Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Topps Wants Feedback, So Im Going To Give It To Them

Over on the Topps Blog, they are holding a "contest" where collectors can answer five questions and win a box of Triple Threads or Topps Football (*gasp!*). These five questions are pretty soft, and I want a shot at answering them with a little more punch.

1. What products from our previous Topps football lines would you like to see us continue or bring back?

Obviously, people are going to want to see the return of the Chromes and products like Mayo or base Topps for the set collectors. The problem is that so many of their products are absolutely terrible. Mayo was god awful last year, especially with a lack of on card signatures. The design was boring, the checklist was ridiculously weak, and I fell asleep watching people open boxes of it. Because set collectors have such a small place in every sport but baseball, they are forced to settle for junk like Mayo. Then when you move into sets like Triple Threads, Sterling, and other high end releases, collectors are again forced to settle for less than poor. Topps created Platinum specifically to compete with SP Authentic, but how can a higher end version of Chrome with sticker autos compare to hard signed cards that look better than any other release from Topps' entire calendar? Triple Threads is even worse, especially because Topps expects people to spend up to 170 dollars for a sticker scrub auto and a jersey card. I can spend 80 bucks on Ultimate and get cards that look that much better with hard signed signatures. Hell, even Limited cut triple threads a new asshole this year. 100 bucks and you get as many as two autos a box, three hits total. You want to know what products to bring back? How about focusing on creating products that give us something new and fresh, rather than just putting out the same sets with the same content year after year.

2. What new products or ideas would you like to see?

Oh man, where to start. I think its almost essential to focus on revamping the calendar as said above. I have already gotten word that Topps is not producing Bowman Chrome this year, despite the fact that it is one of the more popular sets that they put out. Instead of ditching products that add nothing to the calendar, a la Sterling, they continue to wonder why they cannot compete with the juggernauts that Upper Deck and Donruss put out each year. This has to do with two elements in their mid to high end products, Sticker autos and design. Starting with the stickers, it would be one thing if Topps used them effectively. When you consider how Panini and Upper Deck use their stickers, they try to camouflage them into the cards so that they do not distract from the card. Topps, on the other hand, either builds them into the design with a cutout, or draws attention to the sticker so that your eye immediately notices that its there. On cards like Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome, this is not a problem, but when moving into high end, its practically an expectation.

Secondly, with design, Topps low end sets are always top notch. Always. Then when you look at the products on their late release calendar, its one fail after another. Triple Threads, with all its rainbow neon foilboard glory, hasnt had a new concept since 2006. Whether its the terrible idea of spelling out things in die cut windows, or the fact that all of the cards have player pictures the size of a penny, one begins to wonder where the focus is. Is it stuffing as many relics onto a card as possible, or is it trying to actually make good looking cards.

3. Which 2010 NFL Rookies would you like to see us sign to autograph deals?

The great thing about the NFL is that there hasnt been any exclusive contracts. If they are referring to exclusive contracts with this question, I sincerely hope this is not the beginning of a terrible precedent. Exclusivity breeds boredom and blandness, so I will definitely be fucking angry if Topps thinks that this is a new opportunity to start a war.

4. Regarding our products calendar, which releases would you like to see early in the season, late, etc?

I would like to see them move Chrome to a late release to get on card signatures, but really, I just want them to produce higher end products that appeal to those with the gift of sight. As it stands right now, their entire late calendar is below the bottom of the barrel. I would much rather support a Panini release with floating swatches than some of the fucking crap that Topps puts out with no inspiration. I know I sound like a broken record here, but I hear from trusted sources that Topps absolutely LOVES their late releases. If you have read this blog for any period of time, you know why that makes me feel cheated, especially when so many people start pulling out their hair with each preview that is released. Last year, Topps actually tried the first tri-fold card in a product. Yes, instead of actually designing something that fit on to one or two cards, they actually made one that exploded on to three. Why? With all that space, there wasnt even one redeeming factor other than the "rozduckulous" patches they tried to pull off. Yeah, I get that the patches were nice, but the card consisted of thin borders and no design elements. So fucking stupid.

5. Are there any NFL-related themes, anniversaries, celebrations, etc. you’d like to see featured in our 2010 products?

No, just make good looking cards. Keep Chrome the way it is. Revamp Triple Threads. Use stickers in a normal way. Thats all I fucking want from you.


  1. It makes me wonder why I keep seeing Triple Threads sold and ripped. I see it a LOT... I've seen people gush over it. I see them rabid for each Triple Threads release. I've seen people gush over Platinum. Heck, we still see boxes of Performance ripped like it was going out of style. So, evidently, somehow Topps has a market for this stuff (it might fall under the different strokes for different folks thing - as I like Mayo and you don't).

    My worry is that 2010 will see Topps football basing all sets on their baseball releases... I fear 206 Football. I fear Tribute Football. I'd rather see a return of ATFF, Retired Sig Edition, and Pristine (with classy designs, all). It may be too much to ask for.

  2. "Triple Threads is even worse, especially because Topps expects people to spend up to 170 dollars for a sticker scrub auto and a jersey card. I can spend 80 bucks on Ultimate and get cards that look that much better with hard signed signatures."

    While some people may not like the design of Triple Threads, a box of triple threads is much better value than 2 boxes of Ultimate. Why?

    Firstly, you are guaranteed an autograph card. With Ultimate you can buy 3 or 4 boxes and not get an autograph card. In fact, there is a good chance you will get one of those god-awful multi-player jersey cards with little one-color swatches on it.

    Secondly, the ckecklist is better in Triple Threads. Yes, there are some scrubs there, but you are much more likely to get a scrub auto (if you are lucky enough to get an auto) in ultimate. There are many more superstar and HOFamer autos in Triple Threads.

    Now, I can understand that people may not like the design of Triple Threads and the fact that the autos are sticker autos - but they still look better than those horrible rookie autos in Ultimate (the scrub auto you are most likely to get in the product) with curved lines going everywhere.

    Again, You may not like Triple Threads, but saying Ultimate is better is like saying Tebow is a better quarterback than Clausen.

    Oh, and Mayo was one of the best products last year. Simple, clean and great looking. Much better than UD Black.