Worst of the Worst 2004-2009 #3 – 2007-2009 Topps Triple Threads

Everyone knows how much I absolutely despise Triple Threads, but it only made it to number 3 on this list. That’s how bad the top two are. In my opinion, this shit house of a product is one of the longest running crap fests in the history of the hobby, stemming from 2007 through 2009. Usually, if a product is bad, they dump it before losing face on another year’s worth of bad cards. Not so with Triple Threads. This product has somehow built a following with Joe Collectors hobby wide, who have cared more about how many “relics” and stickers you can stuff onto a card than how it looks when its done. In fact, many of them consider it to be the best product ever made. How they have kidded themselves into thinking that is beyond me.

First, lets start with the format, because this is where most of the JCs even have problems with this product. For the price you would normally spend on a box of a vastly superior product, Triple Threads gives you absolutely nothing. Your first hit is a triple jersey card, most of which are from back end rookie premiere players, or oddly comboed triads of “related subjects” (I use the term related loosely). These cards are usually one color swatches of material “not from any specific game or season.” These cards can sell for less than the cost of some of the base parallels, and rarely get you back any of the cost of the 100 dollar MSRP pack. Your second hit is an auto, which over 75 percent of the time will be a crap rookie. This means “getting Simpson’ed” runs rampant in this product, more than any other product of this cost bracket. Just for comparison, here are some other products and their cost, and how they relate to this product:

Topps Triple Threads 170 dollars, 1 auto, mid range resale value

SP Authentic – 120 dollars, 3 autos, high resale value
Leaf Limited – 80 dollars 1-3 autos, mid range resale value
Ultimate Collection – 80 dollars, 1 auto, mid range resale value
Leaf Certified Material – 80 dollars, 1-2 autos, mid range resale value
Topps Chrome – 50 dollars 1-2 autos, mid to low range resale value

When you look at it that way, things get crazy. Topps Chrome uses better designs, the same stickers, and people love it, yet the box costs less than half of what a Triple Threads box costs. The format of this product is ridiculous and justifies a spot on this list, but wait! There’s more!

The design of this product is one of the worst in the industry, year to year. Since 2007, the cards have changed so little that some people cant tell the difference between an older card and a newer one. The layout that Topps’ design team chooses is always a combination of neon colored rainbow foil, huge swatch windows diecut with odd words and phrases, tiny player pictures, and foil auto stickers that are recessed into the actual design of the card. Yes, despite being a high end product, Topps still wants us to look directly at the gaudy foil sticker.

I havent even started with the fold out cards, which have proven to be the worst part of this worst of the worst set. Because Topps couldn’t find enough room on one card for their junk, they needed find a way to STUFF more crap onto an extra card that is connected to the first one. Actually, there are now TRI-fold cards in this years product because two werent sufficient. Wow. Don’t even ask about some of the weird ass phrases they try to confusingly spell out with die cut windows. More space = more confusion for these.

Then we have parallels. So many parallels that I cant even name them all off. They all have their own neon foilboard color, and some even spell out more stupid shit. Each card has at least 10 parallel versions, 4 printing plates, a 1/1, and as many prime versions. Each player can have up to 4 different designs for the set, and when the top level is as high as /199, things can get fucking crazy.

If this was a contest for worst product of the year, Triple Threads would be at the top year after year. Its just the worst product ever conceived for a long run in the industry. Sadly enough JCs buy and melt for this product that it should continue in Baseball, but luckily for us, football is done after this year. Maybe Topps will put out one last set just to fuck with me. Funny enough, this set spawned the golden rule of Topps. This is what started it all.

I actually wish I had the intellectual fortitude to continue writing about this product, but it is so bad that I am choking down the remains of my breakfast from two hours ago. I can only imagine what I will have to go through for the set up next.

Topps Continues To Suck Horribly At High End

I cannot believe I am seeing people bust boxes of Topps Tribute. It could be one of the most yawn worthy products I have seen since the last time it came out. Yes, I know, people love the original because it was one of the first products to really go after the market for older player swatch and signature cards. As of now, in todays market, this concept has been done to fucking death, and there is no longer a reason to even think about crap like this at over 200 a box.

Here is a break of 14 boxes of this poop. 14 boxes! For that price you might as well buy something that actually delivers more than just the same cards over and over again. Look at his hits, you either get 1, 2, or 3 swatches of one color material, or if you are lucky, AN AUTO! Wow. Im sold. Buy me 15 boxes.
Yes, this product has Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Babe Ruth, but who fucking cares when the cards make Triple Threads look subtle? I mean, having bright fucking rainbow foilboard is one thing, but this is ridiculous!
Then you factor in that this is still chock full of sticker autos and meaningless and needless swatches, and it makes you wonder who green lighted this turd of a product? It costs more than a half case of Topps or Bowman Chrome for one god damn box! I am completely shocked. Hell, you could pay 45 a pack and come away with a Josh Hamilton bat relic. That, and I am not even sure that these old timer jerseys are actually game used. Remember when there was that shortage of Mickey Mantle swatches? Well, he’s back in Tribute, and you know what that means. Probably some exhibition game, post-retirement, with nothing but a few jogs down the base paths.
I am dead serious, if this is what Topps is going to use its exlusive license for, I will be waiting to see what the other companies can come up with. I sincerely hope that a full season of Triple Shits and Tribute is not what is in store.
*Looks at Calendar and sees Topps Sterling is coming soon*
Fuck. Me.
This post is brought to you by the Golden Rule of Topps, where if its over 100 bucks a box, dont buy it.

My Card Collecting Love Affair Is Over

Its been a long and convoluted love affair between Chrome and I, lasting over a decade. Since 1998, I have always chased the Chrome cards of my favorite players, even when I stopped collecting cards. Based on emails I have received from many of the other people in this hobby, they feel the same way. The parts of Chrome I always loved the most were the refractors, as the chromium technology made rainbow foil look like wrapping paper on other products. These cards were everything they were hyped up to be, and I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the refractor is quite possible the best tech feature in the modern card.

In fact, chrome rookies and refractors are possibly the only non-numbered card to still hold value in this hobby. It is very rare that a non-auto, non-numbered card has any value what-so-ever, but the refractor has bucked this trend since its inception in 1993 finest baseball. This also means that the low numbered colored refractors are worth even more, and the Red refractors from both Topps and Bowman chrome have been known to crack 100 bucks without an auto. Think about it, look at all the other low numbered parallels that are present in just about every set. Will any of them frequently draw big bucks without a jersey, patch, or auto? Rarely if any will have that power.

Of course, 2009 is the final year for Chrome in football, and I am very sad to see it go. I will always have a special spot in my heart if it comes back, but for now, this is the end. Although I havent ever had much success with pulls out of either product, I think the singles are always going to be part of my collection. I was lucky enough to pull a coveted red refractor auto last week, and I was happy to finally have the feeling of pulling something like that. However, knowing that those kind of singles will not be available for the forseeable future makes me pretty angry that Topps is out of football. I am very glad to see the end of Triple Threads and Sterling (both kinds), yet I cant help but think that I would be willing to put up with those fluffy turds if I could have another shot at some chrome cards of the 2010 rookie class.

Lastly, its rare that I love a product like chrome through most of its run, and I credit the way that Topps approached the product each year. Instead of rehashing designs or lazily working with new concepts, there was a new fresh look every year. The refractors stayed the same, but I always looked forward to seeing the new design that was coming. Most of the time, they did very well with both Topps and Bowman chrome, and no matter what, those refractors always held their own. Collectors still chase the original Finest set because of the refractors, and I think I may start to join them without a new product each year. After all, my love didn’t come from staying with tradition, it came from appreciation. I never collected Chrome because I needed to be the person who had them all, I collected Chrome because I wanted to.

More 2009 Triple Threads Cards Are Live, Worse Than Expected – UPDATED

Looks like the Triple Threads visual abortion that is the 24 piece relic is back, and worse than ever. Aside from being one of the worst concepts since the sticker auto on a letter patch, this card looks WORSE than it did last year. Just when you think the impossible couldnt happen, it comes up and slaps you right in the knob.
No player picture? Check.
Confusingly spelled out diecut windows? Check.
Overly excessive “game-used” relics STUFFED into the card? Check.
Fugly design and fold out orientation? Check.
Is a Joe Collector salivating over this card? Check.
Wow, thats five for five. Unbelievable.
Here is last year’s diarrhea for reference.
EDIT: Here is one more card that I am just mortified by. Why in god’s name would anyone want a card that spells out “PRIME” in diecut windows? At least last year, the cards had “RC” with prime diecut in the shield part of the cut out. It was still horrible, but this takes it to a whole new level.
Secondly, which would you rather have: The card above (foil board, die cut prime patch window, sticker auto, millions of parallels), or the card below (foil board, die cut prime patch window, sticker auto, millions of parallels)? Both feature almost identical elements, but in this case, I actually think Panini did well with what they had. At least the focal point isnt some big die cut “I.” The bottom card also features a full player picture and the concept fits with the rest of the card’s content. Just shows how important design is with a card.

2009 Triple Threads Is Live, Horrid, Ugly, and Whatever Other Adjective You Can Think Of

Everyone who is a regular reader of this site knows of my personal hatred for the worst set ever conceived/produced on a regular basis. Triple Threads is a crime against collecting, and no surprise, the fucking Joe Collectors love it to death. I guess if you love paying 170 dollars for stickers autos built into the design, ugly concepts, and needless diecut relics shoehorned onto a packed card, this product is for you. Now leave my site forever, as your “kind” isnt welcome here.

The first cards of the year showed up today, rainbow neon colored foilboard and all. I didnt think they could get any worse than last year, but just like Topps always does, they found a way. Who could pass up quarter sized pics of the players with a medival theme? I mean, this stuff is ROZDUCULOS, right?

People who buy this need their heads examined.