Yesterday, we got a brief look at some completed Exquisite cards for the upcoming release of the 2012 set. Like last year, this year’s product is being released well into then next year, but it will still hold tremendous water just because of the name on the box. Exquisite has built a lasting legacy, even despite the use of NCAA logos instead of NFL.
Last year’s set was the best it has been since the loss of the NFL license in 2010. It had a compact but impactful checklist that included many of the biggest names in football, as well as all the normal rookies.
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My biggest complaint with Exquisite is that the rookie patch cards arent really patch cards. From what it looks like, UD chose to use the cheapest form of jerseys to cut up, and it led to limited ACTUAL patches in the product. Most were just screen printed, similar to what Panini used for some in National Treasures. I have complaints because there is no reason to believe that either company couldnt spend the extra money to track down more accurate jerseys. Are the college patch jerseys readily available in a cheap fashion? No, they arent. Are they available for an elevated price? Yes. Is that a worthwhile investment? Yes. You dont want cards like this, they just dont look as high end as it could be. There were actual patches in some cards, just not many.
That type of issue was supplemented, however, as 2011 Exquisite really looked incredible. The cards were nicely composed and designed like we know and love. The Exquisite Dimensions shadowboxes were some of my favorite cards of the year. On top of this type of content, the Exquisite Black signatures turned out about as well as any silver sig card ever has. The addition of the 2012 rookies on the base was a great idea. It led to a great product.
This year, I think there will be more of what we saw in 2011, but many of the designs look drastically improved. Each of the individual subsets looks better, and for the first time, it looks like we are going to get dual player shadowboxes. Although the swatch quality is still screen printed junk, the cards do look good. I like the 2011 design better, as I think the white space extends too far up the player picture for my liking, but they arent bad.
You would also expect that by now, UD would have gone out of their way to find some game used college jerseys for their sets. I know they arent as available as pro jerseys, but its now been almost three years to build an inventory. Maybe I just have too high an expectation. I know there have been collectors that have offered up their own collection of GU stuff to use, but have been shot down. Money is always a factor.
If you want a fun High End break, Exquisite still lives up to the billing. However, without Andrew Luck, its going to be difficult for it to have the same potential. I really wish they could figure that out. Press pass is killing them. Also, Adrian Peterson and a few other top players are no longer included on the checklist, which is a bummer, considering they had gotten him in for the last few years.
Im definitely interested to see how this all turns out, should be fun to browse through eBay when it hits.