Most of the time, the topics for my opinions in this blog are the result of a discussion at card shows, local hobby shops or on sportscard 'hobby boards'.
This post is no different. I recently responded to a comment someone made about what he thought was 'wrong' with the 'hobby'. It got me thinking......so I thought I'd share.
To get everyone up to speed with a bit more of the specifics, this past week saw the release of Upper Deck's super-high end product 'The Cup'. Packs of this product go for hundreds of dollars. That's right, a pack (or as they call it - a tin) of The Cup can cost over $300. And I believe it's 5 or 6 cards per tin.
Now I have never purchased a tin of The Cup as I have no interest in the product. Only 1 Trevor Linden card has ever come from this release....and I know where it is (sadly not in my collection), so there is nothing that really appeals to me about the stuff.
The price range of the product is way more than I am looking to spend for cards (especially when you only get 5 of them), so my perspective on the product might differ from others. Fair enough.
The person who commented about the product linked a youtube video that showed a sportscard store opening up a case of the product. They just fired through it, tin after tin, like it was any other product and I'm guessing that the draw to the The Cup for them was the hopes of landing a high end card from the break (as I am assuming the cards will be going up on ebay, or at very least priced up and put into the store showcase). The person mentioned that this was a prime example of what is wrong with the hobby.
To me, the 'hobby' is a very vast environment. More than just a card set like The Cup. In fact, a product like that is geared towards only a small percentage of the hobbyists. I would think most of us have no plans to even touch the stuff (although we all probably would like to). To me, the hobby is what I want it to be. It can be all low end products, it can be vintage stuff, it can be a certain player. It can even be The Cup. It's my choice.
But to say that a person (or store) opening large quantities of a high end product is what's wrong with the hobby I think misrepresents the hobby.
A product like The Cup is opened with the intent of a 'slot machine pull' (as someone put it in the responses on the board discussion). I agree with that take. I don't think anyone collects entire sets of The Cup. Maybe certain subsets, but I would think they purchase most of their cards after the product has been broken rather than open tin after tin trying to finish what they want to collect of it.
Most tins of The Cup are broken with the hopes of hitting that high end card that will recoup a large amount of their costs on the product (or in the most ideal situation.....give you a profit. Which rarely happens). That feeling of a box being like a lottery ticket is I think a huge aspect when it comes to the attraction to The Cup (or other super-high end releases). Personally, I have no issues whatsoever with that. In fact, I feel the youtube video accurately depicts the target audience for the product. It'd be weird to see an 8-year-old kid busting open multiple tins of the stuff.
Ultimately, people opening product, no matter what it is, or how much of it they break, or the costs is not what is wrong with the hobby. To me, it is people who take offence to an aspect of the hobby and then lay a blanket blame on said hobby.
If it's not your cup of tea (like the pun.........hey) then move on by and find the stuff that you want in your hobby. It's different for everyone.
While there are always things I'd like to see change in this hobby (or things I'd like to see return to this hobby), for the most part I'm very happy with what the hobby has to offer to me. I think that's why I enjoy it so much.
There's nothing wrong with that.
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