Posts Tagged ‘Topps’

One of the most annoying thing to me in this hobby is the rise in the pricing of what many call the “high end” products. I’m talking your UD Premier, Black, Exquisite and Topps Triple Threads, Sterling. Granted, you will pull some nice cards from these boxes, but you also pull a ton of garbage.

What really bugs me the most is that these card companies aren’t really even putting the value into the box. If someone is paying around $180 for a box of Triple Threads, they shouldn’t have to suffer through a pull of a autographed triple relic (all single color swatches) of Bill White. Yes, the same Bill White (Texas) who pitches a total of 9 innings in 2007 and then posted a 20+ ERA in 4 innings this year and was recently outrighted to the minors. I’m sure Bill is a wonderful person, but where the hell is the value there?!?! Topps isn’t alone in this mess. Upper Deck does the same crap and tries to wow us with single color swatches and call them “high end”.

In addition to lame relics and lame players, the value on these cards just doesn’t really hold up to the MSRP they slap on there. Last night I won an auction for a UD Black Justin Morneau autographed card. This is a product that was priced at nearly $200 per box when it was released (I could be wrong on that so someone correct me if I am). I grabbed the card for a paltry $14.

So here is my plea to Topps and Upper Deck….FIX THIS! You have two options. You can either: A) Fill these products with cards that are worth the price. I’m talking patches only. There is no reason to have single color swatches in products this expensive. And only put players in there that are stars. Don’t give me long time minor league guys that get a call late in the season and super sub bench players. Or B) Lower the price on these products to better reflect the stuff in the boxes. No one is getting their money’s worth with what you’re asking for now.

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It’s been a slow week on the acquisition front (although I’ll have a post tonight after I can get some scans) so I thought I would post about some of the remaining 2008 baseball products (in order of current release date) from a Morneau and general perspective.

2008 UD SP Authentic
Release Date:
After having “By the Letter” sets in each of the last two SPA products, Upper Deck has thankfully left Morneau out of that line this year. Last year’s product was a major headache for some player collectors as the BTL cards had more than one combination and different numbering. The base cards are blah and I imagine they’ll be the same this year. With boxes over $90 per, I’ll be passing on this until the price drops down a ton, which it will if this product is anything like last year.

2008 Topps Stadium Club
Release Date
: 11/5
This is one of those products that I really have no idea on. I haven’t seen a checklist on this anywhere so I have no idea if Justin Morneau will have anything in here other than a base card. The boxes here are pretty pricey (~$220 per), but you do get 12 autographed cards and some other goodies per box. Now, if the auto checklist is better than the crap list from this year’s Triple Threads, then I could see maybe picking up a box. But the fact that we’re now less than a month out for this one and I haven’t seen a checklist makes me think this will end up being overpriced garbage.

2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot
Release Date:
Normally Sweet Spot is a pretty good product for player collectors. Each player seems to have a few different cards with varying material (ball leather, bat, glove leather) and various inks used for signatures. Plus, these cards don’t hold a ton of value and can be picked up on the cheap on the secondary market. You get 6 packs per box this year and only one will have the “Sweet Spot” autographed card. It strays from the tin idea last year with 1 pack per tin and the auto in that pack. This is more like how Sweet Spot was initially with the boxes with multiple packs. The checklist shows a Morneau “Sweet Spot” card but that’s all it says. Hard to say if this product will be worth the coin (~$100 per box), but my guess is that it will fall well short. This is another “wait until the market bottoms out” product.

2008 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection
Release Date:
Hopefully I’m not alone in thinking this way, but last year’s Ultimate was a train wreck! Ugly cards, bad relic pieces, lame checklist, and seriously overpriced. There are Morneau cards from that product that I have absolutely ZERO interest in chasing. This year it looks like UD has decided to try to really beef up this product. Morneau doesn’t appear in the current checklist all that much….just a base card and a couple cards with his signature with a couple other players. I’m pretty disappointed in this since UD has some really cool cards in this product this year featuring signed oversized jersey swatches and oversized bat barrel pieces. The product to me actually looks so good, I’m considering doing a case of it and I don’t do cases all that much anymore. I just wish there was more Morneau in there.

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You know, after I wrote that title, I wondered if I should change it, but I decided to let it go. Tonight I thought I’d spotlight a couple new additions to my collection. Last year (at least I think it was last year), Topps had the grand idea of including “silk” inserts into select card products. These are basically just small replicas of the base cards done on small silk pieces.

The first one I want to highlight is the 2007 Turkey Red Silk Collection. This series was numbered to 99 and features just a plain black frame with the silk piece in the middle. The silk shows an image of the Morneau base card done in red ink. My main gripe with the card is the fact that it is so plain…black frame and plain one color silk piece. My other gripe is that the frame is glossy black and therefore shows any smudges, scratches, or any other imperfection rather easily. I didn’t end up paying much for this card and I’m pretty glad since I’m not overly impressed and I doubt it finds a place in my display case just yet.

The other card I want to talk about is the 2008 Silk Collection from the regular Topps Baseball series. This one features the same glossy “frame” but this time is done in a two-tone blue, which is a little more appealing. The silk on this card is much more impressive since it features a full color replica of the Morneau base card. The Silk Collection cards are numbered to just 50. This one I paid a little bit more for but I’m pretty happy with it and it does own a place in the display case.

To me the idea of the “silk” cards was neat initially but I think it has run it’s course. After the Turkey Red, Topps inserted them into both their regular baseball product as well as this year’s Allen & Ginter. Three times is enough and I think it’s time to retire the idea. If there is one thing that card companies seem to do well, it is run a good idea into the ground. Here’s hoping we have seen the end of the silk cards.

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I guess I’ll kick things off on here with a couple cards I got in the mail today.

The first one I got was this 2002 Bowman – Signs of the Future autographed card. When I came across this one on ebay, I didn’t even know it existed. I knew Morneau had an autographed card in the 2001 Bowman product but I didn’t know he was in the 2002 as well. I love the Bowman autograph cards because they are all hard signed on the card itself and not on a sticker. I have one friend who is a firm believer that years from now all those sticker autographs are going to disappear and fade away completely. He may be right.

The other card I received today was this autographed relic card from the 2007 Topps Triple Threads product. All in all, this is pretty bland as far as autographed relics go. For some reason, it seemed like Morneau got the shaft in the 2007 edition since most of his cards featured 3 bat pieces and none (at least none that I’ve seen) seem to have anything cool like a patch. I originally gave some thought to trying to collect one card from each parallel color from the series but after giving it some thought, I dropped that idea. If the relics were a little cooler, I would consider it, but as they are, I can skip them. This one was the Emerald parallel and is numbered #42/50.

Another solid game tonight from Morneau (3-5, 2 RBI) but the Twins lost and didn’t get a chance to gain a game on the White Sox (who also lost). Honestly, I’m a little torn on whether or not I want the Twins to win the division. On one hand, it would be cool to see them win. On the other hand, if they win, I could see Morneau getting quite a few MVP votes. A second MVP in 3 years would drive up the price on his items and make my life tough.

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