Sunday, January 16, 2011
What's up doc?
I received these two gold parallel Upper Deck Documentary cards from Rhubarb_Runner over at e rayhahn, rayhahn the other day (got to look up the spelling on that name every time).
I have two primary questions with this package. The first is: did Upper Deck dump all the Documentary cards in a pile in Missouri somewhere? Does Rhubarb merely have to walk out his back door, pluck a few cards from the enormous stack and ship them off? He seems to have unending stock of Documentary.
The second question is: who attempts to collect the entire parallel set of Documentary?
The parallel aspect of this hobby jumped, jived and wailed over the shark a long time ago, as any number of folks, including me, have mentioned. But, unlike some rather collectible parallels, like Upper Deck Masterpieces or Baseball Heroes, or even Topps' gold parallels, there are parallels of unpopular sets like Documentary that I can't see anyone collecting.
It's not just because the set proved to be unpopular. It's also because the parallel is so bland. Do card companies print off these extra parallels actually expecting collectors to run out and try to complete a whole parallel set? Or is it like premium gas -- they have to offer it even though they know it will sit in the gas pump untouched by most folks who know "regular" is almost always sufficient.
Think of all the ridiculous parallels issued by card companies -- the Upper Deck SP and Topps base parallels in which the foil is gold instead of silver. The hobby issue parallels in which the only difference is a "hobby issue" stamp on the card. All of the 1990s parallels in which the difference from the base card was extremely difficult to find.
Outside of a few popular instances, is anyone really trying to complete parallel sets at all anymore? Is it enough to make companies continue to churn out a parallel for every single set in hopes that some idiot will try to complete a whole set of Ticket to Stardom deckle-edge parallels?
I have no idea how much extra money it costs to print parallels on top of the base set, inserts, etc. I suppose if it was significant, we wouldn't see bronze-bordered Topps 206 parallels and the like anymore. But does a card company measure anything like that? I doubt it. It seems impossible.
So, instead, a mass of parallels are spewed into the air and every collector ends up with about 5 or 6 from each set. It might be the most futile type of collecting in history.
OK, here are two other cards Rhubarb sent:
Both of these cards have parallels, by the way.
I suppose that's the way of the world today: Every kid's got to have a cell phone. Every card's got to have a parallel.
Crochety old man Night Owl will just be over here in the corner muttering "back in my day" responses to himself.