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Friday, March 26, 2010

Masterpieces - The Next Generation

I love Masterpieces, I love the parallels, I love the autos, I love the patches, I love the base set, I love the SP's. What I and others didn't like was the bad baseball auto checklist and the MSRP. Everyone likes the product, but something tells me that sealed boxes and cases are going to be around for a while. My goal is to convince Upper Deck to bring back Masterpieces. The first step is to balance content and price. The problem is that I don't know how much the cards cost to print and the original art. So bear with me, comment with suggestions and a here we go. I know that some of the things below are not going to be correct or feasible, but some tweaking should take care of any of those issues.

Target MSRP: $5 a pack/5 cards per pack/12 packs per box/10 boxes per case - Make the cases a nice $600 MSRP.

The Base Set: 100 - 150 cards - Let's be honest, the base set is noice. No changes to how the base set was done. One way to cut costs is to use photos and use software to convert them to "paintings". No need to pay an artist, cutting major costs.

Variations: Alternate verions of the base set - 10 cards - 1 in 2 boxes. Here is the twist. The variation is the reverse angle of the regular card

or

Each card has a variation that is 1 per pack that shows the player in their college uni.

The SP's: 18 Cards - Time Warps/Painted Rookies/Veterans worked - Stick with it - 3 per box

The SSP's: 12 cards Some of the Time Warps/Painted Rookies/Veterans - 3 per case.

Parallels: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Although I am not a fan of the /1 /5 /10 /25. It would be nice to actually have a shot of completing the sets. Blacks not numbered but 5 per box, /50 /75 /100 /150 /200 are 3 per box. I would love to see a mustard version.

Inserts:
Can really add to the cost of the boxes but if budget allows 10 card set of famous paintings with a player inserted in the set. The scream with Favre or Brees as the person. Ocho Cinco as Mona Lisa? 1 per box. The Jets defensive guys as the dogs playing poker or the top 5 draft picks as dogs playing poker. The back would be a write up on the original art.

Pro Bowl insert Set. Select starters have a card and they are in their pro bowl uni.

Jerseys: Don't need them - These add a real cost to the price of a box and frankly they aren't needed. In 2008 it was a fun set to put together, but I would rather the boxes cost less. Save the single color jersey cards for all those SPX and Rookie Threads cards.

Patches: Do need them. No single color patch guarantee printed right on the box. Number them to 75. These are seeded in conjunction with the autos.

Autos: On Card - Every living player in the base set that will sign will have an auto. Here is the big change that will save a bunch of cash and cut the MSRP of the box/packs. Ok, as Gellman said, no more Strokes of Genius. Do them just like they did Heroes. The base card is the auto card, thus the autos are a parallel type set. Having said that, there needs to be a signing area just like 2008 Heroes. I loves me some of 08 Heroes autos. This saves cost of designing a separate set. Because the rookies would be pictured in their pro uniforms, there would be none of that college uni auto nonsense.

One issue is that without a completely separate auto design, fakes might be more rampant. People are faking them now by putting 1/1 on the card and then saying they were specially made by Upper Deck.

One addition to the autos is that 1 of the autos in every other case will be a multi auto card. It will be a painted scene with more than one player. For example, Strahan sacking Favre. How cool of a dual auto would that be?

Patch Auto: 1 per case - Just like baseball - Pretty self explanatory. Numbered to 25

Auto, Patch, Patch/Auto Seeding: This is a big change. The auto/patch hits will be seeded 1:2 boxes.

Box Loaders: These are 3 per case 5 X 7 in size, the entire set would be featured and 1 of the 3 in each case would either be autod or a parallel numbered to 50, 75, 100 or whatever. There would be dual and triple autos available as well 1 in 4 cases based upon the greatest insert set ever.

Case Structure:
10 boxes per case.
5 autos, patches, or patch autos per case
3 SSP's
3 box loaders (1 auto)

To prevent box searching for box loaders, each box will have a cardboard insert.

Retail Version: 4 cards per pack $3.00 - $3.50 a pack, no autos or patches, but do have parallels at the same rate as hobby.

Blasters: $14.99 - 5 packs - parallels at same rate as hobby, no patches or autos, but box loaders 1:3 blaster boxes with Blaster exclusives.

7 comments:

AdamE said...

To combat the easily faked auto make it a base card with a different back. Also make all the autos boarderd versions.

Jeff said...

A 60$ MSRP on something with autographs seeded 1:2 boxes seems not very attractive. I agree dump the jersey cards, but I don't see a point in scratching a guaranteed auto. You have to remember as nice as a new Masterpieces might be, it will still be competing against the older versions still on the market. Why pay 60$ for a 50% shot at an auto, verses buying 2 boxes from a past year for the same price and getting 2 guaranteed autographs/gameused.

You seem to be taking the set towards a Heritage type setup for set building which is fine, you know I've busted a few cases doing the sets myself, but I wouldn't chase after it without a higher ratio of autographs. I like set building but the box still has to provide some value.

You could argue the point that a rarer seeding should provide for higher quality/value autographs, but while that sounds very logical is hasn't held true for other products.

Peterson said...

comprehensive, optimistic and well-rounded. Let's have the same exact makeover for baseball.and I couldn't agree more about rookies in college unis...they have whole sets for that now...

Motherscratcher said...

That sounds good to me. This sounds like a really fun set to build. No matter what you are trying to do, build the base set, auto set, or a parallel set, each box you got would contribute to your endeavor.

I do think that Jeff makes a good point about not guaranteeing an auto, though. No idea what to do about that.

Different backs on the autos to cut down on fakes seems like a good idea too.

They should get a hold of Beardy to convert photos to paintings. that dude is the Pujols of photoshop.

ryanmemorabilia said...

I would collect!

Gellman said...

Just some things I have to point out in terms of realism. First off, the NFLPA requires a percentage of the set to be rookies/rookie autos. Its why there are so many scrubs in every set. If you have to have a certain percentage of rookies featured in memorabilia cards - its too expensive to just have the good ones as they charge so much for sigs. That means you would usually have to make room for rookie autos.

I know you are doing a utopian product, but realistically, it cant happen as you described, unfortunately. Although I will say that I like that you are going to take the heroes approach to autos - that is the way to do it!!

The Wax Wombat said...

While I like what you have for the most part (especially the insertion rates), I just can't see UD giving up on jersey cards or single color patches. I think that's just the way things are these days.

Am I the only one that liked the Strokes of Genius as they were, design-wise?