Alright. I thought I would break down all 4 major players in our hobby. I will put them in order and give them a overall rating of 1-5. I will also break down their strengths and weaknesses.
They own the hobby in licensing. They produce nice product and are always trying new innovations. The customer service is getting better. They have great fan interaction on their blog and most of the time will answer emails in a timely manner. They also hold a good amount of contests as well.Weakness:
Tons and tons of redemptions! Customer service is a working process. Not much fan interaction on Facebook. Need a MLB license still (not that they probably won't get one soon).Overall:
I like Panini. I am not just saying that because they are our sponsor. They have nice products. They are fun to talk with.They hold contests. I do wish they would work on the redemptions a little, but every company has them. And redemptions are another topic for another day. But I feel that is their biggest weakness. Other than that, they rock the hobby right now.
4 1/2 out of 5
Strengths: Upper Deck has good customer service (at least they did the times I have used them). They own licenses for NHL, NCAA, MLS, and Golf. They do random giveaways on their Facebook page, communicate with fans on there and answer questions and they also do Hockey Card Day in Canada and now even in the U.S. where they give packs of hockey cards away at participating Upper Deck Diamond Dealer shops. Upper Deck also has something called the Upper Deck Volunteer Alliance where you can "work" for them and in exchange you could earn yourself a tremendous mail day.
Weaknesses: It's all about the lack of licensing. It has hurt the once Giant in our hobby.
Overall: You have got to like Upper Deck still. They still have popular products like Sp Authentic and bringing back some old classics like a Fleer brand in their basketball card lineup and Spx for football. If only they could get back the licenses they lost, they could once again be a powerhouse in the hobby.
4 out of 5
Press Pass has licenses for Football cards (no NCAA or NFL) and their biggie NASCAR. They produce some incredible on-card autographs in their products and they rule the NASCAR card world. They also produce non-sport cards such as Elvis (awesome stuff) and Yo Gabba Gabba. Their customer service is good. They hold random contests on their Facebook page and are pretty good about getting back to their customers who have questions.Weaknesses:
Lack of licenses.Overall:
They do well with what they got. And they have great contests . Not to mention, they do things for our solders overseas. You just can't go wrong with Press Pass. They will get a higher rating because of the little things they do. For us customers and especially for those who protect us overseas.
4 out of 5
Topps has exclusive licensing to MLB cards. They also product NFL, UFC and some minor league brands. They produce decent products. Some of the popular ones are their Chrome lines.Weaknesses:
Lack of customer help. They don't answer emails. They don't answer you on Facebook. They don't really do any contests. Probably by far the worst service between all of the companies.Overall:
I originally had them at a 2. The lack of customer interacction can destroy a company. Maybe others have had better success than me. I must admit, that I am a Chromie and love the Chrome. The biggest reason why I bumped them to a 3. But they have some definite work to do.
3 out of 5
Do you agree or disagree with my ratings? is there one you would have marked higher or lower? It's always fun to get into a hobby debate. So, if you have an opinion on whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to comment!!!!
Thats just a start. Put cards and video games together. In order to get kids into this great hobby, you have got to target their favorite spots. If they really dig what they find in their box of cereal or in the other foods or video games for free cards, it could push them into buying the real stuff.
But there has got to be a kid friendly brand(s) out there for them to purchase. Not something too expensive (I have seen so many parents not buying because of price), too confusing (meaning no Sp’s and variations), or too much in depth with the product. They need something simple, colorful, eye catching and on a kid level. Die cuts, refractors, cards that you can feel (ones with felt or bumpiness) could be attention drawers.
And maybe besides sports, doing their favorite tv shows might be a draw in. You never know."
This was only part of an idea I had. There is a ton of stuff we can do to fix the hobby to draw interest from younger fans.
I now post this question to you guys...what do you think we or card companies should do to draw in a younger fan base so the future of our hobby doesn't disappear?