Since the advent of the “relic” card, manufacturers have been trying to find new things to cut up and stuff between two pieces of card stock. It started with basic squares of plain jersey, ramped up to multi-color swatches, and evolved into letter and logo patches of massive size. Companies have also gotten creative with the source of those relics by cutting up practice jerseys, game-used jerseys, “player worn” jerseys, pants (although it never stated what PART of the pants), and even laundry tags, which many collectors quipped were pulled right off of freshly worn jock straps.
But it didn’t stop with things worn by players. Several companies have bought and cut up anything and everything from old military photos, cancelled checks, and even other cards to stuff into cut auto cards, although obviously the emphasis is more on the signature than the fact that “this is a check personally used by Joe DiMaggio to pay his electric bill and is guaranteed to be authentic.” Topps added real hairs into their Allen & Ginter DNA relics, again leading to rather comical assumptions by collectors. Upper Deck started slabbing real bugs in their Goodwin Champions Entomology sets.
And then today, Topps showed us this photo:
Yes. You are seeing that correctly. An authentic fight-used mouth piece. In a card.
Part of me thinks this is a very cool and ingenuitive. There is no mystery surrounding the relic and its source. The teeth imprints take that away. But another part of me thinks is a tad…well…gross. Yes, collectors have joked about the jock strap tags and the pubic DNA, but there’s just no getting around a mouth piece. At least there isn’t a lost tooth lodged in it.
To see more photos of these “Grill Gear” cards, you can view the gallery on Topps’ Facebook page here.
Topps UFC goes live today.
What do you guys think? Is this totally awesome and a great idea, or did Topps go a bit too far in bringing us as close as possible to our favorite athletes?