MLPB says “No more licensees, please.”

28 01 2009

Hate to be a downer for those of you hoping to see new licensees for baseball when the current contract expires, but these words in the MLPB/Donruss lawsuit, available here don’t seem to promising:

19.  As a result, MLPB has chosen not to grant any additional companies the right to manufacture and sell complete sets of trading cards.  In MLBP’s reasoned judgment, the trading card market is saturated and any new entrant would diminish the value of the entire market for MLBP. (my emphasis)

I know the lawsuit seems to put a kibosh on Donruss returning to the licensed baseball card world anyway, but those words would seem to exclude any other dark horses from making a play without seeing Topps or Upper Deck having their license taken away.

With Topps’ history and Upper Deck now losing basketball for the next three years, I don’t see that happening. Unless there’s a drastic change in the marketplace, we are all stuck with the big two for a while longer.




4 responses

28 01 2009

Saturated… Why is it saturated? Beacause baseball allows Topps and Upper Deck to make sixteen million sets per year. It’s their own fault that the overall quality of the product has suffered. There’s too much of it.

It’s fine not to give any more licenses, but what they really need to do to get people interested again is drastically reduce the number of sets they allow. How about five?

Five sets per year from each company would be plenty. A base set, three middle of the road sets, and one high end. And now off of a sudden the market isn’t over saturated, more people are probably collecting and that opens the door for new entries into the market.

Of course I know this won’t happen and won’t work in today’s economy, but it’s a nice dream.

28 01 2009

Three licensees, 12 sets each. That’s the exact same number of products that are out now. There are three manufacturers so innovation will increase as they try to out do each other. 12 sets is enough so there can be a wide range of products from low end to high end while weeding out some of the unnecessary ones like X and Moments & Milestones. Each release is much more important to the health of the company so more care is put into each. Better product, happier customers, better sales.

However, MLB has shown in the Bud Selig era that they either do things absolutely right or completely wrong. Thus, I give it a 50-50 chance that they yank both Topps and Upper Deck’s licenses next year and create their own in-house trading card company. Thie first premiere product will feature Cut signatures of the Commish and all 30 owners. AND NOTHING ELSE.

28 01 2009

I think the key phrase there is “complete sets.” What exactly constitutes “complete?” Do they mean a set numbered 1-660 with no skipped numbers? Do they mean no sets featuring every player and/or team? I think a creative, law-abiding, person/group could actually get an agreement with MLBP for new cards, while circumventing the ambiguous language…

1 02 2009

The messed up thing is that Panini will make 15+ sets. That number makes a sole license ineffective if the purpose is to unsaturate the market. The hobby has been on a bender and now needs to dry out.

Steven from the sports card file says that the companies cannot go to 5 sets per year because of the massive licensing fees. Seems that the companies and MLB needs to give a little of themselves to save the industry. MLB needs to cut the licensing fees, and Topps et al needs to simmer it down on the releases and stop putting out junk. 3-5 releases would be fine with me.

Som releases I just don’t get. Triple Crap and Black are two of those $150+ for 4 cards? All of those should be patches or autos or both.

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