Topps has announced the formation of a new club aimed at its most loyal--and most well funded--collectors. Admission to the Topps Five Star Club is free but you'll have to write an essay, you'll have to be approved and you'll need a recommendation from your local hobby shop or online retailer along with proof that you spend at least $10,000 per year on Topps products.
Members of the club will receive:
* Exclusive Five Star Football and Baseball Parallels
* Exclusive autographed cards
* Quarterly calls and access to Topps employees
* Topps VIP status at events (The National, MLB FanFest, NFL Experience and more) including free access to promotions and giveaways
* An exclusive and prestigious 5-Star Club members only card
Topps says it expects anyone approved for the club to toe the company line and not express any contrary opinions in public, including comments in social media.
It's the latest push by a trading card company to offer premium perks to its biggest spenders. Panini America offered an exclusive meet and greet/product bust at this year's National Sports Collectors Convention and Upper Deck has its Diamond Club.
It's not unlike what companies in other industries do for their best customers or clients but the expectation that members will never say anything negative about the company or its products seemed a little heavy handed to some who posted online comments about the program.
Applications close November 30 and Topps will notify those collectors who are admitted by January 15.
Here's the 5 Star Baseball Application.
Topps also announced a contest that could put you on a baseball card next year. They're giving you a chance to have your card in 2013 Gypsy Queen.
You'll have to tell them via Facebook why you should be a Gypsy King (or Queen). Here's what they wrote about that contest:
Be creative, we are looking for the best responses (by our quirky standards). Comment on this post by Friday 11/16 11:59pm. We will pick one Gypsy King and One Gypsy Queen to be represented in 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball with their own card. Each winner (King and Queen) will have 25 autographed cards in the product.