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The trading card world is still shocked by the news reported by the Wall Street Journal and other media on Thursday afternoon that both MLB and MLBPA will reach a long-term, lucrative agreement with Fanatics to become the exclusive trading card producer. The current license has expired.

But this is burying the leader, this is: Tops is out.

This is earth-shattering news, especially for a sport-baseball-which values ​​its history and tradition more than any other core American sport. And by giving the exclusive license to a new company to provide guidance to the company that has produced baseball cards since 1951, it is almost unfathomable. It’s like MLB saying, “I’m sorry, Yankees. We have decided that the Mets will become the exclusive baseball team representing New York City and the surrounding area. Thank you for being a part of our history, but you are not a part of the future.”

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It is now widely speculated that Topps can predict the future in some way. The new company under Fanatics has not yet named to produce and distribute these trading cards, and Topps is available for acquisition as a company. When the news broke on Thursday, the transaction that got the company listed broke down.

Maybe Fanatics will acquire Topps and use existing infrastructure-employees, printing presses, distribution networks, automobile/cultural relic acquisitions, etc.-to achieve a seamless transition. Again, this is just a guess (hopefully, because it would be great to see Tops still in a baseball card game).

The secret to making money in a trading card collecting game is no secret. Both Topps and Panini have cracked the code, and the crazy demand, funds and interest prove that this hobby will reach unprecedented levels in 2020 and 2021.

“Sales figures are the best in the past ten years,” Emily CressTops’ communications manager told Sports News last October.

“This is absolutely crazy,” said Jason Howarth, Panini’s U.S. vice president. Tell SN in the same week.

So this new company has a blueprint for how to print money. Of course, there are some adjustments that need to be made-for example, no one seems to like to redeem cards, although they may be a necessary evil-but the basic game plan is very simple. So today, we made a request for this new company, but it is taking shape. This is a simple question.

Make the card available.

I cannot stress enough: at least one basic type of product available anytime, anywhere. Of course, not all products. Obviously, demand is good for the business. High-end products with high dollar entry points are wonderful for the bottom line. But people who want to buy baseball cards can’t buy them, which is crazy, unless they happen to walk in shortly after they happen to be on the shelves of a department store. And expand the coverage beyond department stores.

Let’s go back in time. Every gas station, grocery store, and convenience store has a few packs available for children.

This product line does not require bells and whistles. Of course, good photography and design are necessary. Celebrate this wonderful baseball game with images and execution. Don’t be cheap. But be sure to go back to the era when every bag has a “special” card, such as Topps Gold or Upper Deck’s Electric Diamond. This is unique and interesting, but it will not cause the flippers to deliberately clean the shelves the moment they purchase.

And, this is probably the most important part: no more than $1 per pack, more than ten cards. Including interesting subsets-think of 1991 Score-and certain types of stickers-think of Junk Wax Fleer or UD holographic stickers-for kids. This is not a get rich quick suit, but it is definitely a worthwhile long-term investment.

These products will nurture a hobby by making more children-and children at heart-excited about collecting. If you can’t put the product in their hands, you can’t entice them to collect it.I keep thinking My conversation with DJ Kazmierczak, Panini’s vice president of sales and product development, earlier this summer. We talked about this exact subject, referring to the Donruss series in the early 1990s, Triple Play, and Panini brought it back for a year in 2012.

“The industry was in a completely different place at the time. Back then, when I joined the company, the income statement was very strict, to be honest,” Kazmierczak said. “Many products, if they are not profitable, they will not last. When we tried to make children’s products for this exact reason, (Triple Play) was the victim. It was not sold, which is why it disappeared. In this environment, can we bring it back now? We may support it, maybe we will. The longer this inflated market lasts, the more we need to consider these types of products. We really need to add more Bring products that are reasonably priced to the market. I admit it. I don’t want to leave it alone. This is important to us. This is not a simple solution.”

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It is easy to understand why the 2012 Triple Play products did not sell well in card shops and card fairs. Most people who shop there are looking for lottery tickets. This is why distribution is so important for such products. This new Fanatics company, if it truly understands the importance of cultivating hobbies, it will bring products into people’s daily lives. We talked about the mistakes many card companies made in the age of garbage wax, when they basically only produced one product, just smashing the “print” button over and over again. But distribution is not a problem. In fact, it is a model. Similarly, not for every production line-a box of products with a retail price of $1,000 does not need to be next to each QT’s extra-large Snickers bar-but for the question of “let our products in people’s hands” Is perfect.

Because the thing is this: Obviously, even after life has returned to normal, the market is still booming. Cultivate a hobby, at that time a dollar package. This is definitely the priority of the new fanatical regime. I keep hearing: “No one wants a bag that won’t have lottery-type cards,” but, sorry, it’s not true. Just because people on eBay didn’t quarrel for Topps’ opening day, it doesn’t mean that such products can’t meet the needs of hobbies.

I was at a local card shop this week and a kid came in and wanted to buy a pack of football or basketball cards. The cheapest starting price is $9 per pack. In any case, this is not driving up prices. This is the cost. The child left without a bag. This can’t happen, the responsibility does not lie with the card shop owner. It definitely depends on the company-well, the company-moving forward.

If you follow me on Twitter this summer, you will know that when I report on a game, I will give away a pack of junk wax cards at the baseball stadium.

These are not packages with “lottery” cards, but I can assure you that the smiles on the faces of the people who open these packages-whether young or old-prove to me that usable and affordable packaging is a long-term essential -Long-term healthy hobby.

Do this for the children, do it for the hearts of the children.



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