Topps’ Promotion Goes up in Ashes

Art is subjective. I get it. Ben Yang, known to his millions of social media followers as Ben Baller, believes photoshopping diamond-studded gloves or gaudy gold necklaces around a baseball player’s neck is art. Collectors seem to agree, as his Project 2020 Mike Trout card sold nearly 35,000 copies. It came as no surprise that Topps, desperate for money, called on Yang once again to participate in Project 70. The results this time around, haven’t been as popular as the original Trout.

On Twitter and online forums, Yang’s Project 70 offerings have been relentlessly ridiculed. Turns out adding diamond filters in a player’s eyes just ain’t enough to appeal to many collectors in 2021. To make matters worse, Topps’ Ben Baller exclusive Chrome set went on sale yesterday and sat for nearly the entire day without selling out. As many now know, thanks to robots and flippers, 99% of the time, new product sells out within minutes if not immediately after they go live.

2021 Topps Chrome Ben Baller is a $240 per box product that doesn’t guarantee autographs and offers 5 parallels to chase. It’s essentially the Topps flagship with a diamond background embedded into the design. I can’t imagine why collectors weren’t chomping at the bits to load up on these boxes but considering there are 5-7 new releases per month, it may just be the oversaturation of the market. It’s time for Topps to cut back on new products and let their printers take a much needed rest.

While all this was happening, Mr. Baller decided to post a video of himself burning a Topps product, HIS OWN Topps product, mind you, which he then posted on Instagram and Twitter for his millions of followers. In the video, he is burning the card because it features Carlos Correa, a member of the Houston Astros team that was busted for cheating. I get the message but if you are a spokesperson for Topps, how can you publicly destroy the product you are being paid to promote?

In the past seventy years of Topps baseball cards, there have been hundreds, maybe even thousands of collectors and/or celebrity or social media influencers who deserved their own line of Topps baseball cards. People who are true collectors, renowned artists, or just big fans of the sport of baseball in general. Topps Company, in all their infinite wisdom, for some reason decided to go after this clown. Go ahead and add this to the list of celebrity endorsements gone wrong.

A real collector would have burned a Panini America Carlos Correa card but what can you expect from a guy who changes his name from Yang to Baller? To make matters worse, Yang or someone around him grabbed that burned Topps card and placed it on eBay where it will now get thousands of collector’s eyes on it. Stop me if I’m wrong and maybe I am just an angry Boomer but shouldn’t a paid endorser be working on making your brand look great? To me, this is one more black eye for Topps that it just can’t afford.

For the record, diamond themes on baseball cards was around while Baller was in diapers. Fleer’s Diamond Producers line from the 90s puts Topps and Baller to shame and is more than two decades old. There’s an entire run of diamond themes from the 90s that should be appreciated and studied by Fanatics because back then, most of what you’d pull from packs of baseball cards could be considered works of art. It’s a shame that Ben Baller and many new collectors don’t have a clue on the greatness of cards from yesteryear.

5 thoughts on “Topps’ Promotion Goes up in Ashes

  1. Weird he did this and even weirder people are bidding on it.

    That Ultra Diamond Producers Jeter is awesome. Late 90s inserts hold up!

  2. This is what happens when hack artists join the baseball card craze. They would never make it in the modern art world so they take advantage of the dupes in the second junk wax era.

  3. He’s burning a Carlos Correa card because Correa cheated in games, but he’s got Trevor Bauer on his product’s checklist? Messed up priorities!

    Topps has absolutely no incentive to cut back on production if it’s not going to have a license much longer.

  4. I still don’t know who this guy is, and will never care enough to bother to look into why he’s supposed to be “famous”.

  5. Pingback: Topps Continues to Flirt with Lawsuits | The Baseball Card Blog

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