3 notable things have happened in the hobby that I find worth commenting on. I am going to go in order of what I think you want to hear:
1. Retail stores have been putting out packs and blasters of 2019 Topps Series 1 baseball early. This isn’t a new phenomenon but with the advent of social media, we are seeing just how prevalent it is. For the most part, this is not happening at an alarming rate but the isolated places that are doing it are adding up. As a collector, I think this adds to the enjoyment and excitement surrounding the release. As someone who used to be in the music business when CDs were all the rage, I question how this is happening at the bigger chains. Some products give an error when the barcode is scanned nullifying the purchase. I don’t recall their being a major cost on the business end for this to happen so perhaps it is something that companies have not thought to do yet.
2. Topps has announced that they will be the exclusive distrubutor of Alliance of American Football cards. You can find a link to information here: https://www.blowoutcards.com/blog/alliance-of-american-football-opts-for-topps-football-cards/.
Let me start by saying that I want the release and the league to succeed but I am just not seeing it. The name players, and players with a chance to make a name for themselves, in the league will have already had cards put out. Unless they put energy in coach cards, I don’t see a huge market for it. It will be a distant 3rd to Panini and Upper Deck (USA). Yes, the CFL has cards out but they have a country behind them. With the XFL coming back into the picture, I worry that Topps is investing in the wrong minor league. Speaking of CFL, in December blaster boxes were going for $3 on major card retailer sites; so are their cards even doing that well to begin with?
3. The entire 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class has just 15 rookie cards. The link will take you to the Beckett article telling you what to look for if you are chasing them. This worries me. It makes me wonder if companies are not learning from the mistakes of the 90s.
Let’s take a player that I personally collect this year and use him as an example. As of this writing, Ozzie Albies has 41 rookie cards when you put in his name in the COMC filter for rookie cards. This is not counting cards cards in his rookie year; when you account for that you get a whopping 425 cards. Only 1 of those rookie cards is an autograph; so in context you can say he has 40 rookie cards available. That is over-saturation times a 1000 to me.
Bonus: Crown Royale basketball was released this week. The cards look great. I wish that the price point came down because I would love to do a set of them.