Panini Prizm baseball is one of the hot new products on the hobby landscape. It came out last Wednesday, April 17th, following in the footsteps of Prizm basketball and football products.
As I've seen some of the cards pulled from group breaks, one of the things that stuck out in my mind was cards being labeled "Rookie" when they were clearly of last year's rookie card crop (Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish, Matt Harvey, etc).
But last night I realized that this set is being called 2012 Panini Prizm. 2012??? It came out in April 2013. 4 months into the year, 2 months after 2013 Topps, 2 weeks after the 2013 MLB season began and days after Panini released it's own 2013 Triple Play product.
If you thought calling National Treasures a 2012 product was a stretch, what do you call this? If you're like me, you call it a money grab.
Panini has found a successful mid-range priced product in Prizm and by releasing their 2012 version now, can capitalize on those 2012 rookies AND release a 2013 version this year as well. Twice as much Prizm money for Panini in fiscal 2013, right?
I believe that Beckett and even the leagues had guidelines about release years at one point; but being a non-licensed product, I guess Panini can do what they want. So it looks like it will fall upon the hobby to determine whether this truly is a 2012 product or not.
So I ask... do you consider this a 2012 product or a 2013 product?
Heroes of Sport is a re-pack product that made a splash in the hobby over the last few months. Their product contains just 4 cards (and in most boxes it's 3 cards and a raffle ticket) and cost between $400 and $500.
It's been said that the product was even created for group breakers. With spots around $125-150 each, it's been a "high roller" favorite since its introduction.
Now I have to admit that I've gotten caught up in the HoS hype and bought into a few boxes. Too many, honestly. Here's a rundown of everything I've got in HoS:
Additionally I got 5500 "Heroic Points". I sold 2000 for $40, and have 3500 unsold right now. Assuming I can get the same 2 cents per point, that's a total of $110.
That brings the total value a bit over $800, with 9 spots at varying prices costing me nearly $1200.
That's a loss of nearly $400, not including the fees to get the two vintage cards graded. And that's assuming I could sell everything at full value. It's definitely hobby money that I could've spent more wisely; like buying single cards off my wantlist or getting some memorabilia I've wanted to pick up.
Now, I've seen people pull some really nice stuff out of these boxes. Ty Cobbs, Babe Ruths, Nolan Ryan autographed game-used jersey cards, a Kirby Puckett game-used bat. I like the idea, I really do; it's just been poorly executed in my admittedly small sample size.
But 1990 Fleer belongs nowhere near this product. Don't over-inflate "value" by quoting Beckett prices for cards in better condition than the actual card someone's pulled, and don't label cards rookies when they're not. I don't think those are unreasonable demands.
Now I'm prepared to cut Heroes of Sport some slack, as this is their first product -- and there has been value delivered in their products. It's just that when a product is this high-end, it's hard to have value distributed evenly -- and that's going to lead to some customer dissatisfaction. The key for Heroes is that they have to learn from this product and make the necessary changes to ensure that dissatisfaction remains at a minimum and they have a healthy customer base for their next product.
I'm fickle. Let's start with that and get it out of the way. Not with my sports teams, mind you, but with things I buy. I try all kinds of things and then try something else. Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, Beats, Bose, tastes great, less filling -- you get the picture.
But not with your collection, you may be thinking... yes, even with my collection. As a kid, I only collected baseball cards. Then I added hockey. Shortly after that, I switched to hockey only. But then wrestling cards crept in. Hockey and wrestling, that's it. Oooh... autographs. You get the picture.
I've tried doing player collections, but I'm qucikly realizing that the completist in me will put me in the poorhouse if I try to chase every card down.
Quite simply, I'm going to collect what catches my eye from now on. Cool cards that I pull from packs, they're mine. Bargains I find online or at shows, keeping 'em. Some memorabilia and TTM autographs have their place also. Nicely graded copies of cards I had as a kid, they're in too. But I'm going to try and pare down the wantlist, so that I'm not constantly on a chase.
In fact, you'll see that my wantlist is pretty much down to several key rookies that I'm looking for and stuff I need to complete sets. One thing that I'm going to try and do however, is limit the number of sticker autographs in my collection. While flipping through some of the cards I've picked up over the past few months, some of them seem to stick out like a sore thumb.
Now, don't go around thinking that my Velvet Sky autographs are on their way out, because TNA hasn't released any on-card autos that I can replace them with! But there are definitely some players that I'll be looking to trade my sticker autos for on-cards of.