This weekend, I’ll be shredding open two boxes of the stuff over at Hero Habit. (By the way, if you’ve never done so, do visit Hero Habit. Fantastic website.) Since that fateful case break in 2014, I’ve been a bit gunshy with the product. While I really wanted to like the product, I would typically only buy a box here and there. It’s like that new show on TV. The trailer for it looks great, but you watch the pilot and you’re gutted. You see previews for new episodes, and you’re pulled back in. So, you go back occasionally to see if it’s improved, but it hasn’t. Now, you’re stuck with a show you want to like, but it just continues to mock you. Ahem, Gotham.
The preview images, the mock-ups, and even the live pulls of 2017 Topps Triple Threads have me intrigued. Without seeing them in-person, I’d say they’ve improved a bit. I must be downright mad, however. The design this year is quite similar to that of last year. So, what’s got me thinking Topps has bettered this year’s installment? I’ll give you a hint. The answer is in the title of another product that released the same day. Gold labels. Well, stickers, actually. Let’s take a look at two Triple Threads cards side-by-side; the left from 2016, the right from 2017.
Of course, not every autograph card uses a gold sticker. Some of them still use the standard transparent stickers. In fact, some of these cards are actually hard-signed! That is, if you’re willing to believe everything you see on the internet.
Each box of Triple Threads contains two packs. Those packs each consist of three base cards, two parallel cards, and two hits. The main focus of the hits are relics, many of which also come with an autograph. Ya see, you can’t call yourself Triple Threads without having some threads in your cards. GET IT? One of the unique components of the relic hits is the use of three different pieces of memorabilia in those relic hits. Ya see, you can’t call yourself Triple Threads without having three of something in your cards. GET IT?
Another one of the brand’s unique identifiers is the die cut Topps employs with their relic cards. Often times a statistic tied to the player on the card is used. Sometimes a nickname. In some cases, quirky phrases are used. Such as this memorable gem.
This is a real card, people. That someone at Topps designed. That someone at Topps approved. That someone at Topps assembled. Sure, this example doesn’t come from their Baseball product. Nonetheless, the fact remains that 2017 Topps Triple Threads will carry on the tradition of quirky phrases and poorly-thought-out-relic-placement.
Speaking of baseball, 2017 Topps Triple Threads is not a product to shy away from non-baseball players. Oh, that’s right, folks. Much like last year’s Kevin Costner baseball-ish card, we’re treated to a couple of new unique cards. Firstly, a Theo Epstein baseball-ish card, and a Floyd Mayweather you-missed-the-boat-on-50-and-0 non-baseball card.
Obviously, these cards will attract a lot of attention on the secondary market. I have zero problem with these cards being in the set. That said, I also hope Topps doesn’t overdo it on these special cards.
The base checklist is very short and manageable. At 100 cards, assembling this set should be easy. However, the parallels might be stressful. There are seven tiers; three unnumbered and four numbered anywhere from /99 to 1/1. You could also find base card printing plates, four versions each, all numbered 1/1.
The hit checklist is absolutely massive. Topps’ PDF checklist consists of 37 pages—35 of which are all hits. The hits expand into the territory of the ridiculous. I mean that in the most loving way possible, by the way. Book cards are a fun find, especially if you happen upon an All-Star jumbo triple relic or one of those five-page Deca Relic books.
This year’s release looks like it should be a lot of fun. The design looks crisp, and the checklist looks fun. If you absolutely must use sticker autographs, I’m all for using gold stickers. At just under $200 per box, this product isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the more affordable high-end releases on the calendar. Seriously. Dynasty, due out at the beginning of November, is nearly $400 per card. PER. CARD.
I’ll be tearing up my two boxes of 2017 Topps Triple Threads in a couple of days. Just like in 2014, I want to like this product. I like everything I see on screen. How will I feel when I see the cards in-hand? Please, join us Saturday at 5pm C to watch and chat as I find out!