Yes, most of the relics today are boring, gray swatches. That bothers me, but it's almost expected (even if it's disappointing).
I forgot to mention yesterday about these dual, triple, and quad swatch cards that are so highly touted in high-end releases:
My final gripe today lies with what could have been a perfect opportunity with relic integration.
If you remember, in March I wrote a series of posts describing relics that could have been used in an Allen & Ginter set. For a refresher (or if you missed that post), see these posts: one, two, three, four, five.
Okay, some of those ideas were tongue-in-cheek. But you have to admit, they were damn good ideas. Not Topps Monopoly good, but close.
Not this image again!
When this set was announced, I was quite excited. Being numbered to 50, I expected to be able to pick them up for around $5 each, and put together a fun, unique set. Boy, was I wrong - these suckers are going for $50 or more. Are they worth that much?
Some of the states are combined, meaning a full set of 50 states is less than 50 cards. While this makes it easier to finish the set, I hope this was done only to make all the states to scale. Most likely, they aren't.
The relics chosen follow a trend: eleven cards have fabric, fourteen cards contain a piece of wood, seven contain brick or concrete, three contain dirt, and one possibly contains metal (the North Carolina/South Carolina card containing a civil war shotgun piece, which more likely contains wood).
Why didn't Topps take advantage of this opportunity to really create an exciting relic set? Given the nature of Allen & Ginter, a computer chip may be a bit out of place, but there were ways this set could have gone that would have been newsworthy.
Topps, if you're reading this blog, I would love to join your design team. You can even hire me as a part-time consultant and we can use Skype, to save costs. I have so many great inexpensive, interesting ideas that I'd love to share and see developed into real sets and even full issues. In fact, you don't have to pay me in cash. I'll work for cards. Okay, cash would be nice, too. We'll work something out.
Meanwhile, please work on improving the quality of relics. I think that's really what most of us want.