Last year, Panini came up with a pretty novel idea of getting all of the NFL rookies at the premiere on one single card. Again, let me stress that it was a novel idea. The execution of said card was beyond poor, as they basically had the rookies there sign jersey swatches, and then tape them together in a 10 foot long string to make them “seem” like its one long booklet card.
In fact, the results were so awful, one of the collectors that pulled the redemption out of national treasures, opted to cut up the card instead of keep it whole. He then put the individual pieces on eBay.
Topps, as I predicted, has decided it their goal for 2012 to offer their version of the card. Unlike Panini’s version of the card last year, Topps has taken a huge risk in printing a card prior to the premiere and having it hard signed by all the attendees. Their huge risk paid off because from recent tweets, it looks about eleventy billion times better than Panini’s offering.
Click to enlarge:
As anyone familiar with football can tell you, making advanced plans for a contact sport is a risk that might have major issues following through. If just one player gets hurt before the premiere, or doesnt show up, all of a sudden, the whole card is ruined. Hell, if one player forgets to finish their signing at the premiere, its all for naught. There almost has to be a separate signing scheduled just to take care of it. Many collectors think that its easy to produce a card, but it has to go through a redesign, approval by the NFL, and all sorts of other things that cannot happen quickly. To think that Topps was able to pull this off is a ridiculous feat.
Outside of this, the design of the card mirrors the design of the rookie premiere autos, and I have to say I am pretty impressed with the way it turned out. For a booklet with 36 signatures on it, its easy to just PACK 10 people onto a card with microscopic spaces to sign. Instead, we got a pretty nice looking example of a card with much more impressive look to it.
Topps football hits shelves on 8/8, I will be waiting at the local shop as soon as the UPS truck shows up. Cant wait.