Trading card manufacturers with major licenses had a chance to address sports card shop owners and distributors at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas on Tuesday, providing slide presentations on future plans and some explanations for what’s happened over the past 12 months.
Upper Deck revealed it had agreed to a contract extension with Michael Jordan while MLB’s exclusive partner, Topps, announced some changes to its baseball calendar and some new releases and Panini had some comments on new products and its Panini Rewards program.
Under fire from sports card shop owners who were flooded with baseball card products long after the season had ended, Topps announced its post-season release schedule would decrease from seven to four and products unveiled in the fourth quarter would drop from 21 to 13.
The company also stated it would:
- Move Finest Baseball from mid-August to early June
- Move Chrome from mid-August to early August
- Move Stadium Club from October to June
- Eliminate Bowman Sterling and Bowman Platinum Baseball and Prime Football and add Bowman’s Best, which hasn’t been produced since 2007
- Add a second series of Bowman Baseball
- Put the Heritage High Number set back in pack form for the first time since 2009
- Five Star Baseball will drop in price to $150-200 per box but have only 2 hits
- Add Hi Tek Football, Strata Baseball and Diamond Football, a new high-end product similar to Dynasty Baseball in association with its 60th anniversary
Among the Panini revelations:
- Prizm World Cup Soccer was “the No. 1 product we’ve had since Panini entered the US market,” according to CEO Mark Warsop
- It would be creating a Flawless products for soccer and the University of Kentucky (as part of its new exclusive collegiate license)
- It would be adding an additional 75,000-125,000 cards to its Rewards inventory soon. Panini Rewards was introduced last summer and the company says it has completed almost 3,000 total orders, which have been fulfilled in two to three days, on average. New Rewards inventory will include special pieces like uncut sheets, blowup cards and ‘unique experiences’, according to the company.
The Summit wraps up on Wednesday.