Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ramblings from my zombified mind on Tax Day.

I'm bored again.  I 'm sitting here at work with not much to do.  As a matter of fact I did all I really needed to get done in the about 15 minutes this morning.  I got to listen to the last hour of the Rob, Arny and Dawn show.  I enjoy the endless babble they make me laugh.  Now I'm biding my time till Lunch. 

So the main point of this ramble is something that was sticking in my brain for a while now.  Is how or why UD, Topps, and Donuss/Panini,  mmmm getting hungary, panini sandwich.   Sorry sorry.  Stay on target.  How or why the 3 major companies can sit back or at least survive on a one or two sport exclusive deal.  Now this mainly I was thinking of Topps, which has been around almost 60 years now in present form, you can argue that Topps can trace it's roots back farther and I won't contest it.  And now it looks like Upper Deck is going to be a one sport card producer now too after they lost there NFL licsense.  By the way I'm not looking forward to the football releases this year if it's just Panini putting them out.  I just have never really liked the cards that Donruss put out.  Too shiny, crappy unoriginal backgrounds.  They might be great for catching pike but not me.  And while Score (which we all know is now in the Panini family) puts out a decent low end product it still looks like all the other Donruss stuff.  I don't know why action shots with backgrounds are so foreign to the company.  Maybe now that Panini is ruling the roost things will change.

OK so it use to be that Topps was the only publicly traded company, a couple times actually.  You could by stock in it be a part owner what ever.  But Topps was bought by Michael Eisner and some other investment companies in late 2007.  Did you know that Upper Deck tried to buy Topps back then too?  Interesting stuff. 

Wow I really went off topic there.  My point is now that all the companies are privately held, there oversite is all internal.  If they were public companies their actions would be answerable to a board and the shareholders.  This alone is why UD gets away with some of it's shady shinagans.  If they had been a publicly traded company there would have been massive firings over the incidents of the last year. 

My other thinking, and I might be totally off base here is that since they are privately held they don't have to follow the SEC rules about profits and shareholder equity.  Meaning their business model doens't have to be geared to maximizing profits.  Now this can be a good thing.  It could mean that instead of pumping out tons and tons of cheaply made crappy cards that a company can concentrate on producing high quality stuff.   Also to make more money for profits you would want to have contracts with all the major sports so you could produce more products to sell to make more money.  That not being the case, and I have no idea what an exclusive license to a sport cost these companies, you can specialize.  But, like I posted earlier, I feeling the emptyness for the store shelves with the lack of varity now.  I can only imagine whats going to happen with football, I don't see all that much out there for basketball or hockey, although I'm not a basketball or hockey collector.  I remember this is what the goal was wasn't it ?   I remember a few years back, maybe more than a few now.  I was staring at the racks at a card shop and I couldn't decide what to buy, now I'm to the point where I don't want to buy what there is, or at least anymore of what there is.

Well that was a long winded rant about nothing.  I think I made a few points in there.  I was looking at the sell sheet for the Bowman release next month.  Looks like at least the Strasburg Autos will be on card, stickers for the rest probably but at least Topps is moving in the right direction.   It seems to me that sometimes the card companies will see how far they can push something.  And I know that the past couple of years the blogging community and hobby community in general is tired of sticker autos, relics of common players, ect.  I'm interested to see what came out of the roundtable.

CB out

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