Re: Baseball Cards In A Slump: Sales down 80 percent since 1991 (Fleer out of busine
That's a very interesting development, Larkin Fan, and something I didn't know. Doesn't surprise me though and I'm not sure how good it will actually be for the collector.
Personally, I'm with you on the licencing limiting product offerings. Personally, I'd like to see three companies have licences (Topps, Upper Deck, and Donruss- because they've earned it). I would strongly hold that the licence limits each company to produce only three MLB products each year- one regular issue, one "premium" product, and one "super-premium" product.
And I'd be fine with Topps continuing the Bowman line as it's "premium" set offering OR using only Bowman Chrome as it's "super-premium" set. But the way I'm reading the article you posted, Bowman appears to be going the way of the dinosaur. That's too bad, because that set is always very well designed.
And Upper Deck is reportedly the front runner to purchase Fleer anyway, so limiting things to three companies is pretty near what's happening anyway.
The problem I see now is that Topps and Upper Deck are still free to flood the market with sub-standard base product while attempting to justify high prices due to high insert rates and gimmicky marketing ploys.
I question how good that is for the collector considering that there will be fewer memorabilia cards on the market. We probably won't see the true effect of that for a few years because there's already a memorabilia/autograph insert glut. But as new players begin to appear, there'll be less of those products available it seems. It appears that the move will be catering more toward the speculator market- which is how this whole mess got started in the first place.
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