They should just rename it that, 2012 Topps Opening Day Sells Well At Retail. That’s what I hear whenever Topps Opening Day is mentioned. The fact may be true but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a well received set. I recently opened a small jar of gerbils on the Twitter about Topps letting me, @CardJunk, and @stalegum having a crack at re-branding Opening Day into a respectable set for $1 a pack. They were all ears, and suggestions came quicker than….well, I’ll try and keep this clean, let’s just say they were listening. It got to be a bit much to keep up with so I thought I’d lay my suggestions out here. Here are a few things that I would do to make Opening Day better than what it is, and try not to add extra expense to the production.
- Cardboard stock with a classic original design at $.99 a pack. I think the key to it’s success at retail mainly lies on the $.99 price point. Hire back the guys who designed from ’82 to ’88 and have them cook up something new and original.
- Make the set big enough to make me buy a few boxes and still have to trade for those last 30 cards or so. That is why they used to be called Trading Cards after all, and not a pack of lottery tickets. 792 cards always has a good ring to it, but I’m not sure what the magic number is for the set, but I’m sure they could figure it out.
- Have a few key rookies make an appearance in the set, maybe slap some of the left over Bowman auto’d stickers to some of the cards for something to chase. Maybe a few of the cheaper older guys to sign some too. I’m pretty sure they could get Jody Davis or Mookie Wilson to sign for a reasonable amount.
- Bring back fun inserts. Am I not the only grown man who’d sport a fake tattoo? I know the kids love them! I could use a Starlin Castro magnet card to stick to the fridge, kids love to stick those to their lockers too. How about a Chrome #’d insert to give the kids a taste of the good stuff for the price of Opening Day.
- No game used cards! We don’t need them and we don’t want them.
- Limit the SP silliness. If they feel compelled to short print cards, at least make them inserts and not a part of the set. I don’t want to have to chase down 50 cards and pay $4 a pop on eBay because of manufactured demand. This is the reason I have never finished a Heritage or A&G set.
- Don’t necessarily aim it at kids! Do you know what kids really hate? When you try to sell them something that an old man thought they’d be into. They can spot that stuff a mile away. They know what they’re being sold and have just enough intelligence to be insulted.
- Parallels. I’m on the fence on this one. They’re like speckendickens(look it up), I like ’em, but I don’t want a million of them. How about a real fancy hi-gloss version of the base card and call it a Tiffany parallel. Or a 3D version of the base card. Something different than just a blue border.
- I wouldn’t be totally offended by some manu-patches in a $.99 product either. When done right, they look great and add extra value, at what I would guess is, a reasonable expense.
Now that this is all typed out, I’m thinking they can keep Opening Day and could just release another set like this at $.99 a pack. Hell, if Opening Day does well at retail, why wouldn’t this? I may be way off on this, but I think a a classic “set collectors” set has a spot in the hobby. What do ya think Topps? I’m listening!