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.