There's a fine line between innovation and pure gimmickry in this hobby.
I was forced to consider that difference when one Joe Shlabotnik of "The Shlabotnik Report" reached out to me saying he'd pulled a relic that he thought I might be interested in. As you can see above, that relic was of Clark..the Chicago Cubs mascot. I'd known mascot relics existed but had never actually seen any in the wild before this, and within the blink of an eye I actually owned one.
And now that I have one, the question remains: innovation or gimmick? I'm not sure. I mean, I did tell Joe I wanted it, so at least a small part of me as to believe there's some innovation there. Relics have gotten painfully dull over the last decade or so, which makes anything even a little out of the norm worth noting.
Still, I wouldn't recommend a free-for-all on cutting up "game-used" gear (whatever that means) off our mascots' backs.
Are photo variations gimmicks?
I'm on the fence -- but in the meantime I'll certainly take a Darvish SP to go along with that sweet Schwarber insert.
No gimmicks here: Galasso Greats rule!
A couple vital needs here: the Fernando was a Dime Box Dozen need and the Didi slides right into my new player collection of his.
These were a pleasure to see because the well of 2017 Topps Fire has all but dried up around here.
I will always always always always take these Laughlin World Series cartoons, because awesome sketches like these are definitely not gimmicky.
Joe sent me a second PWE shortly after that first one, an envelope which included these two adds to my throwbacks mini-collection.
While I collect the cards, I will admit retro unis have gotten a bit out of hand lately -- do we really need to remember those dull '90s Astros jerseys?
More miscellaneous 2018s from Joe, including an Archives Harmon Killebrew, a man who I firmly believe has never had a bad baseball card.
Opinions on the Sandlot inserts from this year's Archives seem to be mixed, but you know where I stand: GIMME ALL OF 'EM!
Alan "Yeah-Yeah" McClennan -- the bungee jumper himself -- brings me to just about halfway done with the set (Footlong! Dodger Dog! A weenie!). I admit, I wasn't a huge fan of the Bull Durham inserts from a couple years ago (nor do I like the movie all that much) and I considered them somewhat gimmicky at the time. But without them I doubt we'd have these Sandlot cards here today. For that, I'm forever indebted to Nuke LaLoosh and the like.
Sometimes a little gimmickry paves the way for big innovation, I guess.