Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Card-Ola: 2009 Triple Threads

One box of 2009 Triple Threads (provided by Topps)
Two packs per box, six cards per pack

The Video

The Pulls

Base Set: 6 of 136 (4.41%)
short set (three-per-pack, numbered to 1350): 6 of 100 (6.00%)
Autographed Rookies & Rising Stars (1:11, numbered to 99): 0 of 36 (0.00%)

2 Sepia (one-per-pack, numbered to 525): B. Ruth, D. Ortiz
2 Emerald (1:2, numbered to 240): J. Peavy, M. Holliday
1 Gold Autographed Rookies & Rising Stars (1:41, numbered to 25): D. Pedroia

Inserts: NONE


1 Triple Threads Relics (105 cards, numbered to 36): M. Schmidt

The Review

Before I start, let me state that Triple Threads is not a product designed for collectors like me in mind. It not just the $100/pack price tag -- although that has a lot to do with it. Triple Threads is for those folks who buy a lot of wax, but don't actually collect the cards inside. You know the type. Like the guy who buys a box of (as an example) Upper Deck Series Two, rips all the packs, pulls a Rick Porcello rookie card, complains that "It's not numbered," then leaves it, along with all the other cards he just ripped with the exception of the one-per-box autograph and two-per-box jersey cards, on the dealer's table and walks away, goes home, then posts a YouTube video of the BIG MOJO HITZ!!!! he just got at the card show. You know, that guy. (And no, I didn't just see that guy at a card show in Tysons Corner this past weekend.)

So needless to say, Triple Threads isn't for me. But Topps sent me a waxbox to review anyway, so the least I can do is give it an honest review. You're promised two hits per box (one in each pack) and a short-stack of base and parallel cards. But if I had actually paid $200 for this box of Triple Threads, would I be happy?

Let's start off with the base cards. There's one word to describe the base cards in Triple Threads: cheap. It looks like Topps bought up Donruss/Panini's supply of old blank "dummy" cards and used them for card stock. I realize that the typical Triple Threads "collector" could care less about base cards -- which is why most of them eventually end up in dealer's buck bins -- but they certainly don't look like cards that belong in a $100/pack product.

The Mike Schmidt jersey card I pulled was a nice hit, but I have one big problem with it. If the product is called "Triple Threads," you would think that all the "hits" would have at least three different jersey swatches on the card? Most rational-thinking people would be led to believe this, and that would make sense, right? Unfortunately, it looks like Topps cut one long strip from the same powder blue 1970s-era Phillies uniform, and framed it to look like three different swatches. Don't get me wrong, those powder blue away uniforms the Phillies wore in the 70s and 80s were sweet looking. But in a product called "Triple Threads" there should also be at least two other swatches.

The other hit of Dustin Pedroia did at least have three different swatches (home jersey, batting practice jersey, and bat). But the autograph was on a sticker. Are you kidding me? $100/pack? For sticker autos? In a $10, $20, or even a $50/pack product, sticker autographs would be tolerable; but in a $100/pack product that's unacceptable.

The Bottom Line

While writers of a certain Hobby magazine will praise it, the rest of us can probably take a pass. Even if you're "that guy" who rips wax just for the "hits," you'll never get your money's worth out of a box of Triple Threads. The Mike Schmidt card I pulled, while nice, is a card that wouldn't fetch more than $25 on eBay. Same thing with the Dustin Pedoria. The base cards and parallels are just filler.

"High-end" products like Triple Threads are to Topps what retro-themed products are to Upper Deck. They keep trying, but they just can't seem to get it right.

Product Rating: 1 1/2 Gumsticks (out of 5)


laf said...

I totally agree that it is way to expensive for just 2 hits.

If I seriously considered buying a box of this, I would look at the checklist, find the 3 cards I wanted most, and buy all of them on ebay.

As a result I would have an extra hit, the cards I wanted, and a time killer searching on ebay rather than sheer disappointment in the packs.

sruchris said...

Can't wait to see your review of the Topps Update box. I need to decide on buying one now or waiting for the price to drop.

stusigpi said...


Wait for the price to drop. 2009 Series 1 boxes are the anomaly. These should be $50 for jumbos as soon as 2010 hits. Jumbos are the way to go with this product.

Good product but Topps makes a bunch of this stuff so it will not be scarce.

Anonymous said...

Chris, what are your plans for that Pedroia? I would LOVE to get my hands on it.