Since 2011, Topps Platinum has been a top set for early in the year, as the jumbo patches and lots of on card autographs have been something that collectors have loved. Platinum has always had Superfractors and red 1/1 logos, but this year, Topps has taken things a step further. Not only are the superfractors and shields back, a few more versions of the red refractors as well. As they have been in previous years, these cards are awesome.
Judging by what we saw with Finest this year, I am expecting some bigger things out of these cards. Although Finest has a much more loyal following, Platinum has been a staple since 2009. The jumbo patch auto superfractors are impressive as they were previously, with huge logo patches for all the rookies. Im kind of surprised that the shields are reserved for their own subset, as I would think that combining the aura of the two together would be pretty incredible. With such a nice platinum base design this year, the supers are just as nice as ever.
There are also base auto superfractors as well, with on card autographs that feature the first hard signed cards with pictures from the rookie premiere. If I had the money, I would be chasing these cards more than anything else, as I am a sucker for cool photos and on card autographs. I think that these cards turned out much better than I expected from the sell sheet, but still leave a bit to be desired in the overall background design and the way it looks.
Red Refractor 1/1s
I absolutely loved the versions from 2011, and wish I had the money to chase a few from over the last few years. Even though these are stickers, they are incredibly well put together, especially now that the shield isnt a big baseball diamond shaped monstrosity. Regardless of the fact that they arent stitched any longer, the die cuts do them extra justice in the way everything looks. If only we could get these hard signed, they would be some of the nicer logos produced all year.
The brand logos are a good idea, but turned out a bit weird because of the die cuts meant for the shields. The swooshes have to run up and down to fit more of them in the window, but I think this was the wrong way to get them done. I would have just settled for the horizontal swoosh being cut off, knowing that its much more aesthetically pleasing that way. They still look pretty cool, and I have a predisposed attraction to red refractors anyways, so Ill let it go.
The team logo 1/1s seem to be a redundant parallel, considering that the Superfractors also have team logos in many of the ones we have seen so far. These red refractors are cool none-the-less, and I guess we shouldnt complain when there are more of these types of 1/1s instead of normal patches.
As for the football swatch 1/1s, I am continually stupefied by companies opting for event used footballs. Not only should it NOT be used in a 1/1, it should NOT be used at all. I see even less connection to the players, even though the event used swatches of jerseys are barely worn. If these were actually game used footballs, I could see a case being made for their usage, but ones that are tossed back and forth a few times dont meet my standards for special.
Dual Jumbo Patch Auto Book 1/1s
Im usually not someone who likes these type of things unless there is a good reason. Putting the two big rookies together with larger than normal jumbo patches and autos as 1/1 books works well, but the price tags are pretty insane. Its rare that we get chrome style booklet autograph cards, so this is one of the only chances to pick one up if you like them.
Topps platinum has been strong this year, and I think that says a lot considering how high some of the box hits are numbered. I think they have set the bar pretty high with Finest and Platinum at this point in the year, and I am interested to see if Panini can even come close to the level they are playing to.