Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Product Review: 2008 Gridiron Gear Football

Its time for Gridiron Gear, and I was pumped a long time ago for this set. The problem was that I saw some previews on DLP's website, and I became much less pumped. The set isnt THAT bad, but Ill go over a few things so you know what I mean.

The Good

Gridiron Gear base cards are always pretty nice, and this year they stuck with the winning formula. The pictures are really nice action shots and the foil board around them makes them stand out. But really, they are base cards, so its not a big score to do well on the trimming.

Some of the insert sets are actually pretty cool. Last year, the playbook inserts were basically the crap jerseys you got in a hot box. They were ugly, single color crap pieces, and I always prayed I didn’t get a hot box for that reason. This year, they are still the crap jerseys, but the cards look much nicer. They went with the white background (COMPLETELY UNDERRATED!) and put the jerseys in an "O" or "X" shape. The cool thing is that they also put the player's nick name on the side of the card, so for people like Peterson, it says "AD", and for Braylon Edwards, it says "B-Easy". On a side note, not every player has a cool nickname, so Peyton Manning's just says "Peyton."

I also liked the curved borders for the swatches on most of the jersey cards, another completely underrated technique. Most of the time its just square and boring, but for some of the jumbos and the RC crap, they made the window fit the card. Very sleek.

My favorite cards in the set are the hidden gems autos for the RCs. The Gems template was designed for these cards and it shows. Full bleed pics, a good design, and a sweet idea for the pull out signed jerseys (again, very underrated to used signed swatches in a product). These look like they were the focus of the set designers, and I really applaud them for a cool card set. There are problems with this design, and I will get to them later.

The Bad

Jumbo swatches are good in products, but not when they are just thrown in as parallels. The jumbos from SP RC Threads were very cool, because it was SUPPOSED to be a jumbo swatch. These are just windows that look like they were miscut. They interfere with the pic on the card, and it makes it look really fucking ugly. Ditch this idea, and maybe the patch fakers wont have such a hey day with your cards.

Hot box layout is awful for this product. Yes, you get 8 hits per hot box, but who cares when you are stuck with a base rookie auto and 8 crap jerseys? Hot boxes are supposed to be cool because you get 8 box type hits in one box instead of 3, not just a way to fill out the set with jersey cards you cant use any more. Joe Collectors love these because they are filled with "MOJO!!!!111one", but they are idiots, and I would rather have a 3 hitter any day of the week.

Last year, the Gridiron Gems were fucking beautiful. This year, they had potential, but it was obvious the design was for the pullouts only. The double and triple swatch cards look weird and I think the windows needed to be lower on the card to fit inside the border. That would have made them so much better. Because of this flaw, I may pass on this product all together, but who knows, I may throw together a group break if people want it.

The Ugly

I have brought this up many times before, no more event used football swatches. Who the fuck came up with this crap??? At least with LCM, DLP had the know how to put shoes in the swatch matrix, but with Grid Gear, wow. Personally, I cant think of a more detached player item than a ball they caught for 2 seconds at the rookie premier. I would rather have a ball I bought from Target.

Floating swatches, floating swatches, floating swatches. Holy fucking god this product is chaulk full of these bastards. The next generation cards are so awful that I will die a little inside if I pull one. Total fucking shit for cards with that. Anyways, read the post down the page.

Overall, this product is not as good as Absolute, but better than LCM. I am now VERY scared for National Treasure's potential, and I sincerely hope that they A) Fix the design issues, B) Get off the sticker auto train, and C) Make it as worthwhile as last year. If Grid Gear is any indication, this is going to be a bad year for DLP.

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