I love acetate cards, especially ones with hard signed autographs. Im not sure why I like them as much as I do, but using acetate in a card set usually gets my attention unless it looks like crap. My favorite use of acetate in football so far is Topps Strata without a doubt. 2014 Elite is the most recent in a long line of products to use acetate, and I think they have done a pretty nice job. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights.
Inscriptions Rookie Autos
Over the last three years, these cards have gone from awesome to shitty to pretty nice. I have come to the determination that if these cards are nice, I am that much more likely to buy Elite, especially if the rookie class is worth checking out. This year’s acetate cards come in three flavors, with some being better than others. I like the horizontal ones the best, but the vertical ones arent too bad. Nothing like the turds we were forced to endure last year. Photoshop work has improved as well, which helps.
Not only is the design on these really cool, but to make them plexiglass is a really awesome idea. It adds much more collectability to these cards, as I dont think there has been a licensed plexiglass style card in a while. These are falling one per box, and it is VERY easy to see which pack has the Clarity card in it. Not only are they easy to feel, but the cards are heavy as hell. They come wrapped in team bags, so you know which packs have them. Great cards though, and I dont know why they didnt opt for this to be the main auto subset for all vets. I know it would cost some money to make that happen, but lest we not forget what Panini is made of.
Elite Acetate Rookie Cards (With Vets)
When I pulled one out of my boxes this year, I was really surprised as to how cool they are. They are basically the same rookie card with acetate stock instead of the tired foil stock from all the other cards. Although they are numbered with really weird structuring, they can be very collectible for a base style rookie. Really unfortunate they couldnt have found a way to get an autograph parallel. Money money money money money, I guess.
These cards are in general replacing what I would guess are the Hard Hat cards from 2012 and 2013. Its unfortunate, because the hard hat cards are usually pretty cool. Last year they were able to get hard hats card printed with premeiere pics, and to switch them out with these is a huge disappointment. Not only is the design relatively dumb, but its completely uninteresting as well. None of the rookies at the premiere have autos in this set, and that is a big mistake.
As far as I can tell, this is the only single auto subset for veteran autographs in Elite. In 2012 and prior, many vets had base autograph parallels, but that was stopped in 2013. Elite marks has a pretty lackluster checklist, but the cards arent all that bad. I think the acetate does them a big favor, because if these were printed on regular stock, they would be so boring I would fall asleep looking at them.
Overall, not a bad showing for acetate cards in Elite this year, but Im still eager to see some of the surprises that are bound to show up as more of the product is opened next week in Cleveland.