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Becoming a sports card manufacturer would be tough. Could you imagine going up in front of the investors on Shark Tank pitching a new line of sports cards?  You'd probably be laughed off the floor. Considering that entry into the major sports card market is regulated, meaning, if you don't get a license with one of the leagues, NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL...... best of luck to you. The trail of bankrupt card companies from the last 20 years is long, and even some that had a license couldn't gain traction in what is now a very niche market. And only a few companies remain in a very low competition environment.

Stop The Madness Initiative
The Godfather of Baseball Cards, Topps, enjoys the fruit of no competition more then most. MLB Baseball cards generate the most revenue despite not being the USA's most popular sport.  A huge % of the sports card pie lies in the baseball card category. But there is very little incentive for MLB Properties to allow anyone other then Topps to produce licensed trading cards. Competitor Panini America does have a license with the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) as does Topps. But Panini does not have a MLB Properties (MLBP) license and can only show player images but not team names, uniforms, logos etc. MLBPA licensed cards are less popular with collectors.  The MLBP has seen, not just with trading cards, what the over dilution of licenses/products can do. Topps had a plan back in 2007 they dubbed "Stop the Madness", a long-term strategic initiative intended to put a stop to the crazy amount of products and licenses that boomed during the late 1990's - early 2000's. Instead of Topps seeking out licenses and throwing mud at the wall in hope some sticks, Topps wanted to reduce the number of licenses they had and also stamp out some of the little competition left.

Chief Operating Officer (at the time) Scott Silverstein puts the sports business in perspective in the 2006 Q3 Call: "In 1997 you had a big part of the sales and profits coming from the sports card business which had relatively few releases and was very high margin. Last year (2005) we did over 60 product releases with an incredible amount of complexity that both shrunk gross margins and increased overhead because of the complexity."

Topps began reducing the number of sports licenses shortly after 2007. In 2009-10 they released NBA Topps and Topps Chrome before Panini wiped everyone out of the NBA market with what has been called a whopping bid to land the exclusive. In reality 2008-09 was Topps' last year with a full run of Basketball cards. Topps hasn't produced NHL cards in many years. A Topps employee recently said at the NSCC Collector Panel that they would "love to (produce cards) in every sport" but that kind of decision moves far up the food chain and statements like that are just wishful employee speak. Topps made a business decision to limit the amount of licenses many years ago and focus on the cash cow (Baseball) portions of their product lines.

Buy Back Program: Not Cards Silly, Company Shares!
The Topps Company makes money. Make no mistake. Even in the difficult years of sports cards, post 1994, Topps made healthy earnings per share from 1990-2005 (note: 1997 was essentially flat). Sure some of that EPS is not exclusive to sports cards. Pokemon was owned by Topps, and it was a huge part of their business in the late 1990's. But Pokemon fell off quick. The candy business was so-so. Wisely, the company stacked cash - upwards of $158 million in the bank at one point (and no debt). Instead of returning that cash to shareholders (owners), the company decided in 2001 to "buy back" it's shares to try and create value for owners who held on during the lean years. Buying back shares is a simple idea. Think of it like this: if there were 100 copies of a 2011 Bowman Bryce Harper Card and Topps goes out, buys back 50 copies and burns them on YouTube, suddenly there are only 50 Harper cards left. The price of the 50 remaining Harper cards should go up. Same idea with a stock buyback. Topps buys back many millions of shares of it's own stock in hopes the shares left will be worth more.

Management Blunders Stock Buy Back, then Sells Company Cheap
The stock buy back was perhaps a great idea in theory, but Topps was sold just six years after the buy back program started, for less then what they were buying back shares for. Oops. By most accounts, Topps was led by poor management pre-2008 and the buy back blunder speaks to that. When the company was sold they had roughly $80 million in cash in the bank (off from reported highs of around $158.74 million pre buy back), and no debt. Still great numbers. An "$80 Million discount" to whomever bought it. So when Michael Eisner and Madison Dearborn partnered and got it for around $385 million, that number is very deceptive. Because they got the keys to the bank account with the $80 million in straight cash.  Essentially getting $80 million back right when they bought the company. A great deal, because they also got a company that can create an estimated average of $30 million in free cash flow each year.

Granted, we haven't seen any balance sheets since 2007, but there is little evidence that anything has been run into the ground in New York. In fact, Topps eliminated some competition, Upper Deck, in both the MLB and NFL markets since 2007. While Panini has entered the NFL market, they remain on the outside looking in on the cash cow that is the MLBP license. Topps is an iconic brand. An iconic American brand. Synonymous with the words baseball card. And that has huge value that can't be measured by money in the bank.

Competitor Upper Deck Guns to Buy Topps
The Topps brand is strong but the only known competing bid in 2007 to Eisner & Dearborn was from Upper Deck. At the time UD appeared healthy. Gaining market share on Topps, who was clearly their main competition in the sports segment. Upper Deck was the standard for innovation in the sports category, something that for Topps is not a main focus (more on this later).  Upper Deck even offered more money then Eisner & Dearborn. But not enough. The board of directors and shareholders of Topps had no reason to deal with Upper Deck when the FTC would be on their doorstep blocking a deal. Just like Google can't buy Yahoo. Verizon can't buy At&t. It's a simple term called a monopoly. And even in a niche as small as sports cards, the FTC would have unquestionably stepped in. And Upper Deck's offer was too low to be considered anyhow. The value of owning the Topps brand is worth, potentially more then the $80 million in cash sitting in the bank. Way more I would argue. Hundreds of millions in 'goodwill' value to a company like Upper Deck.

Upper Deck Innovates. Dearborn & Eisner Milk Cash Cows

But Eisner and Dearborn aren't looking at the Topps business from Upper Deck's (2007) perspective.  The 'goodwill' value of the brand meant something to them, but not as much as it would to competitor Upper Deck. Eisner and Dearborn saw a company in Topps they could buy at a $80 million discount and that rakes in maybe $30 million or more in straight cash each year. No debt either. They didn't come in to buy Topps to revolutionize the industry, they bought it to milk the cash cow business. Nothing wrong with that. That is not a negative reflection on Topps. That's business. That's Madison Dearborn Partners specialty. That's the type of business I'd invest a portion of my pie in.

Topps Doesn't Innovate. Because it's NOT Smart Business to do so.
Game used jersey cards didn't start with Topps. Autographs didn't either. Serial Numbering didn't either. Topps didn't jump into the "video card" hype a couple years ago. Sets like 2012 Topps Archives are popular, because they look like the old cards. The brand. The iconic brand of Topps sells cards. Card designs made many moons ago are used. Topps doesn't innovate in the sports card segment. They don't think of very many new ideas. Because they don't have to. And it would be a dumb business move to try and innovate (actual numbers listed, keep reading to "The Pit").

What is the incentive innovate? Spend a bunch of money to innovate a stagnant hobby? To compete against whom? And in the largest cash cow segment of the industry, the MLB, why do that? It literally makes no sense. Milk the potential average of $30 million coming in annually from the overall business.  Run a lean business. Cut headcount down to only the minimal amount. It's sounds awful from a hobby/collector perspective but that's business. And in reality, that's smart business. Could Topps spend a bunch of money on technology, talent, and marketing to grow the sports card business? Sure they could. But that's gambling. People like Dearborn and Eisner don't gamble. They see Topps is in a low to no competition niche market. They have a low priced product (for the most part). And did I mention is an iconic brand?! Throw in the $80 million discount. And oh yeah, when people thought the baseball card industry was dead - Topps was still a profitable no debt business! Heck yeah, I think Dearborn and Eisner got a great deal back in 2007.  It's why they still have the company. In present day 2012 - I'd be stunned if they didn't run a profit and have several million in the bank. Anything to the contrary would speak to mismanagement.

MLB Cards. The Cash Cow Sports Segment
Topps makes money on their MLB line. I'd fall out of my chair if they didn't. Every metric seems to suggest there is profitability there. How much money? Who knows. Even when Topps was a public company they didn't divulge "this is how much money we make specifically on MLB, NFL, etc." Packs used to cost $0.01-$1.00 up until about 1994-ish. The move to premium cards was aided by competitor Upper Deck. Pack prices soared and the market shifted from a fun kids hobby to more serious collectors buying cards that at times are described as investments. 

It's a smaller market now then it was in the early 1990's. What was a billion dollar market is now rumored to be in the hundreds of millions today. Of which Topps gets a huge chunk. Before selling to Dearborn and Eisner there were talks of Topps innovating in the sports segment. They started the now defunked eTopps and was the original owner of The Pit. Perhaps they saw back then a way to capitalize on the huge, massive secondary market of cards (that California's NASDAQ: EBAY has proven can be a large revenue stream).  Websites like eTopps and The Pit require a lot of time, headcount, some decent money, and some innovation. Topps reported a loss of $3.7 million from The Pit in Q3 2006. You can guess that the potential losses on eTopps was more. All of which flies in the face of what made Topps a solid business back then, and on the outside looking in, what makes it a good business today. Is there upside in having websites like The Pit and eTopps? Maybe, but again, it's gambling and remember, that's not what Eisner and Dearborn bought this company for.

NFL Can Profit, but More Risky
The NFL is different. I could see them having some profit swings in this segment. Even going back to old conference calls, 2006 was a big year for NFL cards because of rookies Reggie Bush, Matt Lineart, and Vince Young. While all of those guys flopped to an extent since, back then they were the hottest thing going.  Old employees in conference calls mentioned that some 2006 NFL card sets sales rose upwards of 50% over 2005 levels. That was all from the hype of Bush, Lineart and Young. 2005 featured a then struggling Alex Smith and an Aaron Rodgers who was sitting on the bench behind Brett Favre. NFL sales, more so then MLB believe it or not, are rookie card driven. As collectors have seen in 2012 Topps Football sets, autographs of Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are much more rare then other rookies. This all points to the rising costs of obtaining signatures of top NFL rookie stars. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Topps had to spend more, per autograph, for Luck and RGII, then autographs they purchased of MLB player Bryce Harper. The NFL is more popular in the USA as a sport, but Football cards are not nearly as popular as MLB cards.
That's where the NFL is a riskier business in a sense. And less profitable for sure. Why should Topps shell out huge money for RGIII and Luck to make them plentiful in products? When they can get more value out of creating better baseball brands. They also have competition in the NFL market in the form of Panini. You could get arguments on both sides of the aisle as to who creates better cards. But from a business perspective, who cares? If Topps can get away with limiting the key players (Luck, RGIII) and still run a profit, again, why gamble and beat your head against a competitor in Panini, who also appears healthy financially. It should be noted that most key players across all sports are "limited" in terms of their autographs inside packs. It's because they charge more then the average player. But sets like Topps Finest Football and Topps Platinum Football appear to have an even fewer amount of key player auto's (Luck & RGIII) then in past years.

The Future of Topps. Stick With What Works
They have a very simple business from the sports segment side. Try and limit the licensing to competitors. When you keep competition low it allows you to not innovate and just milk the iconic Topps brand. Topps is also limiting the sports licenses they have as well. Should Topps produce NHL, NBA, Lingerie Football League, Golf cards? They don't and I'd argue they are right in staying away.  Of course if the money is right on a licensing deal, then they will most certainly take advantage, but none of those sports are the cash cow that is MLB Baseball.  Again, sounds awful to the average collector who doesn't care about the balance sheet. But this on the surface appears to be a great business. Sure, not a business with a lot of upside. At all. But I can see exactly why Dearborn and Eisner bought it for the steady stream of cash flow annually, not to mention the $80 million discount. It's also a low risk business if they keep operating costs down (that's why you see low innovation, and low headcount).

MLB has no reason to get rid of Topps as a partner. They have been married since the 1950's so why the heck would that change? That bodes well tremendously for Topps. Could the MLB open up licensing? Perhaps, but that would seem probable they (the MLB) did research to suggest that the market is growing. Topps, by running a low innovation, low expense business actually helps keep the MLB baseball card market relatively flat.

Could Dearborn and Eisner eventually sell Topps? Sure they could. Dearborn just sold a company in the week this was written. But the line to buy a sports card company, even as iconic as Topps, is a much shorter one then the collector line at the NSCC for the exclusive Topps card sets. If it's still true that the company spits off $30 million in free cash flow each year...... by around 2017 Eisner and Dearborn can have their entire original investment ($385 Million) they made in 2007 - realized in cash profits (taking into account the $80 million in cash discount they got when they bought the company).

In reality it's very difficult to know the overall health of Topps. But Dearborn and Eisner aren't dumb. Dearborn is one of the leading private equity firms out there. They knew what they were getting into back in 2007. That is clear. Back then there were rumblings that Eisner was going to revolutionize the business. He's smarter then that. Don't work hard. Work smart. Topps when he bought it was a profitable business with no debt, nearly $100 million in cash, and little to no competition. Just milk that sucker. That's what I would do. That's a great business.

When Topps was a public company (TOPP) I held no shares in the company.

Leading up to the 2013 Las Vegas Industry Summit. I will chronicle Topps, Upper Deck's and Panini's business. Look for future installments soon. Send comments here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky All-Star Wrapper 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Hockey
Wrapper Redemption
Available @ Certified Diamond Dealers in Canada
Product Release Date: 8/14/2012
Product Checklist: 2012-13 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee
These are limited!

Per Wrapper Redemption Pack:
5 Red Border Parallels - (From O-Pee-Chee Base Set)
1 All-Star Insert Card - 50 Total Cards
50 Wrapper Needed For Each Pack

2012-13 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Hockey will feature a wrapper redemption program available to collectors in Canada through UD's Certified Diamond Dealers. Here's what you do: turn in 50 empty pack wrappers of 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Hockey to a Certified Diamond Dealer located in Canada and they will send those wrappers in. Shortly after Upper Deck will send the Certified Diamond Dealer one redemption pack that features five red bordered parallel cards and one All-Star insert card. The CDD will contact you to pick up your redemption pack.

The five red bordered cards in the redemption pack are a random selection of cards from the 600 card base set in 12-13 O-Pee-Chee Hockey. Because this promotion is only available to collectors and dealers located in Canada the secondary market for these cards should be strong. The redemption packs are also very limited so you will want to act quick in order to get some packs.
2012-13 UD O-Pee-Chee Ryan Nugent Hopkins
In addition to the five red bordered parallel cards that come in the wrapper redemption pack you also get one All-Star insert card randomly inserted. There are 50 total cards in the All Star insert set. The red bordered parallel cards and All-Star inserts are not available in regular packs of 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Hockey. Upper deck has stated that the wrapper redemption packs are already completed and ready to be shipped out to CDD's. The turnaround time to obtain your pack should happen fairly quickly but be sure to check with your dealer for the actual times and the process of obtaining your pack. Listed below are some known CDD's located in Canada, if you know of any other hobby shops participating in the wrapper redemption program feel free to contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Maple Leaf Sports
Bay #8, 2404 Centre St. NE
Calgary, AB T2E-2T9
(403) 338-0668
1885C Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3J 0H3 Canada
(204) 831-9001
Wayne's Sports Cards
17020 90 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T5T 1L6 Canada
(780) 483-3177



2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Wrapper Redemption



1. Open packs of 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Hockey and collect 50 wrappers.

2. Turn in your 50 wrappers from 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Hockey to a Upper Deck Diamond Dealer located in Canada.

3. The CDD will then submit the 50 wrappers to the Upper Deck Canadian fulfillment center.

4. Upper Deck will then send one 5-Card pack for each 50 rappers that they received. Be sure to package your wrappers in groups of 50.

5. The CDD will then contact you to come pick up your pack when they have arrived at the shop.

Special Bonus: If you are one of the first people to complete the 600-Card O-Pee-Chee Hockey red border set, then you will win a 50-Card Red Border set that will be in 12-13 UD Series 2 Hockey.

If you completed the set, email a picture to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will give you information on how you can submit the set for verification to get the UD Series 2 set.

2012-13 Upper Deck Hockey
Canada Wrapper Redemption
6 Cards Per Pack -
2012-13 UD O-Pee-Chee Ryan Nugent Hopkins
1 Marian Gaborik
2 Matt Moulson
3 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
4 Justin Williams
5 Luca Sbisa
6 Duncan Keith
7 Martin Brodeur
8 Johnny Boychuk
9 Kris Versteeg
10 Marco Scandella
11 Bryan Bickell
12 Anton Stralman
13 Mikael Backlund
14 Alex Goligoski
15 Todd Bertuzzi
16 Carl Hagelin
17 Oliver Ekman-Larsson
18 Miikka Kiprusoff
19 Blake Geoffrion
20 Thomas Vanek
21 Jaroslav Halak
22 Mark Stuart
23 Jared Cowen
24 Michael Grabner
25 Alexandre Burrows
26 Dan Ellis
27 Tim Gleason
28 Vaclav Prospal
29 Tom Pyatt
30 Ryan Whitney
31 Rostislav Klesla
32 Eric Staal
33 Kari Lehtonen
34 Marcel Goc
35 Devin Setoguchi
36 Torrey Mitchell
37 Dmitry Orlov
38 Zdeno Chara
39 Nathan Gerbe
40 Max Pacioretty
41 Carl Gunnarsson
42 Kyle Brodziak
43 Daniel Winnik
44 Teddy Purcell
45 Erik Condra
46 Patric Hornqvist
47 Dave Bolland
48 Ed Jovanovski
49 Andrew Ladd
50 Brett Connolly
51 Jean-Sebastien Giguere
52 Brayden Schenn
53 Raphael Diaz
54 Marc-Andre Gragnani
55 Kristopher Letang
56 Steve Mason
57 Jhonas Enroth
58 Loui Eriksson
59 Alex Tanguay
60 Willie Mitchell
61 Arron Asham
62 Karl Alzner
63 Jamie McBain
64 Patrick Marleau
65 Jonas Gustavsson
66 Milan Michalek
67 Patrik Berglund
68 Marc Methot
69 Mason Raymond
70 Stephane Robidas
71 P.K. Subban
72 Henrik Sedin
73 Sean Couturier
74 David Clarkson
75 Chad LaRose
76 Ryan O'Reilly
77 Saku Koivu
78 Dion Phaneuf
79 Nathan Horton
80 Jonathan Ericsson
81 Shawn Horcoff
82 Mark Fayne
83 Scott Hartnell
84 Dennis Wideman
85 Matt D'Agostini
86 Ryane Clowe
87 Mike Smith
88 Jason Garrison
89 Al Montoya
90 Alexander Radulov
91 Tobias Enstrom
92 Chris Kunitz
93 Shane O'Brien
94 Teemu Selanne
95 Sergei Bobrovsky
96 Ryan Callahan
97 Rob Scuderi
98 Johan Franzen
99 David Legwand
100 Steve Ott
101 Nikolai Khabibulin
102 Matt Read
103 Pascal Dupuis
104 Mike Richards
105 Derek Roy
106 Johnny Oduya
107 Tomas Kaberle
108 Andrew MacDonald
109 Ryan Jones
110 David Backes
111 Chris Phillips
112 Tomas Fleischmann
113 George Parros
114 Alexander Steen
115 Shea Weber
116 Niklas Backstrom
117 Jaromir Jagr
118 Erik Cole
119 David Krejci
120 Brad Richards
121 Milan Hejduk
122 Andrei Kostitsyn
123 Jonathan Toews
124 Corey Perry
125 Josh Bailey
126 Antoine Vermette
127 Matt Greene
128 Kyle Okposo
129 Douglas Murray
130 Shawn Thornton
131 Brent Seabrook
132 Trevor Daley
133 James Reimer
134 Craig Smith
135 Dan Boyle
136 Benoit Pouliot
137 Zach Bogosian
138 Jannik Hansen
139 R.J. Umberger
140 Taylor Hall
141 Jeff Skinner
142 Ryan Malone
143 David Perron
144 Kyle Clifford
145 Jordin Tootoo
146 Brent Burns
147 Brandon Dubinsky
148 Robyn Regehr
149 Boyd Gordon
150 Kyle Turris
151 Drew Miller
152 Tyler Bozak
153 Lauri Korpikoski
154 John Carlson
155 Josh Harding
156 Christian Ehrhoff
157 Scott Clemmensen
158 Dustin Byfuglien
159 Shane Doan
160 Derek Mackenzie
161 Nick Leddy
162 Jiri Tlusty
163 Olli Jokinen
164 B.J. Crombeen
165 Ian White
166 Marc-Andre Fleury
167 David Jones
168 Alexander Ovechkin
169 Jake Gardiner
170 Tanner Glass
171 Braydon Coburn
172 Kevin Bieksa
173 Andy Greene
174 Darren Helm
175 Brandon Prust
176 Brooks Laich
177 Guillaume Latendresse
178 Jan Hejda
179 Brandon Sutter
180 Jay Bouwmeester
181 Mike Commodore
182 Johan Hedberg
183 Marc Staal
184 Pavel Datsyuk
185 Travis Moen
186 Tim Thomas
187 Curtis Sanford
188 Anze Kopitar
189 Eric Brewer
190 Ryan Kesler
191 Cam Fowler
192 Brenden Morrow
193 Craig Anderson
194 Mike Green
195 Stephen Weiss
196 Matt Stajan
197 Matt Niskanen
198 Fedor Tyutin
199 Nicklas Lidstrom
200 Ilya Kovalchuk
201 Matt Martin
202 Raffi Torres
203 Mikhail Grabovski
204 Jason Chimera
205 Corey Crawford
206 Logan Couture
207 Valtteri Filppula
208 Ryan Suter
209 Blake Comeau
210 Nikolai Kulemin
211 Ville Leino
212 Brian Rolston
213 Ruslan Fedotenko
214 Ray Whitney
215 Kyle Wellwood
216 Manny Malhotra
217 Joel Ward
218 Jamie Langenbrunner
219 Francois Beauchemin
220 Chris Kelly
221 Cam Ward
222 Jonathan Quick
223 P.A. Parenteau
224 Kimmo Timonen
225 Michal Handzus
226 Bobby Butler
227 Ryan Getzlaf
228 Stefan Elliott
229 Evgeni Malkin
230 Patrick Kane
231 Derick Brassard
232 Jamie Benn
233 Lars Eller
234 Michael Cammalleri
235 Toni Lydman
236 T.J. Oshie
237 Paul Martin
238 Matt Ellis
239 Steven Stamkos
240 Jakub Voracek
241 Jack Johnson
242 Gabriel Landeskog
243 Mark Giordano
244 Jim Slater
245 Drew Stafford
246 Cody Franson
247 Mathieu Darche
248 Tom Gilbert
249 Marc-Andre Bergeron
250 Mike Fisher
251 Jeff Carter
252 Brent Johnson
253 Milan Jurcina
254 Ryan Smyth
255 Brian Gionta
256 Adam Larsson
257 Andrej Meszaros
258 Chris Higgins
259 Steve Sullivan
260 Colin Greening
261 Brian Lee
262 Daymond Langkow
263 Devan Dubnyk
264 Erik Gudbranson
265 Roberto Luongo
266 Hal Gill
267 Tuukka Rask
268 Nicklas Backstrom
269 Adam Henrique
270 Nick Johnson
271 Corey Potter
272 Vernon Fiddler
273 Nik Antropov
274 Filip Kuba
275 Joey MacDonald
276 Jamie McGinn
277 Thomas Greiss
278 Viatcheslav Voynov
279 Artem Anisimov
280 Braden Holtby
281 Brad Marchand
282 Jay Harrison
283 Victor Hedman
284 Jiri Hudler
285 Daniel Carcillo
286 Radek Dvorak
287 Matt Cullen
288 Henrik Lundqvist
289 Jason Arnott
290 Mattias Tedenby
291 Daniel Alfredsson
292 Jose Theodore
293 Niklas Hjalmarsson
294 Matthew Halischuk
295 Mike Santorelli
296 Anthony Stewart
297 Simon Gagne
298 Nick Foligno
299 Matt Cooke
300 Lubomir Visnovsky
301 Bryan Little
302 Chris Butler
303 Ryan Miller
304 Brett Clark
305 Erik Christensen
306 Mike Komisarek
307 Joe Corvo
308 Evgeni Nabokov
309 Derek Dorsett
310 Rene Bourque
311 Antti Niemi
312 Evander Kane
313 Brian Boyle
314 Henrik Zetterberg
315 Dustin Penner
316 Cory Schneider
317 Wayne Simmonds
318 Eric Belanger
319 Sean Bergenheim
320 Peter Mueller
321 Petr Sykora
322 Mike Ribeiro
323 Mikko Koivu
324 Matt Hendricks
325 Mark Letestu
326 Kyle Quincey
327 Jason Spezza
328 Paul Stastny
329 Ryan McDonagh
330 T.J. Galiardi
331 Sheldon Souray
332 Tyler Seguin
333 Steve Staios
334 Peter Budaj
335 Alexander Semin
336 Clarke MacArthur
337 Chris Stewart
338 Maxime Talbot
339 Andrei Loktionov
340 Patrice Bergeron
341 Niklas Hagman
342 Roman Horak
343 Pierre-Marc Bouchard
344 Ryan Johansen
345 Marcus Johansson
346 Pekka Rinne
347 Niklas Kronwall
348 Dwayne Roloson
349 Andrew Cogliano
350 Alex Pietrangelo
351 Keith Yandle
352 Marian Hossa
353 Tomas Kopecky
354 Derek Stepan
355 Erik Johnson
356 Dan Hamhuis
357 Zenon Konopka
358 Jussi Jokinen
359 Zbynek Michalek
360 Tomas Holmstrom
361 Drew Doughty
362 Luke Adam
363 Sam Gagner
364 Martin St. Louis
365 Luke Schenn
366 Tom Wandell
367 Henrik Tallinder
368 Sidney Crosby
369 Marc-Edouard Vlasic
370 Bobby Ryan
371 Zack Smith
372 Brad Boyes
373 Daniel Briere
374 Josh Gorges
375 Nick Spaling
376 Theo Peckham
377 Chris Mason
378 Martin Hanzal
379 Darroll Powe
380 Curtis Glencross
381 Rich Peverley
382 Alexander Burmistrov
383 Barret Jackman
384 Brian Campbell
385 Michael Del Zotto
386 David Booth
387 Marek Zidlicky
388 Tyler Kennedy
389 Steve Downie
390 Nikita Nikitin
391 Ray Emery
392 Jordan Leopold
393 Derek Morris
394 Zach Parise
395 Mark Streit
396 Phil Kessel
397 Michael Ryder
398 Daniel Girardi
399 Sami Salo
400 Joni Pitkanen
401 Tyler Myers
402 Cody McLeod
403 Tuomo Ruutu
404 Matt Carle
405 Brooks Orpik
406 Radim Vrbata
407 Daniel Sedin
408 Eric Nystrom
409 Nino Niederreiter
410 Patrik Elias
411 James Wisniewski
412 T.J. Brodie
413 Erik Karlsson
414 Claude Giroux
415 Dan Cleary
416 Shawn Matthias
417 Dainius Zubrus
418 Zack Kassian
419 Jonas Hiller
420 Ron Hainsey
421 Dominic Moore
422 Steve Montador
423 Milan Lucic
424 Mathieu Garon
425 Colin Wilson
426 Matt Beleskey
427 Chris Neil
428 Joffrey Lupul
429 Anton Volchenkov
430 Dustin Brown
431 Alexander Edler
432 Cody Hodgson
433 Dennis Seidenberg
434 Martin Biron
435 Martin Havlat
436 John Moore
437 James van Riemsdyk
438 Jarome Iginla
439 Martin Erat
440 Tomas Plekanec
441 Frans Nielsen
442 Troy Brouwer
443 James Neal
444 Jared Spurgeon
445 Matt Duchene
446 Dmitry Kulikov
447 Ilya Bryzgalov
448 John Tavares
449 Ondrej Pavelec
450 Jarret Stoll
451 Kevin Shattenkirk
452 Chris Campoli
453 Adrian Aucoin
454 Patrick Sharp
455 Brad Stuart
456 John-Michael Liles
457 Tim Jackman
458 Jaroslav Spacek
459 Carey Price
460 Tomas Vokoun
461 Kevin Klein
462 Marcus Kruger
463 Sergei Gonchar
464 Travis Hamonic
465 Tim Connolly
466 Joe Thornton
467 Jordan Staal
468 Kris Russell
469 Michal Neuvirth
470 Dany Heatley
471 Blake Wheeler
472 Viktor Stalberg
473 Ladislav Smid
474 Justin Faulk
475 David Desharnais
476 Grant Clitsome
477 Jordan Eberle
478 Semyon Varlamov
479 Vincent Lecavalier
480 Mikkel Boedker
481 Jim Howard
482 Cal Clutterbuck
483 Lee Stempniak
484 Ales Hemsky
485 Sergei Kostitsyn
486 Brian Elliott
487 Joe Pavelski
488 Brad Richardson
489 Tim Brent
490 Nick Schultz
491 Richard Bachman
492 Rick Nash
493 Nate Thompson
494 Jason Pominville
495 Mikael Samuelsson
496 Checklist
497 Checklist
498 Checklist
499 Checklist
500 Checklist
501 Bobby Orr
502 Cam Neely
503 Johnny Bucyk
504 Milt Schmidt
505 Phil Esposito
506 Ray Bourque
507 Bobby Hull
508 Denis Savard
509 Doug Wilson
510 Stan Mikita
511 Alex Delvecchio
512 Red Kelly
513 Ted Lindsay
514 Bill Ranford
515 Mark Messier
516 Paul Coffey
517 Ron Francis
518 Jari Kurri
519 Marcel Dionne
520 Rogie Vachon
521 Dino Ciccarelli
522 Mike Modano
523 Neal Broten
524 Guy Lafleur
525 Jean Beliveau
526 Larry Robinson
527 Claude Lemieux
528 Scott Niedermayer
529 Brent Sutter
530 Bryan Trottier
531 Denis Potvin
532 Duane Sutter
533 Mike Bossy
534 Andy Bathgate
535 Brad Park
536 Bill Barber
537 Bobby Clarke
538 Dave Schultz
539 Eric Lindros
540 Tim Kerr
541 Peter Stastny
542 Brendan Shanahan
543 Brett Hull
544 Tony Twist
545 Curtis Joseph
546 Wendel Clark
547 Markus Naslund
548 Richard Brodeur
549 Mike Gartner
550 Dale Hawerchuk
551 Checklist
552 Carter Camper RC
553 Maxime Sauve RC
554 Lane MacDermid RC
555 Torey Krug RC
556 Michael Hutchinson RC
557 Travis Turnbull RC
558 Sven Baertschi RC
559 Akim Aliu RC
560 Jeremy Welsh RC
561 Brandon Bollig RC
562 Tyson Barrie RC
563 Mike Connolly RC
564 Dalton Prout RC
565 Cody Goloubef RC
566 Shawn Hunwick RC
567 Ryan Garbutt RC
568 Reilly Smith RC
569 Brenden Dillon RC
570 Scott Glennie RC
571 Riley Sheahan RC
572 Philippe Cornet RC
573 Colby Robak RC
574 Jordan Nolan RC
575 Kristopher Foucault RC
576 Jason Zucker RC
577 Tyler Cuma RC
578 Chay Genoway RC
579 Gabriel Dumont RC
580 Robert Mayer RC
581 Chet Pickard RC
582 Aaron Ness RC
583 Casey Cizikas RC
584 Matt Donovan RC
585 Chris Kreider RC
586 Brandon Manning RC
587 Michael Stone RC
588 Matt Watkins RC
589 Tyson Sexsmith RC
590 Jake Allen RC
591 Jaden Schwartz RC
592 J.T. Brown RC
593 Carter Ashton RC
594 Ryan Hamilton RC
595 Jussi Rynnas RC
596 Joe Sakic
597 Mario Lemieux
598 Patrick Roy
599 Pelle Lindbergh
600 Wayne Gretzky

2012-13 Upper Deck Hockey
All-Star Inserts
Found inside Wrapper Redemption Packs
AS-1 Alexander Ovechkin
AS-2 Bobby Hull
AS-3 Bobby Orr
AS-4 Brad Marchand
AS-5 Brett Hull
AS-6 Bryan Trottier
AS-7 Carey Price
AS-8 Claude Giroux
AS-9 Curtis Joseph
AS-10 Daniel Sedin
AS-11 Dominik Hasek
AS-12 Ed Belfour
AS-13 Eric Lindros
AS-14 Evgeni Malkin
AS-15 Henrik Lundqvist
AS-16 Henrik Sedin
AS-17 Henrik Zetterberg
AS-18 Ilya Kovalchuk
AS-19 Jarome Iginla
AS-20 Jean Beliveau
AS-21 Jeff Skinner
AS-22 Joe Sakic
AS-23 John Tavares
AS-24 Jonathan Toews
AS-25 Jordan Eberle
AS-26 Mario Lemieux
AS-27 Mark Messier
AS-28 Martin Brodeur
AS-29 Matt Duchene
AS-30 Mike Gartner
AS-31 Nicklas Backstrom
AS-32 Nicklas Lidstrom
AS-33 Ondrej Pavelec
AS-34 P.K. Subban
AS-35 Patrice Bergeron
AS-36 Patrick Kane
AS-37 Paul Coffey
AS-38 Rick Nash
AS-39 Roberto Luongo
AS-40 Ron Francis
AS-41 Ryan Miller
AS-42 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
AS-43 Sidney Crosby
AS-44 Steven Stamkos
AS-45 Taylor Hall
AS-46 Tim Thomas
AS-47 Tyler Seguin
AS-48 Wayne Gretzky
AS-49 Zach Parise
AS-50 Zdeno Chara
2012-13 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky All-Star Wrapper

{module 65}

Line at Topps Booth NSCC 2012 NSCC Show
Topps Wrapper Redemptions
Long line....of dealers....

More 2012 #NSCC Show Coverage:

Day 1 Links - Photo Albums - Video - More

Day 2 Links - Photo Albums - Video - More

Day 3 Links - Photo Albums - Video - More

Day 4 Links - Photo Albums - Video - More

Day 5 Links - Photo Albums - Video - More

During the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention held in Baltimore, MD - August 1-5, one of the most popular promotions for collectors are the wrapper redemption programs that companies like Topps, Panini, and Upper Deck hold throughout the five day show. It's an opportunity for collectors to purchase a box or some packs at the show, take it to the corresponding company booth, open them in the presence of a company employee and receive a special prize such as a pack or set of cards.

Topps had three types of wrapper redemption promotions going on at the NSCC.  Including one that involved their brand new 2012 Topps Mini Baseball card set. In addition, you could also open any three packs of 2012 Topps Football/Baseball and receive one card from the National exclusive 2012 Gypsy Queen 9-Card set. But quite possibly the most popular wrapper redemption program that Topps was offering were the 25 card 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball set where the cards were serial numbered #/499.  The set included big names such as Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish rookie cards. Topps had just 100 of these sets to give away each day. Several days after the show these 25 card sets were selling for around $50-$60 on eBay. Dealers at the show were selling 2012 Bowman Platinum baseball boxes for over $100 - many in the $108-125 range. It made for a great deal buying a Bowman Platinum box because if you were one of the 100 people who got one of these sets on each day, it made for great value.
2012 Bowman Platinum Bryce Harper /499
The main problem Topps had in distributing these wrapper redemption cards and sets was that the line at their booth to wait and obtain these cards was long and started before any VIP or paying customer was allowed into the building. This meant that dealers were the ones who were able to obtain these sets. On Saturday I personally counted 35 people standing in the Topps line for the wrapper redemption before the doors to the show even opened for VIP guests. VIP attendees were allowed in 30 min. before the general public each day. Part of the perk in buying a VIP pass to the NSCC show is being able to stand in line early to obtain these wrapper redemption cards. There were probably some VIP guests that were not able to get a Bowman Platinum redemption set because there were upwards of 40 dealers who got a set before they were allowed in.

Let's take a look at some ways Topps could possibly improve upon their wrapper redemption program at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention that will be held in Chicago, Illinois.

First and foremost, VIP guests should be the very first people with the opportunity to obtain any kind of wrapper redemption set or cards. The fact that there were over 35 people already standing in line before a single VIP guest was allowed in would have irritated me if I had purchased the VIP package. Each person who attends the NSCC is given a special badge that they must wear around their neck when they enter the show. VIP, dealers, staff and media badges are clearly marked. It would have been very easy for the employees at Topps or any of the booths to distinguish what type of attendee was standing in their line. The line for the wrapper redemption should only start after the VIP guests have been allowed in. I personally do not think dealers should have the opportunity to obtain a wrapper redemption set or cards before VIP guests are allowed in. Besides, they are typically able to buy the packs and/or boxes necessary to redeem for the redemption at a lower cost than the average customer paying to get into the show. Perhaps Topps or any of the companies could produce a special set to either give or sell to dealers and then (the dealer) could do whatever they want with the set or cards including selling them or giving them away at the show.
Topps Booth at 2012 National Convention One of the other problems with the line at the Topps booth was that it would move very slowly. Remember, you had to purchase an entire box of 2012 Bowman Platinum baseball in order to receive one of the special Platinum sets at the show. That means at the very least, employees at the Topps booth wanted to see you rip open each of the packs in the box. You didn't have to open and go through each of the cards but at the very least you had to rip open each pack. Typically I only saw two Topps employees working this section of the booth each day.
One way for Topps to speed up the process of handing out the wrapper redemptions is getting more help at their booth. I know that personally I would be willing to stand for an hour each day and help Topps give out the sets to collectors. Free of charge. And I wouldn't even promote my website while doing so. I honestly think it would be fun to see some product getting opened and also get an opportunity to talk to collectors.

Some other suggestions I got from Twitter followers were that you give out tickets to people standing in line and they are then able to come back when the line has died down and get a set or cards. This would help especially when they only have 100 sets to give away as was the case with the Bowman Platinum sets at the 2012 NSCC. Instead of standing in line why not pass out 100 tickets to those people so they can come back at a later time and enjoy the booth when it is less crowded. They may also be able to actually open the boxes or packs while at the booth instead of trying to go through them so quickly. Topps could even take this opportunity to get tweet pics to use on their favorite social media venue.

{module 65}

Day #5 Links at the National

Day #5 At The NSCC
In Baltimore, MD

Sunday August 5, 2012

@Twitter List Of Attendees

NSCC Location: 1 W Pratt Street - Baltimore, MD 21201 - Google Map

According to the NSCC Official Website - The Sunday Show Hours Are 10am - 5pm EST

Letter A IconSunday August 5th Autograph Signers
Mike Tyson 10:45 AM
Bob Griese 11:15 AM
Fergie Jenkins 11:15 AM
Ralph Kiner 11:30 AM
Joe Morgan 11:30 AM
Robin Yount 11:30 AM
Tommy Lasorda 11:45 AM
Phil Niekro 12:00 PM
Pete Rose 12:00 PM
Ivan Rodriguez 12:15 PM
Johnny Bench 12:30 PM
Kevin Nash 12:30 PM
Tony Perez 1:00 PM
Cesar Geronimo 1:15 PM
Billy Williams 1:15 PM
George Foster 1:45 PM
Gaylord Perry 2:00 PM
Larry Sheets 2:00 PM
Dave Concepcion 2:15 PM
Goose Gossage 2:15 PM
Ricky Sanders 2:15 PM
Ken Griffey, Sr. 2:30 PM
Brian Mitchell 2:30 PM
Don Stanhouse 2:30 PM
Bruce Sutter 2:30 PM
Camera IconPhotographs
Sports Card Radio
Ryan Tedards - Sports Card Radio
All About Cards
Baseball Nut - All About Cards
Field Level View
J. - Field Level View
Panini America
Panini Staff - Panini America
Blog IconDay #5 Blogs From NSCC
Back From The National
August 5, 2012 - Sports Card Info
Inspiration From The National
August 5, 2012 - RJ Game Reviews
Earl Weaver Affirms Jersey
August 5, 2012 - Beckett
Day 5 From National
August 5, 2012 - Things Are Funner Here
Scenes From The Panini Party
August 5, 2012 - Panini America
Saturday At The National
August 5, 2012 - Sports Collectors Daily
TV IconVideos From NSCC
Gregg Kohn From Upper Deck
August 5, 2012 - FreedomCardBoard
Tim From
August 5, 2012 - FreedomCardBoard
1989 ProSet Football S2 Pack
August 5, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
2007 Absolute Football Blaster
August 5, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
1989 Topps Wax Pack
August 5, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
2011 Topps Value Box Break
August 5, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
1986-87 Fleer Basketball Pack
August 5, 2012 - Beckett
Gregg Kohn From Upper Deck
August 5, 2012 - Card Corner Club
FCBSportsCards Live Breaks
August 5, 2012 - FreedomCardBoard
Blowout Cards Live Breaks
August 5, 2012 - Blowout Cards
Microphone IconAudio From NSCC
@SportsCardNews Interview
August 2, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
Cardboard Connection
August 3, 2012 - Cardboard Connection
NSCC Highlights
Day One Nightly Recap
August 1, 2012 - All About Cards
Wrapper Redemption/VIP Sets
Panini America - Upper Deck - Topps
2012 National Day 2 Report
August 2, 2012 - Field Level View
Topps Panel Discussion Notes
Rayn Tedards - Sports Card Radio
Day #1 Link Portal
August 1, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
Day #3 Link Portal
August 3, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
Day #2 Link Portal
August 2, 2012 - Sports Card Radio
Day #4 Link Portal
August 4, 2012 - Sports Card Radio

NSCC Location: 1 W Pratt Street - Baltimore, MD 21201 - Google Map

According to the NSCC Official Website - The Sunday Show Hours Are 10am - 5pm EST