Is There Too Much of a Good Thing?

After I launched the Puck Junk Newsletter last summer, a reader commented about the sheer number of hockey cards coming out over the next few months. 

That got me wondering: are there too many hockey sets being released at once? In other words, is this too much of a good thing? 

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed many sports card products. Now, Upper Deck is still playing catch-up and releasing a lot of hockey card sets in a hurry.

Consider that, by my last count, 19 different hockey sets will be released over the next three months. Or that two different O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey sets will be issued about six months apart, with 2022-23 Platinum due at the end of February, and 2023-24 Platinum scheduled for August. 

Which brings up my original question: is there too much product out there right now? 

After dwelling on it for a bit, my conclusion is that it doesn’t really matter if there are a lot of products out at once, or that the products are late, because collectors will still buy what they buy.

I remember when I used to buy comic books. Anyone who collected Image Comics like Spawn and ShadowHawk back in the day will remember how late the company was in releasing its books during its first few years. But the publisher wouldn’t skip issue #3 if it was very late and instead go right to issue #4; they’d release both books a week (instead of a month) apart, or do what they needed to do to get caught up. 

The same logic applies here. Yes, it is more fun to collect 2022-23 hockey cards during, you know, the 2022-23 season. But if you like Black Diamond, Premier, or Metal Universe, would you rather collect the set later than usual or not have the choice to do so at all? 

I’ll still collect 2022-23 O-Pee-Chee Platinum, even though it’s coming out midway through the 2023-24 season. Heck, it took me almost 30 years to finish my 1994-95 Score Gold hockey set. If it is a set you enjoy collecting, having a later release date isn’t the end of the world. 

Hockey card collectors don’t collect every hockey card set released. It is nearly impossible to do so. Most focus on what they like and ignore the rest, so a deluge of products in a three-month span isn’t really a bad thing; it’s the card companies trying get caught up and release the products that we enjoy collecting.  

Note: This article is an updated version of an editorial that originally appeared in Volume 1 – Issue 2 of the Puck Junk Newsletter. For stories like these, plus news and updates about hockey cards and collectibles, subscribe to the newsletter here.

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Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

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