What I hate the most is the hardest to show with a picture. Of course, the lack of a picture is perfectly apt because what I hate the most is small sets. I'm not saying every set should be huge, and include everyone...but there should be at least one set a year that includes every player in the NBA. There are at the very least 450 players in the NBA at any given time. Panini usually refuses to give us a set with any more than 300, they issued a set in 2015-16 and laughably called it "Complete" even though it only had 330 cards. NO. That is NOT complete. A complete set would have had 450 cards!
I call out Panini because they currently have the exclusive license but Topps and Upper Deck did the same thing. UD was the last to truly do it right, and that was back in 2002-03.
Press Pass was the same with NASCAR. They had the exclusive license from 2001-2014, yet for almost all of those years they couldn't figure out that in a card set for NASCAR, you should show cars. That concept was one they just couldn't figure out most of the time. When they started the exclusive license, they limited most sets to 50 cards, but when they eventually went higher, the sets weren't any better, because instead of giving us actual action photos, we got endless subsets that were mostly all the same, but occasionally were different...but still not good. One set that sticks out as very poor was a set on drivers' "star signs". Yes, really. While I miss getting new NASCAR cards I don't really miss Press Pass. In all those years of exclusivity for Press Pass, the only time they ever actually got it right was 2011, when they issued a 200 card set that actually had cards for each driver's car that they included. (they ignored some drivers totally, mostly in the Busch and Truck series)
#2 is Mirror Foils. I've talked about how little I like them in the past...but since I got my new scanner going two weeks ago today (as I write this) I've worked on them almost exclusively and I loathe them even more now. They've managed to suck the fun out of one of the very few things that I get any enjoyment out of at all. I am always scanning and I normally scan about 150 cards a day...both front and back. Since I began working on the mirror foils my output has fallen to about 35 cards a day, fronts only. It's taken so much fun out of it that I'm spending time writing posts like this instead of working on scanning/editing or even posting to the Database!
I know that cards are not designed to be scanned, they are designed to be held in hand and enjoyed that way...but I've generally never cared for mirror foils even back when I had no idea what a scanner was, IE, the 1990s. They show fingerprints much easier, if you happen to be looking through cards with the window open and the sun hits them they hurt your eyes, etc.
This is one of the easier mirror foils to scan, 2004-05 SPx
That's not even the worst. This is some college set. I can't be bothered to keep track of college sets so I couldn't tell you which one.
I don't have a problem with mirror foil used for a player's name, team name or card brand, but when the entire card is mirror foil, then I have the issue. This issue is probably not as much of a problem for people who aren't scanners/bloggers. I certainly didn't start to hate these cards until I began scanning my entire collection, in 2009.
#3 is people who don't take care of their cards. Now, I've had a few get damaged on my watch, including some earlier this week when my high-powered fan blew them off my table and they landed on the edge, getting damaged. But that was an accident. This...how do you not care so much that this happens?!?
Sadly, these are neither duplicates nor the worst condition cards in my collection. I have an Ernie Irvan card from 1995 Upper Deck that I'm pretty sure was run over repeatedly in the street- has holes in it, even. But it's the best copy I have so it's part of my collection. Another thing that irks me is when you get cards in trade and they have greasy fingerprints all over them. I've had it happen more than once. Please, people, don't handle cards until you've washed your hands after eating potato chips or the like!
#4 is people thinking cards are meant only for kids. Um, no. Cards were meant and originally marketed towards adults, the idea of marketing them to kids dates to just before World War II, when most adults were busy fighting for the future of the world. Trading cards as a concept date to the 1870s and for the first 40 years of the hobby were almost solely sold as a premium in cigarettes.
The majority of cards, throughout the history of the hobby, have been purchased by adults. The market is finally starting to realize that adult collectors are what keeps it alive, but they've gone too far the other way, with Panini producing a $6000 pack of cards in 2015. The so-called super premium sets could very, very easily have made the list.
I did start in the hobby when I was 4 years old, and I've never left, but I didn't truly appreciate it until much later, after I hit my 20s. This is something I will be doing for the rest of my life, no matter how long that is. (it almost ended already at least once). If I live to be 100, I will still be collecting cards, so perhaps what I should be calling for is people to appreciate it as a lifelong thing, not something that should only be done while young. Even when I was young, I hated to be spoken down to, which is something that is done in the hobby from time to time.
As a kid, I certainly wouldn't have been able to appreciate a card like this-
|although I have always loved error cards, which this is. Note the foil location on card.|
Going hand-in-hand with this is people who refer to the hobby as a 1990s fad, or who call any cards junk, IE, the term "junk wax". One, the hobby is in it's 14th decade, it's not a fad. It predates the automobile, airplanes and competent medical care. Not a fad. My least favorite hobby term is used by people to whine about the period of time circa 1988-95. This was the glory days of the hobby, the time period when it reached it's most prosperous, most wide-spread; The people who use this term are usually not true collectors but just in it for the money, when they can't sell their cards they whine about it because everyone has them already; yes, there was a lot of cards produced in that time, but they were produced because there was a demand for them, it was truly the best time in the hobby...cards were everywhere. Anyone who truly loves the hobby should be wishing for a return to cards being everywhere, not something that only a select few have access to. This is the only time you will ever see the term "junk wax" on Cardboard History...literally, ever. Unless, of course, I am insulting somebody who uses the term...THAT is a possibility!
#5, I don't really hate #5. I am...vexed...by #5. It's more of an annoyance than hatred, but an annoyance it is.
That is cards with purposely rounded corners. I'm not talking about vintage cards that have had a hard life, and the corners that were once there are gone- I'm talking about rounded on purpose for no good reason. Take this card that I just scanned tonight-
This is from a 48 card set, so doing front and back, there are 384 corners in the set. I'll be lucky if I get 10 of them to show properly in a scan. In the end, I do the best I can, but I know it won't really be perfect. Nothing ever is, really.
This set DOES have a reason for rounded corners, but not all do. This set, made using lenticular plastic on the front, would be very sharp with pointed corners...sharp enough to cut yourself on.
I know it's somewhat...irrelevant to real life, but I rarely rant so please allow my flights of wording here.
Now get off my lawn!