Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Its Not All Fuzzy Bunnies and Rainbows With Exquisite

Exquisite is live, and there are some breaks that are finally making their way onto message boards. It gives people a first look at box makeup, and results have been good and bad. I think the way the cards look are very much living up to the previews we got from Upper Deck during packout, but a few complaints are surfacing about a few things that seem unacceptable to me if true. Outside of these few complaints, I think that we are going to have a blast with the boxes that we will be getting, and hopefully the cards will equal the excitement that I have over the product in general.

The main complaint so far is that there seems to be a lot of chipping and damage to the cards in the boxes. I have commented numerous times how terrible this can be, especially for a card that is as rare as some of the chase examples are. My suggestion has always been encasement, but more than one manufacturer has expressed how costly and time consuming that would be when the issue has been brought up. Not that its an excuse for the damage displayed so far, but when the cards are put in cardboard boxes without holders and handled by a number of people, it increases the possible damage to the card. That sucks, bad.

I will say that this is nothing new for Exquisite and nothing new for hand packaged products in general. Its expected, as unforuntate as that is, and it doesn’t stop many collectors from buying the chipped cards because of the extreme rarity that characterizes the product. No one should be grading these cards, and I have said before that its more about the card itself than the condition with these. Regardless of collector's willingness to put up with chipping, it doesn’t make it any less of a crap oversight.

Another thing I noticed is a lack of a certain player in the set, something I talked about when the checklist was first released. The darlings of last year's season were definitely Drew Brees and Brett Favre, but only one is reflected with presence in the set. Brees has many cards in the product including cool inscriptions, but Favre only has 1 or 2 without a single auto. A rare materials was pulled on blowout, but the pic has him in a Vikings uniform, where the jersey swatches are from the Packers. I understand why this is the case (the cost of Favre stuff from the Vikings is astronomical), but I think a lack of Favre autos in this product will hurt a lot of prospects for Vikings fans and Favre fans.

Lastly, the box configuration seems to be more geared towards additional swatch cards than additional auto cards. I understand that cost is mutually exclusive to adding further auto content, but I dont think thats what people are thinking about when opening a box of this stuff. Much like Ultimate, the cool auto cards are awesome enough to chase a box or two, but the jersey ones have huge potential to kill a box. However, that is the nature of a product like this. At least you are guaranteed an extra auto in the bonus packs, and there are no more non-auto jersey cards, only patches.

EDIT: Just got confirmation that its 1 base, 1 Rookie Patch Auto, 1 Rookie Auto, 1 "Additional" auto, 2 patch cards, 1 signed booklet. This is a change from previous years where it was 1 jersey/1 patch.

Personally, I will hunt singles in this set like a shark, so I am definitely on board with this Exquisite. I guess we will just have to wait and see how everything turns out after a few more breaks before passing final judgement.


  1. This product is crap because of the lack of Favre content, particularly autos. Oh wait, you mentioned it....

    But seriously, it shows again that when it comes to veteran and HOF/legend content, Panini is much better at including these in their products than Upper Deck, whose products are too rookie focused. You know, for Joe collector looking to rip and flip.

    As for damaged cards, that is the price that you have to pay for on card autos, as it appears much of the damage done to the cards are done by the players when signing it. If you're going to bitch and moan and about sticker autos, then don't bitch and moan when on card autos are damaged.

  2. Damage could be avoided by keeping the dark colors/foil off the borders. Last year's SPA was a perfect example of how to do it. But UD has turned into Panini with the foil crap (not that AG will ever admit it).

    This stuff looks awful as well with all the dumb die-cut cards. Having 4 guys and using the first letter of their last name is just stupid. NT is a much, much better product at a cheaper price.