Thursday, September 5, 2013
2013 TNA Live Set Feels A Bit Like A Rerun
This set is actually already about six months old. Since I had a rather "ho hum" feeling from previews of the set, I decided to wait until boxes were reduced in price a tad until I acquired one. Although Tristar makes no claims to it, recent boxes of their TNA product have contained a complete set amongst the packs. TNA Live is no different, so at the very least you should be able to build the 99 card base set with the purchase of a hobby box, in addition to seven hits. Those hits include three autograph cards (one will be a multi-autograph), one memorabilia relic, one short-print card, and two parallel cards.
I'm not one to believe in internal "power plays" over merchandising, but it is rather funny that the first three cards in the base set are Hogan, Hogan, and Hogan. Yes, the Hulkster, Brooke, and Hulk and Brooke together are cards #1, #2, and #3, respectively. If you've read this blog before, you should automatically know that I don't have a problem with that. I'm a fan of the Hulkster, although not necessarily in his current role, and I don't even have much of a problem with Brooke. She may not have much business being a focal point of storylines, but she's a more believable promo than Ziggler, the Internet darling.
As usual, we're presented with some nice rookie cards including some Gut Check competitors. A personal favorite of mine, Taeler Hendrix, makes her debut as do Kenny King, King Mo, Joey Ryan, and Sam Shaw. Sam who? I must've missed that week of Impact Wrestling. I could forgive Tristar for giving a card to someone who totally fell below my radar, but then I noticed that Jessie Godderz has two cards in the set. If it weren't for his brief association with a talent like Tara, I wouldn't have a clue as to his identity either.
Overall, I'd recommend to wait until the price drops even further on these cards. While there are some cool rookie cards, all could be obtained individually. Tristar is very big on autograph cards and other "hits," and that is definitely the market that they try to focus on. They know that many are, sadly, buying the boxes just to score a big "hit" and make some money. This has caused the company to get very complacent on the base cards. I'm still begging for a "Heritage" style set. Obviously they couldn't use classic designs like Topps does, but I'm sure that they could produce a very vintage looking set, without gloss, for the many fans who prefer such styles.
The next TNA series from Tristar is to be called "Glory." This set, coming in October 2013, will feature on-card autographs. Any Topps WWE or Tristar TNA product that has featured autographs have utilized autographed stickers that are then applied to the cards. On-card autographs, which are obvious right on the card, are popular with collectors across the board and the set should be a hit based on these hits alone. While they'll definitely be something to look out for, I doubt that we'll get an item quite as amusing as the TNA Live Hector Guerrero card. Not since the 1988 Wonderama Ole Anderson "Dancing Queen" card have we had such an unintentionally (?) hilarious photo inserted into a set. "Latino cheesecake?"