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Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted
I really liked the format used in the Premium Packs articles in the February/March issue. Basically NSU printed a Pro, a Con and a manufacturer's response. Thumb Up

I think the only thing missing might have been some collector opinions from Card Talk. Hopefully some of those comments already posted have been read by card companies.

For myself, without opening up the whole debate, I would only throw out one more point that really wasn't discussed very much in any of 3 pages dedicated to the subject. Although I like sketches, I am an autograph card collector, so my main interest is in the new premium pack products that have autographs.

The problem for me is in product distribution. Premium pack products are limited and only certain outlets are handling them. Sure they can be ordered if you try hard, but that means only hard core collectors will be motivated enough to order in advance. Dealers are not bothering to carry them unless they have the buyer and sometimes not even than. There have been a couple Breygent products that I never saw at all despite expressing interest.

There is also no chance to gain impulse buyers here either, because the packs are not sitting on the counters. And you are not expanding the hobby, because premium packs are too expensive and too hard to find for anything but adult collectors with money to burn and a specific interest in the niche product.

I would really like to hear what other collectors thought of the articles and the subject of premium pack products in general, and not just the ones that concentrate on sketches. Its a serious issue because the title was "Are premium packs the life or death of the hobby?" and I still don't know the answer. Wink
 
Posts: 9725 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of EriktheArchitect
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Premium packs do nothing for me. I could care less about Autographs, relic cards or sketches. I enjoy busting affordable packs and assembling base sets. If I get a high end chase I consider it an extra.

A box of the new Spartacus is almost equal to my house payment!

Just not interested! I still have several holes in my collection of the older cards. I guess that will be my main focus from here on out.

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Posts: 1159 | Location: Just NW of Hazzard County Georgia USA | Registered: December 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of cardaddict
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I only go to one card show that is held once a month in my area, the emphasis there is about 90% sports cards and 10% non-sport, and I have never seen a Premium Pack there. I might buy one of the less expensive ones out of curiosity, but the sketches from them I've seen offered on Ebay have no interest for me at all so far. And the subject matter the Premium Packs cover also has little interest for me at this time.
 
Posts: 2487 | Location: USA | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Freddy
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I just got back into this hobby after a 16 year hiatus. It troubles me to see a lot of the series, that I was into collecting, are becoming exclusionary and very expensive. Not to pick on RA but their Star Trek cards not being sold in retail stores is bothersome to me. And now Spartacus, a show that I really liked, is priced beyond the amateur collector and this guys disposable income level.

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"A man has got to know his limitations."
 
Posts: 1318 | Location: Rhode Island USA 02889 | Registered: January 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Sci-FiPlanet
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:


The problem for me is in product distribution. Premium pack products are limited and only certain outlets are handling them. Sure they can be ordered if you try hard, but that means only hard core collectors will be motivated enough to order in advance. Dealers are not bothering to carry them unless they have the buyer and sometimes not even than.


That's the biggest problem independent companies face. Dealers are not interested in trying the packs and they don't buy them even when customers want to buy them. Now some dealers (some that post on this very forum) go out of the way to pick up new products, I have to say that they are very much in the minority. If you guys want premium packs to be more readily available the ask dealers to order them, or buy from those who do.

Any company worth **** has a good wholesale structure in place for dealers, if they don't use it then they will probably not be around all that long.

Limited print runs mean companies can bring more products to the market, which is good for everyone, but if demand is present you can bet runs will increase.

The point about sketches is well made, and I think over time your going to find a slow shift into other markets including autographs and prop/memorabilia cards.

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Posts: 884 | Location: UK | Registered: October 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Not to pick on RA but their Star Trek cards not being sold in retail stores is bothersome to me. And now Spartacus, a show that I really liked, is priced beyond the amateur collector and this guys disposable income level.


I'm sure Rittenhouse would *love* for Star Trek to be sold at retail -- that would be mean that they'd sell thousands more boxes of the product. If there was demand at retail I'm sure you'd see Star Trek back at retail.

Realistically with Spartacus the options would be a premium set or not set at all, as this set probably couldn't support a full set treatment.

Jon
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I beleive that there is a place for premium packs as a lot of people do want the high end products. Personnaly i am not bothered about sketch cards but prefer autos and costume cards. I would only take an interest in sketch cards from comic related sets and only then if they were from my favourite artists.
I think there is a place for premium packs but serious thought needs to be put into the long term prospects for the hobby as a whole. If people are priced out of something they will soon go onto something more affordable.
I no longer collect comics because it seemed that the companies wanted more money for less and less and it seems that card companies are heading that way.
Maybe companies could look at a two tier card set with cheap packs for the base set and lower end chase cards and at the same time have the premium packs with the higher end cards. The cheaper base packs may get more people into collecting cards.
 
Posts: 8 | Location: work | Registered: June 22, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
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. . . it seems like most people are looking towards Spartacus as the reference point for premium packs. . .

I'd just like to point out that this is the first set distributed in this particular premium pack format, so it is an unfair barometer to use to compare with other premium back products.

5FINITY just released Lady Death which was around $17 at pre-order for a 1-sketch pack. They just pre-sold their new Mandy set at $13 and change a pack.

Axebone's set was $29.99 for a complete set and sketch cards.

Sad Littles is releasing sketch packs for around $15 and Sets with a sketch for under $30.

Cult-Stuff's packs are $26 for a sketch, chase and some base cards.

Breygents sketch only releases were under $30 as well.

Sketchlords was $75 for a one sketch pack.

So, there are a TON of different premium pack options at all kinds of price points -- the Spartacus is the 2nd highest price point that I'm aware of.

All of the above releases have 1 thing in common -- a traditional release wasn't going to be possible, so the option was a premium pack or no set at all. I doubt that the traditional releases will ever go away -- they will likely continue to make traditional Bond, Marvel, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc sets -- but those licenses all shift massive amounts of product.

It seems like there is a lot of fear about crazy expensive prices on things -- but who knows what'll actually happen. I just bought a sketch from Golden Age of Comics for around $15 shipped -- and the sketch is AMAZING. The sketch is so good that when I showed my wife (who is well versed in cards and sketches) she didn't realize it was a sketch -- for $15!

Personally, for me -- a $50 MSRP seems a bit pricey for a 2 autograph pack, but I like that cards are being released that otherwise wouldn't get released so I support whatever they need to do to make more cards. . .

Jon
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Sci-FiPlanet
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Well see what happens when you take a phone call halfway through posting! Jon beats you to it LOL well said Jon. This was what I said, but posted after you did D'OH!


The thing I find amazing, reading a lot of the comments is this: You would think RH are the only company making premium packs or something Razz ... you guys talk about them like they are the only model for the whole process. This is simply not the case.

A lot of companies are experimenting with this process with a lot of differing methods: 5Finity seem to have mostly gone with the no base cards rout, while Sad Little's are giving you a complete basic set with every sketch on a lot of there sets, in the mean time Breygent offered the basic sets for sale on there own (in a two tear method which was mentioned above) and we sell packs lettered packs (for a damn sight less than $50.00 each) allowing collectors to put a full basic set together with 3 packs. That comes out to around $75.00 for a full set at least 6 chase cards and three premiums. Yes there are less base cards but then at least people are not tossing them in the trash any-more.

Now I don't see why people think this is the way ALL cards will be distributed in the future, that's just nuts, for a start retail is still by FAR the most prevalent form of nonsports sales and this is not in anyway going to unseat that. It means however that some sets will see the light of day that may have never made it in the past.

Premium packs DO exclude some customers, because they are limited edition, but thats not new Hobby Boxes exclude some customers because they are not available in retail outlets, it's just the way of things these days. Shorter print runs actually cost MORE than larger ones as well so it's a difficult balancing act, and while I don't think all the companies have it quite right all the time I am pleased that something new is happening.

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Posts: 884 | Location: UK | Registered: October 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Chris Cline
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quote:
Originally posted by Sci-FiPlanet:

The thing I find amazing, reading a lot of the comments is this: You would think RH are the only company making premium packs or something Razz ... you guys talk about them like they are the only model for the whole process. This is simply not the case.

A lot of companies are experimenting with this process with a lot of differing methods: 5Finity seem to have mostly gone with the no base cards rout, while Sad Little's are giving you a complete basic set with every sketch on a lot of there sets, in the mean time Breygent offered the basic sets for sale on there own (in a two tear method which was mentioned above) and we sell packs lettered packs (for a damn sight less than $50.00 each) allowing collectors to put a full basic set together with 3 packs. That comes out to around $75.00 for a full set at least 6 chase cards and three premiums. Yes there are less base cards but then at least people are not tossing them in the trash any-more.

Now I don't see why people think this is the way ALL cards will be distributed in the future, that's just nuts, for a start retail is still by FAR the most prevalent form of nonsports sales and this is not in anyway going to unseat that. It means however that some sets will see the light of day that may have never made it in the past.

Premium packs DO exclude some customers, because they are limited edition, but thats not new Hobby Boxes exclude some customers because they are not available in retail outlets, it's just the way of things these days. Shorter print runs actually cost MORE than larger ones as well so it's a difficult balancing act, and while I don't think all the companies have it quite right all the time I am pleased that something new is happening.



I have never seen any of these other company's cards in my local store. I was just in my comic store and they said that they will not carry the Spartacus cards just like they didnt carry any of the other premium packs. They didnt get any of the Green Hornet cards either for the same reason. They say that they can make up the cost of a case which they sale half of to me and others with the pack sales to others that pass in and out of the hobby depending on the set.
When I told them that Merlin, Eureka, and the new LOST set were all going to be set up this way they said that was to bad and that they may just stop carrying any of it since they cant make up the cost. They mentioned that both LOST sets sold very well for them, they bought 3 cases of the first series sold out and had to buy more, then when the next set hit they got 6 cases and sold all but 3 boxes out with in a month.
I am still up in the air about the new pack idea. I love to open packs and sort the cards but I do feel bad when I just toss the dups in the trash. I will try 2 packs of Spartacus but that is all I can afford, that is if I can find someone on eBay doing a presell.
I hope this trend does not continue because if it does my comic book store will just stop carrying non-sport cards all together and that would suck.

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Ok 1 more pack then I'am done...no really..wait how many are left in that box?

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Posts: 1155 | Location: Denver, CO | Registered: December 03, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of steve j
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As far as I am concerned, there should be retail packs, hobby packs and premium packs. Retails to encourage children - say $2 a pack, hobby for the adults ie those with a wallet, and for those who just looking for sketches a premium pack. It's not rocket science, but I am still to see a manufacturer do it. Smile
 
Posts: 1775 | Location: Wales, UK | Registered: June 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Sci-FiPlanet
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Chris:

That would suck, and there is NO reason for it. I can only speak for myself on this but we sell to shops at VERY competitive rates. I cant understand what stops your LCS from buying these, aside from fear of trying anything new, which is fairly common in comic shops. Also if it's not in "Diamond" they often don't want to know.

I know for a fact that a lot of the premium packs have a much lower order quantity for wholesale pricing. For a lot of products shops can even buy to order. The outlay for a "case" of a lot of these products is not that high. I hope your comic shop is an isolated case, but somehow I doubt that it is.

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Posts: 884 | Location: UK | Registered: October 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It also just dawned on me that several other sets I collect could be considered premium pack sets: Americana, Pop Century and Celebrity Cuts.

Premium packs come in all shapes and costs. . .
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Picture of H_Toser
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quote:
Originally posted by steve j:
As far as I am concerned, there should be retail packs, hobby packs and premium packs. Retails to encourage children - say $2 a pack, hobby for the adults ie those with a wallet, and for those who just looking for sketches a premium pack. It's not rocket science, but I am still to see a manufacturer do it. Smile


That's a great idea Steve, but unfortunately, I am not sure it would happen. As has been pointed out here a few times, these premium packs are being produced for some series which couldn't support the lower two tiers. At least, couldn't do so AND make money. Big Grin

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
I really liked the format used in the Premium Packs articles in the February/March issue. Basically NSU printed a Pro, a Con and a manufacturer's response. Thumb Up


Thanks very much Raven. It's always good to have input on the articles, good or bad.

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
...without opening up the whole debate....


Ha ha...how's that going? Big Grin Anyway, I appreciate that you tried. Thanks.
 
Posts: 12974 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is the best thread ever.

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Posts: 457 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom | Registered: August 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Scifi Cards
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cline:
When I told them that Merlin, Eureka, and the new LOST set were all going to be set up this way they said that was to bad and that they may just stop carrying any of it since they cant make up the cost.


Honestly, that is the silliest thing I've heard all week. Roll Eyes You CAN make money on these just the same as boxes. You just have to be willing to try something new.

quote:
They mentioned that both LOST sets sold very well for them, they bought 3 cases of the first series sold out and had to buy more, then when the next set hit they got 6 cases and sold all but 3 boxes out with in a month.


If they sold 6 cases of LOST Archives and don't think they can sell any LOST Premium packs and make money then they really need a new calculator. Obviously they might not sell quite as much, but with that many return customers for a product you're basically saying you don't want their business and telling them to look elsewhere.

quote:
I am still up in the air about the new pack idea. I love to open packs and sort the cards but I do feel bad when I just toss the dups in the trash. I will try 2 packs of Spartacus but that is all I can afford, that is if I can find someone on eBay doing a presell.
I hope this trend does not continue because if it does my comic book store will just stop carrying non-sport cards all together and that would suck.


Giving it a try is the smartest thing I've heard.

And Jason was right that most comic stores don't want to deal in ANYTHING that they can't order from Diamond. Even if they could have a better selection and profit margin if they ordered direct. It's a strange mindset they approach most things with.

Ed

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Collecting Sketches of the Character Crystal

 
Posts: 4969 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
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Some interesting points - coming from different standpoints. If you are a case buyer, I don't see much difference, only that there will be one base set (is that a bad thing?) and postage costs will be less. If you are a box buyer and value the base set there is a BIG difference. Nice to have numbered base sets, but I still feel that companies should offer some unnumbered base sets (could be that you submit a single pack to qualify to buy one,at a discount or a fixed price). All I don't like about these packs is the ability to get a base set at a "reasonable" price.
 
Posts: 12088 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
Some interesting points - coming from different standpoints. If you are a case buyer, I don't see much difference, only that there will be one base set (is that a bad thing?) and postage costs will be less.


I think you are missing one aspect of the premium pack model here. The packs, boxes, and cases can be much more expensive a purchase than the older model. Spartacus is a good example of this.
 
Posts: 486 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of william291077
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Howdy,

I have never bought a Premium Pack before but I was desperate to get my hands on the Lady Death Sketch Packs from 5finity. I didn't really understand what a Premium Pack was until I considered buying cards from that set.

I think that this is a good addition to the hobby as it allows companies to be more diverse with there releases and gives collectors different directions to approach the hobby from. I will never want to completely surrender cracking open a fresh box with the anticipation of the 24-36 packs to come but at the same time can see myself happy that I am going to open a Premium Pack and be guaranteed something really special.

In my opinion there is a place for these packs in the market and I am glad that I will have the opportunity to purchase them.

TTFN

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Posts: 457 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom | Registered: August 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Scifi Cards
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Nicnac:
quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
Some interesting points - coming from different standpoints. If you are a case buyer, I don't see much difference, only that there will be one base set (is that a bad thing?) and postage costs will be less.


I think you are missing one aspect of the premium pack model here. The packs, boxes, and cases can be much more expensive a purchase than the older model. Spartacus is a good example of this.


Please explain how Spartacus is more expensive. Confused

A pack of Spartacus yields the equivalent of a box (ie 2 autos and some chase cards).* The SRP on RA's site is $50 while their standard box SRP is $84.

A box of Spartacus yields 15 packs and thus 30 autograph cards and a fair number of chase cards. The SRP of a box is $750. While a case is 12 boxes and would only yield 24 autos if it were 2 per box. The SRP of a case is $960.

* I don't consider Spartacus to have a base set at all. It has a 26 card episode chase set, at 2 cards per box and two 9-card chase sets at 1 per box. No base set here IMHO.

So I just don't see where Spartacus is any more expensive than the standard box when it is, in fact, cheaper.

Ed

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Posts: 4969 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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