Color me surprised. I thought collecting baseball cards went the way of other long-forgotten childhood hobbies, like getting fresh air and exercising, so I was stunned to hear current news regarding the pursuit of procuring of pictures of professional athletes printed on rectangular pieces of cardboard.
Apparently, Major League Baseball has given exclusive rights to the production of baseball cards to Topps, a virtual death blow to Topps’ main competitor, Upper Deck.
Topps, which is now run by Michael Eisner, former head honcho at Walt Disney, hopes that consolidating the baseball card market under one company will “end the confusion of competitors selling multiple card series in hobby shops and big-box stores.” And, of course, their doing it for the kids.
This is redirecting the entire category toward kids,” said Eisner, who acquired the company in 2007. “Topps has been making cards for 60 years, the last 30 in a nonexclusive world that has caused confusion to the kid who walks into a Wal-Mart or a hobby store. It’s also been difficult to promote cards as unique and original.”
I’m sorry, but if you’re a kid, in a Wal-Mart no less, and you come across two distinctly-marked packages, one with the name “Topps” and and another with the name, “Upper Deck” printed on them and become confused, you are either borderline retarded or an illegal immigrant who can’t read English- remember, we are talking about Wal-Mart here. Have you been in one of those nightmares of commerce recently? It’s a goddamn intellectual and soul-draining leper colony.
Despite the devastating news, Upper Deck will not be taking this lying down.
Upper Deck refused to address the Topps deal, which is to be announced Thursday. A spokesman for Upper Deck, based in Carlsbad, Calif., said only that it renewed its trading card license with the Major League Baseball Players Association last month and would keep producing cards. While the union license gives Upper Deck the right to use player likenesses, it will no longer have the rights to team logos and trademarks.
These seems like quite the conundrum. Is there any way we can get some Congressional hearings on this issue? You know, right after they are done fixing the BCS and the steroids mess.
One has to think that the decision to go solely with Topps instead of going the other way must have been welcome news to the Sklar Brothers. If their online show, Back on Topps, which depicts a fictional “behind-the-scenes journey into one of the world’s most recognizable sports companies” had been cancelled as a result, they would have had to start giving blow jobs at rest areas on the freeway just to get make ends meet – instead of solely for recreation, which is the case now. Doing it for money kind of takes the whole thrill out of it for them.
No seriously. You heard it here first: the Sklar Brothers are two sick bastards. So I’ve heard.