Saturday, July 18, 2009

Beauty Marred By Business

Communities and friendships have formed and strengthened over these cards from series one. With series two, just out, those bonds are being tested.

Most collectors liked the Topps stealth exclusive store parallels in series one. They were meant as a surprise and to the delight and/or frustration of many, they did just that. I can remember when I first got wind of these super secret parallels. My first reaction was a groan. Not another mindless parallel.

That quickly dissipated into joy, when I realized exactly what was going on. We were given a choice, whether we wanted to collect this or not. Sure, you couldn't buy a blaster blindly, but that was a small price to pay. If you were aware of the parallel, you knew exactly what to look for after the first few days.

Now, with the first of the series two blasters on Wal-Mart shelves, we are no longer given the choice. For those of us who got hooked on collecting the parallel set, the rules have changed. What prompted this change? I can only think of greed.

Much like a dealer giving a junkie a taste, we were given a giant heaping spoonful of these black parallel cards from Topps. When we were waiting for the next series, Topps decided to cut our supply to a fraction of what it once was, without changing the price. Bait and switch.

So far, the only way to get these cards are to buy a blaster. Instead of the blaster being completely full of black parallel cards, we only get two packs out of ten. Is this fair? Clearly not. I will complete this set through trades and online sales. I will never buy a blaster of this stuff. Full blasters of stealth parallels could be on the way, but I have heard nothing about that. I haven't heard anything about the Target parallel either, but I would assume that will be working out the same as Wal-Mart.

The first images that I saw of the series two variation came from Nachos Grande. That is where I saw the beautiful Alexei Ramirez card. This is what is driving me to finish the White Sox team set, so it can fit smoothly next to series one.

Topps is forgetting one thing with this bait and switch attempt. Like the dealers who bait and switch the junkies, the junkies always find a way around to get the product. While I hate the analogy, it seems fittingly appropriate.

1 comment:


I think a lot of us agree and several have contacted Topps to find out the rest of the story.Maybe we should all send Topps a message. If series 1 was a mistake on their part it should have been carried over.Even though it doesn't make that much difference to me personally (I'm not a set builder anyway),I'm not very happy about the way it was arranged.

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