Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Product Review: 2008 Playoff Absolute Football

After a barrage of awful to okay Topps products with bad photography and worse looking cards, we finally get one of my favorite sets of the year. The basic feel of the set is pretty much the same as the last few years, but there have been some changes that are definitely welcome. I would say that this product would be twice as good with on card autos, but Im not sure that’s the case. This is one of those products where I cant imagine it without the stickers, because of the small space they would be confined to for on card sigs. Anyways, lets get to the meat!

The Good

Photos, photos, photos. They make and break a product, no doubt about it, and this year's Absolute does not dissapoint from what I have seen. The RC premiere cards look great with the full bleed, and they are printed on foil board which makes the pictures look that much better. For the auto/jersey subsets, I am very surprised as to how great the photos are. Each one has nicely selected action shots, and no weird helmetless players. Is it Upper Deck base set worthy? No. Is it close? Yes.

One of the additions to the set is the use of player number die cut jumbo jersey pieces. They have them for the Tools of the Trade, RPM Autos, and at least one other subset. These pieces are huge, and they look "rozdixculouslee" cool on both the RPMs and the TOTTs due to the space for amazing patches.

They also instituted team logo jumbo swatches, which also look pretty cool, but the size doesn’t compare to the number diecuts, mainly because some teams have small logos.

As always, the Tools of the Trade is my favorite part of this set. The cards are always cool, they usually have multiple types of swatches or nice patches, and they are probably the last shoe card subset on the market. I kind of wish they wouldn’t use the full foil board on these and make them regular like they did with 2005 baseball, but I guess this is the new trend. In all seriousness, it isnt that bad of a change, it just make things more shiny. Plus, with DLP back into baseball, I am PRAYING for 2008 Absolute Baseball. I would be into a case for that shit.

The Bad

There is only a few bad things about this set, and one of them is the RPMs. First off, they hardly changed at all. They look pretty much exactly the same as last year, and I am kind of angry about that. I would like them to try a horizontal design one year, but I guess the jumbos would be tough with that format.

Another bad thing is still including the base RC autos as a box hit. That is awful. At one guaranteed auto per box with a max of two, hitting this crap for 120 bucks is beyond frustrating. Its time to wise up about this and include them as an extra hit in one of the packs.

The Ugly

Why oh why do we get fucking event used football pieces in the RPM RCs? I cant fucking understand what DLP's obsession with these is? They are in this product, Gridiron Gear, LCM, and at least one other product. Could this not be a better example of why event used bullshit should be eviscerated from the hobby? Just to give you an example of how "event used" works:

- The player throws on a jersey in the RC tent
- The DLP rep throws him a ball
- The player throws the ball back
- The player takes off the jersey
- Both items go into a box as "event used"
- I die a little inside

Yeah, this needs to stop.
Also, can we get some better cardboard for this product? This is the second year in a row with ultra condition sensitive materials used to produce these cards. Trust me, it sucks balls when your McFadden has more damage than a woman who was abused as a kid.

Overall, I am still a huge fan of Absolute despite the over-abundance of EU jerseys and balls. When it comes down to it, you cant beat some of the awesome cards from the sets. Plus, the 1/1s have limitless potential as its pretty obvious that jumbo swatch 1/1s have the possibility of being fucking amazing.

Go buy yourself some of this stuff right now so you can tell me what you get. I will be part of a six box break later today, so ill let you guys know if I get anything cool. Besides, the next product on the list is the abortion that is Topps Lettermen FB, so prepare yourself for a long few weeks until LCM.

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