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July 23, 2021

Ep.137 Emily Kless from Topps

Ep.137 Emily Kless from Topps

Emily Kless joins us, she let's us behind the curtain a little, how Topps comes up with the new flagship design, how the Topps truck was born and how many cards are on it & how come the weather doesn't ruin the cards, yes it actually drives to it's...


Emily Kless joins us, she let's us behind the curtain a little, how Topps comes up with the new flagship design, how the Topps truck was born and how many cards are on it & how come the weather doesn't ruin the cards, yes it actually drives to it's location, and what Topps is doing at the National this year and much more.

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Transcript

Yesterday 9:43 PM
Episode of the sports Carnation podcast, the show that brings you all the important hobby news discussions debates. Opinions info and interviews with key Hobby and sports dignitaries. Also, if you're good, you know, we are going to give away something. Now, here's the guy that one of the cards more than the gum. John Newman. 

What is up, everybody episode 137 Sports coordination. Happy to be back and what I've been saying recently one step closer, one week closer to the Super Bowl they having the national want to remind everybody. I think I mentioned this already Thursday, National week that is July 29th from 4:00 p.m. central Time to 4:30 Myself and Brody on the main stage at the national Brody to kid that is going to be chopping up some hobby stuff and chit chatting with him as he returns from being a little bit under the weather but we're going to catch up make up for some missing time and might be one other surprise. At the end of that half an hour that it's going to be fun for somebody and I'm going to enjoy making it happen. I'll just Even if they're little pieces that as we as they say in radio, also pretty cool moment for me, our new sponsor collectible fractional share company. As you'll hear in the news in the news, what's up section of this show by out of the PSA 10 1953 Topps, Mickey Mantle 3.1 million dollar, buyout, full disclosure, I do owe some shares, or are you Stone, some shares. I no longer own them as the pie out, went through with the shareholders vote and every time collectible, you know, does a big buyout, they release an official video announcement to announce that sale and I was very honored and privileged, they asked me to do the honors on a fifty three tops ps8 and mantle and was excited and more than happy to do it. So, I got the 

The official video announcement, announcing the shareholders vote and the sale of that, mantle at 3.1 million dollars. I'll talk about that in the news section of the show as well. I got a great guest this week. Emily class from tops Communications manager. Where talk about, you know, how cops is doing? What's going on there? What's may be new and coming some national Lands and amongst other stuff as well. A little bit, learn a little bit about her as well, not just tops but you know how these the people and we want to learn a little bit more about Emily. So great interview. Hope you hope you enjoyed it. Thank you well. So we're not going to dawdle any further. Let's get this show and go. 

I guess the announcer for this week's new release product schedule is back to this week like to thank Carey Price who throws his Ring, take it away, mr. Price 

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It's time for the hobby, what's up? Where we go around the Hobby World and tell you all the latest news and breaking stories from the hobby. We love. All right. Lot of big news stories this week as we Edge closer to the National 

Only off with the new PSA takeover, CEO, in nectar out Joe, Orlando, who announces his resignation. Now, when this acquisition first went down, I don't remember what episode it was, but I did say that. I don't think Joe Orlando, survives it and I was beginning to think I was wrong, like, as the months, Went by and like, well, maybe he is going to survive it, but here we are. So I kind of called it. I'm not the only one, but net Turner, the new CEO of PSA. I think, it was really the plan, quite frankly, all along, they're not, they might spend it a different way, but I think this was really the game plan to go all along. We'll see, you know what more 

Other changes come with that definitely you know pulling the trigger and the decision-making. Remember this is not a publicly traded company anymore so there's no board of directors to approve or deny anything. Alright, next news, story collectible their first-ever IPO offering in 1953 Topps Mickey, Mantle TSA 10 is only Me too in the world. And it was their initial offering I own some shares of it personally, full disclosure and they got a, three million dollar buyout offer, you know, a half a million higher than the 2.5 that it was the purchase level and it went to vote. I cast my vote as well and while that vote was taking place a another 

Offer of 3.1 million came in in the vote was approved, I Believe, by a 4 to 1 margin and so that has sold for 3.1 million dollars, a 19.5 two percent increase, over the initial shareholder price. So all shareholders, including myself, will get those, you want to come dividends or buyout funds Ends in their collectible bottles. Scale and Mike head. Collectible our newest sponsor, welcome to sports donation family. They asked me to do the official video release announcing the buyout and man that was a Big Thrill. I got to do that then the sort of be close to the store because I did own shares of it as well, was kind of unique and was a lot of fun doing that. And I'll just say, I wish you took one Take but took more than that but got it done and, you know, Collectibles doing well and right, you know, first your first IPO make some sort of History. So very, very cool moment that I'm happy to say. I was a very small part. Various TC and Peter Steinberg have announced their plans for the national and a little bit, or I should say a lot different than what the other grading companies are doing, they are not taking live submissions at the show, they will be there in full form but they're going to go sorta. I like a-what I'll call thank you to our they're going to do some free live box breaks, if you've been a cut a customer Of SGC any time in the last you or you become one by purchasing an SGC graded card at the show you're going to be entered to get spots in the brakes that they're going to be doing believe almost every day. They're going to be doing some other stuff to some giveaways. And so sort of just, you know, a thank you for doing business with for bearing with them during a crazy year. And I think it's sort of Open it. When I heard the announcement and Peter made it, and I have talked to him, prior to recording this, I like where you're going. You know, here rather than see that, you know, 200 hundred fifty hundred dollar submission level, that you can, their presence is going to be there, you know, and we're going to give back to those that, you know, have been customers of them and even if you weren't open till the show, it's Not too late, you can purchase a card or even. What's cool is you can purchase a card, even not at the show but eBay show them that she did it recently and deliver to you in to the lot of the freed rides. And so I rather that that see some crazy submission price. And so kudos to them to not go into def con for the submission prices and I'll be talking to Peter at the show and look. That that sound bite and stuff on a subsequent Sports coordination. It more acquisition news. Another big one has went down and Trust Global Group. You may not recognize that in case you don't and Trust Global Group is the parent company of Beckett. Well and Trust has acquired Southern hobby, a wax and supply distributorship. That's supplies over 1,000 stores with their wax. And supplied needs are based in Nashville, but they have other their corporate headquarters are in Nashville, but they have other locations around the country. And so that's a big deal. As you know, already Beckett's got their back and shield products now with their their acquisition of Dragon shield order to partnership. So we're seeing a lot of these You know, mergers Acquisitions and strategic strategic base. That probably a good move and trust and the Beckett group there to get sort of market share in the wax and Supply in the Stream. Like I said, they Supply over a thousand stores in other PSA news. They made another acquisition that you may have heard before they acquired gentlemen, but now they have a choir Fired whatta wa, ta video game Grading Company. So PSA is throwing their hat. In the video game grading aspect as they expand their range of services that provide as they expand the space that they purchased across the street show. Hey, yo tiny, as it Inked, an exclusive deal with Fanatics for autographs. 

Jurors and memorabilia. If you go to the fanatic site, you can purchase pretty much anything you want. Oh, tiny side, not cheap, not cheap whatsoever and right now. All tiny is the hottest entity in any sport. I think just read that number one selling everything right now, just taking the lobby and memorabilia World by storm a TSA 10. Jordan 86 87. Footer rookie sold at PWC sea for eight hundred forty K traditionally. This is a card, a lot of people look to and you sort of as a temperature where the hobby is in the market is I think, you know it had went down recently but a lot of people are pointing to the sale of this card and saying see it's you know how he's rebounding coming back up. I will just say this 

Yesterday 9:59 PM
A car like that in PSA 10 is going to bring a lot of money. So I don't think in that condition, it's you know, indicator that things are on the upswing again. So I think you know there's just not that many PS a-- tens and so that I kind of card in a PSA 10 is going to bring big money, no matter what the market is. So I don't I don't look to that as sort of a pivot point or we're going back the other way. I just think it's an iconic card graded at top level is going to bring top pricing and that's it. Top says released their 2022 design. I will say this. I like it tremendously better than 20 21. I have a thing for sort of white bordered cards. It is and just a lot crisper and Cleaner at least in my opinion than 20 21, definitely can read the players names more than last year's or should say this year's release and so 2022. Taps gets two thumbs up for me, we got a great conversation coming up with Emily class from Taps and how that all goes down is going to be talked about. I actually learned a few things when I kind of thought. 

How it kind of went was not what I thought and I think you'll find that very interesting so that's coming up very shortly. 

All right, really excited to have my next guest. He was hard to track down. She's very busy ladies, especially this time of year. We as we ramp up towards Nationals, really, when you here in this episode, we're literally three or four days away. I don't want to make her wait any longer. Welcome, Emily. Plus Cox Communications manager. Welcome to the show. Hold on. I'm so excited to be here. And yeah, the lead-up to the National. I feel like there's no better time than for me to be on. Yeah, it's perfect. And again, I appreciate you making time for the show. I know you're very busy. Busy. You know, some other people think like, you know, you just do appearances and podcast all day or, you know, but obviously it's a lot more. More than that. So I want to start off with you guys. Just released the 2022 Flagship design. I got to be honest with you, I love it. And being I wasn't huge on the 2021. This is to me in my opinion, a lot better. I like it soon as I saw it. I'm you know, I retweeted it and express my positive opinion, can you kind of know what? 

You know, people listening to the show, kind of behind the scenes, like, how we really, like our is the design team or whoever work. Are they already working on like 2023 design. Now, or what? When does that sort of start? How does that whole process? Oh, I'm glad to hear that you like the design. I think a lot of people from what I've seen have shared in that sense of it, which is great to see. So we're already excited just for 2022 based off of the design alone, so that's huge. But yeah. Yeah, it's really a year-long process, which is crazy to think about and the design team. This is one of the products where almost everyone on the design team kind of has a shot at choosing, what the the flagship designer getting to create the flagship design. So they have a couple rounds of feedback and they narrow it down and narrow it down and there's one lucky designer whose it was designed gets chosen for the year and yeah that process is already beginning again for 2023. So definitely really Interesting and fun to see the behind-the-scenes of it all come together but for me personally, more fun, when I know that we're going to drop the announcement on social and there's going to be lots of opinions and reactions. That's kind of the fun part. For me is just to see how it gets digested and see what people say, but say so far, so good, but she's good thing. Yeah, so that's one person. That's they kind of want out what they came up with it. But if I heard you right there just about, I think, from what But I understand there's a few different designers, they all Come up with what they would want to see. Is that as next year's design and then go through a couple rounds of feedback internally and you know, they land on the design and I suppose that Designer gets bragging rights for the year I was gonna ask you if the dead person whoever wins out, they kind of get the whole debt over there were teammates. I know I would, it's almost like a title belt, they hold it for the year and then I got to try to defend it next year. Someone else Takes it away, it's clean. I'm a sort of a white card, white border kind of guy like that. Sort of does it. For me last year, if I had a complaint, I'm an older guy. So my eyes are my eyesight's. Doesn't get better as I get older. So it was a little, you know, hard to read the names and might be more of an indictment on me than tops there. But this year's you know, or 2022 looks a lot bigger font and Cleaner and two thumbs up for me, for the, for the two cents. That's worth. Yeah. No of course I think a lot of people share your opinion too and I think the cool part about 20 22 s design, is it really is a reflection of the feedback from 2021 right? And that's so important and that's why in my opinion social media is important and why podcasts are important and why blogs are important. It's all of that feedback that really gets listen to and take it into account and, you know, just And upon the next year. So no not to 2021 but we always just try to do as Digger. Do it better gear over here and that will always be the goal. So definitely glad to hear that you like 2022. I think I'm excited about it too. I think parallels will look really nice on it and just, yeah. Some of the other Design Elements I think will really look nice on that design. So you come in to the cops. I know you were a tops even before the role your now when you know, you're following someone was 

And Susan. I mean talk about the dynamic in that. Did, you know, we're very well? How was that transition to our soul? I came to Tops, I think about four years ago, maybe for probably five years ago in the digital division. So I was the community manager for our mobile apps and it was such a different world. The digital apps is really, really interesting. And so I had some overlap with zoos but she obviously set a great Precedent for what social could be and should be and can be. So couldn't don't say I had much overlap with her, but the, you know, this short conversations we did have towards her and of, you know, hopefully, ER, at tops was nothing short of enjoyable. And I think it's really cool to also follow in a woman's footsteps just because, you know, we need women in sports and we need women's voices to be heard. And so, sue has left a great groundwork for And there's lots that, you know, different directions that we'd like to go in different things that we've been trying to do over the past two years to make social just, you know, different from what it was two or three years ago. But, you know, it's just coming from a new lens now. So all we do is like I said, try to do a bigger and better every year over year and so far, I think we've done that on social. Yeah. And you bring up a good point. I want to sort of piggyback off, you know we're seeing a lot more women in the Xavier. Which I mean the first and tell you it's very important that someone has been in the hobby for 30 years. We're seeing to me in my opinion, the most that I've seen it in 30 years, I think it's important and in many roles and executive positions in, you know, I went to the Dallas show, a lot more dealers or female, which I think is really cool. I think a lot more collectors and social India would even podcast, we have seen shuford doing women in a hobby, which is awesome. She's been on the show. You know, what do you, what do you think is? It's just that just a normal kind of a hobby being, very successful, kind of booming. I mean, he attributed to anything else? Yeah, I know. It's great to see the influx of women and even just, I think the platform's now that we're able to give such different voices in The Hobby, you're not, you know, just hearing from the The same few folks, but there's really a Range of people and voices that you're hearing that are creating content and sharing their Collections and running podcasts and being on podcasts and everything in between. So, it's really important. I you know, emailed with Sam before she's awesome. I think that having even a podcast and and Instagram presence you know, called women in the hobby I think that totally kicks. But so yeah, there's lots of really cool stuff that you're seeing but I think the hobby as a whole right now, Is just it's hot, right? It's a it's a great place to be. It's a great Community to be part of, there's been such an influx of just people coming flocking into the hobby, over the past year and a half now really and while this, I don't think was any surprise to us because of this upward Trend that we had been seeing for, you know, really the past decade. Even I still think that it's just so encouraging to see. And for me, personally, knowing that this type of 

You know around the hobby happened on a year where tops is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. I thought those Stars couldn't have a lined much better to be part of an organization that that is that old. But is that, you know? So deep-rooted in the hobby I think is just a really, really neat time to be part of tops both on, you know, the Staffing side but also a tops collector right now because it's just it's a special year. Yeah. It's you know what I told Sam when she when she was on to the Sea you know? Women doing big things in a hobby, like I said, from the very top of an executive position to just being a collector for young, you know, girls, that see it. It gives them the aspiration. Hey, I can, I can do that. I can be that and I think that's important. You know, in that aspect as well. Hundred percent you can be what you can see, right? And if we have, if we have people that are visible you know, stepping into those roles 

Those roles. It's important. It just, you know, paves the way for what's to come. Yeah. Alright. I got to ask you a couple of questions that kind of go together, you know. Everyone probably thinks. You know, I'm sure you love your job and have a passion for what's the toughest part of what you do. I do love my job for sure. Let's see, the toughest part. That's such a good question, John, because, you know, II think, 

Yesterday 10:11 PM
This part is, is knowing what we, what we can be and not yet having the resources to get there and all elaborate a little bit. I think, I mean that in a few different ways, such as bringing customer service to our social platforms and having a presence on social, you know, I think we're not up to speed there yet and that's something that I would hope to that. That would happen in my tenure with tops. I also mean that in a way of Of our content team which we are slowly slowly. Creating, you know, there's there's such a hunger out there to watch content to digest content from all places across the Hobby and we are starting to assemble a bit of a Content team that can actually bring some really, you know, high quality produced videos showing, for example, our time at MLB All-Star and Denver the happenings at the top smooth, just really bring that to life in a way that 

People who might not be able to be at the event, might not be able to be at the national. They can still follow along with the tops channels and either feel like they're there or feel like they know what's going on and included and just enjoy watching the events unfold on social. So I think that, you know, it takes a really long time to steer a big shift for to turn a big shift, but we're slowly getting there. We're definitely putting in the building blocks right now for, for what can, what tops can be in the future and And that's super important. So definitely, you know, the toughest part is having patience for that also unfold because Rome was built in the day. 

I'm going to step aside for a real quick break to hear from one of our great sponsors, 101 card shop, but we'll be right back with more from Emily. 

What doesn't one of one car jump do from box case and personal breaks. There's always fire, being pulled. They offer both grading selves and their large store located in Strongsville Ohio offers an incredible selection of sports cards non-sports and authentic autograph memorabilia. Stephen family will treat you right. Check them out on Instagram at one of one card shop or on the web at one of one card. Shop.com Sports car nation is back with Emily class. What's the the best part of what? Along. I'll let you answer that. There is, there is so many amazing pieces that goes into my job which is just I think I think the best part for me is really getting to talk to the people in The Hobby. Even just being on a podcast like this with you. And knowing that folks are listening and knowing that we get to just chat about baseball cards for 30 minutes and chat about tops. It's really all about the connections that you make. I think in this hobby, you know, we of course know what we Out of our packs, but it's often times through, you're pulling those cards with who you're breaking with, who you're talking to, who you're sending your poles to on a daily basis, that's really what makes up the Hobby. And so for me personally it's getting to meet people. Whether it's on the ground at events or virtually through a podcast like this. You know. It's just the connections that you make and I think that's one thing. I'm really excited for about the national is to finally be back in person and gets you Eat so many people that I've either talk to the email or online this past year, or just meet people who will be at the show, will have the opportunity to meet and we'll swing by the tops Booth. So I'm really looking forward to that. Especially if the stories. You know, the tagline is a show noting that the so promote. But is the hobbies that people and I think he sort of Illustrated that in your answer right there, the stories behind the cards, you know, who was with you, when you pulled that that big hit or when you're you know, you got that box. 

You bought that, that card. It's all those stories of people, you meet, like you said at the national and hearing how they got into cars, how it all really started for my think, you know, we don't put in, sometimes we forget, no put enough value on all those, you know, sort of, you know, that Behind the Music but behind the cards stories. Yeah, I love that. The hobbies that people ever it. Really is what it is. It's such an appropriate tag line. And, you know, I think too. No, I personally like, I still collect with my dad, will sit down and rip open packs together, and it's just, like, it's a bond that I don't think you can really understand. Unless you, you do that with someone or with various people, whether it's part of, you know, being part of a Breakers Community or your local hobby shop, like, no matter what it is, it's just, yeah, that it's the people that make up the experience, and I think even tops to just over the past few years, we've really tried to shift the focus. Into our experiential events and into more than just, you know, collecting cards. But what you're getting outside of the pack, you know, that that full tops experience. And you know, the Nationals part of that MLB All Stars, part of that, our promotions like 70th anniversary party and celebration decades like those are all part of the emphasis on the experience, Transcendence. I mean, you know, all of our various events. So I think it's cool to see the way that that has really. 

Sheets. What tops does over the past couple of years? Yeah. And like you know they're the original. I mean other than some of the pretty pretty World War stuff. I mean it's just this Anonymous would baseball card. I opened my first pack as a seven-year-old I mold it was 1979 and my grandfather in the corner store in Brooklyn by the way, home birthplace in two halves, and the rest is history here. We're in 2021, and It's those, those things. Those moments that, you know, I can't remember what I had for dinner two nights ago, but I can remember, you know, 41 years ago. Emily with my grandfather in that box of cards on the counter and am asking me. Hey would you like a couple facts and obviously as a seven-year-old you? So sure Sherwood and here we are all these years later. So I got to ask you just you know if there is a complaint this year and it Job says, the funds is not just the tops. I think across the board, we've seen some customer service issues, you kind of touched on it a little bit in the toughest part of what you do. Sort of question, you know, why do you think that is? And what are ways that you, maybe? I don't know. I don't know what you can can or cannot talk about what it is. They're improvements. May be coming down the line for someone who's frustrated. Hey, things will get better. That sort of thing. Yeah. When I The percent. It's something we're very aware of and it's something that we want to make right by our collectors, because that's what they deserve. I think it was a real Staffing issue, this past year, of course, you know, due to covid. And some of the challenges we Face there that was also put an influx of customer service inquiries and also the amount of people that flock to the Hobby to was so kind of quick and sudden in a way, that I think, 

Just more of that than our small team can handle but you know, looking to the Future definitely adding staff in any way shape or form that that's happening behind the scenes. I know, that's something that's been ongoing for the past couple of months so slowly trying to get our way back there. And then yeah, as I alluded to before, I mean, I personally think that, you know, we could move into a space, given the appropriate staff and resources and an ability to do so we're you know, our social presence also. It includes a customer care service component, but, you know, unfortunately not there yet, but I would say that there's, you know, there's definitely a brighter future ahead and tops is doing what they can. And, you know, certainly recognizes the problem that people have been facing this year. You know, only speak for myself. Do I had to minor issues with some product, and I reached out and they were both handled pretty probably. I was, I was pleasantly surprised like an old, obviously, 

I can only speak for myself as someone who goes out of the top site. Probably almost every day, if not every day, I want, you know, there's now a chat component for someone can maybe type in an issue or concern and maybe get a solution to. So you like you said, Rome Rome wasn't built in a day and you know, again pandemic staffing issues and you make a great Point. People, I don't think always take this into consideration Emily. There's been a mass influx of a lot of New hobbyist as well and so everything. As went up exponentially with it in flux and that's a great thing. When more people, I'm not complaining about it but I'm just saying some other things sort of suffer as maybe as a result of that. Yeah, listen. It's all growing pains, right? You know, tops hasn't been perfect for 70 years. Running top says, made mistakes for 70 years and you learn from them and grow from them and understand what you can do differently, what you can do better, like I keep alluding to. It's always about being bigger and better year-over-year. Um, so, you know, it's unfortunate because I think from my perspective, I see it every day on social, and going back to the toughest part of my job at stuff, that I can't help any everyone in the way that I think that we should or the way that I Envision, the top channels being able to, but, you know, it's just the reality for my perspective. And I think that hopefully, that that is something that the organization will move towards, however, slowly that happens. Yeah, no doubt. They should like you say patience is important. You everyone wants stuff yesterday to so it's a double sided we live in a world of instant gratification. It's whatever comes out of that. Another quick break to hear from Iron sports cards. Will be right back after that. 

Is your number one source for all your PSA and other grading submissions, their Elite status improves, turnaround time, heck, they even provide the card Savers, their chat rooms provide updates on all your submissions. They also offer wax options and single cards to cover, all the bases. Check them out on Facebook, at iron sports cards group, or on the web at iron sports cards.com, or even give them a call at one eight. Seven, seven, iro. En qué ese. Rob's got you covered, we return. 

Yesterday 10:22 PM
So I got it. I got it. You know, hats off the tops. You got the tops truck now. Very cool. I haven't seen it in person. I've seen it in pictures and social media, just a great concept, a great idea, just kind of I'm going to probably ask you more questions about that, but just give you a check head of. Where did that come from? And how did it get born? And I mean, it's here now, but where, where did it all come from? I think it was about two or three years ago, this is before my time in the role, but they had the pop-up truck for just like a one-day activation surrounding national baseball card day. They actually did it in Brooklyn, which is awesome, the birthplace of top. So I thought it was just super cool and we had plans to bring it back and do it, you know, bigger this past year which of course covid put a halt on but we're back in 2021. So yeah, we wrapped it in a 11,000 plus baseball cards which is so crazy to think about and we decided, you know, let's launch it at. MLB All-Star in each, you know, every weekend the Friday and Saturday of every weekend, it will stop in a new city. And the idea really is to just promote national baseball card day and get people who maybe still aren't extremely familiar with tops or are still the ones that saying, hey I remember tops, I can't believe they're still around, you know, get those people rekindled and 

We engage them in the hobby, so they're really idea behind the truck is to promote national baseball card day, and I try and Direction some new consumers and, you know, just continue spreading the name of tops. So, yeah, we'll be in a different different weekend City, each weekend. Handing out. Free packs of cards. You will have also just different activations on site which are fun. We've got this life-size card frame that you can stand inside and take a photo. So you can become your own baseball card. Right. At the truck, we've got our Mobile card wall which is one of my favorite things having the car bowl at all of our events is just so neat. So it's kind of cool to think that you know as the truck makes its way from Denver to Chicago that you have these people trading with the next stop essentially which I just think is a cool thing and yeah lots of other fun goodies. So this upcoming weekend we're going to be in Cleveland which will be at the Fox 8 news station in Cleveland on Friday. That's July 23rd. 

Of this great event called Stuff the bus that encourages all of the, the local Cleveland folk to come out and bring donations of school supplies that then benefit students in need. And the top struck will actually be at Fox 8, news station all day. As you know, the donations are being accepted as it literally stuffing buses full of school supplies, donated school supplies. So, it'll be nice to kind of interact with the local community. That's already coming out to do something great for their Community. That's a, so really looking forward to Uh, Cleveland. And then of course, national baseball card day is the big one. So I think we're probably going to bring that one home to the New York City area for national baseball card deck. Yeah, I gotta ask him, so this truck. It drives to the left to right? Yes, correct. Yeah, we have a full team that heads up the truck, not tops employees, but this great group of folks that have put this whole truck together for us. They've been excellent to work with. It's got this awesome tops. 

I don't even know what to call it. It's like the logo but it's on the grill of the truck. It's like something out of like ten my ride. It's the coolest thing I've ever seen. I love the way the dress looks. I got to see when I was out in Denver and, you know, take a little tour inside of it and it was just like the coolest thing. So it's funny with with these types of activations because you work on it for so long and you see the renderings and the behind-the-scenes but then once you get to be on site, you know, in person with the trunk it's just like, wow, this is It actually is really, really cool. Like we, you know, we did this, we made this happen and now it's traveling, 7,000 miles, handing out baseball cards. So I will not personally, be driving the truck. I don't think Thompson's the insurance for that one but yeah, I will be with it at a few stops that wide open, my schedule to be able to travel to. Yeah, probably a couple competing company may be kicking themselves, like why didn't we think of a trunk enough? But I got to ask you, you said, 

Cards on the outside. How would I know? They protected from the elements there. Are they put this they put this sort of like glossy coat over all of the cards so that way, they're all, you know, fastened to the truck a lot of a lot of previous like base cards, like 2020, based cards 2019, but it's cool because there is such a mix of cards on there that you could just stand at the truck all day and like look through every single card. That's on it and find something new and different each time you look. So yeah, it looks super cool. I know That a popular question is, will it be at the national? It's not going to be at the national that weekend. We would have loved to have it there. But I think from you know, our marketing standpoint, the communication standpoint to be able to have tops has presence in Chicago. While the truck still has a presence in an another city that weekend. That's, you know, the most effective use for how we, how we envision the truck promoting national baseball card day and bringing awareness to it. But but yeah, it's been a lot. It's a good feedback from it so far so I'm excited to see it's for the rest of his journey. Yeah I just have a vision but in my mind of people trying to take the cards up, looking forward to it. I'm sure you are as well, kind of speak to some of the events and things. Have you been in this kind of goofy question? I'm assuming you've been this is not your first national right you did. Yeah, this is not my first national but it is my first national, what stops? So I get to see a different side of it this time. So I still feel a little bit like a rookie, which I'm excited about because it's almost like first day jitters but uh yeah, I mean our events team just kicks but I you know, total Kudos and hats off Off to tour events team in the whole marketing team, which I'm fortunate to be a part of that tops. They just do such an incredible job with the booth with the programming all of the really unique stuff we have going on. And so yeah, this this year at the national a lot of the same types of programming that you've seen in Prior years will have back such as rapper Redemption and some signers at the booth and guest appearances. But we've got, you know, a couple of projects 70 artists that I think will be stopping by one of them being Ben Baller. So, 

We're excited to, you know, host him on, I believe it's going to be Thursday at the national so we're excited for that and we'll also be having our box break on the main stage. I think that happens on Wednesday night for VIPs. 

All right, we're going to take another quick break to hear from Moco the sports card shop at Moco Rex and his two boys doing big things. I'll see them at the national as well. So, let's hear from them and we'll be back when I'm leaving, right after that. 

This sports card shot is your small town local card, shop with a global reach located in New Buffalo MI Michigan. The shop is one of the most accessible in the midwest. In addition to being an authorized Panini direct dealer, the sports card shop, carries all major trading card Brands, including Tops Upper Deck, Pokemon Yu-Gi-Oh, and more with all that new wax, a half million singles and showcases full of great at cards. You're sure to find something great for your collection. Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned collector, the sports card shop is your One-Stop shop. So call us come see us or visit us on the web and social media. Our phone number is two six nine four, six nine zero, one four. Zero website is the sports card shop at Mo co.com. This sports card. Shop is part of the Moko, Retail Group connecting Sports The Hobby and people around the world. 

Sports car nation is back with tops. Has Emily class. I think this year, I'm excited about most about our booth is that in honor of our 70th Anniversary. What we really tried to do was just, I don't know, bring the history of tops to life in the booth itself, you know, in the panel's you see, everything, it's decorated with what we have inside the booth and just kind of bring that feel of the 70th Anniversary. So one of the coolest Parts is on the back side of the booth, 

There's you know, cards all the way back dating. To the 50s and our first set and 51 all the way through each decade or era of tops and QR codes that you can scan the QR code and it brings you to a video on our YouTube page that tells you all about tops in that specific decade. So I know it's like a tiny thing that anyone else would probably just walk by the booth and say, oh, that's cool. And moving on, but for me, too, I think see that kind of stuff come to life over this past year, and see the thought that has gone into it and to creating this booth and really making it. Interactive making it sticky for people to want to come and check out has been really cool to see. So we had, you know, just a taste of it at MLB All-Star of play ball park in Denver, but we're given the national the whole thing. Yeah. You know, 70 years of history and you got to embrace that I mean into any business I'm not even outside to have it just any industry, any business that can you know withstand 70 years and be successful. 

And doing well I mean that you got to embrace that and embrace your past you know you wouldn't be. That's all of us, right? We wouldn't be where we are now. If it wasn't for things that happened in the past and I think that's 70 years of history is a long time and is nothing wrong. I think it's beautiful thing to do Embrace and say, hey here's where we here's where we started here is where we went and here's where we are now and illustrate that, not everyone. Maybe knows. 

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You said behaving in an interactive. I mean, people Love interactive stuff to feel sort of part of the process involved in that and probably, I know, I'll be for sure. Checking it out, as well as many other people. I think the national this year, you know, it was going to be tremendous especially off of a year where we lost it. You know, people think it's it's really one year absence, it's really to when you think about it because the last one was awesome in Chicago, 20:19 since been there, since two years, since we've had the national, I think a lot of people are already looking to sort of, get back out there and seeing people and person, I mean, part of the national, you alluded yourself, Emily's. Just meeting people that, you know, sort of the one event a year, right? The week-long when you get to see people and meet people maybe for the first time or not the first time. And so I think the fact That we lost that last year in Atlantic City. I think we're going to see, you know, the national itself has announced many of the packages of sold out. They only have single day passes. So it's going to be it's going to be quite the event. It always it already is. I think it's going to be probably even more so this year with losing one to the pandemic. Yeah, absolutely. I think everyone's just so excited to be back in person, right? And be back together. Other doing what we love to do, which is just enjoying the Hobby and yeah, I think you know, it's cool like I said it's just cool to see the booth come together from from my perspective. And think of the ways that your watch watch the team think of the ways that we can improve it year-over-year. I think this year, we're going to have some case Breakers, come join us and do some breaks right at the tops Booth. Where hopefully, some participants their lives, can maybe even win a spot in the break. You know, we're just trying to think of different ways out. 

How we can improve the experience for our collectors at the national and, you know, we feel some sense of responsibility while the national organizers. Put on an amazing show. I think tops to also feels like, hey, we have to do this for other people. You know, we have to show up for our people, for our collectors are consumers, and we have to give them the best experience possible. And so we're definitely striving for that this year, it's going to be fun. And I'm, you know, I've had two years, I came into this role, probably the end of like 2019, I want to Say and four short months later that was it with the pandemic. So I've been emailing so many people and and seeing so many people virtually on podcasts and FaceTime and what have you and zoom in teams and and Skype and all those other crazy platforms. We've all had to learn this year but so it'll just be really nice to be able to chat with people in person. Yeah. Like you said even though it's not your first and first in the position that you hold now. So it's sort of kind of a didn't like you said, 

Different perspective, a different angle that you get to see him from a different lens that that'll be exciting on a personal level for you as well. Yeah, for sure. I think what I'm most excited about to which I know I spoke to earlier is just being able to bring the events of life. For also people who may not be able to be there because while there is going to be a large amount of people there and I'm excited to meet everyone on the ground at the booth. There's also a lot of people that can't make it for various reasons. It's and I think the top social team and our content team aren't we feel that our responsibility is to still be able to bring the event for to life for people who can't necessarily be there or may only be there for one day or, you know, no matter what it is. So I'm looking forward to just taking a ton of pictures and videos and getting to blast it out there and and show everyone, you know, the good time that that's being had at the top screwed. 

Yep. And then after the national like you said, he got national baseball card data and I got to ask you, you know, as fun as it is. It's also a grind to a lot of travel and promotional stuff like the you get, you get some vacation time or decompress them out of that. How does that work? I'll sleep when I'm dead. It's all good, John. I mean, I am not here to complain because I do love what I do. Just you know the experience of being often times in person that's that's the most rewarding part of. All right. It's when I don't get to travel it's when I'm not at the events that it feels like more of a grind and then once you're there you're just like awakened with this Renewed Energy, this new sense of, you know, hey this is why we do this is why we put in the long hours. This is why we're traveling from Denver and play ball park tearing down the booth. Setting it back up at the national while holding Transcendent of Events in between and every other event that comes there after a while. All Still fighting for national baseball card day and making sure products like Ginter get there you know time in the spotlight. So there's just you know a lot that goes into it. That I think behind the scenes like I said, marketing team at tops, all the teams at tops that I get to work with are just such good people and really enjoy what they do and like being part of the hobby, which I think is just a really cool and unique kind of thing. But, yeah, specifically the marketing team, they just worked their butts off, and it's really cool to watch. Watch for my perspective because they put in a ton of work and then you know, I get to be on the ground watching it all come to life and helping bring it all life Alton life, you know, at least from the social perspective in the comms perspective. So yeah, it's all good stuff excited. I'm also an admittedly excited that national baseball card day and the truck will be in the NYC metro area because that's close to home for me. But other than that, no, I'm happy to travel away because it's 

It's a really cool hobby that, you know, community at we're partners. He had no doubt. Like I said, you know, being lost it last year. I think it's going to be well, you know, if they're always great but I think they'll be a little bit extra special. We kind of, you know, it's the old you don't appreciate. Sometimes you don't appreciate something until it's gone and he was kind of gone for in a sense, two years and I think people will are chomping at the bit to, you know, get to Chicago and enjoy the festivities. I'm looking forward to meeting you there as well and maybe talking with you a little bit more and obviously enjoyed a national. I appreciate you making time. I know you're real busy, Emily and I know the listeners for the same way, I want to give you sort of the last word here. Give out any web site info for emotional stuff. Anything you take your time. Anything you want to promote or high like the floors yours. Yeah. Thanks, John known. 

Mutual to you. And even anyone, who's listening, like, please come find me at the table spoon. Please say hello. I need it when I say I love meeting people and hearing everyone's stories, it just you know makes what we do. So worth it and and so worthwhile and it's just it brings a great feeling. But yeah, follow us at Tops on social, first and foremost, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, our Newfound YouTube presence, which you're trying to build up. So give us a, you know, a subscribe there. But, you know, anything tops out, calm. You could go to for all the latest cards project 70s on there, some great stuff from project 70 in the artist and national baseball card day. Saturday, August 7th, we're going to have info about the hobby shops that are participating, come to our website, top.com national baseball card day. So you can head, therefore, for any info. But of make sure you're posting your poles with the hashtag tops and bcde that day. So we can all share. What? Got on national baseball card day but yeah, thank you again, John really appreciate it and thanks for having me on. I'm so looking forward to the National. So this is a great start to what will be a good National weekend? What they were doing, Diego, don't eat from it. Go of it goes to Quick. It seems like it's, you know, it's like a blur. It's like, it's over blink, and it's over. Yeah, totally. Well again, again, thanks Emily for making time for the show and I'll see you. See you in a week. Can't wait, John Last time. Marketplace has a line of graded card cases that are waterproof, airtight dust tight and hardened to protect and organize your valuable collection. Each of our cases come with pre-cut and freeform foam so you don't have to cut and tear the foam when you get your case, the pre-cut foam inserts are sized to hold PSA Beckett, SGC and CGS slabs store it all safely and securely with a case from Pastime Marketplace, check them out at www.stanleyandkatrina.com. 

All right, that's going to bring episode 137 to a close. First off, one of take my wonderful guests, Emily class from tops, some great Insight. Learning a little bit about more about her personally. And thanks for coming on G. Very busy as they ramp up as she said for the national want to thank you out there who made this show way past whatever I imagined it could be and as we grow into the It's just so apparent to me. Full of sneaking in there. So I look forward to meeting many of you. If you see me, I'll probably be wearing something that says fourth card Nation, upon it to, to some level degree, whether it be a little patch or my backpack. If you see me, no more than welcome come up, shake a hand. I love the conversation about life about the Hobby and just meet everybody in the Hobby Lobby is the people, right? So I love talking. Going to, to those people again, reminder, for between 4 to 4:30 on Thursday, the 29th. That's local time Chicago, myself and Brody, kid on the main stage, talking, some, some hobby shop. If you will, we'd love to see you, you know, in front of the stage and try to keep that interactive and even talk to you guys out there that are watching, that that conversation, still be more about the conversation and an interview. 

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When you talk like no one else has is around. So but we, you know, we know that's not the case, but the hope to see many of your faces, not just their naptime, but just during the show, it's going to be a great event. And I'm looking forward to we count down each day here, as we get closer to it. So, with that being said, reminder next show will actually be a show that I did with the guys from Back to the Future chair. Tim and Ricky and dr. Beckett, we did a live sports car Nation on a Saturday, therefore hobby palooza. And so I'm going to run that even though we did it live inside YouTube, I'm going to be in Chicago, obviously it's going to be very hard to do a show like we typically do. So I'm going to run that as episode 138 next week while we're at the national. So So we'll see you in a week and I hope to see some of you not just me talking to you through the airwaves here but somebody in person as well. So we'll see you soon. Remember the hobby is the people.