I posted before that it will most likely be down to two manufacturers in football come 2010, and today the NFL Players inc issued a statement that Topps is out of the NFL for the foreseeable future. I think I am glad because sets like Triple Threads, Sterling and Lettermen are gone, but very fucking sad that this will be Chrome’s last year.
For those of you who have been following the recent media blasts about the decline of the sports card industry, I would read this article to get the other side of the story. Some of you will probably shrug it off as a post designed to give false hope, but after recent conversations with Chris Carlin, I doubt that was the point in any way. Chris is a straight shooter, and although he is responsible for the marketability of his brands, he also knows his shit.
Last month, many mainstream outlets incorrectly reported that card shops had declined from 15,000 stores to under 500 over the last few years. The reports were based on arbitrary faulty numbers perpetrated by hobby blog villain TS O’connell of SCD, despite the fact that he had not done any actual research on the matter. Contrary to O’Connell’s ideas of what was going on, Carlin did a great job of setting the record straight, as well as showing that the sky is not even close to falling (UD works directly with 1500 shops in the US and Canada alone).
As with any collectible, there will always be people in it for the money, however, as we have seen, a lot of people are in it for the love of the game too. The proof is in the blogs and boards, as membership and production has skyrocketed lately. When people realize that they can cater their experience to themselves rather than relying on a money driven, conflict of interest laden magazine, good things happen. Also, with a worldwide marketplace like eBay, there is now a way to get whatever you want, whenever you want it.
Bottom line, as far as I am concerned, there has never been a better time to collect.