Blog fodder whatever. Seems all of us bloggers have spent way too much time on the subject and beaten the proverbial horse to death. So what do I have to add to the subject? Simple. Some have said that the problem with the hobby is High end, some say it the race to the top with game used and autos, I personally think that there are too many products. I have yammered on about when the decline came. I think the decline hit critical mass in 92. Topps went to white stock, Fleer and Ultra, Donruss, Upper Deck, pinnacle. Things just degraded from there.
Again, what do I have to add to the issue? Again simple. The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE. It is whatever the reason that people drop out from collecting. For some it is that there are too many products. Personally that is why I stopped collecting for quite a few years. I became overwhelmed and didn't really see the point. I was a set and star collector. Buy some wax, build a set, get some star doubles while I was at it. What was the use of collecting if I had no hope of getting all of the sets from the particular year. Pack prices were increasing, set count was increasing, etc. Sure with fewer sets you are going to have some miss years, but we have that already. Anyone want a box of 2003 Topps football for retail price? I thought not. I have said a few hundred times that if Topps had base,chrome and Finest with Finest having Sterling level hits, and a reasonable price I would buy it by the pallet.
The too many products theory is similar to the High end is ruining the hobby argument. What is the use of collecting if I can never get the good cards that are in demand. Nothing like being stuck with the base rookie card when there is the rainbow of refractor autos xfractors, blah blah blah. If you are an AP collector, the 07 Exquisite Patch auto is the card. If I pull on out of my case (I wont) Gellman and Hitter might come unglued. I might be pursuaded to trade it as well. Anyway, If I was an AP fan and a player collector, the out of reach cards would drive me nuts. So a lot of people get discouraged at the prospect of having a perpetually second rate collection. I feel their pain. Wouldn't be an issue for me if I was a player collector. The great thing about the 80's was that I could go down to the store and buy a pack and pull the hot rookie just like anyone else. I do remember going into shops and having all the hot cards. In some respects my collection was as good as any run of the mill dealer.
The price theory is connected to the high end theory but is entirely different. Take a retail pack $3-$5 for 4-8 shitty base base cards that all look the same. It costs $300 bucks in wax to build an A and G set at least. Back in the day it was $30-$50 or $30 and $10 in singles and commons. Donruss products do have some nice hits but they are not set builder cards. The base cards are worth nothing but you are paying .75 to $1 per card. When you spent $.40 on a pack of 87 topps you got 17 cards. Chances are you pulled a star that got you your .40 back or you could sell or trade your commons for .05 a card and get it back that way. Why people buy retail these days I have no idea.
Everyone has a different theory and they are all, to a point, correct, if only for that person.