If you havent followed @toppscards on Twitter, you have been missing out on some contests to win unique items that arent normally available. Although the contests are tough to win, the winnings are definitely worth a shot at trying to get in on the contests. For the first time, starting near the end of last year, Topps started giving away uncut sheets of cards from their releases. These uncut sheets are final representations of the actual printed cards before they are manufactured, and winning them through twitter is the only way to get them.
2012 Topps Chrome Football Camo Refractor Uncut Sheet – Andrew Luck and RGIII included
2012 Topps Chrome Baseball Uncut Sheet – Bryce Harper included
Topps also used programs in 2012 Archives and Chrome baseball to redeem for other uncut sheets, but those are equally as rare. Personally, I think these types of things are pretty cool for any player collectors, as there are so few of them available. The issue remains, many people are card collectors above anything else, and that would suggest a reason why they dont sell for as big money as they should. I have come to understand that unless something fits on the normal space that a card would occupy, it usually wont be worth as much money. There are a few exceptions, but its infrequent that those barriers are broken.
Here is my discussion point, as I find it incredibly interesting. If a card collector is only a card collector and rarely crosses over to engage in memorabilia collecting, what does that say about our hobby. When you consider how much value is placed on extreme relics and autographed cards, the second you take away the cardboard, it loses more value than I could ever imagine.
In a few different situations, card companies have tried to cross over, offering over-sized redemption items, but they are rarely successful. Even ones that mimic card items dont sell well unless there is some sort of unique reason why a collector would want it. We might be growing towards a hobby where the gap between high and low end cards/products is quickly expanding, but there is limited space in which to do so without changing the perspective of the consumer.
So far, the only answer has been to make patches crazier and crazier, but in every case, its all been card related. At what point will the industry desires ask for something that requires an impossible cross over to another hobby? That scares me.