Previews for Topps Platinum hit the web while I was out, and I am a little shocked by what I see. Although the design does look a lot better than last year, it still has a lot of the same flaws as 2009 Platinum, including some I was not hoping to see.
First off, I have been told for the last few months that Topps Platinum would be this year’s answer to the loss of a licensed SPA product. On card autographs, great design, and huge content in the box for a great price. Obviously that is not the case as the stickers are still built into the design, and your eye is drawn to the fact that some of the box will again cover up the player. I have never understood Topps’ reason for making the sticker the focus of the product, especially considering that stickers were invented to hide the fact that the cards werent handled by the atheletes.
Secondly, the way the players are silhouetted on the cards doesn’t lend very well to the chrome style stock. I mentioned last year that the cards themselves looked weird because of the solid silver, black, or red background. The reason the Chromes are so successful is because of how great the field pictures look on a chrome stock. It has always been an industry success story of how great chrome is, and when you take one of the elements out of it, things don’t look right. Its why foilboard always looks ridiculous, straight pics with no scenery don’t work. If it were flat stock it would be different a la SPA, National Treasures and Exquisite, but this doesn’t work.
Lastly, I do think this set looks better than last year, as some of the cards make last year’s look like they were designed by an amateur. However, this set is far from the level it should be at, despite the fact that it is a welcome January level product in September. I think Topps will no doubt have lots of success with it.
I rarely like a card that features an overly prominent color in the background, unless its white or a team color. When you opt for an “in your face” presentation like with the Red parallels out of Topps Platinum, you are rarely ever going to get something worth looking at. The colors will either clash and look horrible, or they will only slightly clash and look slightly horrible. It is never a good thing, unless you are a Bucs, Patriots, or Falcons fans. Even then, it gets kind of overwhelming when the WHOLE background is red.
This is completely against the grain from the chrome red refractors
, which continue to be some of the better looking cards on the market. When only the BORDER is red, there is usually enough in the picture to match the outside and look great. Bordering a card in red is never a bad thing when it comes to chrome, but Platinum went more cowbell than needed and blew it all to hell.
The platinum cards, in my opinion are ugly to begin with, if not only because of a lack of a good design concept. The boxes on the card that contain the card info and swatch look awful in proportion to the rest of the cards, and there is no way I would ever support buying any of this product because of it. If the main hits dont look good, the product is a dump.
Its now less than a week until the expected release of SPA, lets hope it doesnt make similar mistakes.
Topps Platinum has started to pop up on eBay and though some of the cards remind us of chrome-y like goodness in a good way, others remind us of horribly laid out cards with oddly placed pictures, patches and stickers. Jeff from New Card Smell has posted his thoughts if you want a more positive take on things. My commentary is not going to be as favorable.
Im sure most of you are familiar with Bowman Chrome’s disastrous rookie auto jersey cards from this year
. You know the ones where the jersey window obscurred a good part of the player picture? Yeah, I get a similar vibe off these cards, mainly because they are using the player picture in such a weird way.
Now, you may say that this product is not meant to compete with SPA, but its tough to ignore when the price point and the box set up is pretty much the same. The difference is that SPA is all on card, and one of the favorite sons of the hobby, while this is a rehashed chrome bastard to get rid of stickers. I dont mind the regular base cards all that much, they could pass for chrome if they came out around the same cards. However, when you start getting up into the autos and especially the auto patches, things get awfully ugly.
We will see how more of the box breaks shake up, but so far, this stuff looks to be not worth your time.