Topps released this image recently. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. And not because it's Bryce Harper.
The design reminds me a little of the 2003 and 2008 issues, with some differences, of course. I'm happy with the design above, though a little more color in the banner would be nice. But what will 2014 Stadium Club look like as an issue?
I'm hoping Topps learns from its past mistakes and keeps it simple. I want an obtainable complete base set - a return to the sets of the 1990s with a few hundred cards and no short prints. Especially not 33% of the set being short-printed. No silly variations, rookie SPs with two different versions, or 25% of the cards in the base set sporting autographs. Seriously. Short prints don't belong anywhere but Heritage if it's recreating something from the original issue. I hate them. 99% of the sets I collect are complete in my mind without the SPs.
I know they'll do parallels. The card above has a Members Only logo. First Day Issue and gold parallels were pretty standard back in the day, too. I don't care much about parallels, but they really need to cut out the rainbows because there are plenty with Bowman, Chrome, Finest, and these days flagship Topps. And I really hope they avoid Chrome and Finest.
If Topps wants to make Stadium Club Chrome or Finest again, that should be a separate insert with its own design. I liked the inserts Topps did for TSC Finest in the mid 1990s.
Speaking of inserts, Stadium Club hasn't had any really super-awesome insert sets. I liked the jumbo box toppers with the larger photos from 1993, and now they can be even nicer given improvements in photography. And as a photography-based set, Stadium Club should have some more awesome photos that fit into some categories - maybe celebrity photographers (Pinnacle's Brinkley Collection comes to mind), unique angles, fun dugout shots, and so on.
It could turn out that Stadium Club is an online-only product like Turkey Red or Minis. It could be a limited promotional issue that is used as a prize for the online game. Or it might be an insert in some other release. If it's attainable and attractive, I'll chase it any way. But if Topps goes nuts and makes it super high-end, I will be completely disappointed.
Topps, if you're out there listening, I hope you consider the real collectors when creating this product. I know you have to put the crazy 1/1s and super-limited autographs and patches that I'll never get to appease the money-throwing gamblers that drive your marketing strategy these days, but make sure the rest of the product - the stuff those gamblers don't care about - is great for the rest of your customers.
What do you think? Are you interested in a return of Stadium Club? On what conditions?
Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!
Friday, March 7, 2014
I remember when the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hit the States. I was just the right age where both the show was mildly entertaining, and Amy Jo Johnson was cute. I lost interest in the show pretty quickly but working at a video store for several years meant that I saw several of the new versions of Power Rangers.
Most of you know that the original Power Rangers came from Japan, with re-filmed storyline sequences using the American actors. What you might not know is that, like in America, the Super Sentai series of shows has been reinvented over and over again.
Actually, the series which was used for the US Power Rangers, had only 50 episodes over the course of a year. Japanese shows don't last too long. But this was the 16th installment in the series. And there have been many more - to date, thirty eight series including the 2014 series. Not to mention theatrical movies, DVD releases, live shows...
Anyway, the 2010 series called Tensou Sentai Goseiger, the 34th series, is being used in the 2013 Power Rangers series called Megaforce. (Thanks, Wikipedia.) Tons of merchandise comes out for the series every year - costumes, toys, etc. Occasionally trading card sets are issued, and this is somewhat of a trading card release.
I picked up a full set for $2 recently just for the fun of it! I won't play with the stickers, though. Seeing this makes me wonder how good I'd look as a Sentai for Halloween. On second thought, I should probably avoid the spandex...
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I grabbed some 2013 Sega Card Gen cards for trades and as trade bait. Have a look (some are reserved)! There are still plenty of Card Gen cards in stores that I can pick up for you if you want to work a trade. There hasn't been any information about a 2014 version, but the 2013 details weren't posted until late May.
FYI, these are made by Topps and work with an arcade game - you can't play at home. You receive one card every time you play the game, but you can also buy "used" cards in stores - you have to have the card with you when you play. They start fairly inexpensively, but higher-star players like Pujols, at the bottom, are stronger in the game and thus usually cost more. Old cards (Card Gen started in 2009) seem to still be compatible with the game. There are a couple special sets issued at the arcades - a foil set, for example, and I've heard that there might be another special version. It's tough to navigate the Card-Gen site without Japanese knowledge.
Anyway, I might start putting some of these up on eBay too if I don't get enough interest in trades; the PayPal can then be used to get some more US cards! Ain't I a genius?! Yeah...