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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2013 Topps Platinum Football Box Break

I don't always go all in on a hobby box of football, but while I was out looking for products to spend my money on, my LCS owner convinced me to give the newly-released 2013 Topps Platinum a shot.

Platinum is definitely a rookie-centric product. The big per-box guaranteed are two on-card rookie autographs and one autographed patch card, most of which will be of first-year players. There will also be some rookie parallels, including five x-fractors and one black refractor.

What drew me to this product in particular was how cool the base cards looked. They have a lot of shine to them, which gives it a nice, sleek look, but it's a little bit different from what they do for Chrome. The shine is still there, but there isn't that etched look around the player, and the cards are much thinner, without a glossy back, which eliminates the bowing that is usually seen with Chrome. I was able to pull four Houston Texans cards, fallling one J.J. Watt and one Owen Daniels short of a team set.

The back of the card just shows the most recent statistical year, as well as talking about a player "Going Platinum," which describes some highlights in the player's year. There was, however, one thing I noticed that I have not seen on any other football cards before this one.

Taking a closer look at a player's vitals, that's right, important personal information now includes a player's Twitter handle.

Each pack includes one parallel printed on a thick card stock. The player photo and the shine of the card are the same, but the background is changed slightly. Two out of 20 were Texans, so I definitely got lucky there.

Each pack also contains one rookie card, of a number of different varieties. The base cards look more similar to Chrome in what they do with the detailing on the front of the card. Unfortunately, also like Chrome, there is some bowing to the cards, but due to the lack of bowing in the base cards and the presence of a thicker parallel in each pack, the bowing is kept to a minimal.

The most common rookie parallel is the x-fractors, which come at a rate of five per box. They are just like the base versions, but have a squared pattern to the chrome surface.

Each box also contains one black rookie parallel. Luckily for me, mine was of Texans' first-round draft pick DeAndre Hopkins, who I also pulled a base rookie card of.

I was also able to pull one more rookie parallel: a die-cut military ribbon card of Jacksonville Jaguars fifth-round draft pick Denard Robinson. These cards are only found at a rate of 1:240 packs, or 1:12 boxes.

Lastly, the hits. Each box of Platinum is guaranteed to contain one autographed patch card, which I did in the form of Dallas Cowboys rookie tight end Gavin Escobar, numbered 858/1000. Escobar was a 2013 second-round pick in 2013, and the three-colored patch is actually screen-printed, as it likely comes from the striping on the jersey's sleeves. My two guaranteed on-card rookie autos were of St. Louis Rams third round pick Stedman Bailey and Kansas City Chiefs third round pick Knile Davis.

Platinum is a fun product to open. The cards all look fantastic, so no matter what, you'll be able to walk away with some great-looking cards. The rookie content is high, though, so those looking for hits of established stars might want to stay away, as the likelihood of pulling autographs of players you've never heard of is pretty high. See above. Still, it's a product that can bring a great deal of satisfaction for most football collectors.

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