Posted by: portersprospectreport | August 5, 2008

Razor Entertainment—Industry Contender or Pretender?

Bowman Draft to be knicked by Razor

Bowman Draft to be knicked by Razor

Shockwaves were sent throughout the prospecting community when Razor Entertainment Group announced that they had signed the #1 overall pick from the 2008 draft, Tim Beckham, to an exclusive 3-year contract.  Razor, which had mainly produced Poker products, has signed 13 top prospects from the ’08 draft.  They include:

#1 Pick Tim Beckham

#6 Pick Kyle Skipworth

#12 PIck Jemile Weeks

#14 Pick Aaron Hicks

#15 Pick Ethan Martin

#22 Pick Reese Havens

#30 Pick Casey Kelly

#38 Pick Jordan Lyles

#40 Pick Brett Devall

#55 Pick Destin Hood

#78 Pick Derrik Gibson

#85 Pick Stephen Fife

#106 Pick David Adams

I sent an email to the president of Razor Entertainment Group, Brian Gray asking him a variety of questions about the new product including who, other than the 13 players listed above, might be included in the product.  Gray’s answers were, at best, cryptic.  I guess that I should expect no less from a company that produces Poker trading cards 🙂

From what I gathered, there will be 4 MLB related products with the first being scheduled for a December ’08 release.  The checklist will be 100 players long featuring prospects from the ’08 draft as well as other prospects.  Of the 100 players 20-30 will be exclusive to Razor brand products.  As many of us well know, Razor is planning to unveil a high rollers dream; a $2,000 one card pack that features a cut signature of a president or political figure.  Dual autos will also be integrated within the product.

Oval Office series checklist

Oval Office series checklist

My Spin:

Razor has effectively stirred the pot by coming out of nowhere to sign some of this year’s high draftees.  Looking at some of Razor’s previous cut auto offerings of various celebrities and historical figures, it seems that they have a long way to go before they could consider themselves a viable threat to the much longer tenured empires of Topps and Upper Deck.  To this point their products have been amateurish in appearance and not well marketed. 

The fact that they will be releasing their first baseball related product in December means that they will have to compete with the popularity of the Bowman Draft and Chrome set which customarily releases in late October to early November.  Since Razor will have nabbed 20-30 prospects for exclusive deals, it would seem wise for Bowman to be more aggressive to locking up the several ’08 draftees like Pedro Alvarez, Justin Smoak, Yonder Alonzo, Gordon Beckham, and others when they sign their MLB contracts.  In doing so, they could effectively stave off some of the momentum that Razor would have in their December IPO of baseball prospect products.

Razor has a long uphill climb before they can be mentioned alongside the other baseball card giants.  From this collector’s prospective, their reluctance to issue share particular details about the new products is more irritating than intriguing.  Judging from their website and marketing campaign the MLB portion of the product is amateurish and has a Just or Team Best-type feel to it.  Granted, it may be a major hit and I may be forced to eat my words with a $2,000 Calvin Coolidge auto.  December will tell us a lot about Razor and its ability to shave off a slice of the RC market. 

PS. Early returns on the Tim Beckham preview cards that Razor issued at the National have been selling for $10-12 on Ebay.  There are 3 variations to the card that all sell for approximately the same price.  Below is a pinstriped gold foil version.

Don't bend this Beckham

Don't bend this Beckham

 

 

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