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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Morning Hobby Cringe

If you have X, go check this out. The comments in this post are wild. 

Lets start with the obvious...

-Incorrect location for one of their retail partners, check.

-Incorrect place where the kid is from, check.

-Wrong X handle for the shop in the post, check.

-Avoiding, upsetting the algorithm by correcting the a separate reply, check.

-Jubilant [read sarcastically] excitement from a kid pulling probably the top card in a product, check.

-A sticker on a 1/1, check. 

-A basketball player in a baseball product, check.

-Clear QC issues on a "pack fresh card", check.

Congratulations to Alex! But posts like this make it really hard to not be the "yeah but" person. There is way too much dumping on posts where people show their hits or the cards they feel are really cool and want to share and I don't want to do that. When we are inundated daily with the same old breakers and shops pulling the same old super, mojo, fire, Tesla equivalent hits, it's refreshing to see a kid pull a potentially valuable card from a product. I'm happy for the kid who is clearly FROM Indiana that pulled a card from a product in a shop that is clearly IN Georgia. 

This is not MY social media account. This is not some regular "Joe Collector" account that paid for a checkmark for clout. This is a corporate account of arguably the biggest player in the hobby. Even a lowly guppy like me trying to swim through this giant sea of sharks, can identify when I screw up a post, then delete it, fix it, and repost it. So how does something like this get through? Don't they have things like spell check or understand basic grammar rules (which I get it, it's social media so no one does)? Don't they have oversight, editors, checks and balances? I know paid accounts have to have the ability to edit an X post, don't they? Apparently accuracy isn't as important as risking wrecking the algorithm of the app.

I'm certainly happy when I see manufacturers or LCS's post photos and video of their customers with product. I enjoy seeing the enthusiasm on people's faces when they get something that blows their mind. But the "pull of his life"?  For a pull of his life, the enthusiasm sure seems to be lacking here. However, I will give that a pass considering this is a teenage boy, and coming from a dad with three teenage boys at one point or another, I get this might be all the excitement that can be drawn out of young Alex. Especially for a picture that was clearly staged after buying the product, leaving the store, pulling the card, coming back to the store, putting it in a mag holder, and taking the picture...if you believe the story Topps eloquently laid out. 

I'm not even going to address the fact this looks like a sticker auto on a 1/1 card. Or that it looks like there are potentially some dinged up corners and edges on a card "fresh" out of a pack. This is par for the course with modern products and happens all the time. Quality control seems to be a large area of contention and I'm still on the fence whether it's actually worse than ever or it's just that social media exacerbates it. There's also the question of quantity. If there is 10Xs the product quantity produced now, it would only make sense that there is also 10Xs the issues, right?

But my point of today's Morning Cringe is that it's unfortunate it took Alex for me to point out an example of another in a long line of silly Topps posts. There really should be more thought and care put into their interactions. This happens all too often with this company's social media account, where they post content that either isn't their own or give incorrect information, don't credit sources, and avoid any accountability for any of it. If Fanatics is putting strict guidelines & restrictions on sellers to even carry their product, holding dealers to a higher standard of operation, shouldn't the sellers/buyers also hold them to a higher standard of accuracy in their reporting, releasing information, and supporting their partners? We should. 

But we don't. Fanatics/Topps is big enough, strong enough, and frankly, intimidating enough that they can survive off their seemingly pompous "do as we say or else" attitude behind the scenes and get away with operating in front of the curtain like an amateur clown show. I understand that many who work for these hobby-based corporations are collectors, are fans of the games, and participate in the hobby like the rest of us. They do as they are told and work their jobs like the rest of us. But the companies themselves are not collectors, fans, or participants. They are businesses. They don't care about you, only your money. 

Complacency is acceptable as long as consumers keep buying. Always has been, always will be. 

Like what you read? Have a comment? Be sure to leave one below. 

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