Monday, November 19, 2012


Topps made some news last week by unveiling details about its Five Star Club. This "exclusive'' group of "passionate collectors'' will be granted "VIP status'' and "privy to unique benefits.''

If selected, some of these perks include autographed cards, exclusive parallels, high-roller treatment at "National Events'' and a personalized membership card.

Free lap dances at selected gentlemen's clubs are not included. 

I checked.

Great. Just what America needs, another exclusive club for pretentious douche bags. I guess Stadium Club Members Only in the '90s wasn't private enough.

The qualifying process looks quite exhaustive. You have to fill out an application, provide copies of receipts proving you've spent $10,000 or more on Topps cards in the past year, and a letter of recommendation from your neighborhood card dealer or online retailer. Dropping a few names probably couldn't hurt either.

Then there's this: Submit a 500-word essay "explaining why you should be a member of the Topps Five Star Club.'' 

That got me thinking: What would one of these look like? ...

Nov. 16, 2012

Marc Stephens
Topps Five Star Club
One Whitehall St.
New York, N.Y. 10004

Dear Mr. Stephens:

Some collect honorary degrees, others little orphaned Africans. Theodore collects baseball cards, PSA 10 TOPPS cards. More specifically, PSA 10 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE cards.

Theodore thinks that alone should grant him membership to the TOPPS FIVE STAR CLUB. But because that took only 38 words, and Theodore likes espousing about Theodore, Theodore will continue.

Several times a year, he sends the help off to purchase cases of  TOPPS products. Wearing only surgical gloves to prevent theft, the help breaks down the product, combing for inserts to be shipped to PSA and then eBay. The rest is hauled to the chipper to make mulch for the garden.

But life isn't all about net worth and topiary gardens. Theodore is at his most reflective when holding a TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE in one hand and a glass of 12-year-old malt scotch in the other. When lighting Cohiba cigars with a fistful of  flaming ’64 TOPPS commons, he thanks our Lord and savior, MICKEY MANTLE, that he drives a Maserati. And that he is white.

To show he’s not your average country club snob who wears Bruno Maglis without socks, if selected, Theodore will give back to the collecting community, pledging to make it rain TOPPS TIFFANY cards at selected National Events. He’s aghast that there are so many poor underprivileged collectors and so few high-grade ’56 MICKEY MANTLES. Too many never will experience the joy of owning cards of such magnitude. Then again, too many never will own a set of monogrammed gold cuff links, or tartan suspenders or even a Mexican. To put it another way, the human race is like a box a cards: mostly commons and only a few stars. You're searching for stars, and Theodore ain't no common.

To conclude, Theodore knows you’re going to get a lot of collectors professing love for rare TOPPS cards, foie gras, the opera, polo ponies, sailing, doormen, personal body guards, armored vehicles and ordering off the menu.

Well, rest assured, he does, too.

Theodore will be expecting his TOPPS FIVE STAR CLUB membership card next week.


T.H. Theodore "Theo'' Roewbuck IV
Esteemed Collector

*This is a satire. T.H. Theodore "Theo'' Roewbuck IV is a fictional character. 
**Stop reading this or any post at once if you experience one or more of these symptoms: runny nose, diarrhea, upset stomach, or feelings of hopelessness.

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