Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Triple Play Baseball Is Back!

In late July Panini will be releasing 2012 Triple Play Baseball, a return to the original Triple Play releases from the early 1990s. These sets were geared towards young collectors and the packs sold for under $1 each, Panini has decided to carry over this tradition to the modern set. Once again the packs will sell for 99 cents, with 24 packs per box, and the base set will consist of a 90-card checklist with a handful of insert sets.

To create a varied base set Panini commissioned a number of artists so you will notice differences between players. Most appear to have a super hero styling straight out of a comic book but there are some that look more realistic while others are cartoonish.

Some of the inserts include “Focus”, featuring a close up shot of one player from each team, “Baseball 101”; cards include hints and rules for the game and “Hall of Fame”, featuring first ballot inductees. There are also Eye Black stickers, Temp Tattoos and Real Feel memorabilia cards.

Because Panini only has a MLBPA license they were unable to incorporate logos or team names so you will notice that in the background of most of the cards, instead of including the team’s logo, they went with other icons to represent the team or city. So Yu Darvish has a Texas state silhouette, Ichiro has an anchor, Brian Wilson has a Golden Gate Bridge silhouette,  Carlos Lee has rockets and so on.

The one thing that bothers me about the design is the overloading of information on the front, there is the Triple Play logo, player’s name, uniform number, position and team location. It seems to be more noticeable on the horizontal cards because they added the team’s location within the design instead of on the border with player position. I think removing the uniform number would have been a start and making the cards uniform by placing the team’s location on the border on all cards, vertical or horizontal layout, would help with chaos.

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