This time of year is the perfect chance for unlicensed companies like Leaf to go nuts with being first to market. With a product already out like Leaf Metal Draft, they have shown that 2014 is already looking better than a horrendous 2013. Today they released a second product in 2014 Leaf Originals, which is fashioned after some of the earliest leaf cards around. The product is all on card, and looks great, only to further capitalize on a young season so far.
My only complaint is that the set does get a bit repetitive if you open a lot, but with 5 autographs a box, there is a big chance to pull something nice. Leaf is building off their very popular Originals Wrestling product, and I was excited to see how it came through with football. I had a chance to bust a box today and was lucky enough to pull two cards out of 25 (Louis Nix and a scrub), plus a crazy nice Johnny Manziel mini auto. I was impressed by the painted style approach that matches the original set from 1948 and 1960, and it transfered even better to the mini cards you get two per box.
Leaf has also included what looks like another mystery style card, in the Hot Rookie Memorabilia Redemptions, which is already garnering a lot of speculation on what they could be. Knowing Bryan Gray, they should be big hits, and possibly another card like the Manziel from 2013.
If I am an unlicensed company, this is my time to release all the big products I have in my arsenal. Because the values drop so drastically when the NFL stuff hits, I want to make as big an impact as I possibly can. Leaf has already announced that Trinity will be back for a second year, and I am happy to see that they are continuing their commitment to hard signed cards. Originals is a great idea to bring more of that type of content to the early part of the year, and we still have more to go.