Hobby Musings: Topps meeting baseball card demand amid pandemic

Hobby Musings: Topps meeting baseball card demand amid pandemic – Like the rest of the trading card manufacturers, Topps has to face a unique set of challenges while continuing to release products during the coronavirus pandemic. The exclusive maker of MLB-licensed cards, Topps faced the extra challenge of seeing the league significantly delay its start of the season.

I had the chance to catch up with Topps’ Emily Kless to discuss how the company has kept going throughout these challenges, as well as what the return of baseball means for the card market. The following interview was conducted via email.

KS: Emily, how has the coronavirus pandemic affected Topps’ card production this year?
EK: While coronavirus has presented many challenges, the team at Topps has adapted well. Some trading card products had their release dates shifted due to printing and shipping challenges, however we’ve still been able to make sure our collectors are getting the products they’ve been clamoring over! Additionally, our online offerings have increased, and many collectors have been visiting topps.com to continue getting their cards.

KS: What would you say has been the most challenging part of trying to work through the pandemic?
EK: The uncertainty! While you can plan for all of the possible outcomes, especially regarding the baseball season, there is still no way to truly know what will happen. All we hope is that everyone continues to remain safe and healthy and follows the CDC and their local guidelines.

KS: MLB has had an interesting time to say the least as they attempted to get their season going. With that being said, how has the lack of baseball up to this point affected the demand/response for 2020 MLB-licensed products?
EK: Topps has been able to play an important role during the past few months. As we’ve all found ourselves inside with more time on our hands, many people have taken out their old shoeboxes of baseball cards and found a rekindled interest in the hobby. Topps has been able to help bridge the gap between fans and sports in a world otherwise void of sports, and we certainly take great pride in being able to help make that connection.

KS: With the season set to officially start this week, how do you think that will impact the cards?
EK: With baseball returning, I hope that only helps spark the growing interest in sports cards! With a shortened season especially, you never know what kind of moments in the games can end up making the biggest impact on the season, so our Topps NOW team will certainly be there to capture every bit of this unique season.

KS: There won’t be a minor league season this year. What kind of impact do you think that will make on card demand for prospects like Jasson Dominguez?
EK: Although we’re going to miss seeing these young, talented prospects take the field, I believe that the lack of minors will only help to heighten the anticipation to see them play baseball.

Hobby Musings: Topps meeting baseball card demand amid pandemicKS: Who are the MLB prospects and rookies collectors should be keeping an eye out for this season?
EK: One name certainly comes to mind: Luis Robert! His rookie card came out in Series 2, which was released the same week that MLB announced the return of the season. Talk about fate! What’s interesting is baseball had yet to start when his RC was released, which of course no one saw coming. I think that only helps make his, and many other rookies’ cards, that much more special and unique.

KS: What products do you have coming out in the near future?
EK: There are a slew of great products within the next few weeks, including: Topps Museum Collection Baseball (July 29), Luminaries Baseball (Aug 5), Chrome Baseball (Aug 7), which all leads up to… National Baseball Card Day! This year, we’re celebrating Topps National Baseball Card Day on Saturday, August 8th. Collectors can head to a participating hobby shop for a free pack of cards, alongside two exclusive gift-with-purchase cards. Since we are unable to celebrate in person this year, we encourage everyone to Post Their Pulls on social media using the hashtag #ToppsNBCD.

Shop for past Topps baseball card products!

Hobby Musings: Topps meeting baseball card demand amid pandemic
Kelsey Schroyer