I am always a huge fan of giveaways, especially when they involve cards of some sort. Panini has been doing a great job in this area over the last few years, and Topps is slowly making up some ground as well. Starting last year, they launched the Kickoff promotion, which provided special packs for collectors that found redemptions in each pack of Topps Flagship. Its back this year as a straight giveaway with the purchase of Topps packs during September, and the first cards are up on eBay.
I think the design of these cards are much improved over last year, and I think that making it a straight giveaway is a much better idea than redemption cards. This type of giveaway isnt necessarily needed with a product as popular as Topps, but I like that there is an opportunity to get some extra cards with the product. Im never going to turn that down.
What is even better is that it doesnt look like the autographs are at ridiculous odds, and that even though they are tough pulls, they arent crazy. Bringing back some non-rookie cards and signers makes this even better , although the vet/HOF autographs are crazy nuts to pull. They dont look like they will be as tough as last year, which is good. Overall, I am someone that will take something free whenever it is offered, and there is zero reason to believe that this isnt something worth exploring. At the very least, you walk out with some rookie cards that look nice. At the most, you get an extra autograph for your trouble. That is worth it, and then some in my opinion.
Topps is also publicizing the inclusion of a golden ticket, which entitles the winner to a set of autos, which I think would be awesome to win. Someone put up a set of kickoff autos last year and got a ton of money for it, and to get one for no investment, would be beyond sweet.
All that being said, I think that programs like this should be explored more often, even though there is no doubt they cost a lot of money to do. I have long said a loyalty program for the average joe would go miles with collectors, and maybe this type of vehicle is a great way to get people involved.
Think of this. Collector buys a box or pack of Topps product, and on the inside of these packs and boxes, there is a code. Think MyCokeRewards.com. They put that code into the redemption system on the promotional website and start building up points. With those points, you can use them to buy all sorts of swag. Topps gear, exclusive cards, etc. Have a redemption that is sitting forever? More points for you. Need a replacement because your card isnt going to be made? More points with your replaced card. Redeem the most points as a collector each week/month? Prizes are provided. Give people that elusive incentive to stay a loyal customer, and this type of giveaway will be a perfect opportunity to get people started on this track.
Its obvious that this would be an investment, and would definitely take some time to build. However, as we saw with programs like the Million card giveaway, there are precedents involved that show its possible. All that needs to happen is for someone high up at Topps to make it a priority. I know that customer service is a hot button issue right now, but this type of system will win valuable brownie points with people who are still on the bandwagon.
Lets just hope a company has the foresight to get this going, because I would LOVE IT.