Last year, I really like SP Rookie Threads’ theme of having cards that looked like they were sewn together like patches. However, the product still had an absolutely ridiculous price point at over 200 dollars. This year, the configuration has changed, the price has changed, and so has the overall set.
There are a few parts of this set that I like, and others that look pretty boring. Unlike last year’s set, there is no real theme to this product, and I think it really detracts from the feel of it. I think that the patchworks style really worked for the SP Threads brand, and I am disappointed that it was only brought back for two of the subsets.
The first thing that I like is the use of the acetate photos in the rookie jersey cards. Without the acetate, these cards could easily have been a disaster. First, the swatches are no longer the focus of the card, but more the full color player pic that looks really cool in a solid stock. When I was able to buy some of this, I pulled a Robiskie jersey card that I thought looked really cool compared to being a complete throwaway without the acetate.
Secondly, I LOVE the die cut throwback cards that they brought back. I cant tell you how much I loved this design as a kid, and I have been waiting for them to do an entire higher end throwback product with the original SP, SPX and SPA designs. There is also an auto parallel that looks even better, which has a few cards I may have to go after.
Also, I really like what they did with the letters in this product. Because they couldnt go with a pro design because of the amount of time they had to get the cards signed, Im glad they went with a college theme instead. It prevents non-team built letters like 2007, and non-colored boring letters like in Donruss Threads. Instead you have a set that actually makes sense, as there are a lot of people who like the letters, a few people that collect the college players, and a good number of people who appreciate good designs. They arent perfect, but for a box hit, it isnt bad.
As for what I dont like, there are still a lot of college number stickers floating around in many different products with pro jerseys. I cant explain how much of a turn off this is, and sadly SP Threads is pretty much a dumping ground for what seems to be the last of them.
This set also has a lot of cards that just seem like they are uninspired. The dual and quad relic cards, the non-letter dump autos, and the base set itself. The trade off, though, is that the price point is completely different from last year, and that brings us back to a worthwhile product. Icons has become a collector favorite because of what you can get per box for the price, and I feel like this could have a similar following. Its affordable, and you get two autos with one being a letter. Not half bad.
First off, I love the diecut SP parallel autos, mainly because it brings me back to when SP was it, rather than an umbrella. Back when I started collecting, you saved for the SP packs, and to see that they have adapted them for now is amazing. If only they could bring back the holoview autos, right?
I also like the scripted in time autos in some cases, because it reminds me of the patchwork theme from last year. The cards are well conceived, and look good, but the checklist looks very weak.
As for the letters, they do what they are supposed to do. They are there to garner interest in a cheaper product, and should carry value until Black hits like a nuclear bomb. After that, they are going to be pretty much forgotten, but will still give people a reason to buy this product for a cheap thrill.
When you add in the chance to pull duals, triples and up from a box, the product gets a little boost. They look good, but have proven to be exceedingly rare. I would say that if you are lucky enough to pull a triple, go buy a lottery ticket.
Basically, this SP Threads product is not going to turn any heads, or have people rushing to buy cases, but at least it has a good enough content value in the autographs to convince people to buy a few boxes.
As usual, the basic relic cards are pretty boring, at least outside of the acetate rookies. They are continuing to be a needless addition to any product, and really have become completely monotonous. At least with the acetate rookies, the relics are part of a cool idea. The plain swatch cards could be removed and I dont think many people would notice.
The basic patch cards do look really well designed, if not only because they are the other cards that have carried over from last year. They are low numbered, but arent anything special, and really just blend in with the rest of the set. Its really too bad.
Value To The Collector
The value in this product stems from the fact that you can buy a 60-80 dollar box and get an auto letter, an auto, and a jersey. None of the cards are going to blow your socks off, but it seems to be a fun rip.
When Black hits next month, all of the big whales are going to drop this like a Panini on card auto. There just isnt enough to sustain interest for people who like the chance at good looking, high value cards. Its not going to compete with Limited either, but the cost may lure mid range collectors away. Considering that Limited is going back to a one pack box for 100 bucks, it will quickly price itself out of the mid range menu. Thats where SP Threads will succeed.
As much as I hated the price point of the last product, this left me wondering if it were better. At least before, you had the opportunity for some amazingly cool cards, of which I own a few, where with the current set, those have disappeared.
All I can think is how bored I am with these filler sets. SP Threads, Topps National Chicle, Icons, Elite, blah blah blah. Im pretty sure that its time to rethink the ideas of what consists the middle of the card year.
Average Rating =
2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)
1. Topps Chrome (4/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Donruss Certified (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Upper Deck Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Philadelphia (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Icons (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Heroes (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Upper Deck SP Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Upper Deck SPX (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Playoff Absolute Memorabilia (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Bowman Sterling Football (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Donruss Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
9(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
18. Score Inscriptions (1/5 GELLMANS)
19. Leaf Rookies and Stars (0/5 GELLMANS – NR)