We got two big previews today from Topps, including a product most of us thought was dead for good.
The first is 2014 Topps Triple Threads, which is back for ANOTHER year. Its a controversial product, only because of the way people either love it or hate it. Everyone knows how I feel about Triple Threads, and you should be surprised how much I liked some of the elements from last year’s set. I think the brand has come so much further than baseball over the years, and this year’s product looks like an evolution of last year’s concept.
Here is what I mean by a vastly improved concept. Look at this 2012 disaster:
Then check out this complete revitalization for 2013:
Sure, 2013 had these which were, for lack of a better term, horrendous. The rest of the set wasnt bad:
As for 2014 Valor, I was really impressed with the concept and launch campaign back in 2012, but like most collectors, was turned off by price and content. The product is back at a different time in the year with a new configuration, and like 2012 looks really nice in theme and design.
Here is what Valor looked like in 2012:
2014 Triple Threads
For the second year in a row, the basic triple relic RC autograph looks VERY nice, and well conceived in the layout of the card. It can be very tough to squeeze 3 relics and a sticker on a card, and this works well. I have no idea why Triple Threads continues to be stickers at this price point, though. Completely stupid in that respect.
I have been a fan of the hand stamp autographs since 2012 as well, and this year may be one of the better designs they have done. These oversized cards are done at the premiere where the rookie actually puts his hand in ink and applies it to the card, which I think is quite the unique concept. Last year’s versions were tough because of design elements not highlighting the sigs as much, but that looks to be a one year issue with this design.
Here are some of them from the past:
The main issue I have with Triple Threads is the stupid words die cut into the cards, and how dumb some of them have been, however with last year’s set, most were pretty tame, and it looks to have continued into this year too. I am NOT a fan of these cards and never have been, and I just wish we could give up on it and move where the rest of the product is going.
Lastly, the transparency cards are back, much to my delight, as I absolutely loved these cards in 2013. Although I dont like the design as much, these cards still look pretty cool, as long as that stripe changes to team colors in the final design.
2014 Valor Football
So, price and configuration change, combined with a release date early in the year around beginning of October will all help this product. The main issue with 2012 was that it was released at the end of the year when all the high end products were already on their way, and a configuration where the box hit did not guarantee a relic auto, sealed its fate.
The relic autos just happened to be the nicest cards in the set:
Now, the layout has been updated to contain packs with a pelic auto per box, thus ending a lot of the issues from the first go around. Although I am sad that this set is no longer on card, it is going to perform a LOT better at this point in the year.