Love it or hate it, this is one of the biggest weeks for Football Cards all year long. Coming next weekend, both Topps and Panini will be taking the opportunity to run the rookies through their paces for the first time in their NFL uniforms, and also taking some time to get an absolute metric ton of autographs. I posted the list of attendees, and from the looks of it, we are in for a great year, here is what to watch for in the plethora of pictures each company will post.
Of all the different things that get done at the rookie premiere each year, Inception is easily the best of the best. Although the methods used to create this set have been replicated across a lot of products, this is the original. The reason I love this product so much has a lot to do with the design, but more to do with the quality of work on retouching that Topps has mastered. The set has become so popular, that it has even crossed over into baseball with a lot of success.
Topps Rookie Premiere Autographs
Going back for over a decade, these autographs are changing this year for the first time in as many years. It used to be that Topps would take pictures one day and have them printed and ready for signing the next, but recent years have changed the process. Arrival schedules and other demands have prevented a good number of pictures to be taken in time for signing, which means that the cards are created with stock photos more times than not. Instead of another year of inconsistent results, Topps is going to change things up from what we saw on the sell sheet. Cant wait to see. If you are going to buy from years that arent serial numbered, WATCH OUT FOR A BOATLOAD OF FAKES.
Panini Player Sketch Cards
Although I think these cards are usually less than artistic, its always funny to see who has artistic chops and who chooses to go a completely different direction. Aside from the fact that putting a bucket of markers in front of the rookies during this even seems childish and stupid, the results are interesting to say the least.
Panini Elite and Prestige On Card Autos
For whatever reason, Panini has decided to keep the designs under wraps, which is probably a good thing considering how these have turned out in the past. Although 2012 was a very good year for both Elite and Prestige on card autos, 2013 was a complete train wreck due to some awful retouch work. Where Topps has showcased a talent for changing college uniforms to NFL, Panini has struggled mightily
Topps Retro Autos
Much to my delight, it looks like Topps is rolling with 1985 as their design for throwbacks this year, which is one of the better Topps football designs ever made. The last few years of retro autographs have been nothing less than awesome, and I cannot wait to see how the new ones look.
Late Draft Adjustments
Its clear the date of the NFL draft will affect the way the cards come out. It has to, mainly because of the amount of work that needs to be done in such a short amount of time. Where both companies used to have 4-6 weeks in between the Draft and Premiere, the amount of time has shrunk significantly now. We are likely going to have more double zero jerseys, and maybe more repetitive pictures used in the course of the production of each early set. This is going to be our first taste of how it turns out, and I am scared for what is going to happen.
This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, as we get to see a lot of cards previewed and rookies in their pro gear. However, this week is now without a polarizing feature, as this is where all those event used jerseys come from. If you are unfamiliar with what event used means – do a quick google search to see how everyone feels. Either way, I cant wait to see what happens.