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Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
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.


I think Ed has answered this
 
Posts: 12088 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Batman
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I just finished reading the three articles, and everyone presented the issues well. I think as we move forward we will see a mix of the traditional box release along with premium packs and small set releases like the Green Hornet cards recently released. The hobby will, in the end, determine what that mix will be based on sales. I think the article Harris wrote made an important point, where he referred to what Alan Biegel said ten years ago about autos, photo cards, and stuffed bears. What works will catch on, and the other aspects will stop or be only used in limited formats, if at all. It will all sort itself out.

I am concerned about sketch cards, which have been mentioned a lot lately as being the "chase" card of the hobby right now, I actually see it as starting to fall off a bit, there is just so many sketch cards these days, the law of diminishing return is staring to occur, too many cards and not enough demand. I see sketch cards constantly relisted on ebay at prices that no one will pay, and each set released just adds layer upon layer of additional sketch cards in the market. It will be interesting to see where sketch cards are at a year from now.

In keeping with what Roxanne wrote about regarding getting young people back into the hobby, does anyone have any ideas for getting young people back? I know Allan Caplan lamented this also many times at shows, unfortunately, I don't know if there is much anyone can do, it's quite a different world then when most of us "baby boomers" were growing up. I collected cards and comics, put together model kits, and spent most of my free time outdoors doing just about everything with my friends. I don't think kids do much of anything like that these days. It's a difficult problem to solve, my girls were interested when they were younger,but as they got into their teens they lost interest as there were so many other options. I don't know what the answer is to that problem.

The hobby certainly has some challenges ahead! If you enjoy this hobby, do what you can to support it, no matter how small, it all adds up.

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Posts: 5768 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of H_Toser
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Great post Batman. You are right....getting young people into the hobby is a great concern. Collectors have been saying for years that we need 99 cent packs, which sounds like a great idea. But would people not currently in the hobby go for it when there are so many other things to compete for their dollar and attention?

By the way, what were we thinking with stuffed bears? Lol. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Anyway, this has been a good thread.
 
Posts: 12974 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by H_Toser:
....getting young people into the hobby is a great concern. Collectors have been saying for years that we need 99 cent packs, which sounds like a great idea. But would people not currently in the hobby go for it when there are so many other things to compete for their dollar and attention?


I would suspect new collectors will come into the hobby the same way I did -- through baseball cards and comic books. . . There weren't tons of non-sport sets when I was young, but I still found the hobby. I think they release enough sets aimed at kids now that some will naturally evolve into the hobby through webkinz, Bella Sara, Justin Bieber, Camp Rock, Wrestling etc.

I think the subject of the set -- and finding topics popular with kids is more important that the price point.

Jon
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:

Please explain how Spartacus is more expensive. Confused
Ed


Ed, I understand your numbers crunching and I would agree with you if it weren't for one word, liquidity.

As a traditional box buyer I might pick up 3 or 4 boxes of a product I really liked. This would be at my local store over a period of maybe 5 or 6 weeks.

As Chris Cline mentioned in his post, my local store won't be carrying Spartacus and has not carried any of the premium pack products besides a couple of boxes of Americana and Razor Cuts that were opened. If Spartacus is the example, I would have to order packs from a dealer by mail.

Now I'm not going to order one pack at a time plus shipping every week or so, that would be silly. Plus, assuming that the product is limited and supposed to be selling out, I would be too late anyway. The logical solution would be to pre-order the 4 packs I would want all at once, but that's where the liquidity comes in.

I would have to pay the whole cost at one time. That's a lot different than the way I'm buying those traditional boxes now where I can stagger my spending. On top of that, what do I do for fun for the next month now that I've spent all the money I would have budgeted?

See you can argue that I would be spending approximately the same amount, but I wouldn't be spending it the same way, and that makes it more expensive to me.
 
Posts: 9725 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Do we really need expensive base sets and chase cards in an already cash strapped hobby? No we don't. Base sets and lower tier chase cards are meant to be accessible to the Average Joe, not just those with deep pockets.

This may be saving RA production cost money, but the damage this can do to the hobby will soon catch them up.

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Posts: 1093 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: October 15, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Honestly, I am still greatly disappointed by the fact that the card sets from 5inity haven't made the price guide book yet. Harris, if you read this, you asked for some ideas on how premium pack sketches could be listed (for the Archie sketch set) which I gave what I thought were some good ideas and sadly I find it ironic that some people are saying how hard the cards are to find from dealers, but at the same time it seems to me that the non sport update isn't doing much to include them in the price guide section either....it just doesn't make sense to me that you include certain premium packs because they have a few base cards and exclude those that just have the sketches in them. If you review our last conversation and disagree on my idea for a format I can live with that, but to not offer your own idea and solve this situation just seems quite disappointing to me and unfair to some companys products because the premium pack didn't include a base set or even just a base card. I for one welcome the packs because I like sketches and while base cards are fine, it just seems to me to be a shame to use the criteria that a base card was not inserted to justify leaving sketch sets out of the price guide.

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Posts: 177 | Location: Iowa | Registered: November 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
As Chris Cline mentioned in his post, my local store won't be carrying Spartacus and has not carried any of the premium pack products besides a couple of boxes of Americana and Razor Cuts that were opened. If Spartacus is the example, I would have to order packs from a dealer by mail.


I see what you are saying, but this is a distribution issue, not a cost issue. . .

The cost is $34 less MSRP for a product that contains several hundred fewer base cards and a few fewer chase cards -- those extra cards have a total value of what $15-20?
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

I see what you are saying, but this is a distribution issue, not a cost issue. . .

The cost is $34 less MSRP for a product that contains several hundred fewer base cards and a few fewer chase cards -- those extra cards have a total value of what $15-20?


Yes it is a distribution problem, that's the element that I thought was missing from the discussion in the NSU articles. And it is a issue because if collectors feel that they are being shut out of products, whether its because of price or just availability, it may be a turn off to the whole hobby.

But where are you getting the $34 less MSRP? Are you comparing a Spartacus premium pack to an RA box? If you are, some RA boxes had 3 - 4 autographs and material cards. Topps last Heroes had 6 autographs and cost around $50.

I know the thinking is that a premium pack is the same as a traditional box and the premium pack box is the same as a traditional case, but that comparison is pretty simple and only based on the approximate cost without considering distribution, subject, pack content, secondary market activity, etc.
 
Posts: 9725 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Scifi Cards
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
Ed, I understand your numbers crunching and I would agree with you if it weren't for one word, liquidity.

As a traditional box buyer I might pick up 3 or 4 boxes of a product I really liked. This would be at my local store over a period of maybe 5 or 6 weeks.

As Chris Cline mentioned in his post, my local store won't be carrying Spartacus and has not carried any of the premium pack products besides a couple of boxes of Americana and Razor Cuts that were opened. If Spartacus is the example, I would have to order packs from a dealer by mail.

Now I'm not going to order one pack at a time plus shipping every week or so, that would be silly. Plus, assuming that the product is limited and supposed to be selling out, I would be too late anyway. The logical solution would be to pre-order the 4 packs I would want all at once, but that's where the liquidity comes in.

I would have to pay the whole cost at one time. That's a lot different than the way I'm buying those traditional boxes now where I can stagger my spending. On top of that, what do I do for fun for the next month now that I've spent all the money I would have budgeted?

See you can argue that I would be spending approximately the same amount, but I wouldn't be spending it the same way, and that makes it more expensive to me.


Actually Raven, you are one of the few lucky ones that has a local store to deal with. If I didn't buy from myself Smile, the closest hobby packs would be several hundred miles away. And the customers I have in Detroit are telling me that many of the comic shops have quit carrying non-sport cards entirely.

And while I understand the idea that you pick up boxes over time, I'm not sure mail order would be that much more trouble. Since these are in a pack, I can ship them for around $4 (First Class Mail, in a box, with delivery confirmation), not the $7 a box would cost. Plus, if you don't have to drive to your local store you save gas (which went up to $3.25 gal here today).

And I still don't understand the logic of a store that normally carrys boxes not at least giving a box of this a try. They seem so dead set against it that they won't give it a fair chance to succeed. I think the big problem might lie in the store's mentality and how it ultimately affects your buying habits.

Great debate we have going here, and no one's called anyone names yet. Razz

Ed

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Collecting Sketches of the Character Crystal

 
Posts: 4969 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:


But where are you getting the $34 less MSRP? Are you comparing a Spartacus premium pack to an RA box? If you are, some RA boxes had 3 - 4 autographs and material cards. Topps last Heroes had 6 autographs and cost around $50.



Yes, comparing MSRP of Spartacus to the standard RA box MSRP -- regardless of contents the MSRP for RA boxes is typically $84.

Heroes boxes have been sub $50 on the secondary market. . . I can't imagine RA or dealers are thrilled about that, I mean if they can't sell a product with 6 autographs and a costume per box from a major franchise . . . wow. And this is a perfect example of why attempts at new formats are important to the hobby.

Who knows what the Spartacus packs will be on the secondary market. . . whatever it is though, the starting MSRP is $34 less than RA's usual box price.

People complain there isn't enough variety in releases in the hobby (especially after Inkworks demise) . . . this is a way to help get it.

People complain the base sets should be worth more money -- this is a way to do that.

People complain that they have too many base sets -- this remedies that situation.

So the companies try to fix those issues. . .

Now people complain their local shops won't carry the cards. . .

People complain the base sets are too expensive . . .

People complain the packs/boxes are too expensive. . .

From a manufacturer's perspective it has to feel like a no-win situation.

At the end of the day they are trying to figure out a way to make more cards. . . One way or another we should all be happy about that. . .

Jon

This message has been edited. Last edited by: webjon,
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

People complain there isn't enough variety in releases in the hobby (especially after Inkworks demise) . . . this is a way to help get it.

People complain the base sets should be worth more money -- this is a way to do that.

People complain that they have too many base sets -- this remedies that situation.

So the companies try do fix those issues. . .

Now people complain their local shops won't carry the cards. . .

People complain the base sets are too expensive . . .

People complain the packs/boxes are too expensive. . .

From a manufacturer's perspective it has to feel like a no-win situation.

At the end of the day they are trying to figure out a way to make more cards. . . One way or another we should all be happy about that. . .

Jon


Have to agree there - I'm assuming that a lot of this product will appear on the secondary market, so although not the thrill of opening packs the cards will be available. we do have to remember that card manufacturers have to make a profit - they are not a charity. At least with the premium packs there is a chance of getting cards of a show we like - better that than nothing.

As for bringing the younger collector in, are many of the card sets aimed at the young collector? The key is to have younger themed cards at supermarkets etc.. As others have said the youngsters start out with sports cards and progress to Non-Sport - maybe thats just the way it is!
 
Posts: 12088 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am somewhat patial to the premium pack idea (I wrote the PRO article in NSU) One of my reasons for agreeing to write it was because after going to non sport card shows for almost 25 years, I became saddened by what I saw with base sets. To see base sets on the table of dealers for $1 or sometimes even less, made me think that the set was worthless compared to the intrinsic content of that set. I know first hand how much work goes into making a set and I still find it hard to understand how we de-value all of the work that is put into a set, only to give it away or in some cases, throw the commons in the trash. I still agree with both sides, but I believe that with premium packs yeilding less sets, they will finally be given the respect that they deserve. I don't think paying $10 or $15 for a base set is unrealistic, it seems like that is what they should sell for. Just think about the artists, text writers and proof readers, the wrapper and box designers and all the other work that goes into making a product. I mentioned this briefly in the article. I was so excited to hear that Spartacus was being released, but I have to admit that the price did shake me. I will still buy a couple of packs to support our hobby and hope for a good pull. But I would like to think we are collecting for a reason other than worrying about cost vs. value. Do we even read the backs of the cards anymore? I still like the new idea of premium packs and I plan on supporting both formats. We need to try and keep this hobby alive so the future collectors see the same thing that we did in this hobby. There is really cool stuff to collect out there no matter what the price is. We just have to pick and choose want we want and what we can afford.
 
Posts: 755 | Location: FL | Registered: January 28, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
Please explain how Spartacus is more expensive. Confused


You then proceed to say how Spartacus doesn't have a base set. In a case of 'normal' trading cards, one can get 8 or more base sets, a couple of sets of the lower chases, a few dupes of the higher chases etc.

quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
I think Ed has answered this


See above.

If you are only interested in the chases, then yes, perhaps premium packs are the same or cheaper. If you are interested in extra base sets to sell (or trade) then they are more expensive.
 
Posts: 486 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Batman
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Whatever happened to the days when we brought packs with the goal to complete a base set? There are still sets where I only buy packs to make a base set, like Wacky Packages and the NECA Twilight sets, if I pick up some chase out of the packs, that's fine, but I don't try to complete those chase sets. It's actually fun to finally get that last base card to finish the set. Since I can pick these packs up at Target,K-Mart, etc., it's easy to do.
There are many other sets where I do buy boxes to try to put together a "master set", whatever that is these days. It depends on the set.

I think if you don't need to break the premium packs, I think you will be able to acquire a lot of the base and chase cards at reasonable cost, more reasonable than buying numerous packs. That's generally true with boxes, too. Same result, different format.

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Posts: 5768 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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. . . unfortunately collectors have decided that base sets have very little value.

But let's not lose sight of cost of the base cards in the production of a set. A base card costs as much to design, write and proof read as any other card. The printing costs are likely similar as well in most cases.

So the base cards add significant production costs to a set. They also add packing costs and add shipping costs, and as has been noted (lamented even) -- they offer little value to the collectors.

Why would a manufacturer continue to spend a large amount of the production budget putting a product out that buyers don't value? Even in cases meant to curtail the cheap base sets -- like Axebone's set -- $30 for a sketch and a set -- the set still only sells for $5!

The market has dictated that people aren't willing to pay for base sets. Conversely autographs and sketches continue to sell far better and for far more than base sets.

It isn't like certain premium packs are trying to kill base sets -- collectors have essentially killed base sets already -- even in premium packs that are a base set and a single insert -- the sets have no value!

Let's look at this another way -- if they produced a Spartacus base set for sale all by itself -- 72 cards -- how much would collectors be willing to pay for it? How many would sell? Keep in mind that it is likely that well over half of the production costs for the product will be in this base set.

Jon
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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. . . reducing the printing costs by producing fewer base cards in the box won't significantly decrease the price of a box. Printing isn't a big cost especially when you're just talking about under 100 extra cards in a box.

Having 1 set per box also isn't going to save the base set's value . . . Many people still buy multiple boxes, even cases. Those folks are still going to be flush with extra sets.

Axebone's release was limited to only 1000 sets. The release sold out immediately for $30 per set w/ 1 sketch per set. At only 1000 sets produced they are still only selling for about $5.

So then, it looks like a licensing thing. . . There obviously aren't 1000 collectors for Axebone's set (I have 10 sets myself), but there probably are 1000 collectors for a Star Wars or Bond Release. . . and that is why those releases can support a full traditional card set.

I think if they released 1000 Spartacus sets they would be $5 a set. . . I bet if they released 500 Spartacus sets they'd be $5 a set. It's about collector demand. . . Even when produced in small numbers base sets don't sell well.

Jon
 
Posts: 5255 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Kennywood:
The problem isn't the base set; it's the over-production of the base cards. In an average box of trading cards, you'll get a complete base set and then come very close to getting another complete base set. For what? What are people to do with the extra base cards? That's why I referred to the extra base cards as "filler".

<snip>

It's the over-production of the extra base cards that have killed the value of the base set. Eliminate the extra base cards and I believe you'll see the value of the base sets significantly increase.


Actually the days of lots of extras is pretty much gone. A typical Rittenhouse box yields a set, and a few extras since they went to less cards per pack. In a CASE I can typically make 13-14 base sets, depending on collation.

Now, lets use Heroes Archives as an example. 4500 boxes means at least 4500 base sets and probably closer to 5200. That's just too many base sets for a property that didn't get renewed.

Stellar product have gone to 16 pack boxes, with the same number of chase. Just fewer base cards and you can't always make a base set from a box. The sets still sell for less than $10 on eBay. And that's a stripped down box.

Not designing a base set at all saves design costs and time getting image approval in addition to the obvious cost savings of not printing the cards at all.

Look at a set with 90 base cards and three 9 card chase sets, just to make the math easy. Every card takes the same amount to design, chase maybe less because they don't normally have card text to deal with. So 77% of the production costs go to making base set cards, crazy to think of it that way. Chase are probably a little more expensive to print with foil/plastic/etc but to design them is only 23% of the whole set's cost.

Upper Deck might have a good idea. (Did I REALLY just type that? Eek) Marvel beginnings is a huge base set. Takes a few boxes to put together with great collation. It will encourage trading and additional box sales. But I guarantee you there will be those lamenting that there is not a base set in the box they just bought and there will probably be fools on eBay that busted case after case and feel they should still sell the base set for next to nothing.

I look forward to seeing how this all shakes out. I'm sure the idea will be tweaked along the way as Rittenhouse especially listens to what people think about their product. If the experience isn't a good one, they will adjust the product and bit and try again.

I'm perfectly willing to give it a chance. I have over 2600 base sets, so I really don't need another couple of dozen floating around for a niche-market product.

Ed

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Trading Page Now Online: http://www.scifi.cards/trading.html

Collecting Sketches of the Character Crystal

 
Posts: 4969 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Nicnac:
[
quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
I think Ed has answered this


See above.

If you are only interested in the chases, then yes, perhaps premium packs are the same or cheaper. If you are interested in extra base sets to sell (or trade) then they are more expensive.


If you purchase a case and sell your extra base sets - say 15 at $4 and take off the time you have spent collating these - is that a good deal? I LOVE the base set and have many sets where I have just purchased the base set. I have also posted that it would be nice if some unnumbered sets from this release were available to collectors direct from the card company.

I don't want to get into a running tit-for-tat. These are only opinions Smile
 
Posts: 12088 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hammer:
If you purchase a case and sell your extra base sets - say 15 at $4 and take off the time you have spent collating these - is that a good deal?


I remember a time when base sets were worth more...
 
Posts: 486 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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