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|Gold Card Talk Member|
Now in the wild, and online, the 2020 Non-Sport Almanac is available.
I've only glossed through it so far. Did find my ad in there, so that was good. Lots of information in here to absorb.
Will have them at the Chicago Show in May. If you don't find a way to get one sooner.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
I received one yesterday and am just getting around to looking at it today. I noticed that the Bench Warmer section was eliminated and I don't even see the listings moved into the Modern section. The values printed in the 2019 edition are probably still largely valid as I haven't heard of any recent, substantial swings in value for any of the cards.
There is now a "Non-Sport in Sports" section to accommodate various Topps Allen and Ginter and Upper Deck Goodwin Champions cards. That should interest a lot of collectors.
I'm afraid my copy is no longer in mint condition as I've already written in some notes.
Did they give a reason for removing Bench Warmer? I know those sets are insane to document, as are the promos, but the info is certainly needed.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
We were talking about it in the thread about last year's edition. It was something that had been considered by the company. It could be that if the prices don't seem to change significantly, Beckett would rather replace the listings with another franchise with more action. Matt has said it's a work in progress. It's still a very young publication in search of the best way to list all the information while also highlighting different franchises in each edition. I can't imagine Beckett got complaints for listing Bench Warmer cards but maybe it did.
You think Beckett might at least include the most recent stuff by them. Are they still producing cards?
This isn't the end of Bench Warmer. We just wanted to try listing some new content this year. While we understand that Bench Warmer has a devout following, it is also very niche. Replacing it with Non-Sport in Sports felt like a good call. Granted, Allen & Ginter and Goodwin Champions may be considered niche by some but they both cover a wide variety of non-sport subjects from presidents, animals, historical places and events, etc. We think we made the right call this year.
Now, the big challenge is figuring out how to incorporate both Bench Warmer and Non-Sport in Sports into the almanac without making the print too small and exceeding the budget. That may be something that is only feasible in a an all-digital release. Back to the drawing board!
|Silver Card Talk Member|
In the 2000's NSU started struggling with listing the known world of cards with each issue. It tried doing half-coverage every issue so that a collector could have an essentially complete guide every two issues, but with new sets coming out every year with an increasing number of sets having a much larger chase card total, it became like trying to stuff more clothes in a drawer already bowing. NSU started making decisions about what to start taking out of the guide: some of the cards from before the oldest of us were born, later 20th century cards with values that haven't changed much, and then even rather recent cards that don't move much anymore either.
What does a card collector want in a guide? Well, I want to be able to find a card that I have a question about whether what set or what value. In 2020 what would a guide like that cost to make and what would it have to retail for to make enough money to do it again in 2021? It appears that answer is at least $34.95
What Matt is seems to be saying is that there are limits to what Beckett can do with a guide. It may be tied to a page total every year to be able to sell it for $34.95, knowing there would be customer resistance at a $50 guide. With that in mind I think the larger, bold subheadings for chase card levels could be downsized to just bold without repeating the set title to tighten each set listing (at some point the set headings could just be bold too). Eliminate the line between the subheading and the breakdown. Eliminate the line between subheading groupings within a set. For the 40-50 card autograph levels, only list separately the cards that are selling for more than $15-20 - all others are commons in the <$15 range. For many sets maybe you just list the set value without the "common card" price line especially for factory sets or promo packs that are generally not broken up to be sold as singles. Maybe you get rid of the "common card" line for everything and let us do the math. Doing that would save a lot of space. Card collectors aren't grading a guide for style. They just want it to be as comprehensive as possible.
At some point Beckett would have to think about doing an old/vintage edition (ancient to 1980's cards) and also a post-1980's guide. You could do more with each one (color photos, additional description) rather than just trying to list everything.
The old/vintage edition might not need to be an annual. Each one could have an exclusive card shrinkwrapped to it.
I don't know much about Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions. If they're covered in a sports guide, they don't need to be repeated in a non-sports guide. I understand trying something different in each edition, though. There were Funko Pops included one year. Maybe Beckett should try sell sheets next year.
Maybe in the future an all-digital guide will be great assuming some teenagers of today become card collectors in the future, but for the generation that started collecting cards in the 50's-60's, the one that started in the 70's-80's, and maybe even within the one that started in the 90's-2000's, there is an ingrained preference for something that can be held in hand and flipped through using our fingers - something that never needs a charger.
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
"All-digital release" are dirty words!
It isn't feasible to sustain printing an ever growing database at a $34.95 price. I think we all recognize that by just trying to keep our own records up to date on our selected card titles. It's also of no use to have an Almanac with font too small to read.
I think you have to take a cue from the Encyclopedias. People used to buy a set of Encyclopedias for their kids, usually Britannica. They did that once because it was so expensive and most of the information in those books was never going to change. However new events always happened and sometimes they even changed the subjects already written about.
So to stay current, you could subscribe to buy an annual book or books every year from the same Encyclopedia maker. These days I don't know how many families bother with their own books, but I can tell you that I plagiarized many a report from my trusty Encyclopedia in grade school.
Since the prices on the majority of older cards don't seem to change, and collectors take them with a grain of salt anyway, why not make the Almanac reflect only new products for that year and any cards that have significantly changed in price from the basic full Almanac, which would be any Almanac already made, including 2020 and all previous Editions? The yearly published Almanac would then fully cover all new cards released and have edited entries of already published sets that highlight ONLY those cards that have had big swings in value.
That's the only way I can think to keep it in print besides putting out two Almanacs. One for vintage that will never have another edition and one that covers only a span of a certain number of the most recent years that will drop sets as the years go on. That's a different version of making the yearly book manageable. Did I mention that there is no way I'm going digital for anything?
I think so.
|New Card Talk Member|
Maybe a digital appendix for some of the fringier stuff?
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
So I picked up my new 2020 Almanac a couple of weeks ago, but really haven't looked at it since. Happy that most of the printing seems readable, although font size seems to change on certain pages.
Anyway my big change interest was in the new section of Non-Sport in Sports and its a good news, bad news thing. It gives us a lot more information than we had, but also less than it would if it was as inclusive as I expected it to be.
The section really covers only Topps' Allen and Ginter and UD's Goodwin products. What happened to all those non-sport autographs that wind up as extras in sports card sets? Signed cards from The Fans of The Game series for instance. Or some of that Canadian Hockey stuff that had Evans or Shatner signatures? It wouldn't take much room to list them, because there might have only been a few such applicable hit cards in there. Much of that slips by our notice, where as A&G and Goodwin checklists are fairly well distributed.
So that would be my suggestion for the next Almanac if this section is repeated. Expand it to also identify those non-sport hits that are really buried in single sport card products.
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