Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tale Of The Tape

Mario has posted an aritcle about Sterling from Topps and Prime Cuts from DLP, and it escalated into a comment battle about which would be the better product. I left a comment myself, but I thought I would elaborate here.


This is the third year for Sterling, and typically people go ape shit for this stuff. Im not sure why, as you were paying 250 for 1 hit (possibly a jersey only card), while now, you are paying 350. The checklist has gotten better, but the product is still EXACTLY the same. The first version of this product was actually quite nice with on card autos, but now, its same ole, same ole.

For DLP, Prime Cuts happened in 2005, and was a huge success due to the great looking cards and interesting style for the break. Its back and is banking on a lot of the same stuff it did before, but this time it has some new weapons in Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson. However, with those two players, it also means they do not have the MLB license, which sucks.

Advantage: Prime Cuts - like in wrestling, the guy on the comeback is always on top.

Box Break

Sterling, in this economy, is asking you to pay 350 a box, and in that box, you have a few base cards, a jersey or an auto, and a mystery pack that could contain a letter or something like that every case. If you look at the checklist you will see that this is complete fucking bullshit, as there is no way half of the players are going to live up to 350 a box. Plus with most of the checklist's players in the ground for over 50-60 years, the auto checklist may be tough to hype. The letters would be cool, except for the fact that the cards only feature a little player face in the corner, the letters are all cut on the lines of the patch, and with so many of them, they usually come from people like Luis Rivas.

Prime Cuts is also really expensive, but at least you are guaranteed an Auto. You will also get more hits per box, and the player checklist features a few people that are on Sterling's checklist too. The best part is, you arent stuck with one specific player, and duals and triples are part of the product. Have you seen the Jackson/Rose dual jersey/bat? Its the card we have been waiting for since the invent of GUed cards. The bad part is, its also possible to get a god awful box, as the checklist isnt ALL hall of famers, but it has the luxury of using people like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rose and Jackson in addition to Gherig, Robinson, and Williams.

Advantage: Prime Cuts, you could have the best checklist in the world, but when you buy a box and you get a jersey card and 4 base for $350, you will curse the name Topps to the hills.


Topps must love Triple Scraps Threads because they design all their shit around it. They carve out some weird stat in die cut windows and expect you to drool. "Holy fuck! Roberto Clemente had a 150 IBBs in 1967? Nice, but why is that the design of this card?" Really, Im totally sick of it and I wont touch the product because of it. I know I am not the only one on this. Think of something else please. Also, they design the product around the 2005 backlog of Topps Certified foil stickers and still want 350 a box? Give me a fucking break, go get some clear ones or have them sign the damn cards. Stickers should not be in a $200+ product, especially when it is the only hit in the box.

DLP, for prime cuts, look like they are going wood retro for the set which looks pretty cool. The Hank Aaron patch card from the preview looks amazing and I expect that the rest of the set will look just as good. There is also a chance that the cards will be encased for protection like Celebrity Cuts, which gets a huge A+ from me. Again, they have stickers, which look stupid on a high end product, but at least its not the topps ones.

Advantage: Prime Cuts, Topps needs to fire their design team

Chase Cards

Topps has some major chases in this, and ill tell you, they are always cool. With the addition of Ruth, and the rest of the guys, you can bet your ass this will be the best year for cuts and patches.

DLP is making the chase into pulling cards from players you dont normally see. That is cool, because I want a chance at a chase, not a lottery-style chance at a chase. Either way, I dont know much about the cut list, but it wont be as good as sterling, despite the design being better equipped to handle them.

Advantage: Sterling, for a Ruthian chase card possibility

Game Used Shit

Sterling is notorious for using "game used" swatches rather than game used swatches. I cant tell you how angry I would be if I found that my Mantle card was from an old timers game rather than from his hey day in Yankee stadium. There is no excuse for putting these players in the set if you dont have the swatches to use. No one wants non-game used shit in a product this expensive, especially when it is the ONLY HIT IN THE BOX.

Prime Cuts will use all game used swatches, and should state that on the back of the cards. Nothing else needs to be said.

Advantage: Prime Cuts by a long shot, but this shouldnt even be an issue. Get rid of the stark white swatches.


Topps jumbo patches are amazing, and go for a ton. See the Gwynn from the preview. If only the card design had player pictures on it too.

Prime Cuts will probably stick to normal shit.

Advantage: Sterling, the patches speak for themselves.


Lets face it, Sterling gives you a kick in the nuts for what you get in the box. You have the chance at something good, and you have a chance at a Ruth cut or a small fortune in a nice jumbo patch, but really it wont make a difference because it is suck a small chance. Topps is using up all their stickers and left over crap swatches to make this product, and people jizz themselves just thinking about it. Those are the same people that love Lettermen Football and love Triple Scraps, and so Im not that surprised.

In the long run, its better to avoid Sterling like the plague, and see box breaks of Prime Cuts before buying. I wont be touching either, though I will definitely be in the market for some Hammerin' Hank cards and some Say Hey Kid cards. Those guys are some of my favorite of all time, and they are DLP only. Even if they werent, I wouldnt want a card that says "12 errors 1963" as the die cut window.

Advantage In a Landslide: Prime Cuts

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the rule: Topps products over 100 dollars are never worth your time.


  1. "12 errors in 1963" that's hilarious. Who knows, someone may make a product "Worst Game Ever" and have cards and relics that actually say stuff like that. I wouldn't put it past card companies.

  2. Gellman, you know how much I love DLP, and I think Prime Cuts is gonna rock over London, and Rock on Chicago. However, as I just discovered, I think Topps is feeling the economic cruch. I just checked TWGM, and Blowout is pre-selling Sterling for $222/box, and Prime for $155/box. I know they announced the srp's at $350 and $200 respectively, but I think Topps may have realized that no one is going to pay $350 when the country is circling the bowl. I almost have to wonder if they've cut production like they did with BCDP&P and Heritage. Maybe less cuts & patches than everyone thought there were going to be.

  3. The only way I touch either product would be in a group break. I just can't see spending over 150 on a box. I'd rather spend 2oo or 300 bucks on a card show spending spree or an e-bay binge. That way I would know exactly what I was getting.

  4. Charlie, I love DLP football, and OLD DLP baseball, new DLP baseball still needs to wine me and dine me before getting in my pants.

    Well, is one hit per box still worth $222 to you when its a Robin Yount "23 double plays 1987" card?

  5. Only if it has a piece of "game used" butt scratcher on it.

    Oh, and a really shiny Topps sticker too.

  6. All in all though, I think a mediocre box of Prime with a rookie auto and some veteran gu will deliver more joy in opening than a mediocre box of Sterling with one gu and no auto. If you shell out for either of these, I think that's about the best you can realisticaly hope for.

  7. Yeah, I agree with you there. Its too bad they littered this product with RC bullshit. Let Chrome be chrome.