With a little more then an hour left in 2009 and we can say that the hobby changed greatly this past year. The big changes:
-Panini coming to America to join in on the fun
-Panini buying Donruss
-Panini signing an exclusive NBA license
-Topps signing an exclusive contract with MLB
-Topps losing the NFLPA license
-Upper Deck losing out on the NBA and MLB license
-Upper Deck signing an agreement with MLBPA and NCAA
2010 will be a different landscape with certain licenses being exclusive, but just as Donruss produced baseball cards without a MLB license I think we will still see the 3 major brands pushing out releases in the major sports.
A few hopes for the New Year:
-Sticker autographs go the way of the dinosaur.
-Limited edition and SP cards actually marked as such so they cannot be reproduced ala Rookie Premier fakes and fake patches.
-Donruss hires card designers that don’t love lines and odd shaped die-cut windows.
-Chris Olds actually opens a box without a 1 of 1 or case pull.
-Beckett covers the real hobby, including the good and the bad, and not the fluff pieces that appear month after month .