Well, alright, it may not be a new approach to an entire design scheme, but it certainly is an interesting concept. What am I talking about? Check out this press release from Topps regarding the forthcoming 2010 Topps Five Star Football:
NFL PLAYERS SHOW OFF THEIR ARTISTIC SIDE IN FIVE STAR
Topps announces it will be adding its popular player sketch-cards as additional hits to the highly-anticipated Five Star Football. Several gridiron stars have added their artistic skills including Tony Romo (image attached), Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Roddy White, Matthew Stafford, C.J. Spiller, Matt Ryan, Mike Williams, Tim Tebow, Aaron Hernandez and many more.
Each original 1 of 1 drawing features the artist/player’s signature on the card’s back.
The hobby exclusive Topps Five Star Football hits stores late February.
I think this is actually a really cool idea. In the late 90s, jersey swatches were supposed to get you closer than ever to the players you collected. Then it turned out that jerseys were just “event worn” or “player used” and the athlete never knew where his old sweaty laundry was going. Then seeded autographs (and some were inserted in-pack well before the jersey craze) were supposed to be the next big thing. But sticker labels and mass production led collectors to want more from the card companies. On-card autographs were viewed as the next best thing because you knew that the player actually held the card and knew what he was autographing. Now, Topps is taking it to another level by having the player draw/design the entire card himself, PLUS autographing the back. Who would’ve thought that on-card autographs on the BACK of cards would be acceptable? It works here.
It will be interesting to see scans of these things when they are released. Is an art chase hit still chased if the athlete can’t draw for crap? Does a no-name bench warmer suddenly become a hot commodity because he would be better employed, though much hungrier, as a free lance illustrator? I suppose only time will tell, but it should be fun to watch.
By the way, would anyone be willing to bet that Tim Tebow’s card includes a Scripture reference?