Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I pulled a gimmick card from a repack


The very word brings to mind something that seems interesting, but a little shady at the same time.

Gimmick is defined as a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business.  There are gimmicks all over the place in our modern world. 

Nabisco uses gimmicks to sell more Oreos.  Banana Split Oreos.  Cookie Dough Oreos.  Watermelon Oreos.  Halloween Oreos.  They trick up the standard Oreo (a favorite by the way) to draw attention to the brand and get people to try something new and unusual. 

Retailers use a ton of gimmicks.  End caps and register aisles are used for impulse purchases.  Grouping items 2 for $3 or 10 for $10.  Marketing “New Packaging, Same Great Taste” when it’s really smaller packaging, less product, same price. 

Love it or hate it, companies use gimmicks because they work.  They drive sales.  People who like Oreos are going to buy Oreos.  People who are on the fence DO try Oreos with wacky flavors.  If they didn't, Nabisco wouldn't be making them.  People do buy 2 for $3 when they only need one because it SEEMS like a good deal. 

In the sports card world, gimmicks are getting more and more “common”.  The reason you see more gimmicks is because they drives sales.  I believe Topps is concerned about ALL SALES.  They want the little guy to buy a hobby box or a blaster.  They need that business.  However, those little sales aren’t what drives them to use gimmicks.  If we could all put together a set too easy, it would kill sales.  The use of gimmicks like photo variations, sparkle variations, serial numbered parallels and yes, autographs and relics, is what drives the repeat sales.  It’s what gets one guy to bust over 50 cases because he can sell all the gimmick cards.  No one is busting cases because they want to sort thousands and thousands of base cards into complete sets or team sets.  They do that too, but they are doing it to sell the big gimmick cards. 

I don’t hate gimmick cards.  I understand them.  I know why Topps is making them.  It’s not about the integrity of the hobby or keeping with the tradition of making amazing products like 1956 Topps (one of my all-time favorites).  It’s about driving sales.  Big case breakers and even group breakers are driving the hobby and it is what it is.  I can’t fathom the idea, but many case breakers don’t even ship base cards, so the popular song, All about that Base (pun intended), couldn't be farther from the truth. 

Now, why did I write about gimmicks today? 

It’s simple really.  Yesterday, in an attempt to feed my irrational need to find 2015 Topps Series 1 on the first day, I drove to four stores.  Two Walmarts and two Targets.  At the last Target, with nothing to show for my attempt, I settled on a Fairfield Repack.  It set me back $11.99 plus tax and had 10 packs inside.  I buy one of these every now and then if I’m looking at the card aisle and all I can find is football.  They are generally fun to open, but I haven’t had a ton of luck with them.  You have to know going in that you’re probably going to get a couple of decent packs, the ones you can see, and mostly filler to round it out.  Most of the ones I've bought lately have had a fair number of 2014 Topps Series 1, 2 and Update packs, which is fine since I didn't buy much of that last year.   

This one had the following packs inside (I've listed the best card from each pack too):

Left side:
1988 Donruss (Cal Ripken Diamond King)
2014 Opening Day (Yasiel Puig base)
2004 UD Series 2 (Marcus Giles..great photo)
2014 Topps Update (Roy Halladay 1989 Mini)
2013 Panini Prizm (Joe Mauer USA…beautiful card!)

Right side:
2014 Series 1 (Kyle Seager gold 474/2014)
2014 Series 2 (This is the one you’re waiting for )
2014 Series 2 (Derek Norris…love catchers in their gear)
2014 Heritage (Scooter Gennett…love that name)
2014 Ginter (Adam Wainwright SP)

Oddly enough, the Mauer is my favorite card of the bunch, with the exception of the “gimmick” card I pulled from the 2014 Series 2 pack.  I won’t withhold it any longer. 

How about a case hit in a repack?  Now that’s a gimmick I can enjoy.

Here's a close-up for those of you who have aging eyes like me.  If you're going to get a gimmick card, you might as well pull one of the best pitcher in the game.  

If you're feeling nostalgic, you can read another post where I pulled a pretty sweet Kershaw.  Unless you're Night Owl.  You may not want to read it.  Not again.  


  1. I settled for a Fairfield repack today myself, just a 5 dollar 100 loose singles version (#thankstopps)

  2. The dreaded sparkle. Like you least it is Kershaw.

  3. I bought a repack the other day. Nothing I wanted, although I did pull a 2014 Heritage Chrome Refractor parallel of Alfonso Soriano. It wasn't enough to save the repack.

  4. if you're ever looking to move the Kershaw....

  5. I have bought many of these repacks, but now that Target is leaving Canada I guess I have bought my last one. The best card I pulled from these repacks was from a pack of 2013 Archives, an autographed 1983 Nolan Ryan All-Star numbered 3/5.