Hobby Musings: Leaf bringing the Star Power with Pop Century
Leaf has made its name in part on the impressive names included in its various autograph checklists. There may be no bigger example of that than in Pop Century. Featuring a star-studded signature lineup year after year, the product has helped to bring many difficult signatures into the collections of many. This year’s product seems to be no different as Leaf teased a plethora of notable signers on Twitter. To find out more, I had the chance to catch up with Brian Gray. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: Brian, you teased a number of the subjects in this year’s Pop Century checklist social media recently. Out of all of them though, who are you most excited about for this year’s product?
BG: I couldn’t be more excited with our signers list. It is hard not to go crazy landing Harrison Ford again, but I think it is the deep list of new Leaf signers that gets me most excited.
KS: Out of all the new signers, who’s the rarest autograph to acquire?
BG: Several of our signers are “tough” autographs. Steven Seagal, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sarah Michelle Gellar are widely known as being brutally tough signers.
KS: You’re saying that it’s poised to be the strongest release in the brand’s history, which is really saying something considering the impressive names you’ve had in the past. With that in mind, what makes you think this will be the best Pop Century has had?
BG: It’s the depth of the checklist…. Harrison Ford, Jeremy Renner, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Segal, Ben Affleck, Al Pacino, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Burt Reynolds, Geena Davis, Matthew Broderick…. STOUT checklist no doubt!
KS: Overall, from what you can reveal so far, what do you think is the biggest overall hit the product has to offer?
BG: I think the Fords are huge, but there are also some sweet cuts, including Scarlett Johansson, Sean Connery and Lady Gaga!
KS: Actors/celebrities can be very difficult signatures to acquire. How do you go about getting them to sign for Pop Century?
BG: Prayer.. Much prayer….but seriously, we are on the phone constantly begging big names to give cards a chance and our perseverance has paid off!
KS: How is putting together a product like this different from your sports-based products?
BG: It is MUCH harder as athletes are used to doing autograph deals. For celebrities, trading cards are so foreign it is really an entire educational process in addition to the normal wheeling and dealing.
KS: In terms of sales/reception, how has Pop Century compared to your other products?
BG: We haven’t even solicited the product yet and the excitement is unreal. This will be our greatest selling set to date in this category. But, the hobby is on fire and EVERYTHING is selling out easily.
KS: With all the impressive names you’ve had sign for Pop Century, I have to imagine there’s still someone for the product who’s eluded you. Who would you say is your biggest white whale for inclusion in the product?
BG: Easy list: Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Scarlett Johansson
KS: What is the box configuration for Pop Century going to be like this year and when can we expect to see it hit the market?
BG: 4 hits per box…. 12 box case…. release at the 2019 NSCC!
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For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.