First off, let me say how surprised I am by how good some of these cards look. Have things started to turn around for the bastard child of bad ideas and poor design? Possibly.
The best part about these cards is that they seem to be the first design update for any release that Donini has had for the entire year. They acutally look somewhat different from 2008. As for the Leaf Limited slideshow autos, the design looks pretty cool for me, the best of the previews. When it comes to all the RC Phenoms Patch Autos, the one they showed looks much better than last year, though I am VERY scared for the parallels that are not out of 5. Usually with these cards, there are a million parallels, and many of them just say “RC” in die cut windows, or have the number of the player. These particular ones will be the most short printed of the non-logos, and I cant fathom where they are going to put the patch for the normal card out of 99. The Cut autos look very good as well, but I never really saw the appeal in cuts to begin with. At least if you pull one, it wont be a crappy looking card.
The Letters are always a favorite of the fans, as they are really the only game used autographed letter cards out there. Factoring in that these will also be pro bowl ones, will make people very happy. Personally, I know they wont be the ACTUAL Pro Bowl jerseys, but rather a practice one or something similar, as the actual ones are coveted possessions of the players. Plus, im not a fan of the pro-bowl to begin with, so its not a big deal to me. Hopefully there will game used ones as well.
Lastly, there are a few AWFUL parts to this product. Of course, the main one is that the base cards look ridiculous, especially when they have a swatch involved. Although the swatch is in the right place, I cant get passed the hypnotizing design. What an awful choice for a theme for the set. Secondly, for what you get, the price point is going to be beyond stupid. They are going back to the one pack box, which I wholly support, but they are giving you 1 auto and 1 jersey for 100 fucking dollars. Sorry, but Limited is always a good affordable option for higher class cards, and they are now taking that away. Very problematic to me, as they just priced me out of a few boxes, especially with dealer markup. Then, when you add in the diluted RC premiere class from 2009, and you just priced a lot of the rest of the collectors out of this product. This will be a big problem, and I dont think Donini knows any better.
You can color me exicited for the possibility of buying some cool singles, but I will not even consider buying a box of Limited this year thanks to the configuration. Too bad really.