Saturday, June 1, 2013

Preview: 2013 Topps Strata Football

Scheduled Release Date: December 11, 2013
Box Configuration: 18 packs/box, 6 cards/pack
SRP: @$120-125

Box Break:
1 Clear Cut Autograph Rookie card
1 Autograph
1 Relic card
1 Rookie Die-Cut

What to Expect:
Topps continues with the mechanical/motion design with the base, a bit different from last year’s design but still a hint of Futurism. The base set is made up of 100 veterans and 50 rookies with each rookie card having six parallels; Bronze (#/150), Gold (#/99), Sapphire (#/50), Emerald (#/10), Ruby (1/1) and Printing Plates (Hobby only). I believe that veterans will have at least two parallels, Sapphire and Onyx which I have posted at the top. There will also be differences between hobby and retail cards, the rookies will have different photos.

The biggest hit from last year returns with the Clear Cut Autograph Relic cards, you will pull one per box and there should be about 40 rookies (most likely the Rookie Premier attendees) on the checklist. There are five parallels for each card; Bronze (#/150), Gold (#/99), Sapphire (#/60), Emerald (#/30), Ruby (#/15) and the Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby are hobby only. There will also be three Quartz parallels per case (case hits), each are 1/1. These case hits contain a different type of relic; Gloves, Pigskin, Swoosh and Patch.

Strata Signature Relics, including the Rivet Patch parallel, and Strata Autographs are back too. The Strata Autos are the only sticker autograph cards in the set. There is also one base insert, Rookie Die-Cuts plus redemptions for uncut sheets of cards.

My Thoughts:
I liked last year’s design a little more, this one reminds me a bit of the Sports Center intro, but I love the Futurism art movement so this design still appeals to me, especially the motion feel. I think that this set will do well again this year, the only downside will be the rookie class but by the time the set is out these young players will have had the chance to prove themselves on the field so it may be a moot point to discuss rookies right now for a set still 6 months away.

I think that if Topps were to include veterans in the Clear Cut Auto Relic and Strata Signature Relic checklists people would go nuts over this product. Limiting veteran players to the Strata Autograph checklist sucks, especially considering they are basically the base cards with a sticker auto attached.

Hopefully there will not be as many redemptions with the autographs, I pulled a Bernard Pierce Clear Cut Auto Relic Rookie redemption card last February and 3 months later my redemption is still sitting on “Pending”. I have a feeling I may not see the card until after the 2013 set is released in December.

Clear Cut Autograph Relic cards
Strata Signature Relics
Case Hit Parallels

Rookies Only Relic cards
Strata Autos are stickers
Weak Rookie Class (Skilled positions)

I liked the set last year and I feel the same way again, this is a solid set, an interesting design that makes it different and who can complain about the Clear Cut cards? This is easily a 4 out of 5 rating.

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