For my loyal readers, you all are familiar with how much I love inscriptions, as I feel it adds a level of unique appeal to an autograph that has long become commonplace in this hobby. Because inscriptions are still few and far between in products, they are still special to a lot of collectors out there. As we are seeing in 2013 Inception, there is very high demand for these autos, especially because there are only 11 per player to go around.
Here are some of the best:
When Inception was first conceived, Im sure the idea of having hard signed artistically designed cards created before the season starts was novel in itself. So novel that Panini jumped on board for 2012 about as fast as could be done. Having the players as a captive audience for autographs led to a lot of great content ideas that I feel has changed pre-premiere autographs for the better.
Before Inception in 2011, the idea of retouching college photos to build a program for signatures at the rookie premiere, wasnt done the same way. Topps has been doing the rookie premiere autographs for a decade, but the cards are worked completely AT the event. Photos are taken the first day, cards are printed overnight, and then signed during the field sessions on Saturday. Its pretty impressive to say the least. However, Inception is done differently, because the cards are completely finished (minus the autos) prior to the premiere. The players all sign them during the weekend, and they eventually end up in boxes months later.
The Inception inscription cards are natural because the players can easily take the extra time during the weekend signing blitz. Because this time is there for the taking, why not take advantage of it? I had frequently begged Topps to consider adding cards like this to a product with as many hard signed autos as Inception has, and I doubt I am the only one with that idea. Now that we see the finished product, I am very happy it turned out as well as it did. Not only that, but that collectors are adding so much extra value on top of the normal autos to boot.
Im hoping that we see more added content like these cards this year, as we are seeing that there is a lot of trepidation surrounding the 2013 class until they hit the field in September. Without finding unique ways to make the cards better, the market for each product will continue to sag. Topps has done a very good job in building momentum with its first two releases of the year, as both Bowman and Inception have been on the rise over initial cost. The question remains, are there enough ideas in the hopper to overcome the inertia that we all fear with these sets? So far, so good.