This is a day I look forward to every single year, mainly because it is the first solicitation of the licensed products released after the rookie premiere. This is the first Topps product that features rookies in their NFL jerseys, and it is also the base design for Chrome and other aspects of the card year. Its bittersweet this year, because it may end up being the last licensed version of the Flagship Topps Set. Thanks to Panini, the set that everyone has known and loved for the last 60 years may be gone. In 2016, Panini is set to take over the NFL exclusive, which will make this set a lot different. I could not be more angry about that.
Check out some of the more iconic cards, which will likely get some time in the sun for this set:
Because this is the 60th anniversary, we already know Buybacks will be a part of the set, as are a number of other commemorative items. We could see some really fun surprises.
I really like that they did not play it conservative, as this is a very different approach from what they have done in previous years. A bigger nameplate, more futuristic type of an approach, and definitely a modern take. It reminds me a BIT of 1993, but this is its own animal. They were right to preview the Odell Beckham card, featuring his now infamous catch, as the card looks absolutely stunning with that picture plastered across the front.
Rookie Premiere Autographs
Last year, for the first time, Topps moved away from cards that featured photos taken at the premiere and then signed the next day. Instead, they used retouched photos used in sets like Inception, and did the rookie premiere autographs that way. The result was SO much better than it had been in the past, as the erratic arrival schedule didnt play into who got their photos done or not. This year’s design looks simple and sleek, which will make for a VERY good looking set. I have always liked this set, because they are on card and look cool – even with my pet peeve of studio shots.
I thought last year's base autographs were good not great. This year, I think the design looks so much better, as it plays into the look and feel of the overall product in a way that didnt happen last year. The team logo background separated by the different shapes is really cool, and I will definitely be interested to see who is on the checklist – especially if Aaron Rodgers is the cover boy. Topps has done great with checklists as of late.
Retro Rookie Autographs
Let me say that they are just not going to beat last year's 1985 tribute, and its just as tough to beat 1984. Seeing that they went with 1987 is still a nice homage, but its just not on the iconic level that the previous two were. The cards will look nice, dont you fret, and I will buy the shit out of them, but 1985 is my favorite of all time.
During 2014, the insert quality skyrocketed over a dismal performance in 2013. This year, I think the inserts are especially nice again, especially with the retro cards celebrating the 60th anniversary of the set. Seeing the 1984 Lynch and the Emmitt Autograph make me remember how awesome those sets were, and how much I continue to despise Panini for ruining this sport for me. The other inserts are similarly nice, and it looks like this year is going to be pretty freaking solid for this set.
Like I mentioned at the top, this is a sad situation. But, as I have said a ton of times, the trading card industry is going down a path that benefits no one but Panini. Even then I question how much understanding they really choose to have, as their overspending for license on top of license is only going to hurt the hobby more when they cant make their money back. Seeing that this is the final year of a 60 year old set makes my blood boil, especially one that is responsible for some of the most iconic football cards of all time.