Taking Issue With Beckett Media

15 09 2010

Author: Mario Alejandro

No, it’s not what you think. I am not back to blogging full-time, nor is this another jab at Beckett Baseball’s editor, Chris Olds. Actually, since my departure from the blogosphere, Beckett’s blog has become a daily visit for me, believe it or not. While my days of collecting are behind me, I still have an interest in The Hobby, which is why I have become an avid reader of that site.

I no longer have time to keep up with the “inside” info great forums like Freedom Card Board provide, or from reading the hundreds of collector blogs so Beckett provides just the right amount of information for someone like me who wants just the facts sprinkled with the images and details. That way I can kinda sorta pretend like I know what I’m talking about on the rare occasion I log into my Wax Heaven Twitter account.

That being said, something Chris Olds said in a recent blog really irked me. Forget about the fact that I wrote about a very similar story well over a year ago. What really gets me is his assumption that many collectors “cringe” when reminded of Fleer’s Metal Universe line from the late-90’s. Yes, the cards were not as valuable as other releases from that year but are they any worse than today’s sets because it lacked relics and autographs and were a little, well, over the top? Absolutely not.

I challenge any collector to purchase a box of Metal Universe from the few years it was in production (I believe ’96-’98) and tell me what they think. First off, notice how much more enjoyable (and valuable) parallels are when they are actual tough pulls and not 10-12 per box. Second, look at the base cards and tell me when was the last time a card company put that much time and effort into their cards.

Just go out and bust a box of the uberhot 2010 Bowman and tell me how much fun you have if you don’t pull a Stephen Strasburg base or parallel. Yes, the cards are well produced, feature above average photography (most of the time) and the Refractor parallels are beautiful but how much time did you spend looking through your duds AKA commons?

With every card in Metal Universe, you had something great to look at and it didn’t matter if you just pulled a Ken Griffey Jr. or a Billy Ripken. In a day and age in collecting when parallels consist of an extra border or reflective film on a card, Metal Universe was a step in the right direction by a company that was clearly on its last legs.

No, I’m not calling for The Hobby to go back to the “good ole days” when base was everything, relics didn’t exist and autographs in packs were only done by Upper Deck; I’m just saying that a forgotten brand like Metal Universe deserves a little respect by Beckett Media since it is clear that collectors on eBay, browsing forums, and writing blogs already have plenty of respect for this unique brand from yesteryear.

For more coverage on Metal Universe, click HERE.


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11 responses

15 09 2010
TJ

I totally agree. I wasn’t even collecting in the late ’90s, but I’ve been picking up packs of Metal Universe whenever I can because they really do look better that 99% of the stuff that comes out now.

15 09 2010
Paul

I challenge anyone to find a decently-priced box of any of the basketball product that contains either Precious Metal Reds/Greens or Autographics. Beckett reminds me of fashions in my small hometown–by the time that whatever is hot gets picked up by them, there’s already something new to replace it, they just don’t realize it yet.

15 09 2010
Hoopography

It is kinda weird that a company that produces a magazine, blog, price guide for an industry like card collecting is always three steps behind the trends. It was one thing 15 or 20 years ago, but now all the necessary info is at ones finger tips. I understand the timelines needed in the publication of a print magazine, but they shouldn’t be months behind what’s happening.

I’m a 90’s card junky and enjoy the design elements from those products. Metal Universe has some of the most well thought out designs in the last 15 years and collectors today now it.

15 09 2010
Tim

I bought Metal Universe back when it was released because the designs were unique and kept my interest. Did I care if I pulled an ultra-rare insert? Heck no, and that’s why I collect from the ’90s still today. Sometimes I get lucky, other times I don’t. But in the end, every break I do brings enjoyment to me.

18 09 2010
themojohand

Whats the mans name you MARIO!!

18 09 2010
dogfacedgremlin

Some of my favorite sets from mid-90s were the Metal Universe hockey releases.

18 09 2010
sanjosefuji

I’ll be honest… I don’t think I appreciated Metal Universe back in the day, as much as I do now. Back then… I looked at them as overproduced cards… however today one of the cards I want to add back into my collection is a 95/96 Metal “Silver Parallel” of MJ. I miss that card… should have never traded it away.

23 09 2010
cynicalbuddha

Ah that was the time when all the card companies were trying to out do each other too.
I miss the innovation from the 90’s and early 2000’s. Remember Topps Tek, Cards with windows, die cuts, slides? I’m a sucker for the odd, absurd and unpractical. I also miss all the oddball food issues from the 70’s and 80’s.

And yep I remember picking up packs of Metal. I liked it and to be honest I miss the innovation. The last really good card set idea that was fairly original came out of Upper Deck in Masterpieces. That was the first time in a long time I’ve thought they had done something new and worthwhile. Now it’s retro themed cards and crappy base cards that all look alike. Look at Topps base sets this year. They all use the same design, Pro Debut, Series 1 and 2 baseball, WWE, and Football. And pretty much everything Panini has put out in the Football category is exactly the same down to the hits. Boring.

23 09 2010
Matt

Awesome to see I’m not the only person showing love for this set. When I was young, this set got me into collecting and I recently purchased the 96 master set. The memories I get from that are priceless compared to the stuff being produced today. From 96-98 this was the best set produced hands down.

28 09 2010
DDoubleplay Sports

Mario
yea i really miss reading your blog it was always on point! it was like the little guy in the hobby had a voice.anyway i hope you and your family are doing well.
cheers paul

29 09 2010
JBob

lets face it 90’s inserts and parallels sell for far more than game used relics when done right. Canseco cards from that era are untouchable in price. Who wants a plain white jersery when donruss crusade is around? In fact some patches don’t touch the price range of a good rare, well designed 90’s inserts.

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