This is the third post in a series about what I will do with the Topps flagship set after I’ve bought out the company with the money I’m getting from the very nice Nigerian Prince I’m helping out (joke, joke, joke-itty joke, joke, joke).
On Monday I mentioned that there won’t be any more foil, but there actually is more thought behind it than “Nah, I don’t like it, get rid of it”.
Foil on cards was introduced just over 20 years ago to make cards seem “high end”. At first they were on parallels and inserts, and before very much longer they were incorporated into the design.
Now it’s gotten to the point where having foil no longer makes a card high end, it’s just another design element. Ignore for a minute that Panini products don’t have team logos, and just think about the card design. Does 2014 Topps seem that much more “high end” than the foil-less 2014 Pinnacle? You may not like Pinnacle, but I doubt you ever said “I’m not collecting it because it doesn’t have foil”.
So my thinking is this: If it costs extra yet gets taken for granted, why do it? Does 2014 Topps with foil really look any better than 2014 Opening Day without? Would anybody really miss it if it quietly went away? Would it have unintended side effects like making player names legible again?
After I was done thinking about the necessity of foil, that line of thought took me to a more controversial place: Relics.
I think by this point everybody has at least a trace of doubt about how authentic any relic card is. It’s cool to think that a piece of jersey is one that once made contact with Clayton Kershaw’s skin (to pick a random example and make it sound as creepy as possible), but that’s assuming that the card company and their jersey supplier and any other people in the pipeline are on the up-and-up. It’s not like KPMG is auditing this stuff, it all ultimately comes down to trust.
Add to that the general feeling I get that relics are largely “over”, and people aren’t as enthused about them as they used to be.
One final thought about relic cards: If the thick relic cards are gone, then that gives “pack feelers” one less thing to feel.
But what really comes to mind is that this is a business, and in a business one thing you examine is “Return On Investement”. If we sink a certain amount of money in buying relics, will it result in at least a like amount in sales?
I’m not sure it does anymore. So I’m pulling the authentic stuff. Maybe people will care, maybe they won’t. We’ll see.
What do you think? Does foil make a difference any more? Would you miss relics if they went away? Would you be just as happy with “manupatch” cards and other similar cards which don’t claim to be anything other than decorative?