Over on Non sport Update's Card Talk forums, I recently started a thread asking collectors to post their questions. I told them that I would answer some of them in our website's blog from time to time. Today, we kick off his blog with a couple of the questions that the community has asked.
So here we go!
"…one question. Why so many autographs in each set? (don't get me wrong, I like autos) but at one a box it makes it hard/expensive to get them all."
Hi hammer. It really just depends on the show. Some of the shows we are covering have huge ensemble casts. If we can get the majority of the cast to sign, then we really don't want to leave anybody out.
I read that you had acquired the DC license. Can you tell us about any of the upcoming DC sets you may have planned?"
The very first set we have planned will cover characters from the New 52 that has been wildly successful for DC Comics. Each card in the base set will have new original art created just for the trading cards. We're really excited about that as a lot of the comic sets on the market in recent years haven't had much for new art. There will also of course be sketch cards, chase sets, and some other surprises.
"Glad you guys are doing a Castle set. Any chance you'd tackle Psych too? (and of course I would love A Nightmare on Elm Street Movies set...)"
Thanks, Val. We're excited about Castle too. We just received a shipment of wardrobe items and some props and are having a lot of fun going through them. As for Psych and Nightmare on Elm Street, we don't have any plans for those right now but if we get enough requests for it we would be open to it.
"I noticed Cryptozoic is displaying at WonderCon in Anaheim and is also attending the Industry Summit in Las Vegas the following week. Will there be any exclusives given out or sold at the events? Thanks."
Since WonderCon already passed, I'll comment on the next big comic show we'll be at, which is San Diego in July. We have several show exclusives and some other special events in the works for Comic Con. Once all the details are nailed down we'll let the cat out of the bag!
"Hi Scott, thanks for the opportunity to ask questions.
I would like to know more about the impact of pre-releases or pre-orders on production numbers. Specifically, when you get a license like Big Bang Theory, do you know that you are going to make X number of boxes, or do you rely on pre-orders to either increase or scale back on the production run?
I ask this question because it has been written that card manufacturers base many decisions on dealer pre-orders, which is fine, except that a lot of non-sport collectors like me don't place big orders because they feel they don't know what's really in the product until it hits the market.
Kind of a Catch 22 situation for manufacturers if they think a product won't sell because orders are down, but orders are down because everyone is waiting for the product."
Hi Raven – it is indeed a bit of a Catch 22. Forecasting is a bit of an art and science. We weigh a lot of factors. The size of the audience for the property, whether or not a lot of the cast has signed for other card sets, time of year, and pre-order demand does factor in, but for us not as much. To be honest we've been selling out of our release pretty quickly. In some cases before we even ship. We're very careful to try and always keep in mind that trading cards are collectibles. A little chase and hunt is part of the fun. I would really like to see the "trading" come back to trading cards a bit more.
"Chris Cline" asked:
"I have a couple of questions and distribution. My local comic book store, which buys all of your company's Warcraft cards, claim that they had no clue that you were doing some of these cards. I have filled them in on the licenses that you have and they are stoked about ordering some cases. My question is how are you getting the word out to your CCG dealers about the new things your are selling?"
Hi, Chris – we currently sell through over 20 hobby distributors in North America. This includes every major card, game, and comic distributor. Pretty much the same as all our products, trading cards get solicited a few months before release. Since we started with games I could see where some companies might have overlooked our trading card offerings at first. Your store should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get on our mailing list to receive information about upcoming releases. That way they will always be in the know!
That's about it for this time. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions and I look forward to doing this again in a few weeks!