What A Great Week For Topps

This week Topps released Five Star Football, which is going to go down as one of the best products this year.  They have really stepped up to the plate and hit this extremely high-end product out of the park.  Then today Topps releases the following press release stating how they have teamed-up with ABRAMS to produce non-fiction and fiction books.  They also want to move into films.

I think this is a fantastic idea, and I can’t wait to see what comes out of the partnership.  I have so many ideas for non-fiction books its not even funny.  This has been a great week for Topps.

Press Release

“Topps, a leading global marketer of collectibles and confections, has granted ABRAMS, the preeminent publisher of illustrated books, an exclusive license to publish books inspired by Topps’ long-standing presence in sports and popular culture. The multi-year arrangement is expected to yield an array of non-fiction and fiction sports and entertainment-themed books and calendars, which will be published across all of the ABRAMS imprints, including Abrams ComicArts; Abrams Image; Abrams Books for Young Readers; Amulet Books; and Stewart, Tabori & Chang. The deal was negotiated at Topps by Ira Friedman, VP of Global Licensing, and at ABRAMS by Charles Kochman, Editorial Director. The first line of books is slated to release in spring of 2012.

“The word ‘Topps’ conjures up memories of collecting sports heroes and chronicling pop culture phenomena. Plus, who can forget the unmistakable aroma of Topps’ classic Bazooka bubble gum?” said Michael Jacobs, ABRAMS President and CEO. “We look forward to working with the Topps team to capitalize on the appeal of their iconic brand in all kinds of book formats, and look to provide great reading experiences for adults and kids of all ages.”

In 2008, Topps and ABRAMS collaborated on a project for the first time. An exquisitely produced, cleverly packaged full-color hardcover book based upon Topps’ own Wacky Packages parody property generated much acclaim, both critically and commercially, and spawned a follow-up edition as well as the first-ever Wacky Packages calendar. This initial relationship prompted discussions of other possible projects in the vast Topps’ portfolio, which led to the alliance.

“We welcome the opportunity to greatly expand our partnership with ABRAMS,” said Ryan O’Hara, Topps President and CEO. “ABRAMS is a best-in-class publisher whose reputation for quality, innovation, and success is indisputable. They also have a profound appreciation of Topps’ rich history and our powerful impact on consumers today. They not only understand our past but are also aligned with our vision for the future,” said O’Hara.

In addition to a focus on creating top-notch traditional books, the scope of the new venture encompasses cutting-edge formats and technologies, including electronic books. A fiction series geared primarily toward 7-10-year-old boys is also on the agenda. The new fiction will serve as potential media content, consistent with Topps’ strategy to expand into film, TV, and other media platforms.”

Making A Bold Prediction

I’m going to make a very bold prediction.  Someday one of the major card manufacturers will purchase a very valuable vintage card, cut it up, and insert various pieces into newer cards.  The signs have been there all along and it sure wouldn’t surprise me one bit.  Starting with products like TRISTAR Signa Cuts and slowly moving into more popular products like Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts, its not uncommon to find older cards cut up and reinserted into circulation.  I don’t like the idea of a company cutting up any type of card, even if its only worth one penny.  I really don’t like it when they destroy modern day cards like Topps does with their Pro Debut product.  There is absolutely no reason to cut up a perfectly good AFLAC autograph.  Just insert the whole card.  It would save a lot of time and money.  Hell, I’d settle for a redemption for the entire AFLAC autograph instead of this half breed of a card.

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I can’t believe Topps is doing this for a second year in a row.

Why don’t they just get it over with.  The next time a T206 Honus Wagner shows up for auction, buy it, and cut it up.  When does a card become more than just a card?  When does it become a relic worth cutting up?  What do you think the value of a T206 Honus Wagner relic would be?

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I Bet Wooden Uniforms Would Hurt

Wow!  This is what you call a total screw up by the people at Topps.  Do you notice anything unusual?

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When it comes to high-end products like Triple Threads, things like this shouldn’t happen.  The Hobby is filled with a ton of fake stuff already.  Do you have any idea how easy it would be for some scammer to take out that bat piece and insert their own manufactured patch?  Since the card says “Topps Certified Game-Worn Patch” most collectors would think its authentic.

I wonder what happened to the patch that should have gone in this card?

For more info, be sure to check out the thread started over on FCB.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1990 Topps Heads Up

Why,  Why, Why, would Topps create such a stupid product like 1990 Heads Up?  Who the hell would want oversized portraits of grown men’s heads?  I seriously don’t know what the people at Topps were smoking when they thought up this product.

Each box contains 24 packs each containing a pin-up head of a ballplayer.  I guess you can stick them on walls and lockers, but I don’t get the whole idea.  Apparently not too many other collectors got the idea either.  After 1990, these were never seen again.

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Baseball Card Pocket Watches

The Hobby is filled with a ton of strange stuff.  Baseball card pocket watches fit very well in this category.  I don’t think I could ever slice up a card, even if its a meaningless base card nobody gives two turds about.  The thought doesn’t even cross my mind when I think of vintage cards.  But apparently not everyone thinks like me (I’m shocked :)) and have cut up a few cards to insert into pocket watches.  I don’t like the idea when manufacturers rip autographed cards up to make cut signatures either.  This is just wrong.

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Monty Sheldon Wraps Up His ’09 Sketch Card Set

Sports artist Monty Sheldon has wrapped up his final eight sketch cards that will conclude his 2009 sketch card set.  Within the last year, Sheldon has drawn 250 sketch cards which have all been distributed through eBay.  These last eight cards include Chris Osgood, Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning and Zack Wheat.  Over the coarse of the last year, these cards have been selling for $50.00 to $200.00.  Collectors seem to like these sketch cards more than some of the ones that can be pulled from packs.  It won’t be long until he starts on his 2010 set.  Be sure to check out his auctions here.

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Catching Up with the Times

Did you know that Sports Card Info can be found on various social networking sites?  Sports Card Info can be found on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and The Cardboard Connection.  Be sure to check them all out for more videos, photos, and other stuff.  Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, or add me as a friend 🙂

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Flashback Product of the Week: 2002 Pacific Heads Up Football

2002 Pacific Heads Up Football had an interesting concept to it.  Every box came with a bobble head figure as a box topper.  Even though this sounds like a cool idea, collectors really didn’t seem to like it which is why this brand didn’t stick around for too long.  In addition to the bobble head figure, each box came with 18 packs with 6 cards per pack.  You also should pull two quad relic cards per box too.  The bobble heads were each numbered to 1,000 copies and sell for very little on the secondary market.  Pacific made an Update set for the 2002 product and then they went on to produce a few hockey sets like this.  I think the only bobble heads that collectors are interested in would be the ones that are used as stadium giveaways.

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I find this disturbing

Cutting up a baseball card to create another baseball card.  What is the world coming to?  Tristar isn’t the first company to do this either.  A few years ago Donruss made a signature set where they cut up autographed cards from their 1997 Signature Series set.  Why would they do this?  I sure hope more companies don’t start doing this.  If Topps purchased an original T206 Honus Wagner card, I wonder if they would cut it up and insert it into a card?  That way many collectors could own part of a Wagner card.  I think it would be terrible if a company did something like that.  I would rather have them insert the whole card, instead of it piece by piece.