Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Topps announces Five Star Club
Posted Nov 13, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 10:10 PM
I will file this under “public service announcement” because I certainly cannot afford this. And even if I could … I would be committing marital suicide.
But hey, someone out there can shell out $10,000 a year on sports cards. And if that’s you, then Topps is offering membership in its Five Star Club.
Five Star baseball, by the way, will be released on Wednesday. At $500 per pack, it is the most expensive product in Topps’ history.
It’s free to join the Five Star Club, but a prospective member must submit an application and show evidence of spending $10,000 a year on Topps product. And you just can’t say you have bought that much. In the immortal words of the late Whitney Houston during her 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, “I wanna see the receipts.” (I always thought she said “Show me the receipts,” but I just watched the film clip so I am quoting verbatim).
If you don’t keep your receipts, then a photograph showing what you have bought or a statement from your hobby shop owner would suffice.
I downloaded the Five Star Club application (you can too, at http://topps.com/sites/default/files/2012%205%20Star%20Baseball%20Application_R12.pdf). Here are some of the requirements: Topps wants a letter of reference from the hobby shop or retailer where you currently buy your product. It also wants an original 500-word (or less) essay stating “Why I should be a member of the exclusive Topps Five Star Club.”
Membership is for one year, and collectors must submit their applications electronically or by mail by Nov. 30, 2012. Members are expected to remain in “good standing” for the entire year. That means attending most Five Star Club events, which will include conference calls, meetings and events. It also means that the member must present Topps in a positive light in any statements made in the press or on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. And the member cannot bring “Topps or its products into disrepute.” Topps uses a felony conviction as an example.
If you’re a Topps employee, forget it. You’re not eligible.
Topps will notify all applicants by Jan. 15, 2013, whether they have been approved or denied. If approved, here is what you will receive: a personalized membership card, exclusive autograph cards every quarter and exclusive Five Star parallel cards for football and baseball. Members also will be able to participate in quarterly calls with Topps employees and receive VIP status at selected national events. There also will be exclusive giveaway contests for members.
It’s mind-boggling. And I honestly don’t know how many people will apply. But if you have that kind of coin, that certainly puts you in elite card collecting (or buying) status.
Tell you what. If someone in the Tampa Bay area applies and is accepted, I will post a blog item and interview that person.
But before I do that, I wanna see the receipts.