October 30, 2010

More manufactured "relic" cards - Good idea or gimmick?

We've seen manufactured patch cards from Topps, which were mostly blaster exclusives for their baseball product. In this year's Topps flagship set, they included manufactured hat logo cards.

In 2010 Updates and Highlights, Topps has produced manufactured bat barrels cards that display the name of the play with a facsimile autograph.

We talk about gimmicks plenty around here and on other blogs.

But how do you really feel about these cards?

There are plenty collectors who don't seem to have a problem with these cards.

Take this Albert Pujols pink 1/1 bat barrel.

It sold for $326.79.

A Mikcey Mantle pink 1/1 bat barrel went for $265 and an Alex Rodriguez pink 1/1 bat barrel went for $214.

While manufactured, it's certainly something different. And Topps is not pretending for this card to be anything else. The card is clearly labeled on the front and back that it is a manufactured bat barrel.

Personally, I think the cards are sharp. I don't really have a problem with them. It's a new way to create cards where Topps doesn't have to spend a lot of money and getting autograph fees or buying jerseys and pants.

Some people on eBay would agree with me - this Derek Jeter black bat /25 sold for $89.

But what about you guys?

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  1. It's funny I was just reading a post at Enough Already lambasting these cards and had to laugh a little. Topps has been the king of gimmicks the last few years with the Jeter card from 2007 and the Red Sox Guillani card, pie in the face variations, retire variations, in Update they also have Topps Rookie Cup variations from Series 1 and 2 inserted. It's actually a great marketing stratagy getting more cards sold and honestly its kinda fun to see what you might find in your box. However Topps is terrible about publishing these variations. Take for instance the Mickey Mouse All-Stars inserted about 1 per Jumbo box, although it might be less than that seeing I bought 2 Jumbos and got 1 MMAS card.

    Now to answer your question on the Bat Barrel cards. Once you get them in your hand there pretty sweet. One problem is that they're too thick. Thicker than the thickest top loader and you need extra thick penny sleeves for them. They will barely fit in the super thick top loaders but it's a tight fit.

    I really like these cards and the manuhat patches from series 1 and 2. Your absolutley right in saying that Topps isn't trying to pass these off as relics. And so what there neat collectables that are somewhat different. Didn't we all use to bitch about wanting something new, different, and innovative? This is Topps delivering on that.

    And not to bust balls here but Topps isn't calling it Updates and Highlights this year nope they had to go and change it up again and call it Update Series. So the card prefixes are all US not UH. Whatever. Keep up the good work oh and if the Brewers are still up for grabs in the Bowman Chrome break I'd like them let me know please.

  2. I liked the manufactured patches as blaster bonus items... I'm not so thrilled with the cap logos in the hobby boxes (though I do have a David Wright one.)

    I haven't seen the bat barrels in person to make a final judgement, but they seem a little too plain to really appeal to me.

    Like relic cards, I'm sure Topps will run these into the ground... but I don't think we're quite there yet.

  3. Funny that you wrote this post because I was going to do one specifically on the Cano barrell and how they used his rookie contract signature on the card much the same as they do on Bowman.

    I don't care for these cards and wouldn't buy one. If I pulled one or traded for it, it might be a different story.

    I do agree with cynicalbuddha on the manu hat cards. For some reason those appeal to me, but the manu bats aren't for me.

  4. I'm not a huge fan of patch cards to begin with, but some of them look very nice. Most manufactured "artifact" cards I can't stand, although the Cap Logo cards looked OK for the most part. I have no real problem with these manufactured bat barrel cards so long as Topps keeps mentioning they are "manufacgtured" and don't try to pass them off as real signatures. I voted "gimmick" because it is a gimmick, but a nice looking one.

  5. They don't look bad, but I wouldn't pay so much for them. $300? It's insane if you ask me...but it's the collectors who pay it who are insane.

  6. I think they are okay, bought a regular and black for my Willie McCovey collection already. They are really thick but look pretty nice.

    The main problem I have is that Topps advertises 1 auto and 2 relics on the box. These just aren't relics.

    By the way, the Babe Ruth photo you posted is my auction - I pulled the Ruth and a Colby Rasmus along with a black Alex Rios from my two Jumbo box breaks. Thanks for the free pub!

  7. I am not big on Topps gimmick cards but I don't put the manufactured patches and bat barrels in line with the pie in the face variations and the Jeter card from a few years ago.

    I actually like the manufactured hat logos and bat barrels cards. The black bats look pretty sweet and the pink barrels, based on the Mother's Day bats, are original.

  8. I don't own any of these yet either so it's hard for me to say if I'll like 'em or not. The idea itself doesn't bother me. It's something new for collectors to chase (or not chase). You can't fault Topps for trying something new. Some of their gimmicks have caught on and some have not...but it adds a little variety and that is something that is always welcomed in my book.