Select Australia have announced their newest premium release 'AFL GEM Football', which see's the return of 180pt stock trading cards, but for the first time, 180pt cards will be released uncased! Yes, not only does that mean you need to stock up on all 180pt card accessories, but Select is bringing something fresh to the collecting table that the AFL hobby hasn't seen before.
The common theme amongst Select's premium releases is that they are printed on stock thicker than your regular Series 1 & 2 releases, which are generally 35-55pt. We've seen other popular premium releases like Supremacy and Brilliance be printed on 130pt and 180pt stock respectively. And if you were to showcase your collection to a stranger, cards found from those two releases are likely to be the first to make an appearance. So therefore is it a matter of 'the thicker the better'? Why are we so drawn to cards that go outside the realms of regular stock thickness? Let's explore this idea!
The first thing that comes to mind with thicker cards is their quality! The level of quality put into premium release cards is a different beast. Rarely do you ever see these high-end cards ever bent, creased, or suffering from surface or signature imperfections. Lucky for AFL collectors, Select Australia's quality control has become second-to-none over recent years, and they do an excellent job of ensuring collectors receive these 'thick boys' in the best condition possible.
Not only is the quality and condition top-notch, but the aesthetic appeal thicker cards bring is why their corresponding products carry so much demand. As mentioned earlier, if you were to be shown someone's collection, I'm sure your eyes would be drawn to the thicker stocked cards as they have substantial presence. Hence why they make such great presentation pieces! Being able to hold a Supremacy signature in your hands, you'll understand the premium feel and their greater sense of value compared to other signature cards.
With thicker cards being a staple of premium releases, it also brings an added level of collectability with some collectors only targeting the checklists of those particular products. Supremacy is a great example of this, with many high-end collectors wanting to complete the set of the non-signature 'Goal-kicking Greats', with some of the more renowned players fetching serious money! You're also beginning to see card-enthusiasts whose collections have transformed from acquiring everything, to collecting specific cards. Which generally revolves around your thicker stocked trading cards! If you can't collect everything, it's hard to say no to Supremacy or Brilliance and I expect similar trade-offs will be made for the first release of AFL GEM!
While the AJ's always mention that "there's no new ideas in trading cards', thicker cards do allow for card manufacturers to be more creative with the printing and designs of their products. Different textured cards, more intricate foiling, metal bordering, and relic-infused cards are all tricks that Select have shown to possess up their sleeves. And it's mostly thanks to the canvas that they are able to work with! All these techniques equate to visually stunning cards, which add to the allure of trading cards found in these premium releases.
But let me know what you think! Why is it that cards printed on thicker stock seem to appeal to the masses compared to their thinly printed counterparts?