Back in 2010, when Prime was first released to a pretty strong rookie class, I was pretty disappointed with the way it turned out. The booklets were boring, the set design was uninspired and didnt offer much out of the ordinary. In 2011, Topps prime improved significantly, especially in the parts of the set that counted. The booklets looked better and the layout was more well conceived to accommodate the relics that were necessary to put on each card. In 2012, Prime is back again, and this year looks like it will be the strongest yet.
The card that excites me the most, oddly, is the base rookie autograph, which looks absolutely amazing. Much like the base cards, it uses the team color swooping lines above the nameplate that I always loved when used back in the day by UD. The cards have full bleed action shots, which compliment the design quite nicely. If I am a collector of the big rookies, these cards would be my first target.
The quad relic Tannehill also looks really good, considering how many swatches they had to fit on the card. The full player shot on a card with four separate 1 inch swatches is something that I think works very well, something that has been a struggle in years past. They even managed to get larger player pictures on the four player relic card as well, a feature that is not usually present when Topps does cards like this.
In terms of the two big hits from the preview, I have two very different reactions. The Luck book is one that I feel does a great job where some of the other examples from Topps prime of years past has failed. The understated design that plays in step with the theme of the overall set peaks my interest, and I cant wait to see what surprises will happen all the way down the parallel scale that these cards usually have. I am beyond sick of event used football swatches in cards, and I really hope these are the final cards of the year to use these lame excuse for a swatch.
On the flip side of the well designed Luck book, is the Blackmon style card, which I get way too much of a triple threads vibe off of. The player in the corner and the swatches in a row down at the bottom doesnt give me the same amount of excitement that I think works better when a bigger swatch is off to the side. Take off some of the windows, and this card is a winner for me.
Overall, im definitely going to check out a few boxes of this stuff, as it has proven to be a fun rip over the last few years. For what it promises, the box is well worth the price of admission, especially considering what Panini would offer at a similar price point.