Looks like the first few cards from 2013 Topps Strata retail have started to surface, which has been a bit earlier than I expected. Although Strata hobby wont start showing up until tuesday night, the retail cards are looking much improved over last year. Although 2012 Strata's box hits were some of the best of the year, it was clear that the boxes lacked other content to keep the packs interesting. Looks like the cards’ design has definitely gotten better.
Here is what is up so far:
2013 Topps Strata Eddie Lacy Auto RC – MUUUUUCH better than last year’s base autos.
2013 Topps Strata Knile Davis / Tyler Wilson Dual Auto RC – These look awesome.
2013 Topps Strata Rex Burkhead Die Cut Auto /5 – Also better than last year.
Im disappointed that Topps didnt include game shots yet on the sticker autos, which is entirely possible at this point in the year. We have already seen Panini use game photos for their sticker cards in Absolute and Limited, and to see that Topps hasnt quite gotten all the way there with some of these cards is too bad. Maybe as we see more of the set, the photos will be different.
Overall, as mentioned before, Strata should look great as expected. What is unusual, the boxes are selling at dealer cost before release, which doesnt look good for the prospects of doing well with the wax. Last year’s product was incredibly hit or miss, and I think that there are a lot of people out there who are playing the wait and see game until the breaks surface.
This is the type of product I would buy over just about any other box that has been released. At 60 bucks, you are going to end up with an on card auto patch that looks incredible, and a shot at some of the best looking rookie cards of the year in the Strata Shadowboxes. Although this wont be like last year where you can hit an 800 dollar card, at the current price, its worth a break.