2021 NRL TRADERS REVIEW

Brendan_B

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Here it is folks, back by popular demand (well one person asked..). I haven't really chased hard this year for a few reasons but mainly because of the issues with this release. So, that means that I haven't held all (or even many) cards in hand. Repetition, poor QC and lack of integrity are big aspects in this years release.

As always, feel free to like, dislike and add constructive advice. I am really hoping this will generate some chat which will hopefully reach TLA. What they do with it though, it is really up to them but I get the impression they couldn't care less about the hobby or the collector, just about the $$.

OVERVIEW

As we have become accustomed to, Traders is a 36 packet box, 12 box per case release. At $4 per packet, that price provides a great value for money with the large volume of numbered and low end hits available. The packets and boxes are a nice clean design however there a series of significant failings in this release which impact really negatively on the hobby;

- Poor quality control
- The allocation / distribution and sale of Priority and Starters
- Integrity regarding the sale of Priority including an authorized dealer who is apparently related to a TLA employee
- Duplication / parallel versions of so many cards, just plain lazy.



PRIORITY BOXES

It is obvious that this is an easy cash grab for TLA. Create a parallel version of an existing card, foil number it and you near triple the profit on box sales. The production run has increased from 40 to 60 cases this year clearly due to the popularity of Priority in 2020. I actually like the idea and inclusion of Priority but the allocation and ability to purchase is a joke. Early on (pre-release), collectors were told that the only way to get your hands on priority was to purchase a case and that due to the reduction in starters, they were going to be hard to get. Now I might be in the minority but I based my 21 Traders budget on this information and bought a few boxes which allowed me to purchase a few loose packs of Priority and a couple of starters. I was happy with this. Now, not one month into the release we see dealers (authorised and non-authorised) auctioning single boxes of Priority and mini starter cases with some lucky collectors able to purchase multiple priority boxes, WTF? Not only is it unfair but also creates an aspect of the hobby where those who can grab priority boxes bust and dump for a quick profit, not for their collections. One suggestion pre-release was as follows; 60 cases of Priority (720 boxes), half to authorised dealers for breaks and case sales and the other 360, available to collectors in a bundle deal (one regular box, one priority) from TLA, one per person until a certain date. If the interest exceeded 360, run a draft and the top 360 names have the first right of refusal.
Add to this, an authorised TLA dealer is rumored to be a close relative of of one of the TLA employees. This particular seller seems to have significant access to priority, starter packs and case cards, stuff that some dealers and plenty of collectors can't get there hands on, does this not raise concerns?

The Priority version of Club Heroes and Group Wild Cards look quite nice and they seem to be very popular. I will also outline that priority boxes seem less 'stacked' than last year which is only a good thing.

STARTER PACKS

Extremely popular and with good reason. Great value, chances of a numbered hit separate from the packets and plenty of decent hits coming from the packets. I have no issue with the price rise this year as you still get a bonus card. The reduction of starter packs is an interesting choice which I am led to believe was because Ampol purchased a stack of cases and half the starter pack were cancelled. I am assuming that this was decided upon some time before release as the colored variations of ST's available in starter packs was halved and the gold LL which were in last years hobby packs were made into case cards. At least the starter packs are easy to open with the perforated back but why can't they frost up the plastic so the packs can't be searched. Because of the lack of availability in newsagents, this aspect isn't as big of an issue this year but the searching of these is still an option for those that are inclined.

FOLDERS

21 Traders folders are an improvement on previous years as they have mixed up the colour and have the year being branded on them. The quality of the folder and sleeves seems okay for a lower end release and consistent with the coat. I still think Select do a better folder. At $25, with a bonus card, the value is okay but why not make it $29.95 and throw in two packets of Traders as well? I don't mind the bonus card (Rising Star Parallel)but it is just another lazy effort and parallel version. Why not mix it up? Team logo set, CL1-16, club facts and figures on the back? This would take the CL from the main set and allow a straight nine per team set.

BASE SET

This years base set is very plain and quite similar to 2020 Elite in that they have a playing background of sorts. Now the background is generic, what I would give for proper action shots like the older cards. I say this year after year, but why ten cards per team set? Let's do 9 or 18, My preference would be to have different players in both Traders and Elite. Player selection seems okay with a few new faces but no WNRL. Why not add two per team with a WNRL logo in the middle of the page?

PARALLEL SPECIAL

What can be said about PS's. They are what they are, one per pack, different image from base is always good (not really parallels are they). The value on these is always minimal but I guess this makes a set achievable to for all levels of collectors which I guess is a good thing.

RISING STARS

A bit of a change up in theme from and good low end card. Player selection is really good across the board and if I have any criticism, these are too common at 1:3 (should be 1:6) and the Rising Star wording should be in foil like the album card.

RISING STAR PARALLEL (ALBUM CARD)

Touched on above, not a bad card but just another parallel / duplication and a bit lazy really. Why not a club logo set? There are so many themes and options available.

SEASON TO REMEMBER

This is becoming a tired set. The theme is fine although I am sure with a bit of research they could choose much better moments. The actual card design is very bright and shiny, which is good for kids but shows up damage / imperfections easily. The puzzle aspect has moved to the front of the cards this year which is different. This is probably the set that is easy to roll over although I personally would like to see a Milestone set each Traders release for those hitting 150 games and above.

WILD CARD & WILD CARD GROUP

Close to my favorite card and a really good addition to a Traders release. The actual cards look very nice in hand and if I had to be picky, I would say Select do the background lightning a bit better and the lightning either side of the name looks a bit cartoon like for want of a better word. Really good addition, great player selection and I will be putting together a set myself.

STARTOONS CLEAR & COLOURED

I will review all startoons here. This is a very tired theme, fourth year in a row (5 if you include 2017 where they were not in Starters but were in the standard packets and as an album card)? I get the attraction for younger kids and the clear ST actually fell really good in hand. The starter pack variants are okay and having the red ST numbered to /75 certainly added a level of interest. Nice enough looking card, just a bit tired and again, a lazy effort by TLA. There are some themes such as Retirements and Milestones which lend themselves to be recycled year after year, this is not one of those!

STREET ART WHITE / BLACK

Terrible looking cards. I was a fan of them last year because they look okay and it was something different although how the theme is football relevant I haven't worked out. For these to go around again is so lazy and as above, not a theme that lends itself to being recycled.

CLUB HERO

This is a set which was getting a bit tired from previous years but bounced back well last year with a fresh design (landscape) and longer odds (1:36). Now this theme can be used year after year as more often than not, different players win the club awards. That being said, I don't really like the design, I though last years were much better. I haven't held a priority version but from what I can see, the snakeskin / ripple holographic effect looks okay. Overall, not a terrible inclusion.

RETIREMENTS

A classic that needs to keep rolling out year after year. A really nicely designed card and with some cracking players leaving our game (and also some less popular toilers), this set is a great tribute. The values holds nicely in the $12-$20 range and this makes putting the set together quite achievable. My only criticism has been the same since day one. The card should go to the club they represented most or were best known at. Sometimes this is difficult but the alternative is having each club logo pictured for a player that had multiple clubs. Shannon Boyd is a prime example, 20 odd games over two injury riddled season with the GC where as he played over 100 games with Canberra and had rep honors there. None the less, fantastic cards.

AUTHENTIC SIGNATURE SILVER / WHITE / BLACK

Why TLA have a /58 black version to a lower end release is beyond me. You could argue that this value adds to the release but I feel it just makes it harder again for the average collector to put together team sets and lowers the values of the white version. Again, the production numbers change and in the last 4 years the authentic signatures have been limited to /100, /170, /100 and now /115. Having three versions works really well, especially from a visual / display perspective but I think the third variant should be a foil signature like earlier years.

The actual card design is nice, landscape for signature cards is always my preference, leaves plenty of space for the signature however the player selection (seems more like a YG set), poor quality not only from the players who have signed but also from a QC aspect at TLA's end really detracts from these. The QC is an easy solution IMO, consistency with the pen used, signing supervised and available via redemption only to ensure the card is at least sent to a collector in good condition. A fair point was raised about the redemption card getting damaged and lowering value, maybe once the redemption is sent in it is destroyed and you only receive the signature card back? This would certainly solve that issue. I guess this is an issue with producing so many signature cards per year. Eventually you will start doubling up or getting lesser players to sign.

PREDICTORS

Why oh why can TLA not get this simple concept right? Numbered to /230, with only 50 sets (aside from premiers) redeemable for what we don't know, a special card? What exactly is that?. Every card should be redeemable and the theme should be mixed up each year. Last years theme was an improvement. My suggestion is knock the odds to 1:3 boxes and leave the premiership predictors unnumbered. Make each card redeemable as either the premiers (for a premiership set) or a full set of 16 to get a card per team. Further, introduce a Dally M predictor at 1:6 boxes. Make each card numbered to 50, each team has five candidates put forward with the image being one that actually makes the card collectible if the the player does not win. The winning card should be redeemable for a Dally M signature, a wild card will be needed for this set. The actual cards themselves look okay in hand but nothing special.

TOP TRIES

A different theme, sort of.. Last year was 4 & 2 which was obviously a dual card with the top try scorer and goal kicker per team. This year is obviously a slight variant but gee they could do so much better, the themes are endless. How about Iron Men for those 80 minute specialists or to steal one from Dynamic, 'bone rattlers' for those big hits. The cards themselves look okay, I have seen a few badly damaged but that is very normal with TLA.

LEGENDS SIGNATURES

Another great set that needs to roll on year after year. It has been said that that the player selection was a bit down (Graham) but I disagree. Graham was a gun, a very physical forward well before his time with great ball playing skills, a turn of speed and a ton of desire. The first kiwi into the HOF and a great touch for the nostalgic having him in a bears strip. Daley is a great choice also, a champion player and bloke and being in the Canberra strip makes for a really nice card. The quality control for these signatures is quite appalling and another reason why they should be via redemption only and the signing supervised. The only other thing I would say is from the last 6 Legends, 4 were also in the HOF Inductee series from Glory. I am not too concerned but they are not short of options in this space.

CASE CARDS

I like the Legends case cards back but numbered to /55 this makes it much harder for the average punter who can only afford this level. Last year was /37, previously been as high as /425 and none in 2019, some consistency from release to release is good. The Retirement Parallels look nice in hand but again, just another parallel. The LLG case cards have just started to show, no doubt these were intended for hobby starters but when that was scrapped, they had to find a place for them. As case cards don't go with Newsagent stock, I wonder where these will end up...a GLL might find a home in the Goldfield. I am all for the Legend top remain as the case card but make the numbers higher so they are an achievable card to obtain or start a consistent theme that rolls from release to release with the same numbering, EG: 300 game club

SUMMARY

TLA's biggest issue is lack of communication with the end consumer and no apparent regard for the ongoing health of the hobby. The cumulative effect is that values don't hold and collectors walk away. Why pay $130 a box now when I know that in 4-6 months time, I will pick up boxes for less than $100?

The quality control is beyond a joke. I saw a copy of an email regarding a damaged Mark Graham and the reply from TLA was, "will look into it".

The hobby is in a boom and TLA are really failing to take advantage with fresh ideas and designs. Well over half of the inserts in this release also have a more limited parallel variant, just lazy. The size of sets have been increasing across most sports and releases year upon year but TLA need to find the balance to support the average collector. This is a lower end release and even to a team collector, it has become unachievable. Conservatively, I would have to spend in excess of $1500 to get all numbered Raiders hits. Now Canberra are popular at present and they have more numbered hits than other teams so it is hard to run a comparison across the board but I think most collectors need deep pockets these days.

Aside from these flaws, the Priority and Starter allocation has created a genuine divide in the collecting community. I am all for Priority being dealer only but there needs to be an amount available for collectors. Limit of one box per collector with another purchase, not for unauthorized dealers who break a case or two per release to obtain, bust and flip the Priority inserts for $$.

Overall, average release in many areas. I love the hobby, the sport and really enjoy collecting cards and normally I am a glass half full kind of guy but not this time.

5/10.
 

Matt26

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Here it is folks, back by popular demand (well one person asked..). I haven't really chased hard this year for a few reasons but mainly because of the issues with this release. So, that means that I haven't held all (or even many) cards in hand. Repetition, poor QC and lack of integrity are big aspects in this years release.

As always, feel free to like, dislike and add constructive advice. I am really hoping this will generate some chat which will hopefully reach TLA. What they do with it though, it is really up to them but I get the impression they couldn't care less about the hobby or the collector, just about the $$.

OVERVIEW

As we have become accustomed to, Traders is a 36 packet box, 12 box per case release. At $4 per packet, that price provides a great value for money with the large volume of numbered and low end hits available. The packets and boxes are a nice clean design however there a series of significant failings in this release which impact really negatively on the hobby;

- Poor quality control
- The allocation / distribution and sale of Priority and Starters
- Integrity regarding the sale of Priority including an authorized dealer who is apparently related to a TLA employee
- Duplication / parallel versions of so many cards, just plain lazy.



PRIORITY BOXES

It is obvious that this is an easy cash grab for TLA. Create a parallel version of an existing card, foil number it and you near triple the profit on box sales. The production run has increased from 40 to 60 cases this year clearly due to the popularity of Priority in 2020. I actually like the idea and inclusion of Priority but the allocation and ability to purchase is a joke. Early on (pre-release), collectors were told that the only way to get your hands on priority was to purchase a case and that due to the reduction in starters, they were going to be hard to get. Now I might be in the minority but I based my 21 Traders budget on this information and bought a few boxes which allowed me to purchase a few loose packs of Priority and a couple of starters. I was happy with this. Now, not one month into the release we see dealers (authorised and non-authorised) auctioning single boxes of Priority and mini starter cases with some lucky collectors able to purchase multiple priority boxes, WTF? Not only is it unfair but also creates an aspect of the hobby where those who can grab priority boxes bust and dump for a quick profit, not for their collections. One suggestion pre-release was as follows; 60 cases of Priority (720 boxes), half to authorised dealers for breaks and case sales and the other 360, available to collectors in a bundle deal (one regular box, one priority) from TLA, one per person until a certain date. If the interest exceeded 360, run a draft and the top 360 names have the first right of refusal.
Add to this, an authorised TLA dealer is rumored to be a close relative of of one of the TLA employees. This particular seller seems to have significant access to priority, starter packs and case cards, stuff that some dealers and plenty of collectors can't get there hands on, does this not raise concerns?

The Priority version of Club Heroes and Group Wild Cards look quite nice and they seem to be very popular. I will also outline that priority boxes seem less 'stacked' than last year which is only a good thing.

STARTER PACKS

Extremely popular and with good reason. Great value, chances of a numbered hit separate from the packets and plenty of decent hits coming from the packets. I have no issue with the price rise this year as you still get a bonus card. The reduction of starter packs is an interesting choice which I am led to believe was because Ampol purchased a stack of cases and half the starter pack were cancelled. I am assuming that this was decided upon some time before release as the colored variations of ST's available in starter packs was halved and the gold LL which were in last years hobby packs were made into case cards. At least the starter packs are easy to open with the perforated back but why can't they frost up the plastic so the packs can't be searched. Because of the lack of availability in newsagents, this aspect isn't as big of an issue this year but the searching of these is still an option for those that are inclined.

FOLDERS

21 Traders folders are an improvement on previous years as they have mixed up the colour and have the year being branded on them. The quality of the folder and sleeves seems okay for a lower end release and consistent with the coat. I still think Select do a better folder. At $25, with a bonus card, the value is okay but why not make it $29.95 and throw in two packets of Traders as well? I don't mind the bonus card (Rising Star Parallel)but it is just another lazy effort and parallel version. Why not mix it up? Team logo set, CL1-16, club facts and figures on the back? This would take the CL from the main set and allow a straight nine per team set.

BASE SET

This years base set is very plain and quite similar to 2020 Elite in that they have a playing background of sorts. Now the background is generic, what I would give for proper action shots like the older cards. I say this year after year, but why ten cards per team set? Let's do 9 or 18, My preference would be to have different players in both Traders and Elite. Player selection seems okay with a few new faces but no WNRL. Why not add two per team with a WNRL logo in the middle of the page?

PARALLEL SPECIAL

What can be said about PS's. They are what they are, one per pack, different image from base is always good (not really parallels are they). The value on these is always minimal but I guess this makes a set achievable to for all levels of collectors which I guess is a good thing.

RISING STARS

A bit of a change up in theme from and good low end card. Player selection is really good across the board and if I have any criticism, these are too common at 1:3 (should be 1:6) and the Rising Star wording should be in foil like the album card.

RISING STAR PARALLEL (ALBUM CARD)

Touched on above, not a bad card but just another parallel / duplication and a bit lazy really. Why not a club logo set? There are so many themes and options available.

SEASON TO REMEMBER

This is becoming a tired set. The theme is fine although I am sure with a bit of research they could choose much better moments. The actual card design is very bright and shiny, which is good for kids but shows up damage / imperfections easily. The puzzle aspect has moved to the front of the cards this year which is different. This is probably the set that is easy to roll over although I personally would like to see a Milestone set each Traders release for those hitting 150 games and above.

WILD CARD & WILD CARD GROUP

Close to my favorite card and a really good addition to a Traders release. The actual cards look very nice in hand and if I had to be picky, I would say Select do the background lightning a bit better and the lightning either side of the name looks a bit cartoon like for want of a better word. Really good addition, great player selection and I will be putting together a set myself.

STARTOONS CLEAR & COLOURED

I will review all startoons here. This is a very tired theme, fourth year in a row (5 if you include 2017 where they were not in Starters but were in the standard packets and as an album card)? I get the attraction for younger kids and the clear ST actually fell really good in hand. The starter pack variants are okay and having the red ST numbered to /75 certainly added a level of interest. Nice enough looking card, just a bit tired and again, a lazy effort by TLA. There are some themes such as Retirements and Milestones which lend themselves to be recycled year after year, this is not one of those!

STREET ART WHITE / BLACK

Terrible looking cards. I was a fan of them last year because they look okay and it was something different although how the theme is football relevant I haven't worked out. For these to go around again is so lazy and as above, not a theme that lends itself to being recycled.

CLUB HERO

This is a set which was getting a bit tired from previous years but bounced back well last year with a fresh design (landscape) and longer odds (1:36). Now this theme can be used year after year as more often than not, different players win the club awards. That being said, I don't really like the design, I though last years were much better. I haven't held a priority version but from what I can see, the snakeskin / ripple holographic effect looks okay. Overall, not a terrible inclusion.

RETIREMENTS

A classic that needs to keep rolling out year after year. A really nicely designed card and with some cracking players leaving our game (and also some less popular toilers), this set is a great tribute. The values holds nicely in the $12-$20 range and this makes putting the set together quite achievable. My only criticism has been the same since day one. The card should go to the club they represented most or were best known at. Sometimes this is difficult but the alternative is having each club logo pictured for a player that had multiple clubs. Shannon Boyd is a prime example, 20 odd games over two injury riddled season with the GC where as he played over 100 games with Canberra and had rep honors there. None the less, fantastic cards.

AUTHENTIC SIGNATURE SILVER / WHITE / BLACK

Why TLA have a /58 black version to a lower end release is beyond me. You could argue that this value adds to the release but I feel it just makes it harder again for the average collector to put together team sets and lowers the values of the white version. Again, the production numbers change and in the last 4 years the authentic signatures have been limited to /100, /170, /100 and now /115. Having three versions works really well, especially from a visual / display perspective but I think the third variant should be a foil signature like earlier years.

The actual card design is nice, landscape for signature cards is always my preference, leaves plenty of space for the signature however the player selection (seems more like a YG set), poor quality not only from the players who have signed but also from a QC aspect at TLA's end really detracts from these. The QC is an easy solution IMO, consistency with the pen used, signing supervised and available via redemption only to ensure the card is at least sent to a collector in good condition. A fair point was raised about the redemption card getting damaged and lowering value, maybe once the redemption is sent in it is destroyed and you only receive the signature card back? This would certainly solve that issue. I guess this is an issue with producing so many signature cards per year. Eventually you will start doubling up or getting lesser players to sign.

PREDICTORS

Why oh why can TLA not get this simple concept right? Numbered to /230, with only 50 sets (aside from premiers) redeemable for what we don't know, a special card? What exactly is that?. Every card should be redeemable and the theme should be mixed up each year. Last years theme was an improvement. My suggestion is knock the odds to 1:3 boxes and leave the premiership predictors unnumbered. Make each card redeemable as either the premiers (for a premiership set) or a full set of 16 to get a card per team. Further, introduce a Dally M predictor at 1:6 boxes. Make each card numbered to 50, each team has five candidates put forward with the image being one that actually makes the card collectible if the the player does not win. The winning card should be redeemable for a Dally M signature, a wild card will be needed for this set. The actual cards themselves look okay in hand but nothing special.

TOP TRIES

A different theme, sort of.. Last year was 4 & 2 which was obviously a dual card with the top try scorer and goal kicker per team. This year is obviously a slight variant but gee they could do so much better, the themes are endless. How about Iron Men for those 80 minute specialists or to steal one from Dynamic, 'bone rattlers' for those big hits. The cards themselves look okay, I have seen a few badly damaged but that is very normal with TLA.

LEGENDS SIGNATURES

Another great set that needs to roll on year after year. It has been said that that the player selection was a bit down (Graham) but I disagree. Graham was a gun, a very physical forward well before his time with great ball playing skills, a turn of speed and a ton of desire. The first kiwi into the HOF and a great touch for the nostalgic having him in a bears strip. Daley is a great choice also, a champion player and bloke and being in the Canberra strip makes for a really nice card. The quality control for these signatures is quite appalling and another reason why they should be via redemption only and the signing supervised. The only other thing I would say is from the last 6 Legends, 4 were also in the HOF Inductee series from Glory. I am not too concerned but they are not short of options in this space.

CASE CARDS

I like the Legends case cards back but numbered to /55 this makes it much harder for the average punter who can only afford this level. Last year was /37, previously been as high as /425 and none in 2019, some consistency from release to release is good. The Retirement Parallels look nice in hand but again, just another parallel. The LLG case cards have just started to show, no doubt these were intended for hobby starters but when that was scrapped, they had to find a place for them. As case cards don't go with Newsagent stock, I wonder where these will end up...a GLL might find a home in the Goldfield. I am all for the Legend top remain as the case card but make the numbers higher so they are an achievable card to obtain or start a consistent theme that rolls from release to release with the same numbering, EG: 300 game club

SUMMARY

TLA's biggest issue is lack of communication with the end consumer and no apparent regard for the ongoing health of the hobby. The cumulative effect is that values don't hold and collectors walk away. Why pay $130 a box now when I know that in 4-6 months time, I will pick up boxes for less than $100?

The quality control is beyond a joke. I saw a copy of an email regarding a damaged Mark Graham and the reply from TLA was, "will look into it".

The hobby is in a boom and TLA are really failing to take advantage with fresh ideas and designs. Well over half of the inserts in this release also have a more limited parallel variant, just lazy. The size of sets have been increasing across most sports and releases year upon year but TLA need to find the balance to support the average collector. This is a lower end release and even to a team collector, it has become unachievable. Conservatively, I would have to spend in excess of $1500 to get all numbered Raiders hits. Now Canberra are popular at present and they have more numbered hits than other teams so it is hard to run a comparison across the board but I think most collectors need deep pockets these days.

Aside from these flaws, the Priority and Starter allocation has created a genuine divide in the collecting community. I am all for Priority being dealer only but there needs to be an amount available for collectors. Limit of one box per collector with another purchase, not for unauthorized dealers who break a case or two per release to obtain, bust and flip the Priority inserts for $$.

Overall, average release in many areas. I love the hobby, the sport and really enjoy collecting cards and normally I am a glass half full kind of guy but not this time.

5/10.

As always a very well written description of the release...... Legends (aside from the signature quality), Retirements (always nice) and the Wild Cards and Rising Stars look nice (would have been even better on a foil board like the Wild Cards), but for the rest there really isn't a lot to get excited about for me.

Lets hope Elite is a strong release and something to look forward to.......... fingers crossed!
 
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Jimmy79

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Love the review, you and I have spoken about a lot of aspects and I have come around to the thinking of a more clear release strategy on the Priorities and how best to make this fair for all. You have nailed the suggestions so no need to add more here.

I do want to add a piece to this that I truly think is being missed in the conversation more broadly but want to take the time to write and love the communities thinking on it. A Project for the long weekend coming up (Brendan, You know where this piece will be heading :D)
 
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saintsforever

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Love the review, you and I have spoken about a lot of aspects and I have come around to the thinking of a more clear release strategy on the Priorities and how best to make this fair for all. You have nailed the suggestions so no need to add more here.

I do want to add a piece to this that I truly think is being missed in the conversation more broadly but want to take the time to write and love the communities thinking on it. A Project for the long weekend coming up (Brendan, You know where this piece will be heading :D)
love it brendan, i myself as a master set collector, have said in the past, why the hell are there so many parallels, absolutely beyond me.
way way too many cards to collect in 1 set,
the amount of numbered hits is just a joke, even as many people are team based collectors these days, it is getting beyond many collectors.
Those street art cards are just messey and really have nothing to do rugby league, even if you grew up in redfern , parramatta, mount druitt or anywhere else, wth does graffiti have to do with rugby league.
Make them a real background feature, create some more JOBS, and have some photographers going to grounds and take shots for new releases, not that fn hard, stop being tight a r s e s .
People will pay for different cards.
 
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The Mad Hatter

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Dynamic done a booster set in 96, dont know why they cant do 9 players in traders and 9 different one's in elite

Don’t know why the Best & Less set can’t be 5 other players to Traders, printed on same stock, with the Gold and/or silver cards a club MVP eg Tedesco, Latrell, Munster etc.
 
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Brendan_B

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Don’t know why the Best & Less set can’t be 5 other players to Traders, printed on same stock, with the Gold and/or silver cards a club MVP eg Tedesco, Latrell, Munster etc.
Because that would make sense and require effort !! Why are the B & L labelled Special Edition, they are a cheaper version of Traders.
 

The Mad Hatter

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Because that would make sense and require effort !! Why are the B & L labelled Special Edition, they are a cheaper version of Traders.

I loaded up last year only to realise it was just more parallels.
At least 2019 gave us theee extra players albeit on cheaper card stock.
 

MC_D

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Great review again Brendan.

always love the legends and retirement cards. The SAS have become really boring design. Over all I’m really loosing interest in NRL cards. I used to buy between 2-3 cases a year now I’m lucky to buy a box.
we need a fresh look for traders or just do a series 1 & 2 in elite style to include 17-18 players per club.
 

Battingticks84

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OVERVIEW

As we have become accustomed to, Traders is a 36 packet box, 12 box per case release. At $4 per packet, that price provides a great value for money with the large volume of numbered and low end hits available. The packets and boxes are a nice clean design however there a series of significant failings in this release which impact really negatively on the hobby;

- Poor quality control
- The allocation / distribution and sale of Priority and Starters
- Integrity regarding the sale of Priority including an authorized dealer who is apparently related to a TLA employee
- Duplication / parallel versions of so many cards, just plain lazy.


5/10.
Thanks for the review. A good read, as always. It’s clear more and more collectors are getting disheartened with how things have gone. For me, having so many signatures is what seems to create the most issues (and endless parallels).
1. it’s their obvious inability to enact any form of quality control and if I were running a business I’d be embarrassed to put a product out and have people talking about it so poorly.
2. there are just too many different signature cards. This would significantly increase their expenses and are most likely a key driving factor behind the constant cash grabs. For some teams they’ve pretty much run out of decent players and are now literally getting fringe first graders to sign because they have pumped out so many signatures over the last 9 years.

I’d like to see this:
Traders/Series 1
1. One sig card per team future force/young guns signing a few hundred each (this could bring back master set collectors, at least of this subset). Picking this type of player would also save them heaps of money as opposed to targeting this at ‘marquee’ players. You’re not paying a rookie anything near what what you’re paying Tedesco to sign. And if you are, you’re a fool.
2. Dally M predictor with a booklet sig card as redemption (Like AFL)
3. Another serial numbered insert limited to 80 or 100 (either one per team for could just do half of the teams each year and alternate) No more of this teams sharing the same card.
4. Premiership predictors (all redeemable) and Legends sigs to continue.
Elite/Series 2
1. 6-8 sigs for current players - elite players. Not some of the garbage they try to pass off as League Sensations. This will mean some teams miss out. As a Broncos collector, I get nobody is Elite at the club and they would miss out. I’m ok with that. Too many people have the ‘what about my team’ attitude in this hobby and I feel it is to the detriment of the value and overall product.
2. A high serial numbered card 1/box with a few players from each team selected
3. A limited (/50) serial numbered card - one per team.
I’m sure there’s more to be added.

I’m ok with priority, but a big fan of Brendan’s idea of half through TLA as a combo and half to the register dealers - absolutely not to people who just get an ABN, claim to be a business, then buy a heap, and sell them on eBay or even Facebook pages. It definitely needs a name change. Priority implies it comes out early.
 
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Brendan_B

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Thanks for the review. A good read, as always. It’s clear more and more collectors are getting disheartened with how things have gone. For me, having so many signatures is what seems to create the most issues (and endless parallels).
1. it’s their obvious inability to enact any form of quality control and if I were running a business I’d be embarrassed to put a product out and have people talking about it so poorly.
2. there are just too many different signature cards. This would significantly increase their expenses and are most likely a key driving factor behind the constant cash grabs. For some teams they’ve pretty much run out of decent players and are now literally getting fringe first graders to sign because they have pumped out so many signatures over the last 9 years.

I’d like to see this:
Traders/Series 1
1. One sig card per team future force/young guns signing a few hundred each (this could bring back master set collectors, at least of this subset). Picking this type of player would also save them heaps of money as opposed to targeting this at ‘marquee’ players. You’re not paying a rookie anything near what what you’re paying Tedesco to sign. And if you are, you’re a fool.
2. Dally M predictor with a booklet sig card as redemption (Like AFL)
3. Another serial numbered insert limited to 80 or 100 (either one per team for could just do half of the teams each year and alternate) No more of this teams sharing the same card.
4. Premiership predictors (all redeemable) and Legends sigs to continue.
Elite/Series 2
1. 6-8 sigs for current players - elite players. Not some of the garbage they try to pass ofas League Sensations. This will mean some teams miss out. As a Broncos collector, I get nobody is Elite at the club and they would miss out. I’m ok with that. Too many people have the ‘what about my team’ attitude in this hobby and I feel it is to the detriment of the value and overall product.
2. A high serial numbered card 1/box with a few players from each team selected
3. A limited (/50) serial numbered card - one per team.
I’m sure there’s more to be added.

I’m ok with priority, but a big fan of Brendan’s idea of half through TLA as a combo and half to the register dealers - absolutely not to people who just get an ABN, claim to be a business, then buy a heap, and sell them on eBay or even Facebook pages. It definitely needs a name change. Priority implies it comes out early.
Great feedback and exactly the point of the review. Firm, constructive and relevant.
 
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ShayTheAussie

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Jan 15, 2021
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Thanks for the review. A good read, as always. It’s clear more and more collectors are getting disheartened with how things have gone. For me, having so many signatures is what seems to create the most issues (and endless parallels).
1. it’s their obvious inability to enact any form of quality control and if I were running a business I’d be embarrassed to put a product out and have people talking about it so poorly.
2. there are just too many different signature cards. This would significantly increase their expenses and are most likely a key driving factor behind the constant cash grabs. For some teams they’ve pretty much run out of decent players and are now literally getting fringe first graders to sign because they have pumped out so many signatures over the last 9 years.

I’d like to see this:
Traders/Series 1
1. One sig card per team future force/young guns signing a few hundred each (this could bring back master set collectors, at least of this subset). Picking this type of player would also save them heaps of money as opposed to targeting this at ‘marquee’ players. You’re not paying a rookie anything near what what you’re paying Tedesco to sign. And if you are, you’re a fool.
2. Dally M predictor with a booklet sig card as redemption (Like AFL)
3. Another serial numbered insert limited to 80 or 100 (either one per team for could just do half of the teams each year and alternate) No more of this teams sharing the same card.
4. Premiership predictors (all redeemable) and Legends sigs to continue.
Elite/Series 2
1. 6-8 sigs for current players - elite players. Not some of the garbage they try to pass ofas League Sensations. This will mean some teams miss out. As a Broncos collector, I get nobody is Elite at the club and they would miss out. I’m ok with that. Too many people have the ‘what about my team’ attitude in this hobby and I feel it is to the detriment of the value and overall product.
2. A high serial numbered card 1/box with a few players from each team selected
3. A limited (/50) serial numbered card - one per team.
I’m sure there’s more to be added.

I’m ok with priority, but a big fan of Brendan’s idea of half through TLA as a combo and half to the register dealers - absolutely not to people who just get an ABN, claim to be a business, then buy a heap, and sell them on eBay or even Facebook pages. It definitely needs a name change. Priority implies it comes out early.
I thought people on here wanted to get their team sets without too much hassle, so isn’t the limited to 50 card pretty much going against what you want? Not talking to you particularly, just a good amount of collectors on here have been complaining about rarity.
 

Battingticks84

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Battingticks84
I thought people on here wanted to get their team sets without too much hassle, so isn’t the limited to 50 card pretty much going against what you want? Not talking to you particularly, just a good amount of collectors on here have been complaining about rarity.
I’m fine with limited cards and I haven’t seen an abundance of people who aren’t. People just want a fair shot at getting them (not spending $2k to get a box of priority). While we would all like to, we can’t get them all. The 1/1 are evidence of that. I would like as many as possible to be achievable, but I wouldn’t buy a card if I don’t think it’s worth it. Even if they sit in my cupboard for 50 years and my kids sell them, there has to value in the product if I’m spending money on it. I enjoy collecting, but wouldn’t just waste my money for nothing. I think most people would be the same.