Beckett's "Sports Card Monthly"
When I received my inaugural issue of Beckett's Sports Card Monthly a few weeks back, I was pretty excited to see what it had to offer. After spending a few minutes each day browsing its pages after work, I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to have my old, single-sport subscription back. Like most hobbyists, I don't collect all of the sports, and would rather have the page-space dedicated to the sports that I do have interest in. I wonder if Beckett did some sort of consumer survey and found that people actually wanted all this variety. Or maybe they polled the card shops asking if customers typically buy multiple sports. Whatever the case may be, their marketing $'s could've been better spent on something else (like continuously finding ways to improve their content).
I liked that they carried over the "Hot List" from the old one-sport format, and "The Card Universe" pie chart showing the card breakdown by sport was interesting. The "Landmark Set Spotlight" was a decent read, and the "Preview" section (also a carryover) is always good to know.
I really didn't like that they eliminated the older-year card/price lists. It seems like the idea behind replacing peoples' subscriptions with this new publication is to try to get collectors to branch out from their one or two favorite sports and start buying a wider variety. But, as a former Football & Hockey card collector, my first thought while reading this would be to check on the prices for those cards that I bought several years ago (and still have tucked away in storage) to see if there's been any market movement. Being able to look those cards up would probably inspire me more to consider re-entering those sports again, rather than just being able to look at what cards are available for the current season (just my personal feeling).
The "Player Price Guides" were a total waste of space. By listing every card issued for just a few select players, it targets such a small niche of hobbyists. Most collectors only want to buy a particular player's rookie and high-end Auto/Game-Used cards. I would guess that very few people actually collect every single card issued for a player (despite Beckett spotlighting "Super Collectors" who do collect that way).
The insert that came with this first issue said that we can request them to change us back to our one-sport subscription. I'll probably be making that call really soon.