Million Dollar Question – ‘If Your Ran Topps’ Flagship Product, How Would You Release It?’
This week’s‘Million Dollar Question’ comes as a result of a recent email conversation I had with ’30-YOC’ reader Matt about Topps and their over-saturation of the baseball card release date calendar. Matt shared a link with me to from www.blowoutcards.com that was a pretty lively discussion about how Topps releases their flagship product and what could be done to improve that set and the collecting experience for loyal builders of the set. In my opinion, some of the points were horrible, some were interesting, and many were not practical at all. Still, it was nice to see such lively chatter and care from a handful of collectors that are passionate about the hobby.
Matt and I went back and forth with ideas that we had on what minor and major changes Topps could implement that we thought would be an improvement. That has led me to this week’s Million Dollar Question – ‘If Your Ran Topps’ Flagship Product, How Would You Release It?’
Currently, the Topps set is released in four waves – Series 1, Opening Day, Series 2, and Update. Series 1 is released in January, Opening Day in March, Series 2 in June, and Update comes out in October. Normally, I would like this approach as it allows you to enjoy aspects of the baseball season as they unfold – players starring on new teams, emerging rookies, in-season trades, All-Star festivities, and more. What this also does, is overcrowd the calendar – quite a bit! And while I am a big fan of the subsets, I certainly don’t need 10 Mike Trout cards or Clayton Kershaw cards just from the flagship set.
So, if I was running the Topps production and product release schedule, this is how I would do it:
*March – Release the full flagship set with emphasis on new players on new teams, current team rosters, highlights and World Series cards from prior season
*May – Release the Opening Day set with one card for every player on the starting roster, plus manager cards, for every team
*August – Release an All-Star set, not sold in packs, only sold in hobby shops or through Topps. All cards to honor the HR Derby, All-Star rosters, and highlights from the game and surrounding festivities
*October – Release the Update set which will include all trades from the season and rookies not included in the March release. Also commemorate any player that retires during the season.
Basically, I would like to take the Topps flagship set back to its roots. By limiting the amount of sets, it makes the task of completing them and staying current easier for all. And I think that an exclusive All-Star set would be a nice attraction for the hobby shops to enjoy.
I also really think that Topps fails with their Opening Day sets as they are currently presented. While I like the card’s extra ‘Opening Day’ logo, I just don’t understand how one team can be represented with three cards in a set like this while others get 7,8, or 9. I’d love to see this set get back to what it used to be – kind like the 1987 Donruss version.
So, if you had a chance to make a suggestion to the people at Topps, how would you change the way that their flagship set is offered? How would you release the cards and what would you do to maintain interest throughout the season?