Occam’s Razor

1 08 2008

I wasn’t going to blog about Razor Entertainment Group and their forays into the card world, but the announcement of their $2000 release yesterday broke my silence.

Now that it’s broken, I thought I’d add some thoughts to other Razor announcements, specifically the signing of 23 draft picks from the first three rounds of this year’s draft including #1 overall pick Tim Beckham to exclusive card contracts. 

Apparently some of my fellow bloggers believe this is a big deal.  Mario at Wax Heaven says Topps is “in serious trouble.”  Chris Harris calls their promo card the “Bowman Killer,” though I can’t tell if he’s serious here or not.  I honestly was not blown away by the card, and the scans I’ve seen show some chipping on the black borders. Not a good sign of quality.

But why do I think Razor’s not a big deal?  Well, let me qualify this by saying there’s two ways that it could turn big. One is if Razor signs a whole bunch more of these guys to exclusive contracts. With no players, Bowman would be forced out of production. The second would be if all 23 prospects they currently have become the top 23 prospects in all of baseball.  And I mean Jay Bruce kind of hype.  For all of them. 

I’m reasonably sure that the second one isn’t going to happen, and if it did it would take some uncanny luck on Razor’s part.  The first one, well, that could happen, but only if Razor has an unlimited pool of resources to draw from, and only if the rest of the prospects are willing to gamble on having their only card in a first year release with less marketing and name recognition then their competitor does.

And let’s face it, it is a bit of a gamble for these prospects to sign with a relatively unknown company to appear in their debut baseball release instead of the well established and highly marketed and sought after Bowman brand.  Also remember that Bowman is an officially licensed MLBPA product. Razor is not.

Is Topps shaking in their boots? Probably not. Is the signing of these draft picks going to force a better Topps product? Again, probably not. The only thing these signings will force is other companies to sign more players to exclusive deals. Then you end up with less desirable products because Topps has all the even picks and Razor all the odds when really you just want picks 14-17.

And one other thing, so far nothing I’ve seen suggests that Razor is going to revolutionize the card collecting industry. They are simply working within the confines of what already exists in an effort to make a profit. It’s that simple. They are going to do things to make money, even if it means more things that collectors don’t really like, such as questionable cut autographs and $2000 packs.

So is Razor a big deal now? No, but they want to be, and they are drumming up publicity at every turn. Could these cards turn big? Sure. They could be the next ’89 Upper Deck for all I know. But I think there’s a better chance they’ll end up like ’88 Score



2 responses

1 08 2008
Mario A.

Score was actually a pretty successful company that took credit for the first ever color photo on the card back! Also, they were around many years before the started to REALLY suck.

1 08 2008

I’m not implying Score sucked. I still have a thing for the 1990 Score release myself. I just meant that 1988 Score is pretty worthless these days, and I don’t think that Razor’s release will end up worth much in the long run.

I could be wrong…

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