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.





Card of the Day – ’98 Metal Universe

21 01 2009

Before I even begin writing about Metal Universe you should probably ask yourself if this is the kind of product that you would be into. Basically, if you collect for the fun and excitement of pulling a rare or unique card definitely stick around. If your idea of collecting involves going through a 5,000 count box of 2004 Topps Total or are simply a collecting snob who looks down on non-prospect or high-end products, click HERE.

Now, if you are still here then you probably know exactly what Fleer/Skybox Metal Universe was all about. How it made its baseball debut in 1996 with comic book-inspired themes and all foil fronts. Even back then, Metal Universe was a bit tacky but no one could say it wasn’t innovative. Their inserts, especially the hard to find ones are some of the most unique of all-time, something that Fleer will always be remembered for.

This wonderful card came courtesy of “Topher”, a Wax Heaven reader and published author! I just want to thank you for reading the site and sending a few 90’s cards my way. In a few hours I will post a tribute to Metal Universe featuring none other than Derek Jeter, so stay tuned!

P.S – Old School Box Breaks just did a box break of this (link).