Let me start off by saying Thanksgiving was a blast. It had some awesome cards, fun sets, and a lot of reason to love what Huddle did. This time around, they had a lot to live up to, and I really think they did as good a job over a longer period of time. That isnt easy in the digital world, considering how much instant gratification is ingrained in the culture. Here is my breakdown.
2015 Holiday Set
This has been a Huddle staple since 2013, and this year it was awesome. The design was amazing, the size of the set was awesome, and the odds werent so hard that the set was impossible to collect. This was really well done all around. Good checklist, and nice boosts.
Holiday Gift Set
These gifts were available for free, and ended up being 3x boosts. How sweet is that? Russell Wilson was the top card in the set, but adding Drew Brees, and two nice receivers, that is beast. There were some people who hoarded these knowing they would be great, and they definitely lucked out. Great idea, and even better win for us that we didnt have to rip packs to get them. Free is always top of the line.
12 Days of Huddle Signature Series
Last year, this program was a huge hit, so big that the cards sold out very, very fast. This year, I think the set was hampered a bit by checklist, as some of the players didnt really hit the notes with a big part of the community. Although Charcandrick West has so few cards in the game, its hard to make him appeal to a wide audience. Similarly, I wasnt a huge fan of the design, as the white box around the signature wasnt really necessary for me. One thing that did appeal to me was the rarity and boost, which were the saving grace of the set.
Verdict: First Down
JJ Watt Rain Signature
This was the first Million Coin bundle buy of the year, and it is an awesome looking card. The picture used for Watt is a perfect representation of what he is all about, and the rarity perpetuated by the cost of the boost makes this a very valuable card.
Matthew Stafford and Emmanuel Sanders Ice Signature
Following up Watt, they released a double Ice bundle, with two players that are good for points as the season winds down. The only issue is that the autographs look like they are on a sticker, and I hate that. Again, the white box behind the autographs isnt necessary.
Charles Woodson Retirement Package
This is what digital cards is all about. Woodson announced his retirement, and within a few days, they released a commemorative set. Not only were the cards made in the favorite series of the year, but they were more accessible at 90k per pack than I expected they would be. A big win overall, especially for a future HOFer who has a lot of fans.
Legend Signature Series Set
For a long time, Deion was the only name on the checklist for the legend signatures, and we finally got 6 new ones (including Woodson) this weekend. Not only was the checklist good, but the award card was pretty freaking incredible. At 250k per, they were 25% of the cost to complete as Deion, so a lot more people were able to make it work. Great set.
Verdict: Long Touchdown
Adrian Peterson Parallax Sig
Aside from the fact that I am a huge Vikings fan, I would love this card even if it were Aaron Rodgers. The new background and parallax effect make this a must own, and a huge boost doesnt hurt. This card looks stunning in every single way, and I sincerely hope we get more before the season is up. Its clear that creating these types of backgrounds are a honed skill for Topps, and this weekend it was on display. Easily one of my favorite cards of the year so far.
Verdict: Long Touchdown
Topps Arcade Series 2
The first go around with these during thanksgiving was really well done. The exclusive artwork in both series is really appealing, and it makes for a great looking digital card. I really liked the way they channeled Christmas Lights and 1980s arcade games, especially because it makes the release stand out. I hope we get more Tyson Beck designs as the year goes on.
Topps High Tek
Thanksgiving may have been about super premium sets, but Christmas was much more accessible, and people loved it. High Tek was one of the most fun sets I have ever tried to build, as the pattern variants were fun to wheel and deal. This is based on a physical set that was extremely popular earlier last month, and I am happy they were able to make it work for Huddle. The 10 count variant set might be the first award card that ends in a 1/1, too.
Verdict: Long Touchdown
Although Strata hasnt been released on the physical side yet, it was released last night with 31 cards and a pack price that was a steal and then some. For 2500 coins, you got a 90/10 split on blues and golds, and a guaranteed Strata card. People jumped all over this, and rightfully so. This was the deal of the night, and that says a lot. As for the cards themselves, I wasnt a huge fan, but it doesnt matter when the pack setup wass as friendly as it was.
I really love Finest as a physical card product, but this wasnt based off the football version of it. They used the baseball design, which I didnt like at all. This would have also been a great opportunity to introduce the first signature relic of the year, and that was disappointing to see they were going with a base card instead. I see WHY the baseball design was used, as it takes some time to develop and digitize, but I wanted these to stand out and they didnt. Sadly, it turned out as kind of a dud. The boost helps a bit, but not enough to save this from looking like leftovers from Bunt – especially when you see how cool the real football design was.
Verdict: Missed FG
In closing, I think its clear that they knocked it out of the park for this year. As mentioned before, Huddle went all out for thanksgiving, but many of the offerings werent accessible to casual collectors. This had a lot of fun available for all different types of players, and that made it so much more enjoyable to experience. I cannot wait for the beginning of the playoffs and see what they have up their sleeves.