But I saw this today while scouring the 'net and saw that Topps' new high-end product, Five-Star Baseball is out now. Okay, I don't collect high end stuff, so that's not what got my attention.
The Topps Five-Star Club. It's an exclusive club that Topps is creating for the "most passionate collectors." The perks look great including (I'm noting all of this in the event you can't see the image):
- A personalized membership card
- Exclusive autograph cards every quarter
- Exclusive Five Star Football and Baseball Parallels
- Quarterly calls with Topps employees
- Topps VIP Status at National Events (includes exclusive giveaways...that alone would make me want to be a part of this)
There's a catch though...
Potential members will need to "submit an attached application (see below) with the following items":
- A letter of reference from your hobby store or online retailer
- Evidence that you spent $10,000 or more on Topps product per year (evidence can include receipts, pictures of your collection, or a specification in the letter of reference from your hobby shop)
- A 500-word essay explaining why you should be a member of the Topps Five Star Club
I know I spend a lot of money on my Hobby...a lot of us do. But I know for sure that I don't spend $10,000 on cards, even during a good year. The economy the way it's been certainly wouldn't allow me (let alone my family wouldn't allow me to do so) to spend that much money on cards in a year. There are not that many Hobby shops left in my area that I can go to and say, "could you tell Topps that I'm a really good customer and spend ten grand with you guys a year?" There are only, oh let's say, two card shops in my immediate area, two more that are within driving distance, and maybe one or two shops if I really wanted to take a drive. I've spent more money at the big box stores than at Hobby shops, and I certainly don't save all the receipts (well, at least after I balance my checkbook, then they're off to the shredder).
I have no problem writing the essay. Heck, I write a blog about...that's right...
It shouldn't be that hard, especially since I've been busy filling out job applications, what's one more.
I feel bad though. It would be nice to join a club and feel like a VIP customer with a company I wholeheartedly support, but to reach that threshold of 10 grand is a bit steep. I guess that's why Topps is saying that "Membership in the club will be limited." But to who?
I can think of a couple of collectors I've met over the years that would probably (most likely) qualify on the amount of money they've spent over the years. I've already been talking to one via twitter now. But even he's thinking that "this club seems to be more of an Elitist club." He's still not sure at this time if he wants to join, but he believes that "Topps needs to have a Collectors club as well."
If you do want to take a chance and see if you can be a member of Topps' Five-Star Club, here is the application:
Good luck to those who are going to take the plunge. Just be nice and try to remain in "good standing" for the year you become a member. And most importantly, make sure you "present Topps in a positive light in any statements...including but not limited to, press, blogs, and social media postings."