Topps very anticipated release of 2012 Triple Threads came in today and it is fully loaded. For this year Topps has added more relics to the product in every box giving you more for your money. I have always enjoyed the Triple Threads line. The designs are fresh and the Relic cards are geared towards the player(s) profiled on the card.
Every box you will recieve a Autographed Triple Relic /99 or less, Triple Relic card /36 or less, Unity Autographed Relic card /99 or less and a Unity Relic card /36 or less. Now these Relics and Autographed Relics will also have parallels to them ranging from /99 down to 1/1's. New this year are the Wood parallels which can be found within a few of the Autographed Relics and Relics. With the 1/1's as always they seem to have patches or multicolored swatches attached from what I have seen thus far. Printing Plates are included for the Relic and Autographed Relics, so what for the White Whales. They been a hot piece to own on the secondary market since they were introduced.
Newly added this year are Bat knobs, Jumbo Triple Relics with Hat logo's, All-Star game Jumbo Logo Patches, Laundry Tags, and Double-Fronted Relic cards. The Bat Knobs have really taken off since Tier One had them included into the product, and the Laundry Tags have always been a popular item to search for as they are very hard to come by. The Double-Fronted Relic cards might cause some collectors some grief when displaying their cards. Which side do you show? Do alternate every month? Regardless of these minor details, pulling one of them would be sweet for anyone.
So as everyone knows the Hobby box is split into 2 mini-boxes inside. Topps has provided these two different combinations you could pull from each mini-box:
Autographed Triple Relic and a Unity Relic card
Triple Relic card and a Unity Autographed Relic card
So with the mini-boxes you will be guaranteed to hit an Autographed Relic and a Relic of some sort, it just depends on which of the 2 mini-box combination you receive. So those that like buying the mini-boxes will still come out with 2 decent hits. I personally have never just bought a mini-box of these products since most times you end up paying more and you wind up buying the other mini box anyways.
As for the Base cards, the newly designed cards are much more sturdier than in past releases. It might be that the borders aren't the black that we are used to, but I each of the cards seem better made and would be harder to see the flaking we have seen in the past on the corners or sides. This year the base cards will have seven parallels to chase down. Sepia, Emerald, Gold, Onyx, Sapphire, and Ruby round out the colors schemes for this year. All are numbered from the highest /625 for the Sepia down to 1/1 Ruby. Of course Printing Plates are added for the base cards as well. Each mini-box will include 3 base cards and 2 parallel base cards. Like the past, the parallel cards are at the back of the pack with the 3 base cards on top surrounding the hits in the middle.
I enjoy parallels like others in the community but I think there is just a little too much in this product this year that aren't really needed. It just adds to more of the quantity of the cards and can reduce the secondary market on most of the players featured. Of course the parallels for the relics and autographed cards don't loose their value too much over time but there is some movement down after the product has been out for a while.
This year the price has gone up from previous years but you will be receiving more than you have in the past, so cost on this turns out to be irrelevant in the end. The one question I had though was with the added hits to the product would I pull a below average player relic/autograph in the box? Chances are you will only because the checklist of the product provides a lot of player names that fit this bill. However nine times out of ten you will not have an entire box with below average hits. The gamble is there though, as with every high-end product on the market. You have to take a chance and see what you get on them and hope to hit one of those lower numbered hits or white whales.
So here is what I pulled:
Base cards: 6 (Pujols, Jeter, Braun, Dawson, Ichiro, Weaver)
Base Parallels Sepia: 2 (A. Gordon, Hamels /625)
Base Parallels Emerald: 2 (Teixeira, Ty Cobb /250)
Unity Single Relics: 2 (Sepia Schmidt Bat /27, Emerald Bautista Jersey /18)
Autographed On-Card Triple Relic: 1 (Sepia Jemile Weeks /75)
Autographed Relic: 1 (Nelson Cruz multi-swatch /18)
This is a gamble box to buy, set-collectors and the average collector will stay away from these ones. It's even a hard sell on buying into box breaks unless they are full cases due to the limited amount of cards in each box. If you are willing to gamble on a high-end product I think overall you would be ok with this one due to the amount of additional hits Topps has put into the product to make it even more desirable than before.
Gambler Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Design: 4.5/5Parallels: 3.5/5
Fun Aspect: 3.5/5