2010 Topps Football is Live, But Only Some of the Rookies Get the Pro Photo Treatment

When I saw that 2010 Topps Football had hit retail shelves, I was extremely excited to have the chance to see what the rookie cards looked like before the hobby boxes hit shelves later this week. When I actually sat down and looked at some of the cards that were showing up on eBay, some looked to be everything I didn’t want in a card. Others, on the other hand, were great, but seemed to feature a tactic that Topps rarely uses outside of their sell sheets these days.

First the good. When you look at the top rookies of the class, almost all of them have great pictures and good looking cards. I like the Ryan Mathews’ card because its not the typical running back pose, but its not Mike Williams or Mark Sanchez with the price tag on the football from last year. I also like Toby Gerhart‘s pic, as well as Sam Bradford’s, and surprisingly even Tim Tebow’s card too. Dez Bryant has a nice pic like the others, but outside of these guys, there is some major disappointment in the way the cards were produced.

The main weird thing I have noticed is that for the first time in a LONG time, Topps didn’t update the pictures on the cards from the sell sheet. Usually they use different pictures for the mock up previews than the ones they actually put on the cards, and to see them use the same pics is odd. The other odd thing is that there are a lot of rookie cards where there is some evident paintshopping or airbrushing, and Im not sure what to think about it. I like that there isnt a with a tent in the background like there were for some of the cards last year, but im also noticing some parts of the shots that don’t look real.

When it comes to the bad part of all of this, we have some rookies that got a terrible picture with their first Topps card. Jimmy Clausen’s card looks horrible, same with CJ Spiller’s grimace displayed on his. Ndamukong Suh’s picture is really stupid looking, which sucks, because they had a cool opportunity to get a beastly shot from what I heard.

The reason these pictures are so important, is that the Chrome cards that have dumb pictures are usually worth less from my tracking of the autographs from years past. Because of the odd pictures Topps selected for 2010, its pretty obvious that some of these cards are going to fall under that experience. Either way, its not hard to get a cool shot from the hundreds or thousands that are taken at the rookie premiere, and I would MUCH rather have the stock pose for the position than one that looks like this ridiculous Arrelio
us Benn
picture. I know that the brand managers have great power over the pictures that are used, and I don’t understand why they cant save the experiments for the subsets instead of the first rookie card that actually makes a difference in the year.

Funny enough, this is one thing that Panini did a great job on with 2010 Elite, as every picture fit great with the final product.

2010 Bowman Sterling Is Cringeworthy, Golden Rule Still in Effect

Just when you think Topps has finally started to put the right foot forward, they take three steps back. I really don’t get what it is that Topps cannot see about their high end products, but the stuff is just horrible. I cant even tell you how tired I am of seeing the same stupid ideas product after product, year after year. Seriously, I am wondering if one group of people designs the low end stuff and another group of people designs the high end. Even outside of the continued stupidity regarding the way the stickers are used, the designs never look up to par with even the worst of their low end products.

First off, let me start with the box hits of this product, the rookie material signatures. These cards used to be a matter of taste because they were horizontally oriented and they always had the players with their helmets off. I hated the pictures, so I didn’t buy the cards. Now, the pictures are game style, but the vertical orientation forces Topps to cover up the player with the unnecessary swatch placement, and then it no longer becomes a question of taste when it comes to liking these cards. Its absolutely shocking to me that Topps’ design team is willing stamp their name on a finished product like that, especially when you also see that they cut out a place for the sticker AGAIN. Oddly enough, there is no sticker cutout space on Dez Bryant’s non-memorabilia signature, and it obviously looks THAT much better. Not that it even would make a difference when the player is just barely peaking over the stupidly placed relic, at least in this case.

Secondly, I have no clue why Topps needs booklet cards in every goddamn product. It wasn’t even that novel of an idea when it was first started, and now its getting worse than the Panini manupatch autos that they spread over 25 different products. When you count up the different elements that they factor in to each of the booklet cards, it makes you wonder what the purpose of the card is. Is the purpose to create a good looking card, or is the purpose to pack so much crap onto the front of a card that you actually need two front sides and two back sides to do it. Give me a break.

Lastly, the price point of this product is still one of the most ridiculous on the market. Based on what you get out of a box, this product is so completely overpriced that it makes Triple Threads look like a good deal. Even though you may get 10 or whatever autos per box, all but one or two is going to be a scrub. That means, that you have to count on one or two cards to make up for 250 dollars, and even the Mr. Golden Bronco cant live up to that. That puts the collector at even more of a disadvantage, especially when you consider how terrible these cards sell on the secondary market after the initial release.

Ill give it to Topps, the overall design looks better than last year, but that is like saying this year’s Chevy Aveo looks better than last year’s. In the end, its still looks like an Aveo, and that’s the problem.

Topps Unrivaled Football Preview Is Just Like The Rest

Topps released info on a new set for 2010 this year, and all I can think about is how it is same shit different day. I have always said that the golden rule of Topps is that all mid to high end products should be ignored, because in most cases, Topps shows that they are incapable of designing a product that actually looks good. Although they believe they can trick the type of collectors who don’t value design to buy a product like this, especially through the inclusion of terrible looking booklet cards, Im not as easily fooled.

The most frustrating thing about Topps products in general, is that the design team always feels the need to border the components of the hits. All stickers have huge thick borders rather than seemlessly fitting into the overall layout, and from what we are seeing here, the borders have become so thick on some of the cards that they are starting to cover up the players themselves. Its completely terrible and draws away from a set that may actually be passable if Topps actually took hints from Upper Deck and Panini about how to use a sticker auto.

Right now, the prospects of the coming year’s success are dwindling, and when every set that Topps puts out starts to look the same, I start to wonder who is asleep at the wheel.

Fake Friendly Bowman Sterling Cards Are Popping Up At An Alarming Rate

You may have seen these cards popping up all over eBay, and I am starting to wonder what is going to happen to them. The cards are out of 2009 Bowman Sterling Football, and I have to believe that these cards are going to be a playground for fakes.
Last week, a few collectors over on FCB noticed that a number of Red Sterling 1 of 1s were being auctioned off without the sticker or jersey attached to them. This could mean that someone with devious intentions had the chance to buy a cheap “1/1” that wasn’t meant to be sold, rip a sticker off another card, sign it, and sell it for big money. For all intensive purposes, a player super collector may want it as well, so it may not all be bad.
Today I received my normal Peterson/Harvin emails in my inbox from eBay and saw these two different cards. They are not the 1/1s and are just regular cards that probably will be purchased for under 50 dollars. The cards themselves sell for over 150 when real.
It looks to be another shipping mistake from Topps, so watch your ass for any fakes you may normally bid on without question.

Late To The Party: Chicle Baseball

I rarely pay attention to Baseball Cards anymore because I am continually bored by most of the content these days. However, National Chicle baseball has been making a splash, network wide, so ill offer some commentary. Now, outside of my reports on Chicle football that looks to be as bad, or worse as this stuff, I was not familiar that National Chicle was even a baseball product to begin with. Then after some looking around, I saw that some baseball cards were made, but they never got the same notoriety that the iconic football cards did.

Of course, my feelings on retro sets aside, National Chicle, when done right, can be a great product idea, AS A FUCKING SUBSET IN A FUCKING FOOTBALL PRODUCT. There is absolutely no reason to A) Make an entire baseball product of it, and B) Do what they are trying to do with the throwback cards of Ruth and company. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Back in 2008, Upper Deck decided to do some “Time Warp” cards, as they put it, for Masterpieces football. What that meant is cards that feature today’s players on the same “card” as older players. This meant Adrian Peterson being chased by Dick Butkus, Brett Favre handing off to Paul Hornung, etc, etc. The difference there, was that all players were in their existing uniforms, and it kept the history of the old timers in tact. On top of that, there were no desecration of beloved cards, and so on and so on.
For National Chicle Baseball, Topps is working on a different level that makes many people understandably angry, unless you have to play to your magazine’s advertisers that is. This means that many collectors are going to shit a brick over seeing cards like this, like this, and like this. The Ruth card has caused a considerable amount of damage with baseball fans, as Dayf has so interestingly described. Personally, I really couldnt care less, but that is more about my lack of care for this entire set.

My beef stems from the fact that Topps has taken a “brand” synonymous with Iconic football cards, transformed it into a baseball set, and done an extremely poor job with it. In fact, I believe that they have done a pretty poor job with both Football AND Baseball, as evidenced by the sticker autos and horrible artwork done in the upcoming football set. So, if this is what it means to have an exclusive baseball license, I sincerely hope they have some aces up their sleeve because recent news and releases has left a taste in my mouth usually reserved for my feelings about Evangelical Christians who try to “save” me.
In addition, it looks as if many of the cards look as bad, if not worse than than their football counterparts, though this time, I believe many more collectors will use them as toilet paper.
The lesson here is that you dont fuck with history, no matter how attractive that may seem. I will always support new TRIES at innovation (even if it turns out as shit) rather than forcing me to endure set after set, produced from past successes. All that retro sets prove to me is that there is no more creativity left in the buffet line at the different companies. Trust me, Laziness is not a virtue.