This time around he ask a question that I will have a hard time answering. What would I say to today's card manufacturers. What kind of cards would I suggest they make in order to keep this hobby vibrant? What brands should stay and what brands must go?
To be honest with you, I do not have a clue what I would tell them. In fact, I have not been an active collector of modern issued cards for a long time- save certified autographed cards that I usually find on eBay.
Once upon a time, many moons ago, I would buy pack after pack, box after box, of Baseball cards to rip open as quickly as a gift received on Christmas morn. I was addicted. Today, I can barely lift a finger to buy a box to open.
Sure, I've stumbled into a Target and stood at the card aisle wondering if I should take a flyer on one of those mini boxes. Usually I just stand and stare, then stamper on to do my shopping. On occasion I have dipped my hand in the cookie jar and drove home with a box only to be disappointed. So, it's hard for me to believe I can lend a helpful voice to this Blog Bat Around. On the other hand, maybe I'm the perfect voice. I am the customer these manufacturers want to get back- no, need to get back.
So, considering that, I have an answer. My advice to the hobby masters is to please keep it simple.
- There are far too many brands made by each manufacturer. Narrow the field down to a core handful of sets. In fact, this is one of the reason I have not been a very active modern card collector. It is too damn confusing. For instance, Topps Company made well over 10 different Baseball sets in 2008. Heck, I think it's closer to 20 different sets.
- I still don't understand the whole parallel thing. If I'm putting together a set should I be chasing those too?
- I love the certified autograph card inserted into packs. As I wrote previously, they are really the only cards I find myself chasing when I search eBay for modern issues. I don't see much of a difference between "on-card" or "auto-on-sticker" cards, but I do care about legible and clean autographs. What's with athletes today? Most signatures look like a 2 year old scribbled it.
- Brands I do enjoy seeing are the card sets that borrow vintage card designs, like the Allen & Ginters and Cracker Jacks. Please continue to marry the past with the present.