Topps Takes Autograph Destruction To A New Level

Topps is notorious for butchering cut autos, absolutely notorious. Despite the fact that I am not really a fan of cut autos to begin with, I understand their place in the hobby – at least in some cases. When you see a card like this one (pulled on youtube), all of that goes right out the window.

Even more disparraging is the fact that Topps has produced one Mantle abomination after another lately, having to revert back to dress shirt relics and old timer game relics due to a lack of supply. I cant think of a more worthless card than one that features a swatch of shirt from a guy’s closet. I don’t need to be THAT close to the game. When you also consider the seat relics from last year’s Topps Tribute debacle and the game used bases they put in the Strasburg cards from this year, how much longer are collectors going to stand for Topps’ deplorable shenanigans?

Personally, I have nothing but contempt over cards like this Mantle cut, especially because of how many other correctly sized Mantle autos they could have used. There was really no need to produce a card like this, and yet someone over in Pennsylvania definitely felt that it was a green light all the way.

Really, Topps?!? Really?!?

First Look: 2009 Topps Platinum Football

First we had Chrome, then Sterling, now Platinum. I know, lame as hell, right? Well, as a final hurrah, Topps announced via Twitter that they are putting out this set to close out their license with the NFL. I had heard from a few people that Topps was creating a product to directly compete with the perennial awesomosity of SPA, but this is too little too late.

Basically the product is going to be set up exactly like SPA, 24 packs with one rookie patch auto per box and lots of base. Unlike SPA, however, the product is all stickers (as usual for Topps), and the cards look like bastard children of Bowman Sterling and Topps Chrome.
After seeing this, maybe its a good thing after all that Topps is leaving.

Can We Stop With The Less Products Equals More Argument?

I hate when news like the Topps axing comes around, not just because of the actual news itself, but of all the stupidity that starts flooding the internet like a biblical storm. Whether its people giving their good riddance to whatever went down, or people conjecturing about how the hobby sky is falling, its annoying all the way around. In fact, the net gets so polluted with ridiculous comments, that you cant escape it.

First, we need to stop with the whole “where are the children!?!” type of bullshit. Im sick of hearing that things are going south because kids arent around anymore. Fuck that. As I have said before, kids are not the primary focus of this hobby, nor should they be. Ever since the 90s, when investment crazed adults made this industry what it is now, kids have been out. That means the boom and the decline all rest on the shoulders of grown adults, not children. Ask any of the manufacturers who their biggest customers are, kids or adults. Ask them who they market to, kids or adults. Find out why a child hasnt been featured on any of those UD posters for SPX or whatever. Its because KIDS DONT FUCKING MATTER. From what I have gathered in talking with different people, kids who still remain in this hobby function like the adults that drive the market anyways, so dont shove that argument down my throat unless you want me to ignore you.
Secondly, less does not equal more. Yes, I get it. You want to go back to 4 products a year so you can get every card, but that isnt going to happen. Companies cannot survive on a few products, nor would having less products, in any understanding of the concept, be a good thing for anyone. Having variety in our lives is the reason why collecting is fun, as it gives you choice on how to mold your collection. It also gives you a chase element which keeps you coming back for more. If there were only 1 or 2 products per company, people would have what they needed so fast that it would be boring to wait for the next product. In addition, there wouldnt be any way to account for the massive amounts of mid year happenings in card form, an aspect most collectors love. Also, if one of those few products sucked, it would fucking blow to have to lose out on it because it was a badly conceptualized set.
Third, the hobby is fine, and the industry is not in any immediate danger, so shut the fuck up with your worrying. I dont need to be bombarded with people telling me that cards are done because Topps lost football. Cards are not done, the industry is adapting to lower sales, and people will collect until the apocalypse. The sooner that the idiots realize this fact, the better. In all honesty, there really is no solution to any of the problems affecting card sales until the economy fully rebounds. At that point, things will return to a different shade of normal, and we can all go back to our happy go lucky Beckett world without the fear of Armageddon.
Lastly, I dont think this part of the industry’s nose job was the fault of the companies themselves, despite the chatter. NFL Players Inc sure lives in a wierd bubble, and I dont think they really get what they just did. Plus, with Topps getting their exclusive baseball license, I dont think they really care about losing football the way we think they do. Baseball is the biggest yard on the street, and they are now the only real, whole dog in the yard. Everyone else is a cat or dog with three legs. That counts for more than anyone could imagine.
So, in other words, it sucks that Topps and their history is gone, but shut up with the stupid noise about everything else.

First Look: 2009 Topps National Chicle Football

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

The sad fact is that Topps opted to make this set after the Chicle cards in Topps Flagship, Topps Chrome, and UD Philadelphia were already out on the market. The even sadder thing is that these cards dont even compare to the ones from their base set, and they sure as hell dont compare to the ones in Philadelphia, so why even try?

The bordered sticker spaces on the autograph cards cut into the picture, and just draw attention to the fact that there is a sticker on the card. Why not just slap the sticker on the card without the border? It would look a little better than it does, right? With UD Philadelphia offering hard signed cards with better designs, this just isnt going to compete.
The dual looks borderline racist for the Moss painting as he kind of looks like those 20′s era depictions of black people on theater posters. Of course, it wasnt meant that way, but im not sure why they would use that particular painting for the card. Then when you factor in that BOTH the Brady and Moss paintings look weird, and feature bordered sticker spots, the card just looks even more awful.
National Chicle is going to suck from what this is showing, and I think I should use an example of what the autograph cards should look like versus what they do look like. Its a stark comparison.
EDIT: I just saw this one, and I almost spit my coffee all over my computer. Obviously Topps’ wonderful design team wasnt thinking too clearly (The Perez Hilton crap is my addition, though I think it adds to the overall presentation).

The Song Never Remains The Same

I was doing my usual ebay updates to see what was coming now that Chrome is live, and I stumbled across this crap. I am shocked, to say the least.

Ooof, that is pretty rough. Im not sure why this was greenlighted, consdering the patch intrudes on the subject of the card. Never really stopped anyone before, right?
For some reason, last year, Topps Chrome added a new feature card to a product lineup that didnt need a new feature card. Numbered ridiculously low, the rookie auto patches were squeezed into a set that had no reason to include jersey cards. This year, the cards are unfortunately back, but thanks to the new design, there is practically no space to include the relic. So, instead of doing the right thing and ditching this idea, they put the cards in the set again without regard for how they look.
Its definitely too bad, mainly because Chrome was always that one product you could count on to avoid the gimmicks. As of this year, BOTH Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome will have these cards, and I have no fucking idea why. Is it really THAT important to add one more needless parallel, especially when the patches arent game used? Its like putting a PS3 console in a car for the driver. Why is it even necessary?
Listen,the solutions is pretty simple. This set would have sold regardless of these stupid looking cards, cant we just understand that they arent needed? They look ridiculous, they dont fit, and the cards are so rare that it shouldnt even be an issue. Keep Chrome free of gimmicky cards, its one of the last products that can still float without needless relics. I hope Topps will do their best to honor that in the future.