The other thing we've seen in the industry is a lot of theft. Yeah, I said it, theft. It happens. People shift from one company to another, or a technology becomes popular and others duplicate or attempt to duplicate it. It's happened forever, but of late, it's making news because some of the actions are winding up in litigation. There are only so many types of metal you can have you know!
In 2011 alone, three different companies used the title 5-star for a trading card product. Who does the research for these companies, Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder? Maybe it really was true when they said, "We don't really pay attention to what everyone else does." YEAH RIGHT!
I'd be embarrassed if I put out a product with the same title as another company. I'd also protect my brand better. If by some chance I crafted a set with the same title as another one, I'd change it to show that I was original. Forget about firsties, it's about sales and providing your customers with the best you have to offer, anything else is just lazy.
It's happening again in 2012 and it just can't be a coincidence. First, we have the company Onyx Authenticated. That's their name, don't wear it out! They jumped into the card game this year after success in the game-used memorabilia biz. Their product Platinum Prospects delivered autographs and memorabilia cards of top MLB prospects.
Not long after, the specs for Topps 2013 Tribute became public and there are Onyx autographs in it. Now granted, Topps used the moniker Onyx long ago to describe black parallels, but now it's in a different product altogether. Even more recently Panini unveiled a new brand of football cards dubbed BLACK.
Are we experiencing deja vu? Wasn't there an Upper Deck product with the same name? Someone pinch me, is this happening? Okay... now that you know that tidbit, would you believe it if I told that within Panini Black there is an insert with the name, yeah if you have half a brain, you guessed it, ONYX!
Coincidence? Payback? Spiteful?