Friday, March 28, 2014
Where the hell is Heritage?
Exactly two weeks ago, Topps released Heritage to the masses. Or so they made you think.
Case breakers displayed the very latest cards, the very latest hits and short-prints, and everyone got high on the 1965 design. Later, people who ordered boxes received their shipments and displayed them on their blogs.
Around that same time, folks in certain parts of the country begin to find Heritage in stores -- and, yes, in the usual places that I've mentioned before. Dallas, Texas, always seems to have the latest cards before everyone else. Still more Heritage appeared on blogs in those favored locales.
Then it arrived in other parts of the country and people began to notice: "Hey. Where are the blasters? Where are the blisters? It's just rack packs."
This was an understandable question, but I couldn't question it because I couldn't find even a rack pack in any Target or Walmart in my area of Upstate New York.
This week, evidence of Heritage blasters finally showed up in -- guess where? -- Dallas, Texas. So, they DO exist.
Meanwhile, I took a trip to Target today, confident that at least some rack packs of Heritage would finally be there. My Target seems to restock their card shelves with new product late Thursday or on Friday, so I fully expected Heritage to finally show its face when I appeared Friday evening.
I confidently entered the card aisle and was greeted by the usual Heritage looseys and blasters -- from 2013.
Still no 2014 Heritage.
Thoroughly disgusted, I went across the way to Walmart because it HAD to be around SOMEWHERE. I mean come on, I know I live off the beaten path, but it's been two weeks now and there's a blasted interstate that runs right through town for crying out loud.
When I got close to the door at Walmart, an employee stopped me and the others I was with. "Hey guys," he said. "I'm really sorry, we had a pipe burst and the store is closed. Sorry about that."
I stood and stared at him.
"Pipe burst?" I thought. "What's that a euphemism for -- 'we don't have Heritage either'?"
That's probably what it was. He saw me coming. He knows how long I've waited. And he knew there was no Heritage in the store. "Oh, god, here comes Night Owl, he's going to freak."
So they came up with "pipe burst" so I didn't rearrange the store.
I momentarily thought of going to the Walmart north of town, but there were people with me and they didn't need to go through that debacle.
So here I am back home wondering what the hell is going on with Heritage.
I don't necessarily need Heritage. I don't plan on completing the set, or I would have ordered a box of it. And I'm not super eager to collect all the Dodgers or I would have ordered them online already.
But opening some packs of Heritage is one of my favorite things to do with cards each year. It's better than opening the first base cards in January and it's just as good as opening the first packs of Allen and Ginter in the summer.
It's an important product for a lot of collectors -- some view it as more important than the base set.
BUT YET THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN'T FIND IT IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD STORES!!!!
What the hell?
Meanwhile, the Topps folks have already moved on from Heritage. They were promoting Opening Day last week and now they're promoting Museum Collection (like there's a chance that's going to hit my area Target). I'm sure they'll be talking about Gypsy Queen in a couple of weeks all the while acting like everyone is up to their ears in Heritage by now.
I hate to whine for this long but doesn't this seem suspicious?
First no blasters and blisters for a long time and then some places aren't even getting any Heritage more than two weeks later?
Did Topps make some sort of deal with hobby stores to release Heritage there, far in advance of retail?
Was there some sort of mix up with the folks who ship Topps product to different parts of the country?
Was there a fire at the factory?
Did the monkeys pull the wrong lever?
This is one of the better years of Heritage I'm talking about here. This isn't the 1966 design that people are going to have to suffer through next year. This is pretty much the pinnacle of the 1960s designs right here.
But yet, all I have to show for it is that Upper Deck Vintage knock-off Tommy Lasorda card from 2003.
God, I hate whining like this and I'll probably pay for it by spotting some Heritage in the store tomorrow, but damn, does this seem odd?