Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Idea Gone Bad

In 2007, Topps put out a product called Topps TX Exclusive Football. If you remember this, then you most likely remember how hideous both the design and price were. It's still $96 for a hobby box that gives you 2 autos - 1 guaranteed to be a Tyler Palko.

The allure of this product was the idea of getting a Super Bowl Ticket Autograph. I'll be the first to admit that when I heard about this, I was really pumped. My Panthers have only been to one Super Bowl, and the thought of having an actual Super Bowl ticket signed by Steve Smith or Julius Peppers made me as giddy as Dwight Schrute during beet season.

Here is where a product can take 2 left turns and end up running full steam in the wrong direction.
First of all, they include an autograph of Julius Peppers in the set. Julius Peppers hasn't signed anything since 2002. He certainly hasn't signed a contract this off-season. Every single set that has included an auto of him since his rookie year were unfilled redemptions. So why would they think that it would be any difference this time? If the guy ain't signing, then stop putting him in sets. It's not that hard. I am sure that Sir Purr would have gladly signed the remaining Super Bowl 38 ticket stubs. Or better yet, put together a dual autograph from those 2 bathroom buddy Top Cats.

Other companies are as bad about this as they are. I will get to that at a later date.

The second left turn is what actually completely deflated the concept. Think about it. Ask yourself, what is the one thing that could possibly screw up Superbowl ticket autographs? That's right, placing a lazy, piece of junk sticker on it. This is just LAZY and STOOOPID. I would actually rather have a the card with just the ticket in it than to put a sticker on it.

Not only is it ugly, it's completely unnecessary. These were all Veteran players in this subset. Not a Rookie to be found. So would it have been that much trouble to send out the ticket stubs to the players (or reps, or whoever deals with them in the NFL), have them sign them in the off-season, and then insert them into the cards? Really? That hard?

That little bit of planning is what turns a set with a lot of collecting potential, into a set that stays on the shelves a blowout for years to come, and eventually into a Guaranteed blister pack in a Target store near you.

You see in situations like these, our beloved card companies need to think more like the aforementioned Dwight Schrute. And I quote, "Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' and if they would, I do not do that thing". Words to run a successful business by.

By the way, the reason I bring this up is because I think that this set would have made a great product to replace the oozing boil that is Topps Rookie Progression. Get your previous years stubs from Super Bowls, Pro Bowls and even Memorable or Historical Games signed throughout the year. Then get a few players from the current years Super Bowl teams to sign some stubs at the Pro Bowl. Fill the set with rookie autos in their college unis and hey! you got yourself a set that would blow UD Draft and Prestige out of the water! You could put in 2 autos a box with every other box having a ticket auto of some kind and you charge $80 a box. I would bet my life that people would rather take a shot at getting a veteran auto on a ticket, than getting some auto of a 7th round Corner out of UT-Chattanooga. Or at least I would.

Just a thought.


  1. Um, you're complaining that there are no rookie auto Super Bowl exactly could Topps make rookie auto tickets when the set comes out before the Super Bowl. What, Topps is supposed to guess which two teams are going to go to the Super Bowl and create fake ticket stubs to send to rookies to get them signed (as you don't like sticker autos for some reason) so they can have them in the set?

    I think it's an ugly set, but I like the sticker autos and I like the concept of it only having Super Bowl autos. My Lions have no place in that set, and that's pretty cool if you ask me.

  2. -Thomas,

    I apologize if I wasn't clear in my writing. I never complained that there weren't rookie autos on Super Bowl tickets. What I said was that because there weren't rookie autos in that subset, then they had ample time to get the veterans to hard-sign the ticket stubs instead of using stickers.

    Never did I mention that the rookies should have been included in that set. I understand why companies use stickers for rookies. But those same time constraints and sheer volume of requests don't apply to veterans as they could have these stubs in hand for up to 9 months before they needed them for the set.

    The other point of the post was to move the set to the beginning of the year to compete with UD Draft and Prestige. That way you could possibly include the recent Super Bowl ticket stubs by getting certain players to sign at the Pro Bowl. Then include rookie autographs on their own, not on tickets.

    As far as sticker autos go, I can't agree with you there. I understand the need, but don't have to like it.

  3. Topps TX is a product whose MSRP is over 100 dollars. You know what we say about Topps products that are over 100 dollars? DONT BE AN IDIOT.

    Of course, many bad things in this hobby would be solved by employing the Dwight Schrute way of looking at things. Of course, when thinking about Topps stickers on anything, including manufactured letter patches (lettermen) and jersey pieces (paradigm), they shouldnt even get to that point before they ditch them.

  4. what Gellman, no comment on my Vikings youtube link? I know its before your time, but still. A Vikings legend.

  5. Actually these are sitting at $80 or so on the bay. I collect the probowl jersey and patches and pick them up for next to nothing. I have thought about getting a couple of boxes of these but I am afraid I will pull nothing but heath miller and Vince Wilfork autos.