Does High End Have a Place in 2013 Football Cards?

With the release of 2013 Playbook football, we got our first true taste of high end price points, and by most accounts, not many people have opened it. Although 2013 Momentum was similarly high end, it was a product that was released prior to the season’s real beginning. Now that we have seen how little the 2013 rookies have separated themselves from the pack, it will breed a curiosity of whether high end has a place in 2013.

There are some very high end pulls, but not much of the product has been opened:

2013 Playbook Andrew Luck Auto Patch Booklet /25

2013 Playbook Joe Flacco Tri-Fold Laundry Tag Booklet 1/1

2013 Playbook Alfred Morris Auto Patch Booklet /25

2013 Playbook Marquise Goodwin NFL Ball Logo 1/1

2013 Playbook Geno Smith Auto Patch Booklet 1/1

The funny thing is, Playbook does have some of the nicest rookie autographs of the year so far. There is no doubt many of the big pulls look really, really nice. In most of the cases, design isnt the problem here. We can say that the set has had problems catching on over the last three years, but its not a result of shitty looking cards. This year has been a struggle across the board, with very few people wanting to take the plunge on a 180 dollar box of cards, where 95% of the pulls wont net you back 25% of your investment. You can even pull the top rookies in the class and not get back half your money. That is bad.

When considering this information, what is going to happen when releases like Five Star and National Treasures come out? 2012 was a banner year for both products, but I doubt there will be cards like this for 2013. Im guessing that the veteran and HOF content in both will carry a large portion of the box’s value, but this cant be a good sign for things to come. Is it possible that 2013 eventually goes down as the worst year in the modern era of cards? Its definitely closer to reality now than ever. Although there are some very good things going on in the sets this year, without on field performance, design does little. Couple that with the fact that very few products offer something unique or innovative, and it makes it even more difficult to support this year’s calendar.

I think that products like Topps Chrome and Panini Contenders will have a place at the table, but products like Limited and Triple Threads could definitely get killed out there. Both Chrome and Contenders have a loyal following of people, and a box price that isnt murder on the wallet. However, they are both 100% supported by rookie content along the way. Obviously that will have an effect.

To be successful in a year like this, the companies should make a huge investment in non-rookie content. The more non-rookie autographs and relics that grace the product's checklist, the more successful the product will likely be. Playbook has some very nice veteran content, but its almost all redemptions on the autograph side, and the relics are 1 per case. Not very good odds.

If I owned a store right now, I would be pretty scared for the close of the year on the football side. The baseball side has Yasiel Puig, which helps to sell baseball, but there is no equivalent this year on the football side. Additionally, there is just nothing to say that any of the products will be a worthwhile buy on the collector side, and that means it will be hard to continue selling through things on the dealer side as well. I am a huge fan of Topps Five Star, but even I am preparing myself for very few boxes being opened. Its just impossible to spend 500 bucks on a box that has more likelihood of returning 100 bucks than anything.

4 thoughts on “Does High End Have a Place in 2013 Football Cards?

  1. The card companies should have the planning in place to ensure value in high-end products. When the rookie class is as poor, value wise, as this season, it is on them to load up on veteran and HOFer autos. I know I certainly won’t be picking up anything “high end” NFL between Jan and April unless it’s a Legends based product with either: Certified RC Reprint autos (on card) or Legends w/on card autos. Everybody else can keep their $450 boxes, hoping for a Geno Smith to get back 35% of your money.

  2. As long as the market is allowed to work properly, this could ultimately be good for collectors.

    Low demand should drive decreased box prices with retailers slashing prices to move product. In my opinion, this is a good thing for us as collectors because it could help bring box prices down from the ridiculous levels they are at.

    I think Playbook looks great and it’s be nice to see the lack of demand drive the price down to a more realistic $120 per box.

  3. High end does have a place but high end with most of your highlighted pulls as redemptions is a bad situation. Isnt Luck still Panini’s boy? and when high end comprises players from last year and rookies from 2013 and its a brutal class, high end is a misnomer…

    A big part of the league’s problem is that its tough to promote it’s history for a couple of reasons… The game from even the 80’s is radically different than today and the 50’s and 60’s players rarely register at all… There are very few past greats that are still alive let alone in the business or acting as ambassadors in the sport when compared to the other majors.

    The league and history isnt as stat driven as baseball and there arent the hallowed lock HOF numbers like there are in baseball… I still dont know why there arent more historical replays of games on NFL network…

    For me if its high end and its redemptions, go out and buy ticket stubs from past big games, programs, other unique player only limited content or even redemptions or vouchers for tickets to current current nfl or college games.

    Or kill these as stand alone products and make them inserts or subsets of other brands and let products have a longer shelf life than 1 week.. The season is almost half over and look at all the products still to come out.. From BO Presell page there are 9 Topps to come even if they come out every other week that gets us out until Feb… UD Hockey does a good job of this… raise price of chrome to $100 starting out and I get 20 packs of Chrome and 1 pack of triple threads. Why have sticker autos for the same player in Trip threads, Prime, Magic and Bowman Sterling… Or how about Bowman Triple Sterling…

  4. I agree with B&S. I love Bowman Sterling, but the price has been absolutely stupid. Triple Threads actually looks like it might be finally worth spending money one, but not at the price point Topps wants. I’d combine TTT with Sterling. Have Sterling autos and relics as subsets. Give us something! The price points have been terrible for more than a few years. Add an extra auto to Chrome as well. Give us a reason to buy all this junk. With a rookie class as absolutely horrible as this one is DO SOMETHING for the collector. We’ve kept you guys afloat for years. How about you give something back to us???

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