A few comments were hurled my way recently about products getting good reviews despite card companies using sticker labels for autographs instead of having them hard-signed by the athletes.
As anyone who has read Wax Heaven knows, I have been one of the biggest anti-sticker guys in The Hobby. I have been preaching my beliefs on why all brands should feature on-card autographs since 2007.
Today, I still feel this way but have to accept reality. As much as I’d like to see companies toss aside labels, I know it’s just never going to happen and no amount of complaining is going to help.
Yes, we can form a group to boycott a product like Triple Threads which costs nearly $200 dollars per box and features labels but take a look around. On forums and other blogs, collectors absolutely love the brand and will continue to support the companies.
I believe if a product offers something great but features sticker autographs, it should not be punished. One example would be Upper Deck Basketball, which features labels but also 300 cards for $60 dollars, including three “hits”. That to me is a winner, even with stickers.
Now, should I review a product that costs $400 dollars and has labels …. there’s just no way I could defend something like that. But for a low-end release like a flagship, I am really not bothered by it any longer and will just look for the positives like great photography and designs.
For the record, I believe in baseball, Topps killed the competition in 2009 and producing several brands with on-card autographs didn’t exactly hurt. From Topps & Bowman Chrome, to Heritage and Allen & Ginter, I believe Topps went out of their way to appease collectors as much as financially possible in 2009.
When the end of the year awards arrive, I believe they will be rewarded for their on-card baseball releases. I truly believe that come 2010, Topps will make an effort to produce 50% of their baseball releases with hard-signed cards.
To a collector who has pulled hundreds of sticker scribbles like the one you see below, something is better than nothing.