Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thoughts: Printing Plates

Printing plates are one of those things in this hobby that you either love or you hate. A lot of people think they are legitimate 1/1's and a lot of people do not think they are legitimate 1/1's. Everyone is entitled to their own opinon, so here's mine. 

The only issue I have with plates is the 1/1 stamp on them. Since there are four of basically the exact same plates for any given card, shouldn't they be numbered out of four instead? I know that's not as attractive as the 1/1, but I think the serial number should reflect what's actually there. Then again, this opens up another can of worms because any simple parallel set (i.e. blue, gold, emerald, black) could fall under the same line of thinking.

I guess if I'm going to consider something like my Howard Black Diamond Platinum 1/1 a legitimate 1/1, even though it's just another 'version' of the base card, then a plate would be a 1/1 in my book as well. That's the best part about this hobby, I can make the rules for myself and no one can make me say or do otherwise.

Just for kicks, here's a look at some Cup plates from the last six years:

I really like the idea of printing plates as they are a bit more exciting than a plain old white jersey swatch that's been done a million times before, although plates are heading the same direction now.

As a player collector I do not actively pursue printing plates for my Jimmy Howard collection. Why? Well, for one, I almost never see them and two, I don't consider them to be part of my want list. That's another one of the good things about collecting, I can set my own parameters for any given project.

What are your thoughts on printing plates? Ever pulled or bought one? Finally, do you think the 1/1 tag on these things is legit? 


  1. Interesting timing about printing plates. I have never owned one but with this year's Cup release, Adam McQuaid has quite a few different ones that piqued my interest. I've been following a few of them, but I just don't think it is something I really want to get into. If I pulled one from a pack, great, but the prices tend to be too high for me to stomach.

    However, if I saw an Axelsson one, I might be convinced to pull the trigger if the price was reasonable. So, I guess for my player collection, I might grab one but just not for general collecting.

    Aslo, shouldn't printing plates be reversed? Or has the technology evolved enough that they are no longer this way?

  2. I've traded for a couple for player collections, but I always delete them (and all other 1 of 1's) from my want lists. They're a nice bonus, but they don't officially count as part of a want list, since most of them will probably be on there forever.

  3. I'm not sure how I feel about them being 1/1's, but I've never really been a huge fan of them. In all fairness I've never pulled one, and never purchased or traded for one, so I guess I can't be too judgmental.

  4. I've pulled two printing plates in my lifetime... one was a 08/09 DeAndre Jordan Topps Signature printing plate and a 08/09 Bowman 48 Dwight Howard autographed printing plate.

    I'm okay with them being called 1/1's since they only produced one of each color... but overall I'm not a huge fan of them.

    I'd much rather pull a 1/1 refractor card.