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Cameo Card Conundrum – Where Do YOU Draw the Line?

August 17, 2011

Last week my dad came up to visit for a night so that we could spend some time organizing of our collection and confirming some things against checklists and our need lists.

Included in that organizing session was sorting through a pretty significant order we had made a little while ago from an online card retailer.

We had dealt with this dealer before many times, both online and at various card shows in the Toronto area, often coming across cards that we had either not been able to find for quite some time or that we had not even realized were in existence.

When we were placing our latest order with him through his website we once again came across a pretty significant number of cards we had been seeking out for a long time, along with a handful of items that had not made it in to our master checklists for our player collections.

The challenge with this order, however, was that we were not able to view an image of each of the items as his focus for his new website was to simply get all of the items listed first and deal with the visuals later.

Sounds a lot like a certain eBay seller, doesn’t it?!

Given our very positive experiences with this dealer in the past, we felt comfortable enough to order some of those cards that we were not previously aware as a part of our overall order and for the most part things worked out in our favour.

‘For the most’ are the key words in that sentence though.  Sure, some were cards and items that were true definitions of items featuring one of the handful of players we collect.

Others, however, fell into a bit of a grey area, some of it which is a pretty dark shade from my vantage point.

Those cards fall into a category that I have seen referred to in the past, and now refer to myself, as “Cameo Cards”.

Essentially, a player makes an appearance ( typically in the background) in the photo used for an item that is generally accepted to feature another player.

Here’s three examples that came out of the order that I speak of today:

I have shown the images above in what I consider to be an increasing degree of an insult to my collecting intelligence from left to right.

The first at least has Lemieux somewhat prominently featured and shows his last name in the tiny font on the front of card.

On the second card the photo is actually a better one for a Lemieux card than a Gretzky in my opinion, but the giant GRETZKY on the bottom makes it clear this is not a card for Mario collectors.

The third example is just a flat-out disgrace to be labelled as a Lemieux card.  The blue line in the top right corner is nearly as prominent as Mario’s indecipherable appearance, but I didn’t see the card being labelled as “Blue Line” on the dealer’s site!

Overall, the biggest problem I have with each of these examples is that they were listed on the website as “Mario Lemieux” cards.  Not “featuring Mario Lemieux”, not “cameo”, but as a true Mario Lemieux card.  Obviously I do not consider this to be the case and was left less than impressed by what I felt was the dealer’s incredibly loose definition of what should be considered a collectible of a certain player.

But then I got to thinking about in more detail.

Clearly there was a reason he listed them as such, particularly given that listing them as Gretzky or Crosby cards likely offered as good or a better chance of a sale.  His definition is evidently different from my own and it got me wondering if other collectors sat on the same side of the fence as he does.

So I want to know from you; what do you think about “Cameo Cards”?  If you collect Mario Lemieux, would you consider these an important addition to your collection or would they be destined for your singles boxes as these examples are for me?

Let me know by posting a comment, emailing me at bb_bros@hotmail.com, or connecting on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also subscribe to the bbbros.ca blog by clicking the “Sign Me Up!” button in the right column or via the RSS feed.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this conundrum caused by cameo cards!

Ryan

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2011 10:04 PM

    I personally wouldn’t consider those Lemieux cards and would not consider them necessary for a PC. I agree that the listing is misleading, I think I would be a bit upset if I had ordered these cards.

    I suspect that there are some people who would want these and consider them nice additions to a Lemieux collection, but the guy should still list them more descriptively.

  2. August 18, 2011 9:12 AM

    Wow….I could understand if the player was like Pelle Lindbergh who had like 4 cards before ITG started mass producing him.

    However, Mario has thousands of different cards featuring him, let alone ones where his skate was in the photo.

    This seems a little extreme to say the least!

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