Thursday, August 8, 2013

How To Improve The Hobby Part 2: Target "Ole Fashion Collectors"

A new 4 Part Series here on Sport Card Collectors is giving our opinion on how to improve the hobby and its weak points.

The word products came to mind when thinking of ways to improve the hobby. Every collector is different. But there is a group of collectors that companies don't think about as much anymore. It's a good size group that I somewhat put myself in. A group I like to call "Ole Fashion Collectors."

This particular group of collectors aren't ones into today's type of collecting that much. Meaning, they don't care about the glimmer, the shine, the hits. They like collecting when it was simpler times. You know. Products that ranged from $1-$3.99. The big base sets up to 800 cards. Action photography! Innovation like adding holograms or "raised" like Action Packed, The inserts that fell 1:72 packs and not every pack. The fun to chase 1:4 unnumbered base card Sp's that would be in the set making it just challenging enough for you to want to keep busting. And yes, the occasional autograph or memorabilia card that had astronomical odds of 1:500 or more that made it a fun, valuable inclusion.

Products like 1997 Upper Deck Baseball is what they speak of
This group of collectors who are some of the most die hard ones are either selling off their stuff from the hobby, can't afford the hobby, or have moved onto another hobby. They just aren't into whats being put out. These are the collectors that companies should focus on as well. And of course kids, but that's Part 3.

I actually would like to see one of these type of products back out on the market again. Because, let's be honest, it's not always about the hits. A lot of the time you pull a jersey or autograph card valued at $12 or under. Why not aim for an insert that comes at 1:72 odds worth $30 or more depending on the player like cards used to be. Why not have that desire to put a base card set together instead of tossing them in the recycling bin or trash searching for that "hit". And most importantly, make a few more cost efficient products. Most products out there are $4.99 or more per pack. I know there are products like Topps Flagship and Score. Not that I don't like these brands, but they still don't compare to the ones I speak of above and they don't have those type of inclusions.

As always, we are open for comments. Tomorrow we will post part three of our 4 part series on How To Improve The Hobby by speaking about kids. They are the future of the hobby and companies need to improve in that are.


  1. Wow. Sure made me feel old. Thought I was about to read a piece about bringing card collecting back to its roots, but the "Ole Fashion Collector" is reaching all the way back to...1997? I guess I must be in a different category...the "Old F**t Collector".

    I grew up in the 60s and 70s. When I started, a pack cost five cents. Cards came in multiple series (as many as 7 some years). The only way you had of knowing who was in the set were the checklists that came in the pack. If your local candy store didn't order the later series, you didn't even know they existed. Card shop? What's that? Designs were bright and colorful and fresh every year (except 1968). Purple for the Mets, green for the Giants? Sounds odd, but it worked great. No foil stamping, no high gloss (although the cards certainly had more gloss than Heritage). Most years, there was an insert in every pack--coins or posters or story booklets or deckle edge. Nobody put them in top loaders or pages. You stacked them up and put rubber bands around them. You flipped 'em. You put them in the spokes of your bike to get that artificial motor sound.

    I'd love to see collecting be like that again. But it never will be because there isn't any money in it...or enough. Topps does what they do because their bean counters have calculated maximum profit based upon the market today. They've managed to make Heritage (which I do love) a hit while a great product like Topps Total flopped. Not much we can really do about any of it.

    The one thing I think everyone agrees on, though, is that the hobby needs a lower price point product for the kids. That's the purpose of Opening Day, really. Take out the auto/relic hits from regular Topps and the price comes down. Stamp a logo on it and call it Opening Day. But that's not much of an effort on Topps part. How about a whole different design--without the gloss and foil and with bold, bright colorful borders? Maybe purple for the Mets and Green for the Giants.

    1. Even though I personally didn't grow up in that era of collecting, I was trying to cover that era along with the 80's and 90's era. I feel the start of the switch of the hobby was in 2000. This is why I put in their set collectors, base cards with meaning, action photography. Pricing. I didn't think about glossless cards.

      I enjoyed reading your comment thanks for the feedback. You are one of two that actually made this kind of comment. I was personally aiming to cover all areas and apologize if I failed to do so. I just think collecting now-a-days shouldn't be so hit focused and be more about the cards and collecting them. Not tossing base cards aside trying to get the big hit then sell it. To me, that's not collecting. I like to put sets together. I like to look at each base card and I actually keep my cards. And a nice well designed base set would help as well. Something clean. And just have pure fun with the hobby like it used to be and not just to make a profit. I don't sell. I give them away on here as my only source of getting rid of any. Trying to keep the hobby alive.

  2. I am another one, an true old-time collector. The first set i remember is the 1955 Bowmans because i remember opening a pack and seeing cards that looked like little color tv's - that was neat!! I collected for love of baseball. There were base cards ONLY for decades and i loved the cards. They were affordable, i could find all the players by buying packs and by trading with my friends. I loved putting the base sets in team order, and handling my beloved Yankees special. I didnt need any "hits" or SP's or any gimmicks, i loved baseball and i loved the cards. The cards had stats on the back that i loved to read and learn more about the players. The sets became big and most or all of my Yankee players were there. It was great times. Topps also was not lazy as they are today, we had different looking cards, but they were part of the base set - they were All-Star cards, World Series cards, Rookie cards, In-Action cards, Multiple-Player cards, and they had a DIFFERENT DESIGN than the regular cards did as opposed to nowadays when they take a regular card and slap a small logo on it and its an AllSTar or rookie card, what a joke. If it was up to me, cards would be like this again, and there would be separate sets that are all autographs and GU cards for people who want them. I love the way the hobby used to be, it used to be for FUN and LOVE OF BASEBALL. Now its just for the MONEY.