He’s fought his battles with Topps and lately, with Panini, but Leaf Trading Cards’ Brian Gray seems to be winning favor with hobby stores. An audience of about 100 retailers seemed to appreciate the company’s ability to deliver products that offer good collector value, offering the occasional round of applause during a Tuesday afternoon presentation. One dealer offered an unsolicited “favorite product” compliment to the Texas-based manufacturer during Gray’s talk at an industry presentation.
A Leaf redemption card will be unlocked online via a unique animation process that shows a virtual pack being opened to reveal the card the collector will receive.
Leaf released six products in 2010. This year, the company plans a total of 30 including its “Inscriptions” line and a Vince Lombardi Legacy product due next month with former players paying tribute to the coach on autographs.
He said Mike Tyson recently signed one card “Ali is the greatest, but I am the baddest.” Cal Ripken autographs in an upcoming product will include “2132 games…who needs a day off?”
Leaf is hoping that adhering to release dates, providing a decent autograph bang for the buck and producing quality cards are what collectors are asking for, even if they’re not coming from a company with a major sports license.
“We’re going to make good products that sell,” said Gray.
Gray also said he’ll protect brick-and-mortar retailers by preventing anyone from selling his products below cost for at least 60 days.