While I don’t post much these days, the news that Topps lost their NFL Players Inc. license to publish football cards was clearly big enough to warrant a post.
I first saw the news at Cardboard Junkie (although he apparently thinks that baseball is all that matters…I hope he’s kidding), and then found the news at Wax Heaven and a couple of other sites. I even noticed this morning that ProFootballTalk had the news on their site–albeit with his rather unsupported claim that “the trading-card industry has diminished over the past two decades, possibly due to the inherently low-tech nature of it.”
My take on it? Like most people blogging about the card industry, I do tend to think it’s too bad that all sports appear to be heading down a more exclusive path. While the NFL is still granting licenses to Upper Deck and Panini, rather than a single card company, I do tend to think that in all cases less competition amongst card companies ill simply mean that the card companies will have less incentive to put out product that is truly the best it could be.
While I don’t share the level of angst some in the card blogging community have towards…seemingly all manufacturers, and in fact have largely gotten out of collecting (although I am taking part in mini-card show next month–was supposed to happen last spring, but never did…more on that in a later post), I do tend to agree that the card companies have not been putting out their best work in recent times.
Personally, if I was the NFL/MLB/NBA/etc, rather than restrict the licenses completely, I would spend some time coming up with better guidelines for the card companies in using their logos/names in products–more restrictions on the number of sets, better quality control, better controls around forgeries, and making sure that there is value in card collecting for everyone–from the companies to the leagues to the actual collecters.
But that’s just me–what do I know. What about everyone else?