Friday, January 8, 2010

Worst of the Worst 2004-2009 #3 - 2007-2009 Topps Triple Threads

Everyone knows how much I absolutely despise Triple Threads, but it only made it to number 3 on this list. That’s how bad the top two are. In my opinion, this shit house of a product is one of the longest running crap fests in the history of the hobby, stemming from 2007 through 2009. Usually, if a product is bad, they dump it before losing face on another year's worth of bad cards. Not so with Triple Threads. This product has somehow built a following with Joe Collectors hobby wide, who have cared more about how many "relics" and stickers you can stuff onto a card than how it looks when its done. In fact, many of them consider it to be the best product ever made. How they have kidded themselves into thinking that is beyond me.

First, lets start with the format, because this is where most of the JCs even have problems with this product. For the price you would normally spend on a box of a vastly superior product, Triple Threads gives you absolutely nothing. Your first hit is a triple jersey card, most of which are from back end rookie premiere players, or oddly comboed triads of "related subjects" (I use the term related loosely). These cards are usually one color swatches of material "not from any specific game or season." These cards can sell for less than the cost of some of the base parallels, and rarely get you back any of the cost of the 100 dollar MSRP pack. Your second hit is an auto, which over 75 percent of the time will be a crap rookie. This means "getting Simpson'ed" runs rampant in this product, more than any other product of this cost bracket. Just for comparison, here are some other products and their cost, and how they relate to this product:

Topps Triple Threads 170 dollars, 1 auto, mid range resale value

SP Authentic - 120 dollars, 3 autos, high resale value
Leaf Limited - 80 dollars 1-3 autos, mid range resale value
Ultimate Collection - 80 dollars, 1 auto, mid range resale value
Leaf Certified Material - 80 dollars, 1-2 autos, mid range resale value
Topps Chrome - 50 dollars 1-2 autos, mid to low range resale value

When you look at it that way, things get crazy. Topps Chrome uses better designs, the same stickers, and people love it, yet the box costs less than half of what a Triple Threads box costs. The format of this product is ridiculous and justifies a spot on this list, but wait! There's more!

The design of this product is one of the worst in the industry, year to year. Since 2007, the cards have changed so little that some people cant tell the difference between an older card and a newer one. The layout that Topps' design team chooses is always a combination of neon colored rainbow foil, huge swatch windows diecut with odd words and phrases, tiny player pictures, and foil auto stickers that are recessed into the actual design of the card. Yes, despite being a high end product, Topps still wants us to look directly at the gaudy foil sticker.

I havent even started with the fold out cards, which have proven to be the worst part of this worst of the worst set. Because Topps couldn’t find enough room on one card for their junk, they needed find a way to STUFF more crap onto an extra card that is connected to the first one. Actually, there are now TRI-fold cards in this years product because two werent sufficient. Wow. Don’t even ask about some of the weird ass phrases they try to confusingly spell out with die cut windows. More space = more confusion for these.

Then we have parallels. So many parallels that I cant even name them all off. They all have their own neon foilboard color, and some even spell out more stupid shit. Each card has at least 10 parallel versions, 4 printing plates, a 1/1, and as many prime versions. Each player can have up to 4 different designs for the set, and when the top level is as high as /199, things can get fucking crazy.

If this was a contest for worst product of the year, Triple Threads would be at the top year after year. Its just the worst product ever conceived for a long run in the industry. Sadly enough JCs buy and melt for this product that it should continue in Baseball, but luckily for us, football is done after this year. Maybe Topps will put out one last set just to fuck with me. Funny enough, this set spawned the golden rule of Topps. This is what started it all.

I actually wish I had the intellectual fortitude to continue writing about this product, but it is so bad that I am choking down the remains of my breakfast from two hours ago. I can only imagine what I will have to go through for the set up next.


  1. "In fact, many of them consider it to be the best product ever made. How they have kidded themselves into thinking that is beyond me."

    This coming from the guy who has kidded himself into thinking Upper Deck Black Football is a good product!

    Different strokes for different folks!

  2. "I wish I had the intellectual fortitude to continue writing about this product,..."

    Sorry, couldn't resist - you wish you had intellectual fortitude full stop.