Product Review: 2009 Topps Mayo Football

Ill say this right now, writing reviews of the hugely packed calendar for football has become extremely boring and aggravating. There has been little to bring about excitement in my eyes, and Topps Mayo is not any different than those. Last year, the Mayo product was new, and brought early comparisons to Allen and Ginter for football collectors. After a myriad of checklist issues and problems, it went from collector favorite to hobby dog. This year, things actually got worse in my opinion, as the set went from having its own soul to stealing that of Allen and Ginter and bastardizing it for retail success.


Although I really like the switch to the white bordered cards, I really don’t like the way this stuff turned out. The cards are just rip offs of another popular set, and really have no redeeming value of their own. Almost 80% of the painted subjects are in non-game situations with their helmets off, and I find that extremely fucking boring and stupid. I get the human aspect of the baseball players having faces in the game, but football is a gridiron sport built around violence. I don’t need to see Michael Crabtree lounging around, or Vince Young with his sideline hat. Get their helmet on.

Secondly, adding the rip cards to this set just makes me want to fall asleep even more, as the concept is so fucking stale outside of A&G. Because Topps football isnt as widely collected by the cult of topps fans, this Mayo set doesn’t have the same allure as a perennial success like its Baseball counterpart. A&G isnt successful because its new and fresh every year, its successful because of the number of Topps baseball collectors out there. The baseball collectors are rabid set builders, where in football its about rookies, autos and relics. So fuck off with your lame ass rip cards.

Lastly, im not happy about the non-sports subjects in this product. They are really not fun or interesting, and just tend to make this more of an A&G rip off than usual. The problem is, that with the minis, the different backs, and the rip cards, you may as well just slap the A&G name on it and call it a product. At this point, its just a hamburger filled junk box posing as a favorite retro set.

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Autograph Cards

If there was one redeeming part of 2008 Topps Mayo football it was the on card signatures. The checklist may have sucked balls, but at least the cards looked good. This years’ is typical foil stickered Topps poop, where they had to change the orientation of the cards just to accommodate the stickers. Fucking weak. There is a good part to this though, as the four player cabinet cards, straight out of A&G, look like they acutally have some merit in the way they look.

Honestly, the one fucking part of making a retro set is the on card signatures. Philly did it without problems, and yet both Magic and Mayo feature nothing of the sort. Its really sad actually, because I know a lot of people love the retro sets, and unfortunately, Topps could give a flying fuck.

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Relic Cards

For once, the framed relic cards are good in a set. I actually think they did a pretty good job! The football shaped windows look pretty nice with the painted cards, and I think it is the one part of this year’s mayo that deserves our attention.

Hell, the four player cabinet relic cards look good too, especially when you see the size of those beasts. I think if they had put the thought into the auto cards that they did for the relics, things may be a lot different.

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Value to the Collector

The autos are cheap, the set is cheap, everything about this set is cheap. The only way I would suggest buying a box of this product is if you are looking for a big set to collect. Its not going to be interesting like Ginter, but it will keep you busy until something better comes out.

Stay away from this set and stay away from the singles. Its not worth your time.

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Overall Impressions

This is another reason why I am somewhat glad that it was topps that got the axe. Souless ripoffs that have no business in a calendar other than for filler purposes. I feel bad for the late season shit, because it will be worthless as Topps cleans out the vaults.

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2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1. Topps Chrome (4/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Donruss Limited (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Bowman Chrome (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Donruss Certified (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Upper Deck Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Philadelphia (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Icons (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Heroes (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Topps Finest (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Upper Deck SP Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Upper Deck SPX (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Playoff Absolute Memorabilia (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Bowman Sterling Football (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Topps Mayo (2/5 GELLMANS)
21. Score Inscriptions (1/5 GELLMANS)
21. SP Signature Edition (1/5 GELLMANS)
23. Leaf Rookies and Stars (0/5 GELLMANS – NR)

Please Leave The Mayo To Hellman’s

Most of you know that I am not a fan of retro sets. Personally, I think it’s a sign of laziness and lack of creativity to just redo an old set for today’s market. Of course, for people unlike me, Retro sets are a must buy, mostly because they are designed to play to a collector’s set building side as well as their nostalgic sentiments about a product from their childhood or earlier.

So far, Magic and Philadelphia were the only slated retro sets of the year, and that was more than enough for me, but not for everyone else. Obviously, Topps finally realized that they were going to have a tough sell for everything not named Chrome or something similar, so they put Mayo football back on the calendar for 2009. After last year, many people lost faith in the product after checklist and collation snafus, so this year they basically decided to remake Allen and Ginter baseball into a football product and call it a day. They have now announced Rip Cards, minis, tons of parallels, framed autos, and box loaders, all of which make this a set that they knew could sell very well, instead of actually making a worthwhile product based on an original idea. Mayo’s current release information is frustrating and boring to me, as I would much rather have something completely different from what is out there already. Why not just insert mayo cards into an existing set? That would be much better.

Im sure that Mayo football wont be awful, retro products never are (except for Magic), but it stinks of stale formats, and makes me want to scream. Im sure that once collectors get bored with buying modernized versions of older cards, there wont be many more retro products that are made. Don’t get me wrong, collectors WILL get bored, as we all know that card companies never get the “too much of a good thing” idea down. When the calendar is stuffed to the seems with old products that have been updated, people will want the creativity back. Until then, I guess Ill have to suffer through all the ones on the calendar this year. Although Im guessing that UD Philadelphia will be the best of the bunch this year due to the inscriptions, on card autos, and use of the most popular retro designs on the market, Im not going to buy any of it. Same with Magic, same with Mayo, same with all the retro sets they make.

I want more sets with simple designs like SP Authentic and Topps Chrome, products that focus on the layout and design of a card as the selling point rather than a gimmick or a stale idea like the retro sets. Both Chrome and SPA have been around for years, but neither seem outdated to me. Its because the cards are focused on as the way to show off the brands, resulting in awesome cards that collectors love.

H/T Matt for the Mayo Pic.

Is Nostalgia The Only Thing The Hobby Has Left?

After seeing a preview for Goodwin Champions baseball, as well as the success of Allen and Ginter, Heritage (Topps and Bowman), Goudey, Mayo football, and Philadelphia football, I am beginning to wonder if nostalgia is the only thing left in the minds of the manufactures looking to produce a successful set. With Baseball, its become all but super apparent, Football is getting there quick.

Listen, I know we all love to see the past successes of our favorite sets be repeated with updated players, but when is enough, well, enough? Right now, in the Baseball industry, its tough to produce a successful set if you are not producing Bowman Chrome or base Topps. Maybe that is why you wont have the popularity unless it is a retro product based on a popular vintage set – a la the future Upper Deck offering. Why have we allowed the Manufacturers to resort to laziness rather than coming up with new examples of wonderful products?

In football, the tide is starting to turn towards a retro dominated market, though the number of sets to choose from is greatly reduced. Philadelphia is coming out soon, and it looks great, only because it includes elements of two great looking sets, 1935 National Chicle and the Philadelphia set the product is based on. I credit Upper Deck football with their recent design work, as most of the time, the new products do show a lot of creativity. Although for the other companies, there is nothing but sheer boredom. I hope that things pick up, as there is no reason lately for me to go and spend more than 100 bucks on a box anymore. Its not because of content, its because every time I spend the 100 bucks, its on a product that looks exactly the same as last year’s and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that.

As consumers, we would not buy any other form of a product if there were no improvements year to year – with Madden Football as the one exception. Look at every set and the components of what is offered each year. Gridiron Gear has not changed in 5 years, there are not any additions, just minor design changes. The only set that changes outside of the ones offered by UD are National Treasures and minor changes to Triple Turds, both of which cost over 150 dollars per box and one of which that sucks beyond belief.

I do not have a sky falling attitude about things that will kill the industry, however I am so fucking bored that I may not buy a single box this year. That’s how bad it has gotten for me.

First Look: 2009 Score Inscriptions Football

All you have to do to make a product relevant is include a rehash of an iconic set. If it has autographed parallels, it will be that much more relevant. The problem is that the product that is re-doing the iconic 1989 Score set is, well, Score. In 1989, Score was one of the main producers of football cards and the Barry Sanders from that set is still one of the most well known cards ever. Add in Troy Aikman, and the set becomes one of the most recognizable ever.

This year, Donini has apparently done away with Score Select, and replaced it with Score Inscriptions. Really, if they called it Score “1 Top Auto In Every Pack” I wouldn’t care. Score is the lowest of the low end, and I laughed heartily at the people who paid the ridiculous retail price on Score Select. This year, they decided they wanted to use graffiti as their inspiration, and made the design based on that. It looks pretty bad, and I would much rather have Punk Rock Paint do it than put up with this junk (now we are even for the MS Paint Comment). The 1989 set is good, but you and I both know that they will be numbered quite low for the auto versions, and most likely wont be that valuable regardless. Its kind of novelty item that only goes so far. Either way, do not even think of buying a box of this stuff until it hits rock bottom. It will be one of the lowest end sets of the year, and I havent touched a score product for a long time with that knowledge.

Thats all im going to say, there are the cards, dont waste your time.

First Look: 2009 Upper Deck Philadelphia Football

(click to enlarge)

We got a new preview today, and to me its just Goudey in football terms. To everyone else who loves retro sets, this is guiding light from above. Not only do you get the Philadelphia football set with current players and other stuff, but you also get the 1935 National Chicle mini set that is one of the most recognizable sets ever produced.

Im glad this is coming out, not because I will buy any, but because Mayo was a complete disappointment in every way. I hate retro sets, but a lot of collectors out there have made them the most bankable venture in the industry. If UD can have success with this, I assume that more collectors will come to football and bring their money with them. If MLB goes Topps, this may be their only outlet for UD retro.

Regardless of my feelings on Retro sets in general, I think it looks pretty nice. There was so much more in the preview that I didnt have time to crop, please go view the slideshow at the normal place. I think UD may have found the next big thing.