Friday, January 22, 2010

The Creeping Death Of Foldout Cards

I cant stand booklet cards. I just hate everything about them. Its pretty obvious that my hatred for Topps Triple Turds has something to do with it, but it extends far into this year's preview for 2009 Exquisite Football. It is a completely needless innovation, it looks awful, and most of the time, its just Topps looking for extra places to spell out weird shit with swatch windows.

The onslaught of the foldout cards started in 2007 Triple Threads, when Topps decided that one card wasn’t enough room to stuff their relics into. They created hinged cards where the outside alerted the collector that they had pulled some "OMG SIZCKZ MOJOZ!!" and the inside was where the neon foilboard magic happened. In the product, there were one player hinged cards, and multi player hinged cards, all with the goal of trying to have a little more room to spell out that incosequential phrase.

In 2008, Topps went a step further, introducing their famed visual laxative "Triple Threads XXIV." For this card version of 2 girls 1 cup, they threw design and layout to the wind in order to shoehorn 24 different windows onto the two cards. This meant little room for player pictures or common reading practices, as many of the cards required some major deduction skills to read.

These cards extended into other sets as well, including the horrid Topps Sterling baseball and other high end fare. Collectors who cared little about the way a card looks and more about getting "relics" of their favorite players went nucking futs for these cards, while a vocal minority group of people scoffed at them. Due to Topps' notorious reputation of cutting up jerseys from old timer games and exhibitions, cards like the booklets held little value for people with eyes.

Fast forward to 2009, where booklet cards have continued their Sherman March into the hobby. In 2008-2009 Exquisite Basketball, the booklet cards made their mainstream upper deck debut, to much fanfare. These "upper-deckers" were little more than glorified triple threads foldouts, even though they were signed on card and very low numbered. Topps even took it a step further to stay ahead of the wave, introducing cards that were tri-hinged for extra vomit, and cards hinged vertically rather than horizontally.

Being a part of that vocal minority, I have voiced my opinion quite a bit on the existence of foldouts. Oddly enough, some of those collectors with relic manifest destiny on the brain have started complaining to. The main reason is that these cards are very hard to protect without paying 20 bucks on ebay for a custom holder. Add in that jerry rigging a holder out of two top loaders doesn’t give you complete coverage, and there is a larger problem at bat here. Yes, I realize its only a matter of time before one touch comes out with something, but until then, I will laugh heartily at the people who chase these hobby versions of the people of Wal Mart.

See, I am not a person who cares how many pieces of jersey you can stuff onto a card, no matter if its game or event used. I want to see cards that look good. Most of the time, these foldouts are created for the sole purpose of tickling the testicles dangling from the collectors who live and die for jersey cards, not those who care about design and content. I also think it’s a good reason why these rare cards, even when autoed, hardly eclipse the price of a simple and elegant single jersey auto or patch. Hopefully this gimmick will go the way of the atomic refractor very quickly, though its not looking good at this point. As long as Joe Collectors outnumber those of us who don’t scream "LAST PACK MOJO!" everytime we bust a box, things will continue as is. All I can say is bring on the boredom, ill stick with my old favorites.


  1. I will always like jersey cards - I don't care how overdone they've become, but I definitely like them more with thought out design. I mean, how are they so much worse than a player signing a million stickers, some of them being slapped on 1/1s, others on non-serial numbered Bowman junk??

    The thing that gets me most about these weird spelled-out mega jersey cards is the spacing between letters...

  2. I don't like the goofy spellings. But I like the cards like the NL East cards and the ASG booklet is pretty nifty.

  3. That Topps Sterling is absolutely atrocious! Looks like a little kid pulled out his rainbow coloring book and made it into a card. Yes, we as collectors like a little inginuity and change of design, but at least have some continuity and make it look good. It's almost like the designer has no background at all in design!

  4. "Event-used" or not, that patch would look nice if it were an oversized card and not a trifold.

    Just give me a redemption for it, so you don't have to cut it up! What a waste...