Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2009 National Treasures Is Live, Threads-y

Its Tuesday, and that means that 2009 National Treasures is hitting eBay. I have voiced my disapproval of the direction that this set has taken, and it is becoming that much more apparent now that more cards are hitting eBay. This product used to be about great looking cards with an old fashioned focus, all of which has changed to an overpriced version of Donruss Threads and Rookies and Stars.

Back in 2006, NT was DLP's answer to Exquisite Collection's massive success, but now it is put out only to continue the tradition of super high end. In my opinion, with the way that Upper Deck runs Exquisite (all on card, lots of autos, continuity of the main parts of the set, etc) National Treasures has actually become more of a competitor with SPA in terms of value. Collectors expect new ridiculous things out of Exquisite, they just expect National Treasures to be there every year. Oddly enough, National Treasures' biggest problem is that it has yet to employ the practices it needs to on the high end autograph front. This is pretty much the main factor behind its lack of competition, with design now added into it. With UD featuring as many on card sets as it does, NT hassnt been able to live up to the hype. In a 2006 world where everything was stickers, it was different, but now, UD has set the bar too high for them to reach in that respect. Hell, UD even managed to get on card stuff into the lower end of things with Philadelphia and UD Draft, and that is in boxes that don’t include 400 dollar price tags.

The way that DLP always competed for business with its high end was in the design it used for the product. It hearkened back to the mahogany and painted feel of an antique item, focusing more on the history of the game than the rookies. Rookies were a part of it, but the focus was on the "treasures" of football. In 2007, things started to move away from that, while still keeping the soul of the 2006 product. In 2008, the design was still very good looking, and featured a lot of tributes to the original set. In 2009, all is out the window, and it looks more like an overpriced versions of the lower end sets that DLP puts out every year - minus the foil board.

Don’t get me wrong, the Rookie Auto Patch cards don’t look bad outside of the bubbled on card sigs, but the rest of the set might as well have been National Gridiron Gear or National Rookies and Stars. Instead of focusing on the parts that made the previous sets great, they focused on the rookies and cheap ways to say that NT features on card sigs, when really 90% of it is stickers in a 400 dollar product.

They may think that they can blind us with jumbo logo patches of the 2009 rookies, but even the JCs are not fooled by cards that normally made them salivate in previous years. This years National Treasures is a horrible attempt at an overhaul, and you can bet that things will need fixing if Panini expects to stay in the deep end of the super high end pool.


  1. Other than the shot there of Gale Sayers doing his best Michael Jackson impression, I don't think they look that horrible. I've seen much worse.

    You are right on one thing though. A super premium product needs to step it up.

  2. Disgusting. I also don't agree about the rookie auto patch cards. They are no where near as good as the last couple of years. It's sad because I want to buy and break high end like I have in the past but I just can't justify it when products like this are out there.

    I guess they really don't want my money. Guess I'll go back and break some 2008 stuff...

  3. At least this makes the past releases more desirable?

  4. gremlin, I agree they dont look as awful as some of the other stuff that Panini has put out this year, but it doesnt look better than the stuff that costs 1/4th of the price. It looks like every other Panini set, minus the foilboard. Is that what it takes to have a set without foil? An extra 300 bucks per box? Cmon.

  5. UD also had on card autos in Heros. This years NT set isnt ugly, its just not NT...

  6. This looks medicore at best...some of the cards look decent...but can we please dump the all sticker autos basically? Gives us some more on card crap and bigger jersey/patch windows.

  7. They don't look great, but they don't look bad or mediocre either. They look good - which is about the same as 2008 Exquisite and much better than the UD Black football, the worst product of the year by a mile.

  8. Actually there are some similarities between Exquisite and 2009 National treasures. Look at this card:


    and this card:


    Even in terms of base cards there isn't a huge difference between 2009 NT and some Exquisite base cards, for example this:


    and this:


    or this:


  9. Or even compare this:


    to this:


  10. I present to you, Gridiron Longevity Prestige!

    Anyone notice that the Harvin says "Game-Worn" on it? Did they get a game-worn jersey? Or did they play checkers at the premier?

  11. There is no way that is game worn, I think its a mistake, but it sure does add some electricity to selling it that way.