Ever since the release of 2012 Topps Platinum, there have been two camps of people and their feelings on the set. The first are the wax breakers who have complained non-stop about seeding of big hits in the product, and the overwhelming odds of pulling something worthwhile in a box or case. The second are people like me, the singles buyers or casual collectors who have put aside the odds to see a nicely conceived and executed design, as well as some really cool cards that were similarly successful last year.
Die Cut Gold Refractor Autos
The on card element to Topps Platinum is quite robust, which is a great victory for Topps in a product like this. Panini momentum was released with a higher price tag at the same time, and has no on card content (big shock, I know). To see that there are 2 on card autographs per box, some of which have die cutting that actually adds to the look of the card instead of takes away like it does in Elite, is really a nice touch. Although there are a lot of “00″ jerseys due to NFL licensing issues, I still think these are a huge part of why Platinum is successful.
Red 1/1 NFL Shield Autos
When it comes to the big hits, Platinum has Superfractors aplenty. However, for the second year in a row, Topps is offering the first shields of the season in this set. Although they all look to be redemptions, one can hope that they turn out as well as they did last year. Im guessing the redemption is because of the fact that when the Rookie Premiere was going on, the new Nike license made it difficult to get the right jerseys for the players to wear. Panini touted the shields in Momentum, but those were likely worn at events other than the premiere. As a result, we are left waiting for the 1/1 red autographs, which I think is okay. For once its not an auto that is holding up the process in most cases, and the end result will be well worth the wait.
Superfractors, Superfractors and more Superfractors
Even with the shield cards mentioned above, these cards are not the big hits of the product. The big hits are the plethora of 1/1 Superfractors that are all over this product similar to Finest. Some of the bigger Supers have already been posted, but there are more to still get. My biggest gripe is that the patch content on these cards is not special, which is a downer. I was hoping the chest team logo would make its way into these cards, but that doesnt seem to be what happened. There are also base auto superfractors too, which seem to be the ones people are chasing.
Veteran Patch Autos
Oddly enough, my favorite cards in Platinum are not the rookies, but instead the patch auto cards from the non-rookies. I really like the design and the ability to get the refractor parallels for guys outside of the 2012 class, and I think these are the way to do it. I already picked up the Christian Ponder one, and I like these enough to possibly chase down some of the others. There needs to be more of a focus on non-rookie content, and these are a drop in the bucket of what is needed. Too much of the rookie class is difficult to stomach if there is no added content for established guys.
Jumbo Mega Patch Rookie Autos
Technically, the box hits are jumbo patch autos, but there is another parallel that has an even BIGGER patch for the rookies. They are numbered to 5 and are vertically oriented, something I cannot stand. However, unlike last year where the pictures were the size of a penny, this year, Topps redid the whole design. It looks SO much better, and for the first time, a vertical jumbo patch actually looks pretty nice.
Until Strata and Chrome hit shelves later this year, Finest and Platinum are the products we will be working with. There are ZERO worthy Panini products to bridge that time, and that is an issue for sure. Lets just hope these types of releases and the rarity of the good cards can help sustain value longer than normal. Otherwise, its going to be a long couple of months.