I'm pretty sure that others have expressed their (probably negative) opinions on a few collecting phenomena and many have done it better than I could hope to. Still, when it's such a detrimental trend- as I believe it is- then there's nothing wrong with adding one more voice to the chorus.
I'm talking about:
EVENT-WORN memorabilia cards being passed off by manufactureres as something special
REDEMPTION CARDS (especially in late season releases)
EVENT WORN:I bought a box of UD Ice from my friends at Dave and Adams last week. No great pulls but some very nice cards. I did pull a Rookie Threads card of Hannu Toiovinen....but, when I flipped it over, I saw those dreaded words "...worn in an Official Event". Not a game...an "event". Why an event-worn jersey card in such a late season product? Could UD not find a true rookie gamer to cut up? MeiGray Group has TONS of jerseys- they have no trouble getting them. Then what's the problem with Upper Deck?
Simply put...an event worn jersey is a very cheap substitute for the real thing. If they are inserted in any product- and I don't really think they should be- let it be the early season releases and the very lowest-end product (like MVP or Victory). They have no place in mid- to high-end product. If the choice is between pulling fewer memorabilia cards and pulling these event worn cards, I'd rather pull fewer memorabilia cards.
REDEMPTION CARDS: Should not be in the hobby. Period. Manufacturers- if you can't deliver it, don't promise it.
This one is a bit more personal to me. I bought a box of UD's Be A Player hockey last September. I've always loved the product (and a good deal didn't hurt either). Out of 10 autos, I got two redemptions (Lupul and Alfredsson), which I promptly redeemed thru UD's website.
I'm still waiting for the cards.
The website tells me that 'UD is still waiting for the players to return the cards". Assuming that UD got the cards to be signed out to all players at roughly the same time and most of the other players returned them in time for UD to collate them and place them into packs, I'm figuring that Messers. Lupul and Alfredsson have had as much as 18 months to sign and return the cards. What could the holdup be? Did UD buy Fleer's customer service along with their brand names?
If UD insists on a set-in-stone date for you to redeem their cards, then they should also commit to actually redeeming your cards by a set-in-stone date. If for ANY reason UD can't meet that date, you should receive cards roughly equal to what they failed to redeem PLUS a goodie or two to make up for your inconvenience. I'm not asking that UD give me a Howe auto to make up for not giving me an Alfredsson one (though I can hope, can't I?) but manufacturers should either deliver exactly what they promise wihin a reasonable amount of time OR make good by giving you something else.
(Exceptions- I can see why a manufacturer might put a redemption for a card or other collectible that won't fit into a regular pack. No quarrel with that from me)
STICKER AUTOS: This one is purely aesthetic. I just don't like the look of them. Does it take that much more effort to return a stack of actual signed cards than it does to sign a couple sheets of stickers and then pay someone to affix them to each card? Also, the prevalence of sticker sigs in late season releases, as reported elsewhere, is, to me, rather inexcusable. If the season starts in April and the release is in September, there's just no excuse for not being able to obtain authentically signed cards from an athlete (this is made all the worse because it is typical to have the design for signed cards finalized well before regular cards, so they have even more time to obtain the signed cards).
Anyway, I'll get down off my soapbox now. Maybe I can bring a more positive subject to my next entry- I'll certainly at least give it a shot.