The 2010 football card year is officially underway. Which is cool, because unlike real calendars, we don’t need no stinkin’ end to the previous year before we start the next (2009 Exquisite isn’t due out until 3/30…not that it will be “stinkin'” by any means). As I bluntly alluded to in an earlier post, the first product of the year, for me, is 2010 SAGE Hit Low Series (sorry, Razor U.S. Army All American Bowl).
Hobby boxes come with 30 5-card packs for a total of 150 cards. I purchased this box from Blowout Cards for $104.99 shipped, which translates into a $0.70/card ratio. This is a bit higher than I would prefer for a college-themed set, especially since they are all undrafted rookies at this point. The box promises (on average) 6 autograph cards per box and at least 1 insert card per pack.
1 insert in each of these bad boys
Base Cards (#1-50): 120 – 100%
1x: 14 (all The Program subset cards)
Parallels: 13 (10 Silver; 3 Gold)
Inserts: 14 (9 Prospectus; 3 The Write Stuff; 2 Make Ready #/50)
Autographs: 6 (1 Base; 4 Silver; 1 Gold #/250)
FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: The base card design is actually pretty nice in my opinion; clean and crisp. The HIT and team logos are well placed and while I’m not usually a fan of sidebar text, it works for this design. I might expect more from a major manufacturer, but for a “micro company”, these are actually quite good. I would like to see more information on the card back though. They also need to work on the cutting process. While scanning, I noticed some of the cards are not the same size while others had issues with right angles on the corners.
2nd Down, Inserts: The parallels are well done, although they look like a base card with silver or gold glitter pressed on top (none of it rubbed off on my fingers thankfully). The Prospectus cards are good — nice design and good tidbits of player info on the back. The Write Stuff, while easily lending itself to an autograph parallel, is a waste. Those cards did nothing for me, especially with the facsimile signature being on the card back. The Make Ready cards were also odd. They look like printing plates, but they are just normal cards that only received 1 of the 4 printing colors. It looks like they were searching for an insert to serial number. The autographs are nice (no redemptions!) although I’d rather see just one autograph set with maybe one variant. There are too many autograph sets to chase. I am undecided if hand numbering the gold parallels (rather than using a serial number stamp) is good or bad, especially from a fake-scare position.
3rd Down, Collation: Meh. What do you expect when you get 150 cards when the base set is only 50 cards? I do not like getting doubles from the same box, and this box had doubles aplenty. The Program subset was almost another insert as I only pulled one double of the 15 in the set. I would rather see a lower card count (and lower price) for the box to avoid so many doubles. And if duplicates have to exist, shoot to give me 3 of each card instead of 2 of some and 5 of another. Also, a word of warning if you are only buying a few packs: I pulled the 6 autographs from 3 consecutive packs in the middle of the box and again in the final 3 packs. So unless you are the first to pull from a box, you probably shouldn’t plan on pulling an autograph if other pack buyers catch onto that trend.
4th Down, Overall Value: In two words: not good. Sam Bradford autographs are running a little over $60 right now and a few others are pulling $25, but most cards are generating less than $5 on eBay. 25 ct. lots of even the best future rookie base cards are going for around $2.50. With a per-card price of $0.70 (or $17.50 if you look at price per “hit”), you might as well wait. If you really want this set and are not concerned with prospecting, wait until after cards featuring these guys in NFL unis (or at least card logos) are released. These completely college themed cards should plummet after that.
RED ZONE RESULTS: MISSED FIELD GOAL I applaud a young and small company for going out and producing a great looking set with pack-inserted autographs. However, the base checklist is just too small and the inserts almost too numerous to make this product really worthwhile. There are no penalties or turnovers here, but 2010 SAGE Hit Low Series just couldn’t light up the scoreboard for me.
NEXT UP (tentatively): 2010 Press Pass Football