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.

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?!?

New FAKE Topps Rookie Premiere Predicament

UPDATE: Topps has confirmed via Twitter that these cards are the player issue cards issued by the company to the players for trading amongst themselves at the premiere. They are *most likely* real autographs, but it is still in your best interest to think twice before purchasing.

A very unique situation was just brought to my attention on blowout regarding a crop of the 2009 Topps Rookie Premiere autos. It seems as though there is a number of cards on eBay that are posing as real, but are most likely not real. Topps has become infamous for letting the blank cards make it out the back door and into the hands of people that shouldn’t have them, which only makes this situation that much more likely. This year, the cards will be serially numbered to avoid problems, but im sure the scammers will find a way around that as well.

Here is the deal. Take a look at this card, and then take a look at this card. Can you spot the difference just by taking a quick glance? I couldn’t. Then someone called to my attention that the cards are missing some pretty essential language above the autograph. Now you see what I am talking about. From what it seems, a very skilled forger has gotten ahold of the cards, signed them, and sold them, but did not have the ability or the know how to add the most important language on the card. Yes, these do not say “TOPPS CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH ISSUE.” Now, this could just be the way these were produced, and some of them may have been created by a third party and signed by the actual player, but they don’t seem to be real Topps cards.

The weirdest part has to be that Moreno that is certified by PSA. Not graded, but certified authentic. PSA has a terrible track record, sure, but they get it right a good portion of the time. Im wondering what is actually going on.

Here are a few more:

Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez 2

Matthew Stafford

This is a pretty interesting development, ill have to do some more research and asking around, and then ill have more on what these cards actually are. I am so freaking glad that this is happening all over again.

Another Day With The Attendees of the 2010 NFL Rookie Premiere


Today was the second time I had a chance to interact with the attendees of the 2010 Rookie Premiere, and though it wasnt as epic as Friday night, today was still a very fun time. I arrived at Santa Monica High School around 11:45 and made my way over to the event. Panini was set up there with a booth next to the merch tent from NFLPA, as well as a DJ from 102.7 KIIS FM. The music from the field was already blaring, so I couldnt really see the point of an extra place for music, but whatever. They also had Coffee Bean stuff there for sale, but they looked bored without anyone coming to buy.
Panini handed out packs of 2009 Prestige, which came in very handy in the later parts of the event. They were also handing out mammoth posters that featured all the rookie cards from 2010 Prestige, though I was kind of disappointed they didnt have current packs to open for the rookies at the event.
There were a ton of fans lining the entry way looking to get autographs, and as the event participants rolled in, they signed for just about everyone. The people I recognized immediately were Brandon Routh, who played Superman in the latest film, Bill Bellamy of MTV fame, and one of the Sklar brothers who had a show on ESPN Classic as well as some well known stand up comedy stuff.
I walked around a little before making my way up to Media/VIP check in, but there really wasnt much happening on the actual grounds of the event until things got going. NFLPA had set up huge video screens and decorated everything to the nines, so that was cool too. As I walked into the tent where all the event personnel were hanging out, I could see that once again, the NFLPA didnt mistreat its people.
Just like on Friday, the spread was impressive, this time featuring sandwiches from a great local deli, sweets from a local restaurant, salads and steak sandwiches from Morton’s steakhouse, among other stuff. No one was really there when the event started, so I grabbed some food and waited to see if any of the card people were going to come. Much to my dismay, none of them were able to make it to the event, except for a few people I had met on Friday night from Upper Deck. I later found out that some of them had some very unfortunate circumstances at the hotel involving cars and towing. It was really too bad they couldnt be there.
A few of the rookies that were still in town showed up around 12:30 in a big group, and I used the opportunity to fill out my collection of autographs from the guys I didnt have. The first person I talked to was Eric Decker, a Broncos wide receiver who walked in wearing his new jersey. He was an alum of the University of Minnesota, and a VERY nice guy, so we chatted about our common heritage and Minnesota connection. He was happy to sign a card for me, which was great, considering how few people were actually there.
CJ Spiller walked in next, with Dexter McCluster, Damian Williams, and Demaryius Thomas in tow. Ben Tate, Golden Tate, and Toby Gerhart walked in next, followed by Mardy Gilyard and Arrelious Benn. I didnt have either of the Tates, and both were happy to sign for me. Everyone who was there started taking pictures with them, and reporters from the school newspaper interviewed a few of them. That would have been an awesome experience to have as a high schooler, thats for sure.
I noticed Eric Dickerson sitting at a table waiting for his game to start, so I walked over and chatted to him about life after football. He lives very close to me in the valley here in LA, and was a very nice guy all around. I didnt realize how cool his signature looked until he was finished signing, and it was one that I was glad to have.
TJ Houshmanzadeh was also there, and here is where it was handy to have a never ending supply of Panini cards for him to sign. Everyone there had his 2009 Prestige card and he signed about 4 of them before I got a chance. He was also a class act, but laughed when his card featured him as a Bengal.
I had CJ Spiller sign a football I brought with me, and he was much more friendly about it than on Friday night. he gave me a full sig with a personalization, and I could not be happier about it. Maurice Jones Drew was also milling about, but he was extremely busy filming stuff for the NFL network. Lucky I got him previously, because I didnt see an opportunity this time around.
Because I was wearing my Vikings shirt, Toby Gerhart came up and said “Go Vikes!” before getting in line to get some lunch. I got in line behind him, and asked him how yesterday went. He said he had a blast, and it was really cool to see all his cards that were being made. He loved the first opportunity to get dressed in full garb, and said he was glad he got to attend. He was wearing a Topps hat, something I didnt expect.
All in all, this weekend was a tremendous experience, and I am glad I got to be a part of it before I left Los Angeles for good. This rookie class, with few exceptions, were a bunch of amazing guys, and I hope that somewhere in the ranks there is a few NFL Superstars in the making. Because of my interactions with them, I have acquired a few new targets for next year, and thankfully there are going to be some awesome cards. Upper Deck, Panini, and Topps did a great job putting this event together, as always, and hopefully in the future I can make it back for another one.

HOLY SHIT: Topps LOSES NFL License

I posted before that it will most likely be down to two manufacturers in football come 2010, and today the NFL Players inc issued a statement that Topps is out of the NFL for the foreseeable future. I think I am glad because sets like Triple Threads, Sterling and Lettermen are gone, but very fucking sad that this will be Chrome’s last year.

Topps has assaulted my senses quite a bit over the last few years, but Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome deserve a place around the campfire. On top of all of that, anytime variety is TAKEN AWAY from collectors, we are the ones that lose, as well as the companies that lose out. Exclusivity sucks no matter which way you slice it, and now that we wont have a flagship Topps set for the first time in decades, its kind of sad to imagine what is going to be happening.
This is really a huge victory for Upper Deck and Panini, as their market share will increase exponetially, but there will also be MANY angry Topps collectors who will scoff at the idea of a football industry without their favorites. There will probably still be unlicensed Topps products, though not as many, as the company prepares to do battle with the biggest license of them all under its belt. When you think about it, having only baseball is not a bad thing for a company that was built on America’s past time, but the nostalgia still brings forth angry feelings of loss.
Lastly, it looks as if we will no longer have resolution on lingering Topps problems, and those redemptions we all have are now in Jeopardy. Lets hope they finish strong, unlike what has happened with Basketball, as Topps Signature Edition football is surely on the way. Either way, with all the different Chicken Little and “OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN” posts that are surely coming, we will definitely get a clear picture of how the hobby is reacting to the news.
Popcorn anyone?