2020 Elite Review

Brendan_B

OZCT Supporter
Jun 16, 2011
7,445
7,459
Brisbane, Queensland
Real Name
Brendan
eBay User
Brendan3767
Well OZCT members, boxes of common cards are being dumped into the fire pits to counter the last of those westerlies, low end insert cards are being sold for 50c each and the NRL is nearly down to eight teams! 2020 has been a unique year, both locally and globally and certainly helps you appreciate the little things such as living in this wonderful country. The hobby has seen significant growth this year and I am certain that is in part to COVID related boredom and excess time allowing those who collected as kids, to jump back in. This has seen a significant increase in card prices which is good but also isolates certain aspects of the market further. Hopefully the new collectors stick around and don't get bored in 12 months and 'dump'all their cards onto the secondary market!

There is a detailed summary at the end but in short, this is a solid release but a big step back from 2019 Elite. I am certain that putting this release together was a logistical nightmare, more on that later.

As usual, please add your two cents and try to be objective!

OVERVIEW

As we have become accustomed to, Elite is a 24 packet box, ten box per case release. At $8 per packet it is not cheap but I feel that price provides a reasonable value for money, provided you get a numbered hit or two. It is a well known fact that the collation this year (and even last year) is well off. I am led to believe that due to COVID restrictions, TLA were not allowed to be present during the packing of the product. Including Priority, we are looking at a 660 case release. Numbered hits (not including priority only inserts), exceed 15,500 so there is absolutely no reason why there is not a minimum of two numbered hits in every box.

There have been suggestions that Elite should be split into a hobby and retail release with the latter being cheaper ($6 per packet) but having less of the big hits. Previously, I think this is a great idea when it is obvious that hobby cases were 'stocked'and newsagent stock is not. I have had a brief conversation with TLA regarding this and I am constantly reminded that odds are based on the overall production run. I accept this, but you can't tell me that when Newsagent allocated cases (numbered 576 to 660) are light and priority cases are sometimes pulling seven, yes seven numbered hits per box that this is not intentional on TLA's part.

The packets and boxes are a nice clean design however the collation in respect to inserts has been a huge issue which just seems to go unnoticed. The quality control seems to be quite good this year, with acknowledgement that TLA have received damaged cards back from signers and will replace in advance. Again, credit where credit is due, getting all of these players to sign in their 'bubbles' is a fair effort and not being able to supervise a bunch of footy players squiggling on cardboard is always going to be an issue.

FOLDERS

Same same but different, colour wise anyway.. The design doesn't really change much year to year, I did like the way Select mixed their folders up but that also worked because they changed the series 2 release name each year. At $25, I feel there should be a folder card or packet of Elite included. Elite is the high end release and I feel that folders should reflect this. I would certainly pay more for a nicer folder. You could say that the folders each year are a parallel of the last and we know how much TLA love a parallel !!

BASE SET

I was really excited from the sell sheet when I saw that this years base appeared to have background pictures like the old days. Unfortunately it is the same background image for each card in the team set and it is blurred out. I do not really chase IP's but I am sure these base cards would come up a treat. 144 is a good number, with nine per page however I would still like to see the club logo be the 'middle card'' of each team set and instead of a checklist contain some info about premierships etc as opposed to being a checklist.

SILVER SPECIAL

This set reminds me a little of the 05 Tradition parallels mainly because of the background. I think @MikeK worked out that the silver special set is actually the second or third rarest set of the low ends so they should really be worth a bit more. I am a big fan of the use of different images to the base and the only way this set could improve would be to foil number the parallels to value add for the low end packet buyer. I liked how this was done in Glory and I believe the AFL do it in their series 2 release. Again, this would be an extra expense which may drive the packet / box price up so it may not be overly popular to go this way.

WNRL

No disrespect to the WNRL but this set is just a token inclusion and essentially a common card masquerading as an insert. The cards are very plain and could certainly be dressed up a bit. As they stand they maintain no value and they should be included in the base set.

DECADE CHARTBUSTERS

I like the theme, great celebration of the decade and for me (very bias here) it places emphasis on how consistent Croker has been in largely unsuccessful Raiders team. The cards themselves are okay but a bit plain. I like the club logo faded into the background but I think that they should have expanded the statistical categories to 9 (offloads, line breaks and maybe field goals or 40/20's), still maintain 3 per category in a gold, silver and bronze format like they did with the Traders League Leaders. Overall these inserts look a bit cheap for Elite and the design is more suited to Traders. The LL from Traders are far better looking card. The other obvious issue is not having Gallen's image. I understand that Gallen and TLA couldn't agree on a price but wouldn't the use of his name still be his intellectual property because he has retired? I just can't see how they couldn't work this out.

2020 TEAMS

Another boring and pointless inclusion IMO. This theme was already covered in the last two Traders predictor redemption's and to me, is really just a Traders level release. The fact that half the set has to be redeemed and now can't shows me how little thought and planning went into this subset. Why wouldn't TLA just continue the spotlight theme from last year with the other 8 teams?

DALLY M

I was really happy to see this set continue. This years design is the best so far and I really like how the set expands to cover other awards aside from the Team of the Year. The landscape design really works and the darker background really makes the gold foil standout as does having the players in colour. Great example of how a low end Elite set should be.

MASTERS SERIES

I can hear a collective sigh of relief across the forum, no more Captains or ''Çraptains'' as they had become known in some quarters. This subset isn't for everyone as it is based on the one player but does cover club, state and country. Regardless of who you support, if you have any Rugby League knowledge it is hard to go past Slater as the greatest number one ever, certainly of the modern era. The dual images work well for me and if rumours are true, TLA are planning this subset to continue for years with both Lockyer and Thurston mentioned. The signature aspect to these cards are exquisite, really classy cards with the gold pen being perfect.

YOUNG GUNS

A fantastic card and great example of a box hit. The YG has a nice clean design, features some great up and coming players and the player image really jumps from the card. Limited to 188 per card, these were almost at a point where foil numbering would be an option.

YOUNG GUNS BLACK

Another parallel, what !! TLA seem to have mastered the old CTRL C, CTRL V. I much prefer the YG white but the changing of the colour behind the player from team to gold really works well with the predominately black background. Numbered to /115 each, I don't know why TLA didn't include both players and just lower the number. I can only think that the decision was made to keep this set at one in four boxes. None the less not a bad addition but more of a 1:48 card for mine.

LEAGUE SENSATIONS SIGNATURE

I am yet to see these in hand (waiting until the rush is over to redeem, have heard a few horror stories about cards being posted to the wrong person, redemption cards going missing etc) but I love the fact that they are by redemption. I get that it is exciting to pull a signature card from the pack but the reality is that this set is a high end release and therefore all signatures should be perfect. By having them in packets the signatures get scratched and smudged. By redemption, TLA can actually control the quality some what. Anyway back to the cards, from what I have seen the design is very nice with the faded background really allowing the player and signature to 'pop'from the card. A pretty decent selection of players also however with each team getting a minimum of three signatures per year these days, we are starting to see plenty of repetition. I think this is Wade Graham's third since 2016, Wighton will now have 6 signature cards since 2016 also. Overall, nice looking card, holding good value, a winner IMO.

LSB

I am very happy these continued as they are an exquisite card, one of my very favorites ever made. Again, I haven't redeemed one yet and as such can't comment on the ín hand' look but from the images I have seen, gold pen on a white signature block is not the best option. The player image again jumps off the card which is great but perhaps the signature block should have been black.

LST

Same as previous, I am yet to redeem mine or hold one in hand. I love the short print run of /20 and the redemption looks good so I can only imagine how nice the actual signature card will be! Of course, it is really just another parallel of the previous LS and I am undecided about having this third level of LS or going back to two and have Young Gun signatures included.

RUBY / SAPPHIRE / EMERALD MOJOS

I much preferred last years designs for these mojo's. They have grown on me but the gold foil edges show up imperfections far too easily. I am in two minds about the emeralds being a single card insert. It has certainly driven value up, I paid less than $300 for the entire Canberra set last year and this year, you won't get change out of $1000. The emeralds being inserted singularly has also allowed those who like to corner the market to rear their ugly money grabbing heads. I am led to believe that Ponga at all levels is very hard to get and as a result you get decent collectors who just can't afford it, abhorrent behavior really. I am also disappointed that they went away from a combination of ruby and sapphire images on the emerald, this really worked in years past IMO. Not terrible cards but not my favorites.

BLACK DIAMOND MOJOS

These are really classy looking cards with the gold border and dual player image working perfectly for a high end hit. I am glad the black diamond have remained as sets as hitting a mojo packet with one of these is a great experience. Some of the prices being asked make me chuckle though, more for a numbered parallel set than an Immortal signature? Crazy!!

CASE CARDS

The Head to Head 2 case cards are a very lazy effort. The same theme as last year just with slightly different designs and players (aside from Canberra, good thing I like Papa) but seriously, same player two years running? These are not a terrible card, I just think they could do better. There are so many themes available, here is an idea, starting from 2021 Elite, 300 game club / triple centurion case card and add to it every year!

The parallel aspect of these is interesting. Now I could be wrong and feel free to correct me, but there are 520 regular case cards in total (65 x 8) and then another 136 parallel case cards. This gives us 656 case cards all up from a 660 case release. Now to my knowledge, newsagent stock has never had case cards in them and the extra case cards were made because newsagent allocated stock was reduced and provided to dealers. I am unsure on the total amount given to newsagents in the end but you can rest assured that the éxcess' parallel case cards will pop up somewhere and lets hope it is not on eBay like a certain Legends signature card....

SPOTLIGHT JERSEY / RTF JERSEY

These were such a great concept when introduced last year, why would they deviate? To me, this makes no sense, you now have 10/16 teams with Spotlight cards when there should be the full 16. Now I get that COVID may have been a significant factor in obtaining jerseys but these are done by redemption. Surely the 18 rounds since the COVID break would have allowed TLA time to get the jerseys required. Anyway onto the actual cards we do have. There are some cracking patches and player selection (Smith, Gutherson, Hodgson) which really lift this set. The detriment is obvious though, RCG's jersey is from 2017 and he is now with Parramatta, Api is with Penrith, Fifita's jersey is from a game the Brisbane faithful would no doubt want to forget, not celebrate.

SPOTLIGHT JERSEY SIGNATURE / RTF JERSEY SIGNATURE

The booklet design is very innovative and I am a big fan. I will just be repeating the above in respect to the pros and cons but I am very happy that Canberra got a booklet and not an RTF. The Canberra patches I have seen redeemed look fabulous.

ALL STARS MATCH BALL

Another card I haven't held in hand but seem to be well received with plenty of nice ball patches, prices holding okay but another Billy card? Surely, in this release they could have gone another way!

FUTERA GOLD 1/1

I am really glad to see these back and the design is absolutely second to none. Clearly, the best patches have been saved for these cards and so they should. I have not seen one in hand but the posted images really do such a rare and high end card justice. I am unsure why the two Spotlights didn't make the 1/1 cut but I am quietly happy as that is certain;y one Raiders card that would have very likely never made the PC!

MILESTONE GOLDEN TICKET

It seems to me that this release in part was used to get rid of old stock. Now the Milestone set was a bit of a bomb in the end with several sets unsold, hence this redemption. As this was set was designed and paid for in a previous year, it really costs TLA nothing (compared to a master set) to part with it. None the less, I didn't mind these cards, some interesting choices with players like Merrin and Norman featuring in previous clubs strips to keep with the theme.

PRIORITY DALLY M

I actually prefer the standard Dally M to the parallel version. The mottled / snakeskin design just doesn't do it for me. ?67 is also far to high of a number to be considered 'priority'. In saying that, based on the other low level inserts, this was really the only option unless they changed up the Decade Chartbusters and did a Priority version of those.

PRIORITY YOUNG GUN

I really like the design of these cards. In hand, fantastic. /19 is perfect low numbering for a Priority level insert and as previously mentioned, the YG's were already a classy card. I am surprised that the prices on these aren't going a bit higher.

SUMMARY

A solid release but well of the pace of 2019 Elite. To be honest, there are so many issues with this release that are not card related per say. Collation is massive one and allocation is concerning also. The low end aspect until the Dally M ordinary and really at a Traders level, the non inclusion of YG signatures, the mix of spotlight and RTF jersey patch and signatures, the sheer volume of parallels in this release is huge. I know that TLA don't control how much stock newsagents get individually but newsagents near me, who traditionally got 4-8 boxes and sold everyone got one or two and then were told no more. Maybe with the obvious collation issues this was a blessing in disguise! The other aspect, and this focuses more on emeralds being inserted individually and the parallel case card, is TLA seem to have very little idea what collectors want. Master set collectors are a thing of the past so many became team set collectors but even that is far too expensive for most now. Unless you are lucky enough to purchase a team master set (very boring but cost effective), a team master set for one of the more popular teams would be over $5000.

The saving grace for this release is the quality of players who have signed cards. Smith, Gutherson, Hodgson, Wighton, Marshall, Graham, Reynolds to name a few lifts this release from a to 7/10

Solid but not spectacular!
 

hobo

Kogarah to Kiama
OZCT Supporter
Aug 27, 2008
6,836
4,792
Central Coast, NSW
Real Name
Ross
Thanks Brendan a well considered and well written review as always.

I'll start by saying I agree it is a good release with some quality product in it but like all my school report cards it should be signed off with "can do better".

I must say my main gripe is the distribution / allocation. I didn't release Priority had up to 7 numbered hits per box, really c'mon that is a joke and an insult to the average collector who don't have a direct relationship with a dealer. Priority sells out before the man in the street even gets a look in and has the potential for the dealers (or preferred buyer) simply to bust these boxes and hold the market to ransom. I'm not a fan. I realise that many / most / all dealers on sold and I'm not questioning their integrity, but it has the potential to be a rort. Every box and case bought anywhere should have the same chance of hitting big.

I will also sound like a broken record on this point but I am also not a fan of stuffing a 16 team NRL release with a focus on one single player. To me these should be run as a "Special Edition" or encompass a theme that allows for a 4 / 8 / 16 team set and repeated until all teams have a card.

Decade of Dominance well this is a one year wonder and we wont see this again................

Anyway sorry to focus on the negatives so I'll finish with a positive I didn't mind the idea of the parallel League Sensations, yes some issues with the team colours but I do like the look of them all side by side.

Cheers
Ross
 

Matt26

OZCT Supporter
Oct 13, 2005
19,403
11,599
Sydney
Real Name
Matt
Well OZCT members, boxes of common cards are being dumped into the fire pits to counter the last of those westerlies, low end insert cards are being sold for 50c each and the NRL is nearly down to eight teams! 2020 has been a unique year, both locally and globally and certainly helps you appreciate the little things such as living in this wonderful country. The hobby has seen significant growth this year and I am certain that is in part to COVID related boredom and excess time allowing those who collected as kids, to jump back in. This has seen a significant increase in card prices which is good but also isolates certain aspects of the market further. Hopefully the new collectors stick around and don't get bored in 12 months and 'dump'all their cards onto the secondary market!

There is a detailed summary at the end but in short, this is a solid release but a big step back from 2019 Elite. I am certain that putting this release together was a logistical nightmare, more on that later.

As usual, please add your two cents and try to be objective!

OVERVIEW

As we have become accustomed to, Elite is a 24 packet box, ten box per case release. At $8 per packet it is not cheap but I feel that price provides a reasonable value for money, provided you get a numbered hit or two. It is a well known fact that the collation this year (and even last year) is well off. I am led to believe that due to COVID restrictions, TLA were not allowed to be present during the packing of the product. Including Priority, we are looking at a 660 case release. Numbered hits (not including priority only inserts), exceed 15,500 so there is absolutely no reason why there is not a minimum of two numbered hits in every box.

There have been suggestions that Elite should be split into a hobby and retail release with the latter being cheaper ($6 per packet) but having less of the big hits. Previously, I think this is a great idea when it is obvious that hobby cases were 'stocked'and newsagent stock is not. I have had a brief conversation with TLA regarding this and I am constantly reminded that odds are based on the overall production run. I accept this, but you can't tell me that when Newsagent allocated cases (numbered 576 to 660) are light and priority cases are sometimes pulling seven, yes seven numbered hits per box that this is not intentional on TLA's part.

The packets and boxes are a nice clean design however the collation in respect to inserts has been a huge issue which just seems to go unnoticed. The quality control seems to be quite good this year, with acknowledgement that TLA have received damaged cards back from signers and will replace in advance. Again, credit where credit is due, getting all of these players to sign in their 'bubbles' is a fair effort and not being able to supervise a bunch of footy players squiggling on cardboard is always going to be an issue.

FOLDERS

Same same but different, colour wise anyway.. The design doesn't really change much year to year, I did like the way Select mixed their folders up but that also worked because they changed the series 2 release name each year. At $25, I feel there should be a folder card or packet of Elite included. Elite is the high end release and I feel that folders should reflect this. I would certainly pay more for a nicer folder. You could say that the folders each year are a parallel of the last and we know how much TLA love a parallel !!

BASE SET

I was really excited from the sell sheet when I saw that this years base appeared to have background pictures like the old days. Unfortunately it is the same background image for each card in the team set and it is blurred out. I do not really chase IP's but I am sure these base cards would come up a treat. 144 is a good number, with nine per page however I would still like to see the club logo be the 'middle card'' of each team set and instead of a checklist contain some info about premierships etc as opposed to being a checklist.

SILVER SPECIAL

This set reminds me a little of the 05 Tradition parallels mainly because of the background. I think @MikeK worked out that the silver special set is actually the second or third rarest set of the low ends so they should really be worth a bit more. I am a big fan of the use of different images to the base and the only way this set could improve would be to foil number the parallels to value add for the low end packet buyer. I liked how this was done in Glory and I believe the AFL do it in their series 2 release. Again, this would be an extra expense which may drive the packet / box price up so it may not be overly popular to go this way.

WNRL

No disrespect to the WNRL but this set is just a token inclusion and essentially a common card masquerading as an insert. The cards are very plain and could certainly be dressed up a bit. As they stand they maintain no value and they should be included in the base set.

DECADE CHARTBUSTERS

I like the theme, great celebration of the decade and for me (very bias here) it places emphasis on how consistent Croker has been in largely unsuccessful Raiders team. The cards themselves are okay but a bit plain. I like the club logo faded into the background but I think that they should have expanded the statistical categories to 9 (offloads, line breaks and maybe field goals or 40/20's), still maintain 3 per category in a gold, silver and bronze format like they did with the Traders League Leaders. Overall these inserts look a bit cheap for Elite and the design is more suited to Traders. The LL from Traders are far better looking card. The other obvious issue is not having Gallen's image. I understand that Gallen and TLA couldn't agree on a price but wouldn't the use of his name still be his intellectual property because he has retired? I just can't see how they couldn't work this out.

2020 TEAMS

Another boring and pointless inclusion IMO. This theme was already covered in the last two Traders predictor redemption's and to me, is really just a Traders level release. The fact that half the set has to be redeemed and now can't shows me how little thought and planning went into this subset. Why wouldn't TLA just continue the spotlight theme from last year with the other 8 teams?

DALLY M

I was really happy to see this set continue. This years design is the best so far and I really like how the set expands to cover other awards aside from the Team of the Year. The landscape design really works and the darker background really makes the gold foil standout as does having the players in colour. Great example of how a low end Elite set should be.

MASTERS SERIES

I can hear a collective sigh of relief across the forum, no more Captains or ''Çraptains'' as they had become known in some quarters. This subset isn't for everyone as it is based on the one player but does cover club, state and country. Regardless of who you support, if you have any Rugby League knowledge it is hard to go past Slater as the greatest number one ever, certainly of the modern era. The dual images work well for me and if rumours are true, TLA are planning this subset to continue for years with both Lockyer and Thurston mentioned. The signature aspect to these cards are exquisite, really classy cards with the gold pen being perfect.

YOUNG GUNS

A fantastic card and great example of a box hit. The YG has a nice clean design, features some great up and coming players and the player image really jumps from the card. Limited to 188 per card, these were almost at a point where foil numbering would be an option.

YOUNG GUNS BLACK

Another parallel, what !! TLA seem to have mastered the old CTRL C, CTRL V. I much prefer the YG white but the changing of the colour behind the player from team to gold really works well with the predominately black background. Numbered to /115 each, I don't know why TLA didn't include both players and just lower the number. I can only think that the decision was made to keep this set at one in four boxes. None the less not a bad addition but more of a 1:48 card for mine.

LEAGUE SENSATIONS SIGNATURE

I am yet to see these in hand (waiting until the rush is over to redeem, have heard a few horror stories about cards being posted to the wrong person, redemption cards going missing etc) but I love the fact that they are by redemption. I get that it is exciting to pull a signature card from the pack but the reality is that this set is a high end release and therefore all signatures should be perfect. By having them in packets the signatures get scratched and smudged. By redemption, TLA can actually control the quality some what. Anyway back to the cards, from what I have seen the design is very nice with the faded background really allowing the player and signature to 'pop'from the card. A pretty decent selection of players also however with each team getting a minimum of three signatures per year these days, we are starting to see plenty of repetition. I think this is Wade Graham's third since 2016, Wighton will now have 6 signature cards since 2016 also. Overall, nice looking card, holding good value, a winner IMO.

LSB

I am very happy these continued as they are an exquisite card, one of my very favorites ever made. Again, I haven't redeemed one yet and as such can't comment on the ín hand' look but from the images I have seen, gold pen on a white signature block is not the best option. The player image again jumps off the card which is great but perhaps the signature block should have been black.

LST

Same as previous, I am yet to redeem mine or hold one in hand. I love the short print run of /20 and the redemption looks good so I can only imagine how nice the actual signature card will be! Of course, it is really just another parallel of the previous LS and I am undecided about having this third level of LS or going back to two and have Young Gun signatures included.

RUBY / SAPPHIRE / EMERALD MOJOS

I much preferred last years designs for these mojo's. They have grown on me but the gold foil edges show up imperfections far too easily. I am in two minds about the emeralds being a single card insert. It has certainly driven value up, I paid less than $300 for the entire Canberra set last year and this year, you won't get change out of $1000. The emeralds being inserted singularly has also allowed those who like to corner the market to rear their ugly money grabbing heads. I am led to believe that Ponga at all levels is very hard to get and as a result you get decent collectors who just can't afford it, abhorrent behavior really. I am also disappointed that they went away from a combination of ruby and sapphire images on the emerald, this really worked in years past IMO. Not terrible cards but not my favorites.

BLACK DIAMOND MOJOS

These are really classy looking cards with the gold border and dual player image working perfectly for a high end hit. I am glad the black diamond have remained as sets as hitting a mojo packet with one of these is a great experience. Some of the prices being asked make me chuckle though, more for a numbered parallel set than an Immortal signature? Crazy!!

CASE CARDS

The Head to Head 2 case cards are a very lazy effort. The same theme as last year just with slightly different designs and players (aside from Canberra, good thing I like Papa) but seriously, same player two years running? These are not a terrible card, I just think they could do better. There are so many themes available, here is an idea, starting from 2021 Elite, 300 game club / triple centurion case card and add to it every year!

The parallel aspect of these is interesting. Now I could be wrong and feel free to correct me, but there are 520 regular case cards in total (65 x 8) and then another 136 parallel case cards. This gives us 656 case cards all up from a 660 case release. Now to my knowledge, newsagent stock has never had case cards in them and the extra case cards were made because newsagent allocated stock was reduced and provided to dealers. I am unsure on the total amount given to newsagents in the end but you can rest assured that the éxcess' parallel case cards will pop up somewhere and lets hope it is not on eBay like a certain Legends signature card....

SPOTLIGHT JERSEY / RTF JERSEY

These were such a great concept when introduced last year, why would they deviate? To me, this makes no sense, you now have 10/16 teams with Spotlight cards when there should be the full 16. Now I get that COVID may have been a significant factor in obtaining jerseys but these are done by redemption. Surely the 18 rounds since the COVID break would have allowed TLA time to get the jerseys required. Anyway onto the actual cards we do have. There are some cracking patches and player selection (Smith, Gutherson, Hodgson) which really lift this set. The detriment is obvious though, RCG's jersey is from 2017 and he is now with Parramatta, Api is with Penrith, Fifita's jersey is from a game the Brisbane faithful would no doubt want to forget, not celebrate.

SPOTLIGHT JERSEY SIGNATURE / RTF JERSEY SIGNATURE

The booklet design is very innovative and I am a big fan. I will just be repeating the above in respect to the pros and cons but I am very happy that Canberra got a booklet and not an RTF. The Canberra patches I have seen redeemed look fabulous.

ALL STARS MATCH BALL

Another card I haven't held in hand but seem to be well received with plenty of nice ball patches, prices holding okay but another Billy card? Surely, in this release they could have gone another way!

FUTERA GOLD 1/1

I am really glad to see these back and the design is absolutely second to none. Clearly, the best patches have been saved for these cards and so they should. I have not seen one in hand but the posted images really do such a rare and high end card justice. I am unsure why the two Spotlights didn't make the 1/1 cut but I am quietly happy as that is certain;y one Raiders card that would have very likely never made the PC!

MILESTONE GOLDEN TICKET

It seems to me that this release in part was used to get rid of old stock. Now the Milestone set was a bit of a bomb in the end with several sets unsold, hence this redemption. As this was set was designed and paid for in a previous year, it really costs TLA nothing (compared to a master set) to part with it. None the less, I didn't mind these cards, some interesting choices with players like Merrin and Norman featuring in previous clubs strips to keep with the theme.

PRIORITY DALLY M

I actually prefer the standard Dally M to the parallel version. The mottled / snakeskin design just doesn't do it for me. ?67 is also far to high of a number to be considered 'priority'. In saying that, based on the other low level inserts, this was really the only option unless they changed up the Decade Chartbusters and did a Priority version of those.

PRIORITY YOUNG GUN

I really like the design of these cards. In hand, fantastic. /19 is perfect low numbering for a Priority level insert and as previously mentioned, the YG's were already a classy card. I am surprised that the prices on these aren't going a bit higher.

SUMMARY

A solid release but well of the pace of 2019 Elite. To be honest, there are so many issues with this release that are not card related per say. Collation is massive one and allocation is concerning also. The low end aspect until the Dally M ordinary and really at a Traders level, the non inclusion of YG signatures, the mix of spotlight and RTF jersey patch and signatures, the sheer volume of parallels in this release is huge. I know that TLA don't control how much stock newsagents get individually but newsagents near me, who traditionally got 4-8 boxes and sold everyone got one or two and then were told no more. Maybe with the obvious collation issues this was a blessing in disguise! The other aspect, and this focuses more on emeralds being inserted individually and the parallel case card, is TLA seem to have very little idea what collectors want. Master set collectors are a thing of the past so many became team set collectors but even that is far too expensive for most now. Unless you are lucky enough to purchase a team master set (very boring but cost effective), a team master set for one of the more popular teams would be over $5000.

The saving grace for this release is the quality of players who have signed cards. Smith, Gutherson, Hodgson, Wighton, Marshall, Graham, Reynolds to name a few lifts this release from a to 7/10

Solid but not spectacular!

As Always an excellent write up and agree with a lot of things here! Very well done.

Based on what I was told, this year was an out of the ordinary year given the fact that COVID had a huge impact on not only the league but also TLA as a business. I mean at one point I was aware that TLA had stood down a large number of its staff as it is primarily a talent management and marketing and events company so there were challenges with having to put off staff and I still think a number of them are working from home still.

At one point no-one was sure if the game would even get back on the field this year so to have footy back and also have a decent release out this year does deserve some credit!

This year TLA was not able to be present for any of the pack out, the signings (bar 1 LS player who was not in the NRL bubble and Billy Slater) so my understanding was to still have the LS in this release, but the logistics to extend this to another 16 players was going to be a nightmare.

Same for the jerseys...... all of the spotlight jerseys were meant to be from the early rounds so without them they had to grab the remaining jerseys they had available which meant teams like Penrith and Sea Eagles had players who were no longer with the teams.

My understanding is that the teams who didn't have a spotlight jersey this year will have a jersey patch auto next year to complete the 16 teams from Elite 2019 (8), Elite 2020 (2) and the remainder (6) in Elite 2021.

Overall I think the main comments I could add to yours are:

- The Smith Jersey Cards are outstanding cards and you can see this reflected in prices at present.
- The League Sensations love the 3 concepts, just wished the Black version was the Gold Pen signed on a black background and that the Team version had a bit more design to it...... even some reflective foil behind the player to accentuate the team colours.
- The Billy Slater Ball Patch - they should have also done one for a Roosters Player (who won the game) and this would have been a nice addition as well.
- Mojos I like them, however I wished they were printed on some sort of reflective board to make them pop (something like 2016 etc).
- The Futera 1/1 cards look unreal again and cant wait to see one of them turn up on the secondary market!

Overall I think your comments hit the mark and were spot on!

Cheers
Matt
 

nznrl

Interested in low numbered Warriors
Jul 11, 2008
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Daniel
Always good to read your reviews, Brendan.

I nearly buckled and busted a couple of things for this one, but got cold feet as I was rummaging for the credit card.

My excitement was based on the Harris-Tavita Spotlight booklet signature, which I would rate as the highest end Warriors card in their existence (above the 04 Betham Captain sig for me).

I planned to buy one as I really like Harris-Tavita and the previous booklet cards are really nice. When I saw Diggaz post on the redeemed version, it confirmed how beautiful the cards are; they are truly stunning. I love landscape signature cards as they give space to the signature and other stylistic elements of the card. They are really classy. However, I'm not going to purchase one - I know that jerseys etc are hard to track down, but having such a high end insert contain a nines jersey from the Knights thrashing the Warriors in a meaningless game doesn't feel too good, and seemingly minor details like the jersey pictured not matching the jersey piece are major when talking about the high end stuff.
 

Muzza

Back to Belmore
Feb 11, 2012
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Another great review Brendan, you've nailed some of the major pros and cons brilliantly as usual. I haven't got the patience, the concentration or the passion unfortunately.
Anyway, it seems to me that the overwhelming issue with TLA is that, as an entity, they still don't display a "collectors" mindset. Hence, they are still prone to making production and distribution decisions that sometimes don't sit too well with their customer base.
Sure, this season has tossed up some unique, never before seen issues, but looking beyond all that, TLA suffer from a certain degree of tunnel vision that they just cant seem to shake off despite nudges from generous amounts of feedback.
I thought 2020 Elite was a pretty decent effort considering the circumstances but I can't let go of one burning issue that continues to plague their releases.
Collation, collation, collation. Nothing irks a collector more than the dreaded dud box. They should not be a thing. Ever.
They need guaranteed content in every box. No dealer stock and newsagent stock, unless they are clearly defined as such.

Good luck to you all.
 

saintsforever

OzCardTrader
Oct 25, 2012
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david
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rugbydolltoys
As Always an excellent write up and agree with a lot of things here! Very well done.

Based on what I was told, this year was an out of the ordinary year given the fact that COVID had a huge impact on not only the league but also TLA as a business. I mean at one point I was aware that TLA had stood down a large number of its staff as it is primarily a talent management and marketing and events company so there were challenges with having to put off staff and I still think a number of them are working from home still.

At one point no-one was sure if the game would even get back on the field this year so to have footy back and also have a decent release out this year does deserve some credit!

This year TLA was not able to be present for any of the pack out, the signings (bar 1 LS player who was not in the NRL bubble and Billy Slater) so my understanding was to still have the LS in this release, but the logistics to extend this to another 16 players was going to be a nightmare.

Same for the jerseys...... all of the spotlight jerseys were meant to be from the early rounds so without them they had to grab the remaining jerseys they had available which meant teams like Penrith and Sea Eagles had players who were no longer with the teams.

My understanding is that the teams who didn't have a spotlight jersey this year will have a jersey patch auto next year to complete the 16 teams from Elite 2019 (8), Elite 2020 (2) and the remainder (6) in Elite 2021.

Overall I think the main comments I could add to yours are:

- The Smith Jersey Cards are outstanding cards and you can see this reflected in prices at present.
- The League Sensations love the 3 concepts, just wished the Black version was the Gold Pen signed on a black background and that the Team version had a bit more design to it...... even some reflective foil behind the player to accentuate the team colours.
- The Billy Slater Ball Patch - they should have also done one for a Roosters Player (who won the game) and this would have been a nice addition as well.
- Mojos I like them, however I wished they were printed on some sort of reflective board to make them pop (something like 2016 etc).
- The Futera 1/1 cards look unreal again and cant wait to see one of them turn up on the secondary market!

Overall I think your comments hit the mark and were spot on!

Cheers
Matt
no wonder there failing the drug and alcohol policys, there working from homes'.
 

ElijahCraigHyde

OzCardTrader
Apr 6, 2015
1,494
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Canberra
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Jarrah
7/10 a pretty just verdict IMO
For future releases this is what I'd like to see

The league sensations out of 40 back to black pannels but gold ink still to remain

If the third LS version is to stay then gold ink as well as the black but signed on dark pannel comprising team colours. And please, please no further versions out of 10 and 5 like the mojos

And lastly but not least, in fact most of all, please do NOT split the black diamond mojo sets!!! Please don't even think about it!!!
 

Gameday Online

OZCT Supporter
Jul 29, 2008
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Now that the dust has settled on this release I am chasing from collectors a Final Say on the 2020 Elite release. Just some up in a couple of sentences or even just one line what you thought of the release. Thanks in advance to anyone that replies. Will use these comments to form a general final say on my website page for this release.
 

ElijahCraigHyde

OzCardTrader
Apr 6, 2015
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Canberra
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Jarrah
The best thing about it IMO was the black gem/diamond mojo sets being team packed still and in my eyes the best looking one since this highest end variant was introduced in 2018.
 
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