As we have seen with many of the recent releases of Topps that also have a retail component, they go live early. Topps Strata is set for release this week, and retail started to hit eBay over the weekend. So far, we have gotten a preview of what some of the autograph cards look like, as well as the base and diecut cards, which for the most part look very cool.
2012 Topps Strata Robert Griffin III Die Cut RC – If this doesnt remind you of Voltron’s sword, you are missing out.
I get a very Voltron feel off these cards, as they are inspired by the metal layering that takes place on a lot of vehicles from what it seems. As a result, the cards have a robotic feel to them, which is something I think works well. Now, these cards are honestly the last cards people will remember when buying hobby boxes of Strata, as this product will be known for one thing, and one thing only – acetate cards.
Whether those acetate cards are the awesome Shadowbox style cards that open like a Swiss Army Knife, or the clear cut signature cards that overlay signed acetate on a swatch relic. Strata, from what we have seen in the previews from Topps, should be one of the best new sets of the year. Like Inception in 2011, these cards should offer something that is unique and different than what is already available.
Panini is going to be putting this up against its new “Black” set, which is a redux of something UD did much more successfully back in 2009. Unlike Panini Black, UD Black was all on card, and was quite awesome looking. Although Black looks to have some nice moments, its far from the level of awesomeness that Strata or the previous Black set will bring and have brought before it. I was able to pick up boxes for under 80 bucks, which should make a statement as to what is possible with a box price under $100. With so many Panini products offering 4 hits (2 autos) per box, boredom has set in with many collectors, especially when the price gets jacked up for a few sets here and there. Absolute offers the same thing as a box of Elite (relatively), but does it for 155 dollars instead of 100. Why is that the case?
Strata should offer cheap thrills with HUGE potential to deliver amazing content. Its all speculation at this point, but I am excited none the less. Lets just hope the previews from Topps live up to the hype.