Thursday, October 2, 2008

Product Review: 2008 SP Rookie Threads

All I have to say is that its amazing what a good design theme can do to a product. Last years product made my no touchie list, but this product may actually be something you want to take a look at. There is still some to be desired, but no more than any other product. To tell you the truth, I wasnt going to even review this product, but after seeing it, its worth a go.

The Good

Design is everything to a product and I think the theme of this one is really fucking cool. They made it seem like everything is a patch that is sewn on to the card, and I think it makes it look really unique. Last years was blah and a half, while this year actually has some pizzazz, which makes ALL the difference.

Looking at some of the auto subsets, I like the ideas. The SP Authentics one is very cool, making it seem like the player is manifesting through the NFL logo on the Jersey. Its color coordinated for each team and I think that could be the best subset. Moving on to the lesser auto subsets like signing day and signature draft pick, I love the design, but its the same for all of them. Ill get to that later, so ill just discuss what I like here. The patchwork design for the sets look really clean and well organized, something that is rare these days, and it makes for a cool card.

As for the Letters, the focus of the product, they are a 500% improvement over last year. Gregg mentioned yesterday that they were based on the college teams in order to build the letters in advance, and I think it works on a few levels. There are a few problems, which I will get to later, but overall, the design is a huge improvement. Also, they tell you what the fuck they spell out ON THE CARD so that is huge. We are no longer left wondering what the fuck this R is for in McFadden.

The Bad

I am not a fan of the Ultimate Syndrome, or the same design used for more than one subset with different names. It seems like a lame attempt to fill an overextended product, but at least the design works better than 07 Ultimate's ever did. For some reason, Upper Deck does this more than most, but that doesnt mean that others are innocent. I have seen it with DLP and Topps, and I hope it stops. Now.

I also want to talk about color schemes, which is kind of a crap shoot when building letters for non-drafted RCs. Dolphin Teal does not go at all with Wolverine Navy and Gold. Im sorry. This is the one time I may have used some college jersey photos.

This product is also filled with Jersey only cards of the RCs, which I can never stand. The event used jerseys are never cool unless accompanied by an auto, and this product is overflowing with event used jerseys. Until we can perfect a way of getting more "athelete important" pieces into a rookie product, I think it would be better to fill it with veteran jerseys and rookie autos and auto/jerseys.

The Ugly

There isnt much ugly with RC Threads, suprisingly, but the price point on this product is still bad. It seems like they may have brought it down 25-50 dollars, but there is still no reason for a product like this to cost that much. Its almost like creating a contrived value by making it more expensive. Gregg said he might bring it down to a 6.99 per pack/16 packs per box next year with fewer hits, and I am in very much agreement with that. Jersey/Auto per pack is nothing special anymore, so lets focus on making affordable products in a failing economy.

Overall, if you are hurting for some cool stuff, this might be something to take a whack at. Its a long time until Ultimate and SPA, and this might be a good shot for you UD deprived people. Gridiron Gear has a definite potential to suck this year, based on what I have seen now on DLPs website, and this might be a nice replacement break. I may acutally pick up a few singles, which surprised the hell out of my buddy, considering how much I ragged on this shit last year.

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