As I talked about yesterday, 2014 Topps Football is one of those days on the calendar that really makes things obvious that football is back. Although I am not a base collector, and have yet to spend the time putting together a set in my life, this product is still exciting. Topps has always been a leader in making their big products look great, and the 2014 set this year is no exception.
Check out some of the bigger hits already up:
Here are some of my initial thoughts after seeing previews and the first cards up, some good some bad. Ill try to organize everything so its easier to follow along.
Topps has made it a point over the last few years to include some great photography in their sets. It has been more impressive in recent years for Flagship, and I really like a lot of the pics this year for non-rookies. The Variations with TD dance celebrations are really cool, a theme that has never really applied in years past.
I also really like the changes in the Rookie Premiere Autos, even though its another subset autograph with the exact same pics from Inception. Because of how short a period of time it is between the draft and the rookie premiere, both Panini and Topps have had to recycle a lot more of the retouched work that constitutes their initial on card offerings. At least the work is really well done.
Another good part of the product has to be a better checklist of veteran base autos, which includes some guys that havent had Topps autos in a very long time. These are some of my favorite cards in the set, and I wish there were many more of them to fill things out a bit.
To add some nice flare, the insert designs this year are pretty eye catching. Although they do have a bit of a video game feel to them, the lighted stadium look isnt something I am going to complain about after seeing some of the examples from previous Topps sets. The theme of "Unleash the Future" is a nice idea, but unfortunately named after recent news.
When it comes to the 1985 autos, I absolutely love these, as I think they are vastly improved over the 1986 autos from last year’s set. The design is similarly iconic, and though black stock does not lend itself well to being manhandled by the rookies, the cards still look awesome.
Topps has also done a good job with interactive programs in their products over the years, and the Power Players is one that was a popular fantasy style game with Baseball. It was reconfigured for FB, from early pulls, and I think it is definitely going to be fun chasing down some of the inserts.
I am beyond done with these Tall Boys. We have had them in 2012, 2013 and now 2014 on multiple occasions, and all three times I have not bought a single one. I despise the sideline shot with helmet off, even though I know that was the way they were originally done back in 1965.
Adding other minis with similar work on the pictures doesnt make things any better for me either, as I wish we could have gone a different direction and used a different style of pic – retro theme be damned.
After reviewing some of the rookie variation cards, I sincerely wish the photos were much more different, as so many of them look like they are just the next pic on the roll. One pic is right as they are winding up, with the variation pic seemingly taken a split second after. We need more changes to be cool. Im still going chase them, but Im not as excited this time.
I also am really against using Fantasy Football as a theme for any card set. It plays into two different sets this year, and I find it completely off putting. Although I understand that fantasy is a big element of the success of the NFL, im just not a fan of adding it to this product as a theme TWICE.
All that being said, I think 2014 Topps really did turn out very nicely, and is an improvement for sure over 2013.