I previewed Five Star last week, and I received so many emails about the awesomeness the preview contained that I could only respond to a few of them. The response was so overwhelmingly excited, that I actually wondered how they could top it next year. Now that I have product information in my hand, there was one detail I didnt have, that has me more excited than anything they could offer in terms of cards. They are putting redemptions for autographed full size jerseys in the product.
Before I go further, a little history revisited. As I have mentioned a number of times, I am an autograph collector, not a card collector. I gravitate to cards because they are really cool ways of obtaining signatures that are as close to 100% authentic as you can get without meeting the player yourself. I own a number of signed jerseys, and they are my prized pieces in my autograph collection. As a result of my affinity for signed memorabilia, I have suggested (along with a lot of others) that these types of redemptions be offered in high end products. Press pass did it a few times with signed footballs and Mini Helmets, but without a license, they were college themed. There was also a product from fleer back a while ago that had a large part of the chase being full sized redemptions, but many were just signed replica jerseys. It hasnt gone to the level that we could be on the cusp of seeing in this situation.
For Five Star, Topps has an unprecedented opportunity to give collectors what we have wanted for a long time – a piece that contains the whole jersey, not just small swatches. I am not even close to saying I am the one responsible for getting this included, but I know that with so many people calling for full sized pieces to be included, Topps wisely listened to what people were saying.
As soon as we have more information on the specifics of the program, I will post it on the blog, but this is pretty big.