Sunday, February 19, 2012

If Only SAGE Had An NFL License

Most collectors are familiar with SAGE Collectibles, a micro-printer that has been around for well over a decade and is known for their unlicensed college football sets (HIT, SAGE and Aspire) as well as their run of unlicensed college basketball sets through 2005.

The problem with SAGE is that without a license their product can not contain any university names, logos or mascots which will force the designers to use generic photos, usually images of the player from a practice or completely airbrushed game shot which leave collectors with cards like this Robert Griffin III card from a Pro-Day workout:

Quite often SAGE loads their products with autographs, even their blaster boxes will come with an autograph or two, but due to the simplified designs and no college or pro affiliation collectors will often by-pass their products and wait for licensed autographs to hit the shelves.

In the upcoming HIT 2012 Low Series, which should be released in March 2012 (even though their web site still says January 27, 2012), SAGE designers have finally hit on a pretty cool design with the Artistry insert. I would love to see this insert in a licensed product. The cards are “artistic” and display an action shot of the player in a generic uniform color over their home stadium in the background. Some cards include a city skyline, flag, newspaper (displaying a headline) or related imagery. I do not plan on picking up any boxes or packs but I will definitely be hunting for a Nick Foles Artistry card.

Some of my favorites:
Nick Foles (University of Arizona) with a desert vista

Jacory Harris (University of Miami) with hurricane flags

 Kellen Moore (Boise State) with a “Welcome to Idaho” sign

Robert Griffin III (Baylor University) with a Texas flag

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