Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Problem with Triple Threads

Yesterday, I posted a write up about the Topps Triple Threads releases starting with the original issue in 2006, all the way through this year's release.  I cited the positives of the set, but today I here to discuss some of the weaknesses of the set and also offer up my usual alternative piece about a set (in another post).  Let's start by finishing the argument on the Triple Threads set.  I see two major problems with this set that prevent it from being a slam dunk every year that force me to rank my favorite annual release in the bottom half of important card sets over the last 30 years.  

Stickers are stupid, single jerseys are lame
If you are going to have a high end product then why not get the players to sign on card autographs?  It's well established that the Triple threads product is going to sell for Topps regardless of whether or not the boxes cost collectors $150, $170, or $200.  I would pay a little bit more to get a card with a players signature on the piece of cardboard and not on a sticker.  I know a lot of other collectors who feel the same way.  Further, if you are going to have players sign stickers than spare me the single jersey pieces.  I recently picked up the jersey card below:

2012 Topps Triple Threads Lance Berkman

This is a pretty nice card and as sure as the sun is going to rise tomorrow morning I was going to end up with a copy of a Lance Berkman Triple Threads jersey card this year.  Topps made one, he's on the Cardinals.  I am sold.  Wait a second, this is a high end product.  Why am I getting one piece of jersey in the shape of a home plate?  Lame.  Lame. Lame.  Jersey pieces must cost card companies the same amount of money as a snack pack of Fritos.  Seriously, how many little squares can they cut out of one jersey?  I am not sure where the blogger is who makes his own custom cards, I see it on my Blogger role and they are cool, but I want something cooler.  All Lance Berkman Triple Threads cards should say "PUMA" or "FAT ELVIS" or something better.  I am pretty sure such a card would not break the bank.  It's clear after collecting this set for seven years that the bottom line for Topps is the bottom line.  I know I am not stating anything revolutionary, but nowhere is it clearer than with the production of this set.  

Donruss, Leaf, Pinnacle, New Pinnalce, Score, and the rest of our friends
I remember in 1998 the overabundance of cards issued by Donruss.  They single handedly put out my cardboard than most companies put out in a decade.  Seriously, they put out like 30 sets.  Worse than putting out 30 sets they were all the same thing with different designs.  Same price points, similar inserts.  It was like they were competing against themselves.  

Here we are fourteen years later and we have one card company that makes the same silly mistakes that card companies made over a decade ago.  Seriously, Topps Heritage, Allen & Ginter, Gypsy Queen, and T206 are really similar.  Many years they are all released and have similar autographs, relics, etc.  Topps does it with all their products though.  Look at this year's calendar.  You've got Tier One, Museum Collection, and now Five Star.  They are all really similar products and not very far away from Triple Threads when you look closely.  For example, in Triple Threads you get several pieces of jersey that spell something out.  In Museum Collection you get a big piece of jersey.

2012 Topps Triple Threads Evan Longoria 7 Piece Relic

2012 Topps Museum Collection Evan Longoria Jumbo Jersey

They're the same thing basically, but by releasing two similar products Topps is really just competing against itself in one argument, or worse they are dressing the same thing up and selling it to collectors twice.  Personally, I like the DIRTBAG card better, but if I just had to settle for a huge chunk of Longoria's jersey I'd be cool.  Anyway, it would be nice of Topps to stop issuing some of the extra sets, like Museum Collection, which just last for a year or two and disappear.  


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