Let me start out this article by saying that I really liked 2012 National Treasures, the best in the product’s run. Even though the rookie auto patches were a complete visual disaster, the rest of the product was stellar with few exceptions. I think that because this year’s product looks to be more heavy on veteran on card content, it should improve upon a great product. After seeing this preview, im not so sure that is going to be the case.
Colossal Patch Autos
As it was last year in terms of the rookies, these cards should be the belle of the ball across both rookie and veteran. Not only should there be a significant contingent of on card autos for the vets, but the design looks to mirror the rookie design from 2012. That is a VERY good thing. Why, you might ask? On the veteran side last year, we had a pretty big snafu regarding the unnecessary use of a big white box for the stickers applied to the cards. This big white box was so bad, the decorative smoke they used to highlight the player was sliced off alongside the player’s bottom half. This year, we get a much more visually appealing approach, which I absolutely love.
The colossal veteran patch autos have been pretty bad for a few years running now:
The rookies have been relatively great:
Here are this years:
Base Jersey and Auto Parallels
This has been a place NT has struggled with since its inception. Whether its Panini refusing to change printing plates to accommodate the added parallel elements, or just poor design work, these cards have fucking sucked the entire time. Last year, that all changed, and the cards were incredible. Seeing the Peyton Manning card in this preview makes me cringe, because it is just like the days of old. Horrible design work, out of place swatches, and players crammed into a tiny space at the top of the card. It just SCREAMS Panini. Its really too bad, because I absolutely loved 2012.
Check out how great these were in 2012:
Here are some examples from this year:
I think this edition is going to depend a ton on the veteran content that is hard signed. Because the rookie class was such a superstar lacking year, I cant think of very many collectors that would shell out 500 for a box, unless they knew they were going to get something special. Last year, collectors were starving for the NT on card autos enough to overpay for single signed examples. Although the group breaker element should not be ignored, they might end up being the only people that take a head first dive into this shallow pool. Normal collectors shouldnt be willing to take the plunge, as I cant see very many boxes delivering back on even a smidgeon of the cost. Last year was unique because hitting a Luck or a Griffin meant you were going to walk away happy. Not only that, but you had a lot of other rookies to shoulder the burden of the rest of the product. This year, that element is practically non-existent and though there are some nice looking cards, the majority will be meh. Five Star will have a similar problem, in terms of box cost vs return, but we all know the design of the cards will be impeccable across the product with 100% on card.