear Mr. Eisner
By now I'm sure you've had time to let the dust settle a little bit from the announcement that Topps will be the exclusive manufacturer of major league baseball cards in 2010 and beyond. So let's take this time to have a friendly little chat.
You see, I'm one of the adult collectors that your company ran off two years ago. No, I wasn't one of the crybabies who stopped collecting because they felt their cards "weren't worth" anything. I'm also not one of the morons who couldn't discern a box of Topps cards from a box of Upper Deck cards when I was shopping at Target. And I'm damn sure not one of the losers who blog solely to let others know what I've pulled from a pack of baseball cards, or even worse make a youtube video of it for Christ's sake.
I am one of the guys who collects for the love of the hobby. I am one of the guys who loves sitting down on Saturday afternoons and opening a box of cards while watching a baseball game, then writing down the missing cards I need to complete a set and trying to get those cards by trading with friends or splurging on a few more packs or maybe even another box. Unfortunately, I haven't been that guy for two years now, and it falls directly on the shoulders of your company.
I've told my story a time or two on the blogs, but never before have I had your ear, so I'll tell it again. (BTW, what lovely ears you have. Oh c'mon, you didn't think I wasn't going to slip in a Mickey Mouse pun or two somewhere in here, did you?)
In 2007, I spent approximately $400 buying boxes and packs of Topps Series 1, Series 2, and the Update/Highlights series. And what exactly did that get me? Well it got me 10 cards short of a complete set, that's what it fucking got me. I did however get a boatload of Kenji Johjima insert cards (check it out sometime, there were like 35 different Johjima insert cards...) as well as a dozen or so Joe DiMaggio insert cards THAT ALL LOOKED EXACTLY THE SAME!!! Talk about a Mickey Mouse operation.....(ok, I'm done with the mouse jokes...)
Well that was pretty much all it took for me to give up putting sets together, something I started doing as a 9 year old kid in 1978. Why on earth would I want to drop that kind of cash to put together one set? Hell, why did I? Especially if I can wait until August and pick up a factory set at Target for $50? After 2007 I quit trying to put together sets, which led to me qutting buying boxes, which ultimately led me to quit buying packs. It'll be one year next month since I bought a pack of cards and opened them.
I know you're a busy guy, so I'll try to keep it brief. I'm only going to ask one thing of you. It's not even a big thing.
Please see to it that the Topps base set returns to being an affordable and collectible product.
That's not too much to ask is it?
By affordable, I mean lets stop this 6 cards for a $1 nonsense. I work in printing. You should feel ashamed for ripping people off like that. 12-15 cards is more than a reasonable amount for a pack of cards that costs a buck. It ought to be a crime to go pick up $20 in packs of cards and not even get 100 base cards by the time you subtract doubles and inserts.
By collectible, I mean stop it with the enormous amount of of inserts, short prints, variations, gimmick cards, etc. that flood the Topps base set every year and make it impossible to finish a set. Once upon a time Topps cards sold for the simple reason that they were the best. Now that you've got no competition, you've kinda won that title back by default. How about acting like it now? Produce a great looking set with great players, subsets, and rookie cards and let that be the reason why people want to buy it.
Now I'm not asking for you to revamp all your products. There are always going to be folks who invest simply hoping to pull an expensive card out of a pack and brag about it to all their friends. There are always going to be folks who can't sleep at night until they've hunted down every possible insert and variation to complete a master set. There are always going to be folks who blog about what they got out of a pack of cards. (Neither one of us can help these clowns, but I couldn't resist the temptation to bag on them twice!) The best part is you've already got plenty of products to keep all these people happy.
But how about just returning the base set to the collectors who purely love the fun of collecting?
I know you've talked about returning the hobby to the kids, and I'm all for it. I'd just like to take this time to point that you've lost a lot of the adults over the past few years too. The adults with really good jobs, who like to spend money on little pieces of cardboard. How about doing something to get us back too?
P.S. I've enclosed a 2008 RobbyT Placido Polanco and a 2009 RobbyT Alex Avila rookie card just for you. Since I quit buying cards I just started focusing on making my own. What do you think?