I think of all the companies, Topps has made the most strides overall in improving their high end products of all the companies. All that being said, Triple Threads is still ridiculously horrible. For one of the longest running programs of the super hit era, Triple Threads is as bad today as it was back in 2006. That is hard to do. To think that this set has changed so little from the original terrible idea, makes me cringe. Its weird, because Topps is usually very good at adjusting plans as things fail to live up.
Here are some of the cards from this year:
2013 Triple Threads Chris Davis Auto Triple Relic – I think this is the first auto card of his from this year
Here is the crazy thing – people fucking love Triple Threads. They love it in ways that should be reserved for products that are actually worth buying. Not only is that frustrating, as it has reinforced its existence with Topps brass, but it creates issues in executing changes that could actually make it worthwhile. Topps doesnt want to dump this product, because its popular, but they also seem to think its not worth changing the fundamental aspects of the set in a way that would foster a fresh take. That just sucks, and is very unlike them over the last few years.
The main hits of Triple Threads are still there – oddly selected die cut phrases cut into the card, and mostly sticker autographs on a product that costs 175 bucks a pop. Not saying they havent made an effort to get some of the cards hard signed, but it could be done better to reflect the cost of the box. Considering that we are starting to see some shift on the football side to reflect collector tastes, im disappointed they havent taken more effect on the baseball side. This is just embarrassing.
The new cards this year are these jumbo relic autos, which are basically the normal Triple Threads cards but with no die cut words. I still havent quite come to terms with my feelings on these cards, even though I will admit that there is promise in the way they look. The swatch in the middle just doesnt look right, as the sticker is still positioned off to the right. I do like that the player pic is much bigger, and isnt cropped at the bust above where the swatch goes. This is a good start, but its still not the main focus of the product.
My personal philosophy is that after about 5 years into a run, you have to start making changes to keep people interested. We are now almost 10 years into the Triple Threads era, and have seen little to nothing improve or become a worthwhile concept. We should punish that mentality in a high end product, not reward it. Then again when you add over 3000 1/1s to keep people quiet, Im not sure if anything will ever be adjusted. Triple Threads has its victories sometimes, like this ridiculous Mariano Rivera patch, but they are few and far between.