September 28, 2011

The Shining Dream Star Team Player Guy

Let’s say you’re the Topps baseball card company. It’s 1989. You’re living large. You operate out of a 48-story, massive, completely out-of-place skyscraper in Topps, Iowa. It used to be called “Townville,” Iowa, and had a rich history, but you were like, “Screw it—it’s ‘Topps’ now.” You’re trading on Wall Street. You’re sending employees to Bora Bora for inspiration. One of your executive officers was recently featured on a controversial cover of Fortune 500 magazine, shirtless, his man breasts covered up by the hands of an otherwise unseen Janet Jackson.

Your stature has inspired indifference. You’re about to release another awful set of cards featuring mostly nobodies. You’re getting lazy. The excesses of your front office are not trickling down to the blue-collar employees, and you’re sending cameramen to spring training for three days and asking them to come back with sets. You’re displaying no knowledge or forecasting ability of rookie call-ups, and you don’t really care.

Everyone wants a piece of you, and you do, to your frequent dismay, have prior commitments and arrangements with the titans of other industry. Bazooka calls. They’re like, “Topps! What the eff? WHERE IS OUR SHINING STAR MARK GRACE CARD? It’s a crucial part of our ‘Starter Set!’” You’re like, “What does ‘Starter set’ even mean, bro? Is this set for kindergarteners?” Bazooka’s like, “’Starter set’ means nothing! They’re just words! YOU KNOW THIS! Get me that card or we’re pulling out!” You’re like, “That’s what she said.” They hang up. You’re like, “Whatever.”

Meanwhile, Kmart calls, line two. Kmart’s like, “Topps, what’s the freakin’ deal-e-o? WHERE IS OUR MARK GRACE DREAM TEAM GLOSSY CARD?” You’re like, “Sorry dude. Forgot.” Kmart’s like, “FORGOT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Get me that card by the end of the week or have fun dealing with Bradlees!”

You figure you better get on this. “Get me Phillips!” you scream into the intercom. A few minutes later Phillips walks in, shirt untucked, sucking his fingers after having just finished a Rueben. It is 8 o’clock in the morning. “Phillips,” you say, “I need you to get to Chicago today, and get me pics of Gracie for these stupid sets. Marge will set everything up for you. Don’t mess this up!” Phillips, still chewing, gives you a thumbs up, and turns around to walk out of your office. “Oh, Phillips,” you say, “one last thing. You disgust me.”

The following Monday, Phillips and a dude from production walk in. Phillips is like, “Got the shots, boss. I got one of him in his stance, and another one of him ... in his stance, but like, a little different.” Production shows you the cards.

You look a little closer. Hmmm. Same bat. Same blue undershirt. You check the background.

There’s a guy in a red hat.

There’s a guy in a red hat.

There’s a guy in a white hat sitting in front of lady wearing sunglasses.

There’s a guy in a white hat sitting in front of lady wearing sunglasses.

You look up at Phillips. “Lemme get this straight,” you say. “I sent you to Chicago for an entire weekend, and you come back with two pictures that are not only of the same exact thing, but that were taken literally like, two seconds apart? Do I have that right?”

Phillips shrugs his shoulders.

“Well,” you say, “ … nice work!” You slap Phillips on his butt. Then you’re like, “What did you do for the rest of the weekend, anyway?” Phillips is like, “I got pretty drunk on Saturday. Then Sunday I pretty much stayed in the hotel and watched movies. Oh, also, I crashed the rental car into a ‘historic’ (Phillips does air quotes) oak tree somewhere in Cedar Rapids.”

You’re like, “Talk to Marge.”


Mahmood Ali said...

Such a great actions its looking amazing i like it...
Plastic card printing
Plastic cards

mkenny59 said...

It IS such a great actions, isn't it? Good luck with your plastics!

Bill said...

Amazing sleuth work on your part to notice these cards being made with basically the same picture! I feel like someone should be explaining the theory with a long pointer and an overhead projector. "Watch the man with the red hat move slightly back, and to the left..."

Also, I agree with that spammer, such a great actions here.

Anonymous said...

It would be even worse if they did it in their base set over a period of years. Oh wait, check this out...

mkenny59 said...

Wow. That it is some lazy shizz right there. Nice find!