I dont really talk about baseball that often anymore, but I really like Tribute every year because of the on card autographs and chrome style cards. This year, something went very wrong somewhere along the production line, and many autographs had some huge issues with quality.
Here are some examples of the way the cards turned out, where you can see the odd streaks and scratches in the signatures:
Topps has issued a full recall of the product due to these issues, and I have to applaud them for taking this step. That being said, I am curious as to how they are going to execute a product recall, as this type of thing has never been done as long as I have been around the hobby. They have done make good bonus cards before on old redemptions, but this is a bit different.
Bascially, if you still have the autographed cards from Tribute, you will be able to exchange them for a card of similar value, plus a make good card. If you have a box that remains unopened, you can return for a full refund. Pretty nice all things considered. Then again, if you have a nice autograph in hand, are you going to want to give it up because the autograph is a little off? Tough choice.
My main concern has to do with processing the opened packs, as you would guess there is going to be a ton of people waiting to return their cards and get them exchanged. I reached out on Twitter to find out if there will be extra reps on staff, but have not yet gotten a response.
Even though Topps has promised a make good on these cards, I am curious if this is going to slow down the business to a point where customers waiting on other redemptions and other replacements will be forced to deal with the massive amount of Tribute cards that now need to be processed.
As someone who bought a few packs, I think I would be happy with this announcement. As someone who has other stuff I am waiting on, I am a bit concerned as to the ripple effects.
Here is the full statement from Topps:
“Dear Valued Topps Collectors and Customers,
Topps has been investigating complaints regarding the quality of the autographed cards in the just-released 2015 Topps Tribute Baseball and has confirmed that many autographed cards are damaged due to a UV contamination on the card.
As a result of our investigation and to rectify the situation, Topps is initiating a complete recall of the product.
Those in possession of unopened boxes should return them no later than Friday, March 27, 2015 to the authorized distributor or store from which the box was purchased for a full refund.
In addition, between now and June 30, 2015, anyone in possession of a damaged autographed card (not in pack) can exchange the card by contacting Topps Customer Service. Exchanges will be made for another card of equal or greater value, plus a bonus autographed or relic card (valued at the company’s discretion).
Topps appreciates your understanding in this matter. We stand firmly behind all our products and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”