I'm not fully convinced that the reason that 2017 baseball cards have disappeared from the shelves of big box stores is solely Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger.
If you're paying attention, Archives, Bowman, Platinum, Stadium Club and Allen & Ginter aren't the only sets that have vanished very quickly. In my neck of the woods anyway, Gypsy Queen and Heritage made an terribly hasty exit, too.
So, the question is: is Topps mandating a shortened shelf live on product to heighten demand?
I have my doubts that this is the case. There is only so much Topps can control. And distribution is often out of Topps' grasp. I don't think distributors care anything about demand (or maybe they do, I'm not a distributor). But I just think it's interesting that cards almost across the board -- except for flagship -- have barely lasted even two weeks on store shelves.
There aren't any more people in the card aisle with me than there was before (none and none), so I think something is going on.
But, meanwhile, I still need to get the cards I want.
There are other ways to do this.
Obviously, the most efficient is just to order them all from a seller when the set comes out. Frankly, this technique, for me, is the cardboard equivalent of taking an Ambien. It also eliminates several fun aspects of collecting. So I can't be doing this, no matter how cost-effective it is.
The other way is via something that I've known since I first started collecting cards.
We sooooooooo take trading for granted in this online community. But it is the life blood of the blogs, the undercurrent, the foundation. If there was no trading going on among bloggers, I estimate up to three-fourths of the card blogs would cease to exist.
Trading is a big deal. And we should treat it as such.
It's so important and so necessary that I often receive requests to make a trade from people who don't have blogs. My guess is they're so frustrated with Topps' inability to keep product on shelves that they turn to people who actively advertise that they have cards: we bloggers.
That's why Henry reached out via email recently to touch off another trade. He needed some Series 1 inserts from 2017 flagship, several of which I had. In exchange, he had some 2017 Dodgers for me from products that barely said "hello."
Gypsy Queen for example.
This product appeared at my local Walmart and stayed there for maybe a month, at most. There were rack packs and maybe some blasters. I never saw any loose packs and I never saw any of any kind at Target.
But thanks to Henry, I now need just four more Dodgers. I'll probably pick them up the online way, unless someone strikes up a fun little trade.
Archives was apparently much more plentiful in Henry's part of the country. I saw Archives rack packs in Walmart and they were there for maybe a week and a half. Once again, I never saw any in Target and I still have yet to see a blaster of the stuff.
(The background behind Piazza is interesting -- stadium lights behind a grove of trees?)
Thanks to all of these I also need just four more Archives Dodgers to finish off the set. Trades are wonderful.
There is no shortage of flagship, but many of the inserts have been elusive (mostly because I refuse to buy anymore flagship). So I appreciate this Dave Roberts card. In fact, I was able to remove it from my COMC cart.
Here is a card that is not from 2017. It's one of those weird 2013 Cooperstown cards (good thing that National Baseball Hall of Fame logo is there, huh???), but it completes my Dodger set!
Trading, man, you can't beat it.
It's the most fun way to circumvent whatever blockade is going on with 2017 product.