Is Nostalgia The Only Thing The Hobby Has Left?

After seeing a preview for Goodwin Champions baseball, as well as the success of Allen and Ginter, Heritage (Topps and Bowman), Goudey, Mayo football, and Philadelphia football, I am beginning to wonder if nostalgia is the only thing left in the minds of the manufactures looking to produce a successful set. With Baseball, its become all but super apparent, Football is getting there quick.

Listen, I know we all love to see the past successes of our favorite sets be repeated with updated players, but when is enough, well, enough? Right now, in the Baseball industry, its tough to produce a successful set if you are not producing Bowman Chrome or base Topps. Maybe that is why you wont have the popularity unless it is a retro product based on a popular vintage set – a la the future Upper Deck offering. Why have we allowed the Manufacturers to resort to laziness rather than coming up with new examples of wonderful products?

In football, the tide is starting to turn towards a retro dominated market, though the number of sets to choose from is greatly reduced. Philadelphia is coming out soon, and it looks great, only because it includes elements of two great looking sets, 1935 National Chicle and the Philadelphia set the product is based on. I credit Upper Deck football with their recent design work, as most of the time, the new products do show a lot of creativity. Although for the other companies, there is nothing but sheer boredom. I hope that things pick up, as there is no reason lately for me to go and spend more than 100 bucks on a box anymore. Its not because of content, its because every time I spend the 100 bucks, its on a product that looks exactly the same as last year’s and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that.

As consumers, we would not buy any other form of a product if there were no improvements year to year – with Madden Football as the one exception. Look at every set and the components of what is offered each year. Gridiron Gear has not changed in 5 years, there are not any additions, just minor design changes. The only set that changes outside of the ones offered by UD are National Treasures and minor changes to Triple Turds, both of which cost over 150 dollars per box and one of which that sucks beyond belief.

I do not have a sky falling attitude about things that will kill the industry, however I am so fucking bored that I may not buy a single box this year. That’s how bad it has gotten for me.

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