I am a big fan of Topps Platinum and have been since 2011. The years before that were a tad more suspect, but after 2011's changes stuck for the long term, Platinum has been a set to look forward to each year. Its the first set with on card autographs on non-retouched photos, and that has always prompted my excitement.
Last year was a combination of some really cool looking cards combined with a box hit patch auto design that really didnt work as well as I thought it would:
Previous years have had their fare share of sweet cards too:
This year’s Platinum design is a definite departure from previous years. Instead of the nameplate being the most interesting part of the card, the entire design is going pretty out there, with a feel that has me thinking of those cool outer limits universe pieces. Its kind of smoky, with a space like presentation, and it works really well in the base and the base autographs. Adding the team logo in the background is a really nice touch, especially when it isnt presented as a focal point.
As for the patch autos, there are some changes that I really like, and a few non-changes that linger from 2014. I really like that the player is much more up close in the design this year. Last year, they were too far zoomed out, which led to a pretty awkward look. I also like that they have incorporated a rectangular swatch for the patches to go along side the hexagonal or shield shaped swatch from previous years – as we see on the Winston card. On the other hand, I really dont like that faded out area behind the sticker on the colored refractors. I think it just never looks right and draws the eye there immediately. The colors should be made light enough that it doesnt matter. Instead, we are going to get that white area for the second year in a row.
Overall, this year will continue to be dominated by the quality of the class, as I think there is a big bust potential in many of the rookies at the top of the draft. If the rookies light it up, you can assume that products like Platinum will be hot, especially with the Chrome stock. If not, we can see that the boxes will fall. The box break has always been tougher with Platinum because of the top player SP list that is always in place, so that could play a big part as well. For singles buyers, this looks like a fun product, for wax breakers, it can be a wait and see situation.
Either way, Im pretty excited to see how it turns out.