Monday, May 11, 2009

I Have High Expectations For 2009 Products

Every year, readers send me boatloads of emails asking which products are the best. I usually have to give them a short answer in the interest of not writing a novel, but most of the time it boils down to 5 products that don’t usually disappoint. Last year I talked here about my favorite cards of the year for each rookie class, so I thought I would update things a little with performance updates based on the 2008 products.

Here is my list for 2009:

1. SP Authentic Rookie Patch Auto

I put this one at number one because the design is usually the best of the year, they are usually half the price of their exquisite counterparts, they are on card autos, and they have been around longer than most of the other ones that are making an appearance on this list. Collectors value these over many of the more high end products mainly for those reasons and I agree. SPA is my favorite of the year almost all the time.

2. Exquisite Rookie Patch Auto

These cards come from the Bentley of sports card sets, and usually the design and value reflect that. I loved the RPAs from this past year, which offset the suspect year before it. These are the most valuable cards of the year, but you will pay almost twice the price of a normal card to get one. If you had started a collection of your guy, this would be the centerpiece.

3. National Treasures Rookie Patch Auto

I am only referring to the on card version of this set, as the others can get nuts with the different diecuts. I especially liked this set last year, as the tapered windows were a major, MAJOR upgrade. These may come out of the second most expensive product of the year, but they don’t live up to the cards from SPA and Exquisite. The reason that they are so high on this list, is they are the first super high end card of the year, and most consider these to be Cadillacs to the Bentley mentioned above. I would be fine with a Cadillac.

4. Topps Chrome Rookie Auto

I love Topps chrome, it’s the one Topps product that usually doesn’t disappoint. Add in the fact that they dropped the price last year, and I must have busted 5 boxes. The Chrome autos are usually just the auto'ed version of the base, a tactic I wholeheartedly approve of, and the simplistic card usually scores well with everyone. Although the design isnt fireworks in my heart this year, Im hoping it will look better in person. It usually does. Now, the photography is a whole different story altogether.

5. Leaf Limited Patch Auto

Leaf Limited was a let down last year due to the format switch. The patch autos were still great, however, and that was enough to get me to buy into a few group breaks. I think these made the Contenders from last year look like crap, but that was just me. This year, I hope they are back, and I hope they continue to be one of the more aesthetically pleasing. The one thing I am dreading is more black sharpie over the player's pic. That didn’t make sense with room below.

Honorable Mentions:

- Playoff Contenders Ticket Auto - no material, which I like, but last few years design has been ridiculously bad.
- Leaf Certified Material Mirror Blue Freshman Fabric - Loved 2007, HATED 2008, 2009 is a ?
- Ultimate Collection RC Autos - These were kind of botched in terms of the usual format, but I loved these last year.

Be sure to realize that new products come out every single year, and this year will be no exception as Donini tries to make a splash. So far, we havent gotten much in terms of plans, but you can bet that the other companies will have their guns cocked and ready to fire with their own sexy products. As long as you are good at spotting the '1 year duds' as I call them, you will be fine.

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