Prices are going to be up, and going to stay up from my understanding. From a local who went to Vegas a few weeks ago for a convention, Topps, Panini, and several companies are going to cut Atlanta and a bunch of the distributors out of the loop. Boxes will only be sold brick and morter stores. They want to eliminate the internet aspect of the market. They feel those are the one's selling boxes at $5 over cost, thus pushing the market down and making it hard for actual shops.
And, production is going to be cut, from my understanding. Production will be based on what is ordered. From what I heard, Topps is saying order what you are going to want initially, as that is what they will produce. Stores won't be able to get restocks from companies like Blowout, Atlanta, Southern Hobby and such, as they will be limited product or won't get product at all. Sorta like doing the HTA thing, and much like it was back in the late 80s - no storefront, no direct sales of product. They want no internet wharehouses, no weekend warriors at shows, and such.
If a store does shows or internet, that is one thing. But as far as the internet, I had heard one thing was boxes will actually have some sort of tracking code on or in the box, so if they check, they can see who is dumping on the net. They want to keep the value of the boxes high, so their product isn't seen as hot today, dumped tomorrow for the next product due in.
Just what I have heard.