Offering some direct competition to SAGE Collectibles, Press Pass has also released its first product for the 2010 calendar. While generally the same concept, Press Pass is able to offer jersey cards and all things Tim Tebow, as he signed an exclusive contract with them for draft-themed products (while SAGE landed a Colt McCoy autograph exclusive).
Hobby boxes come with 28 4-card packs for a total of 112 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $92.95 shipped, which translates into a $0.83/card ratio. I would prefer to see a lower price-per-card average for an undrafted rookies product, but given a recent development in the football market, these cards may be more valuable than I originally thought. The box promises (on average) 5 autograph cards per box and a random sampling of various parallels and inserts (including “rare” jersey cards).
Featuring a two-design pack format
Base Cards (#1-105*): 94 – 69.5%
Short Prints: 2
Parallels: 5 (4 Reflectors #/500; 1 Proof Edition #/100)
Inserts: 8 (7 Banner Season; 1 Gridiron Gamers (Jersey) #/99)
Autographs: 4 (2 Press Pass Signings; 1 Press Pass Signings Gold #/85; 1 Power Pick Auto #250)
* Base cards #101-105 are short printed Power Pick cards
FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: This is an interesting set. When I look at the scans of multiple cards together above, the design looks loud with lots of random lines and shapes. But on an individual card basis, the same basis I was on when opening the packs and then flipping through the stack afterwards, the cards are nice. I remember when I hated getting Press Pass cards in the mid-90s because they felt and looked excessively cheap. This is actually a really nice looking set. One thing I would change? Grab different photos for the card backs. I will also reiterate something I said about SAGE Hit. I don’t care for the subsets in a 100-card base set. Give me more individuals than recycling the big names. Maybe a few more Nittany Lions?
2nd Down, Inserts: I will admit, when looking at preview images, I hated the autograph cards. I thought they just looked “off” for a lack of more descriptive adjectives. But when I saw them first-hand, I did a 180 in opinion. The autos are actually really nice and I LOVE that they are on-card. The Banner Season was a good idea, but using a team color scheme didn’t work in all cases, especially teams with navy blue or black. Those just look very dark and drab. The Tebow above and the CJ Spiller I pulled are quite stunning though with that bright orange over the faded photo. I liked the parallels as well. I’m not a fan of serial numbering for serial numbering’s sake, but the cards look great. They almost have a refractor aurora about them. I am undecided on the jersey card insert. I know that is Press Pass’s thing, but it is overdone at this point, especially to go to the extent to say they are more rare and valuable than the autographed cards. Plus, due to its thicker size, I only pulled 111 cards…and only 4 of the “guaranteed” 5 autographs. Let’s just say I would much rather have had another non-double base card and auto than this jersey card.
3rd Down, Collation: Meh. With 112 cards per box and a 100-card base set (sans short prints), I didn’t expect to pull the entire base set, but having 21 duplicates was a bit much for me to swallow. I also noticed that I pulled some of those duplicates in consecutive packs, would be really irritating if I had only bought a few packs and still had doubles. I also mentioned the fact that I was shorted one card (an autograph at that) for the sake of including a jersey card. If you are going to take a card out of a pack to include the jersey card, don’t take away an auto. I know every product says that stated odds are indicative of the entire print run and not individual packs, boxes, or cases, but I will say this is the only box I’ve ever busted that did not have the stated inserts, especially for autographs.
4th Down, Overall Value: It depends. Press Pass has been around for a while, so its a brand people recognize and appreciate, especially in the college market. However, there’s always the risk that most of the checklist will wind up being NFL busts. Also, the secondary market value of any draft-themed set will plummet once sets featuring the rookies in their new unis are released. If you are a collector, it’s a great set. If you are a prospector, you may want to pass.
RED ZONE RESULTS: DEFENSIVE PENALTY, FIRST AND GOAL FROM THE 2 I probably hand out this result more than I should, but it seems to work in this case. I see a lot of potential in the product and the base cards, autographs, and parallels look fantastic. On the other hand, the collation (duplicates without obtaining the entire base set) and the over-use of subsets kept 2010 Press Pass from getting on the board. Given another four downs (another box break or two) it is possible it could punch it across the goal line or at least convert a field goal attempt. A First and Goal from the 2 is a good place to be…unless time has already expired.
NEXT UP (tentatively): 2010 SAGE Autograph