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The votes from last month's poll are in and now we know that nearly three quarters of you like preview sets. We've just posted the poll for June. This time, we're asking about pack prices.
Autograph cards, costume cards, sketch cards, etc. all cost a premium to include in a product release. As we've learned to expect one or more of these gems in every box, pack prices are increasing to offset the high expense of producing this new breed of collectible trading card. A new non-sport product is currently being marketed with a sugested retail pack price of $3.99. Considering all of this, we'd like to know if you favor lower pack prices (without as many premium cards) or more premium cards (with higher pack prices)?
To vote, click here.
Once you've voted, come back here and tell us why you chose your selection or feel free to make further comment on pack prices.
I voted for lower pack prices too. Money is a problem for most of us. Pack prices have risen in the 10 year I've been collecting from $1 to $2, and now $4 is getting to be common. When a box of standard cards reaches $100, how many will most of us be able to afford every year?
Manufacturers can put out a great product without going overboard on inserts. Do we need 19 foil cards from Attack of the Clones? or 20 Women of Babylon 5, when 9 would have been more manageable?
Why are American Pie packs $4, and the inserts are still almost impossible to find? Do the base cards in this set need to be heavy stock?
I think inserts, especially autos and memorabilia cards are very important to the hobby and collectors,but they should not be overdone to the point they drive up the pack price.
I also voted for lower prices - when I first started collecting (with the Skybox Star Trek Autograph Season 1), boxes of new releases were around £40-45. There were few of the so-called 'high value' chase cards, but this made them more interesting.
Now, though I like lots of auto cards and costume cards, box prices have gone up to £55+ - The recent B5 box cost me £64 -it's getting (rapidly) to the stage when I will have to seriously consider not buying new boxes, in the hope that they will be available at discounted prices later.
Sets like AOTC or Spiderman, which have no autos or costume cards, just the ragular 'chrome' or 'foil' cards, are still being priced at the same rate as packs which might contain an ayto - in my local store, AOTC is selling for £2.25 per pack, with no autos, and Farscape Season 2, Stargate SG1 Season 4 and Star Trek Evolution are selling for £2 per pack.
Earlier this year, thre was a discussion of sets being issued with lower box prices to encourage new collectors - what happened? I can't find any examples!
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
--- Lower prices (or at least reasonable prices) is the way to go. Special inserts are nice but when there are so many inserts sets and so many inserts within the inserts set, then you've gone overboard.
--- Kennywood: regarding 2 versions of the same set; i.e. same base set but higher end inserts with a premium price and a lower end insert set with a lower price ---> refer to Inkworks' upcoming MIB II set.
My original post was NOT supposed to have been a COMPREHENSIVE breakdown on the all the inserts contained in the Hobby & Retail boxes but a list of differences in the two sets in regards to Kennywood's statement: ]
Hence the partial insert list stated. Since I don't wish to have any other readers come to the wrong conclusions or believe the post was missing any information, here is the complete insert list for MIB II quoted directly from Inkworks' website.
COMPREHENSIVE & COMPLETE list of inserts for Inkworks' upcoming MIB II set:
WEAPONS OVERVIEW CARDS – Six cards featuring the latest information on the hi-tech weapons in the MIB armory. Know these weapons and respect them. (Six cards – Appx. odds 1:17 packs).
NEURALYZER FOIL CARDS – Two foil cards (Two cards – Appx. odds 1:35 packs).
PIECEWORKS CARDS – Three different show-worn costume-embedded cards featuring the official MIB suits, a Postal uniform shirt worn by Tommy Lee Jones and Postal uniform shorts also worn by Tommy Lee Jones (Three cards – Appx. odds TBD – The Tommy Lee Jones Postal uniform shirt and shorts cards are found in Hobby Exclusive Boxes Only. The official MIB suits are found in both Hobby Exclusive and Retail boxes).
AUTOGRAPHED CARDS – The autographed cards that have been confirmed to date include: Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Director Barry Sonnenfeld, Tony Shalhoub, Linda Kim, Mary Stein, and creator Lowell Cunningham (Number of cards and Appx. odds TBD – Autographed cards are found in Hobby Exclusive Boxes Only).
BOX LOADER and CASE LOADER cards – Three different box loader cards (one card per sealed display box – Hobby Exclusive Display Boxes Only) and one special Hobby Exclusive case loader card (one card per sealed case – Hobby Cases Only).
PLUS, three different special foil cards that can be found in random packs of specially-marked Retail boxes. (Three cards – Appx. odds TBD – Found in Retail Boxes Only
[ 06-05-2002: Message edited by: Watcher ]
|Gold Card Talk Member|
Personally, I like the inserts, but it is getting a bit out of hand. That, however, is my problem. I didn't actually vote, but on the whole I'd probably have to agree with Kennywood that there should be product lines aimed at both market segments.
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
I have to go with lower pack prices. I am very new to collecting, started in the the past few months. I've learned of many cool sets here, and I went to find a card store that sold them. I can not afford to start any of the new ones. For now I'm just buying cheap ones on ebay.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
I voted for lower pack prices, as well. I think the inserts are getting out of hand and would prefer less inserts with a lower price.
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
Personaly, 90% of what i collect is RA and Inkworks, so, 2 to 3 dollar pack prices are standad and reasonable, but i want to see MORE insert cards for the PACK collector, not the BOX collector, I mostly buy 4 or 5 packs at a time, and if every card in the insert set(s) is listed as 1 in 20 packs, its discouraging and it may preclude me from buying the cards
I voted for lower cost packs. Part of the fun of trading cards is opening the packs to discover what is there.
Regarding insert cards, there are too many these days with each set. It has reached the point that I rarely buy inserts because I want to be able to buy all of the sets I want. When I started collecting, it was common to only have 6 inserts with a set. It was possible to acquire a set and its inserts without going bankrupt!
Another thought on inserts. Do you really LIKE each insert card or do you buy them just to have the complete set? More and more of the insert cards are uninteresting or some insignificant item/person etc. in my opinion. An insert card should be special! That idea seems to have been lost.
Well, that is my two cents worth!
From what I've seen, there is a big difference between Suggested Retail Price and what is really being offered (at least on the nets) and I haven't seen that much of a difference (yet) in the prices collectors can pick stuff up..I've said it before so won't go into grand details, but the box price of a SkyBox Phase One with an every other box chance of a gold plaque card and a few paultry inserts is the same then as a box of TOS 35th Anniv now....less packs per box, but the only loss is common cards..something most of us have too many of anyway....the latest releases explode with inserts / autos / sketchcards / costumecards for what amounts to the same pirce...me, I'm trying to figure out HOW they do it and wouldn't be surprised to see it go up.
It would be hard to go back....to say gimmie a common set and a smattering of inserts after having moved past it..though the idea of a hobby vs retail is a good one....a low end value set for those who need it and don't want to go after all the inserts.
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
You need lower pack prices to attract the very young into the hobby with all the other alternatives on offer .....and to keep the parents happy!!
Otherwise the industry will be unduly age restricted and unsustainable in the long term. I think the industry maybe thinks that if all the product sells ( to 20 plus somethings)that that in itself is good enough.
Comics have taken the lead to break away from the 30-40 year old average buyer. Free comics day...dare I say free trading cards day??
PS. Whatever happened to 55 card sets with no chase?
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
--- DavidJohnston: They have entered the witness relocation program and have been moved to the mid East Coast. Their headquarters is at Inkworks but you will be able to recognize their new identity as "American Pride".
Their small group membership is comprised of 45 cards/stickers. Your mission, Mr. Phelps (I mean Mr. Johnston) should you decide to accept it, is to find and collect these nicely produced glossy sticker cards. And not to fear, there is no chase!
I think I'd prefer the Retail/Hobby box split idea more if they didn't tend to have different chases in each - requiring the true completist to buy both. Look at Topps' X-Men The movie set - different chase cards in the Retail and Hobby sets - and I won't even think about commenting on LOTR!
What would be nice is if, say, the Hobby set had autographs, sketches and/or costume cards and a correspondingly slightly higher box price (lets face it, hobby boxes rarely sell indivudual packs, except in the UK, where we rarely seem to get anything else!) Retail boxes could be plain base cards - no chases at all, with a lower pack price to account for the lack of chases. Maybe a couple of extra cards per pack?
Topps did something very similar with the first couple of X-Files releases - UK and European releases were repackaged under the MErlin brand and had no chase cards at all. Admittedly, the print quality of the 'European' cards was pretty poor (with the same card varying from one pack to the next in text layout and colour - I have several examples somewhere!)
Maybe some sort of insert could be put into retail packs advertising the hobby version and describing some of the extra nice cards to be had if a box were bought... perhaps even offering a couple of dollars/pounds off? Skybox did something like this with their ccards adcertising the Star Trek movie collection.
Just a thought.
Voted for lower prices. Trouble is, I like opening packs & searching for chase/auto cards. Over here, we seem to suffer the usual nause of paying the same price in GB£ as our "cousins" pay in dollars.
The other problem is the retail/hobby difference. I was able to get a couple of X-Men movie retail boxes cheap, but generally, it's very difficult to find retail boxes in UK. LOTR is the prime example of this (and the reason I began collecting cards!). Being a newbie, it took me a long time to discover where I could get a chance of finding the 4 elusive autos. By then, prices had gone thro' the roof & I'm now stuck trying to find people who will swap retail for hobby.
I know it must be tough for youngsters, who don't have a lot of cash. It ain't easy for us oldies either sometimes - we don't have bottomless pockets (despite what Topps seem to believe!).
All the best from "over the pond"
Please note that there is a mistake in one of the above posts concerning Inkworks upcoming MIB II set.
This should say that only the HOBBY version will have those inserts. Inkworks called us today to correct this.
I voted for more premium cards. If I'm gonna pay 3 dollars or more per pack, I want more foil chase cards inside.
In my opinion, if they were to lower the price per pack, they'd make even less chase cards. Sure they'd go up higher in value, but they'd be even harder to find. A lot of the packs I buy is mainly to collect the subsets. So, I say, bring them premium cards on
just my opinion.
++ Michelle ++
|Gold Card Talk Member|
I didn't vote, because regardless of the price I want to feel like I am getting some value for what I am spending.
There are 50 card sets out there being released with few or no inserts, but no one seems to care. Spider-Man $.99, Christina Aguilera and I think there was even an X-Men $.99 series. The MSRP on some of the Christina Aguilera cards was also $.99 a pack, with 4 cards per pack and a way off possibility of getting an autograph card.
But what do you get for your $36 (some were 36 packs/box some were 18, but you get the point) box of cards? 2-3 sets and a stack of commons. Do you buy packs to look at the number on the cards and memorize the ones you need trying to find that last card? I don't. I'd rather spend my $36 on an older box that has some interesting inserts -- or even the far off possibility of rare inserts -- hell for $36 I can just about get 10 boxes of Battlefield Earth -- 360 chances to pull a John Travolta autograph card.
Regardless of the pack price there has to be an incentive to get me to buy the packs, because lets face it a majority of the stuff that is being released really doesn't interest me at a card by card level. There has to be a pretty good reason for someone to go out and buy comic related cards -- it isn't like there are people clamoring for another Superman card there are hundreds of cards with Superman out there so make it worth my wild to buy another Superman set (DC Sketch cards -- is anyone listening???)
So to boil it all down -- high pack price, low pack price it all has to be relative to the value of what could be inside.
Ohh, and getting cards to kids has more to do with getting cards back into smaller retail establishments than pack prices. If your in any sort of a small town or even small city there is little chance that there is a comic shop for you to buy cards so if you don't have a mass merchanidser there is no place for you to buy cards, it isn't like little Johnny can take his bike down to the Ben Franklin and buy a pack of Return of the Jedi anymore -- even if he wanted to.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
re: getting kids back into cards
I see your point, but what is more likely to get a kid in a small town to buy a pack of cards he sees at the convenience store: inexpensive packs or expensive packs with possible incentive cards? I don't have the answer to this, but I'll make an observation. It really depends on how much money the kid or his parents can spend. Spider-Man the Movie (and AotC to a lesser extent) have done really well in my store with kids, so price isn't necessarily an issue. On the other hand, when we got some boxes of those Marvel "Fox Kids" type cards from Skybox (promoting the various Marvel cartoons from about 5 or 6 years ago) and sold the packs at 50 cents, they FLEW out of the store, so there are some people who care about them.
One of these days, I need to scour eBay for some cheap super-hero boxes I can put up at the store.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
Bob. . .
If you get the cards in front of the kids I really don't think price is as much an issue as you think. Perhaps I am wrong, I don't have kids, but I don't rember as a kid knowing anything except I wanted cards. Obviously from a parents perspective it makes a difference. On the other hand Pokemon cards sold like crazy and those really weren't any cheaper than other cards -- those ran at least a couple bucks a pack.
I think if there was a market to sell cards to kids the manufacturers would figure it out. Fixing the distribution so smaller locations can carry cards would facilitate the types and prices of cards sold to kids.
For the older kids -- teens I think you need incentive in the packs. I was collecting sports cards at the time and it was all about finding cards that were hot and had some decent *value*.
As for cheap boxes of sports stuff I might be able to point to to a couple of places to pick some stuff up. . . I am not sure what cheap is for you, but I can get Marvel QFx for about $7 a box and DC Outburst for $9. . . both of which you would make a little money on at $.50 a pack. (I think they are both 24 pack boxes). Shoot me an email if you like. . .
box breakdowns, show reviews, rare autograph gallery and more: www.webjon.com/collect/index.html
Yikes...I'm not entirely sure this was a fair question. No one in their right mind is going to vote against keeping pack prices cheap, and no one is going to say they don't want premium cards. But if there isn't a chance for getting my money back out of the box, I don't buy it. This also applies to sets I want. It's chepaer to let others take the loss on these products. Many of todays inserts (sorry guys) I view as crap. I'm hoping embossed cards, foil cards, puzzle cards, die-cuts, prism refractors, and holograms just go away, especially when you can't get the whole set in a box. Many of these aren't premiums, just parallels or short prints. I think there's a diffenerence (and don't see the value). Maybe the real question is ARE YOU A PACK CRACK ADDICT?
I think we all hope for the good pulls and understand that good cards just cost more. It's logical to assume that S.M. Gellar would hold out for a higher signing fee than Julie Benz. That cost would reasonably be passed on to the consumer. If the cost of making a card like that boosted a pack price for that set to even $5+ from whatever it is now for other sets where you live, I'm sure many of us would crack some, regardless of what the current voting suggests. --chris
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