A little national attention never hurt anybody.
No matter where you live, chances are your local paper, radio or TV station has carried a story about baseball cards this week. They’ve even made national news here and there.
Of course, the flipside is that the talk isn’t really about ‘baseball cards’; it’s about the Presidential candidates that are in those cards–or the non-sports memorabilia cards that make up a good bit of the Donruss Americana set.
Purists may scoff and I suppose I lean toward that label, but if bringing attention to baseball cards is what the ultimate goal is for trading card manufacturers these days, I think Topps, Upper Deck and Donruss have all scored in just the first six weeks of the year.
Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that cards pretty much disappeared from the media unless the Honus Wagner card was on display someplace or when someone found a huge stash of old cards in the rafters.
Vintage dealers and collectors may profess not to give a damn about the shiny stuff but if the interest in cards fades away, so does business. You can hang on to your aging demographic of customers, but growing a new batch of collectors has got to happen.
Are some of the new cards gimmicky? Sure. But there’s nothing wrong with serving up a little history with your cards. For years, I missed the playoff and World Series cards Topps used to put in packs. Part of an annual issue of anyting should include a little slice of that year–sort of a cardboard time capsule and if it’s the year of Presidential politics, well, why not? And if the mainstream media folks it’s interesting enough to talk about, it’s good for everyone in the industry.
I can tell you that two of our most read stories in the last couple of months were about Donruss Americana and McDonald’s hockey cards. I suspect some of that web traffic is coming from casual collectors or people who weren’t collectors before but have discovered it’s kind of fun or have turned their kids onto those products.
And for the record, I’m disappointed Topps pulled the HIllary Clinton/Morganna Presidential Predictor cards.. If they could have pulled off a dual autograph card on that one, people would really be talking.