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Is the sports card hobby dying?
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Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of kbmum
posted
CBS Sunday Morning did a story last weekend about the state of the sports card industry, its history, and why it's declining. One of the points made was that cards (base cards) weren't seen as valuable and became rare because they were often thrown away. Since so many people now collect the cards long-term in excellent condition, the cards no longer have a chance to become rare and therefore don't have much value.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-34...TwoColUpperPromoArea
 
Posts: 1064 | Location: Massachusetts | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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Thanks for posting that, it is really good and very very sad at the same time.

Also read the comments left by people.

" They priced the kids out of the hobby and this is what we are left with, nothing "

Non - Sports should watch this and shudder.

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Posts: 29020 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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I would say no the sports card hobby isn't dying. I don't really collect sports myself anymore but that's mainly because I really dislike Topps and they have the only official MLB license.

They have priced kids out for the most part, but Panini is releasing a kid friendly baseball product soon called Triple Play that will be $0.99 a pack (and probably less than that).

As to non sport manufacturers...there really isn't a product that I know of that is really that kid friendly. Inkworks released a couple of products that probably appealed to kids, but was still probably priced out of their range. I also don't think of non sports cards (at least the non pokeman, WOW, MTG variety) as kid products. Products like TVD, and TWD may appeal to a younger consumer, but not too young.
 
Posts: 860 | Location: Alaska | Registered: May 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Pricing Specialist
Picture of Bill DeFranzo
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I've noticed that product like GPK, Wackys & Marvel seem to sell well in the Dollar stores.

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Bill D.

AKA: Promo Czar (self-appointed)
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Hampton NH 03842 | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Elf
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The sports card hobby is dying, it has been for a few years now. The sports card business is still going. Most people do not collect as a hobby anymore, they collect to make a profit. The end collectors that are pure hobbyists are a fraction of how many there were 10 years ago. If you don't cater to the kids of today they won't be the collectors of tomorrow and the collector's of today will die off without someone to replace them. For the kids today there are more things out there like video games that vie for their attention. In addition most kids can't afford the products that are out there. When I was 10 years old packs of cards were around $0.25, now regular Topps packs are around $3. I understand inflation and how the cost of a product will increase with inflation but that is base Topps, try being a kid and buying a pack of triple threads or NT without help from your parents.
Take this to non-sport cards. How many of you pass on the premium products because you felt it was too expensive? What were they $20 a pack (not really sure). Who would buy a pack of Marvel Sterling if they made it at $200 a pack?
 
Posts: 828 | Location: Southern New Jersey | Registered: April 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of TC00
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1. I think this an unfortunate sign of the times economically but as many people have said you need to look at how collectors/cosumers and manufacturers alike are treating the hobby. It has become quite 'cut throat' with manufacturers making many 'throw away' chase cards of litte value numbered to the likes of #500, knowing cosumers/dealers and real collectors will by the 200 box in the hopes of finding the super rare card numbered to #5 or something. I think the over pricing on packaging for what you may (or may not) get with regards to the sports industry specifically, is ridiculous. I'm glad Non Sport doesn't follow suit. Half the time the boxes are so expensive because of the card(s) arcollector 'might' (and more often than not doesn't) get and the stupid packaging like a wooden, gold hinged box with an engraved Set Name/Logo all for one pack with a few base cards and a mystery hit.

2. As for being kid friendly, I have a young relative who's parents had notice he'd taken an interest in collecting. Now he's only 3 so he was collecting anything that was 'the same' like toy cards and arranging them and keeping them in a box and stuff. I decided to introduce him to trading cards (which he loved) and when he seemed like the interest was sticking i gave him a box to put them in which sparked his enthusiasm more. It was only about 25 cards, mixture of sports and non sports (heavier on the NS) but I collect the likes of Buffy, Charmed, X Files etc and you wouldn't believe how long it took me to sit and sort through all my spare base to find 'kid friendly' card that didnt have a scary a$$ monster or something on that would of scary the heck out of the litte kid. The trading card hobby across both industries does now seem more aimed at the older collector who has access to their bank funds to factor in the cost of a few boxes than a kid saving up their allowance for a few packs. I found as a kid/teen it was difficult to save up all that money and then justify to adults why you're putting down 50 on a box a elaborate card board.

3. In terms of value decreasing in the sports card industry, I think I covered some of that in the above answer. I can only speak for UK where trading cards let alone specific non sport versus sport industries have never really taken off. Here you say 'trading card' and everyone assumes CCGs (Collectable Card Games) and answers 'Pokemon'/'Yu-Gi-Oh'/'Magic The Gathering'/'Doctor Who' or some other set. Even trying to explain what none CCG trading cards are can be a very tiresome process without introducing the difference between sport/non sport and types/levels and ratios of cards/boxes/sets. I know that a lot of the US sellers on certain auctions sits have taken to selling their sports cards worldwide for a fraction of their value. I picked up about 6 New England Patriots Jersey/Game Worn/Patches etc for 30 pounds. Sadly here you cant walk into a store and pick up a box or a few packs, theres simply no demand for them, not even in our biggest city, London. I've seen a similar decline in formerly reputable supplies of non sports cards in my local stores, which is rather frustrating.
 
Posts: 937 | Location: UK | Registered: December 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Writer
Picture of sthomas
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To a degree, the CBS report was skewed. Its overall thesis was illustrated when comparing visuals of a four-day National convention to a small weeknight show. Absolutely the collector population has thinned. I had been present at the 1991 Anaheim convention when an estimated 110,000 entrants jammed the floors. These days, the National committee doesn’t release gate figures, but there had been a lot of elbow room at the last National I attended.

With respect to the non-sport industry, an inordinate amount of anxiety exists with the kids-as-future-collectors issue. The dichotomy of children vs. adult collectors seems to me diminished in magnitude as the modern collecting era ensued in the early 1990s. If trading card collecting has evolved into a chiefly adult pastime (requiring adult-sized financial outlays), is it not possible for today’s youngsters to discover our hobby later in life? And who’s to say the current young generation that followed Harry Potter might not develop a passion for the Artbox products and, in turn, fire off an interest in other entertainment based collectibles?

Some manufacturers and vendors may offer less optimistic, but equally valid viewpoints, particularly in light of current market conditions. Executives and dealers grapple with a host of obstacles on a weekly basis too numerous to detail here. But from a contemporary production standpoint, a hobby that is dying would not witnesss products of astonishing detail such as Tom Breyer’s Warlord of Mars or Rittenhouse Archives’ James Bond 50th Anniversary. The big picture is simply this: Newer firms have replaced those which have left the industry. As long as that trend continues, the hobby should be able to endure the current economic conditions.

Finally, a little history. The late 1970s and ’80s could not have been more feeble in terms of non-sport offerings. The James Bond set was Moonraker, television gave us Alf and movies such as Saturday Night Fever were cards sets of negligible quality. Non-sports then was a cottage industry. In comparison, frankly, the current state of the hobby exists in a dynamic environment.
 
Posts: 92 | Location: Chicago area | Registered: February 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
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When it comes to sportscards, baseball was and still is the biggest collector base. No doubt the number of baseball card collectors has been declining these last 15 years at least. You could point to several reasons and not be wrong.

Older collectors got disgusted with the overproduction of base and chase cards, while at the same time they couldn't afford the prices on the manufactured rare hits. Kids couldn't afford to buy the premium cards they wanted so there wasn't enough new blood to replace the collectors that were quitting. Too many cards were coming up for sale on eBay and too many collectors wanted to get rid of their collections at wholesale prices. Most cards were losing value quickly and not even the hot rookies, which always drive the sportscard market, were hot for long.

But don't blame it all on cards, baseball is not the game it was and I think a fair share of the problem is that its hard to be a fan. There used to be a lot of team card collectors, but with free agency and all the mid-season trading for playoff teams and teams that have no chance and are dumping the payroll, they are constantly churning the roster. What's to root for, does anybody want Met cards this year? Big Grin
 
Posts: 10509 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In the UK the sport side is growing year on year.when i was growing up it was all stickers and not a card insight.thankfully stickers are dying and cards are taking over.WWE,and football are huge in the UK.most being around the 35p/5Op price point which means its easy for a kids to buy a couple of packs to and from school along with magazines,comics and sweets which they buy by the bucket load aswell.

They sure dont need autographs or costumes or sketches to sell well!!

Plus there is always coupons or free packs that are given away free with newspapers which always helps and they are usually tv advertised.every sweet shop/newsagent and supermarket sells them aswell so they are always available and cheap.

And long may it continue cause some of these guys who buy these cards are introduced to the hobby may one day come over the the 'dark side' and start collecting cards from there fave movies or tv shows??

We can only hope??
 
Posts: 174 | Location: Liverpool | Registered: October 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of watchers of watchers
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To a point it has already died, kids can no longer buy a pack and hope to get a relic or auto due to price and pack searchers, and with the fact that most sets put low end relics or autos in them the scumbags still search and then sell them on ebay to people who dont know any better. And now the higher priced sets people are buying they buy cases so they hope to get the case hit and sell it for a profit and in most cases it is not even a player its a celebrity or historical signature they look for. And lets be honest someone sign's a sheet of stickers and because one is put on a card that has 1/1 punched in it, does it really make it worth that much more? No not in my humble opinion, I only buy the sets I want and here and sports that is only Leaf Metal Golf and The Games of Thrones the only ones that appeal to me
or my son, they will be keepers. I came back to this side of the hobby before and may do so again but I will only buy pre-sales anymore its cheaper if you get a guarantee. With this economy most boxes are out of reach for the little folk, which is why sports cards are dying......
 
Posts: 330 | Location: th,indiana,usa | Registered: June 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by watchers of watchers:
And lets be honest someone sign's a sheet of stickers and because one is put on a card that has 1/1 punched in it, does it really make it worth that much more?......


Big Grin Oh yeah, love those 1/1s.

That's another reason why long time sportscard collectors dropped off, the card manufacturers kept insulting their intelligence. Wink
 
Posts: 10509 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Ok sports card collecting is dying - in truth who cares - but what about non sport card collecting - where are the interesting cheap packs - comic stores are few and far between - retail outlets like Walgreens and Target - only carry Star wars, WWE, and some childish girlie stuff and gaming UGH!!! - for the male children aged 7 to 15 what non sport card is there for them at a reasonable price - and what about this premium pack $&%^*#@ - if you are a Stargate colector you could not reasonably buy a base set of the last set - premium packs do NOTHING to promote this hobby except restrict the number of collectors who can own and afford even a base set - so how is this perpetuating the hobby we so proclaim to enjoy
 
Posts: 198 | Location: United States | Registered: December 26, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by sherlock2:
Ok sports card collecting is dying - in truth who cares - but what about non sport card collecting - where are the interesting cheap packs - comic stores are few and far between - retail outlets like Walgreens and Target - only carry Star wars, WWE, and some childish girlie stuff and gaming UGH!!! - for the male children aged 7 to 15 what non sport card is there for them at a reasonable price - and what about this premium pack $&%^*#@ - if you are a Stargate colector you could not reasonably buy a base set of the last set - premium packs do NOTHING to promote this hobby except restrict the number of collectors who can own and afford even a base set - so how is this perpetuating the hobby we so proclaim to enjoy


Wow, so much negative energy here...

So you want them interesting, cheap, and plentiful? Anything else with that order?

The real reason you don't see more at retail stores is that all the big retailers demand what is called "guaranteed returnability." If, in 6 months time, they still have 30% of the cards on the shelf they want the manufacturer to take them all back. Now, it doesn't matter to them if they've been bent by searchers, they just want 30% of what they originally spent back and they give the manufacturer a whole lot of loose packs to deal with. Not many manufacturers in the game right now want to take that risk except the biggies like Topps and Upper Deck.

We don't have news agents like the UK, so there isn't a neighborhood outlet for mass market cards. The days of cards at the register of gas stations and 7-11's is pretty much gone.

I won't even get into premium packs, because they are not marketed to the same customer as packs available at retail. Don't think they are going away either. They are not for everyone, but nobody promised that every release would make everyone happy. Look at Hunger Games, it's the exact opposite of a Premium Pack. It's making kids happy but collectors are all disappointed that there are no chase cards at all.

I don't think the future is as bleak as you portray it to be. But it is changing and not everyone is going to like where it's heading.

Ed

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Collecting Sketches of the Character Crystal

 
Posts: 5099 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of steve j
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I don't know about sports cards as I have never collected them. In the UK it looks like it might be taking off again. The Morrisons give away Disney cards was a success last year, so they Re doing it again. It's a good way of introducing new kids to the hobby. WH Smith has loads of sets on offer at one time. Someone must be buying them. With Cult Stuff and Untouchable cards doing their bit, the future looks bright here in the UK.
 
Posts: 1776 | Location: Wales, UK | Registered: June 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by steve j:
With Cult Stuff and Untouchable cards doing their bit, the future looks bright here in the UK.
Not forgetting ReddLife's efforts too with a novel magazine as well as card sets Thumb Up

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kevin F,
 
Posts: 1534 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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what negative energy - I do not feel any negative energy - just plain truth - as for Hunger Games - the cards are from hunger - $3.99 for a pack of what 6 or 7 cards - what a deal!!! - at least for Pokemon and Naruto or whatever those cards are - there are foil cards and a possible rare card in a pack - here u get nothing but the loss of your $$$ - customers deserve way more than what they are being provided and I feel all that companies are doing by this trend is reducing the population willing to spend money on this hobby - that we really do so enjoy
 
Posts: 198 | Location: United States | Registered: December 26, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by sherlock2:
what negative energy - I do not feel any negative energy - just plain truth - as for Hunger Games - the cards are from hunger - $3.99 for a pack of what 6 or 7 cards - what a deal!!! - at least for Pokemon and Naruto or whatever those cards are - there are foil cards and a possible rare card in a pack - here u get nothing but the loss of your $$$ - customers deserve way more than what they are being provided and I feel all that companies are doing by this trend is reducing the population willing to spend money on this hobby - that we really do so enjoy


This topic was about the sports card hobby and, although the dynamics are sometimes similar to what goes on with non-sport cards, they are also very different in other respects. Sports cards are driven by hot rookies and franchise stars. That is true for every type of sport card. The regular sports sets are much, much larger than anything produced in non-sport, but there are also smaller premium type sets under different names that are produced by the same manufacturer throughout the season. Some of these sell for insane prices because they are the shortest printed. Still the stars and rookies are the same, give or take a few. Now the pro licenses have whittled down to just a couple of manufacturers, so a lot of the competition has really been taken out of it and along with that a lot of collector choice.

Thankfully I think you will agree that this does not sound like the state of non-sport cards. We have a lot of choice right now and some really interesting new titles. Some of the stuff has issues, not all of it has enough value and the average collector can not afford everything he or she wants, when has that ever been different? I'm not above complaining about box values myself, as is pretty obvious from some of my posts. But if I didn't enjoy collecting non-sport cards and especially autograph cards, I'd stop doing it the same way I stopped buying sports cards.

So before the list of things that we don't like about our hobby gets too big, remember the longer list of things that we do like. Smile
 
Posts: 10509 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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vary valid points - I just took this topic as the hobby of non sport card collecting could go the same route as sports cards as I cannot tell you how many Stargate, Spartacus NCIS customers I have and will have to turn away, because many people can afford to spend $10 to enjoy a card set that they have been collecting or a show they have been watching (NCIS) but cannot and will not spend $50 for a set as it is beyond their means - this does not promote or extend this hobby to the masses
 
Posts: 198 | Location: United States | Registered: December 26, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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