This Will Make You VERY Happy or VERY Sad

I was just going over the checklist for 2009 Exquisite, and I came across a few tidbits that people should think about going into this product. First, there are no Brett Favre autographs in this product from what I can tell. I searched every one of the auto subsets and Favre did not make an appearance. However, he does have a number of other cards, including a Rare Materials card.

Secondly, the tier 1 checklist for the RPAs is either going to make people very happy or very sad. For the singles buyers, it just got that much easier to buy Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin and Hakeem Nicks’ RPAs, they are all tier 2 and should be numbered to 225. However, Darrius Heyward-Bey is a tier 1, which means you might just kill your case chances right there. That also means there are much less of them, so that may also be a good thing.
Speaking of the popular rare materials cards, this year’s checklist looks much stronger than last year’s, so that is good, but it looks like there still is no auto on these cards a la 2007’s awesome 1-of-1’s. There still may be 1/1 logo cards as we had last year, but I wasnt able to tell from the preliminary checklists.
Interesting stuff so far, ill let you know if I find out anything else.

I Miss Cards Like This…

I have mentioned a few times that innovation is the one thing that has fallen by the wayside as the industry has plowed forward. These cards from 2005 Exquisite were only produced once and I think are some of the coolest ideas for a card in a long, long time. They feature signed, game used pieces of shoulder pads and helmets, and they are VERY rare. The idea of using signed equipment had never been done before and has yet to be repeated, much to my dismay. The checklist was also pretty good to boot, but the concept was the best of all. The problem was that these were some of the most difficult and expensive cards to produce in the history of the modern era, which left this idea on the cutting room floor for 2006.

A notice to Topps and Panini: these cards feature HUGE windows for the signature equipment, yet still have enough room for a full size player picture and a nice and simple design. If only these would start coming back, I would be first in line.

Why 2006 Exquisite Baseball Makes Me Excited For 2010 Exquisite

Back in 2006, there was about as much demand for a high end baseball product as there is now for another version of Topps Moments and Milestones. So, instead of producing a standalone product to meet the small demand of a hobby geared more towards traditional collecting, UD produced the now infamous 2006 redemptions for the Exquisite baseball set inventory in their products for the year.

I absolutely loved 2006 Exquisite Baseball, if not only because I completely avoided the unredeemed redemptions until I saw the actual cards. I know there were as many people who were pissed about the cards they got, but for those of us who stuck to buying singles, it was a fucking blast. Still, to this day, the cards I purchased from the set are still my favorite baseball cards in my collection. They may have been stickers (the norm at the time), but the cards looked better than anything else on the market.
To this day, I still have a bunch of the Twins cards that were part of the set, my favorite being the two Mauer patch autos that I obtained when the product was released. At the time, I spent more money than I had ever spent on a card to get both, and since that date, they have not left my shelf. I still am pretty much in the school that believes the cards are some of the best looking cards of the decade, especially the ones based on the iconic 2006 Exquisite football set. Dont get me wrong, there were a lot of drawbacks to doing it the way it was done, but the results are sure impressive by 2006’s standards.
Today, looking back on these cards, I am definitely glad to see them take another shot at Exquisite, this time with on card sigs and live cards in the packs. Chris Carlin said that card previews should be coming later this year, and I cannot fucking wait to see what they have in store. So far, it looks like they are going to be sticking with the formula they had for 2006, a good mix of vets, HOFers, and rookies, as well as cuts and stuff. Considering that all of the cards will be available right away, this could get ridiculous very quickly. If you see the Jumbo patch cards from the first set, as well as some of the retired player relic cards, they have a lot to live up to even with the bottom part of this set. Then, since they are also going to have to fill the shoes of the autograph cards of last time, UD better be aiming to please.
The only hope I have is that they dont overload this with dual rookie autos and other crap, which poisoned a lot of people’s view of the last set. Then, when the random redemptions started to be assigned, and people waited months for a dual Brian Bannister auto with some other junk rookie, those opinions headed further south. However, after reading the press release and getting some preliminary explanations from UD, this seems like they have addressed all of the problems that plagued them the first time around.
Its been made pretty obvious here that I live for High End autos, and Exquisite is the granddaddy of them all. After constant disappointment from Triple Threads and Sterling, I hope this ends up more in the direction of a better looking, on card auto version of Prime Cuts, rather than a rehashed stale product that has no legs or inspiration. It cannot be all action and no substance. It has to be what we have come to expect of the Exquisite brand, complete and utter awesomeness. If it cant play ball, its going to be a VERY long year for UD baseball.

Exquisite Basketball Takes a Final Bow

UD released pics of 09-10 Exquisite Basketball today, right on the heels of 08-09 Exquisite Basketball taking the net by storm. This will be coming out next week on 9/30 (?!?) and looks like this is a wonderful end to a set that redefined the hobby. Back in 2004 when Exquisite was first released, it was quickly elevated to legendary status with the stratospheric prices of the shortprinted Melo, Lebron and Dwade rookie auto patches.

Although the design is EXACTLY the same as the 03-04 set, it will feature cards that Basketball has never had before. This includes throwback Rookie Auto Patches of people like Jordan, Tiger and John Elway, as well as people like Sidney Crosby, all in the old design. It also features some ridiculous duals, including a Tiger/Bron dual auto, and a Tiger/Jordan dual auto patch. Can you imagine how much these will be worth? Its absurd to even fathom.
It will also feature the non-exclusive 09-10 rookies, as well as the usual suspects, so you can assume that Limited Logos and all the faves will be back. Its also going to have a logoman set as well as a few cards that are new(er) looking, so it wont all be 03-04.
Im still not sold on the use of an old design with no changes to it, but 03-04 is such an iconic set, its almost like the first High End retro product. Its probably going to have a normal MSRP, so its going to be tough to afford for those of you who dont normally buy it, but I think the possibilities are endless. The only issue I see is that the promotional materials are advertising that there are at least 2 autos per box, which means that for 600+ you may only end up with two autos. That sucks. That sucks major fucking balls. Im sure most of the boxes will contain much more than that, but the prospects of a two auto box with one being a rookie is awful. We will have to wait on the first breaks to see.
Well, Exquisite Basketball, it was nice knowing you. Thanks for the memories.