Thursday, January 29, 2009

Product Review: 2008 National Treasures

When National Treasures' sell sheet was released, I was pumped, and then subsequently disappointed with the way cards looked. To me it seemed like it was basically the same set as it was last year, the RC patches looked the same, the base cards were generally the same, and to be honest, I thought the sticker autos were still ridiculously out of place. I wont say this is my favorite set of the year, but so far, it is one of the only ones I would buy singles of.

The Good

I love the painted look of the player portraits and full size player pics. They have a masterpieces like look, and I think it’s a great Idea to stray from the "lets slap a pic on these cards" ideas of how to produce cards. What it creates, is a great way to include pictures of players who played before the invent of color television and photography, and it gives a more worn and worthy aura to the cards.

I also like the new sets they have included into the product, mainly the heisman cuts, the college materials, and also the different RC subsets I have seen. There are some I hate, but we will get to those later.

A few days ago, I showcased the Emmitt Smith card that I saw previewed, and I was shocked at its awesome beauty. The card looked amazing. They had full pics of the players, awesome placement of stickers and patches, and it had actually improved on a previous year's release. That RARELY happens in this hobby. I think that most of the card from that set are amazing in appearance, and if I were to collect one set in this whole release, it would be that. Just well done in general. Too bad they couldn’t get their shit together for on card autos.

As for the RC patch autos, I am going to file most of them under good. They have done their best to include amazing patches, and the on card autos are always a plus. I love the tapered windows this year, as that was a vast improvement over the big ass block patches from last year. Even the non-on card autoed RC patches with the two windows look 10 times better than last year. For some reason, I just didn’t like the oval windows with a stickers, and I really like the squares with the designs around it. Very cool. Even as far as the 1/1 logo patch autos for all the rookies, they got them all on card, which is AWESOME. The forte is up right now, and you can expect that every high end collector is keeping an eye on it.

Mainly, when it comes to this set, you know why DLP saves it to the end every single year. Its just a well put together product.

The Bad

I mentioned earlier when I reviewed Playoff Prestige way back at the beginning of the card year that DLP had major fucking issues with weirdly placed jersey windows. This set has them too, and they are really fucking annoying. If a base card parallel has a jersey window but no auto, it looks lopsided. If a "Champions" subset card has a jersey window but no auto, some of the time, it is placed WAAAAAAAAAAY over to the right. That is completely inexcusable. I have said numerous times that a card needs to be designed separately for the autos and the jerseys, or designed to focus more on the jersey window placement rather than keeping that space for the auto window.

Secondly, the triple relic cards are ridiculous. The patch diecuts are horizontal and the pics are vertical? Who had that stupid ass idea? Its almost like on a grade school test when you had a column of vocab words and a column of their definitions next to each other, and you had to draw a line to connect the word with the correct definition. Total crap. Put the players next to their swatch.

The Ugly

If it werent at all aparent that they were using event used gross ass jerseys that were worn for 3 seconds at the RC premiere, they have like 8 different logo patch cards for each RC, and 25 brand name patches. Considering how many other logo patches they have used this year, I am done with RC logo cards. At this point in the year, AFTER the NFL season is over, we should have at least 1 GUed jersey to use for this product. I say the same thing for Exquisite, but for some reason, it cant happen. Now, when you have an updated pic in Leaf Limited from week one, you can have a game used jersey in NT.

I think it is ridiculous to have the Leaf Rookies and Stars Patches in every box. I know you needed to use them up, but save it for a product I don’t care about. It is fucking ridiculous to see such a crappy excuse for a card in National Treasures, when they have already been in Playoff Fucking Prestige at like 2 dollars a pack. This is completely bat shit crazy to think that we would support this inclusion in a SUPER high end product, let alone at 1 per pack. Its like having another scrub auto to go through every single box.

Lastly, the upside down auto stickers are the dumbest fucking mistake I have ever fucking seen. Get some QC people on the fucking ball and FIX IT. I swear to god, a little part of me dies every single time I see one, not only on this product but on others too. The biggest deal here is that all these cards are hand fucking packed.

Overall, this product makes the grade for me, despite its short falls. I think it is still the most fun product to break, but with Exquisite revamping itself this year, we may have a new competitor in this category. Although the cards arent worth as much as UD's super high end offering, they definitely arent crap. I love national treasures, and I look forward to seeing some of the awesome cards that are inevitably going to be discovered in the coming weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I love the rookie patch cards even more than last year and that goes for all the versions.

    I like the championship sets, bit material and autos.

    I like the single player patch auto cards that spells out MVP, HOF, NFC, AFC, ROY. They look totally awesome.

    I like the Rookie combo cards, however I don't like that a dual NFL logo card is # to 10. That should obviously be a 1/1.

    I like the superbowl sets. They look better than last year. The same goes for the base set.

    What I don't like is the 3 and 4 X game used cards, they were better last year.

    I also hate the manufactured patch autos which belongs in a $50 product.

    I don't like the anniversery sets, design is really shitty for those cards.