Here we go again, for the 6th straight year, Triple Threads is coming this Friday. If you have been reading this site for any extended period of time, Triple Threads is my least favorite product on Topps calendar, and it takes a lot for me to say even a few good things about it. It has become the most polarizing set in the hobby, as you either absolutely love it, or you are like me and would rather eat box of ninja stars than buy any of it. Some collectors love the way the cards look, with die cut phrases and lots of swatches, while others would like to bash these people in the face with a shovel. Thats just the way Triple Threads is, and that is why it is still around, basically unchanged, all these years later.
This year’s offering is just like it is every other year. Stupid and tongue in cheek sayings die cut into the card, sticker autos, and 1 “good” auto per box. Topps has added content over the last two years with extra autos or jerseys per pack, but they RARELY sell for anything. In the meantime, the cards have gotten much worse looking, and its become more and more likely that this set will not add anything special to the calendar space it occupies. It used to be that there werent many triple relic autos, but that has changed drastically. So drastically, that these cards have become one of the lower rungs on the high end totem pole.
Bottom line, it isnt that novel of an idea anymore, and yet every year its EXACTLY the same as the year prior.
The one thing that has changed is the layout of the rookie cards, which have switched to an L shape in the way the swatches are placed on the card. You would think that any adjustment to the design would be cool, but once you see the way this turned out, you will understand why my eyes are burning with the fury of 1000 suns. I get that this set is based on threes, but honestly, this could not be more hideous.
Here is how I think we would be better off:
Its also pretty obvious that the sayings are getting more and more ridiculous with each set that comes out, as if we needed another card of Peyton Manning with ANOTHER weird saying about him carved into the face of the design. I just fail to see a reason for trotting out more of these every year.
I used to think that Triple Threads was a perfect example of the mentality that collectors value the QUANTITY of swatches on a card rather than the QUALITY of the design of a card. That one could not exist without damaging the other. I think this is still fundamentally true, but now its more Topps scoffing at the haters by seeing how far they can take this idea without people throwing up their hands in confusion. I will never understand collectors that love ugly cards with crazy patches on them. I just cant bring myself to like ugly cards or cards without a focus on the reasons we collect. However, people will fight for their right to have triple threads show up on shelves every year, and every year I pray it will be the last.
Maybe, one of these years, we can finally see what will happen when Topps decides to change it up and go with a fresh look for this set. That will TRULY be the day.