Day three of the show was easily the most eventful of all the three. Not only were there more people at the convention than in any of the previous two days, but events were starting to ramp up as well. As more people filtered through the show, more stuff started to go down.
The morning got a little nuts because collectors were angry that dealers from the show got a head start on the line at Topps. The Bowman Platinum redemption is easily the most popular at the show, and for good reason. A few tempers got out of control and Topps had to run some very quick interference to keep everyone happy. With dealers getting in at 8:30 and the public in at 930 and 10, Topps had trouble making sure that everyone had a fair chance at the redemption. The collectors had every right to be pissed, and Topps addressed this problem at their meet and greet last night. I guess when you are basically giving away a set that sells for MORE than the price of the box to open it, people will do what they need to do.
While walking around the show, I found some more of the people who I was hoping to meet, mainly the guys who I converse with the most on social media or industry personalities. After talking with Gregg and Brian at Leaf, and seeing their plans for the Perfect Game license they just acquired, I think they have a good chance that it will take off. The other high school all star game sets they have done were successful, but none were baseball and none were chrome. This is different. Its a niche crowd, but Chrome always sells. Prospects and baseball are a driving force in many different ways, and when you have cards like this, they will sell no problem. THis will be a small run, which makes it even more desirable. Topps has made these cards relevant in their Bowman sets for years, and this is a good win for Leaf to pick it up.
The Topps meet and greet was stashed away at 8pm on a Friday night, which works one of two ways. You either are kind of unhappy that you are walking around the show for 8 hours and have to wait 2 more after it closes. Or you blow it off. I think because of recent issues, this was on purpose, but for people like me and the other people from Social Media, it was a must go.
Ill say this, I was expecting a complete shit storm of frustration, but that didnt happen with the collectors. There were a lot of questions about redemptions, like there are every year, but no one was even close to angry and shouting. I really thought the redemption replacement cards fiasco would come up, as I would have been royally disgusted by these sorts of things, but no one seemed to care. It was a raw deal for a lot of people to get these cards for their very expensive unfulfilled redemption, and yet, it didnt come up. Collectors are generally nice people as I have found out this week, and although I know they are upset with customer service and redemption replacements, it didnt bomb at this event. Surprising.
They gave away some great prizes at the event, none more impressive than the 8 paintings used to produce their redemption set for this year. Imagine these cards, only in original watercolor on paper. That was really cool, and a little girl won one. She was beyond happy – COLLECTOR FOR LIFE!
All that being said, the non-redemption questions that were asked were some of the worst in recent memory. There was a guy who wanted different refractor colors because 5% of the population is color blind. I cant make this shit up. Another guy wanted more Santa Claus cards, and asked why his name was listed as James on one from 20 years ago.
We did find out that the 1st Bowman Card label would be back next year, as would the VIP heritage set. Much to the happiness of some collectors in the room as well, the Mickey Mantle and Topps relationship is done for now as well. From the sounds of things, Topps is looking to get into the game for the upcoming expiring CLC license, which would greatly help their football and baseball products early in the year. I sincerely hope BOTH Panini and Topps are getting into this game.
You can read through my live tweets on the event at my twitter handle @SCUncensored, ill be posting more from today.