Klein’s Korner: Rich’s Day at the Topps Million Card Rip Party – There is no other way to open but to say, the Topps Million Card Rip Party was a success. Although there were a few minor issues with the event, the breakers got their cards, opened the packs and the cards will be on their way to the customers as early as today. One of the minor issues was a brief technology hiccup at the start but that sure got fixed a lot quicker than the Iowa Caucus APP. With nearly 20 breaker groups, some were better staffed and prepared than others but while I was there some really good cards were pulled and I can pretty much guarantee other great cards were pulled later in the evening. I saw a post the next morning the first golden ticket was pulled during the later hours.
First off, the party was held in the press box or at least one of them at the massive AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Believe it or not, I had never been there since it was constructed so going into the massive and amazing structure takes that off my bucket list of must see places.
Considering the short time frame between announcement and event the publicity went well and many DFW hobby people were able to attend. Among them were Dr. James Beckett who has a really cool podcast in which he mixes today and yesterday, Eric Norton of the Fat Packs Podcast and my COMC co-workers Angela and Stephan Loeffler who also do work for the About the Cards podcast. On the GTS side both David Reel and Rob Bertrand were in attendance to lend support to many of the dealers GTS does business with.
The ceremony opened up with Pete Alonso, New York Mets single season home run champ opening the ceremonial pack and later taking a few harmless questions from the hobby media. This was not the place to ask anything controversial and fortunately no one went there. On a personal note, I can now add Pete Alonso to the famous people at hobby events my photo has been taken with.
That well dressed gentleman you see in the background was someone I thought was a high powered Topps executive. Well, in a funny story when I asked Emily Kless who did a great job being on the air for so many hours who that exec was it turned out to be her dad. Really cool they could get together 1500 miles away from where they both live. In the photo below, you get one guess as to which one is Emily.
And on a gourmand level I will say the brisket served with dinner was among the best brisket I’ve had since I’ve moved to DFW nearly 30 years ago and with all the good barbecue places there is something to be said about that.
Considering this was the first event it went great but there are a few things I would consider for future years. And yes, this should become a yearly tradition because the concept is so cool. One reason this is so important is Topps Series 1 *IS* the flagship product for the entire hobby and with Topps’ long history many collectors and non-collectors buy this when they will not buy anything else in a year. In a side note and free advice to Topps, please ensure in future years Topps Series 1 is the first issue of the year. I realize there were probably distribution and delivery issues which caused Archives Signature to have a 2020 date and come out before Topps Series 1 but please wait in future years and issue anything like that in-between Topps Series 1 and Heritage.
I would also coordinate with local show promoters if the venue gets changed to see if the breakers want to come in a few days earlier and set up at a local card show. I know Kyle Robertson had what was a basically a pop-up card show and drew a nice crowd on Super Bowl Sunday. Imagine if we could have a weekend show and involve Topps in some way as well. Also. while the room was not really something where a collector could attend could you imagine when Topps was doing their bounties, if that was also open to collectors who had purchased cards from the break and they were also eligible for prizes. My my you could even sell more break parts.
I would have also ensured that the “media” received a free pack or two or some other swag, Now for me, I get it why you don’t need any material but there was actually some real mainstream media as well. There was a nice young lady, Emma Baccellieri from Sports Illustrated who never opened packs as a child and while she got to do with a couple of breakers, it would have behooved Topps to get her a few packs for the purpose of opening packs.
One could tell from paying attention she, unlike most of us in Hobby Media, she actually knew what she was doing as a media member. It will be really cool to get her more cards and bring her into the collecting market.
I also would arrange for UPS. USPS, and/or Fed Ex to be there so dealers could ship right there instead of risking stuff being mishandled in transit.
But it those are the only issues, those are all pretty minor and we as a hobby are all waiting for next year’s event. I would also like to thank old hobby friend Clay Luraschi of Topps who informed me Heritage would be better than ever this year. I’m just thinking about how great today’s technology and photos will be set against the black borders. Now that’s an exciting thought because Heritage is great every single year and this year should be as good as ever.
For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.
Klein’s Korner: Rich’s Day at the Topps Million Card Rip Party
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