It literally hurts that Spectra was brought back. BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY DID. Its Panini and they need 31 products to hit minimums. This one should have been canned. Not only was Spectra priced in such a ridiculous way that even with good design it would have been tough to stomach. Then you factor in what might have been the worst looking set in modern memory, and you see where my suffering begins. Neon pens on sticker autographs, horrible background patterns that made my eyes hurt, and a design that used more big boxes for the stickers than ever. WHAT A DUMPSTER FIRE.
These are just fucking horrible:
Because Panini cant ever come up with an idea on their own, Spectra was born out of their desire to copy Bowman Sterling. Prizm was Chrome, Select was Finest, and this was Sterling. Topps axed Bowman Sterling in football because it was stupid to build a set like that in a sport like football. Panini obviously missed the memo.
As if this needed to get more complicated, the product seemed to have sold well above its prospects. People seemed to have bought into the group break side of it, mainly because they could avoid the hilarious price and get easier access to the good players, but that was far less than enough to get me on board. The design was just horrendous. Panini loaded up the boxes with autographs of guys like Winston, Mariota and Gurley, which softened people’s stance on this train wreck, but I feel like it shouldnt have mattered with how poorly the set was conceived. Some collectors look back at the late 1990s with happiness, including all those overly gaudy designs, but I was never a fan. I like simple. I like clean. Spectra is the complete opposite in all the worst ways. Getting better hits doesnt matter if the cards look like shit.
This year’s spectra does look a bit better in the approach, but I have such a poor taste in my mouth from last year, im not sure I can get past it. The boxes around the stickers are gone, and the baseline design patterns do look improved. The problem is that the crazy fucking patterns and ugly neon pens are back, and that is going to ruin it. They are also likely going to continue ripping off the Topps superfractor design, and that just seems so wrong to me.
I still laugh at cards in this preview like the dual auto patch, because that is just as bad as we saw in 2015, and that Treadwell relic design is similarly terrible. Overall, Spectra had potential to be much better. It had on card autos in 2014 and 2013, and offered more reason to pay the stupid price people are being forced to stomach for what ultimately ends up as garbage. As expected, those crazy secondary market prices fell considerably when better stuff came out last year, and that will SURELY happen again in 2016. If you feel so compelled to kick yourself in the nuts, buy early on this. If you are smart, like with everything Panini is putting out this year so far, waiting is the BEST play. That isnt even a question anymore.
Sad that we have gotten to this point.