‘Tis the season. The holiday shopping season, that is. That means with me finally getting time to list a bunch of singles on eBay over Thanksgiving weekend, people going to eBay to find good deals and gift ideas, and other online retailers having great deals themselves, I finally have some money and means to review more products. Don’t be surprised if you see a sudden barrage of product reviews in the next week or so (at least four are in line already). The first will be 2010 Topps Platinum, which was released in mid-September. What can I say? I’m behind the times right now.
Hobby boxes come with 24 5-card packs for a total of 120 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $72, which translates into exactly a $0.60/card ratio. It is almost surprising to see a borderline low-end set released after the season starts, but it certainly is not Score or Topps flagship cheap and quite honestly, carries a lower pricetag than I would expect for this type of product.
A nice, simple pack design – keeping it classy
Base Cards: 112 (1 duplicate)
Rookie Cards: 44 (included in base card total above)
Platinum Rookies Variations: 3
Rookie Refractors (#/999): 1
Rookie Blue Refractors (#/99): 1
Rookie Autos (#/999): 1
Rookie Blue Refractor Autos (#/599): 1
Autographed Refractor Jumbo Patches (#/10): 1
FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: This is a pretty sharp looking set that reminds me of the late 90s Playoff and Pinnacle sets. The metallic sheen of the cards is quite attractive and was not done justice by my scanner. The design elements are simple and effective and although the design is rather neutral, the player image “pops”, allowing you to quickly recognize your favorite players as you flip through a stack of these. One thing I thought was interesting was that the Rookie Cards were slightly different than the veterans. The RCs have a slightly shinier and smoother sheen and have a mildly darker grey color scheme on the back. I suppose it helps to make the RCs seem even more special, but it does look a bit off when you’re flipping thorugh a stack backwards (like when you’re sorting by card number).
2nd Down, Inserts: This was a fairly base-card focused set with emphasis on the few guaranteed hits per box. There are various refractor parallels, including the much thicker and ultra reflective Platinum Rookie Variations, which are quite nice. The Blue refractors are also quite a nice change of pace, although I suppose it lends itself better to some team uniforms than others. The autographs are decent, although it remains painfully obvious that Topps loves sticker labels. If these could be hard signed, they would be much better. The jumbo patch autograph was a nice pull, though. A quick search on eBay doesn’t reveal much since there are only 10 copies, but it looks to be worth about $100-200, which will cover the cost of the entire box by itself. That is always a plus.
3rd Down, Collation: I suppose it wasn’t terrible, given that I received a nice mix of teams and RCs and I got my guaranteed hits. However, I only got 2/3 of the base set and still pulled a duplicate. Anyone that has read 1&G Reviews in the past knows that is one of my few box break pet peeves. I know if you want perfect collation with equal value in every box and no duplicates, you would need to do a very scientific hand pack out every time. Given the timeline for releasing products and the current economy, that obviously isn’t possible. But when you give me 120 cards and 1 of them is a duplicate, it’s certainly going to affect my opinion of the product. This duplicate ratio certainly isn’t the worst however, as you’ll see in a future review (and in a free preview, Topps, you’re not off the hook).
4th Down, Overall Value: It’s hard to argue here given my quick Reggie Bush jumbo patch autograph research. Unforeseen events withheld, it looks like I should easily be able to cover the $72 pricetag with that one card alone, not to mention the other two rookie autographs and various RCs of top prospects I pulled (probably $2-3 each). However, I do realize that I was pretty lucky in pulling an autographed patch card #/10 of one of the bigger names in the hobby. Reggie Bush hasn’t nearly lived up to his college hype, but his high profile status, recent Heisman debacle, and Super Bowl victory have kept him in the news and minds of collectors. Should you pull 3 hits of unproven and relatively unknown rookies, you’re probably not going to recover your box price. If you are looking for a decent looking product to pick up some of your favorite players at a low-to-mid shelf price, however, this is a solid product to consider.
RED ZONE RESULTS: FIELD GOAL The card design is great and I felt like I was cracking open a higher end product of the late 90s, which is always nice. The inserts, though rare, were enough to keep my interest, although the sheer quantity of base cards in this type of product was a bit much. The lone duplicate was certainly an irritant, but was alleviated by my pulling a great chase hit. I can’t help but think that the Bush card has created an unwanted bias for me, but I tried to keep a level head when reviewing the entire product, which certainly had its flaws. Overall, it’s a solid product that has its fair share of upsides, but not enough to find paydirt with the game on the line. A field goal will allow the defense an opportunity to shine and get the offense back on the field, but if the opposition is too strong, I just don’t think 2010 Topps Platinum will have what it takes to sing the Victors song.
NEXT UP: 2010 Panini Crown Royale