Monday, June 1, 2009

Its Going To Be A Long Couple Of Months...

Over the next few months, there will be 10-15 products that will have post premiere stuff, but are still before the start of the NFL season. If you consider that august is the preseason start and september is when things get going, there are quite a few chances for you to pick up NFL uni stuff from your draft target (if you have one), or new stuff from last year's target. With 10-15 products coming out, which one is the first one to be worth your time?

Elite looks to be next on the calendar for Donini products, and I guarantee you that this is not the first product to be worth your time. Although you get 4 hits per box and one auto usually, the cards are usually just Prestige Chrome. The only redeeming part of Elite is the Passing the Torch Autos, which are astronomical pulls for a good one. Add in that the checklist is as bad as Prestige for the RC autos, and you have a really bad situation for box breaks. See, before the premiere, there is not as many seeding schemes that favor the guys who were there. Most of the time, you will end up with a second day pick or free agent as your box hit, rather than a premiere guy as your box hit. For 100 bucks, you can bet your ass that you would be better served to wait.

Then you move onto Heroes and Philadelphia for UD, which in my opinion are good sets, but not necessarily the top of the pile for RC auto collectors. The difference between Heroes and Philadelphia and the other products from Donini, is that both the UD products will have on card elements, with Philadelphia being the best of the three based on the info we got from the premiere. Philadelphia is the product featuring the players' crazy inscriptions that really have not been present before on a card. Instead of just a plain sticker on a rookie card, these will feature more than I have ever thought could be possible. That alone puts UD head and shoulders above Donini. Now, most of you know I am partial to UD in terms of design, creativity, and pretty much everything, and this is why. They take things like a normal autograph, and make it better than one would expect. I used to think that stickers were okay as long as they were done well, but this puts things in a different light. Stickers are still fine, but they will never compete with stuff like inscribed nicknames on card.

Yet, Im not sure that Philadelphia is that one product you should hold your breath for, as I am not a fan of retro sets. It will be the best of the few that have come out pre-premiere, but SPA and Exquisite will still be king. Of course, who wants to wait six months before buying anything? In that vein, you may want to wait for Topps Chrome to come out, as long as it doesn’t have those awful stickers all over the curved auto space. That would suck. At around 60 bucks a box for base RC cards that are actually worth a little bit, you really cant go wrong with buying a couple. Since I started collecting, Chrome and Finest RCs have been my cards each year to get, and that has continued. One of my favorite Peterson cards is still the Chrome auto I have, despite the fact that my Exquisite is a clearly better card. Its just my personal and nostalgic connection to chrome, and that looks to be continuing this year.

I think as collectors, we need to start coming to terms with the fact that 100 bucks for a box with 3 hits and an auto isnt worth it any more in this economy. I know that I can no longer justify buying boxes when I can buy the singles I WANT for less than the price of a break. Much like millions of people in America, my disposable income has been cut, and I no longer have the means to bust and bust. Add in the fact that there are really only 5 products each year that I look forward to, on a calendar of 25+, and you should see the problem. Right now, my products are SPA, Exquisite, NT, Topps Chrome, and Leaf Limited, yet last year many of the Donini products let me down. For the first year in 3, I did not buy any Limited, it just wasn’t as good in huge base box form. I don’t have the money to buy a box of Exquisite or NT, but we have busted a few of each on the site. Chrome I bought about 5 boxes over the course of the year, and SPA I bought 2. This year could be drastically different, though group breaks on the site could change that.

Even though Beckett seems to think that the blogs are cesspools of misinformation and are only good for connecting with other collectors, I think that the commentary is necessary for people looking to plan out their year. I read what they said about early SAGE offerings, and I definitely don’t agree with any of their coverage on products so far. They tend to set a horrible expectation that these products will hold through the year, though every single fucking person knows they wont. Don’t waste your time on Prestige or Elite, and watch yourself on Classics. Absolute is usually pretty fun to bust, so you may want to wait for that. As for UD, Philadelphia will be great as a popular retro set, however it may not hold its value on the rookie side of things. Early sets rarely do, hopefully this will be an exception. If last year's calendar is any indication of the longevity of sets, SPA will be the first bang of the year, and it wont come until December. Ultimate, NT and Exquisite will come at the end as well, and those are the only ones to REALLY hold the year in the minds of collectors. Keep that in mind.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to start collecting football cards this year. Of course I'm going to avoid buying any boxes, but I'll be going for Aaron Maybin autographs. I'll try to get one from every product. He wasn't in Prestige, and he wasn't at the Premiere - hopefully that isn't a bad omen.