Friday, February 10, 2012

So You Hate 2012 Topps...We Get It!

As a loyal Topps Baseball Card Collector, I know that many "critics" within the Hobby have called collectors like me "sheep" because we will collect the flagship product no matter what. Let me answer my stand on this matter with a loud and proud "BAAAAAAAAAA!!!"

The reason for the title of my post is two-fold. One, because I know the titles of my posts show up on Twitter. Second is because while I respect everyone's take on the eponymous product, good and bad, I am extremely disappointed with those who are to the point of flaunting their dislike of the product for petty reasons.

Not liking the photo selection? I get that. There will always be questionable picture choices with every product. Not liking the product overall because there is a card with a squirrel running around? To the point where you are, at EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY, announcing that you're not going to buy it???


If you followed the hullabaloo on Twitter (follow me at @bdj610), the new writer at a blog that I had never heard of (it's not a card blog, but a baseball blog whose writers didn't realize that there are blogs about the Hobby of baseball card collecting) was disappointed with her sampling of this year's flagship. It caused a twitterstorm of responses. The ones who have repeatedly shown their displeasure felt justified in their reasoning thanks to the writer. Others responded that there were other reasons afoot that the first group would stubbornly ignore.

Frankly, I liked the article. If I was writing this post on a computer instead of my phone, I'd link it here. I think she (yes, the writer was a lady) even used my TRCotD picture of a 1994 Topps Chris Sabo card article. She wrote that she was a collector who picked up the Hobby as a young girl and once again as she got older. She traditionally opens a pack of cards on Opening Day. But she was disappointed with some of the pictures (describing them as being taken from behind a net and that the blurred batter takes away from the picture of the pitcher). But then she brought up the squirrel card and how the player himself was disappointed with the card. She also began to question whether or not to continue buying this year's flagship. And then she questioned if she could achieve the same excitement about new cards.

My point (and if you've read the above wondering if I have one, well I have one) is that opinions are just that...OPINIONS!!! I respect the fact that you have openly described your dislke about the product and how you think the Company is lax in their product development. At the same time, please understand that I actually like the product, SP'd rodents and all. We all have read that interest in the Hobby we share is waning if not dying (another opinion). This is (and no, I am not being paid to say this) Topps' way of sparking interest in their product.

And it's working!

Thanks to the publicity the Rally Squirrel card has provided, people are talking about our Hobby again. People inside and outside our Hobby circles are talking about card collecting. And people are buying and collecting again. Was this because of "gimmicks?" Perhaps. They certainly get people talking. It's such a polarizing topic. Some people think this is a bad thing. But those naysayers have yet to give me a real reason why they think the way they do.

Yes, competition is a good thing. I get that. But before MLB Properties cut the number of licensees in half...TWICE...wasn't there just too much out there??? I think (another opinion) Topps having sole possession of the MLB license is a good thing (call me hypocritical because the NBA deal stinks).

Back to the article, specifically the part about excitement with new products. As collectors, regardless of what and how we collect, I am sure we will face the fact that our collecting will no longer be fun and exciting. Eventually, we will all "grow up" and realize that our discretionary income would be better spent elsewhere. Even the writer of this humble, little blog has faced this during the last few years.

But until I am no longer able to do it, until the players are younger than my own kids, or until they stop making them, I will still collect Topps Baseball Cards. I will always be a fan of MLB first, Topps collector next. You don't like the cards, the Company, or where you think the direction of where our Hobby is headed? Fine.

Just let those of us who like this product enjoy it, animals and all. If only as a reminder that baseball season is soon approaching.

Isn't that why we collect baseball cards in the first place?


JayBee Anama


hiflew said...

"describing them as being taken from behind a net and that the blurred batter takes away from the picture of the pitcher"

She had to have been talking about the Jhoulys Chacin card which should have been one of my favorites, but I don't like it either. There are some excellent cards in 2012 though such as Reed Johnson and Casey McGehee.

I am starting to come around a bit on 2012 Topps and yes I will probably end up with the set when all is said and done. However, I think the majority (myself included) are more upset with the phrase "game changer" being used to describe a set that is basically the exact same as the last few years.

Anonymous said...


Totally agree with your perspective on enjoying the set. I'm not a lamb just because I try to put my focus more on the good things about the set.

The write-up you mention is a very skewed one. She picked 2 of the worst photos in the set - but there are many great shots that are out there! Every set has some duds, and you could find a way to argue either way if you only look at 2 or 3 cards (except 1986 - I don't think there are 3 good pictures there :) ).

I will disagree with you (mostly) on the idea that having only Topps is good. Adding a second company doesn't mean MLB has to allow 17 (or whatever the number is ) products for each - so now we'd have 34. They could lessen the number per company. Say, allow each of them 10 - so now we'd have 20. About the same number, but it would force Topps to really come home with a winner in each product they put out there.

The only good thing I see that's beneficial about the monopoly is Topps ends up being the only company that makes sense for players to sign autograph and likeness deals with. So you don't have Griffey in Upper Deck but not Topps, Pujols in Topps not UD, etc. But that's a small thing compared to the fact that Topps doesn't have the same pressure to put out a star product each time.

Ryan said...

Amen! I've been following the Topps-bashing on blogs and Twitter too and I'm also getting sick of it. Lots of complaining, no legitimate solutions or suggestions on what the company should be doing to make the product better.

TDLindgren said...

I stated before that I was disapointed in 2012 Topps, but as they say "upon further review" I really like the Topps World Series Pin Set. The player selection is incredible (although why they have a Koufax from the '59 series and not '63 or '65 is beyond me), the pins look awesome and not only celebrate the great players, but also the great teams that won the World Series. They are a little pricey for me right now, but I'm seriously considering getting both sets from Series 1 and Series 2.

This subset got me exited about 2012 Topps!