Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June Contest: Question 4

Welcome to today's contest question. If you're still playing along, bravo!

Today I'm interested in the blogosphere's opinion of the Toppsopoly.

On a scale of 1-100, grade Topps on their overall performance since they became the sole provider of licensed baseball cards. You can discuss what they've done right or wrong, but I'm interested in the number.

Until tomorrow...

37 comments:

  1. 75. Bent Chrome, tonos upon tons of useless gimmicks, Million Card Giveaway, Diamond Giveaway. But, they've kept cards coming, and this year's design is quite nice.

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  2. I decided to give Topps a try for 2010. After putting together the compete first series, I didn't buy a single pack of Series 2. And I haven't bought any 2011 product, either.

    I get that they want collectors to feel a connection to their past...but frankly, I'd rather have those cards from the past. The REAL ones.

    I give them a 40.

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  3. I give them a 60. It's not a totally fair grade, as I didn't really collect from 2003-2010. I didn't even really know about the Toppsopoly (nice term) until I decided to come back and start buying some packs again.

    They are doing a good job putting out product, but there seems to be a really lot of high-end stuff - Tribute and whatnot. I don't really count that as a new release since most of us can't afford it.

    I miss innovation. Topps can stand pat and use technologies that they have had for 20 years, like the Platinum Diamond Anniversary cards. I miss diversity and innovation. Not a lot of people liked Pacific in the late 90s, but between Crown Collection, Royale, Invincible, Prism, etc - not to mention all the inserts - those were really cool types of cards and I miss that.

    I also miss having something for everyone. If you want a pack for $1, you are forced to only buy Opening Day instead of having a few options like Score, UD MVP and Collector's Choice.

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  4. I will give them a 40.

    Reasons for the low score.
    1. All of the useless variations in Heritage this year. I understand the green tint, but the others are just stuff to get people to buy at the different retailers.

    2. Base set. To many inserts IMO. It makes it very hard on a collector to complete a set cost effectively.

    3. Topps Total. Collectors want it, but we get Opening Day instead.

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  5. I'd say 80, but I just got back into the hobby after almost 20 years, so I like just about any piece of cardboard with a ballplayer on it.

    Having said that I really like most of the sets that they've released since the monopoly. I think the design of flagship, gypsy queen and tribute are very nice and Heritage serves it's purpose as well.

    I agree that there are too many useless inserts in most sets, and I'd say too many useless variations as well, so they lose a few points for that.

    Also, I really dislike the fact that they use the same retired players over and over again. I'd really like to see players other than Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle make it into a few sets.

    I was looking at a conlon card of Fred Snodgrass the other day and thinking how cool it would be to pull older players with interesting stories from modern issues.

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  6. I'll go higher than most and say 90. I think they've done fairly well at releasing different sets for different folks. They've covered all the price points. They've tried new stuff, they've kept old favorites. It's not perfect, but I'd rather Topps be sole manufacturer than Upper Deck.

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  7. I'll go 50. They have produced a lot of uninspired work. They rehash the same concepts over and over. Gypsy Queen was big this year, but I didn't care for it too much. A&G is the best thing they have going for them. Too many 300-400 card sets instead of making a few 100-200 card sets and a huge set like Topps Total, or even increasing the size of flagship. They just showed off Topps Mrquee and called it a midlevel price point. If that is midlevel, there are clearly making too many high end products. I give 'em a 90 for Allen and Ginter, and a 10 for everything else. Average that to a 50.

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  8. I'm leaning towards Nathan and Fan of Reds end of the scale, so I'm going with 83

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  9. 65 - Like a couple others, I've only been back at this since last year. I like the base set (though it could definitely use less inserts), GQ, and Heritage, love A&G. The Bowman sets are redundant, they should just drop the veterans, merge the standard Bowman set with the Draftpicks and Prospects, and merge Bowman Chrome with it as well since they insist on sticking "2 chrome cards in every pack!". Marquee is a high-end set, no matter what they want to call it. Rather than putting out more high-end sets I'd prefer to see some 100-200 card sets like UD used to release, as well as other options for the low-end.

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  10. 75

    I'm unhappy with all the useless inserts (Toppstown, etc) and original back reprints are a recipe for disaster.

    In any case, even if Topps deserved a 100, I'd still want competition from another company(s)

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  11. I give Topps a 50. I like A&G and Gypsy Queen,but not a fan of the basic series 1 & 2.Too many inserts and pointless manufactured cards for my liking.As for their higher end stuff,Tribute was nice this year and I always like the look of Triple Threads but Topps Sterling is an epic fail,single color swatches in such a hi end product is a big no no in my book. Too many redemptions not bring honored is another minus.

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  12. I'll go with an 80. I really like Gypsy Queen and Heritage this year (and I'm sure the same will go for A&G later this summer) Their attention to detail in Heritage has impressed me. Complaints are that Chrome has had horrible quality and I think their flagship packs are a little too insert-crazy.

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  13. I'll say 60. Comparing them to how they were pre-Monopoly, I'd say the releases are slightly better. But not better enough to make up for all the stuff I miss!

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  14. I'll be extremely generous and give them a 40 so as to not go lower than anyone else.

    How many useless parallels can one set have, again and again. Poor collation, errors on top of errors... yuck.

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  15. I'd say 70 percent. They're trying, which in a monopoly state is really all you can ask. I expected a lot worse when Topps became the only game in town.

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  16. I say 55. They had a chance to use their monopoly for good (?), but haven't done it. And the massive amount of insert sets is ridiculous.

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  17. I am going to go with a 70. I went higher than I initially thought because they finally changed the design on A&G this year and I liked Gypsy Queen a lot. Though they screwed up on the number of hits per box, at least they rectified the situation in a timely manner. I did, however, like the option of two different basic sets which Upper Deck provided and I liked some of the other stuff upper deck did.

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  18. I would give then an 80 because:

    The base set has got better since the monopoly. The photos are better and the design has been great.

    That curly chrome thing everyone complained about? Chrome has been curly for the last 5 years. It is a crappy set every year that should only be a parallel not a complete set. Crap before the monopoly and crap after so I didn't see it as a problem.

    They are still trying to bring out some new stuff. Gypsy Queen was nice and Lineage will be here before we know it.

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  19. I'd give them an 80-85, bu that's based on the last two years 2010-2011 because I just got into BB cards.

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  20. I haven't opened any new Topps product in two years or so. I can't give them any sort of fair grade based on my experience.

    Having the sole license they could probably do a bit better. From what I've seen they don't really have their heart in it.

    I'll give them a 70. It has a nice beat and you can dance to it.

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  21. As far as Topps goes, I would say a 75. They are far from perfect and I would so love cards of middle relievers and bench players in a set. As a Rockies team collector, I don't really need 12 different Troy Tulowitzkis a year, when none of the relievers get a card.

    As far as the monopoly situation in general I would say a -10. I like choices and would like to see companies like Pacific and Fleer get back into the hobby and come up with the next big thing. Topps is TOO in love with older reprints right now. And I don't feel that is going to change.

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  22. I going to go with 50. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it could be better. There are too many players out there that Topps doesn't make cards of, and it always seems like those guys are the best signers. Upper Deck usually made cards of backup catchers and relief pitchers that Topps never messed with and that is why I miss UD the most.

    But, if Topps were to release a Topps Total or UD 40-Man like set, I would probably raise my score to at least a 75.

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  23. 30. I don't think they've done any better or worse since taking over the license. There are some things better than others, and I have more interest this year than last, but that may be personal issues unrelated to the hobby. I don't see myself collecting any more Topps now than I did before, or any more than I would have if UD or Panini were part of the game. I haven't seen anything really new or exciting come since they were exclusive (GQ isn't really new, any more than National Chicle). They need a new concept or a quality reinvention of an old one.

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  24. I will say 77. I like most of the products but their reduction in production has forced prices to rise a bit. I got my Gypsy Queen boxes for $125 and now at the same (good priced) shop he is forced to go up to 160.

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  25. I'd say a 65. Several factors:

    1) Quality control: Topps Chrome, enough said. But I'll also include the fact that some jersey swatches are mis-represented. See Nolan Ryan's "Mets" relic card from Gypsy Queen.
    2) Artificially controlling the market: Limiting the Gypsy Queen release and causing prices to soar, seemingly on purpose. We will buy your product Topps, no need to artificially create demand.
    3) Lack of Creativity: Too many sets that are too similar in schtick. I love GQ, LOVE IT, but it's not entirely different from T206, A&G or Chicle.
    4) Bad customer service: Too many problems with cards, BIG cards not getting put into high dollar packs, false sell sheets. Just too much bad publicity due to problems that could easily be solved but aren't.

    There are good part of it, but I do miss the days of a competitive environment and other brands pushing for higher quality.

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  26. Nothing more ethically un-American than a monopoly, I hope...
    So that's a moral problem for me right off the bat. But 2010 flagship Topps was one of my favorite Topps sets in years, and 2011 looks even better. They've been lazy here and there--miscuts, rehashed designs, bent chrome--but overall I see a steady improvement in effort.
    They get a score of 67.4913

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  27. Not a fan of all the retired players creeping up in every product they put out. I like living in the moment, except when I go after real vintage cards.

    Their score: 69

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  28. score of 50--could do things better but could do worse

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  29. 80. Probably an 80. I feel like I should go higher. I don't dislike Topps, but I do miss UD's great designs.

    Too bad they shot themselves in the foot.

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  30. 83 - I'm a big fan of the two designs for the flagship set since I started collecting again (2010 set and now this year).

    I also love the Heritage and GQ concepts.

    However, can't go higher as I think they overdo it with the retail-specific cards, the many variations/parallels and the near-impossible to fulfill SPs. A bit annoying.

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  31. I'm an omnivorous collector. All cards are good. Only lack of cards is bad.

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  32. Sorry - that was meant for the other post.

    As for this post, I'd give Topps a 65. It's OK, but nothing special that we will remember in 10 years.

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  33. Due to last year, I'll have to give them a 75. Too many problems and lack of timely support. It could be worse, they could be Panini. Their score since monopolizing hoops: 20

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  34. I think they get an 80. They are maintaining interest in card collecting for the year and aren't pushing anything too horrible (that I've purchased anyway). Quality control has been their biggest issue and their biggest negative.

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  35. I'd give them about a 75 on your scale. I just recently got back in to collecting and I love their sets that are a throwback to classic or vintage sets (except for Heritage). I try to collect the flagship set just to pass down to my boys.

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  36. I really tried to do this one but I'm too pissed off at Topps and the entire industry to give a fair answer.

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