When creating the product release calendar, many companies avoid releasing products on the same day to get the most out of the sales. In a market and economy like this, I really have no idea why Panini and Topps decided to release their new products on the same day, especially when they have similar one pack formats. The content structure may be different, with supreme being more like Ultimate Collection, and Plates and Patches being more like Limited, but the results are pretty much the same. Each set is hard to justify as a stand alone creation, with many of the boxes not even coming close to living up to what you pay. This leads to many people walking away unsatisfied with their break, and the singles market being the place to be.
Common Box Hits
Plates and Patches is based around a single encased box hit, followed by a few other secondary hits, while supreme offers one hit per box just like Ultimate would. The problem is that many of the box hits are lack luster in just about every case, especially in the checklists and the design itself. For Plates and Patches, the rookie auto patches have a million parallels, with some of them even containing EVENT USED FOOTBALLS! Give me a fucking break. Any product that uses these lame cop out swatches automatically gets my thumbs down, but as a box hit, its even worse. The design itself for these rookie patch cards isnt bad, but it just doesnt meet expectations for a set of this price. In Supreme, the product might as well be Triple Threads with no shitty die cut windows, as the cards are pretty much identical. I hate the tiny player pictures, the sticker autos built into the design, and the many different parallels, which is only exacerbated by how awesome Five Star is looking. Because I know what Topps is capable of, this product is in a different zip code of quality.
When you compare the two, I have to give Plates and Patches the edge, just because the cards are better looking. Supreme suffers from riding the Triple Threads design, and that is not a good thing.
Winner: Plates and Patches
Chase Box Hits
Supreme’s sell sheet talks all about the chase element to the product, and there are definitely a lot of 1/1s that litter this set. On the other hand, a lot of them are pretty much “been there done that” type of things, with no redeeming creativity to them. I have seen horrifically composed signed letter autos where the material around the letter has been removed, and I have also seen logos and laundry tags. I wouldnt chase any of them. In Plates and Patches, the chase element is definitely a big focus, but a small majority of them are cool. The veteran NFL logo cards are actually some of the nicer ones this year from Panini, and the jumbo patch cards are better than I expected them to be. On the other hand, Panini included Printing Plate cards (Haha, get it? PLATES and Patches), and for those, I dont see any reason to buy them. They look incredibly ugly, have little value to people like me who value cool pictures on a card, and just perpetuate more “1/1s” to flood the market.
In comparison, the NFL logos win this for Panini, but thats about it.
Winner: Plates and Patches
The fact that you can buy a box of supreme and end up with a jersey card of Jordan Shipley is the main reason to STAY FAR AWAY from Supreme. At least with Ultimate, the Jersey cards had at least three players on them, something that could have made Supreme a lot better. The supreme jersey cards, in terms of design, are again just triple threads without the die cuts, so you know I am going to hate them. In fact, I would go as far as saying they ruin the entire product. As for Plates and Patches, the jersey cards are typical Panini, parallels of their sticker autographed counterparts. In many cases they are a complete disaster, and this includes the creepy helmet off rookie jersey cards that Panini went with AGAIN. I dont understand why Panini has such a hard on for studio shot rookie photos with no helmets, as it just looks fucking terrible.
I actually think the supreme base cards and the autographed parallels of the supreme base cards are pretty cool. They are gold foil plated, and feature some cool action shots. In a product like Supreme, the base cards are a relative afterthought, but at least they arent junk looking. At the very least, they make for nice autographed parallels, cards that are the best part of the entire product. In Plates and Patches, im not even sure base cards exist, but the non-hit cards are just like every other Panini set this year. They look awkwardly designed, mainly because they were meant to have autos and jersey swatches in them, and without those elements they look incomplete.
For the most unimportant part of this entire review, Topps wins.
In the end, neither of these products warms my fuzzies, but I think Plates and Patches has more elements that I would buy into as a singles collector. Many of the cards still scream panini in your ear though the design and card composition, but the successful cards are relatively nice. With Supreme, many of the cards are just rehashed Triple Threads crap, which detracts completely from the success of a new brand for Topps. If Supreme was done like Ultimate was last year, with on card autos, a great design and chase content similar to Ultimate, it would have been a huge win in the same way Five Star will be. In terms of Plates and Patches, it is another product that will blur together with the other crap Panini has put out this year.