I know what you’re thinking. This of all things brought me out of semi-retirement? Well, yes and no.
Andy has been holding down the fort for a while, and he may have to for a little while longer. I haven’t posted in a ridiculously long time for several reasons. I’ll get into that in another post soon. Tonight I have something to say and I don’t need a scanner or my broken desktop computer to say it, so it’s posting time!
Today, Topps announced two of the usually unannounced Super-Short Prints (SSPs). The company revealed that customers and 5 Jumbo Case breakers (we’ll be the latter if you have any Topps needs) have the opportunity to find cards of Albert Pujols as an Angel and Jose Reyes as a Marlin. The cards will be given the numbers #331 and #332 respectively, and will be found in Series 2 with those same card numbers. What makes these SSPs, however, is that Series 2 will feature a different picture and Topps claims that these additions to series 1 were late and, thus, limited in quantity. Of course.
Here’s a look at the Pujols card, courtesy of Topps
A lot of people hate the SSP. In fact, Stale Gum has already sworn off buying any 2012 Topps products due to continued gimmickry.
I understand his position and don’t completely disagree with his points. But I don’t have the same qualms since I’m not a set collector. As a player collector, I can say it’s really only affected my collecting habits by meaning that I have to chase that stupid Abe variation of Ryan Dempster.
Ok, I don’t have to. But it falls within my defined collection constructs. I could just as easily say, “nope, that doesn’t count.” Instead, I figure I’ll wait a couple more years and hopefully find one on the cheap when people stop caring.
Still, there are people who do want these cards. If they didn’t, then they wouldn’t be produced. Topps is catering to these folks, but I think they’re going about it wrong. I think there’s the potential to attract a few more people to the chase.
What if the card looked like this?
A big turnoff for me, and I suspect several collectors, is the fact that these SSPs have historically featured photoshopped action shots. I don’t understand the reasoning behind that. I know collectors want to have the very first card of a player in their new uniform, but why not just buy the rights to a press conference photo? Why does it have to be an action shot? The first image isn’t really his first photo in a new uniform when you break it down, anyway. With the press conference, you have the player in an actual new uniform. Sure, he’s not fielding or hitting, but it’s real and my guess is it could even be a cheaper route, since there’s no computer manipulation to pay for on top of the image rights.
If you don’t like just changing the image, what about making it a single-card insert? Who says it has to be a gimmick variation of the base set? Why can’t it be an unrelated, one-off limited insert? I don’t have a mock-up image for that type of thing, but I guarantee you it would be just as popular as the base variation if it’s just as limited and SSP-ey.
Don’t you think that would be better than alienating a portion of your customer base? I don’t know if that would have prevented Stale Gum from boycotting Topps, but it would be more palatable to this collector.
What do you all think?