Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Now This is a Brilliant Idea

Topps is trying, really trying, to branch out on the "Entertainment" side of their business. They have MLB and MiLB locked up for a long time, and although the countdown before their NFL contract expires, MLS and WWE might not necessarily pick up the slack.

Last year, Topps started issuing canvas prints of individual cards from the 80's, and then 70's, of many fan favorites, suitable for framing (Topps even supplies the frames). At the time I was working at the framed art place, I thought this was a brilliant idea. Too bad they didn't take me up on the idea of trying to license these for framing. But hey, I no longer work there, and it doesn't matter to me what they do now (lost opportunity I tell you...but I digress).

Topps has also reached deep into the archives for more pictures of the games past, issuing prints of unused pictures of stars that didn't make it onto the cards.

Now Topps has come up with their best idea yet, and if it wasn't limited to 99 per run, I'd be placing my orders.

This time, they are taking the complete (as of 2014) run of cards of a certain player. With guys like the White Sox' Paul Konerko, and that guy from New York that's retiring as well as two of the six initial subjects, Topps is now featuring on their website a framed art display of all of their cards (almost...I'll explain in a bit) in one completely product.

A fitting tribute for Paul Konerko, and this is coming from a Cubs fan.

Look at that. All of Konerko's base Topps cards from 1995 through 2014 (so he didn't have any Topps cards in 1997 and 1998), and with the exception of the first three cards, it's a complete retrospective of Paulie's White Sox career, with a black and white picture of the man himself included. I have all of these cards (along with the cards of the other guys), and I have to say, this looks really good.

You can bet that Topps will be adding a lot more subjects to this set of products. They've got the card library to do it. And what better way to display the cards of the guy you idolize? A couple of caveats though:

  • These are only pictures of the cards, they are not going to put actual cards in this product. That would be insane.
  • The horizontal cards are displayed vertically and facing the left. Either Topps should have had these displayed the correct way or at least facing to the right. But I get the reasoning why, as there is only so much space.
There are six subjects in this initial run. Besides Paulie, Miguel Cabrera (complete with a Topps 203 card), David Ortiz, David Wright, Albert Pujols, and oh yeah, Derek Jeter, get the retrospective treatment. Maybe they should have kept it to the two retired guys, and probably a couple of recently retired legends (who wouldn't want to see a Chipper Jones retrospective or a complete run of Todd Helton cards all displayed with the Rockies all-time great?) I mean the other four guys still will have cards going forward, and Wright's art piece consists of nine card images.

Here are the rest of the images, in case you're curious.

Oh yeah, did I mention Topps is only making 99 copies of each? For Konerko and Jeter, these are fitting tributes to their long and illustrious careers.


JayBee Anama


P-town Tom said...

That's a pretty nice idea. If they're only using pictures of each card I have to imagine that Topps will eventually dip into other past players as well. A whole run of Nolan Ryan Cards would be neat to see for instance.

RAZ said...

I agree that the horizontal cards are facing the wrong way. It's a pretty cool product idea. I like the Nolan Ryan and Todd Helton suggestions.

PhilM said...

I love this -- this is how I prefer to collect my favorite players, with a (usually) two-page spread so I can see their entire careers at a glance in the binder: Ron Guidry and Don Mattingly look great, and Jeter is almost complete -- as long as they make a 2015 card for him! Sometimes Topps skips the final year: I'm looking at you, Andy Pettitte. . . .

TDLindgren said...

I agree on the horizontal cards. Would love to see Topps do some retired players as well. Sandberg, Banks, Schmidt, Brett, Frank Robinson, etc.

Anonymous said...

I think they should have waited on Jeter - my guess is they will have a 2015 card of him. They had one of Helton and Rivera (Rivera would be another good addition).

I agree on the horizonal cards - put them to the right if you need to do vertical.

PhilM said...

Regarding Rivera, there's a great "Topps cards featured on Topps cards" example:
I think this would be a great way for Topps to dig into their greatest asset (their long history) and create full-career displays for players like Ryan, Ripken, Maddux, et al.