Saturday, September 25, 2010

2009-10 Playoff National Treasures Century Materials NBA Tags Signatures #155 Clyde Drexler

Today's card, the 2009-10 Playoff National Treasures Century Materials NBA Tags Signatures featuring Clyde Drexler, fascinates me. The card itself doesn't fascinate me. I'm curious about the person who collects this type of card. And I'm especially curious what the Cougar fans who visit this blog but don't necessarily collect cards think.

For those Cougar fans, here's a little card collecting history. With the card industry struggling, the manufacturers needed to come up with something that would not only increase sales to current collectors, but would also draw in new collectors. They came up with the jersey card that featured a small piece of the player's uniform in the card.

Some say this saved the industry. I don't know enough about the industry to say that, but I can see how it could pull in new collectors.

Prior to this, the only way to get a player worn jersey was to pay hundreds, perhaps thousands, for a full jersey. Even then, much of the time, you may not be 100% confident of the authenticity of the uniform. Often, it was a matter of how much you trusted the dealer and who the dealer's supplier is. While not as cool as a full player worn jersey, the average collector could get a jersey card at a much more reasonable price.

But as with most good ideas, there are imitators, some good, some bad, and overuse of the idea. Soon every manufacturer and set had jersey cards. Event worn jerseys (including events specifically designed just to have multiple jerseys worn to supply cards) started being used instead of just game worn jerseys. That definitely doesn't have the same appeal.

With the flood of jersey cards, collectors also became more picky. A one inch square of solid white (or other color) material stopped exciting people. Collectors wanted material with multiple colors. I guess that makes the card more attractive. Doesn't add much for me.

Then it went to the next level with patches. Collectors wanted a piece of the jersey number, name plate, etc. The highest demand then came for items like part of the team logo or the NFL/NBA logo. I can see the appeal of those cards although they've also been among the items most often faked by fraudulent eBay sellers.

Then you have items like today's card. What is the appeal of a laundry tag on a uniform? Do I care that the uniform should be washed on low?

OK. The cards are 1 of 1 so no other person in the world will have the card. That's pretty cool, but it would be better to have a one of a kind that people wanted because it looks good instead of just because there is only one.

So what do you think? If you are one of the people who likes this type of card (to each their own), it's on eBay right now for about $400.

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