Topps Platinum Is Live With Early Big Hits

Topps platinum is live this coming wednesday, and some of the bigger hits from the product are showing up early thanks to an early retail release. Despite the fact that the product was one of the more uglier sets of the year from 2009, it was one of most popular retail releases of the year thanks to strong hit concentration in the packs. This year, the product may look much better, but the jury is still out on the overall success the set will have once it hits hobby shelves.

Platinum will never live up to the type of success that SP Authentic had, but it is trying awfully hard to fill the void left behind with a more  conservative design. Contrary to early reports that this product was being turned into Topps’ big hard signed patch product, it still features 100% stickers as all the Topps products normally do, something very disappointing to my hopes for Topps this year. The design isnt TERRIBLE, as evidenced by this Tim Tebow Patch Auto Refractor /99, but it isnt anywhere close to where it needs to be either. Both Panini and Topps have had a huge oppotunity to step up on the design front with Upper Deck leaving the licensed arena, but neither have released products that are in the same zip code as to where UD’s products usually delivered in visual appeal. This one had a chance, but delivered only on the most basic of levels. Maybe if Topps’ design team figured out that not every element needs a border (especially the stickers), they would have a much better look to everything they do. Right now, the borders do nothing but draw focus to the wrong parts of the cards. Think of what this card would be like without the border partially covering the player picture.

I will say this, Topps Platinum blows Threads and just about all the Panini stuff out of the water, but it will continue to be a boredom filled calendar as long as designs like this continue to be the norm. Unfortunately, Topps has adopted the Platinum design for almost all their sets this year, most evident in the upcoming Finest release, and that is not something I consider to be a good thing at this point. Who knows once we get a better look at what Platinum brings to the table.

How many more weeks until Chrome again? Ugh.

First Look: 2009 Topps Unique Football


When this stuff was first put out for baseball, I was definitely turned off by the horrible concept. Now that they have brought it to football with a few tweaks, its not as bad. The Brady card looks much better than its baseball counterpart, and the Namath doesnt look as awful as the tag card that was previewed a while ago on Wax Heaven. Im guessing its because the backgrounds look more finished, and the idea of what is trying to be presented looks more flushed out. However, the Mannings dual is typical Topps, and the Peterson and Roethlisberger look awful.

My thoughts are still that the namesake of this product doesnt really apply to the content, and that is going to be the problem. Its not really any different than what we get out of a lot of other products, so to call it “Unique” is a gross misnomer.
As long as it stays as a mid end set and doesnt stretch cost past the 100 dollar mark, it could be successful, mainly depending on whether or not the other cards are as boring as the baseball ones. With Topps, nothing is set until the product hits shelves.
EDIT: Just got word this product is going to run 140-180 a box. Holy fuck. Yeah, im out.

Product Review: 2009 Topps Football

When it comes to Topps products, much of their success hinges on the content of their base set and Chrome series. Both Base Topps and Chrome this year have looked promising, and we get our first taste starting today. Before I move into the review of the set, I want to say that this could be the first time I would support buying any of the base product instead of chrome, as it seems as though topps has really took stock of the necessity for having content in the base set.


I applaud the Topps designers for the great design this year for the base and for Topps chrome. I really like it a lot, and I especially like that each card is team color coordinated. The border on the design gives maximum space for the picture, unlike 2008, and you can really tell that the photos have benefitted from it. The 2008 cards suffered from cramped pictures taken from a mile away, where 2009 seems to be more up close and personal. I cant tell you how much better this makes the product, as what is true for base is true for chrome.

Topps has also gone with a number of variations in the base set, something I think is necessary to show collectors that the base set is worth your money. Before, it was almost stupid to buy this product unless you always collected the base set or if you were going to go after the rookie premiere autos. Now, it seems like there is more content for you to go after, mainly because the extra content seems to be very, very rare. I wholeheartedly support this, as I never thought of Base Topps as worth my or anyone’s time, but these could do a lot for the set.

They have also included throwback retro cards that resemble the famous National Chicle Bronko Nagurski card, which is how I wish most retro sets would be done. No need to do a whole fucking National Chicle set when they look just as good as add ons to a set that never has anything worth getting. Im still not quite sure why 2009 is the year of the National Chicle invasion, but I am much more apt to support it as an insert than a focus of a particular product.

Personally, I think low end is the last thing that Topps has going for it when it comes to football, and I am glad to see they did a really good job with it this year. Color me very satisfied.

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Autograph Cards

In base topps there are two types of autos that one can always expect. The first is always one of the most anticipated cards of the year in the Rookie Premiere autos, and this year they are great. I stayed far away from the 2008 RPAs because of the weird flag they used in the background of the pictures and the lack of a good border design, but 2009 has cured all and made it better. The way they incorporated the autograph into the new design is great, thus alleviating the concern that they would just draw a white line above the bottom of the border and fill it in with a white space for the player to sign. I think that of the last 5 years, 2009 could be the best of all of them when it comes to these cards, and you will see that the value will follow.

When looking at the duals and the quads, the way they adapted everything was very cool. It seems as though over the last few years they just made the multiples look like multiple cards pasted together, however, this year its different. I really like them a lot, and I may even have to put in some cash on a Moreno/Staffford one.

As for the second type of auto, the unfortunately named Career Best autos look so much better in terms of design this year, something which makes me that much happier about the product. Last year they looked ridiculous, while this year they look polished and well put together. Even though they are stickers, the stickers are done well. I have said before that a sticker should be produced as if it were on card, and topps has definitely made strides in making this the case. Still not 100% awesome, but so much better.

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Relic Cards

Topps has tried to make a push with Manufactured Non-Autoed Letter cards in this set, which was something I hoped would stay quarrantined in UD Icons. I said before that I really dislike the use of these cards, though the design in Icons this year had alleviated some of the gag reflex I had over them. In Base Topps, the cards may have well been put into Triple Threads as they opted for a tiny little picture and homage to the 2009 base design. Why even do this? I have no Idea. Plus, it looks like they included many of the 2008 rookie premiere players, even though many of them DO NOT deserve a second year card, let alone a fucking letter patch. See Andre Caldwell for example.

They have also included the Career Best relic cards, which actually were much better in 2008. The have some floating swatches that obstruct player pictures, which always make my blood boil as to why they were even included in the first place. Last year, they just put the swatches into the base design, which would have worked much better this year. I think we may need to get rid of these types of cards all together. They arent Donini level crimes against my eyes, but they are pretty bad.

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Value to the Collector

I think when it comes to the acutal worth of the base cards and parallels, the set will always hold value to the purists who have closets full of Topps sets that go back however many years. Individually, they arent worth much. However, this year, the variations and low numbered parallels seem to be getting a lot more value on eBay, so maybe things are on the up and up for Base Topps.

As fo
r the RPAs, they are always going to hold their value, as the red inks, duals and quads are some of the most valuable rookie autos of the year. If you are lucky enough to pull a good auto, consider yourself to be in possesion of one to hold onto for the season. Otherwise, be sure to sell early enough to get top dollar.

If you are considering a box or two, I would actually hold off, as box prices for base Topps always drop dramatically as the new prodcuts come out. Stick to singles, as you can avoid astronomical group A odds on the autographs, and not have to worry about paying for a bunch of cards you don’t want.

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Overall Impressions

I would say that Base Topps has been the best its been over the last half decade. I congratulate them on creating a good way to bolster value, and I applaud them for doing such a good job with the RPAs. I still think Chrome is going to be the true test of how far this design can go, but I have high hopes after seeing some of the great looking cards that are coming. I would have liked to see some Chomies inserted into this set, but they have at least made other changes to make up for not having Chome aspects of the set. I still think that the Parallels of the base set need a revamp, but base topps parallels have never been too much of a focus as they are in the chrome. Maybe next year we can see some sweeping changes.

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2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Icons Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Heroes Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
5(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
5(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
5(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
5(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
9. Score Inscriptions Football (1/5 GELLMANS)

2009 Topps Football Is Live

2009 Topps has hit the bay, and I think this could be a really good year for them. First off, I know that they ditched the flag backgrounds for the RPAs, as long as the photos I saw were used, and secondly, they switched away from those awful looking Career Best auto designs from last year.

I liked this year’s base auto design in baseball, and it also looks good in football, though Im not sure why they have career best cards for the rookies who have never played a down. I think we need to change the name there.

EDIT: The first RPA is up, and I am digging the way the borders look, though the player looks a little to stark against that background. Im not a helmet off picture supporter, but this design looks good. See? Topps low end is where its at.

EDIT 2: The duals look great. Kudos to Topps on those.

Edit 3: I have seen variations on some of the rookie cards popping up on the bay, makes me wonder how these will factor into the sets. Ive also noticed that Topps wasnt shy about including some of the premiere tents in the photos, which is a letdown, but I can deal with it. Maybe they will edit the photos when chrome comes around.