As we all know, Stale Gum recently asked us all this question for the Blog Bat Around:
Michael Eisner has just fired the entire Topps Product Development staff and chose to hire you to take their place. Mr. Eisner has given you carte blanche to do whatever you want with Topps Baseball -- as long as you keep it under $2/pack. If you were in charge of Topps, and based upon what you've seen of 2011 Topps Baseball Series One, what (if anything) would you have done differently?
I don't think some of my ideas are going to be very popular, and I might get blackballed for my thoughts, but here we go.
- EVERY LAST INSERT IS GONE!!!!!! Of the four rack packs I bought, instead of the 36 cards it states, I got 26, 27, 28, and 29 base cards in the four packs. I feel like I got short changed. If you are trying to built a set, it will cost you. Give me my 36 base cards! No more Twinkle cards, no more Gold and Black parallels. I guess the Diamond parallels are fine for one time to mark the 60th anniversary. If you want to do the Million card(Diamond giveaway) code cards, great. Don't short me on a regular card though. No more 60 years of Topps, or cards your mom threw out. Leave out the Kimball Minis too please.No more Topps 60, or Diamond Duos. No History of Topps, vintage before Topps reprints, and NO MORE TOPPS TOWN CARDS!!!
- If you want to do the Target throw back, or the WalMart black background parallels fine. Put them in a separate CLEARLY MARKED blaster so people don't feel cheated.
- There will be a 10 year moratorium on Mickey Mantle. No more will we have to waste card #7 every year. To end the confusion if his card is a short print or not, he won't be in the base set. Also, the SP's of old players on the same card number as a base card are gone too. NO MORE GIMMICKS!
- The size of the set will go back to what it used to be, 792 cards and a 132 card Traded set. You can do the main 792 as one set like the 80's, or you can do two sets of 396. I like the break down of all teams have 25 cards for the roster. There would be 30 cards that are team cards like the 70's and 80's with a team photo on the front, with the manager's photo. The back of the team card will have a checklist of the card #, player name, position, and uniform #. Ten of the last 12 cards would be the league leaders in Wins, ERA, Home Runs, RBI's, and stolen bases. The last two cards would be the league MVP's. As far as the 132 card Traded series, it reverts back to what it was. Guys that came up in the season, or players who were traded to new teams. No airbrushing, or photo shop PLEASE!
- The card stock would go back to what we all love-CARDBOARD! Goodbye white, goodbye slick cards. The back of cards would have stats, not a bunch of trivial crap. If the guys haven't had much time in the majors, we get their full minor and major league stats. I liked cards that would have sevens years of minors stats and one line of majors.
- Since we are going back to the way cards used to be, FOIL IS GONE TOO!! That's right, we didn't have foil when we were kids. It has run it's course for the last 20 years, time to go.
- Topps will go back to doing what it does best, a base set of cards. The only other set we will make is Heritage. This is a way to get the younger collectors to know what the older set looked like. Sets like Opening day, Chrome, Gypsy Queen, and A&G will all be gone. Too many different things to try and collect. Our Bowman cards will be made as one set. It will only contain prospects that have not made it to the Major Leagues yet. It will be similar to the Pro Debut set from last year. If you like we can re-name Bowman to Pro Debut. There will be no big leaguers in this set, and there will be NO CHROME!
- The size of a pack of cards will be increased to what it once was. I think 17 or 18 cards in a pack should be a good number. Quality control will do a better job of insuring that collation of cards is to higher standards also.
- We will have a whole new team working on our website. They will be more up on the news of the collecting world. We will ask bloggers to write guest commentaries. We will have checklists that are full and accurate before cards come out. NO MORE TBA's ON A CHECKLIST. We will also have complete checklists from all previous years sets.
- Topps will discontinue the production of manufactured relics. No more hat patches, no more simulated gloves, no abortion cut signatures. Sticker auto's are a thing of the past. No more jersey pieces that may or may not have actually been worn, or aren't even from that player's era.
- Topps wants to give collectors a reason to try and seek out their local card stores. In hobby boxes only, there will be a pack of cards that won't be base cards...it will be on card autos from cards that are at least 25 years old. We work with living players to have some of the leftover cards that don't ship from the Topps Million Card Giveaway to sign these for us. Collectors will go to LCS's and buy Hobby boxes knowing they will get their autos.
There you have a run down of the things I would like to see changed if I was king of the Card world. Let me know what you think. I know some ideas are pretty radical, but I want this hobby to go back to what it was and made me love it as a kid.