Lots of products are live this week, including a main event from Topps.
I have never liked anything having to do with Triple Threads. You might call it my arch enemy, because I work to thwart its release at every turn. For whatever reason, collectors either love it or hate it, and when it comes to my feelings, I HATE it.
Here are the cards up so far:
My biggest gripes have to do with the layout of the cards, especially in the goofy shit that Topps always spells out to cover the swatches in the cards. Lack of on card autograph content, combined with a horrible pack format for the price always makes me cringe.
Although there are some significant improvements this year, I still think that Triple Threads and I are going to remain at odds. Most of the improvements are derived from the fact that the football product is trying to distance itself from the baseball product. More advanced techniques in presenting the tri-swatch layout, more risks in delivering new subsets, and of course, less focus on those stupid phrases die cut into the face of the card. Dont get me wrong, they are still present, just not as much.
I really like the new base rookie card, which might have been one of the ugliest of the year in 2012. This year’s has a relative steampunk sort of approach, and it doesnt look anything like the Triple Threads of the past. Maybe that is one of the reasons I like it.
Secondly, the transparency autographs are absolutely awesome, as they are relatively taking a page out of Strata and creating somewhat of a similar approach. I think that there are some legs to this design and I hope to see more.
Last year we got our first taste of booklets that use an NFL football skin as the card stock. As much as I hated triple threads, even I couldnt balk at this amazing idea. It had been done before in the early 1990s, but this is another level. Its back again with 2013, and I could not be more excited about it. The cards look awesome.
The one part of this year’s set that is a complete downgrade and then some is the unity autographs. Topps has taken the big white box to another level, adding foil embellishments that make the card completely off balanced. Adding in a swatch in a weird position above the sticker makes these cards further confusing, as so much of the surface area is obscured by these elements.
Is Triple Threads making enough of a change to stay fresh in a market like this? Potentially. However, as long as collectors continue to demand these products by the ass ton, there is no incentive to change them. That is the unfortunate truth.