With the year closing in on its finale, I am continually brought back to my favorite cards of the year on a regular basis. Because this was a year so widely focused on the decade’s best rookie class, I am continually wondering if we already have seen my favorite rookie cards of 2012, even though the two biggest products have yet to be released. We are still in the midst of Contenders mania, thanks to a visit back in time to 1998′s iconic design, but they are not my favorite – close, but not there.
My favorite rookie cards of the year, the 2012 Strata Signature Relics are still selling huge because of collectors’ love for these style of cards, and I am convinced that the release of National Treasures and Five Star will do little to sway me from loving these cards the most out of any other this year. They are just that cool.
Strata, in general, is easily the best new product of the year, even with the big name SP list in effect. Even the box hit Clear Cut cards use creative perception points with acetate stock to highlight all the cool parts of the design, and I cannot get enough. With patch autos becoming as common as ever, the way each of the big hits in Strata are put together makes them special again.
Here are some of the best of the set:
Many collectors rely on brand loyalty over creativity to determine their purchases for the calendar year, and that always surprises me. Why would anyone buy a card, solely because they have bought it before – regardless of the way it looks? That has always been the way of the world, so I guess it should be surprising how well Strata has sold out of the gates. The box price is a steal considering what is available, even though content outside of the main hits is minimal at best.