Topps made a major marketing mistake by releasing Topps Chrome Baseball, Topps Update, Bowman Chrome and Topps Chrome Football all within a matter of weeks (and all at or after the Baseball Season). I realize they are trying to make a profit but here is what they should do.
Here is a proposed Calendar for Topps in 2011. The idea is to maximize exclusiveness of the product while cutting down on the shear numbers of sets produced
January – Topps Series 1 (Will include Rookies from previous Sept call up)
February – Topps Heritage (this set looks like it will be around a while)
March – A nostalgic set such as T206, Allen Ginter or Whatever
April – Bowman (it may only include rookies from the previous Sept – prospect AFL stars).
May – Topps Series 2 – (includes rookies on Opening Day rosters)
June – An experimental set like Unique, Finest, Platinum.
July – Topps Chrome
August – Bowman Chrome
September – A Super High Set of whatever you want to call it
October – Topps Update Set
November – Bowman Draft Pick Set (updated rookies – draft picks)
December - Topps Chrome Update set/ Holiday or End of Year Topps Factory Set
I would create a Topps Chrome Update Set (this could also be a factory set of say 110 cards – with an auto or relic) for December. I would also offer Topps Update in factory form for December.
You could possibly interchange the sets from June (experimental) and September (Super Premium).
I think if they had a set schedule, collectors could set there budgets to buy cards and Topps can avoid having 3 set coming out at the same time Topps Update, Topps Chrome, and Bowman Chrome (and competing with Football Cards).