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Picture of H_Toser
posted
This one's sure to be a hot one!

We've just posted the poll for October. This time around, we want to ask you about the recently announced Topps set "Enduring Freedom". The series relates to the September 11th Tragedy. Is it patriotic or poor taste? What do you think? Vote now by clicking here:
http://www.nscardcollector.com/cover_poll.shtml

Then come back here and tell us why you voted the way you did.
 
Posts: 13005 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I voted "no", I don't think they are in poor taste. Rather, I think they are ridiculous. Who wants to see more of that horrific stuff? I am thoroughly annoyed with entrepenuers capitolizing on events such as Sept. 11. Yes, some proceeds go to charites, but do really think these companies are not making any profit out of such ventures? T-Shirts. flags, stickers: every single store over my way is selling stuff of this nature. I think a card set devoted to the incidents is just more proof to me that people will do anything to make a buck. Just wait until all the survivor/hero stories start flooding the bookstores and TV movies suffocate us all. What happened is awful, and I have been just as bothered and upset by it as everyone else. If you want to make a donation to the charities that's wonderful and generous, but do you really need something material to say "I remember" or "I helped". Makes me ill....

-Todd
 
Posts: 2362 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I voted to see what they are like first. While I don't think such a set is needed, remember how everybody came out with card sets when Desert Storm began. The Sept. 11 attack was an event that affected us all, more so than Desert Storm. Having some kind of keepsake in card form is no different than keeping a copy of Newsweek devoted to this tragedy.I hope these are handled with tact, no chase cards, no autographs, no stickers, maybe just sold as sets. Let's see if Topps can pull this off.
 
Posts: 2918 | Location: Crystal Lake, IL | Registered: December 04, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The very brief description of the set that we received two days ago from our distributor indicates that there will be NO pictures of the Twin Towers, Ground Zero, the Pentagon, the crashed planes, bin Laden...

And there was no mention of inserts...Series is coming out in boxes/packs with cards and stickers.

I am deducing from some more comments in the description that this set will primarily focus on people - leaders, politicians, rescuers..military.

And Topps is seeing some value in this series as a possible teaching tool for children, about the series of events.

I, personally, don't see this as in poor taste or exploitive, so far. No one's going to be forced to buy these...or to look at them..

But I do wonder about their representative value (not monetarily) given what is not being included in the series.
 
Posts: 622 | Location: Boston, MA USA | Registered: December 28, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have to agree - why wouldn't you include the major players? The pictures of the WTC are everywhere - to avoid them here is rather odd. Same with Bin Laden, et al.

They can have sets of the Titanic or Pearl Harbor or World War II where people died (even Civil War sets where Americans killed Americans) yet now we should shy away from this?

I voted that I would wait till I saw the set before deciding. I have never seen the Desert Storm set.

Anthony
 
Posts: 802 | Location: MA | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's true, we have sets for Pearl Harbor and Civil War, but the sets didn't come out weeks after Pearl Horbor got bombed. I just don't think it is something we need right now. Maybe in years down the road, when it is not so fresh in the minds of people affected by the events.
Todd
 
Posts: 2362 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I voted "yes" - I think this card set is in very poor taste at this time. It is too new and too fresh in everyone's minds & heart. There can only be one reason for these sets to be coming out now and that is for financial gain. If the entire profits were going to the diaster funds, then I would say that this is the company's way of combining goodwill with a cash contribution.

Enough already with all the merchandising.....

fran
 
Posts: 92 | Location: valley stream, new york, usa | Registered: October 08, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have you all been to the news stand lately? All three major weeklies did "rush" issues (the week of), with each following week's issue having a WTC related cover.

There are/were also several "hot off the press" magazines - for $5.99 or so!

People want information and they want it now. You and I may not want it, but there are people out there who do.

Just my .02

Anthony
 
Posts: 802 | Location: MA | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kenny:

Not to beat this poor horse anymore, but check your newsstand - the magazines I am talking about did not exist the day before the tragedy. They are specially printed magazines (not from Time, Newsweek, etc) created for the tragedy - and they are selling for $5.99 or so - did they do this for charity? I saw another "magazine" the other day - for $2.99 it has some photos and then opens to a flag that you can put on a wall/window, etc.

That is certainly being made for an "easy buck" - too easy I would say since it's feeding into the flag frenzy.

So, I see no problem with Topps making a buck - we are a capitalist society. If we didn't "make a buck" then how could we poor billions and billions of dollars into NYC and other places to rebuild them?

Another .02

Anthony
ps: we've tripled the pot smile
 
Posts: 802 | Location: MA | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The fact that the news media is making money off of this is no excuse for a card manufacturer to follow (or ANY merchandising manufacturer for that matter). What's the next step? A video game? Probably. TV movies of the week, with The WB featuring an all-star cast of people you've never heard of? Maybe a sit-com will spring out of it...why not? We are a capitalist country right? How about a toy set complete with body parts to throw about? Sounds rediculous, sure, but hey: why not make some money?

That's my 10 cents and I'll take the change for your two cents. :~)
 
Posts: 2362 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And an additional few cents here.

I've now seen an uncut sheet of these cards, and there is a picture of Ben Ladin. And there is a picture of the Ground Zero area from a distance with the Statue of Liberty showing, but no WTC buildings.

And, just to add information...Topps Corporate Headquarters is quite near Ground Zero. They 'lived' thru a great deal of this...and I understand their offices were closed for a time..and that they are well aware of the horror of this story first hand.

Perhaps their motives aren't quite as nefarious as some folks seem to think...
 
Posts: 622 | Location: Boston, MA USA | Registered: December 28, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I don't want to sway any votes for anyone who hasn't voted in our ongoing poll for the month, but have any of you seen the Enduring Freedom cards, now that they have been released? Any thoughts?

We received a box in for review in the upcoming issue and I must say that we were impressed. Very nicely and tastefully done. It would be interesting to hear other people's opinion's...good or bad.
 
Posts: 13005 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I admit my opinion is biased and I hope to never see the cards. It doesnt matter to me how tastefully done they are; the fact they were made leaves a sour tast in my mouth just the same. So there.

Todd
 
Posts: 2362 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just another tidbit - Inkworks is releasing "American Pride" stickers next month (Nov). This set has images of America grouped in common themes.

There are sample images on their Web site along with the sell sheet (as a .pdf file). The set looks nice, though it seems to probably be stock images rather than any special ones for this set. Some of the proceeds will go to help charities involved.

Any thoughts on this?

Anthony
 
Posts: 802 | Location: MA | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As I go back and re-read some of these posts, I am amazed how negatively this set is viewed. When the attack happened, I thought somebody probably will come out with a set of cards about this, and they did, and now another is planned from Inkworks. These companies had nothing to do with the attack, they simply are responding to people's need to understand or learn more about this tragedy.
I picked up 3 packs this weekend, many dealers are not carrying it. This set reminds me of the Desert Storm cards, lots of pictures of military hardware and leaders. I have a checklist card and only 3 cards show scenes of New York and the Pentagon, and one card shows bin Laden. The rest of the set shows how the world supported the U.S., various government leaders and almost half the set is shots of F-16s, bombers and aircraft carriers. Warbird collectors will love this set. 9 stickers of the American flag, with a puzzle back, complete the set.
Before any more of you condemn these cards, look at them. They are patriotic and may bring some interest to our hobby from others who don't normally collect cards. Just my 2¢ worth.
 
Posts: 2918 | Location: Crystal Lake, IL | Registered: December 04, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picked up a pack of Enduring Freedom today. Eye catching red-white-blue colors abound with several photos of military technology and armed forces, military and political leadership, and some pics of disaster sites and rescue workers.
Overall, they appear to be tastefully done. Patriotism and the strength and resolve of the USA are the main themes.
Previous postings reflect the moral tension most of us feel. I respect those who elect not to sell or collect this set. Timing must have been a difficult call for Topps. Who is right? Perhaps, all who are willing to be accountable for their choices. At least we can thank God we dwell in a nation where both opinions can co-exist in peace.
 
Posts: 4231 | Location: USA | Registered: December 04, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kennywood, I respect your eloquently worded opinion, and I doubt my response will cause you to change your mind, but I feel a need to respond to you anyway.
President Bush has urged everyone to try to return to some sense of normalcy. Of course, we may never be "normal" again, as we were on Sept. 10th, but for Topps, normal is making cards. They responded to this the only way they know how. Yes, they'll make some money from this, but there are people all over the country making money from this, selling flags and bumper stickers and such. That's the American way. There are also many who are losing money - and jobs, such as the airline industry.
To the Americans who died on Sept. 11 it will not matter if Topps sell cards or not. Topps has pledged some of their profits to help their families, which is a good thing.
The original question here was are these cards patriotic or in poor taste.I think they are patriotic, having seen them. As someone with a military background, I see the need for patriotism now as we enter what will be a long and costly war against terrorism and to avenge the loss of almost 7,000 of our fellow Americans.
 
Posts: 2918 | Location: Crystal Lake, IL | Registered: December 04, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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>>President Bush has urged everyone to try to return to some sense of normalcy. Of course, we may never be "normal" again, as we were on Sept. 10th, but for Topps, normal is making cards.<<

I think there's a much larger picture here. I think President Bush had a double meaning when he urged everyone to try to return to some sense of normalcy. First, the obvious...that as individuals we not let "them" get to us and that we show "them" that we are a great country who cannot be brought down by their acts of terrorism.

The second and perhaps the most important reason is to keep our economy strong for this is the best way to beat those who dare to threaten us.

Topps is but a small company in the grand scheme of things, however, the money they make is directly reflected in the money they pay out to employees and suppliers. Is directly reflected in this same monies spent by these employees and suppliers. Is directly reflected in their stock and those who hold stock in the company.

All card companies producing cards as they do encompass almost every subject imaginable, however, they appeal mostly to the hobbyist. Producing cards which appeal to the masses enlarges the market to people who, are not necessarily interested in cards but ARE definitely interested in both the war on terrorism and the US.

Yes, there will be more money made by Topps, however, looking at the whole picture, there will be more money spent and earned my a myriad of companies and peoples who will in turn spend on...contributing to the health and wealth of our great country.

That in a nutshell is what helped make our country strong and that in a nutshell is what will keep us strong.

Happy collecting,

M
 
Posts: 40 | Location: New Milford, CT USA | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow, this is a really interesting thread. I hope Harris can somehow archive it.

Couple of things: Bush said normalcy. If producing merchandise to benefit from the suffering of others is normalcy, then we need more help from above than previously thought. Topps makes baseball cards, Planet of the Apes cards, super hero cards...Topps producing cards capitalizing on a tradegy is not a normal Topps venture.

I agree with the comment on patiotism. I have been patriotic since I was a child. I won a few awards for public speaking, using patriotic themes for my speeches back when it was hip to burn flags, and say how awful America was at producing products, and to create lawsuits towards organizations and institutions that promoted God in public. Everytime I put a publication together, I make reference to the U.S.A. and am always genuinely proud of that fact.

Before Sept. 11, I dont think a large percentage of people would publically speak words of love towards their own country. In fact, displaying an American flag in the window of your vehicle meant you were a proud verteran, or a redneck yankee. It would be seen as offensive to some groups and you'd get irritated looks. Now, everyone is a patriot, god-fearing, United States lover. Where have all these people been for the last two decades of my life?

All these flags being sold all over the place: stickers, decals, window flags; everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Every convenience store is selling...I stress SELLING...these products. This is not patriotic in my opinion; it is marketing. No matter how it is stated, producing a product for financial gain is marketing and marketing is done to make money. I don't condemn anyone for doing that. Where I condemn them is when they do it at the expense of lives and property. If a company wants to help a cause, give the money directly to the organizers/fundraisers/charities. Don't be exploitive and then give the profits to charities. IT'S WRONG.

Ooops, I think I broke my soapbox...
 
Posts: 2362 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm a little wary of adding to this thread for feer of entering a foot/mouth interface situation, but...
I'm not likely to see these cards myself - I don't suppose Topps were aiming at anyone other than the US market. I can see that, given the success of 'Desert Storm' cards (which I haven't seen either), there probably is, or will be, a demand for these cards. However, I'm not at all sure that now is the right time for them. People are still struggling to come to terms with what has happened, people are still not sure if their friends or family will ever be found in the rubble.
I have to admit, I do find it somewhat, how can I put it, 'black humour', to think that, in future days someone will be advertising for odd missing cards from this set. (I realise that no scenes of the disaster appear, but still!)
Does it concentrate on the New York outrage alone? Have Washington and Pittsburgh been included in the set?

A better idea might, possibly, have been to issue a collated set, perhaps on the 1st anniversary of the event, with ALL proceeds (not just some of the profits) being donated to whatever funds exist to help those affected the most.

I suppose (and please forgive me this last comment) we should be grateful for small mercies - just think about the possibilities for chases if a more unscrupulous manufacturer had been involved. - Memorabilia cards? (I shudder to think)
Best wishes,
Paul Bines
 
Posts: 7202 | Location: Basildon, Essex, United Kingdom | Registered: November 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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