February 7, 2011

2011 Topps Leather Nameplates

We all crave new designs, themes or sets from Topps when it comes time for new releases. However, sometimes they put out something awesome and other times they have something that just tanks.

While 2011 Topps Series 1 has plenty of great inserts and designs, the Leather Nameplates cards just tank with me. I promise I am not just looking for something to pick on here. I will admit I love the idea, however the execution of the idea is awful.

Now for those of you who have actually held one of these cards in your hand you already know that they feel like "pleather". Add to the fact that the stitching looks like a kid at the mall working at a hat stitching stand did it, and viola! craopla.

Don't get me wrong, I think this was a great plan on the drawing board, solid idea, fun for collectors, etc. How would I do it differently? Well, if getting the players real glove and using their stamped/branded name in the card wasn't possible I would have used something that actually felt like a glove on perhaps 180 pt. stock, and had the name stamped/branded so it was a more accurate and realistic representation of the real thing.

Now honestly, it doesn't even need to be a glove that was used by the player. A glove like this Mauer one would serve the purpose without cutting up a game used one that someone would like to own in one piece.

I do understand that cost is an issue with production, it's only series 1, and it's not one of their high end sets. But, maybe... just maybe... someone will hear my idea and translate that into something cool for future high end sets. Something more like the Sweet Spot leather glove autos would be great to see again, and I think Topps has every resource and player contract to make a set similar to that, market it, and produce it successfully. Check out this sweeeeeeet Wade Boggs auto, this is something I would love to be able to afford. I love Wade Boggs and the card.

In the end, as much as I want every card of Cano this may be one of those that I will never bother with. There have been plenty of other cards I just don't care to spend money on because I don't like them. The Cano Leather Nameplates aren't selling for much, but the Pujols are just because his name is on it. I definitely won't be buying that.

Perhaps someone will pull a Cano or Pujols and be willing to trade me for it, or maybe I will cave and buy it at some point.

Do you guys like the Leather Nameplate cards? Anyone buy one or pull one and agree with me about how they feel/look?


  1. I haven't had one in-hand yet, but just like last year's bat barrels and commemorative hat patches, these are just a miss for me. I'll pass.

    Do these count as one of your guaranteed "hits" in a box? If so, then boo.

  2. They sure do count. The case had one of these in every box along with a GU jersey and the auto.

  3. I thought the Bat Barrels from Series 3 were a great addition to the product and was looking forward to the Name Plates.
    I agree with you though, a decent enough idea but the execution just wasn't there.
    Not sure I will actively seek out ones from players I collect but if the right price presents itself then perhaps.

  4. I haven't seen these yet, but I doubt I'll like them. There's nothing visually appealing about seeing a player's last name in block letters stamped onto a piece of pleather.

    The commemorative patch logos that they put in the blasters are interesting because the patches are colorful and create some visual appeal. The bat barrels and leather nameplates don't. The cap logos fall somewhere in between.

  5. No ma'am. I don't like it.

    "Manufactured Relic" is, by definition, an oxymoron. Why Topps continues to call as such is beyond me.

    But I suppose if you're going to make manu-relics, at least they aren't letters of the alphabet.

  6. It's no substitute for an autograph or even a relic. Generally, I do not like the manu-stuff at all.

    But I'll hold off on a critique until I get that Kershaw one from you!

  7. I can't stand the manufactured "relic" cards. I pulled an Eddie Murray bat barrel card from 2010 Topps Update numbered out of 25 and was sick to my stomach to find that the bat barrel is plastic. The card was even damaged! How can they say the leather nameplates and bat barrels are relics? They're not even real!

  8. I'm not too fond of these myself, but if the price is good, and so far they have been, I'll probably pick up the Teixeira's at some point. Just not too fond of paying close to 20.00 for a synthetic glove.I still haven't grabbed a Teixiera ba barrel as I'm waiting for the price to drop on those.

  9. I'll probably grab the Teixeira's if the price is right. I'm just not fond of paying close to autograph money for a manufatcured piece. I still haven't picked up the bat barrells from the update set for that reason.

  10. I totally agree with you. While the black parallels look a little better I think a stamped or branded piece of leather would have been so much better. And I have a Cano one if you want to trade for it. Chcek it out on my box break @ http://collectorscrack.blogspot.com/2011/02/2011-topps-review-and-2-jumbo-box-break.html I had thought about putting it up on ebay but for the 5 bucks I might get for it I might as well trade it. I just saw a Braun black name plate go for $2.75 plus shipping. Damn I missed that one. Drop me a line and we can work out a trade.

  11. I just commented on this in my box break post - I agree with you 100% on these cards. I don't hate all the manu-relics (I actually liked the bat barrels), but when I actually held the Felix Hernandez leather nameplate I pulled in my hands the idea just felt like a dud

  12. Price is AN issue. Series 1 box prices started to rise when they started guranteeing hits. I pulled one of these and it felt like Topps conned me. If these "relics" are going to be hits, Topps may as well release a non-hits cheaper version for set collectors like me.

  13. I love how the cheat sheet answer from the card companies about this need for manu-relics is simply to "keep up with customer demand" for memorabilia cards and hit frequency.

    However, I don't know of anyone personally who loves them, and much of the the hobby discourse runs from "meh" to "medium disapprove".

    So where is all this demand coming from then? Or is that just an assumed answer that's convenient to use?

  14. I like them, but just like the manufactured bat barrel cards from 2010 Update I won't be chasing them now that I've got my hands on one. I got the Heyward Leather Nameplates card from the group break you ladies hosted and after looking it over today Topps misspelled his first name!

  15. Get out of here, Colbey! I didn't even notice. Wow... Now I'm going to go check the scans. Glad you got the cards.