2012 is still five months away, and Tribute won't come out until at least February 7, but Topps released preview images today.
Why so soon? Maybe they're trying to pull attention away from all the criticism of the flagship release coming out at the same time.
So what are they offering for $50 bucks a pack? One hit - you have a 50% chance of pulling an autograph (the other packs contain relics). You'll get some base cards and parallels, but for $50, you're counting on the hit.
Let's see what'll end up in the trash or quarter box:
Let's see some hits!
For $50, every relic should be a patch. Either Topps is making a fortune off these things or they're paying way too much for their autographs and game-used material.
Speaking of actual patches:
Well, at least there are autographs in every other pack (and from the information I read, maybe a bonus one in the occasional relic pack). Face it, relics aren't that popular anymore anyway (maybe because Topps puts out so many boring, plain swatches instead of cool patches). The autographs - on card especially - are the most coveted part of a player collection.
Beckett's review worries me, but from all the other names listed, Albert Belle is the only one I wouldn't really care for. I like the design, because there is plenty of room for an autograph and nothing is detracting from it. The card is all about the autograph.
My verdict: At $50 a pack, I've already said I expect a patch on every relic, and that's not happening. However, the base cards always stand out and the autograph list looks promising. I can't afford this stuff, but I'd give it a preview rating of 3.5/5. Fix the relics, for crying out loud! If the relics were better, it could easily be a 4.5/5.