In the past, I have not really been a huge fan of Tier One. My original impression was that it was going to represent what Five Star Baseball ended up being, but never really lived up to that reputation to me. Instead it turned out to be a less successful version of Ultimate Collection, with a weaker checklist, some really ugly cards, and less diversity in the box breaks. It wasnt without highlights, no doubt, but it needed some oomph for the average joe. This year, Topps had their work cut out for them in a lot of areas, and im not sure they made up all the gap.
Here are some of the cards up so far:
2013 Topps Tier One Nolan Ryan Dual Patch Auto – AWESOME looking.
I think the main complaint about this product is going to be the massive amounts of redemptions that people are reporting. For a company that is already struggling with image, as Topps is, that might not be the best approach. I am always one to say that I will have ZERO problem waiting on a hard signed auto, but that’s me. Secondarily, there should never be redemptions for relic cards, unless they are oversized or cant fit in packs. That just doesnt make sense to me, because you either have it or you dont. This is below even Topps, and represents a lot of the absolute disaster that surrounds this unfortunate service situation. Not even sure what to say.
As for the live cards, I think they look GOOD, especially the auto relics and auto dual relics. Though they are stickers, which takes away from the mystique, the simple composition with ornate elements works wonders. The auto dual relics take it a step further, with a great looking expansion of the swatch window with extra design work. I love these cards.
The on card autos are relatively a continuation of previous years, which is nice, but I think there needed to be a bit more fresh content here. Give us something that separates 2013 from the previous incarnations of the product. I dont see that as much, and I was relatively disappointed. I dont see any chipping issues on the live cards, and the design is actually nice, just a bit stale.
I think the one piece of this set that I am looking forward to is the return of the rookie reprint autos, which were awesome in previous years. I am a big fan of acetate cards, especially with on card autographs, and these types of things always get me going. Im waiting to see how they turn out and hope they continue with some improvements on adding the autos into the old designs.
Im not a person that is going to run out and buy a bunch of this product, and Topps really hasnt given me good reason to change that approach. As much as I like some of the designs, Im not seeing anything YET that makes my jaw drop. Hopefully that will change as we get a better picture of the product’s content in the coming days.