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joecoolio
09-28-2009, 08:58 AM
By Joey Collins aka joecoolio


Hockey cards have been around for a long time. The first hockey cards were included in cigarette packages from 1910 to 1913. After World War I, only one more cigarette set was issued, during the 1924-25 season by Champ's Cigarettes. Through to 1941, O-Pee-Chee printed hockey cards, stopping production for World War II. Toronto's Parkhurst Products Company began printing cards in 1951, followed by Brooklyn's Topps Chewing Gum in 1954-1955. O-Pee-Chee and Topps did not produce cards in 1955 or 1956, but returned for 1957-58.

So now we have a bit of history of when hockey cards started production and what companies had been involved. We see names that we recognize such as Parkhurst, O-Pee-Chee, Champs and Topps. What has occurred in the industry since the beginning of hockey card production for these product companies? We have seen over the years many different brands of cards. Parkhurst had its heyday in the 1950ís. In the early 1960s, Topps and Parkhurst battled for team rights to produce cards. Parkhurst left the market in 1963-64 leaving only Topps to produce cards. O-Pee-Chee came into the market in 1968 and joined forces with Topps to produce hockey cards. Topps would sell to the US market, while O-Pee-Chee had the Canadian market. They continued being the only hockey card producers until the hockey card explosion of the early 1990ís.

The explosion in the 1990ís was a tumultuous time for hockey cards. We immediately saw an oversaturation of the hockey card market and several new brands started to appear out of nowhere. We say brands like Score, Pro-Set, Upper Deck, Pinnacle, Pacific and Fleer hit the market hard, producing several different products to compete with O-Pee-Chee and Topps. This had an extremely negative impact on the market as a whole and collectors started to lose interest in a market that seemed to have lost its value. Companies started producing fewer products and eventually none at all. The 1990ís were not good times for the hockey card market. A few companies were left behind to produce hockey cards up until the NHL lockout season. They included Upper Deck, Pacific, Topps, and In The Game.

After the National Hockey League lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 NHL season, the hockey card market changed dramatically. Prior to the lockout, Upper Deck, Pacific, Topps and In The Game Trading Cards were all licensed by the NHL and NHLPA to produce trading cards featuring NHL players and logos. After the lockout, Upper Deck emerged with an exclusive contract from both parties. Upper Deck paid a lot of money for this type of monopoly of the market. Without licensing, Topps simply did not produce hockey cards. Pacific went out of business, its last set was produced just prior to the lockout season. In The Game continued to produce hockey cards without NHL and NHLPA licensing. They signed current and retired NHL players to individual contracts, allowing the use of their likenesses and autographs. In The Game also signed licensing deals with the CHL, the AHL and Hockey Canada to use players and logos from these organizations in their products.

In present day, we see only two main companies controlling the hockey card market. They are of course In The Game and Upper Deck. Upper Deck controls the licensing of current NHLers and the NHL while In The Game focuses more on retirees and prospects. Upper Deck has been on a feeding frenzy in the past years buying company identities such as Parkhurst, O-Pee-Chee, Fleer, and Champs. They are currently using the names to produce products, but they are all licensed by Upper Deck. In The Game has been very creative with the market they have and are producing some interesting products which have gained cult recognition. Topps has slowly been creeping back into the market producing a product to be released this year. As collectorís, we donít like to see this type of monopoly and segregation in the market. There is always hope that in time, more companies will emerge that are able to get licensing and we can have some competition in the market for quality cards. For the time being though, nothing will change anytime soon.

ISO NJ 30 G
09-28-2009, 08:14 PM
Hockey Cards: The Battle for Market Share

By Joey Collins aka joecoolio

Hockey cards have been around for a long time. The first hockey cards were included in cigarette packages from 1910 to 1913. After World War I, only one more cigarette set was issued, during the 1924-25 season by Champ's Cigarettes. From 1933 until 1941, O-Pee-Chee printed hockey cards, stopping production for World War II. Toronto's Parkhurst Products began printing cards in 1951, followed by Brooklyn's Topps Chewing Gum in 1954-1955. O-Pee-Chee and Topps did not produce cards in 1955 or 1956, but returned for 1957-58.

So now we have a bit of history of when hockey cards started production and what companies had been involved. We see names that we recognize such as Parkhurst, O-Pee-Chee, Champ’s and Topps. What has occurred in the industry since the beginning of hockey card production for these product companies? We have seen over the years many different brands of cards. Parkhurst had its heyday in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, Topps and Parkhurst battled for team rights to produce cards. Parkhurst left the market in 1963-64, leaving only Topps to produce cards. O-Pee-Chee came into the market in 1968 and joined forces with Topps to produce hockey cards. Topps would sell to the U.S. market, while O-Pee-Chee had the Canadian market. They continued being the only hockey card producers until the hockey card explosion of the early 1990s.

The explosion in the 1990s was a tumultuous time for hockey cards. We immediately saw an oversaturation of the hockey card market and several new brands started to appear out of nowhere. We saw brands like Score, Pro-Set, Upper Deck, Pinnacle, Pacific and Fleer hit the market hard, producing several different products to compete with O-Pee-Chee and Topps. This had an extremely negative impact on the market as a whole, and collectors started to lose interest in a market that seemed to have lost its value. Companies started producing fewer products and eventually none at all. The 1990s were not good times for the hockey card market. A few companies were left behind to produce hockey cards up until the NHL lockout season (2004-2005). They included Upper Deck, Pacific, Topps and In The Game.

After the NHL lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 NHL season, the hockey card market changed dramatically. Prior to the lockout, Upper Deck, Pacific, Topps and In The Game all were licensed by the NHL and NHLPA to produce trading cards featuring NHL players and logos. But Upper Deck emerged from the lockout with an exclusive contract from both parties. Upper Deck paid a lot of money for this type of monopoly of the market. Without licensing, Topps simply did not produce hockey cards. Pacific went out of business; its last set was produced just prior to the lockout season. In The Game continued to produce hockey cards without NHL and NHLPA licensing. They signed current and retired NHL players to individual contracts, allowing the use of their likenesses and autographs. In The Game also signed licensing deals with the CHL, the AHL and Hockey Canada to use players and logos from these organizations in their products.

Today, we see only two main companies controlling the hockey card market – In The Game and Upper Deck. Upper Deck controls the licensing of current NHLers and the NHL while In The Game focuses more on retirees and prospects. Upper Deck has been on a feeding frenzy in the past years, buying company identities such as Parkhurst, O-Pee-Chee, Fleer and Champ’s. They currently are using the names to create products, but they are all licensed by Upper Deck. In The Game has been very creative with the market they have and are producing some interesting products which have gained cult recognition. Topps slowly has crept back into the market, announcing a product to be released this year. As collectors, we don’t like to see this type of monopoly and segregation in the market. There is always hope that, in time, more companies will emerge that are able to get licensing and we can have some competition in the market for quality cards. For the time being though, nothing will change anytime soon.

Articles link: http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2009/09/hockey-cards-the-battle-for-market-share/

ISO NJ 30 G
10-08-2009, 08:35 PM
Digg: http://digg.com/hockey/Hockey_Cards_The_Battle_for_Market_Share
Buzz: http://buzz.yahoo.com/article/1:04336a8f0df176e64b208827a806c85d:81de42e61a01322 6035021ddb45aa853/Hockey-Cards-The-Battle-for-Market-Share
Propeller: http://www.propeller.com/story/2009/09/29/hockey-cards-the-battle-for-market-share/