Hey guys, Drew back here! So, just recently I got an email from my good old friends at TriStar asking if I was interested in reviewing their newest football product, Obak! I gladly accepted the offer and Dad and I broke open a fresh box of the product two weeks ago or so. As promised, here is my review:
Base Cards: 103 (7 Doubles)
Well, in case any of you didn't realize, this Obak product offers a ton of variety. You can find cards of people involved in any way with football. First off are the players. Going back as far as Sammy Baugh and going as modern as the all time NFL points leader Morten Anderson, it offers a vast timeline of football history. But not only that, but the set also features a card of Vince Lombardi in his playing days, and even cards of the people who invented certain plays and equipment, as well as famous team owners and Hall of Famers. One thing I also love about the set is the inclusion of former US Presidents, majority of them even in their football uniforms back before their presidencies. Pretty cool!
The design is simple, but I like how the photo is cut out and put on a random design in the background. It offers a neat look back at some of footballs greatest memories. By the way, I also pulled 3 cards with a gray back variation: Jack Chevigny, Johnny Poe, and Eddie Lebaron. I'm not sure what the distinction of those are, but I guess they're kind of cool.
Box Topper: Emlen Tunnell/Charles Follis /25
The connection between these 2 players is that Tunnell was the 1st African American inducted into Canton, while Follis was the 1st African American to ever play football. I'm not sure how much of a fan I am of this design, as it is kind of boring to be honest, but it still serves as a cool part of the set. Plus, it's very limited, numbered only out of 25!
I feel like minis have came a long way the past years. They started off as a cool concept, and at this point they serve as a "ughhhh another pointless parallel". Some people love them. I don't love them but I don't hate them either. I really think it would be cool if they did an Obak set in just mini form, like the original Obak cards. I feel like a product should be either all standard sized or all mini sized, because it just adds a lot to chase after.
One thing I do like about the minis here is that the mini set is much smaller than the base set. At only 25 cards, I'm only 2 cards away from the entire set already! When you buy multiple boxes, it gives you plenty of duplicates, but if you're doing a one box break it's nice to knock off a lot of the cards without having to chase them around.
Green Base Parallel: 2 (Tunnell/Anderson)
TriStar did a much better job with the overwhelming amounts of parallels in this product. Last time I reviewed a box for them, it was a box of Obak baseball, there are an extreme amount of parallels in the box. This time around, I pulled about 6 in total, 2 being these green cards numbered out of 25 each! Not too bad at all.
The last parallel was again a green parallel, this being a mini numbered to 25 of Earl Campbell! Not bad to have a card of one of the top running backs of all time with a low serial number and a nice design.
On to the autographs! The first of the four promised autos was one of Charlie Ward, numbered 22 out of 50. Ward was a very skilled athlete, and was drafted by the Brewers in the 1993 MLB draft, followed by the Yankees in 1994. Also, he was a great tennis player, having played in the Arthur Ashe Amateur Tournament in 1994. But, his two sports he'll be remembered for most were basketball and football. While he went on to have a decent NBA career with the Knicks, Spurs, and Rockets, he shined in college football, winning the 1993 Heisman trophy. Definitely a neat autograph to own of a very good athlete!
Autographer number 2 was of another former Heisman Trophy winner, Andre Ware. Ware, along with Ward, is in the College Football Hall of Fame after his successful college career with Houston. He had a very rough NFL career, but will be widely remembered for his successful college career. He currently works for the Houston Texans radio broadcast team.
The third ottograph just happened to be of the legendary number "00", Hall of Famer Jim Otto! Otto was one of the best centers of all time, making 9 AFL All Star selections and 3 Pro Bowls! He played his entire career with Oakland, and he was one of only 20 players to play every season the AFL league existed. The Sporting News ranked him as the 78th greatest football player of all time!
And well, the last autograph was a bit of a surprise!
It was a 1/1 cut autograph of former Chiefs head coach and Hall of Famer Hank Stram! Stram led Kansas City (which was also the Dallas Texans at one point during the period) to 3 AFL Championship wins, as well as a Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl IV! His career coaching record put him at a 57.5% percentage, and he is considered one of the best coaches in football history!
This is my 1st cut autograph in my collection, and while I know I'm going to give away a majority of the content from the box in a contest coming very soon, this one very well may stay here with me. All in all, I'm a big fan of this product! I think it has a very neat checklist and perception, and for that I give TriStar a strong A on this product!
Thank you so much to my good friends that work with TriStar and allowed me this opportunity! Stay tuned for a chance to win many of the cards from this box!