Well, its time for the biggest card show of the year, as the 2014 National Collectors Convention opens today in Cleveland for show VIPs. There will be a flood of news coming, including some potential information about Panini and their quest for hobby domination, but nothing set in stone. For these first few days, the biggest news will be surrounding the wrapper redemptions, most of which will be the most coveted items at the show.
The cards can fetch some crazy money as we have seen from previous shows:
Here is a break down of what to expect for this year, especially as pre-sales ramp up and are fulfilled.
Panini’s Wrapper Redemption Program
As I have mentioned on a number of previous occasions, this wrapper redemption is not for collectors – its for everyone else who needs to clear their shelves of the slew of terrible Panini products that have been collecting dust all throughout 2013. All that being said, the cards really do look much nicer than they have in years past, and I really like the way they are using the patch motif as the design for the cards.
Here are some of the cards on pre-sale:
Again, this year’s set looks as good as it ever has, with more of a focus on designing great looking rookie content from guys like Manziel and company that will sell like hotcakes in Cleveland. I still detest the stupid manupatch autographs that have been a virus in this hobby year after year, and the cracked ice is still not done correctly. Similarly, these towel cards make no sense to me, as I dont get why collectors want swatches of material specifically used for collecting bodily fluids.
If only this money could make it back into the products instead of a million wrapper packs and an overly extravagant VIP party.
Topps Wrapper Redemptions
I love that Topps produces the exclusive Ginter minis to give away each year, as these types of cards are really what the wrapper redemptions should be about. They tend to be pretty rare and coveted by the crowd to the point where security needed to be called in last year.
Here are some of the cards up for pre-sale:
The national show presence should always be more about engaging with your customers and less about giving away free shit, but this is what it has become. The reason I know this is the case is because the Topps booth is empty by 2pm. Topps still tries to make it work, though.
Upper Deck Wrapper Redemptions
In the last few years UD has become more like Panini in creating content for the show rather than Topps, and it has caused more interest at their booth as of late. They also just announced a special LeBron James card to be given out, which features a quote about his return to cleveland. Just not the same without NBA licensing like Panini has for theirs.
Leaf Wrapper Redemptions
Brian Gray always puts on a show, and this year looks to be no different. I saw posted that he has a deal or no deal station set up where collectors can play for boxes, as well as a bunch of points that count towards autographed items and giveaways.
He also has a card set that will be given out over the next few days.
Overall, the National has become a big party, and that does serve to increase the hobby’s presence in a lot of ways. You want this to become like San Diego Comic Con, and that’s no joke. The more people that can come to the show, the more the hobby will flourish. If that can happen in conjunction with more content in the actual products themselves over the whole year, I would be pretty damn happy.