Wait Wait Wait. Topps Prime Actually Looks Good?

The golden rule of Topps is that you don’t buy their products that cost more than 100 bucks a box. That’s bottom line, and I RARELY break that rule. The new Topps Prime cards fall just within reason, and to tell you all the truth, they don’t look that horrible. It looks like Topps may have finally pulled their designer’s heads out of their asses when creating new products, and this could be something that does for them what Topps Platinum TRIED to do last year.

First off, the Booklet cards are back, and so far they are in just about every Topps product this year. I hate booklet cards, especially the ones from Triple Threads, and these actually look like what Triple Threads should be trying to do. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these booklet cards actually look okay. Big player pictures, no ridiculous die cut windows, just simple layout with the right components. The one problem is that these cards STILL feature stickers that are built into the design, and to that I call attention to what the cards would look like if Topps actually got off their asses and got them hard signed. Hell, even if these were just clear stickers on that blue background, the cards would be THAT much better. I really like that these cards seem to feature many different parts of the player’s uniform, though the event used football swatches are still lame as all fuck.

Secondly, the base card design makes me revel in its simplicity. I freaking love it. Hopefully all the cards look like this, and they don’t fuck it up with all sorts of riff raff that Topps usually utilizes. Im guessing the rookie autos will just be off shoots of these cards, which makes me happy, but they easily could turn out like the abomniations from 2008 Stadium Club. Hopefully they do these like Topps Chrome and not like anything else. HEAR ME TOPPS? Don’t screw this one up.

Lastly, the relic cards remind me of an old school movie reel, and I don’t really like the way they look. That will be a minimal part of this set, so im not really that concerned.

Overall, this looks pretty good, I am actually beyond surprised that it turned out like this. When I originally heard they were trying to pull this off a few months ago, all I could think about was “Uh oh, here comes Topps (not) Unique version 2.0.”

My Thoughts On The Ultimate Patches

There have been a lot of swirling rumors about the recent jumbo patches in Ultimate Collection, mainly stemming from the patches actual use in games. Many of the questions have come from people with a background in game used jerseys of older baseball players, and those people are bringing up some very valid points as to where the patches are coming from.

After the solidifcation of the rumors surrounding the counterfeit yu-gi-oh cards, people are quick to jump to conclusions on the recent release, especially when conspiracy is brought up. The general feeling is in relation to the fact that creating counterfeit gaming cards is not far off from creating counterfeit patches in baseball cards. Despite the fact that Upper Deck did admit to creating fakes, I doubt they would risk fake patches with all the ways it could come back to bite them. There are just too many experts out there, and way too many avenues of creating a problem if they were discovered. Does that mean it isnt possible? No, but it definitely makes it a little more than improbable that this is the truth behind the curtain.

Obviously, the top draws in the set are players like Ted Williams and Roberto Clemente, and the problem stems from the makeup of the patches. According to these people, its mostly the way the swatches in Ultimate compare to game used jerseys that people know to be game used. What the “experts” are saying is that these jerseys were not from the timeframe specified because of the way they are stitched, as well as the material of the jersey. Their prediction is that the jerseys are from old timer games and from situations like that, to which many people are echoing their sentiments. Personally, after reading a lot about this subject, I have to agree with the people who know their stuff. However, I don’t think that it completely damns UD into a new realm of deception. That’s where I differ on this.

The reason I have this belief comes from two specific products that are NEVER blasted despite obvious correlations. The first is Topps Triple Threads, and the second is Topps Sterling. Both are heralded products among the legally blind portion of our hobby, despite the fact that its obvious that the same type of swatches are used, with language on the card that is even more vague than UD’s. Im sure you all have seen the stark white swatches on many of the cards from those sets over the years, but no one seemed to care about it. I guess when you arent screwing the pooch every other week, people overlook things.

In fact, the language on the back of a Triple Threads cards reads that the swatches are not from any specific game or season, while the Upper Deck says that they are used “in a game.” From these statements, its easy to see that the companies are leaving the door open for jerseys used outside a regular season MLB game. Although I don’t support or buy cards like that, others have never had a problem buying both Triple Threads or Sterling despite this terribly worded statement on the back.

To that, I say, if you have a problem with player worn versus game worn, don’t buy the Williams or Clemente cards. If you don’t, go right ahead. For the other players, im sure the cards are real, yet if you don’t feel comfortable buying them, that’s up to you. This is the joy of competition, and I am sad that exclusivity has gotten to this point in the hobby.