Monday, May 23, 2005

Mad About Medallions

At the start of the month, the Twins and the Star Tribune began a promotional series of collectible medallions, each featuring the picture of an individual player, and one Ron Gardenhire. One new coin to be released each day, Sunday through Friday, until the series of 21 is completed this Wednesday. A special coupon in the Star Tribune paper each day entitles the bearer to buy a particular medallion for $2.99 at Cub, Holiday, and Super America. I've been avidly collecting the medallions since they released the first in the series, featuring Johan Santana. They're nice items. The coins have the appearance of silver and white gold, with a color photo head shot on the "heads" side, and the Twins logo is engraved on the "tails" side.

Here's a photo of the Torii Hunter medallion:



Dick Bremer a few weeks ago predicted that the medallions would be like 'the next bobbleheads craze.' Indeed, they've proven to be very popular. Sometimes I've had to visit two or three outlets to get a coin the day after its coupon appeared in the paper. Once I got the last Luis Rivas at a Super America on the same day it had been released, and I just nicked it ahead of an annoyed man at the other window who asked for it only 15 seconds after I did.

The Joe Mauers are something else, though. I drove around to at least a dozen outlets on a Tuesday evening, after the Mauer coupon had been in the Sunday paper, and nobody had it. After driving around another hour on Wednesday, I struck out. Everybody said it had been gone by late Monday or Tuesday afternoon. Some said it was sold out on Sunday. When I asked how many medallions the stores had been sent, I heard they got 60 at Cub, and 25 at the Holiday and Super America. There are no plans to distribute or produce more.

Clearly, the Twins and the Strib badly underestimated the demand. Star Tribune spokesman
Ben Taylor said in a story printed by his paper, "Part of what makes it enticing is that it is a limited edition. There was never an expectation that everyone who wanted one would get one." Well, Mr. Taylor, "limited edition" is one thing. Running out within a couple days, or on the very day the item is released, is just ridiculous.

It's created quite a secondary market on e-bay, however; which brings me back to that picture of the Torii Hunter medallion. Avid collectors of the series like myself may have already noticed what's wrong with the picture--namely, you may wonder how I got a picture of a coin that won't be released until Wednesday. Actually, I haven't seen the coin, and won't get my hands on it until Wednesday just like the rest of the chumps amongst the public.

But several sellers on e-bay already had it listed for sale this past weekend, along with today's "Central Champions" coin and the Justin Morneau coin that will be out on Tuesday. Many of the sellers claim to have at least 10 of each medallion available for bid. "These coins sold out in a matter of a few hours!" the soothsaying sellers proclaim. Well, with so many being pilfered before the public gets an honest chance to snap them up, I guess it's no wonder, eh?

Here's a sampling of some e-bay sellers who already had Morneau and Hunter medallions listed last night:

jjackso1
jbails7
eyemgerman
greggiefresh
clunflun1
rajtoo
lottopick
4dude20

I encourage you to contact e-bay to report these individuals for selling stolen property; even if some of them paid for the items, they've acquired them dishonestly, before the coins were released and without the redeeming coupons normally required to make the sale. They're essentially running a scalping operation from whatever job they hold which allows them access to the medallions before they go on sale. I'll be writing to e-bay and also to the Star Tribune.

I don't know if the Strib will come up with a satisfactory response to the pilfering, or the fact that they severely underestimated the market for the medallions. I hope they will recognize that while they boosted their circulation for the month, they also left a lot of people feeling frustrated--and created a rich secondary market for exploitive profiteers on the internet to boot. I started collecting the series, gladly willing to pay $62.79 plus tax for all the coins as well as $14.25 for newspapers. That's about $81 total. Should the Strib representatives just shrug because their poor planning might cause people like me to pay over 6 times the retail price to get that one damn Mauer coin to complete the collection?

Maybe that's just capitalism, baby. Sometimes the customer gets stuck holding a bill of goods, eh? But I say the Strib--or the Twins promotional department--could generate a lot of goodwill amongst the fans, while sticking it to the profiteers, by releasing a second run of at least the Joe Mauer medallions sometime this season. Why not? Otherwise I may become just another profiteer on e-bay, selling off the pieces of my incomplete collection--and I tell you true, Star Tribune marketing execs, that $14.25 will be the last I ever spend to pick up one of your papers. In that case, you might consider having it framed, quarter by quarter. Fifty-seven quarters would complete your collection. I hope you cherish it.

15 Comments:

At 5/23/2005 6:19 PM, Blogger TwinsJunkie said...

I was weary about these and therefore didn't get in on them. $2.99 plus every player on the roster seems like a 100% money ploy. I will pick up a couple eventually, though.

 
At 5/24/2005 2:33 AM, Anonymous amr said...

I was surprised that I couldn't find Grant Balfour in the few stores near me, so I gave up.

 
At 5/24/2005 9:06 AM, Blogger SBG said...

Amount of money I spent on Twins Medallions and Star Tribunes to buy them: $0.00.

 
At 5/24/2005 10:50 AM, Blogger Third Base Line said...

I got the Rincon, 'cause...well, it's Rincon, and I love him desperately (albeit asexually). I may also try for Morneau, as he's the only Canadian infielder I've got these days.

But the set? I've got a subscription to the Strib, so there would be no extra cash outlay there, but frankly I didn't want to spend enough time in Super America to collect the whole set. :P

 
At 10/02/2005 8:39 PM, Blogger The Gold Hunter said...

Any interest in Gold? Micron gold or gold found in water? How to test for and how to recover?
Gold Test Kit ? More info? Gold Test Kit If not SORRY to bother you! Denis

 
At 10/04/2005 12:27 AM, Blogger 444555 said...

Thanks for sharing. My own iste is about coins
Come visit.

 
At 10/04/2005 1:16 PM, Blogger Mango said...

Thanks for letting me post a link. Come post one on mine.
My own website is about coin collector

 
At 10/15/2005 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting kohls coupon blog. You might enjoy thiskohls coupon as well... kohls coupon

 
At 10/15/2005 2:38 PM, Blogger The Coupon Guru said...

I enjoyed your grocery money save shopping blog. You might like this grocery money save shopping related site... GO NOW !

 
At 11/14/2005 9:18 PM, Blogger promotional business gifts said...

Good Day, you have a great blog here.

I will bookmark you.

I have a custom imprinted promotional product site.
My site is about custom imprinted promotional product

Come and see it.

 
At 11/16/2005 9:24 PM, Blogger Judy Farrell said...

Love your blog. I plan to bookmark it for future reference. Anyone interested in my blog on food, recipes, drinks and
coupon free grocery print

 
At 11/23/2005 1:52 PM, Blogger personalized pens said...

Hello frightwig, I have visited your blog.

It is very nice content and I will bookmark your site

I have a promotional business items site.
On my site I inform my visitors about promotional business items

Come and visit my site.

 
At 11/30/2005 6:24 AM, Blogger personalized pens said...

Good Day frightwig, I have found your great blog here.

I will see your site more often.

I have a business and employes gifts site.
I inform my customers about business and employes gifts

Come to see my website.

 
At 12/10/2005 3:58 AM, Blogger promotional items said...

Good Day frightwig, you have a great blog here.

I will bookmark you.

I have a logo promotional items site.
My site is very informative about logo promotional items

Come and visit my site.

 
At 10/05/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello,
Without much luck, I was searching for blogs about DVDs & Movies when I happened across yours. It's a cool blog. Evidently you like telling it like it is! I have a really great ebay website that is easy to use that you may like. If you get a chance, check it out www.licensedbrandsclub.com.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home