Sunday, July 13, 2003

Garbage Pail Kids Remember those? The cards that made it so many pro-baseball players stop signing Topps baseball cards are making a comeback. Speaking of baseball cards, I saw that the All Star Games was being sponsored by Topps, Fleer, Donruss and Upper Deck. (though only Topps is advertised on the website) I was watching Secrets of the Super Heroes Unmasked (or something to the effect) on TLC the other night and it mentioned how the comic book industry had a huge boon when collectors started to collect for investment purposes. Investors started buying multiple copies and the companies just kept pumping out more and more. Now, the market is suffering a glut and the industry is having troubles. This is similar to what happened to baseball cards. Back in the early 90's, baseball card companies started making "premiere" cards of much higher quality and flooded the market with all sorts of new series. Investors started collecting for investment, which drove up prices and also drove up the quantity that the companies produced. Upper Deck, ironically, was the signal of the doom of the market. Despite its first run having a few valuable cards, like the Griffey rookie, its deck was more expensive and the card quality was a leap forward. Card quality is just another way to bump up costs for the manufacturer, which jumped the cost for us "fans" (ie collectors more than investors, though we envisioned ourselves as investors) who were taking our pennies and quarters to Pegasus to buy a few packs or maybe a few error cards. Perhaps that was the beginning of the end. The whole series of Billy Ripken errors (For those who don't remember, the 1989 Fleer set had a card of Billy Ripken, Cal's brother, with the word "Fuck Face" on the end of the bat. Fleer put out about 5 different "corrections", such as white out, black out, scribble, etc. Each of these variations had some worth.) brought about the suspiction that card companies started putting out intentional errors to raise the price of the cards and increase early sales of packs, thereby appealing to Investors. So maybe, the card industry has itself to blame for its own collapse. And since the comic book world watched this happen to baseball cards, they had reason to know that it would happen to them. Anyway, back to where I began... Garbage Pail Kids are coming back August 15th.


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