Opening Day Sells Well At Retail

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!


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5 responses to “Opening Day Sells Well At Retail

  1. I like it….If kids today are phased out by price points…will they come back when their generation is expected by card companies to break out the plastic? Maybe, but why risk alienating them now? Guess time will tell if they listened or not.

  2. I love these ideas. I don’t have any kids, so I can’t speak for them, but as a long time set collector here are a few more tweaks I’d like to see. My suggestions are probably geared more towards the Topps base set, but I’d gladly start collecting OD if it they did some of the following.

    I’d love to see more true rookie cards. I think that’s one of the huge draws from the past that’s missing today. And I’m not talking about cards slapped with a RC logo even though Player X appeared in a Bowman set 3 years earlier. I want real RC of big time prospects.

    I’d also like to see a handful of HOF scattered throughout a set similar to GQ. No more than say 10 per year, perhaps tied to an anniversary of a great season or event, or even a HOF player’s passing. A current year’s HOF inductees is a no-brainer IMO.

    I’d really like to see many series scattered throughout the year. Why not release a set with 4, 5, or even 6 series per year with each series containing somewhere between 150-200 cards depending on the number of series. September-January there’s nothing for the average joe who isn’t a hit chaser. Plus multiple series gives you the opportunity to get the hottest players relatively quickly. From a $$$ standpoint, it’s a lot less hit to the wallet all at once to collect smaller series all year long instead of shucking out $150 to buy a couple of boxes 3 times a year.

    Finally, I don’t think it’s too much at all to ask for 10 cards per pack for 99¢.

  3. I love most of your suggestions, but I think they’d shoot the costs of the product past what the 99 cent pack price point can support.

  4. You might be right. I always wonder if collectors knew what Autos and Relics added to the cost of a pack, if they’d still want them in the product. We’ll never see those numbers though.

  5. If Panini can do it with their Score brand, then Topps can do it with Opening Day.

    I agree with most, if not all, of every point made here. I agree that parallels should be limited in a product like this and high gloss versions are just the way to go to achieve that. Colored borders are just worn out and in too many Topps products now. For me, I’d love to see an acetate clear background on an insert, but I’m not sure those are exactly cheap to make. Bring back some of that 80s and 90s fun.

    As far as the autographs go, it would have to be current players if you’re marketing it more towards kids. How much is a Jamie Moyer autograph? Cody Ross? There’s got to be some current players who sign at a reasonable price for a product like this…or as was stated, use left over sticker autographs for current players.

    I don’t think Topps lies about 99 cent packs doing well at retail. Those are cheap and easy compulsive buys for kids and collectors. I just want to see a different design with some fun injected into the product. Whether it’s set building or cool looking inserts.

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