Im going to start off this post by saying this whole Blue Wave situation is a complete debacle. Even with the need to reprint some of these cards, the timeframe on these cards are hard to forgive. Yes, I understand these cards were add ons for the redemptions present in Topps Chrome, but many collectors have been waiting on them for months. Actually, the wait isnt really the issue as much as the communication being what it is.
Yesterday, Topps tweeted out that the first round of signed cards have shipped, and with them, the first Blue Wave packs.
Blue Wave FB Redemption Packs- The first wave of Blue Wave FB packs were just sent out with redemptions that have now been signed
— Topps Company (@toppscards) April 5, 2013
Some early packs showed up on ebay last month, including a ridiculously awesome Alfred Morris auto, and yesterday we got the first cards from this next wave that have hit:
2012 Topps Chrome Blue Wave Andrew Luck RC – Wow, this price is already ridiculous.
To start with, they did a GREAT job on these cards, they look REALLY cool. I am going to pick up a few from this set, as I think they will be much more rare than people think. I would say they are worth the wait, but im not sure a lot of people agree. That being said, there will always be a stain on this process because of the way it has been handled. Not only has the qualifications for receiving the packs been unclear (do all redemptions qualify or just some?), but the length of time between news updates has been very difficult to endure.
Everyone knows that I am a huge fan of Topps. I like what they do in their products and design. I even like this program. That is clear. I also think that they are getting bombed right now with everyone wanting to know what is going on with these cards. Without news dissemination, people will fill in the blanks on their own. Nothing but trouble there.
In fact, I would say this set is a part of the reason why I assume their customer service has been what it is as of late. Here is the issue – we have been getting communication through twitter that these cards were coming, and for weeks, they have not. I get it, its impossible to predict the future, but this is where follow up information would have been very important. Topps tweeted out pics of the completed Russell Wilson Chrome autos a long time ago, but none have been shipped, from what it looks like.
With a lack of a “Topps Blog” per se, and with collectors relying almost 100% on word of mouth through their rampant calls to customer service, its not going to be a good situation. This needs to improve, and I would be naive to believe that Mark and Clay at Topps dont already know this need and its importance.
Here is my solution to the problem, and I am going to rely on Topps to eventually do what is right. Instead of waiting for these cards to be completed, which is unlikely to ever happen, I think we have reached the point where Topps should send out all the Blue Wave packs regardless of the cards being signed and shipped. I am a very understanding person when it comes to the difficulty of staying within collector expectations. We are a hard group to deal with, no doubt about it. However, I am getting frustrated and that should go to show how far this has gotten.
A lot of people at Topps read this site from my understanding, and I think the urgency of establishing a news hub has reached critical mass. We need more information in a lot of different ways, similar to the way other companies are doing it. Sure, Topps will be late to the party, but its better to be at the party than miss it all together. Customers are being lost, and that is not something I think is good for them or the hobby.
UPDATE: It seems as though the redemption Gods have heard my prayers and answered them. I received my Russell Wilson Chrome Auto redemption today with a Blue Wave pack via USPS. I could not be happier, as it is clear that these cards seem to be worth the wait as I mentioned above. Not only do they look incredible, but they are in great condition out of the pack. Looks like I am not the only one as quite a few have started to pop up on eBay as of this afternoon, including a few nice ones:
In my packs, I was fortunate enough to get a Doug Martin and Trent Richardson, which was a surprise. With three more packs on the way (if and when), I will be opening them as well.
Here is the photo I took: