Recession? What Recession?

7 11 2009

During a time when many collectors have had to quit buying new products or simply sold off their collection, Topps’ Triple Threads and Upper Deck’s Sweet Spot have provided a surprising return on investment during this recession.

It all began with the heavily publicized game-used bat barrel cards Upper Deck produced for Sweet Spot. Now, while those cards were promoted everywhere, it’s the Game-Used Patch Jumbos that have pulled surprising sales.

Recently, an Ichiro bat barrel #’d to four hit eBay and while it stalled for several days under one thousand dollars, the final sale of $3,650 was shocking to say the least, considering there are three others to be found.

Meanwhile, the product that was panned in some circles, Triple Threads, has been a huge performer on the secondary market thanks to Wood and White Whales #’d to 1, along with other low-numbered parallels and foldout cards.

Perhaps the greatest card in Triple Threads, a “one of a kind” cut signature featuring Ty Cobb, Cy Young, and Tris Speaker, was recently pulled by a young collector’s father and posted on the Topps message board.

Typical of the message board atmosphere, rather than congratulate him on a pull of a lifetime, other members questioned him and pretty much called him a liar … that is until he provided a front and back scan of the card.

Message board antics aside, just by looking at some of the completed auctions on eBay it appears that the myth of Topps not being able to produce a good, high-end baseball release has now been debunked.

As for Upper Deck’s Sweet Spot, while it’s not their last 2009 release on the calendar, it is the final brand to feature MLB logos. It appears that much like Seinfeld, Upper Deck went out on top.

No licensed baseball cards for you!


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30 responses

7 11 2009
Beaverman3001

1 mediocre release doesn’t suddenly mean Topps is good at making high end cards.

7 11 2009
toriihunter

wow 3000 dollars, might as well just buy the whole bat

7 11 2009
Mario A.

Mediocre? It’s selling like hot cakes.

I guess we’ll all see what happens with Tribute (don’t have much hope for Sterling).

7 11 2009
Beaverman3001

Some of it sells high sure. But you have to look at a product as a whole. Tons of boxes have a scrub rookie auto and a mediocre relic card that combine sell for 30$. Even some of the triple auto case hits aren’t selling for 50$. I’m not saying its terrible, but its hardly a great release, especially to tout Topps as good at high end. I think you are way overlooking the terrible of the release because of a few nice chase hits being pulled early.

7 11 2009
Mario A.

… but Triple Threads is all about chase cards and nothing more.

There is no way you will ever guarantee Hall of Famers / Superstars in every single box, high-end or not. If you don’t want a gamble, pick up a box of Sport Kings for $600.

There are lots of duds but also LOTS of cards selling for decent money and tons of big hits being pulled in all the forums. Perception is a good thing and those big hits will stay in collector’s memory much longer than that lousy Cameron Maybin auto #’d to 600.

P.S – I think Triple Threads has many flaws but I just can’t call a product with these type of cards mediocre.

http://cgi.ebay.com/2009-Triple-Threads-Hanley-Ramirez-3x-Patch-Logo-1-1_W0QQitemZ160371488894QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Baseball?hash=item2556e2b87e

7 11 2009
tomtheripper

Ultimate Collection isn’t going to have MLB logos? Also don’t forget about Unique baseball

7 11 2009
Beaverman3001

For every card like that Hanley there are 100 worthless cards

http://cgi.ebay.com/09-Triple-Threads-BLAKE-DeWITT-AUTO-JERSEY-70-75_W0QQitemZ370279278405QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Baseball?hash=item56365d6745

I’m fine with a product being a gamble, I gamble on boxes a lot. But as someone who buys a lot of high end, this is a high end product not worth purchasing. Your odds would be better with something such as premier for the same price.

7 11 2009
dayf

Holy CRAP that Eddie Mathews patch is awesome!!!!
Why did UD lose their license again??

Also: Dear eBay.
I know you think you’re slick putting the images in that pop up window where you can’t rightclick->save. I however use Linux.
1. Applications
2. Accessories
3. Take Screenshot
4. Grab Selected Area.

Sincerely,
Someone who used to be a customer

7 11 2009
Anonymous

We all know what’s fueling Mario’s high opinion of nearly everything Topps and Upper Deck, don’t we?

Tom

7 11 2009
David Joseph Smith

Triple Threads is like a Scratch-and-Win lottery card. The odds are against you long term but the casino (Topps in this case) lets you win a little every once in a while and lets someone win big once in a great while to grease the skids. Don’t spend more than you can afford to lose, that’s all.

7 11 2009
Mario A.

What’s your conspiracy theory, Tom?

I’d love to hear the opinion of someone who called me a liberal for saying Rodney King received a brutal beating …

7 11 2009
jl

I look at any box is like to lottery. If you are willing to take the gamble, you might end up with a prize piece, the high prices will go down. The stuff is new, people eat it up, when something else comes along, that will be the flavor of the month. The only thing that pisses me off I like the bat barrels, but they could have made one a redemption for the bat. 2/4, 1/4 does it really matter, I think this is a glimps of the next game used relic to be flooding the market in the years to come.

7 11 2009
Anonymous

Well, Mario, I’ve just got to wonder if ensuring the continued flow of free, new product to your doorstep factors into your overwhelmingly bright and cheery opinion on all things Topps and Upper Deck lately.

Perhaps your view wouldn’t be as rosy if you had to shell out your own cash for the boxes you break?

As for Rodney King and liberal….well, you’re more liberal than I by far, and Rodney should count himself lucky he was in L.A. back when, rather than Brooklyn….he only took 41 whacks, it could have been 41 shots.

If he had charged at me after being told repeatedly to get down, he would have taken two to the chest, end of story, and no big loss.

What would you have done, Mario……taken out your switchblade and tried to fend him off?

Tom

8 11 2009
Mario A.

Tom, fair enough. I can see you’re not just some troll.

I have always tried to find the positive in a product, no matter how bad it is. In all of 2007 and most of 2008 I overpaid for all my boxes at a local card shop and in about 30 reviews, the lowest grade I ever gave out was a “D” for 2007 Fleer. Ugh!

As for Topps, I think they have been flawless in baseball this year (minus Ticket & Attax). All year long I have been bashing UD for their tired designs so it’s good to see their last few releases get my attention.

These reviews are my personal opinions. Not everyone is always going to agree, that’s why I open up the comments section.

8 11 2009
jamoke

Hey Tom, Mind if I call you uncle Tom? It was nifty how you peppered so much racism into a short post. I especially like how Mario just ignored your stab at his latin heritage with your switchblade comment. After wading through all the innuendo and pointed remarks in your post I was able to find fault with your only sentient point. Mario gives everything he busts away to the forum. Now go put some SPF on that neck of yours before it blisters.

8 11 2009
Will Entrekin

Man, I thought the behavior on that Topps message board concerning that awesome tri-sig pull was abhorrent, and then I saw Tom’s posts.

8 11 2009
Anonymous

Hey jamoke, only my nieces and nephew call me Uncle Tom….you can call me Sir.

No racism here, I’d shoot any lowlife who charged at me after refusing to follow an order to get down on the ground, regardless of their color or creed….care to help me demonstrate?

You can take my switchblade comment any way you want, joke, but Mario himself referenced carrying a knife for protection months ago, right around the time he referenced someone “heading back north to a rat infested ghetto (NY)”, or words to that effect, if I remember correctly……I made pointed comments then, I’ll make them now…..

As to the “sentient point”, the only fault I see is with your logic, as the ultimate resting place of the cards Mario receives isn’t the issue, and never was…..I actually commend the fact that he gives the cards away.

Given that Mario has clearly stated several times that he only collects a couple players, one can surmise that his enjoyment derived from cards, at this point, is in ripping packs and busting boxes…..and it’s easier to be…generous…in one’s critique of those products when they haven’t cost one anything, as well as ensuring more product is on the way. And that could very well be the case here, if only on a subconscious level…….

And I’m not the only person online who’s stated such an opinion.

As to your final bit of witty repartee….wrong part of the country, sport. Now go get your fuckin’ shinebox, joke.

8 11 2009
Mario A.

I could not care less if the companies stopped sending free products.

Mr. Scott of the Wax Report gets every box of baseball and provides excellent reviews for Wax Heaven.

My only enjoyment from the Hobby today is writing. I no longer collect (have not picked up a card in four months) & don’t keep a single thing I am sent.

With each box I break, I state the good and bad of every product. If you want reviews like “fuck this shit sucks” or something else, Wax Heaven is not the place for it.

8 11 2009
Nick

Your class is unmatched Mario.

9 11 2009
jamoke

Mario’s class is matched only by Uncle Tom’s lack of it. Hey Tom, there are plenty of rednecks up in your area too. Unfortunately they sometimes wear badges and stick toilet plungers up asses. I guess you forgot where the term originated. Irish immigrants whose fair skin burned easily after a hard day of labor. By continuing the racist undertones with your shinebox comment, you are only professing your own ignorance.

9 11 2009
jamoke

Your ignorant and aggro shoot first and ask questions later attitude is what is going to inevitably lead to damned liberals taking our right to bear arms. You dont have to be an intolerant asshat to be a conservative. It is just unfortunate that most intolerant asshats ARE conservatives. As a Repub I am embarrassed by that.

9 11 2009
toolboxroom

I don’t get the problem people have with reviewers recieving free products. It’s not like that doesn’t happen in all kinds of industries. You think car and driver buy every car they write about? I have friends that write reviews for outdoor equipment and they get free products from the companies they review. It is just part of how buisness is done.

I also don’t see a problem with a review pointing out positives. This hobby is purely volentery, no one has to collect. Reviews bashing every product and company and blogs full of anger make no sense. If the hobby makes someone so angry find a new hobby.

9 11 2009
Slowdog

The above nonsense … by all parties involved … has no business being on Wax Heaven. We are all poorer for having to wade through it to get to real content.

9 11 2009
Kory

toolboxroom,
I totally agree with you. If I ran a card company, I’d do the same thing. I’d make sure Mario’s boxes were loaded too and not just Beckett’s. How is putting the best of your product in front of as many people as possible not a good business practice? Its about showing the people the cards. I’ve never heard anyone claim that this is what you can expect in your box before busting a free review. That’s not the intent.

9 11 2009
Anonymous

Hey joke,

The only thing my shinebox comment professed is my eternal love for the always witty dialogue in Goodfellas……

9 11 2009
ToddUncommon

Not surprised that there were skeptics on the message board. I’m actually encouraged by their skepticism, although they could be a little more tactful and a little less dick-y about it.

Nice case of pics or it didn’t happen.

9 11 2009
Mario A.

Listen guys,

I have had to junk a few comments already. Let’s keep this about the story on hand.

Someone believed I was in cahoots and I gladly approved it so I could respond. Now it’s starting with personal attacks and that is not needed.

Thanks,

-Mario A.

9 11 2009
Toriihunter

I hate how people like Tom turn an inncoent collectors haven like this into some war of insulting Mario for your own amusement. If you are going to insult Mario keep it to yourself. It takes a complete dumbass to insult him on a blog full of people who enjoy marios writing and a place where Mario can edit or simply delete your comment. Anyone could come up with a valid argument against anyone. It is not hard to do. For example I could say Tom is being a racist bastard but I’m not going to say that. If I wante to I could come up with arguments against Mario but I don’t want to because I for one enjoy what Mario Is doing here. Btw no one here is ever going to agree with you and I suggest you leave and stop commenting on this blog Tom

10 11 2009
toolboxroom

An attempt at getting back on target:

I have to agree with the sentiment of this posts title.

Over the last year or so I have heard a lot about how now is the time to buy, with the market going south collectors will be looking to sell.
The problem is that never seemed to happen.

As Mario points out we have been having some big releases of real high end stuff and it is selling fast. Big ticket cards seem to be hitting new highs every time something hits ebay.

It’s too bad that just as companies seem to be hitting stride with ultra high end stuff licenses keep getting pulled.

10 11 2009
Wes

I bought two boxes of Sweet Spot and one box of Triple Threads and I would definitely give an A+ for the Sweet Spot and a D for the Triple Threads based on my limited purchases. Out of the two boxes of Sweet Spot, These were my pulls by box.

Box #1

1. Vada Pinson Bat Barrel serial numbered 1/2
2. Matt Kemp Auto Ball
3. Brett Gardner Rookie Auto
4-6. 3 semi-star jerseys

Box #2

1. Jay Bruce Auto Bat #/50
2. Pujols/Jeter/Griffey/Hamilton Quad Jersey
3. Another Brett Gardner Rookie Auto
4. Carl Yazterzemski Jersey
5. Jeter Jersey
6. Cliff Lee Jersey

This is my one box of Triple Threads

1. David Price – 3rd year auto that has a RC logo on it #/75 (everyone knows this isn’t his rookie so why even put the logo on the card)

2. Johan Santana Triple Jersey #/36

So for the same price as the Triple Threads, I got 4 Autos, a Bat Barrel and 7 other Jersey cards. You tell me which one is a better buy? Triple threads is a typical Topps product that has very few hits for a whole lot of money.

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