Collectors, this is the end of our hobby

Here I am on a holiday facing another case of insomnia. I should have known that no matter how much turkey I stuffed down my throat that I would be on the computer looking for a story to write about. I guess you could say that I am absolutely obsessed about this hobby and maintaining Wax Heaven. I think it’s clear to everyone (even if you don’t like me), that I work my ass off hunting down every scoop possible while trying my hardest to remain on a neutral ground.

I returned to the hobby a year and a half ago and the one complaint I hear more than any other is the rise (and soon to be fall) of sticker autographs. Guess what my first box of wax in over a decade was? 2007 Topps Co-Signers and despite pulling a bunch of nobodies, I fucking loved every minute of each pack because collecting is what I do. On that day, I pulled my first sticker autograph and not only was it shiny and loud but it wasn’t even on straight. That was all it took for me to fall in love again and ultimately, begin kicking around the idea of starting a baseball card blog.

I didn’t love stickers but I sure as hell did not hate them. That all changed tonight when I was browsing through eBay and ran across this monstrosity of a product called Topps Lettermen. Not only is this a “high-end” product that ranges from $160-$200 per box on the secondary market, it features manufactured (not game-used) patches with sticker autographs placed on them!

The result is absolutely brutal. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the whole point of “Letterman” patches to be signed? Fine, I can understand that each one can’t be “game-used” but how in the world can you get away with charging close to $200 dollars per box and throwing some leftover sticker on the card? I would rather spend the rest of my collecting life busting old, worthless boxes of Pinnacle & Fleer wax if this is the path our Hobby is on in 2008, marching into 2009.

Am I wrong to feel this way?

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34 thoughts on “Collectors, this is the end of our hobby

  1. Just ran across your website via “checkoutmycards.com” I read your rant & could not agree more! I primarily deal in Golf Cards. It started out perfectly, great cards, nice SP’s REAL AUTO’s & GU jerseys. Fast forward a few years & STICKERS started to show up. Me personally, can’t stand them & think it should be illegal to use them. “Congratulations” You have just received an Autographed trading card of Tiger Woods. Bullshit, you just got a sticker. And OH were sorry that his auto runs off the little sticker we provided for him to sign. Who needs to see the full auto anyway! And it’s no different than the 7000 other little stickers he signed.
    I’m waiting for a full “UNCUT SHEET” of Tiger Woods autograph’s to show up on ebay! The auction would say something like, Get all 50 Tiger Auto’s in 1 place! No bulky cards to ship, just this nice clean sheet! Make your own 1/1’s right in the comfort of your home! Or cut up the sheet & make a fortune selling the unsed Stickers! It could go on & on, but really STICKERS, come on. Add to the poison, lots of the sticker auto’s are showing signs of fading in less than a year.
    After reading your rant & seeing that FB has a product with Stickers & Jersey’s that are not even Game Used, wholy crap……that’s just insane.

    my 2cents
    Ronnie

  2. Great googely moogely, those are hideous.

    Stickers don’t adhere to cloth very well. won’t they just fall off?

  3. Mario-

    I totally agree. When I first saw this fact in a Gellman post I was wondering how they could just put a sticker on a patch. I will give Topps credit for at least not totally screwing up and putting the sticker just right on the material and instead designing the card with a plastic slab over the patch/letter on which to put the sticker.

    Either way it is a case of Topps trying and failing yet again on a high end product. Sad. Sad because they could be great if they just tried.

  4. That is absolutely awful. Maybe even surpasses the badness of 08 Stadium baseball hobby.

    I wonder how many of these terrible “high end” products are going to be $40-$50 boxes in a couple of years because of the glut of similar products. Honestly, do they think they can get away with this for more than a year?

  5. These are absolutely hideous. Whoever green-lighted this particular concept needs to find a new line of work.

  6. This goes to show with the mass production of rookies and the incomptence of card companies, that if it can be done they will do it. The one thing with autos that I can not understand is doing cut signature cards of players that are not dead.

  7. Ronnie, since you’re a golf fan, you might find this amusing: My wife and I recently went on a mini vacation to Carmel, Calif. It’s a small, well-to-do village along the coast. Anyway, they had this one sports memorabilia shop with autographed stuff at high prices. Among them was an $1,800 Tiger Woods signed Upper Deck item in a great looking custom frame. The signature was on a goddamn sticker! It was the same kind of sticker UD uses on its cards. Only here they slapped it on some matted poster. What a mess. I would have taken a picture of it, but I was afraid the rich guys might throw me and my wife out of town.

  8. The hobby is not dead, just in need of going back to it’s roots. Chase cards are good, but wouldn’t you rather buy a 1971 Bradshaw rookie? I know, no thrill, but a solid value. I gave up opening new material a few years ago and collecting older football cards. Even with the stock market crash, the prices continue to go up! For me the new thrill, is finding that perfect 1969 Topps football card to upgrade my set.
    http://www.vintagetoppsfootballcards.com

  9. Just saw a box break on this product, just another example of mass produced product Topps had to get out before years end. Looks like all the cards are like this mess.

  10. Ha! I had not seen this product yet and I just laughed when i saw those stickers. If I pulled one of those or redeemed it. I would send it straight back to Topps with a letter asking them what they were thinking.

  11. Wait …. if the autograph is on a sticker, and the sticker is affixed to a patch, does this mean that the collector can easily pull the sticker off and then affix it to anything else they want? ~That is awesome!~ I smell a bunch of “rare” error/variations hitting the market soon …

  12. Everyone the stickers are affixed to a plastic window that is set above the patch and so they are not directly on the cloth which if that would have been the case then Topps definitely would have been screwy.

  13. hahahaha so bad.. wow.. i mean, the reason i dont hate sticker autographs is that you get to have the guys signature. But i like them being out because it makes those on card autos so much better. So when i recently pulled a on card auto of miguel cabrera which is one of my favorite players it was great. Im not really a fan of those manufactured patch cards either. but hey i mean i guess i like the concept that you can collect the guys name. its like a modern day puzzle piece insert set thats all.

  14. thats so f**kin guy dude y would u put a sticker on a patch thats stupid and after a couple of years it would probably fll off

  15. OK….so I am now sick to my stomach. Are they kidding me? What the HELL are they thinking. Two ideas I have…they hired high school kids to design their cards (Nothing against HS kids as some are VERY talented)……OR they are just so damn lazy that they forgot to send the patch cards out to get signed. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A DAMN YELLOW BOOK! They are Horrible! I know where I am NOT spending my money….I would feel horrible if one of my customers pulled that card.

  16. Holy Hitter, If the stickers are on the window and not directly on the patch, that makes this whole thing even worse. What good is a patch if you can’t touch it?

  17. Game over man, game over! This is the sign of the apocalypse! Human sacrifices, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria! This is a sad sad event in our hobby.

  18. This isn’t any worse than other manufactured patches. I got a cheap box of sp authentic awhile back, really thought it was like football. All there was were base and fake patches. That Austin Kearns faded auto on a fake patch pisses me off every time I look at it. Looking at those lettermen, same reaction.

  19. I agree with most of you above THIS IS TERRIBLE I have a HEAVENLY VIXEN card that is better looking than these. I’m sure the designer of the HEAVENLY VIXEN collection wud never even consider the use of stickers. Well enough said especially when The Doc is at a loss for words. That is sad if you know The Doc he always has something to say wether good or bad or if you agree or not. But to be speechless that is the ultimate sign for me this product sucks.

  20. You have to ask what’s next in the hobby? Autographed football loaded with f#*king stickers! I love to buy a $200 – $300 box of cards and pay them by a check that has an “ Authentic Personal Autograph “ stick on it and see how funny they think it would be!

  21. Topps should be punished for putting out manufactured letters with sticker autos on them.

  22. Hey Gang,
    I busted a four box (HTA) case of this stuff on Friday. It was not fun to pull a Peyton Manning Autograph Patch numbered to 7 and see that Topps wouldn’t take the time to properly place the “sticker”. It is just slapped in the corner. It would have looked much better if Topps had turned the sticker and had it run horizontal. All together for the price paid and the results I was not impressed and like a lot of others, including Mario, I hate manufactured patches and sticker auto. Oh well on to the next hideous product from the Big 3.

    Later Gang

  23. As always I find a gimmick I like and then the card companies turn it into some kind of monster the townsfolk chase out.

  24. From what I can tell you can still “touch” the patch as the plastic window that the sticker is attached to is only slightly larger than the sticker so it can be affixed to it. So mostly the patch can be touched, but there is that strip of plastic that the sticker can affix to in order for it to remain on the product.

    I find it horrible, the concept horrible, and I would never purchase the product. I just wanted to make sure that people understood what they did…….

  25. Al Bundy will not stand for this. It is time for No Ma’am to step in and remove these “girlie men” from their positions of creative designs at TOPPS and replace these “ladies” with the right guys. Men want football autographs “on card”. The only place for stickered auto’s should be on any woman we claim or on women we have been with. Men want actual game used patches not these manufactured hunks of junk made by chin lu hung. Besides who wouldn’t want a real game used patch card of a guy that scores 4 td’s in a game? And finally, men deserve something good….cheerleader game worn outfit cards which include panties and bra’s. Nothing says happiness like opening a up a gameday worn bra booklet. Who’s with me on this?

  26. Just found your rant, and it sums up everything that is wrong with the hobby right now, the geniuses who thought up topps letterman arguably created the worst product of the modern era. Sticker autographs and some manufactured pieces of crap, why pay for such a thing. Sticker autographs were pushing it, I like you came into the scene again about a year and a half to two and a half years ago I think it was, and thought sticker autographs were lame, but I could handle them. Now that they have added manufactured patches, it has just gone to far. High end products like letterman, ud premier, and the ultimate of last year, have immensley hurt the hobby with their poor quality, and stupid sticker manufactured cards. Whatever happened to the contenders with on card autographs that made the tom brady and peyton manning rookies so amazing? At least Sp Authentic still knows how to do it with GAME USED PATCHES AND ON CARD AUTOGRAPHS of the rookies, but even that is starting down a dark and slippery slope with these crappy by the letter manufactured crappy patches, and now for 2008 they’ve also added these stupid autograph cards with manufactured number patches. Who wants those anyway? They just suck,. Let me know if you have any other thoughts on this,

    Sincerely,

    Frustrated and angry in Va

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