Thursday, August 06, 2009

The exclusive agreement - just a reaction

Major League Baseball agreeing to an exclusive agreement with Topps to produce baseball cards seems to say - trading cards have become too important to grown men who collect such things, because of their perceived value and there needs to be some way to dumb down baseball cards so kids will start to like them again.

The agreement is another squeeze in the nuts for the adult collector - one who has genuine interest in cards, its complexities, its history and in all honesty, its monetary value.

Reading Michael Eisner's statements, it is very clear he doesn't want anyone over 12-years old to be collecting any Topps baseball card - I'm an adult collector and once this agreement is in place, I officially will not matter.

Eisner makes what has been going on, in the 'Upper Deck Era' of the last 20 years so sleazy and dirty - Eisner wants to take it back to the 'old school,' where collectors of all ages had no choices and one company can do whatever it likes because legitimate competition will not exist. Upper Deck may still be able to produce cards, because they supposedly still have the MLBPA license, but collectors see trading cards without full licensing from both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player's Association as inferior.

Now, for collectors over 12-years old, will it be an issue of growing up and forgetting about the little pieces of cardboard - or will collecting baseball cards be something of a 'secret shame,' where adult collectors looking to partake in the hobby, will be doing so in the equivalent of dark alley ways or backrooms.

Maybe picking up a pack of trading cards means less to me these days - but then, I want options, I want to be able to have a choice and feel like I'm not wasting my time with the same old cards. I also don't want to feel embarassed about being a collector.

1 comment:

Dean said...

Card Manufactuers and Hobbists have been saying for years that to revive sales "the key is to appeal to the kids". The problem with this strategy is that so many better positioned industries are going for that kids dollar.

I am sure that Topps will make a short-term effort to attract kids, but the results will be slow at best. Topps will soon lose patience and return its focus to the more established and profitable adult market niches. Without a competitor, profits should be better for a while. Less competitors always means less innovation - not more.