Bob Cosner of Bob's Baseball Cards in Des Moines, Iowa saw a recent interview with an Upper Deck spokesperson and was 'amazed' at the answers in the context of current Upper Deck release patterns to its sales channels:
Diamond Comics asked Mr. Williams this question: 'How will your company help retailers reach new customers in the coming year?'
Part of his answer was, 'UDE will once again work closely with hobby and retail partners to support organized play and offer great prizes and cards for those who participate. Also new for '05, UDE will execute a new program of hosting launch events in hobby stores. The new program, called Release Celebrations, is currently slated to start in May for both Yu-Gi-Oh! and Vs. System (Marvel and DC) products. Release Celebrations will run at the local hobby store level as new products release. UDE will provide promotional kits to support the release with light organized play as an introduction to the product.'
Am I the only one that is amazed by this statement? Release Celebrations? What celebration? Wal-Mart gets the products 30 days in advance of the hobby stores!!!! By the time we are allowed to buy the merchandise it is old merchandise! So does his statement mean:
1. The hobby stores will have a Release Celebration at the same time the product is offered in Wal-Mart? Why would we do that with no product to sell?
2. The hobby stores will have a Release Celebration 30 days after its release and when it is offered to hobby stores when we would have product to sell?
3. OR will Wal-Mart's 30-day head start will be over in May? I doubt that. If so, it should have been mentioned.
Anyway, only #3 above makes any sense and that seems to be the least likely to happen. And even if UDE said that was going to happen, who would believe them after the Shaman King/Blockbuster decision?