I will always support any product with the Five Star name on it, as long as the general concept of the product remains true to the roots. On card autos, regal design with simple approaches, and lots of cool content. This year’s Five Star baseball is the second generation after last year’s debut, and I think there is some huge improvements that have been made across the board.
Here are some of the cards posted early:
2013 Topps Five Star Deion Sanders Silver Signatures Auto – He doesnt get many baseball autos, so this is cool.
In football, Five Star is one of my favorite products of the year, consistently delivering some amazing looking stuff every single time it comes out. In baseball, the on card autos of non-rookie players are much more prevalent, so that isnt as novel a concept. However, Topps does a great job making this a product worth chasing, as just about every card is a player collector’s dream.
I really like the borderless approach, as last year there was some major chipping issues that plagued the product. This year’s cards maintain the high end look to them, while not forcing a condition sensitive format into the hands of the players. Obviously, players just want to sign their cards as quickly as possible, and that can lead to some handling the cards a bit rough. Additionally, the stock that was used has been changed according to the reps who attended the national convention, and there doesnt look to be any further issues.
If I collected baseball the way I collect football, I would look forward to this every year. Booklet cards, multi signature cards of hall of famers, patch autos that really take advantage of space the players can sign, its all awesome. Adding in mystery redemptions for full sized memorabilia is also a cool idea, even though Baseball collectors havent embraced this in the past the way it would be in other sports.
The main complaint is that the content doesnt always reflect the price of the box, to which I agree. There were dud boxes last year, and there will be this year too. High end products have always been prone to content vs price tag issues, and it has just been part of the game.
Bottom line, I want to reinforce this product as much as possible across every sport. Sets that feature 100% on card autos with a beautiful design should be louded and never ignored – as to showcase to the company that they need to continue to be made. It sounds insane that this needs to happen each time, but it does. We see consistent reason to believe that companies only believe in on card autographs when its convenient, and use stickers as a crutch. When products come out that are done the right way, we need to make sure to speak with our wallets.